My short stay in Kuala Lumpur was thoroughly enjoyable and full of surprises. Staying just across the park from what was for a decade the worlds tallest building (and remains the worlds tallest two towered building) gave plenty of opportunities to capture the city’s most famous icon. The Malaysian Airlines jet had only just gone missing at this point and everyone was talking about it.
While in China I have made the time to continue to explore its more remote rural areas and people. Guangxi region in addition to its famous beauty, is a treasure-trove of ancient traditions and culture. There are countless ethnic groups proudly continuing their local customs. Each minority group has their own traditional costume which varies from village to village and many country people continue to wear them daily. At festivals and on special occasions they have more dressy versions with bright colours and detailed metal headdresses.
Rather than being a time machine into an ancient world you can see the modern world has become integrated into traditional Chinese life. It is both sad that the old traditions are being lost and cheering that progress is beginning to reach these distant inland villages and living standards are starting to improve.
This process of change makes me thankful to have the opportunity to see and record both the old and the new colliding in this unique Chinese way.
I recently did a photo shoot for County Goldsmiths who specialise in antique jewellery. The shoot was split up into different historic period inspirations – 1950s and 1920s.
I shot it with the Hasselblad and the 80mm and 50-110mm lenses. Soft directional lighting with subtle colour gels gave the vintage feel. I’m very pleased with the results and look forward to doing more fashion style projects in the future. I’m already plotting ideas for an atmospheric fashion/car shoot.
I’ve recently started to exhibit my fine art photography after keeping it to myself for a long time. I was very flattered to be asked to exhibit alongside painters and sculptors. It is very refreshing to be working with artists other than photographers and also comforting for my work to be recognised as art rather than merely pictures. I’m making a point of showing short limited editions (no more than 10) of only my very best work with the best quality of framing. It is interesting to see how differently people react to well selected, beautifully framed artwork. During the exhibition, one gentleman spent a full half hour looking at just one picture. Not something that happens very often on the web.
I’ve since been asked to have my work hung in several art galleries and am working on some new projects for the new year. If you are interested in viewing or displaying my work please get in touch.
I’ve also been working on some commercial short films and recently did a fashion-style shoot for a jewellery company. I should be able to post some of the images soon.
One important skill for a commercial photographer is being able to come up with the goods in less than favourable conditions. I’ve had a Golf Cabrio lent to me by Volkswagen to shoot over the last week and had dismal weather so some cloud watching, careful planning and plenty of Photoshop were required! High winds and very damp conditions also meant that minimal lighting could be used. In the 2 days with the least rain I shot this among others:
Here is the before and after Photoshop:
Although to say ‘before and after’ isn’t strictly true here. The final image is actually a combination of three exposures shot from one position from a sturdy locked down tripod. The above left photo is the middle exposure. This allowed me to make the most of the available, rather dull light and brighten highlights while keeping the contrast and not blowing out the sky.
The combination of images was not done with automated HDR methods as I find this doesn’t give me enough control of the processing. Instead the three exposures were layered on top of each other and masked carefully to produce the desired effect. The resulting image was then tidied up and the colour was painted in. Quite a lengthy process but the result works pretty well considering what I had to work with.
The Photoshop work was done on my trusty Mac Mini with 16GB of ram which copes admirably with the massive medium format files. The files themselves had plenty of depth to them but it was the combining of the exposures that really made the difference. Despite the light being poor I was able to shoot at a low ISO (thanks to the tripod) and the final image is rich in contrast and pin sharp, suitable for very large prints including billboards.