Its all about me!




Part two of my Pipewell Hall piece is all about me!
Well not quite all about me but all about my beliefs as a photographer.  It doesn’t matter how good you believe you are or think you are we all have to keep pushing, experimenting and learning.  Ok, I have a fair few awards and titles after my name and that makes me many things but the one thing I hope it doesn’t make me is complacent!
Before I explain more about phase two of the operation I’m dropping this lighting diagram in here of the Valis Valkova shoot as so many have asked.  In essence, including the ambient light its a three light set up.  How I blended those three lights together is how I changed the look and feel within the imagery.



Ok… back to me
I’m a BIG fan of continuous professional development, so much so its at the core of our companies most successful training programs Mentor me on steroids or as its known MMoS.  If you’d like to know a little more check it out here MMoS.
Anyway this is not meant to be an advert I just want to share my beliefs and the images I made.  I think its important to take time out to feed my own creative beast and to satisfy my desire to learn and grow as a photographer.  That really is the best thing about shoot club days, because just like the delegates, after the mornings education I get to “go off” and do my own thing just as they do.
For my afternoon at Pipewell Hall I’d restricted myself to just using natural light, maybe a little unusual for me but that’s the point of continuous professional development or CPD, we need to stretch ourselves, push ourselves out of our comfort zones… I only cheated once!
This shoot was a real treat for me as I got to shoot with another of my most favourite models, Miss Nikki Pixie.  The day was already looking bright.
I’d challenged myself to shoot with minimal kit, my EM-1 mk2 and a pocket full of pro primes, the 17mm f1.2, the  and the 45mm f1.2 and of course the 12-40 f2.8. I restricted myself in the fact that I couldn’t use my usual comfort zone in my beloved flash. 
Light is light no mater what its origin.  Light has the following properties……., brightness, colour, contrast and direction.  As long as you respect this you can still create beautiful pictures.  the only difference is with my flash I get to move the lights around the subject, the using artificial light means I have to be aware of the light around my subject and position my subject to benefit the most from the light and create my vision.
So in all of these images the process is the same, manipulate my subject in the prevailing lighting conditions to produce the shape and form within the frame that gives the subject the look and feel I desire.
When I shoot like this I tend to shoot in aperture priority and use the exposure compensation, colour balance and some art filters to create the look I’m after.  This is where a camera with an electronic viewfinder wins hands down because you get immediate and accurate feedback… I can see what I’m shooting, its a cinch.
This is the only image I shot that isn’t just ambient light! 




I was inspired by the repetitive form of the lamps within the frame and the warmth that they cast.  Where I wanted to pose Pixie the light wasn’t right on my subject to flatter her as intended.  To fix this I used the modelling light on an ELB 500 head, the more powerful modelling light in the head this is an incredible edition to the creativity that this kit brings.
So ambient from an open door becomes the fill controlling the contrast and the spot of “warmth” capturing the subject is supplied by the ELB.
I LOVED the afternoon challenging myself in and around Pipewell Hall, owned by such wonderful people,  if you want to progress and get better in your chosen field there is only one route, CPD is the answer.  Lets not let photography be the only profession that doesn’t see the benefit in continuous development and improvement.

Here are the rest of the images Pixie and I created on the day, I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoyed making them
Thank you to my beautiful Pixie

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