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Showing posts from 2011

December

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Best December ever-which I realise doesn't ft with the on going doom vibe. Dubai again was fun and reminded me how strange a country that has no water be to have undersea restaurants like this- More TV stuff from BBC South East News promoting my 'Distinguished' project this week, with a web link to the online version- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-16284211 A late night phone call asking me to shoot Dara O'Briain came in whilst I was entertaining 21 women for a Mrs H spectacular last night-I could have done without the 6am call!

Finally

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Early in in my career, I bought my first mobile phone. They were not common, infact no one I knew had one. Sitting on a train heading north to a job, I stared at it in wonder. It did not ring. It did not ring because I didn't know that you had to turn it on. I know I know, but these were different times-I just thought a call would 'wake it up'. Anyway, I lost my first and only call to work for GQ Magazine. But hey, they just bought my pic and love it (see Twitter). Top proper chuffed.

Shhhh!

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Hurrah to another Who cover for RT published. This was a difficult shoot only in that it was shot in sections with very little free time for the actors. Matt is tremendous though. If they could just move the filming to Kent..

Hit the Deck

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Sometimes I get to complete a great shoot where everyone is happy and the picture gets pulled by someone at the top. A recent two day shoot for Weekend Magazine is a case in point. What fun was had balancing Channel 4 presenters on a girder in a studio to create a cover spoof of the classic New York steel workers shot. All approved it was supposed to be last week's cover-but no. Bring on Jamie Christmas Oliver. Well, there you go, but a bit maddening when the job is executed to brief and completed on schedule after a fairly hefty shoot. I can't post the proposed cover, but here was the intended inside layout:

Hot Like Us/BBC3

So, was anyone watching BBC3 last night? Part of wishes that they weren't. Trouble with TV is that you have no control over the content or editing or filming or, infact anything! This was a show that I didn't really understand even when we were shooting it, and I am pretty sure, no-one taking part did either. Shame you have no sense of the effort to make something out of the chaos of this production. Nice presenters though and I think the pics scrubbed up all right.

Why does it always rain on me?

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Always happy working on a Stylist Magazine shoot. Nice people, good ideas, but shoot in the rain? Oh, OK then.

Aaronovitch

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I doff my cap to this great journalist who struggled through this shoot the other week.

Too Short

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Been in correspondance this morning with Ricky Gervais' Agent, as he wants a high res from our RT shoot which is nice. I wish I could run all the out takes. Oh, Ok here are a couple. Note the high tech rope to stop Warwick flying into the sunset.

In bed with

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I really like this cover, in that it did the job. Sounds simple doesn't it, but getting the planned shot with so much white in it to read and a model to perform, well, it's not easy.

The Top Shot

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Just finished hanging from the ceiling for the fourth time lately, as I respond to the ongoing demand for 'top shots'. My knees are numb. Here is the brave High Fearnley Whittingstall loving his carrots. I never want carrot soup again having brought home 5 bags from this shoot.

Grazia shoot

This video is terrific but somehow fails to point out the exploding light, MacBook Pro that ceased and a smashed boom arm that plagued this shoot. Still, it was fun and a bit of a change of pace for me with models giving their all: http://www.graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/archive/2011/10/07/the-next-big-thing.htm

Just for the record

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The excitement will never quite be replaced-my first credit, in print on something other than Oxfam news. Got I was excited! Whilst still at college, I somehow managed to blag my first real job to photograph the seminal reggae band Steel Pulse for an album cover. When I say seminal, I had no idea who they were. We met (along with my co-conspirator Mike Hogan) at their nearby recording studio in Frensham in Surrey. I remember them looking at this ghostly white pair of scrawny teenagers and asking us, 'What do you know about reggae music then?' 'Er, Maxi Priest??" said Mike. Somehow we managed to leave with a spoken deal and plan but no discussion of money (funnily enough). Cut to several weeks later and we are shooting together in a nearby sand pit with them on horses on 10x8" neg. The lead singer's hair was wrapped so tall that we had to find a car with 3 tiers of seats and he sat with his head at right angles. Quite frankly, I had never come across an…

In Monaco I mostly ate:

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Adding a post it note

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The only trouble when one hands over the' finals' to clients down the line, is that there is always so much more that would be great to add as a kind of post it note: 'Thing was, I know we had 2 hours, but your leading, main shot, was tagged on in the last 5 mins.' 'He wouldn't do it'. 'She was not told about it'. You get the picture. Well in the case of this shoot for the cool store LN-CC, it was more a case of 1 small packed room, 3 people and no you can't move the clothes. Infact, no you can't move the people or their expressions either. Hence my maxim that you will only survive as a skinny snapper to fit in those corners, and the make do and mend approach is one to hold on to. Excuses are pointless at the end of it all. The Editor will only want results!

The perfect cover image?

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Downton

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Hanging Around

Variety is the word this week: James Corden (wearing lipstick), 10 hours of yoga and 2 days of hanging from a studio rafters over a bed with couples in for Marie Claire. Nothing that college can prepare you for anyway. With my final old Bowens pack going to the spark in the sky and 1 of my new Profoto heads spitting the dummy, this has been also a week of learning t relove daylight and other people's equipment. The OFM trip to Monte Carlo was a great reminder that by wacking up the ISO on a 5D, I just don't need much flash. I have a live on set shoot on 'This Morning' on Friday so we'll see whether I stand by these words then. It would certainly ease my Oesteopathy bill.Here are some of my thoughts on cover design as requested by the wonderful Tom at Stylist Magazine . I think I am in good company here-
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Hot

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It was hot in the kitchen, but since I was being fed by Alain Ducasse, I had no worries. as an terrible cook, I could only gawp as I watched the Maestro at work.

Monte Carlo is an extra ordinary place but only because of the wealth. You end up looking for the normal cars. But since this was UK editorial. me and assistant dragged our gear up to the bus stop.

Checkout the next Observer Food Monthly and let me know if it was worth it.

Sherlock

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Watching the repeats again forced me out to buy Sherlock on DVD. Fantastic everything including really clever camera work.

Here is a found image from my hard drives which I remember waiting hours in the snow for 2 mins of action. The crop was dictated by the entire crew de-rigging around us.

Shoot it on grey!

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Latest group shoot in for Easy Living Magazine:

Risen in July

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I am finally around, oh yes. Trouble is not being able to mention or illustrate shoots as they remain often secret until publication.
Recent fun shoots have included Downton Abbey , new shoots for Marie Claire, 15 min shoot in the River Cafe kitchen (sweat).

Some great portfolio viewings have reminded me to get out there again! The Lucid Rep message of shooting what you really love is paying off and it is my target to create a book of non commissioned work to contrast with all my visible images.

My Tom Daley shoot finally hit the shelves. This involved a small window to shoot Tom diving from a 5 metre board in a dark dark pool. Call in the Profoto pack on high speed and some trick triggers and I thought I had it sussed. The blast of images was halted only by my realisation that the noise reduction settings on the Canon restrict the burst rate. Not what you need when he can only dive a few times. Still learning.

Here's a fun shoot end to finish with- The Only Way is Essex (Kent didn&#…

Update

Cripes it's been too long since I posted. Lots going on.
Technical-I've invested in new toys (all necessary I may add). The Profoto D1's-Wow is all I'll say. Superb kit. Faultless and have revolutionised my working day. Bang on every frame and clients commenting on the look of the light which is no bad thing.
I now also work from a monopod for the first time and feel freed up to treat it like my own microphone stand, swing all over the studio with every frame sharp.
Bad news though is the usb tether connection from my Canon 5D Mk 11's. Both gone along with a shutter. Not a cheap week. There just must be a better solution to connectivity.

Snaps-Great fun shoots for Marie Claire and Easy Living recently whilst a day at Downton Abbey on set reminded me how tricky film sets can be.
I believe my Jodi Picoult posters are up and we are tweaking the voice over on the forthcoming TV commercial.
A day at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers was tremendous in its scale and talent…

Relax

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BBC3 set visit

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How much clobber can you take on one job then?
Why not shoot using daylight?
Why are my arms so long?

Branson

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Now this was a shoot- 7 mins in the end in the corner of a room. I spent alot of the time trying to stop Sir Richard performing his default grin to camera. Taking my cues from a bit of Platon with a topping of Martin Schoeller, I was looking for the slightly open REAL portrait. On the cover of the Times Magazine 03/06/11.

TV Show

Why to all my commissions collide on the same day? However, finally agreeing to appear as a photographer on a new BBC 3 series is a relief as it seems to have been in the offing forever. Shame to turn down a cracking job offer from Radio Times.

I pity my poor Mercedes that will for the second time in a week, be driven in 'low rider' mode. Direct Lighting cases seem to weigh more than me.

More soon!

TV show

The final phone call has come which suggests that I am off in the next few weeks to be part of a new TV series, where I will be photographing on camera. More news when I'm allowed.

Just passing by when I spotted this (honest)

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Boogie Woogie

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Watching the Jools Holland show on iPlayer this morning, I noticed that the BBC are still using an old shot I took for them years ago at the top of a staircase.
Both times I have shot Jools, he has been both a pleasure to be with and yet a very unsettled subject. Basically, you have to be ready and on it.
During this shoot I remember sitting literally under his piano for some bizzare reason whilst he recorded a piece with his band in the adjoining studio. Loud and wonderful it was.

Theatre Darling

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Cripes, I'm happy. Possible TV show in the offing and then I finally see the first image from the 'Much Ado' poster that we have been putting together for the Wyndhams theatre. Really excited especially once I see it up around town. Perhaps they might even send me one for my office?

Elisabeth Sladen

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Shared a cup of tea with this wonderful lady last year. Here's a pic I shot from way back. RIP.

London & Partners shoot

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Great fun, but all this clobber needs to get up on the roof somehow..

Back & Forth

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Not living in the big smog has its upside, but the travel is a bore. Still, it means I end up staring at the oddest things on the way to meetings.

Convergence

Here we go then. 1 day shoot tomorrow at a London location house (very nice apart from the dog poop in the garden we want to use).
The timing sums up the day to day life of portrait photography these days:
Drawings/ideas complete. On set 8am, subject arrives 9am, make up/styling, stills shoot starts 10.30am once I have figured out how to erect a Briese light. 3 set ups completed by 12. Lunch? Yeah right. Switch to video crew direction. 6 scenarios shoot inside and out. Wrap subject at 4,30pm with a fine cup of tea. Cut away shots on main cameras + my 5d. It will be brilliant.
This is why you will never find a fat photographer. I thank you.

Hello April

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Been full on recently: Office move to the 'Bunker' which has gone well and a wealth of great shoots. Ended up throwing out 20 years of magazines which was not easy physically or emotionally, but I have decided only to keep all my covers.Excitement today as news filtered through that I have been asked to direct a short video of a famous author. So onwards and upwards in this digital world. Here's one of my recent published pics which I had almost forgotten about as it was shot a while back, in a tremendous hurry-is it any other way with TV? Loving the Who still though, especially as I have shot almost all of the Time Lords now.

update

Knackered this week Early starts on some epic shoots including a group shot of 12 on a roof facing St. Paul's Cathedral. Perfect set up and then a man with a sandwich walks into shot.Background pics coming soon.
Moving office later this week for the first time in 6 years. Finally I'll be able to figure out the myriad of wires behind my desk.
Upcoming shoot with a famous artist gives rise to pen & paper and ideas boards. Monday might be genius or then again, maybe daylight will do.

Behind the Scenes

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Mr Potter

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Looking through one of my syndication agency sites yesterday, I came across this photograph I took of a young Daniel Radcliffe. I remember his shyness, his charming mother and his lazy eye when he is tired (which you can see if you look carefully in the first Harry Potter film). Boy done good.

Strobist

Preparations ensue for my next job using only my Speedlights. A first for me, after years of dragging large amounts of heaving flash gear around. New dawn?

Self portrait?

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Well, no-one came up with a model for this shoot..honest.

'Stage' shoots-stills

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Behind the scenes (time lapse)

It is time lapse this-even I don't work this fast. This is the 'Stage' shoot, shot over 2 days at Spring studios. Images coming to my main site shortly.

Update

4 hours. that's the time it takes to retouch and deliver a dozen images from my latest epic 3 day shoot. The 'Stage' project will see the light of day in the next few weeks and includes some energised subjects of note cavorted around a studio. I blew the fuse at Spring Studios-a personal record I believe.

Playing God

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Well, it here it is. The brief was 'Prof Brian Cox will be holding the sun in wonder of it'. 2 solutions were tried by your good self with the result that I used a strange glass orb from my living room (doesn't everyone have one?) and backlit the hell out of it. A few filters later and here's how it all resolved itself.

Into the light

Time to revive my personal project I think. The only way to move my work on, is to find out what I come up with when there is no commission to adhere to. Pilots here we come!

The art of the Echo pose

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Finally released from the vault marked 'bad no hair day'.

Love it live

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Wonderful night of music from 'Florrie' the other night. She is and will be a star.Florrie - Drummer, Singer & Songwriter