Writings / tag / church

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

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

August comes to an end. All things considered I don't think we can complain too much about the weather, certainly not compared to the washout that was July. Photographically speaking, it's been a very interesting month and as summer slides into autumn I can't help but look forward to the golds and browns that it signifies.

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

I took pictures of Leigh and partner Gideon, a set of pictures I'm very pleased with. They were very well received and that's quite gratifying to be honest. Thinking about it now, I can't believe how I ended up taking her picture. I think I touched on it briefly but to add more flesh to the bones (as it were) I was at a recent event where I was promised "Comic Book Heroes and Villains" but the reality was somewhat lacking. I was sitting on a wall eating an ice cream trying to figure out what I could do for the rest of the day when Leigh and a group of friends walked past. I caught a snatch of conversation..."blah blah.. shoot on Friday.... blah blah" and my plan was formed, I'd ask this girl if she'd like to have her picture taken. With far more confidence than I felt I walked up to her, introduced myself, gave her my card and asked her to have a think about it. She dropped me a line a couple of weeks later and well the rest as they say, is history. Both Leigh and I want to do more pictures so stay tuned.

Time to go...I was using a wide angled lens for this shot, I love the slightly distorted perspective to the image, the flash has given a really nice washed out feel to the foreground and the setting sun in the background adds a splash of colour.

I also took a run out to Rutland Waters. I'd never been before but I'd heard about this church that was half submerged and wanted to go and take pictures of it. To be fair I think me and a million other 'togs have all taken pictures of it but so what? It's a great subject!

View from the southShot from the end of the "Rutland Belle" pier.. fairly sure that I was breaking all kinds of rules; no life vest!

This weekend I found myself at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. I've been many times and I never get tired of the place there's always something going on.

Monkeying aroundthree... er ... "wise".. monkeys?

We went this time because it offered the chance to get "up close and personal" with a Lancaster bomber, I got some great pictures from angles that you wouldn't normally be able to see and excitingly, I was able to go aboard the aircraft and take shots inside. They'll be in a forthcoming update. As a bit of a bonus, we were treated to the sight of the B-17 "Sally B" coming home from Bournemouth, we watched her land and then taxi past us no more than 25 yards away. Fabulous!

Thanks for reading.

Mark

22 August 2016