I recently had the pleasure of photographing the watercolour artist Alvaro Castagnet for a feature in Artists and Illustrators Magazine. It was great fun photographing a very flamboyant and charismatic personality who took the whole process in his stride. The shoot took place at Dedham Hall, Essex. In the heart of ‘Constable Country’ I used available light and 2 SB800 Speedlights off camera, one with a white brolly and the other bare.
I had the opportunity earlier this year to work with a great British ceramic designer Indigo Moss. Taking photographs of a small sample of new designs for their website.
Over the last twelve months the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) undertook a large photography project to update its library of clinical healthcare images for use across its nationwide network.
The NIHR commissioned me to work on this project which involved photoshoots at 8 locations across the UK. With more locations and photo shoots planned for the coming months ahead.
All the locations were operational clinics or surgeries within hospitals and general practice surgeries. All the models were consenting members of the public and staff. Photography was undertaken during the course of real consultations or examinations. Here are some of the results.
Mark Kleanthous has competed in over 1000 races worldwide including 400 triathlons, 20 ironmans, 2 double ironmans, 1 triple ironman and 70+ marathons. He was one of the first to start competing as a triathlete and in 1985 entered the Hawaii Ironman event. He his hoping to beat his own time this year again at the Hawaii ironman. Mark has a fantastic website www.ironmate.co.uk the site is an incredible resource for training tips and advice for novice and professional triathletes.
Strobist: Nikon D3s, 80 – 200mm lens x2 SB800, x1 SB80 x3 PW triggers
After a successful photography commission for the Cambridge University Botanic Garden I was recommended to the Marketing team at SAPS based at the Botanic Garden in Cambridge to take photographs for some of their new marketing collateral. The photography undertaken was very similar to the previous shoot for the CUBG except that all the children were 15 -16 and were visiting the garden as part of a week long tour of Cambridge University. Obviously this meant that I was capturing reportage style images with very little intervention or posing of the subjects. The brief was to capture the students looking interested and engaged in there activities.
Images from this event are now no longer available.
Go Beyond’s Mud and Mayhem off road Duathlon was as you would expect a little like that, except without the mayhem the whole event was very well organised! For instance free tea, coffee and jelly babies were my points of interest. The event began with heavy snowfall and then almost continuous rain throughout in freezing temperatures. I did keep warm by running between the cycle and running sections of the event but I still could not get ahead of the very fittest. It was great to meet some of the competitors and see them all in action, especially those who were competing for the first time. I am looking forward to returning in March at the second Mud and Mayhem event.
All the photographs were shot as RAW using D3s with either 80-200mm f2.8 or 24-70mm f2.8 with KATA rain jacket. Processed and uploaded to PS using Lightroom. To see all the images from the event hit the slideshow above.
My first shoot for the Cambridgeshire Mencap project took place at St.Johns College, Cambridge University. Cambridgeshire Mencap provide a catering & hospitality training course in the college’s kitchens. Students meet for classroom activities and then more hands on work in the college kitchen and canteen. Both environments leave little room room for manoeuvre. Where possible I would choose a background which had either colour or interest, this sometimes meant rearranging and placing objects which were either relevant or added to the perspective and composition, not only in the background but also in the foreground as well. Lighting in working environments is also challenging. The kitchen environment could have been very difficult, with overhead fluorescent lights and stainless steel backgrounds. The kitchen was a busy place and so not somewhere lights could be placed easily, I used both on camera flash bounced and one small light on a stand placed at a right angle to subjects and slightly behind. The catering course tutor suggested a scenario with a student stirring a large vat of meat stock, this worked well as the student could interact with kitchen staff and both the colour and steam from the boiling vat made a dramatic composition. The students and kitchen staff were very co-operative to my instructions and made the shoot a very enjoyable experience.
Cantellday the designers for the new website and printed material were also present at the shoot to lend a hand and art direct. This was useful and helped with getting the right approach which would hopefully continue throughout the project.
The entire shoot encompassed many different environments and lighting considerations as well as developing trust and hopefully a rapport with the subjects which made for some spontaneity. Allowing a photographer in to your home is not always comfortable, keeping lighting to a minimum and using lights which are mobile while not requiring an extra pair of hands to set up, was essential. I used throughout Nikon SB800’s with the Nikon SU800 Commander unit and also pocket wizards. At present the SU800 cammander unit is not reliable enough in situations where the environment and subject changes very quickly and there is a very little control over the direction the shoot will take. Using small flashes triggered remotely with pocket wizards enabled me to position lights anywhere I could place a super clamp or light stand. Typically out of the way of young children but supplementing the existing light. In some cases I relied only on the available light due to requests by Cambridgeshire Mencap service users.
The final printed material produced can be seen below.
Lots of portraits taken over two days for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital’s new nursing recruitment brochure. Great job, loads of fun meeting some very nice people. The brief was quite open with guidance to take approachable, happy portraits with neutral backgrounds. I chose to shoot with available light where possible and fill shadows evenly.