Photography

Its getting a bit noisy in here.

The other day I was sitting at my computer, a good hour had passed since I sat down with my first coffee of the day. I had my to do list next to me, but i had not even started on that yet. Why I hear you ask, I wish I could give you reasons, but honesty is the best practice.  In between the "Which disney Character are you?" (Aladdin for your reference) and "Some bloke pulled his pants down in a library, what happened next blew me away" I had wasted an hour of my life trawling the depths of Facebook. Like no other social network, Facebook has been both a blessing and a hindrance. It has played an important role in the building of certain parts of my career over the past six years and it has been invaluable in meeting people and creating connections. Recently it seems to have changed, or I have only just started to notice the sheer waste of space it has become.  For some people Facebook still represents a reliable business platform, for other people it has become like one of those clubs that start playing Abba so loud you can't talk, but you are too damn tired to leave as you have a comfy seat.  

I am one of the latter people.  I am so comfy there, but the noise is beginning to get too much that it is beginning to affect my focus.  I find myself wanting a piece of that Facebook club all the time. A break in the conversation, i'll go to Facebook, Adverts on tv, its ok I have Facebook.  Recently I have also found myself pressing that little button on my phone just after shutting down Facebook on my computer. I'm not even looking for anything, 

Part of social media, for me, is inspiration, there are a lot of talented people out there and Social media enables us to keep up to date and continually inspire and push us.  However I can't remember the last time I saw something that inspired me on Facebook. Considering how often I am on there, it seems like a real waste of time.  I have been spending a bit more time on 500px and Instagram and these are far more rewarding in terms of inspiration and content.  I try to only follow photographers I like and this helps massively.  The photos are the main focus, where as Facebook is more about likes and pats on the back (summed up by the horrific compression of images). I even find twitter has more relevant information on it and is better for networking. 

This has lead me to my current decision to leave Facebook, probably not for good, but I am going to deactivate my account for a month and clear my head from all  this noise.  I am going to devote more time to other things like actually networking and looking at inspirational content. 

I know some of you are now worrying about how you will get in touch with me, but don't worry I will list all the places you can still find me.  Controversially my Facebook Page will still be active and will receive updates with current work etc. 

Other Social Networks i'm on, come and say hello.

Google Plus

Twitter

500px

Linkedin

Exposure

Tumblr

Facebook Page

You can also get me on Whatsapp using 07807223506 or email at info@darrenobrien.co.uk and of course this blog. 

 

The Photography Show, Birmingham - A quick report

On Sunday I headed down to the Photography Show in Birmingham.  Plenty of good gear on show and lots of interesting stalls to see.One such stall was the guys at USB2U. They produce customised USB memory sticks, with an impressive selection of styles and materials.  All printed with a design of your choosing.  The wooden products, especially,  looked amazing and would certainly make a beautiful addition to any promo or marketing material.  I haven't quite figured out how best to use them in my marketing strategy, but they would be perfect for wedding and family photographers.  Check them out.

I also visited the guys Paramo Clothing.  I had heard some really good reports about their outdoor gear and one item in particular had caught my eye.  The Haicon Traveller Jacket.  I had read about this jacket on a blog post by Jacob James, and it looked like something that would be useful when travelling.  Light weight and breathable, but tough.  I had headed straight to the stall on arrival, and on inspection the jacket was all I had hoped it would be, so bought it there and then.  The rest of their gear is also excellently made and although on the expensive side, the gear is made to last and the Paramo guys really know what they are talking about.  The Haicon Traveller has brilliantly designed pockets (yes I am getting excited about pockets!).  They can take my fuji x100s with ease, which is nice for the times I don't want to carry a bag.

Paramo Haicon Traveller jacket

 

New Fuji Lenses!

There were a couple of lenses I wanted to have a look at for the fuji x-system.  The first was the new Fuji 56mm f1.2. This lens is an 85mm equivalent which has always been a favourite focal length of mine for portraits.  I already own Fuji's 60mm f2.5 which is, generally, a pretty good performer, but it is nothing special and the focusing is pretty slow (ironically mine has also developed a bit of a fault now). I didn't know what to expect, this is Fuji's attempt at high end, professional lenses for the x-system and marks the beginning of a range of high profile releases.  In the short time I spent with the lens, I can safely say, I was blown away.  Apart from the Nikon 85mm 1.4G, this is probably the best portrait lens I have used. The auto focus was snappy and accurate, build quality was exceptional and optically the lens is razor sharp.  The lens has beautiful Bokeh too, something that fuji has struggled with in the past.  The image below is just a quick sample shot using the fuji B&W jpeg setting. I apologise for the lighting and the subject matter (sorry Nigel). The Image was shot at f1.2.

Fuji XT-1, Fuji 56mm f1.2

I also had a quick look at the new Fuji 10-24 f4, 16-35 equivalent.  Not a range I would normally go too, but I though I would check it out.  I was very impressed.  It is another beautiful lens.  Very sharp and shows minimal distortion, certainly can be easily corrected.  For landscape photographers using the X-System this would be a must buy.

Fuji X-T1, Fuji 10-24mm f4

These are really exciting times if you are an X system user, they had mock examples of the upcoming 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f.28 equivalents. These along with the 56mm 1.2 really show that fuji are aiming for the pro market. Theres also rumours of a 300mm f4 equivalent coming out which should be brilliant.

Thanks for reading, any thoughts on the show or the fuji system leave a comment.

Going Internet-Lite and increase productivity

The other day I was taking a well earned break from surfing the web on my computer, by surfing the web on my phone and came across an interesting article on being 'Internet Lite'. At the time I didn't think much of it, but recently I have begun to notice how much time I spend glued to the internet on one of my many devices.  It got me thinking about the article (I cannot remember where it was but I will try to find it). The idea of Internet Lite is to minimise the time you spend randomly browsing the internet and maximise your awareness of what's going on around you.In many real life social interactions any silence or break in communication is filled in with a mobile phone or tablet, we no longer have use our minds to think of the next conversation starter. There is always something to discuss on the internet, however trivial it might be. I think this, in some ways, could hide issues that really need discussing.  The issue becomes worse when you are on your own.  Whilst taking a bus journey a couple of weeks ago I arrived at my destination not really aware of how I got there. I had walked out of my house, got my phone out of my pocket and that was it. I was slightly horrified to think that the whole mundane, but valuable, 30 min was spent reading nonsense on one of many social networks. I could have read a book, drawn a picture (badly, thats why I am a photographer), even stared out of the window.  All things that could have inspired me or improved me in some way.  That is not to say that the internet is an evil black hole of procrastination, but it is not the only way to gain inspiration and stay in touch with people.  When you think about it honestly, you probably spend most of your spare time on the internet. I know I do.

The idea of going Internet Lite (for me at least) is to reduce the time spent on the internet and pay more attention to other forms of interaction and inspiration. That's not to say I'll cut the internet out of my life altogether, but I will try to increase my productivity when I am on it.  Over the festive period I will only use the internet for 1 hour a day. A designated hour at that. The only time in the day that I can browse the web, use social networks and check my email will be between 15:00 and 16:00.  It doesn't sound too hard but when you actually start adding up how often you mindlessly do it during a day, it starts to sound more of a challenge! I hope this will mean that I can concentrate on spending time with my family and other activities I might have bypassed, whilst looking at more photos of cats.

I am beginning to make some lifestyle changes that will boost my creativity and productivity, which will help make 2014 the best year yet.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lake District by Darren O'Brien

Ps. Found the original article in being Internet-Lite over on be more with less.

Stuck in a Rut, Shoot Film!

I went through a point earlier in the year where my photography was becoming a bit of drag.  I was working, but I wasn't really feeling it and was finding myself less and less excited by the prospect of picking up my camera for personal stuff.  With a trip to Poland coming up I faced a dilemma.  Normally travelling with my camera is one of my passions and it concerned me that I had little interest, and even considered not taking a camera at all.  I admit that it was certainly a low point in my photographic life.I had a few ideas in my head, but was not sure about them.  So I sat down and thought about what was putting me off and influencing my decision.  I came to conclusion that one of my major issues was "chimping" (reviewing images on the back of the screen).  Now I will point out that I am in now ways an excessive chimper, but I realised that recently, every time I was shooting personal projects I would review the images, not like them and get a bit deflated.  I decided to remove that obstacle.

I started looking into using film. I had a couple of different projects in mind and managed to borrow a Medium format camera and a Leica M4.  I stocked up on some film and off I went.

The resulting trip was excellent and I have not had so much fun with my photography in a good few years.  It was all so stripped back to basics. Neither camera had a meter, so I was using a hand held meter which definitely slowed me down and made me think about exposure.  The cost of film prevented me from just rattling off shots, so I stopped to think about composition.  Even my street photography was more thought out as I didn't want to waste a single frame if I could help it.  I loved it.

To be honest I was not too concerned about the results.  I had such a good time and it served to reignite my passion. Luckily though I brought back some good stuff.  Some of which can be seen in my upcoming book "Anywhere But Home" 

The following set of image were shot on the Leica, I had never used a range finder before, but I had great fun.  It is important sometimes to just do something out of the ordinary, it helps to keep things fresh and stop you from stagnating.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH (Only the Best :-)))

 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH (Only the Best :-)))

 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH (Only the Best :-)))

 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH (Only the Best :-)))

 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH (Only the Best :-)))

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. Get in touch with questions or if you have had similar experiences that you would like to share.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newcastle Street Spice

After photography, food is probably my biggest passion.  It is a major part of my travels and I really appreciate local cuisines (leading to more than one stomach upset).  Last weekend Newcastle hosted the Street Spice festival.  It was a wonderful celebration of street food from around the globe.  There were plenty of tasty treats available and I definitely ate my share.I was there to photograph the event for my own personal enjoyment, as I am inspired by the art of cooking and food in general.  It was a great day.  To find out more about the event and the organisers visit the street spice website

 

Chinese New Year - Lion Dance

KUNG HEY FAT CHOI!Today I photographed the Chinese New year celebrations in Newcastle.  I didn't have a strict brief as to what I was photographing, just documenting the day. On occasions like this I always try to set myself mini tasks and projects that allow me to focus my efforts.

This is one such mini project.  I knew I wanted to do something around the Lion, which is one of the focal points of the celebration.  The Lion visits establishments and is presented with a lettuce, which is then torn apart and scattered.  This is brings good luck and fortune to the establishment.

 

Thanks for reading. Tomorrow I will post more images from the New Year Celebrations.

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.

Maz on location.

I couple of months ago I was lucky enough to shoot with the beautiful Maz.  She had a couple of outfits that we were looking to shoot and being summer we thought that a location shoot would be great. Well as usual it rained, a lot.We proceeded with the make up with the hope that the rain would clear away, at least enough to shoot something.  We got a lucky break in the weather so rushed down to Heaton Park to shoot at the victorian pavilion.  Maz had brought with her a Vivian Westwood dress which really complimented the location.

We headed back to base as the weather turned again, so we changed the make up, outfit and location.  Another break in the rain saw us out in the back streets of Heaton.

One last change of costume and Make up and we were out again.  The other item that Maz had brought was this very colourful designer jacket.  Viki, our make up artist did a wonderful job creating a different look.

My favourite image of the day came from the first section of the shoot.  I really love fashion images that are set in cafes and luckily for us there is an Italian restaurant (Sambucas).  We asked permission to use their outside tables.  I wanted to create the feeling of the afternoon/evening sun so I put a full cut of CTO (colour temp orange) onto a single speedlite off to camera right.  I blended it with the ambient to give the appearance that the sun was setting over her shoulder.

 

Thanks for reading, as always please contact me with any questions.

Announcing the Photo Hub, Newcastle

A few months back, friend Chris Moody and I, decided to try and put together something that would serve the North East photographic community in various ways.

We were initially lured to the idea of a retail operation combined with a cafe and studio.  So we started running some ideas and more importantly, numbers, and came to the conclusion that this was not feasible or applicable in the current retail market and economic climate.  We threw hundreds of ideas around, but the main idea that stuck was that we wanted it to be a community based project, reacting and adapting to the needs of the local photographic community.

After many discussions and a lot of planning, the Photo Hub was born.  The idea of the Photo Hub was to be constantly moving and incorporating fresh ideas and trends at the drop of a hat.  The Hub was based on online social networking communities.  There are hundreds of photographers who communicate and chat on the various networking sites and the role of the Photo Hub is to bring them together physically.

The aim is to offer support, help, tuition and networking, in a friendly, professional and encouraging environment.  We aim to accommodate photographers who's experience level ranges from beginners all the way through to Professionals and bring them together to chat, have a drink and discuss the various aspects of photography.  Most of all we want the Photo Hub community to dictate and participate in the Hub's future direction.

It all kicked off last Sunday (4th Nov) with our very first event day.  Held at the Star and Shadow cinema in Newcastle, we held an afternoon of talks and activities.  We were also joined by various suppliers who exhibited their goods and demonstrated the latest in photographic gear.  Big thanks to the guys from Lencarta, Direct Digital Imaging (bringing their Phase One cameras with them)  and Intro 2020 for joining us.  Also thanks to Chris Ireland at completecaptureone.com for supplying our raffle prizes.

Thanks to our guest speakers for some very informative workshops and seminars and for a showcase of some truly inspiring images. Shout out to Phil PuntonJohn PictonMontana Lowery and Mark Pinder.It was an excellent afternoon and the feedback we got from the audience was great.

As part of the Photo Hub we will be holding monthly meets (first one TBC) and every six months we will be holding bigger event like the one at the Star and Shadow.

It's all very exciting for everyone involved. If you would like more information on the Photo Hub, then please visit our facebook page.

Lastly, and most importantly, a big thank you to everyone that came and made the afternoon really enjoyable and worth while event.

 

Its not the size that matter, its what you do with it.

I can now announce that I am a fully fledged professional micro 4/3 user.  Thats right I have ditched my Full-frame Nikon system for a camera that is probably less than a quarter of the weight.  How did I get to this point, you ask? Let me explain.A couple of months ago I bought a Panasonic GX1. I bought it for use in my street and documentary photography, due to its size and focusing speed, it really lent itself to this type of photography.  I didn't buy it to use in a professional capacity, but as a tool take nice photos when I was out and about with the view to sell prints and just add to my street portfolio.  However I have since been blown away by its image quality and lowlight performance.

As you can see on the above image the quality at ISO 1600 is still excellent and noise and details in the shadows are handled very well indeed.

I was impressed and certainly thought that the micro 4/3 system had come on to a point where you could easily use this on a job and produce images with enough quality to satisfy most clients.  I was still sure my Nikon system was safe at this point, I had no intentions of doing away with it, even though I was actually using it less and less.

Then came my encounter with the Olympus OMD-EM5. This is Olympus' flag ship Micro 4/3 camera, and is the pinnacle of the entire system to date.  I was amazed at the size and build quality of the EM5.  It has a metal chassis and is weather sealed.  I took some images with the camera and was surprised at the level of detail in the files.  I was also quite amazed at how different the files were from the GX1 which uses the same 16mp sensor.

With the GX1 files I could quite easily see those taken with the panasonic and those taken with my Nikon, but the Olympus is completely different.  Even zooming 100% into the RAW file I could not instantly tell and this was a big moment for me.  I realised at this point, that i could quite happily swap my Nikon system for an Olympus one and not notice any real drop in quality.  People will point out that Nikon D3 will produce slightly better files at say ISO4000, but in all honestly those are negligible differences, especially when viewing on a screen or in a magazine. I very rarely pushed the ISO higher than 2000 on most occasions, so its not really an issue.

I am not saying that the Olympus has the Nikon beaten. In all honestly I would say that my Nikon system was better in terms of build quality and noise performance over ISO4000.  Tracking auto focus and frame rate too, is in the Nikons favour.  To complain about that is missing the point though.

When it comes to cameras I think some people are so concerned about what a camera can't do as apposed to what it can do. There are list of things that the Olympus struggles with compared to the Nikon, at the same time there are just situations when the D3 would have been overkill or just a plain hindrance. At the end of the day the camera is just a tool. A tool a photographer uses to express themselves and create images.  The Olympus does this as well as the D3 and it doesn't break my back.

I now have two of the things and even with my bag full of my whole kit, it still weighs less than the D3 and one lens.  This is a massive bonus for me as I spend most of my time walking around the streets or travelling with my camera.

Its still early doors in my journey with Micro 4/3 but so far I feel liberated.  When I had my Nikon gear I was constantly obsessed with the latest gizmo and the new zoom lens. Now I have all I need in one bag, I can be a photographer again.  My kit has limitations, but thats just part of the fun.  At the end of the day the images speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

My Olympus kit consists of 2 OMD bodies, Olympus 12mm f2 Zuiko, Panasonic 25mm f1.4 Leica summilux and Olympus 45mm f1.8 Zuiko.  I will also be adding an Olympus 75mm f1.8 when it is finally available.

If you would like to ask about the Olympus system or about anything else please contact me through the contact page or at darren@darrenobrien.co.uk

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.

 

Wedding supplier collective

Wow, June was a busy month.  A few months back I was asked to be part of a collective of wedding suppliers from the North East.  We organised a shoot to show off everyones products and services. All of which will be listed under the images.I was determined to shoot the images in the style of my normal wedding coverage, so basically only using natural light and one speedlight as required.  The speedlight was used in a mid sized lastolite ezybox.

 

This last image was shot as a Fashion image using two speed lights. One speed light to camera left in the soft box and one lighting the the white tree.

 

The suppliers involved in the shoot were:

Photography: Ti Amo wedding photography (Me)

Venue: Eslington Villa

Dresses: Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear

Hair: Bespoke Hair by Paula

Make Up: Carley Michelle Hair and Makeup

Jewellery, Headwear and Flowers: Energise Weddings

Venue Decorations: Daisychain Events

Other designers there on the day:

Lifes a Celebration

Lingerie by Annette

Papaver Designs

 

For more information on my wedding photography or to book a consultation please email weddings@tiamophotography.co.uk

Black Swan Fashion

Unfortunately i had to surrender my studio at the end of May, but before I said goodbye I managed to fit in one last shoot.  I was approached by Rachel to shoot her final degree project.  The clothing range, inspired by the current economic situation, was a collection of reversible outfits. One side was white the other black, the idea being that one outfit could be worn during the day and then the other on a night out (although hopefully with a wash in between).The idea was to produce a collection of images based on the Black Swan.  The ballet theme was the obvious choice, with an image showing the white and black side for each outfit.  The series of images had narrative showing the journey from the naive and gentle white side to the more aggressive and stronger dark side.

This selection is taken out of context, they do not keep to the narrative (I did not have enough space).

 

Thanks for reading. Now that things have settled down I promise to update my blog more frequently.

Ciao!

Challenge yourself and improve your portfolio.

It is easy as a photographer to get stuck into a particular shooting subject, whether it be Landscapes, Macro, Wildlife, etc. Sometimes it is good to mix things up a bit and shoot something that does not fit your usual remit.  In my case I have found myself shooting a lot of fashion, obviously working with a lot of models, which I enjoy very much.  However I enjoy all kinds of people photography and really felt that I could do with a bit more variety within my recent work and also give me a bit of a challenge.After having a good think I concluded that my portfolio needed some regular "Joe Public" types, so I decided to head out and do some street portraiture.  Normally this would be done with a 70-200 to capture unguarded moments etc, but this time I went out with my 50mm and grabbed strangers as they walked past.

This really is a fantastic way to meet people and get some images with a bit of variety.  In a couple of hours I have 8 new faces to add to my collection, and I was really taking it easy.  One of my main issues with standard street stuff is that sometimes the background can be busy and distracting, so on this occasion I took the background out of the equation my finding a wall that I liked and setting myself up there.  I then looked for interesting characters as they walked past and approached them.  The thing is with this sort of thing is to keep it real, don't lie to people and tell them your shooting for a piece in National Geographic. I explained that this was a personal project and that sat well with most people.  I also carried small business cards that I ordered from Moo (mini moos) which were handed to everyone. I also took everyones name and email and promised to send them copies of the images.

For this type of shoot it is best to find a shaded area otherwise you end up with too much contrast,  we were shooting on an overcast day here, but we still had to use a diffuser to block out some sun that poked through the clouds.

It can be a real challenge especially if you lack the confidence to just approach people, but after a few yeses you quickly get into the swing, its well worth it.

Thanks for reading.

 

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

Sophie studio and location

I was able to fit in a shoot with the beautiful Sophie at my studio.  I had been wanting to shoot with Sophie for a while after seeing some of her portfolio on Facebook.  In this shoot we managed to do some work outside on location.  I enjoy shooting on location because there are so many variables and it can often be a challenge, but then the environment is much more interesting and it can be fun thinking of ways to get the subject to interact with it.Anyway here are a couple of the studio images.

 

It was a nice day outside and we found this really cool building which was covered in graffiti.  It made for a really colourful backdrop.

We moved back inside for the final shots using the corridors of the studio building.

Shooting outside and in the corridors allowed me to use my new pocket wizard flex system.  I haven't had much time to use them at the moment, but from these first couple of experiences, I can see that they will be a big help for location work.  They allow full ttl control of the speed lights, and with the AC3 controller allow me to change the power ratios from the camera.  Interesting stuff, I will hopefully be back with more examples of how this system works.

Thanks for reading, have a browse of my portfolio.  Any questions please contact me at blog@darrenobrien.co.uk

New Model, Leika

I was introduced to Leika through a make up artist that I have worked with once or twice. New models offer a challenge that is different to that of an established, more experienced, model. In some ways it is more exciting as you have to work harder than normal to produce the great shots.  Working with a new model means that you, the photographer, has to be that little more creative.  It can be easy to rely on a model to produce the goods without much prompting (even though I nearly always fine tune the final poses to fit my ideas).Leika was a pleasure to work with and soon got into the stride of things, and even took a good dollop of cold weather for the team. She should have a bright modelling future.

To get in the mood we started with some very simple portraits.  I often start the shoot this way, first of all it allows me to talk to the model and familiarise myself with their working style. Most of all it is a good way of breaking the ice, using a lighting set that i know will produce good results straight away.  The last thing I want to do is start the shoot producing images that look terrible (not that I ever do that!)

 

 

 

 

Leika was building a portfolio for a local modelling agency and needed a variety of shots, so we changed up the lighting and went for a few longer shots.  These were taken using speed lights (SB900) and I used the Pocket Wizard flex system to trigger them via ttl. I will write a bit more about this system in a future post, but so far I have been quite impressed.

The first speedlight was fired into a silver reflective umbrella to camera right and a second SB900 was fired into a silver reflector on the floor to provide a nice glowing fill.

We then changed it up and did some shots that showed of Leika's figure a bit more.

We had a bit of spare time at the end of the shoot so decided to brave the weather and head into the cold to see what we could find.  I had spotted this location outside the studio earlier in the day and though that it might make a good image and something else for Leika to add to her portfolio.

Again I used the pocket wizards and an SB900 to light the model whilst underexposing the background.

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