Writings / category / People

Another month has passed, this year is flying! I can't believe it's August already. I had a relatively quiet month in June because May was so full on but July saw me back hard at it. I've previously mentioned that that I had put up a profile on a site called "Purpleport" (I have no idea why it's called that!) it allows us 'creative' types to network, it has a mixture of models, photographers, makeup artists and graphic artists. As a member you're free to contact whoever and arrange to work with them. Naturally, I'm mainly in contact with models. Models accept work on a paid basis or a "time for" basis which is essentially a collaboration and no money changes hands (sadly this doesn't mean free there are always some costs associated with a shoot), we both end up with a selection of pictures for our portfolios. I've shot four models from the site on a TF basis and that means that I've been incredibly busy behind the scenes as well as behind the lens.

Innocence

I guess most people would be aware that photographers edit their pictures but I suspect don't know what that means and that even if you have an idea, it almost certainly doesn't mean what you think it does.

Chic 3

In my case, it simply means replacing a process that is normally automatic and performed by the camera with a manual process done on my computer. All digital cameras (from the cheapest to the most expensive) automatically edit pictures in this way but you end up with what the manufacturer believes is the best edit for a picture "if the camera has settings of 'x'" and really this "one size fits all" approach doesn't really work for all pictures.

An English Rose?

What I don't do when I edit, is chop bits out or replace the sky or swop people's heads; I apply the modern digital equivalent of old school darkroom techniques. This is why any given shoot takes me a while to get ready for publishing; for example, I may take around 200 shots over a two hour shoot, I have to review them, selecting the ones I like, I'll apply some basic edits and refine the list still further and then I'll apply more advanced edits. For any given shoot, I'm looking for around 25 to 30 great shots. FInally, from those I'll select around ten to publish and I'll normally print 2 or 3 as well (prepping for print takes about 1.5 hours each on top of time spent 'editing') so all in all I'll spend about a day prepping and finishing a shoot. It's not done in one hit but it is done for each and every shoot. 

Brooklyn Bridge 4I liked the way the sun shone between the buildings, a tiny little aperture (f22 for those interested) allowed the camera to cope with the sun shining straight into my eyes! I'm pretty pleased with shot, I couldn't see a thing!

The tf agreement is such that I normally try to supply the pictures within a week, I'm often a couple of shoots behind because I have a day job as well. In between times, I'm doing administration tasks, I'm organizing shoots and of course I have the day to day stuff I do to live my life. 

Dolly 1Dolly is her favourite toy but I'm afraid to say she really didn't get a look in!

in the meantime, I'm prepping more shots from my trip to the states, I've got shots from Lena, Tasha and Caroline to share. Last weekend I took more pictures of the lovely Pippa, more or less a year since the first set, she was much more inclinded to shyness but I did get some lovely shots of her (and her bottom lip!) As I write I've returned from a shoot this morning that I don't want to say too much about just yet but I was really excited and pleased to have the opportunity and I'm booking shoots for next weekend

It's not all running around witha camera looking cool. Thanks for reading.

Mark
6th August 2017

As I type the weather has turned from record highs to rain. I know it should bother me but it really doesn't. The photographer in me just sees weather and wonders what he can shoot. I accept that most of you will have a different view on that subject although based on the facebook posts of some, you'd think the hot weather had heralded the end of the world!

Almost dusk...Again a small aperture tames the bright evening sun. Small aperture and a relatively long exposure allowed the camera to pick up details it would otherwise have lost in the glare.


Since I last blogged I've been pretty busy. I've been to New Jersey and New York, I've taken part in an Arts Festival, I went to a Cosplay event and I shot a vintage/retro set. Some might say, I should take a break!

Upper floorI guess even in prison you'd want to be on the top floor

I've already shared some images from my trip to the states and they have been well received on the whole, which is always nice. I found myself on the horns of a dilemma as far as they were concerned; after all do people really want to see someone else's holiday snaps? Rest assured I took many more than you'll ever see, aren't I good to you?

The Arts festival was fun to do and pretty intense if I'm honest. I suppose from a purely financial point of view it wasn't a success but the feedback I got on my work was without exception excellent. I could have priced the images to sell but really I put a lot of effort into my work, why should I sell it short? Unlike a few photographers exhibiting, I had printed, mounted and framed my work. If I do it again next year I can adjust things to make it more financially viable. Overall, it was worth doing. This is my personal favourite from the collection

Autumn Glow

Apart from anything else, it's pretty cool to see your work on the wall being admired by people who have no idea who you are! Hey! I'm only human. 

I had a shoot with Caroline. She's a model I found on a website called Purpleport. It's a site for allowing models, makeup artist, photographers to "meet" and arrange work. I've just set up my profile on the site, until recently I didn't think my body of work was sufficient. I really enjoyed the shoot with Caroline, she has a proper retro / vintage look and we both felt the resultant images really did her justice. I've arranged another shoot with her in the near future so keep an eye out for that.

Chic 7

I think I really should mention Danbo! He's just a bit of fun and I know that a lot of you really enjoy his adventures (yes, I know some of you don't but wotchagonnado?) 

The problem I have is that I need to keep things ticking over on my channels and the truth is it's a lot of work to produce the images I share. Danbo allows me to keep things ticking over while I work on "proper" content. He's often a surrogate for where I am and what I'm up to and weirdly he's gotten me into places that I would otherwise been denied access to! If it helps anyone understand the whole Danbo thing, open Instagram or flickr and search for Danbo, he's quite a popular guy!

As always , thanks for reading.

Mark 
28th June 2017

About a year ago, as a form of therapy really, that I launched my Facebook page as a complement to my website. I've long been a photographer but I'd never really pushed it at people so I decided to be a bit more "in people's faces" with it. As they say in the movies... it's been emotional!

I really have to thank the band of faithful followers and friends who have encouraged me to push my work out there. Without that encouragement I wouldn't be writing this today.
I also need to thank the people who have allowed me to take their picture, either of them or their families! That said I'm reasonably sure they're all happy with the pictures they got in return!

It's hard to believe that in such a relatively short period of time the page has over 70 "likes". That means at least 40 odd people I don't know have looked at and liked my images! The truly amazing thing is that I've not really pushed myself so the growth is all "organic". I am trying to change that this year

I'm still slightly surprised when I think that people have paid me money for my work and paid me to take their picture! I find it truly humbling to be honest but yes, it's also very cool.

I hope that people continue to enjoy my work and that new people find and enjoy it. There's quite a big moment looming on the horizon and I make no apologies for mentioning (yet again) that I will be showing work over the second May bank holiday at the Mentmore Art Show. Looking at photographic images on the web is all very well but if you really want to enjoy an image then you need to see a print. If that print is mounted and framed all the better.  

There's a tendency for some people to be slightly dismissive of photography these days , people don't always appreciate the artistry that goes into conceiving and executing a photographic project. Photographers don't produce these pictures by accident, we see what we want, we figure out how to achieve it and we shoot it and we often put as much thought into how we present it as we do shooting it. 

I'm going to finish this blog with a big "Thank you" to the people who had enough faith to entrust me with their likeness... First up is "Simon's Gang" you could consider this my first ever "commercial shoot"

Old Skool!Of course the smiles do spoil the mean and moody look

Next up we've got the simply gorgeous "Pippa" who along with her mum became the first shoot for someone I didn't actually know beforehand!

Dolly 1Dolly is her favourite toy but I'm afraid to say she really didn't get a look in!

I can't say thank you to anyone without saying thank you to "Leigh". Approached by a complete stranger, totally out of the blue who handed her his card and said "Let me take your picture", she was apparently unfazed because she emailed me a few days later and we arranged her first shoot! I've "shot" her a number of times now in various guises and styles. I'm not sure if she realises just what a big help she's been to me in allowing me to practice technique, try out ideas and generally just get out and about with my camera. It's an image from her very first shoot (not just with me either!) that adorns my "hire me" page. 

Oh really?!?She's in her element now, relaxed and confident.

These people should all take a bow.
Next stop for me (and Danbo!) will be New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia! It's a hard life eh?

Thanks for reading (and supporting me)

Mark
17th April 2017
 

Sally's bandI hate to say this but they were playing tunes more normally associated with christmas.

I can't kid myself any longer... Summer is officially over but that means the autumn is here! I know people from all around the world will probably same the same thing but there is no more beautiful country than England in the autumn. The land turns from greens to golds and browns. Forest landscapes that had been mostly uniform in colour suddenly vie with each other for which can display the brightest reds, yellows, browns and golds. The forest floor becomes a sea of colour. Early mornings will see the mushrooms and fungi pushing their heads up towards the sky. I do like to get out and about with my camera this time of year and rather than my usual desaturated colours I'm looking for the most vivid, the brightest. It's a great time of year for photography!

Of course what does frustrate me is that during the week on my drive to work I drive through a landscape lit by the diffuse sunlight shining through mists and fogs, softening the edges unable to stop and take it in, just let it wash over me, refresh me if you will. Not to worry it'll be the weekend soon and the morning will be dull grey and drizzly, still it keeps the crowds at bay I suppose.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I published two or three very different sets this month, there was urban decay of "St Dunstan's in the East" a ruined church in the middle of the City Of London

The damage doesn't look bad from here...As you "climb" St Dunstan's Hill from Lower Thames street, this is the sight that greets you.

These images are part of what I call my "urban decay" project. A growing collection of images that show the abandoned or run down world that lives side by side with fast modern world we inhabit.

I also published something very different, "Division" these are Leigh and her partner Gideon in their "Airsoft" gear. We had such a lot of fun doing this set. I think they just enjoy any chance to have their gear on and to get their pictures taken, for me it was a chance to work with multiple models. I'm pretty pleased with the results. 

In my last blog I mentioned my intention to get out and about with my film camera and I have been. I'm about halfway through the roll. It's been strange but also very interesting.  I've been thinking about the shots a lot more (and I'm not exactly a "hold the shutter release down" and see what I get kinda guy as it is!) and not getting the instant feedback of a digital camera is both frustrating and exciting. I had a couple of rolls of film developed but sadly there were no usable images on either roll.

Thanks for reading.

Mark
15th October 2016