I have to confess to being a bit of a waterfall geek, I just love the way water flows over a waterfall, majestic and at the same time powerful as it heads towards the ground and then flows on into a stream or a river. What I like most about waterfalls is finding one’s that have not been photographed to many times or at all. Don’t get me wrong I do like photographing popular well know waterfalls as everybody interprets the waterfall in their own way, but finding one’s that have not been photographed or I haven’t seen any images of really excites me. So here I was doing what I like to do when not shooting for clients, is wander around places and see if I can find a waterfall sometimes off the beaten track and sometimes not so much. The trick is to look around you when out walking as it is easy to just walk looking in front and not surveying or taking in the natural beauty around you when out. And as such this is how I came to spot this small waterfall, by looking around and as luck would have it I spotted it of in the distance on the far side of the beck in Hamsterley Forest, it would have been easy to miss if I had not been looking around as a few more steps and I would have been past it and out of my sight line. So I head over to the other side and trek through the trees looking and thinking I am sure it was just around here and starting to doubt myself, but I carry on and eventually set back I come across the waterfall, full of excitement to have found it I set up my tripod and camera and get ready to shoot a couple of test images. What I notice is a branch that has flowed down over the fall and is stuck sticking up out of the water, I thought I would remove the branch from the waterfall by grabbing a long fallen branch and hooking it over this one that sticks out and dislodge it. Oh for not a really well thought out plan as I put my foot on a rock that is of course slippy I feel myself falling and falling I did getting soaked down one side, but on the plus side I did remove the offending object. Yes I could have removed the branch in Photoshop but where would be the fun in that, there is nothing like getting wet on a cold early morning to add to the fun of capturing something great. So here are a couple of shots from the that morning.
Yes it’s been snowing how could we not notice, as they called it the beast from the east, so driving up into the dales was a no go as a lot of the roads were blocked. And I would probably spend more time sitting in the car going nowhere than I would travelling. So challenged myself to just explore around my door step, and see what I could come up with image wise that really appealed to me and was not just taken for the sake of taking images. (Not that I ever just shoot for the sake of taking a image) An image when I am shooting for myself has to have substance to it telling some sort of story or have some visual impact that people can connect to, in some way.
It doesn’t matter what size your dog is they can all participate in the dog event called flyball. This means basically you have an obstacle course where the dog runs down and over the obstacles, and retrieves a ball at the end and runs back up over the hurdles where another dog goes till the whole team have retrieved a ball.
I was asked if i would like to come along and photograph an up and coming band know as Black Nevada at the 02 Academy in Newcastle, with support from other local bands. I hadn’t done much band photography and I am looking to photograph more bands. I also received my first official pass for a gig that would allow me to go where the public were not allowed, so giving me access to places that meant I could get really close to where the band were performing and move around freely without any obstruction, as the room we were in did not have a *Pit, The light was challenging to say the least, but the night was excellent as was the music. The other bands use the drums of Black Nevada as they were the headline group and the others were supporting acts.
*PIT A place where photographers can stand to take images usually at the front of the stage.
Bands : Black Nevada : Singapore Safehouse : Fallen Mafia.
So I have done my first dog portrait session for a long time with, facebook.com/Heavenly-Pets-supplies-and-Woof-Cutts-Events-page-1429293124030487and to say it was fun would be an understatement. There is that old saying “never work with children and and animals”, I have to say I don’t take much notice of these sayings as it was great fun working with the owners and their dogs trying to get them to sit where you wanted them and looking at least in the right direction and staying put long enough for you to take a picture and the owner holding a ball on top of your head, to get the dogs attention, and just hoping the dog doesn’t decide to make a leap for the ball so we all end up in a pile on the floor with the dog on top of me while trying to keep my camera in hand, fortunately this scenario never happened but it might one day.
This is just a small sample of the images from an entertaining day photographing dogs.
f my wanders around the forest, I had walked this path many a time and just happened to glance to my right this one time to see this small amount of water cascading over the edge, so decided I would come back when the conditions were right for capturing it. Thing with waterfalls is they are either a small trickle due to lack of water or a massive torrent due to heavy amounts of rain. So I have been watching how much rain we have been having lately, so it rained last night again so I thought there would be a good chance that it would be flowing nicely, not a torrent but a nice steady flow that would make for a good composition and a pleasing image, and I was not disappointed. I visited another waterfall in the forest that is quite well hidden which I have photographed before which was only a small trickle last time and this was flowing nicely as well. Only down side was I found out I had a split in my Muck Boots Wellies so ended up with a very wet foot, but a small price to pay for getting the image.
I was asked to take some images at a burlesque and drag/comedy night.For Dukes Cabaret & Showdolls, I am always looking to expand my photographic experience, so how could I turn down the opportunity. So we arrive at the venue about an hour before it is due to start, just to check out good vantage points and see how good the lighting would be, the venue was quite good but the lighting consisted of six spotlights with different colour gels on them quite away back from the stage and throwing really poor light out, I noticed that there were two white spots not on so I asked the venue in the hope that they would say the two spot lights would be switched on for the start, but as I suspected no that was all the light I was getting, so it was basically High ISO, and a low a speed as I dared go with out getting any blur or minimal in arm and leg movement. So the night progressed the acts were brilliant and I really enjoyed photographing the show, as with all things new learned a lot, so am looking to do some music and other entertainment events, and who know the lighting can only get better. Hopefully.
Just a few images from the evening
When you get asked to photograph a very expensive house you don’t say no. I was asked by http://bunglebugestates.properties to photograph a very nice property for them which was going up for sale. The day started of warm and the light was getting harsh so i wanted to get the outside shots done before the sun rose to high and the light became to harsh. Once I completed the outside photographs I decided to start upstairs and work my way down to the ground floor. I knew the temperature outside was rising as the heat i the house start rising and the light coming through the windows was becoming very harsh, and unforgiving. So it was a case of trying to balance a good exposure against the light coming in from the windows I didn’t want to under expose the images by a huge amount as this would have caused more problems in post processing. So it was a case of getting an exposure that was sitting nice in the camera histogram that I could work with when processing. I tried a few shots with the lights on but didn’t like the way the lights were shining I thought it would look nice with the lights on in the chandeliers, but soon scrapped that idea as the brightness was harsh and did not enhance the photograph, or do justice to the magnificence of the lights.
So here are a few images from the shoot, on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year.
I think one of my biggest dilemmas has been do I need a studio to be successful. The answer is no it took me along time to figure out this most simple of questions really, I did a lot of internet searching on photographers and quite a lot use there homes as a studio clearing part of a room and setting up there backdrop and lights, it is easy to get drawn into to be professional you need a studio, don’t get me wrong one day I would like a studio and it would make life much easier having backdrops and whitewall and everything just ready to go, but sometimes you have to work with what you have. So I did my first family shoot and fancy dress shoot at my home. We decided to clear part of the lounge to set up the space was not huge but it was big enough to have a successful shoot and their is nothing like challenging yourself with a photoshoot of young children. I was told they would be shy when they first came in till they got used to me and relaxed, and then the fun began young children have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for doing things so it became quite a challenge to catch a nice pose or natural image of them when they were not bouncing and running around, fortunately the parents were on hand to help calm them down. I started by having my camera on the tripod but this turned out to be a mistake as by the time I had them in my view finder and adjusted they were doing something different. So the tripod was abandoned and hand held was was the option, it is nice to get images of children being themselves but it was nice to get some images of the children being calm, and you have to talk and look through the viewfinder at the same time to get the children to look at you as it only takes a split second to lose the chance of getting the image you see before they change expression or move. They say every photo shoot is an opportunity to learn and it certainly was I know what I would do different next time and you forget how much energy a 2 and 3yr old have especially since our own children are a lot older.
This is just a small selection from the two shoots I did with the girls and parents, for all the running round and excitement the photo shoots were a pleasure to do.
and. Another reason I decided to do a lot of my portrait work at home is to do with the fatigue of setting up a backdrop especially when it is vinyl and comes on an aluminum tube there is quite some weight in it and takes two to set up safely. I also use a pop up grey and blue backdrop that is large when expanded to say the least. I know they will fit in the space I have. Having a muscle condition makes the assembly tiring so at least at home I can set up the day before. Not all photo shoots require a backdrop set up, but for the ones that do I will mainly be working from home for now where
There is something about being by the shoreline line that I find really magical and inspirational, I don’t know whether it comes from growing up next to the seaside. And now living in the countryside I appreciate the coastal scenery more now, something I probably took for granted when I lived there. I really love the early morning before any footprints arrive on the beach the sand being washed clean by the incoming and outgoing tide to start a fresh day. The sound of the waves as they roll up the beach and roll back out again having a sort of magical sound that helps me concentrate and find my inner creativity.