I love shooting film, knowing that each shot is precious, you have to get it right to get the best exposure, composition and ultimately the best image in each circumstance. You really have to focus and think whilst you shoot. Digital has allowed the point and shoot attitude, resulting in hours narrowing down images post shoot if you're not selective when capturing. I find my film shots personally have something about them that digital images don't, maybe it's the physical negative and print in hand that makes them more valuable to me.. anyway, enough pondering, here are the pictures;
Over the last week I have been on a mini tour of the UK. First, I drove up to Birmingham to stay with Family and to attend this years Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham (twitter #ukphotoshow) I've never been before but found the information gained from going invaluable and I highly recommend the show to anyone interested in photography. The problem is, now I have lots of photography tools, software, equipment and professional organisations I would like to invest in but I will need to save up my pennies!
Over the four days that I attended the show, I met up with some contacts I have been chatting to on a networking site called Purpleport, it was great to finally put some faces to the names of the talented individuals I have been following and chatting too for some time now. I will post more about the show and the talented individuals I met there in another post soon enough, for now I am excited to show off my street photography that I took on Thursday in Gloucester with fellow photographer Chris Cook.
I decided to take my 35mm film camera and my simple point and shoot with me on my mini tour so I didn't have to worry about damaging my main camera used for studio work. I'm so glad I shot on film (although some was expired and one was accidentally cross processed by the lab) because there are so many cameras and lenses out there that cost thousands of pounds that can do the same things as a cheap £40 quid set up bought from a local charity shop; to be honest, I think I actually prefer the grittiness that film gives you, it's much more atmospheric straight out of camera than shooting digital, in my opinion of course. Anyway, enough of my rambling, here are some shots I took with my 35mm Slide transparency film that was cross processed and actually came out in black and white!
Above, notes: This was shot with the fab contrast of the brickwork and pavement in mind, the leading lines of the alleyway draw your eye in and the subject looks as though he is planning something. This is one of my favourite shots from our shoot.
Above, notes: After attending a seminar with Simon Young at the photography show I was inspired to think more about contrast when shooting, so when I saw this pattern in the gates and the contrast of Chris' black jacket I just had to take a shot.
Above, notes: Whilst wandering around Gloucester we came across this quirky market stall selling herbs, seeds, nuts and olives, I photographed the labels with the bright colours and a shallow depth of field in mind, even though the cross processing produced the negatives in black and white, I still like the shot as it is with the shallow depth of field and contrast in the products.
Above, notes: This lady was wearing the perfect coloured coat to fit against the bright blue and green background, I built up the courage to ask her to pose for me and she gladly obliged, this was her saying she would pose 'this way' for me now, a natural shot in between poses. Again, the shot was taken with colour in mind and I think it would have been stronger in colour, but I do love her expression and the reminder the shot gives me to not be afraid to ask people to pose for me when shooting street photography.
Above, notes: We found a great strip light that was in the shopping centre wall, again, I asked Chris to model for me and I framed it so the lights in the background would show but be blurred with the depth of field to add some contrast to the image. There's not a huge amount of detail in his face and this shot always reminds me of the character Data from Star Trek on board the enterprise, not that I'm a sci-fi geek..
Above, notes: A quick selfie taken in the mirror of the lift in the shopping centre, it was tricky trying to manual focus and get my framing right whilst having to repeatedly press the button to keep the doors open!
I love the lights in the top of the lift and the reflective surfaces inside the lift too. Looking at it now, it might have aided the composition to get more of the arrow to the right of my head in shot to emphasize me as the focal point.
Above, notes: Another shot in the alleyway of Chris taking a photo of the subject at the end of the alley (too blurred for viewing in this shot as Chris was my focal point) The leading lines and contrast in the shot make it work for me.
Thanks for reading my post and taking a look at my work, I will definitely be shooting more street photography and I have a couple more films to develop so keep an eye on the blog for more pictures soon!
Any comments are welcomed and if you would like to chat about street photography or photography in general come say hi on my facebook page.
Are you looking for a photographer to photograph the most important family moments of your life but aren't sure what to look for? This guide will be a professional insight into what to look for in a portfolio to make sure you book the perfect photographer for your wedding, portraits and family photo's.
Their are some key factors that you should know about to judge whether a photograph is of a high quality and professional. These key factors include, but are not limited to, Composition, Lighting, Focus, Posing, Attention to Detail, Variety and Perspective.
Composition is the way in which an image is composed. There are many rules which outline what constitutes good composition and I will try and describe them as best I can with examples.
The above image is an example of good composition as the subject is looking to the side of her where there is negative space within the image, this helps communicate that this is where she is looking giving a connection to the negative space and the model. Whereas if the model was placed to the left of the frame and there was negative space behind her which she had her back too there wouldn't be any connection between the space and her making the two elements fit uncomfortably, creating bad composition.
The above image has a couple of points that need discussing, firstly, when I photographed this little lad under the sheet he was happy and crawling away as fast as we got him into position which is why his fingers and hands aren't in the frame as he was too quick for me! This would usually really bother me and I did take quite a few but this expression makes the image for me. So, compositionally, having any limbs cut off by the framing of a full body image such as this is always a no no in my opinion. To really make an image complete it is always good to include everything that you want to display this photo being the baby. The second point I wanted to make is that, forgetting the lack of limbs shown, the rest of the composition, mostly babies face and body in the frame are placed well to show the subject well. The rule of thirds says that when you place a grid over an image the composition of your photograph will be good if you place your focal point over where the lines cross within the grid. See below for and example:
Obviously, baby Cobi's face is the main focus in this image and as you can see it is placed on the crossing of the two lines in the grid, the rest of cobi's body covers two more crossing points which means he fills the frame well and is the obvious subject of the photograph.
Another element to take into consideration with composition are leading lines within the image. Some leading lines are good ones, pointing to the focal point and adding impact to the subject within an image. In contrast, some leading lines are detrimental to an image, they take away focus from the subject or split an image in two making an image difficult to flow compositionally. Lines can be of any type, straight wiggly, diagonal, anything that the eye can follow through the image. Depending on the image content lines can frame a subject within the frame of the photograph itself see below where the lines of the sofa frame Mia:
Usually photographs that use leading lines will have the subject smack bang in the middle of the photograph and the lines lead to behind the subject, the viewers eye follows the line into the image and stops moving when it gets to the subject. This means that the lines reinforce the subject as the focal point. The image below shows the meaning of this with the head board leading the eye into the subject in the middle of the frame.
Some photographers will use cropping after taking the photograph to get the desired composition but I strongly urge people to take the time to frame what they are photographing, zoom in if needed, move around to get the best angle on your subject and then take the photo with the composition sorted in the view finder rather than on the computer screen. This will save you time and improve your photographic technique.
Below is an example of bad composition, there is negative space behind baby's head, the crop is too close to the right of his little face and he is looking out of shot which stumps the flow of the image as the viewers eye imagines what he is looking at and realises there is nothing to look at not even negative space.
Simply shifting the composition to allow some negative space for your subject to look at allows the photograph to be viewed more comfortably by the viewer.
The crop is important when taking/editing your photographs, you need to establish which elements of your image you want to keep in the frame and decide which elements will be distracting. Another guideline for cropping is making sure that you have even spaces on either side of the subject on at least two sides of the frame. This will help keep your composition balanced and focus on the subject.
Lighting is one of the most important elements in photography, if you can get your lighting spot on every time you can practice all of the other creative elements of photography and always have a perfectly exposed photograph.
Photographs are easy to overexpose especially because over exposure tends to make skin look clearer as it bleaches out any impurities. This is not the way to smooth out skin. Good photographers will be able to spot heal any blemished and skin tone should be as natural as it is in real life. You should always be able to see the different skin tones and pores if the picture is a close up. Here is an example of an over exposed image:
Notice how there are bleached out areas in her neck face and arm where they are simply too bright for any detail. The shadows and stronger colours are still visible but are too bright to be correctly exposed. The colour does stand out more and if that is the effect a photographer wants to go for they should have the right exposure and boost the saturation in post processing not just nuke the model with flash or upping the brightness as it destroys all detail in the highlights.
Below is an example of the same photograph that has been under exposed.
Notice how the colours are murky and the skin tone is grey. usually you can tell an image is under exposed by looking at any white areas within the image, you should be able to see the detail in the white and you should also have white, not grey or an area too bright to focus on.
Below is the photograph correctly exposed.
You can see the pink skin tones and there is detail in her skin. The colours are strong and correctly exposed with no murky grey areas.
One of the most common mistakes and tell tale signs of an amateur photographer is the use of flash and the positioning of shadows within a photograph. The flash when used without a diffuser or without being bounced before lighting the subject is often very harsh creating strong shadows which outline the subject against a wall. I regularly see this in wedding photographs and am shocked because of the importance of the photographs. If you are given the privilege of being hired to photograph the most important day of a couple's lives then you should make sure you are qualified to do so. Especially if you consider yourself to be professional and charge professional prices. The lighting should be even and natural or set up specifically to studio standards not done half arsed with horrible dark shadows and bleached out portraits.
I will write about the other topics in my next post.
Thanks for reading :D
Over the years I have collected photography books, websites, blogs etc, to use for inspiration. One of the most fun and creative resources has been photojojo! You can subscribe to their newsletter and get weekly projects, learn about up and coming photographers and artists, find camera related merchandise and so much more. Photojojo have released a book on all the different photographic projects that you can do and it is a must read for anyone who likes to be creative, to find out more about the book click the picture above.
They have an awesome store that you can shop in for anyone who loves anything to do with photography. Click here to visit their store, it really is amazing. <3
(Image from Photojojo's website)
My awesome new promotional tshirts have arrived today!
Self Promotion just got easier :D Modelled by Me :P
I have recently bought myself a lovely new compact camera, a Panasonic DMC-FS45 to be precise and it's a lovely piece of equipment to have in my bag when out and about. I can scout locations and take some decent reference pictures now without using the memory on my camera phone and the super wide angle lens means I get the most of the scene with the pictures I take. There is also an awesome panorama option on this camera which I will be experimenting with over my next couple of days off. This little compact camera fits wonderfully into my handbag and will be a great tool to help build an idea of all the resources out and about in Devon. I'm as happy as Larry. (Well, I think I am, I've never actually met the bloke).
This photoshoot was booked through www.purpleport.com and was with the lovely model Megsy Green. We shot for a good 4/5 hours on different locations with plenty of different clothing changes and backgrounds to get the variety needed for the shoot. Megsy is a fairly new model who has only undertaken a handful of photoshoots, her versatility and willingness to explore ideas, locations and styles has the potential to make her a very good model. We visited the local sweet shop in south molton named bon bons and took some location shots there. The colours in the shop were great to go with the models styling and we got some lovely images whilst having loads of fun in the process. To see more of the pictures go to my flickr page by clicking here. If, like Megan, you are new to modelling or simply want some nice photographs as a keepsake contact me at email@example.com and we can chat about ideas for your shoot and what kind of images would suit your style.
I'm always trying to improve my understanding of my hobbies and have found some fantastic books along my learning journey. If you want to know more about photography, creative blogging, business, and lighting then the books above are a great read. My particular favourites include 'the nature of photographs' by Stephen Shore. This is a theory book on photography and shows how the content of an image affects the viewers perception of an image. It's quite an in depth book and takes a while to read but it challenges the way you see an image and makes you think with an open mind. Another of my favourites from the shelf above is 'beyond the lens' from the Association of Photographers. This book is a very valuable resource for anyone looking to get into photography full time, it covers legal requirements, useful hints and websites and a lot of information on licensing, paperwork and how to stay on track when starting a new business.
I've yet to start a few of these books but will give reviews on those that are worth a look.
Yesterday I shot with this lovely family in Barnstaple, Devon. We took some photos in the home and then we went to Instow beach.
We spent 5 hours shooting with baby breaks for feeding and changing, we got a great variety of images with different poses, outfits, and lighting.
I am so happy with how these images came out. You can really feel the love within this family through the pictures and they were a delight to photograph.
There were a trio of storage trunks in the front room which looked very treasure chest like. We took them to the beach with us and shot the above in the dunes.
To book your babies photoshoot with GemmieV Photography email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've been designing flyers to hand out at merchandising events to potential new customers and so far this is what I have come up with. The only problem is finding somewhere to print them without charging a fortune!
Here's the back of the flier.
I would love to hear suggestions for promotional offers customers would like to see on a flier. Feel free to comment with your ideas. Thankyou. I will soon be updating my website and transferring to a new hosting site so my website content will be offline for a while.
Over the weekend Tom and I went to a 4x4 event in Wales and we spent the time photographing the trucks.
This tractor was parked next to where we pitched our tent and I couldn't help but photograph it. It was such a beautiful weekend. I've watermarked this one with toms watermark and have been building up a website to sell the photos we took at the weekend which can be found by clicking here. The rest of the time I have been editing all the pics and uploading which took ages!
for a free photoshoot consultation or to book your shoot.