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Showing posts from 2012

Kids

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An awful lot of shoots recently, seem to involve children. Now with a few of my own, I like to think that this is a minor detail to my approach, but the reality is some what different. The terms and conditions are massively different: Lighting has to be wide and non specific, and it is pointless either having too many expectations or expecting the session to last more than a few minutes. The picture seen here is one of twelve shoot in a few minutes in a small room in a hospital. Keeping Mum relaxed and child in position was the only consideration, along with my ability to squash myself up against wall for the widest point of view.

Augmented Reality

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Taking photographs is what I do. I stand watching, looking, waiting for the moment. well not any more. Following my AR shoot for the Stylist Olympics issue in the summer, I was asked by the Times Magazine to short some short AR's for an issue that would be App friendly. The subject was the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, and the brief was only that it had to feel like a familiar Times still, with a seamless transition into a moving image. Sound easy? No, No, No! After much humming and scratching of chin, I decided that we would cover the job using a Red movie camera. Stills at reasonable resolution could be pulled from it with a bit of planning. The lighting was altered to echo my typical Times style (with HMI), and the action all shot in reverse so that playback would have a nice finish. A £100,000 camera 2ft long is not an every day solution, but the fact is doing this alone is making me rethink my future investment and training into moving image. Watch this space..

Moving vs still

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Tricky to write about my latest project as I have to keep the detail under wraps currently, but suffice to say, it involved the use of a Red Epic camera. A bit odd to see £100,000 worth of kit being assembled in studio and knowing that I could not possibly even know how to turn it on. The change in mind set with using cameras like this is profound. No flash and yet looking at the light is quite difficult to judge. The contrast ratio seems different and the sharpness certainly is. Not being able to fire the button myself seems weird. Anyway I shall be posting what I was up to in the next few weeks. It will of course not be straight forward, but should look interesting.

The Composite Picture

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So my Stylist Magazine cover shoot with Miranda Hart finally arrives. I think it looks rather good.This is my third shoot with the lovely Miss Hart-she even bought one for her new book cover, and it got me thinking how more and more, my pictures are made up of elements. The brief on this job concluded with three clear prop ideas: Balloons Balloon letters a cover shoot whee she wrecks the title letters The balloon shots were easy, although their height and the way they shadowed her face led to some minor alterations in flash angles. The balloon letters though-Hah! As if any of us had thought about how they would sit facing us neatly in a warm crafty photo studio. We tried every which way to hold them in place with wire and sandbags, but in the end, it was the locked off camera and composite that gave us our final image. Otherwise, one letter was always at the wrong angle: The cover shot involved making real letters and drilling a fake shelf to the studio wall on which to balance th…

Postscript:Stylist magazine gets interactive with blippar

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'How quick can you do a shoot in?'

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The words of Tom Gormer riniging in my ears as this cover shot had to be shot and out in one hour. The Saatchi gallery is a perfect venue even if it only has one plug socket, which is not in the gallery..

Stock

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When times are quiet (only occasionally of course), I am eternally grateful for the wonders of reselling my copyrighted stock. The number of new photographers who seem quite happy to hand over their rights without so much of a 'what if?' amazes me. If nothing else, allowing the publishing group to sell on a split deal, on your behalf can bring in the money for little return. I have agreed with several companies to take a reduced rate in exchange for the return of All Rights after an agreed time.I just have to make sure that the images are being use in a positive way, which is not always possible. A few months back, Camera Press resold an image of Sir Norman Foster's wife that I had taken for the Times Magazine, to Ola!. It was a positive (if simplistic) piece in the Spanish equivalent of Hello. Several irate emails later and my hand was well and truely slapped in a 'what are you doing selling my picture there?' type way. This however is unusual as usually the subj…

The future of magazines?

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I can't help but wonder where the still photograph will be in a few years time. The surge of video and moving images is destined to change the way we access and use our images forever.With that in mind, it is always a blessing to have a challenge, and when Mr Tom Gormer of Stylist rang a while back asking for a 'moving cover's the British Synchronised Swimming Team, I wondered how it might be done. No mainstream UK magazine had done this, but luckily, I had shot something similar for a Sensodyne Ad a few months back.Blippar is an App program on your phone that when you hover over a tagged cover, will turn the still into a short film. With a 30 second time limit and the need for a seamless transition, the obvious solution was the Red camera. Trouble is, it really is a video camera that happens to shoot stills and not the other way round.We had 1 hour to shoot this whole project with no rehearsal so my solution was to rig up two Canons, one for the stills and one for the vid…

Olympics thingy

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So the fella holding the torch ran through our town and we all cheered and then went home. No, it was fun and as it should be, it was all about the kids: Still, the thing I am looking forward to most, is seeing my Stylist Olympic cover in action (literally) next Wednesday. New ways, new ways..

Danny DeVito gets his #Trollfoot out for Radio Times | Radio Times

DeVito

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Much fun had on this Danny DeVito shoot a few months back. We took loads of good stuff most of which will never see the light of day. Note the location-that room in the 'King's Speech'.

Where's Wally Harrison?

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Spotted trying to mix in with the staff of Stylist Magazine last week, was one snapper-

What ever happened to...

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These were their first big roles. I'd never heard of any of them.

Convergence

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Not that I was planning it this way, but it seems more and more, that I am no longer a Photographer, and more a 'Videographer'. The general replacement of equipment is difficult enough to afford, but now I am torn between flash and available light products as I ponder how much training and time should go now into embracing the move from stills into video. A recent rather exciting (but hush hush) shoot involved shooting some stills that then made the transition into video. A neat concept, but just look at the gear required for this effort!

Spin Off

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Not often that I give away images for nought. However, the BAFTA brochure people needed a recent image of our Rolf, and who am I to say no. Thank gawd he was lovely.

Watch the Python

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Sitting and showing young Englebert Humperdink how to wear a 10 foot python:

Rolf!

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My second shoot with our Rolf Harris, and again, a chance to watch the master in action with his brushes. Nice that the magazine bent their ideas round to my version, which is tricky to light.

I've got The Hump

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6 weeks on from an unusual day, I can now at least reveal 1 of the 4 covers shot for the Times Magazine of our Hump dressed as iconic Rock Stars. What a strange day it was, especially trying to convince him to put a real 10ft python round his neck. Initially he said no, so I ignored my own horror, and draped it round mine to prove a point. We got 4 frames.
Here is a link to the Behind the Scenes video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YcC6zNJ4Shk

The baby whisperer

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After years of seeing her book knocking around my house, I finally get to snap Heidi Murkoff ('What to Expect) as her life becomes a movie. Six kids and six parents crowded the studio as I pathetically tried to choreograph an event that became like shooting shadows at a fair. Still great fun and I think it worked a treat:

Connections

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Off to the LeBook Connections event drink doo. Be interesting to see how these events pad out. I know our Hat will be selling me grandly and it'll be nice to see a few old faces. I found this image on Amazon after listening to a chat about Michael Heseltine. I shot this image years ago for a magazine and 'Hessa' kept me outside whilst his butler brought out tea with 'Tory Party' on it. A frank exchange of views followed as to how the picture should be. Infact it was an argument which I think I won, as he bought the pic for his autobiography..

Autobiography

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I got the proof of this to approve yesterday, and today I see it listed on Amazon. That's speedy. These shots of Mr Corden were tail ended in 10 frames onto the end of a busy shoot. The rest fall onto the spine. More to come soon.

Size is important

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I'm currently mulling over changing one of my camera systems, having been badly let down by the Hasselblad H4X last week. I used to love my Mamiya RZ, some of which I still have. Perhaps I could bring it out in this pimped up version to get the Assistants talking..

Miranda

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Great to see this series of pics rise again. I've a couple of celebrity autobiog's coming out soon, and here's the first that's just arrived on Amazon. I just remember Miranda's description of the ghastly reception girl at a well known London studio hire. She was so rude, she was down to be written in to the next series..

Little & Large

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great shoot yesterday with the inimitable Danny DeVito. It was 1990, and my first cover shoot for the now defunct City Limits magazine. The shoot was at the Savoy and yesterday I brought the poster of it with me for a shoot at the (strange) location house-33 Portland Place. Dodging the naked ladies that peppered this old haunt, the shoot included highlights such as the whole crew and Danny singing 'My old man's a dustman' at the top of our voices. No idea if the shots were any good, but here's hoping.

Sugar but no Spice

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Here is the shortest shoot ever. Lord Sugar is not a patient sitter, and not open to direction or much else it seemed last week. Crammed into a tiny area at Radio Times hq, I made the best of a five minute window and here's how it turned out:

Not big enough

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Funny how a day's work can have a long life. Last year I spent a brief morning with Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis at Spring Studios in London. I had worked with Ricky a few times before and so knew not to expect to direct much of the ideas myself, and so we choreographed a simple clean cover shot for the Radio Times promoting 'Life's Too Short'. Discussions followed and now HBO have run with posters of epic proportions by UK standards.

Distinguished

I've spent the last week mulling over going full out on expanding my Pilots project.
An exhibition and book remain my goal, and if I can just conclude my lighting plan, then we're off!
This is definitely where having an Agent has been a bonus.
Watch this space..

Latest in folks

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When the lights go out

It's been years since I have had a major Mac failure. Today, I watched the 'Question Mark of Death' stare me out for too long, until I was forced to acknowledge that my main drive was knackered. Thank God all the pics are backed up. But the programs, the plug ins??? The realisation that everything I do these days relies on these spinning devils keeping going has sent me into a Time Machine haze as I look forward to a Monday locked into computer recovery, whilst the rest of TW enjoys the snow.

Turn around!

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Took my boys to the footie recently. First time I have been for 20 years. Quite something it was. Only one goal and I am proud to be the only person to be facing the other way.

Radio Times Covers Party

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Bleary eyed morning hallo to Mr Matt Bannister who told me last night of his imminent dive into the freelance world. As someone who has never had a proper job, I can only wonder at what it must be like. Welcome to the always available, never ill, no social life world of self-employment chum. No such thing as a normal day though.

Jodi Picoult advert

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Finally, the Jodi Picoult ad that I shot last summer has been aired. I should point out that this was shot in 3 hours at the end of a hectic promotional photo shoot.

Found images

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Searching around the web for 20 mins is enough to find the odd legitimate as well as dodgy MH image. Here is a new record cover despite the image being years old. Infact, this is an early digital effort, shot at sea in Sweden over a fabulous weekend.

And finally..

All that press

Here is an edit from an article in a local rag about this here local snapper.. “Mark Harrison said Richard Branson was usually doing something in a photograph, and he told him to just stop it.. I just put muy hand on his shoulders and asked him to stop."I just put my hands on his shoulders and asked him to stop." Tunbridge Wells photographer Mark Harrison's photograph, published on the cover of The Times magazine earlier this year, showed an extraordinarily quiet, pensive picture of one of Britain's top entrepreneurs. "That's why I love doing portraits," said Mr Harrison, who lives in the town with his family. "As usual, I'd looked at all the pictures of the subject I could find, because I really wanted to show the Richard Branson you don't normally see." Commissioned by the magazine to take pictures of Labour leader- in-waiting Ed Miliband the day before his election, Mr Harrison prepared to meet his subject in the unpromising surrou…

2012 here we go

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Greetings from the rain soaked bowels of 2012. No better start to the year than an inbox longer that the A21, even if there are only so many 'WEX' offers I can sift through. Christmas cards arriving more by email these days, and funny to see my own car boot grace one-what impression must I give to my poor Assistants? A bunch on New Year covers have landed on the mat as well. This Weekend one reminds me of how much fun a set build can be and how difficult shooting the lead in advance, on a different day in a different city can be..