I am not entirely sure where this year has gone. I have been super busy with work that I have totally neglected my blog. To keep things short and sweet, here are some postcards I shot in Amsterdam whilst on a stag-do in March. All shot on my iphone and edited using VSCOcam. All I know is, I need to go back, this place is stunning!
Now I’m not going to pretend that I am anything other than lucky. I am not going to pretend to be one of these people that has a boat load of money and can pop off to the other side of the world whenever I see fit. No, I am lucky. Late November I got the message that there would be a possibility that I’d be heading to LA for a photoshoot with Honda for work. I tried to down play the whole idea as in our industry, these decisions have a tendency to be reversed. Quietly however, I was screaming like a little girl inside. I held my breath until the first week of December when things like flights, hotels and cars were being booked. Holy fuck, I was actually going!
Camera gear was the first thing I packed and repacked, then passport, then toiletries and then clothes. I was going from England where the average temperature has been around 12 degrees Celsius to LA where it was hovering around 22! NICE. I was also going to having a 2 and a half days down time whilst out there so it wouldn’t all be work. I was so stoked about getting the opportunity to drive around and explore. Like I said, LUCKY.
Like any trip, I always carry my eyefi card so I can ping snaps from my camera to instagram whilst on the move. I tend to use VSCOcam to edit the pictures and I liked them so much I made a new preset in Lightroom to mimic the look using Kodak Gold 200 as a base. Enough chat, here’s some pictures.
It is safe to say that in the 5 days that I was there, I fell for the place. I wasn’t that blown away from it when I first landed but after spending time, speaking to people, travelling around, trying out the food (and beer) that I loved it. I would quite happily move there. There is so much to see and do and having a beach, mountains, big roads, deserts and all the sunshine you could want, why wouldn’t I want to be there.
LA, I’ll be back.
I am working on a little series at the moment to try and create a character from my screen name “Shooting Dave”. The idea is that this character will look like an assassin or a hitman or a spy of some sort. So far I had only created one, now I have two. Below is the first one I did, as if it had been a shoot out. Note the details like the empty film cartridges on the floor instead of bullet casings. And yes that is both me and me in the scene.
The narrative behind this one is that you are the viewer, or the subject being photographed. This will be your perspective. I, Shooting Dave am pointing my camera (gun) at you. Don’t worry, it ain’t that sinister, a long with the word play on Shooting Dave, I also have a camera that resembles a gun, a Zenit Photosniper, I have added a picture below to show you what it looks like.
Pretty cool huh?! Right I had the idea for this, I just needed to get the lighting to where I wanted it, it isn’t just a case of setting up the lights and BOOM – HEADSHOT. I needed to do a little bit of exploration so the following images are me trying out the lights in different positions.
First up the key light was off to the left, I admit, I did like the light on hand arm but I was unhappy with the light on the subject. You can also see that I would need to tweak the pose as to not cover up too much of my face.
I then moved the light to the right of the camera which gave more light to the camera/gun and the subject. Better but a little flat. Also the background was just too open for my liking.
I then boomed the light keeping the light stand in the same position, this put the light pretty much level with me as well as adding more shadow across the face. The light was also subtly lighting the camera/gun too. However the barrel of the gun wasn’t that well described so I knew I needed some fill.
Direct light would have been too harsh for the scene so I put a flash gun on the floor and bounced it off of a white wall to give some reflected lighting to the camera, it works quite well here.
For this one, I was playing with the power of the fill flash, I turned it down to 1/64th but thought it was too subtle.
Final. I upped the power on the fill flash and the tilted the key light a little more towards me help smooth off some the shadows. And that is it. There is a lighting diagram below to help illustrate what was done as well as the settings used.
Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t shoot wide open for this and I did that for a number of reasons. First of all, this is a self portrait, focusing was pretty hard so to give myself a better chance of getting a usable shot, I stopped down to f/2.8 to get more depth of field. Also if I had shot wide open, I would have been too far out of focus and any expression would have been a blurry mess of bokeh. I like to think that the depth of field allows for nice separation of the gun to subject but also keeping some of the expression and emotion there.
If you like this I will show you more behind the scenes in the future.
How’s it going guys, did you have a good Halloween? Have fun during Guy Fawkes night? Well as usual on Halloween, Amy and I put on a little photoshoot to celebrate old hallow’s eve. I even bought a smoke machine for the occasion. Previously I had used smoke pellets and they work great but they just burn a little too hot which always makes me a little nervous and scorching the ground or setting fire to a model.
This year we headed down to my parent’s house and roped my sister into joining. Amy and Clare went for a gothic witch look where as I bought some props to look like Jason from Friday 13th. Here are Clare and Amy’s finest efforts:
And there here is some of me:
Clearly this is a strobist (off camera lighting) setup so for each photo I also included a lighting diagram along with the camera settings to help you if you wanted to create something like this at home.
National Burger Day, lets think about that for a second shall we. A whole day set aside to celebrate burgers? Gluttony or genius? Whatever your stance, this isn’t technically a national holiday (yet), it is however already up there in terms of big celebrations for me, rubbing shoulders with Halloween, Birthday’s & Christmas.
I have already expressed my praise for this event when Phil and I visited last year so there was every reason to expect much of the same from this year’s celebrations. However, this year got off to a much better start with my work deciding to jump on the burger van too. Big up’s go to City Pantry for hooking us up burgers from the lovely Patty & Bun, no joke, I ate two at lunch! It was than a furious digesting session for the next 4 hours until it was time to finish work and head of to Street Feast in Dalston Yard, East London. At the end of the evening, I managed to nom my way through a rather respectable 5 sliders. Rather talk about the burger any more, I will just get on with listing them in order of recommendation and the shoving a load of photos in your face to make you feel peckish and jealous.
Top 5 are;
2: Lucky Chip
4: Slider Bar
Now in case you haven’t got the foggiest what that lot means, the menu is below.