One of the most important factors in a photographer/digital artists career is finding their own style. A signature look. It can take some photographers years to find theirs, but some find their voice straight away. I think I was lucky in that my style evolved quite quickly and quite organically. In this article, we will go through various elements I believe, contribute to what some people call a stylized image, but first, where does our style originate from. [Read more…]
At the beginning of the year, me and fellow DIYP writer and photographer John Aldred, and our good friend and model Ambellina decided at the last minute, to go out to the Lake District in Cumbria and shoot. There was no planning really, it was a last-minute, let’s just get and see what happens kind of shoot. When you are the type of person who continuously plans every shoot, sometimes it can be fun to throw caution to the wind and just do something without planning! It was more about having fun on the day, and the experience of having an adventure with friends than it was about getting the images. I
I won’t fill you in on the whole day as it would take too long, including funny little stories of my car getting stuck and my saviours John and Ambellina having to push me up a hill. But I will focus on one image, which we created at our first stop by Coniston Lake. As we were driving down the road we spotted this little outcrop in the Lake and knew we could get something useable there. What it turned out to be was some hybrid Lara Croft/adventure/dramatic action scene, and this is how I created the image. [Read more…]
I was recently scouring the Interweb when I came across a fantastic, post apocalyptic, promo image. As I looked further it seemed to be for a new TV show, but as I dug a little deeper, I found out it was the brainchild of Jeff Madison.
Jeff is a photographer from New York, and his new photo series Mad World is based on a fictional TV show that comes on after AMC’s The Walking Dead! I like nothing more than when a photographer/digital artist who goes the whole hog and creates detailed stories with their images. I myself tend to write backstories and write down full character sheets before any actual shooting begins. So I was happy to see Jeff building a whole world with his imagination. [Read more…]
Recently I created a series of composite images around my home town. I shot the locations early one morning, then shot the models a week later in my home studio. One of the images was going to show a couple out at night, walking past the city nightlife. Being one not to make things easy on himself, I decided I would shoot the location in daylight, and change it to night. Now I know I will probably get lots of comments, which I have already on Facebook, saying why didn’t you just shoot it at night. The answer is I didn’t want to. I wanted to challenge myself. I knew I would learn some valuable lessons whilst doing this. This is how we grow. Also the location would have been a nightmare to shoot at night. It is usually full of drunk people enjoying the beer of the city.
So without further ado, lets play God, and turn day to night! But before we start here is a speed edit of the whole image! [Read more…]
Last year my friend Marsha invited me to this crazy Victorian mansion along with a small handful of awesome photographers and models to hang out and make some art … Obviously I said, “heck yesss.” The house was a gold mine of strange colorful rooms full of interesting wall paper, decorative trimmings, and some gorgeous natural light.
What do you think of when you hear the term composite? Lots of hours with the pen tool cutting out elements, or fiddling around with the refine edge tool? Well one of the ways I sometimes like to create composite images is by blending instead of cutting out. Many of the photographers I follow use this technique and it is quite straight forward, all you need to do is make sure you plan ahead and have a tripod……without a tripod you can not shoot to blend.
So how do you shoot to blend. Usually if you are shooting to blend, this technique will be used when you are shooting on location. You set a point for your tripod, set up the camera and it stays in that position for the whole shoot. It never moves. Only the elements in your image do.
Here is an example.
One day whilst I was sprinting my heart out on the running machine at the gym, an image popped into my head. The scene was a tribal/witch doctor lady, surrounded by wolves. I wrote it down on a scrap of paper when I got home, and threw it into my ideas folder. It was around 6 months later, after finishing some client work, that I thought it was time to create some personal images and flex the old Photoshop muscles. The first piece of paper I picked up was the witch doctor idea. Knowing it would make a cool image, and challenge me, this is the project I would choose.
By now, if you have read my previous posts (which you all should have done, tut tut), you will know that I am inspired greatly by the cinema. I have loved movies since I was a little boy. I would sit for hours on end, watching, and re-watching my favourite movies. If I had to tell you guys right now what it was that sucked me in, time, and time again, it would be one thing. The stories.
As most of us know by now, you can have a movie with the best special FX in the world, but if it is attached to a plot-less, or weak story, the film will suck! How many times recently have you been to the cinema, and exited underwhelmed. Yeah the movie might be visual eye candy, but without its heart, a well written story, it is nothing but another shallow excuse to make money.
As photographers we are all storytellers at the core, but unlike cinema, we only have one image to convey a story. This is something I strive to do in my own work, for each image to be a story, with its own tale to tell. Well there is one photographer in particular, who has this skill down to a fine art (excuse the pun :P)
In 2013, when the photography world was still quite new to me, I remember browsing on Flickr. I was clicking through the photos, when I stumbled onto an image that looked like a still from a movie. It had a young man, cradling a dog in his arms, as he walked away from what looked like a burning building. I stared at the image on my screen, trying to deconstruct it in my head. How had this guy created such a seamless, and cinematic image? There was so much story to tell in this one lone image, that I couldn’t take my eyes from it. Eventually I moved my mouse cursor to the name written at the top, Ryan J Weiss (Fcebook, Flickr), and clicked to see his photo stream.
Not very long ago I got to visit my buddy Joseph Parry. We drank (quite a lot of beer), we ate (lots of chocolate brownies) and we took photos. Like any normal person, when they go visit a friend I brought with me a cowboy outfit. Wait! What, that’s not normal!!?? Well welcome to my world.
Anyway, I got Joseph to don the cowboy outfit, which suited his manly yet strangely conditioned soft beard, and we set up to shoot a portrait. As part of the setup Joseph had recently bought a Gravity Backdrop which we were going to use as the background. For me, this was the first time using an actual hand printed, textured, background and I was stunned by how awesome it made the images look straight from camera (and of course you can fake it, but it is no longer out of camera). It gave us a great base to work from, the result of said shoot being the image below.