Sunday 9 July 2017

What I've been up to

    It's been a while but I'm still here, still working.

My work for Cheshire Life Magazine is still going on. Covering events in and around Manchester has led me to meet lots of different people from different walks of life. Sometimes meeting the same people at multiple events.

                                                                            Magali Gorre for Cheshire Life

    Shooting events doesn't have to be complicated. I use a 24/70 1.8 lens with on board flash, usually pointed at the ceiling. I happily shoot at iso 2500 with the flash manually set to under fire by 1 stop. Magazine print is very forgiving when it comes to noise so when I find myself in a dark room I am no longer worrying about the results.

Great Gatsby Charity Ball

Brooks McDonald 10th Anniversary

    'Get it right in camera' That's the dream of all photographers everywhere. The truth is 'Close is good enough' 'cause we got Lightroom ! Simply put, magazines like brightly exposed images which means minimum work in Lightroom. Lens correction, highlight suppression, straightening; most of these can be automated during loading. I can shoot and deliver on the same night. My Editor likes ten to twenty images to choose from but has allowed me to send more depending on the event. 

Lady Derby opening the new Boodles flagship store 
King st Manchester

Food photography

    It's not what I imagined I would be doing but it is photography and I have been allowed to shoot a couple of editorials. Basically if an opportunity is presented to you, take it, it could lead to something great.

Monday 25 April 2016

The Nomadic Model and the 3 -2 -3 Shoot Part 2

In our previous instalment I introduced you to Roarie Yum the world travelling model and our adventure in commercial fashion lighting. Well that was just the beginning !

We could not go through a shoot with out doing some of my popular 'fashion nude' work, so while Roarie changed outfit I reset the lights. Or rather I turned off the octobox and placed a grid over the beauty dish. In the space of a minute I had a whole new look ! Remember I'm using a speed-light through a 22" beauty-dish, nothing fancy. It's just a matter of choosing the dish angle and power output. 

Then Roarie Yum stepped in front of my lens and delivered a performance that yielded a treasure trove of images that I then had to organize and make my selections from. In the end I settled on three sets of four pictures. That's twelve images worthy of publication from a session that lasted forty minutes out of a three hour shoot !

The simple truth is know what you want, go for it and make sure you cast properly ! Do not make do with the 'girl next door' go out and cast your model, use ModelMayhem - PurplePort - BeScouted, you will be rewarded !

Oh, and just to let you know, there is a third part to this shoot !
(See the rest of the sets - HERE )

More T.K.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

The Nomadic Model and the Three Look Two Light Three Hour Shoot

So last month I was contacted by a model who was visiting the UK. She had seen my portfolio on PurplePort and thought that we might work well together. Well, after a quick look at her work, I knew the answer had to be 
The models name is RoarieYum and she is an established professional model. Best of all she has spent the last three years living out of a backpack travelling the world and paying her way working with photographers of every level in every country. Even landing work with established names. You have probably seen her fine art photographs on the internet and now you know the name.
The fact that such a capable and established model wanted to work with me was one thing. 
The fact that she was down to earth and a bit of a nerd was a God send !

OK, so we agreed to a three hour shoot with just four days to put something together. I didn't just want to repeat myself though. Three hours is a long time to be taking pictures and I know how quickly I can work when in my comfort zone plus I wanted some extra variety to keep things interesting for both of us..
Recently I have been watching Lara Jade and Emily Soto post BTS videos and video blogs about fashion photography and the industry. There was one lighting set up in particular that caught my attention. Two lights, an octobox to the side and an octa or umbrella overhead (and in front) facing down. Get the balance right and you had clear bright almost natural light. Well, seeing as I had just invested in a 22" beauty dish, this seemed like a great opportunity to experiment with a new look. Something a bit more commercial and fashionable.


So after a shopping trip that resulted in two outfits and the addition of a chair bought from a charity shop it was time to shoot idea number one -

As you can see when the model looks up to the dish the light is brighter yet, even when turned away from the octobox there is enough light to wrap around and stop the shadows from getting too dark. The brim of the hat doesn't even cast a nasty shadow over the eyes. All I had to do was adjust the power of the two lights until I was happy. When you consider that the octobox is fitted to a Bowens Gemini 250 watt and the diffused beauty dish is attached to a speed light you realise how forgiving this set up is. 
final treatment was a little image clean up and then toning was done in Lightroom. I set the white balance to Cloudy - it was that simple !

Best of all we went on to shoot two more different ideas with the same set up and achieved completely different results !

More on that later, 


Tuesday 23 February 2016

Simple sexy one light fashion

I was overdue a shoot and wanted to give my portfolio an overhaul, something a bit more exciting and bold. I always liked black and white for art nude work, it automaticaly tells you to think differently about the image. So at the start of January I posted a casting on PurplePort for a fashion nude shoot and got a great response that led me to choose two models. I thought the first shoot would be me figuring things out and the second shoot would then benefit from those lessons.

For the first shoot I enlisted the talents of Scarlett Fox who's portfolio showed me that she had experience of this style and had offered a few of her own ideas when I made initial contact. For the set-up I played safe - 
Speedlight through a softbox on a boom arm high and to the side. 
With a strip box below for fill, but not alway necessary.

As we progressed and Scarlett got used to me and we both grew in confidence I switched the overhead light to a beauty dish. Now most people use a 22inch dish, and one day so will I but my trusty 16inch dish has never let me down. With the diffusion sock fitted I could easily shoot 3/4 length. I just had to adjust the lights angle to balance the coverage with the shadows. The only problem was when the speedlight started playing up.

One light or two, it does not have to be complicated !

A week later it was time for shoot two with Robyn Brooke. The first thing I changed was the speedlight. I put my Bowens 250 studio light on to the strongest light stand I have and I shot with the bare beauty dish. No diffuser or grid.  No fill light either.

This gave me a very classic high key beauty look that also does amazing things for a models complexion.
Later though we needed more drama so the grid went onto the beauty dish and I angled it down to more of a rakish angle.
Robyn was brave enough to let me pour water over her head so we could shoot some wet look images. The entire shoot was shot at 100iso F5.6 with my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I don't think I ever adjusted those settings !
Visit  to see the complete set

Importantly there was never a weird moment  due to the fact that I was photographic a naked woman. When you know why you are there and are focused on getting the bast results and honouring the models time and commitment your entire objectivity changes for the better. If it doesn't then you need to stop and re-evaluate your life !

Myself, I intend to shoot more like this with improved styling maybe some more custom processing.

                               More T.K..

Saturday 13 February 2016

2016 The story so far...

Once upon a time;
It was January and I had successfully shot an event for Cheshire Life Magazine, with two more confirmed for March and April, quickly followed by two model shoots within a week of each
other !


Cheshire's very own The Tea Alchemists were having a special afternoon tea event and as purveyors of the finest loose leaf teas they had selected one of the finest venues in Manchester, Chetham's Library. My job was simple enough, photograph happy people enjoying their fresh tea and make sure to spell their names correctly. some jobs just look after themselves !

Then it was time for something completely different ! 
I had posted a casting call on PurplePort and ModelMayhem for a fashion nude shoot that left me spoilt for choice. I decided on two models knowing that the first shoot would let me figure a few things out and so make the second shoot go more smoothly. Plus both models were happy to shoot at my house but more on that later...

Monday 23 November 2015

Christmas List

So what do you buy a photographer for Christmas ?
It's not exactly a cheap past time and surprise gifts could be an expensive mistake. Of course you could just ask. Maybe have the photographer in your life draw up a wish list ? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday almost here I thought I might share a few ideas...

Clutch camera hand strap - by Peak Design - £24.99

 I've never been a big fan of traditional neck straps but cameras can get heavy, especially with telephoto lens attached and they will give your wrist and grip a work out. Enter the Clutch strap from Peak Design. It's supper comfy with a cool little alloy clip that lets you adjust the grip on the fly. Totally comfy and totally secure. (I totally have one). 

Color Checker Passport - X-Rite - £52.00

A must have for any photographer, especially those who do their own prints. X-Rite(website) make a range of calibration devices for your monitor, tablet and even your phone. The Color Checker Passport is the first step in guaranteeing accurate colour reproduction. Place in shot or shoot a separate file with the same lighting. What ever editing software you use you can sample a point on the card and instantly correct the colour temp and white balance and then apply it to all the other shots. The included software can even automate some of the process for you.

Portfolio website - SmugMug 
All those fabulous photos getting ruined on Facebook and social media = lots of likes but no sales or jobs ! If only there was an easy way to set up a professional site with a built in print store that you could use to attract paying clients, with lots of design templates, all easily customizable and makes your pictures look awesome ? SmugMug has four price plans but only the Portfolio (£8.23 mth) and Business (16.46 mth) have the print store. If you want to buy this as a gift I suggest a annual subscription, also if you use this link - SmugMug you will get a 25% discount.

Lens - 24-70mm f2.8 Canon - £683.00 used / £1400,00 new
Not a cheap lens (even second hand) but worth the investment, The build, the quality of the glass. The softness of the background when shortening your depth of field. This is the go to lens. Fashion, journalism, headshots, travel, this lens will deliver.  It does weigh just shy of 1kg though. 
This lens, along with my 85mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.8 is always with me.

Online shop - Wex Photographic
My favourite go to website for buying gear is Wex Photographic. They have a huge range, from entry level to top of the line professional equipment. Delivery times average two or three days.
My favourite part of the site though is their used pages. Whoever writes the product descriptions under sells the quality of the item. I bought a 24-70mm f2.8 that was described as having a few marks and signs of use but when I un-boxed it I could not find a mark on it. The lens was as new but at half it's normal price. Definitely worth a look if you want to upgrade but don't have a large budget.

I might update this as Christmas gets nearer !

                                                     More T.K...

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Egyptian Memories For Sale

OK so a few years back I went on a Nile river cruise and it was one of the coolest things I have ever done ! Better still I took some awesome photographs that I then put into a book using Lightroom & Blurb so that I would have a hard copy to share with friends.
I have posted the best of the collection online before and received great feedback. So now, with Christmas approaching,  I am offering the book for sale.

So if you are a lover of Egypt or know someone who is this may just be the perfect present.

More T.K....