Northumberland

Portraits of boats

This weeks posts have a very heavy Maritime theme and I am going to continue that today (must be the sunny weather).  I am fascinated by the sea and the surrounding coastal landscape, especially inspired by interactions between humans and the deep, churning, waters.One manifestation of this fascination is boats.  When ever I am at the coast I come away with a good number of images containing boats.  It doesn't matter what size or shape, I photograph them.  A lot of them are quite similar I have to say, but they do make for some nice images.  They are also useful devices to add foreground interest to a scene.

 

This one was interesting as it was beached amongst the reeds. The sun just appeared from behind the clouds, boosting the contrast within the scene.

 

Until next time.

Raising Anchor!

Whilst walking along the beach the other weekend I bumped into this chap raising a land anchor. The land anchor is used to ensure that boats do not float away during the winter months, when strong surges in the estuary may move boats with a traditional anchor.He was very accommodating and allowed me to make a few images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR Photography in Newcastle: Red Tractor Thank You Tour

In November British Red Tractor Pork Farmers ran a country wide tour to say thank you for the publics continuing support of the british farming industry. On this tour they were handing out free Bacon and Sausage sandwiches to the general public. As their mascot they had found a large red tractor.On the Newcastle and Sunderland leg of their journey I was asked to provide photographs for the event which did involve manoeuvring the aforementioned tractor into places near landmarks for both cities.  My main brief was to photograph the tractor with major landmarks in the background, whilst providing general promotion stills of the day.

All in all it was a fun, if slightly wet and cold, day.  Plus there was plenty of bacon and sausage sandwiches around!

Thanks for reading! For more information and to show your support head over to the Red Tractor site at Lovepork.co.uk

PR for Shepherd Construction

A few weeks ago I was asked to shoot a construction site visit by students of the engineering degree at Northumbria University.So early on a chilly October morning I arrived at the Narec site in Blyth owned by Shepherd Construction. My brief was to follow the students around as they went on the site tour and capture images that were to be used in internal literature.

 

Whilst I was there I was also asked to take a few images of their latest construction project.

On these types of jobs you never fail to learn something and I came away knowing a tiny bit more about construction and the testing of wind turbines.

Bye for now.

Project - No Ball Games

Wandering around a few months ago I was struck by the utter chaos and dirtiness of backstreets in my local area. I found it quite funny how the council and residents/shop owners, spend so much time and money making the fronts of their buildings look so inviting and yet the backstreets and side alleys are left to fend for themselves. This struck me as odd, because in many cases, at least where I live, these streets are quite well used by people, or in some cases the streets are open to the impeccable fronts of other streets.Despite the lack of care and attention paid to such streets and alleys, there two things you are not allowed to in almost all of them, they are "No Parking" and Definitely "No Ball Games!"

This has formed the basis of my project to document the backstreets and alley ways of Newcastle.

 

 

This is on going, long term project.  I will be posting a couple of images at a time to keep you up to date with my project.

 

Heddon On-The-Wall Jubilee fun day

If you hadn't noticed there was some big celebration thing going on over the past few days, I know it was easy to miss. I had kept out of the way of most of the celebrations going on for the Queens Jubilee, not because I'm unpatriotic or dislike the queen (I think she has a magnificent collection of hats!). I was just very busy, utilising the long weekend to catch up on paper work and visiting the Newcastle Green Festival (in which they could have incorporated more for the Jubilee, i'm sure the Queen does her bit for the environment).Any way, being English I felt a bit bad for not taking in one part of the Jubilee (apart from the 20 seconds of concert on the telly), plus I was asked to make some submissions to Country Life Magazine for a big spread they are producing for the Jubilee.

After a quick scan of the "Whats on" guides, I decided to visit Heddon On-The-Wall where they were having a Jubilee Fun day.  It was a small affair and was pretty much a normal village fete with extra bunting and flags, but everyone was having fun.

We were lucky for about an hour as the rain held off.

This also gave me an opportunity to test out the Pocket Wizard Flex system in a work situation and I have to say I was really pleased with the performance, I was able to palm my flash onto a stranger to hold quickly whilst I took the pictures and controlled the flash output from my camera.

Thanks for reading, any questions please contact me at blog@darrenobrien.co.uk or leave a comment.  More of my work can be seen on my WEBSITE

Forzana and Afsi

We have tried for a long time to organise a shoot with Forzana and Afsi, but for what ever reason we have never managed to get it sorted due to our busy schedules. Anyway we finally managed to arrange something.Luckily this coincided with the acquisition of a Canon 5D MKII which we were dying to try out.

I started off using mainly the large Octa as I really like the high contrast look.

Both of these were shot with the 5D MKII and I have to say I was impressed with the results. The sensor really does capture a level of detail which I have only ever seen in files from medium format cameras. That said I very quickly went back to using my Nikon.

We then tried a flatter approach to lighting by placing the octa in front of Forzana to create a more editorial fashion look. The image was made black and white in Lightroom.

Then we just had a "lets see what happens" session at the end. Sometimes these parts of the shoot can yield some good results, but mainly its just to try something different and see how it goes.

Thanks for reading.

Al Palmer - Coastal

From my blog you can probably tell that I am quite into fashion photography, but I do appreciate good photography of all kinds. Al Palmer is a good friend of mine and his work differs considerably from my own and although not all to my tastes his work is very good. The coastal project has inspired me to start working on some projects of my own. In these images I really like the tranquil yet brooding nature of the images which instantly screams England, but yet could really be anywhere. Anyway enjoy the images and hopefully we will see more from this project in future.

Thanks for reading.

Find more about Al Palmer and his work at www.alpalmer.co.uk and read his blog at http://shoutingtocommunicate.wordpress.com

Siobhan at Penshaw Monument

Even with a studio it is nice to get out and do some location work, however this turned out to be much harder work than originally anticipated. We had decided a few weeks back to shoot at Penshaw Monument just outside of Newcastle. We put the idea to a local model, Siobhan who we had wanted to shoot with for a fair while, and she was up for it. Once up there though things did not really work in our favour as the gorgeous evening light which we were hoping to work with disappeared behind the biggest black cloud ever and the wind really picked up.Anyway we plodded away and came out of the experience with a couple of good shots. On location I tend to work with speedlights on non commercial jobs, mainly for portability and convenience. I use Nikon so my trusty friend here is a SB900 with a Lastolite softbox. The Monument had some nice lighting going on, in order to capture it and the remnants of the lasting light from the sky I needed to increase the ISO and drag the shutter on my D3 as much as possible. Some shutter speeds were down to 1/15th!

Thanks for reading and any comments and questions are welcome.