Tag Archives: portraits

April ’13 – Review

Wow, I hadn’t realised just how busy the month was for photography until I looked back over the blog posts! For starters, I found four more  [email protected] images – #14, #15, #16 and #17 this month, plus three Face Down TuesdaysPolitical FatigueMoving Out and Lost Its Sparkle editions. On 30th April I also made another dozen or so FDT’s around TVC but they will be published sequentially over the next few weeks – watch this space!

The beginning of the month saw me reviewing a Cactus LV5 Laser Trigger for use with high speed photography. But I’ve also been on several group and individual photoshoots. The first was a bit of light painting and fire spinning with The Essex Massive in Colchester. Here’s another one from the session:

Tunnel & Star
Tunnel & Star

Next up was an evening walk around Westminster with a friend; we met up after I’d finished work for the evening at Millbank. There was plenty to photograph and the bright lights of London Town didn’t disappoint:

Charing Cross And The River
Charing Cross And The River

I paid another visit to the Graffiti Wall in Wharf Road this month too. It’s changed yet again. Here was a tiny section of one of the tags:

Dripping Details
Dripping Details

I went to Southend for a street shoot with some friends from the GNPC one Sunday. It was cold but fabulously sunny, so there were plenty of characters to see along the seafront (one of the dodgiest was one who we brought with us!)

Walk The Bulldog
Walk The Bulldog
Cool Customer
Cool Customer

The final Sunday saw me out and about again, this time on Chelmsford Photowalk #46 to Coalhouse Fort. As well as the usual static exhibits, there was also a special display of Military History and re-enactors around the place. Some of them posed for a picture for me:

Re-Enactors' Portrait
Re-Enactors’ Portrait

I treated myself to a new lens a few days ago too – the lovely Canon 8-15mm f/4 L USM Fisheye. I have been testing it out as much as possible, and I’ll write a proper review in due course, but in a nutshell, it’s fab! Here is one of the first pictures I made with it in Chelmsford Cathedral:

Mixed Light
Mixed Light

I’ve been working in Television Centre again for the last couple of weeks of April, and exploring various eerie corridors and locations during my lunch breaks. Almost everyone has already moved out, so the place is semi-deserted, it’s very strange. But I now have a huge backlog of urbex stuff which I hope to sort and post during early May (again, watch this space). Here’s a quick taster for you:

Scenic Artists' Workshop Lies Emtpy
Scenic Artists’ Workshop Lies Emtpy

As you can see, the fisheye has been earning its keep again!

Finally, as this year’s Mono MayHem approaches, I’ve been doing a little practice with a few mono images over the last month.

So there you have it – all quite busy. I wonder if May will turn out to be as manic?

Chelmsford Photowalk #33

Mr Twizzly Beard
Mr Twizzly Beard

Cheeky Grin
Cheeky Grin
Yesterday a couple of us decided to go to the London International Tattoo Convention at Tobacco Docks for our monthly photowalk. Neither myself nor Simon are particularly comfortable with people photography, so we thought it would get us out of our comfort zones and be good practice.

Having talked to attendees of previous events, it would seem our apprehensions were unfounded – most people were more than happy to pose for pictures. I think we only had one refusal in the whole time we were there.

There was lots to see, but these are some of the stand-out characters:

Animated Conversation
Animated Conversation
Lighting Up
Lighting Up
Lazy Sunday Afternoon
Lazy Sunday Afternoon

And my favourite from the day:

Miss Scarlet
Miss Scarlet

You can see the complete gallery here:

Monkeying Around

Jailhouse Ken poses in front of the camera
Jailhouse Ken poses in front of the camera
The Kens have the remote control!
The Kens have the remote control!
Kens line up for their turn
Kens line up for their turn

Today I had an idea for making an Andy Warhol-style image of my King Kens. The first job was to photograph nine of them in the same way, each in front of an appropriately-coloured background. This was more difficult than it sounds – you try wrangling nine monkeys, each with their own very strong opinions… it can get messy!

The Initial Montage

Having taken all nine pictures, I was able to montage them together to give the initial layout:

The Un-Warholed version
The Un-Warholed version

The Final Effect

Applying the “Cutout” filter in Photoshop, with levels slider set to 8, Edge Simplicity to 1 and Edge Fidelity set to 3, I finally got the effect I was after:

The Warholizer At Work
The Warholizer At Work

Voilà!

Getting Stranger

As regular readers will know, I’m not very keen on taking portraits. Mainly because whenever I’ve tried in a studio, I’ve not been very comfortable, and that has shown in the pictures – my models don’t usually look at their ease and I’m not happy with the results.

However, I do quite enjoy a bit of people watching and candid photography. Then a while back, I stumbled across the 100 Strangers group on Flickr and thought:

that looks like a challenge, but I’ll never bring myself to do it!Me, in a defeatist frame of mind

Fast forward a few months. I finally decided to bite the bullet and have a go. So I’ve made a whole new section of the website for my 100 Strangers Project. Posts there will be rather erratic, I suspect, and it may well take me beyond the end of 2011 to reach my target, hence not putting it as part of my general Project 365.

Yes, I’m finding the talking to people hard, but I’m actually quite enjoying it once I’ve broken the ice. And I am pretty pleased with the results so far! See what you think:

My first 8 strangers!
My first 8 strangers!

Pushing The Boundaries

One thing that my Photo A Day project has taught me is that it’s good to try out some new techniques and push the boundaries of your photographic comfort zone.

Some of you may know that one of my pet hates is Portraiture. I don’t know why, but I really don’t enjoy it, and the images I produce when I do try are fairly awful. Add to this the self-portrait and we are into a whole new order of magnitude of underachievement!

So, this week I took the bull by the horns. It’s because another group I’m in on Flickr, 52Themes2009, are having a Portrait theme this week. I’d been dreading it since I saw the list.

I set up a tripod in the bedroom and took down a mirror, so that I had a nice blue background and plenty of room to dash between the camera and my posing spot.

The first issue was to photograph a frame against the wall, not caring what was in it. Then I set about pulling faces in front of the camera through a piece of matte board – so that I could appear to be breaking out of the frame.

The-Rogues-GalleryIt took nearly 50 shots with me to-ing and fro-ing between the camera and my spot, checking pose and positioning of each, before I was half satisfied with the results.

Once I got things onto the computer, I chose a selection of faces and cropped them to the right size to fit in the frame I’d already taken. I chose a suitably horror-struck face for Day #532 and then I posted a small selection to Flickr, where one of my friends suggested putting together a montage of all the moods. So here it is, The Rogues Gallery. You can click the image to see it in all its glorious detail!

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I shall be posting Self Portraits left, right and centre anytime soon, but it has forced me out of my comfort zone for a bit, and that’s never a bad thing.