30 September 2008


Over the weekend I was lucky enough to spend a few hours photographing a very good friend of mine - Joanne. I had done a portrait shoot earlier in the year with Jo and her family but this time the photos were just of her.

We had discussed the various ideas we were thinking of trying out and found ideas for poses from lots of different sources.

It was my second opportunity in the space of just a week to put my new backdrop support system through it's paces and thanks to a bit of furniture shifting (cheers Jo and Simon!) we had an impromptu studio in her living room! There was just enough room for getting full length portraits and floor shots but I think it was at the limit of what was ideal. It was also a great opportunity to try out the extra studio lights I've acquired during the year.

After 4 hours of shooting, 5 outfit changes and just over 300 shots we called it a day! I've been really pleased with the results and have made initial ratings to narrow the selection of photos to work on down. I've already posted a selection on my flickr site and one is shown here in this post - you can view the others by clicking the link.

I'm really pleased to say that the feedback I've had from Jo is that she likes what she's already seen. There's plenty more to come whilst I finish working on the other photos.

I'd personally like to thank Jo for being patient whilst I moved lights around, tweaked settings and generally tried to get things right. You were a real star, looked stunning and no-one I've spoken to thinks that this was the first time that you'd ever really done anything like that before! Thanks a million!!

UPDATE: I've now added a slideshow of some of the photos I took on the day. See here:

Camera club news

Well, the new season at XRR has got underway and tomorrow night (Weds 1st Oct) is the first digital competition of the year with the set subject of 'Structure'. My entries are in so all I've got to do now is see how they do!

The other great surprise I had as the season started was that I found out that I'd won the Glover Progress Cup for showing the most improvement over the last year. I was really pleased to be selected by the committee to receive this award at our prize giving and open evening and it has certainly encouraged me even more to improve further in the future.

Hopefully it will be the start of things to come!

The book has arrived!

Well the photobook from Blurb arrived a couple of weeks ago now and I'm really impressed with the finished product. It is very well constructed with it's stitched hardcover and printed dust jacket. The photos have turned out very well and the quality of the paper is very good inside.

All in all, as it was the first book I've produced, I'm very happy. There are no doubt things I could do differently next time and will bear these in mind when I produce another. I might consider a different cover like a softback, if I was producing one with any fewer pages in the future.

Would certainly like to try the larger formats on offer to see how they look and feel. Hopefully I'll put together a portfolio book of my portraits soon so I should be able to put some more ideas into practice.

11 September 2008

Getting published

Well, it has been a while since the last update and I've certainly been busy over the summer (what there has been of it!). Time just seems to have flown by and I can't believe we're heading into Autumn.

The D300 has been getting some serious use over the last few months and I'm really pleased with it - though with the battery grip in place, it certainly does weigh you down! The image quality has been outstanding and I've got to use it in quite a variety of situations. The large file sizes that it outputs though are going to require some careful thought on future storage and backup facilities.

Anyway, back to the subject of the post. After the trip to Canada way back in June, we decided that it would be great to get a photo book made up to illustrate our journey. So, 268 photos and 78 pages later, our book is now winging it's way to us from Switzerland. I really can't wait to see how it turns out and it should arrive early next week with any luck. I decided to use Blurb to create the book and have settled on a 10x8inch hardcover with wraparound dust jacket. If it looks anything like it did on screen then I think I'm going to be really pleased with the result. There's certainly something nice about having a hard copy record of your own photos that you can show around and I think a proper bound portfolio will be soon on the cards!

Assuming all goes well with this trial run, then I can certainly see photo books becoming part of my list of services.

It was quite a time consuming process getting it all ready and laid out - choosing from over 900 photos was a task in itself and then there were the different layouts to choose from for each page. All in all, it probably took about a week's worth of evenings sat down laying it all out until we were happy.

I'll update things when it arrives!