Archive For The “People” Category

Wild Man

Wild

 

 

Wild Man

 

 

 

A creative portrait in a dark gothic tone ideal for a magazine cover or something similar. Should you find a portrait amongst your collection that has a good composition about it then get creative and see what you can make of it. This photograph was taken in the models home and no studio equipment was used in the making of this shot, sometimes you do not need fancy expensive lighting. However, what you will need is two or more photographs to create the final piece and some decent photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop

 

 

 

Photography Tips:

To create an image like this you will need a willing model, SLR camera and flash gun (or other light source such as ceiling light etc) and time. People photography is rarely straight forward and simple unless you are setup in a studio, however, regardless of setting these things take time. To do a double exposure effect such as ‘Wild Man’, you will need to take another photo that creates the desired effect, in this case the birds and tree. Once you have your desired images, I advise you to YouTube ‘double exposure’ and watch some training videos on how to achieve this effect (stay tuned as I will be providing videos of this soon!). 

 

When a young girl called Sienna uses nature as her studio

When a young girl called Sienna uses nature as her studio

Sienna, a natural model

Sienna, potentially a model in the making. Having access to a willing and ‘interested’ model is a blessing for a photographer. Modelling is hard work and can take long hours in sometimes difficult environments. However, Sienna didn’t care what the weather was like or the tasks I gave her, she just got on with it. Should you have access to willing models and you are learning portrait photography, I urge you to use your resources. Whether it be a child or adult, it doesn’t matter just have fun with your model and see where it takes you. The great thing with children is that they tend to have less insecurities than adults and not so conscious of there image. This body confidence frees up time and allows a smooth creative process. Find a good model and stick with them!

Porch

 

Sienna

 

Composition

Composition, what does it mean: ‘the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up’. Composition is all about angles, thirds, halves etc. good portrait photography is not just about the subject, but also the surroundings. The surroundings can make an image, after all the model is a part of the surrounding and the props. Look out for key locations or areas of interest, then think about your model.

Hole

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is important, what stands out in the picture? One of the most important areas to focus on in portraiture are the eyes, the eyes are the windows to our soul. Think about it, when you are talking to someone face to face, what area of the face do you likely focus on? That’s correct the ‘eyes’, get the eyes in focus and everything else will fall into place. In the image above, Sienna’s eyes were paramount to me, however, her freckles and the tiny bit of light shining on her left eye is what caught my attention.

Photography Tips:

Prime, prime, prime, I am not talking about Optimus Prime from Transformers, but prime as in lens. Prime lenses are lenses that have no zoom, they are a set focal rate, the particular lens I used in these images was a Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art. The advantage with prime lenses is they tend to be much sharper than zoom, as there are less mechanical parts. Prime lenses do however, make you work harder you have to move around more, think about your locations and distance. This extra work will make you a better photographer and you will hopefully see the results. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic zoom lenses available, but they can cost considerably more money due to their technicalities. The Sigma lens has a big aperture of F1.4, which allows in more light (may not need a flash) and beautiful creamy bokeh (Japanese for blur).

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Porcelain, strong and yet fragile

Porcelain, strong and yet fragile

Porcelain

 

Porcelain is a fantastic material first created around 2000 years ago in China and is strong, tough and fairly translucent developed by heating Kaolin to temperatures of around 12-1,400 degrees.  The photograph is called porcelain due to the smooth whiteness of the child’s skin. Light is essential in photography, however, the lack of light can make an interesting image. The face in the photograph emphasizes youth and age, the lower part of the face looks new, whilst the upper shows some wear. Children are strong, beautiful and precious just like fine china, but just like porcelain they are dependent on a safe environment to thrive.

Properties

The European name, porcelain in English, come from the old Italian porcellana because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell. The pottery can also be referred to as china or fine china in some English-speaking countries, as it was first seen in imports from China. Properties include low permeability and elasticity; considerable strength, hardness, toughness, whiteness, translucency and resonance; and a high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock.

Porcelain has been described as being “completely vitrified, hard, impermeable, white or artificially coloured, translucent, and resonant.”  Traditional East Asian thinking only classifies pottery into low-fired wares and high-fired wares, without the intermediate European class of stoneware. Many local types of stoneware were mostly classed as porcelain, though often not white and translucent. Terms such as “porcellaneous”  may be used in such cases. A high proportion of modern porcelain is made of the variant bone china.

Materials

Kaolin is the primary material from which porcelain is made. Even though clay minerals might account for only a small proportion of the whole. The word “paste” is an old term for both the un-fired and fired material. A more common terminology these days for the un-fired material is “body”; for example, when buying materials a potter might order an amount of porcelain body from a vendor.

The composition of porcelain is highly variable, but the clay mineral Kaolinite is often a raw material. Other raw materials can include feldspar, ball clay, glass, bone ash, Steatite, quartz, Petuntse and alabaster.

Clays used are often described as being long or short, depending on their plasticity. Long clays are cohesive (sticky) and have high plasticity; short clays are less cohesive and have lower plasticity. In soil mechanics, plasticity is determined by measuring the increase in content of water required to change a clay from a solid state bordering on the plastic, to a plastic state bordering on the liquid. Though the term is also used less formally to describe the facility with which a clay may be worked. Clays used for porcelain are generally of lower plasticity and are shorter than many other pottery clays. They wet very quickly, meaning that small changes in the content of water can produce large changes in work-ability. Thus, the range of water content within which these clays can be worked is very narrow and consequently should be carefully controlled. – Wikipedia

Photography Tips:

To capture an image like ‘Porcelain’, you do not necessarily require a studio (though great if you have access to one), you just need a suitable dark location. I did not use any flash guns or lamps to create this shot, I did however use a small torch. Light comes in many forms so be creative, try different sources, locations, angles and have fun with it. Next step is a willing model, children in middle child hood 6-11 years old can be ideal for this type of work, due to their imagination, creativity and curiosity. This photograph is not just about light but also shadow, the two tones both compliment each other.  Once the desired image was captured I then proceeded to the editing stage. In Photoshop I adjusted the following settings: contrast, highlights, clarity, blur, brush work.

Photography and Psychology

You have probably heard the phrase “What doesn’t defeat you, makes you stronger“? Well this is not always true, especially with regards to children raised in damaging environments and victims of sexual abuse etc. Children and adults can show a high level of resilience in coping with lifes stressors or past experiences. This form of coping may seem resilient to outsiders, and in some cases can be. However, for the individual suffering, they may think they are resilient or ‘coping’, but they are actually internalising their problems and not dealing with them. Some people can put on a brave face or appear to be fine, but behind the act is a different story.
 
Children may be resilient and strong at coping with certain situations and may actually be a positive developmental outcome for them. They can also be extremely vulnerable to other stressors in life, so what doesn’t defeat you may make you stronger, it can also make you a lot weaker in other areas.
 
If you work with or know children\adults who have had a traumatic past, its helpful to keep this in your mind set and just because they survived, doesnt mean they no longer need support. 
Model
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Two Faced, we all have multiple sides…..

Two Faced, we all have multiple sides…..

Two Faced

Two Faced, we all have 2 sides to our personality and sometimes more, certain people and scenarios can bring either the best or worst out of us. This photograph is a creative monochromatic portrait shot of my youngest son Thomas. The photo has a dark side which I  enjoy doing and you could say is my niche. The light and shadows in this photograph inspired me to create this effect.

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities. Dissociated personality states that alternately show in a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These symptoms are not accounted for by substance abuse, seizures, other medical conditions, nor by imaginative play in children. Diagnosis is often difficult as there is considerable co-morbidity with other mental disorders. Malingering should be considered if there is possible financial or forensic gain, as well as factitious disorder if help-seeking behavior is prominent, Wikipedia.

Batman

Two-Face (Harvey Dent) is a fictional super villain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics (1942). As one of Batman’s most enduring enemies, Two-Face belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up his rogues gallery.

Once an upstanding Gotham City district attorney, Harvey Dent was driven insane after a mob boss threw acidic chemicals at him during a trial, hideously scarring the left side of his face. He subsequently adopted the “Two-Face” persona, becoming a criminal obsessed with duality. In later years, writers have portrayed Two-Face’s obsession with chance and fate as the result of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and identity disorder. He obsessively makes all important decisions by flipping his former lucky charm, a two-headed coin which was damaged on one side by the acid as well. The modern version is established as having once been a personal friend and ally of James Gordon and Batman.

Two-Face was ranked 12th on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time. In the Batman film series, Billy Dee Williams portrayed Harvey Dent in Batman, and Tommy Lee Jones portrayed Two-Face in Batman Forever. The character has been voiced by Richard Moll in Batman: The Animated Series, and by Troy Baker in the Batman: Arkham video games. Aaron Eckhart played both the district attorney and his villainous alter ego in The Dark Knight. Nicholas D’Agosto currently portrays Harvey Dent on the live-action TV series Gotham – Wikipedia

Photography Tips:

Photography is all about light and where there is light, there is darkness. Should the light in a photograph be the feature, enhance that feature of play with the opposite. No one said cute baby photographs have to be ‘cute’, after all there are plenty of those. Have some fun with your photography, open up a photo in Photoshop and get your ‘creative’ on.

Model
Benjy & The Frisbee

Benjy & The Frisbee

Introducing my son to his first ever game of Frisbee, he enjoyed it to say the least. My son was running around at the top of a small land raise, for which I was shooting from the bottom. When capturing children you have to take many photos using a fast shutter speed due to their rapid and unpredictable movements.

Shooting outside it is generally a good idea to use either a UV filter or a Polarizing filter (especially for landscapes). The filter’s also have the added advantage of protecting your lens, from scratches, dirt, dust and children.

A flying disc is a disc-shaped gliding toy or sporting item that is generally plastic and roughly 20 to 25 centimetres (8 to 10 in) in diameter with a lip, used recreationally and competitively for throwing and catching, for example, in flying disc games. The shape of the disc, an airfoil in cross-section, allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air while spinning. The term Frisbee, often used to generically describe all flying discs, is a registered trademark of the Wham-O toy company. Though such use is not encouraged by the company, the common use of the name as a generic term has put the trademark in jeopardy; accordingly, many “Frisbee” games are now known as “disc” games, like Ultimate or disc golf.

Flying discs are thrown and caught for free-form (freestyle) recreation and as part of many flying disc games. A wide range of flying-disc variants are available commercially. Disc golf discs are usually smaller but denser and tailored for particular flight profiles to increase/decrease stability and distance. The longest recorded disc throw is by Simon Lizotte with a distance of 263.2 meters.

Disc dog sports use relatively slow flying discs made of more pliable material to better resist a dog’s bite and prevent injury to the dog. Flying rings are also available; they typically travel significantly farther than any traditional flying disc. There are also illuminated discs meant for nighttime play — they are made of a phosphorescent plastic or contain battery-powered light-emitting diodes. Others whistle when they reach a certain velocity in flight.

Lift is generated in the same way as a traditional airfoil. The rotating flying disc has a nearly vertical angular momentum vector, stabilizing its angle of attack viagyroscopic action. If the disc were not spinning, it would crash to pitch. When the disc is spinning, however, aerodynamic torque instead leads to precess about the spin axis, causing its trajectory to curve to the left or the right. Most discs are designed to be aerodynamically stable so that this roll is accurate for a fairly broad range of velocities and rates of spin. Many disc golf discs, however, are intentionally designed to be unstable.

Higher rates of spin lead to more stability, and, for a given rate of spin, there is generally a range of velocities that are stable. Even a slight deformation in a disc (called a “taco,” which in extreme cases looks like a taco shell) can cause negative effects when throwing long range. A disk can be checked for these deformations by holding it horizontally at eye level and looking at the rim while slowly turning it.

The Street Performer

The Street Performer

The Street Performer, a man beautifully playing the cello in Krakow main square Poland. He was playing some somber classical music and gathered quite an audience

Krakows Old Town historic area resounds with music of every kind as street musicians vie for your attention and spare change at every corner. More demanding audience may choose between frequent concerts and recitals of classical music and diverse musical offerings of numerous clubs. There is also no shortage of shops selling CDs in downtown Krakow where the latest releases of the world’s top acts are available as soon as they are launched in Paris or Berlin. Radio stations mostly fill the local airwaves with recent international hits and their domestic counterparts as well as pop evergreens, though a few specialize in jazz or classical music. The Old Town huge central Krakow main square (Rynek Glowny) often serves as an open-air concert venue when some ensemble (usually a pop band) takes up the makeshift stage by the Town Hall Tower. – Krakow-Info.com

Krakow Life

Krakow Life

A busy street near Krakow square which is the local tourist spot, the area boasts some beautiful architecture and culture. You can find many restaurants and shops in the local square or hire a horse and cart for a nice night time stroll, the choice is yours.

The main square  of the Old Town of Krakow, Lesser Poland, is the principal urban space located at the center of the city. It dates back to the 13th century, and at roughly 40,000 m2 (430,000 ft2) is one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe.  The Project for Public Spaces (PPS) lists the square as the best public space in Europe due to its lively street life.

The main square is a rectangular space surrounded by historic townhouses (kamienica) and churches. The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style, topped by a beautiful attic or Polish parapet decorated with carved masks. On one side of the cloth hall is the Town Hall Tower, on the other the 10th century Church of St. Adalbert and 1898 Adam Mickiewicz Monument. Rising above the square are the Gothic towers of St. Mary’s Basilica. Krakow Main Square does not have a town hall, because it has not survived to the present day – Wikipedia

Green Fingered

Green Fingered

Green Fingered, a keen gardener enjoying a day in the garden at Bressingham Steam Museum, doing what he loves best.

The gardens were established by Alan Bloom MBE at Bressingham Hall. He moved to Bressingham in 1946, after selling his previous 36-acre (15 ha) site at Oakington in Cambridgeshire to raise the capital for the 220 acres (89 ha) in Norfolk, where he hoped to be both a farmer and a nurseryman. He was a plant expert of international renown, particularly in the field of hardy perennials. He laid out the Dell garden with its well-known island beds. His son, Adrian Bloom, laid out the Foggy Bottom garden.

Much of the site is given over to commercial horticulture. There is a garden centre on the site, trading as Blooms of Bressingham, although the nurseries themselves are not open to the public. Bressingham Gardens and Steam Museum is an independent charitable trust. Alan Bloom had wanted to create his own trust in 1967, to ensure that the collection would not be disbursed to pay for death duties, but the laws of the time made this difficult, and after five years of negotiation, the museum was nearly handed over to the Transport Trust. However, the legislation governing private museums was relaxed just before the handover in 1971, and Bloom was able to create his own Trust and thus retain control of it because the collection was of historical and educational importance.

Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use. Gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people.

Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to plants in large or small containers grown inside or outside. Gardening may be very specialized, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants, and tends to be labor-intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.- Wikipedia

http://www.bressingham.co.uk/home.aspx

Rush

Rush

A child having fun on a scooter. This photo was captured using the ‘Bulb’ mode during the day with a ND 500 filter applied.

Bulb, abbreviated B, is a shutter speed setting on an adjustable camera that allows long exposure times under the direct control of the photographer. With this setting, the shutter simply stays open as long as the shutter button remains depressed. An alternative setting common on film cameras is Time, abbreviated T, where the button is pressed once to open the shutter and again to close it. 

In photography and optics, a neutral-density filter, or ND filter, is a filter that reduces or modifies the intensity of all wavelengths, or colors, of light equally, giving no changes in hue of color rendition. It can be a colorless (clear) or grey filter. The purpose of a standard photographic neutral-density filter is to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. Doing so allows the photographer to select combinations of aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity that would otherwise produce overexposed pictures. This is done to achieve effects such as a shallower depth of field or motion blur of a subject in a wider range of situations and atmospheric conditions. – Wikipedia

Agent Orange

Agent Orange

Agent Orange, If you are familiar of the Vietnam War you should understand what I am trying to portray in this picture. The photo itself is a blend of two photographs (Both mine), I am still disgusted America used this chemical in the war and the damage to the environment and poor innocent people it caused.

What is Agent Orange?

Agent Orange or Herbicide Orange  is one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It was a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D.

During the late 1940’s and 1950’s, the US and Britain collaborated on development of herbicides with potential applications in warfare. Some of those products were brought to market as herbicides. The British were the first to employ herbicides and defoliants to destroy the crops, bushes, and trees of communist insurgents in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. These operations laid the groundwork for the subsequent use of Agent Orange and other defoliant formulations by the US.- Wikipedia.com

From 1961 to 1972, the U.S. military conducted a large-scale defoliation program aimed at destroying the forest and jungle cover used by enemy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops fighting against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War. U.S. aircraft were deployed to spray powerful mixtures of herbicides around roads, rivers, canals and military bases, as well as on crops that might be used to supply enemy troops. During this process, crops and water sources used by the non-combatant peasant population of South Vietnam could also be hit. In all, Operation Ranch Hand deployed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land – History.com

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Generation

Generation

Generation, a monochromatic photograph of a granddad and his nephew overlooking the ocean at a Norfolk beach, England. The weather and landscape was perfect for this capture and the pose was actually natural.

 

 

Watch your back

Watch your back

Watch your back, this photograph I find quite interesting, depending on the viewer this photo will tell a different story. Is the man in the picture keeping the child safe, or is the man in the picture abducting the child? What do you see?

I wanted this picture to be a minimalist monochrome  photograph, simple tones that can tell a powerful story.  I am a fan of art that can capture the viewers attention and i am always interested in people’s perceptions of what they see.

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