At the weekend I was given access to a now silenced factory..where once it was alive with the sounds of people working and the steady throb of machines it was now eerily quiet…with perhaps only the occasional plop of dropping water echoing eerily in the distance.
For this adventure we have the lovely Amy, who braved the cold to model. All images are shot using the Sony A7rii, an 85mm lens and occasionally lighting by Rotolight (Neo I and II).
See look sometimes I do shoot in colour, although more and more these days it is monochrome that colours my life! (like what I did their?)
Probably a pixie..am fairly sure a pixie…
Sometimes all you need is a pretty girl and a dingy location to create beautiful images
Coventry hosted some pre-audition auditions for Britains Got Talent at Millsys Cafe Bar on the 20th October 2016 and some of Coventry’s finest unsigned talent showed up to give it their best. Unfortunately we won’t know until early next year who was successful in their rounds but we wish them all the best in this round and the regional rounds taking place over the next couple of months. Who knows you could be looking at the stars of tomorrow right now!
A number of things have all conspired, yes conspired – not inspired, me to attempt this shoot.
There has been lots of talk about how we should, as photographers or other creatives, adapt with the times and embrace new technologies. To an extent, I would agree, but we as a society risk loosing so much of our heritage in the blind pursuit of modernism. If we look around us at the the landscape and it’s architecture we see castle’s and manor houses that are hundreds of years old but are still functional and impressive. Admit it, all of us at one time have wanted to live in a castle! Compare this to the buildings of the last century, these were build to meet a need, often quickly built and embracing new technologies (mmm concrete – so sexy…) Which one of these designs has lasted better I ask you?
Now look at our transport systems…which looks better steam or electric trains? Which would you rather travel on – now be realistic, if you are on a commute to work it is going to be the electric train. However this doesn’t mean we should discard the old technology but we accept that each has it place.
With shooting pictures there is a huge fight to have the latest, fastest, biggest mega-pixel camera we can, People sell kidneys and distant relatives to always keep up with the latest trend. We now have camera’s that can take pictures in almost pitch darkness and boast sensors of 18 or more mega pixels that can record a gazillion colours (shame our eyes cannot isn’t it?).
Look back through pictures that have defined history for us, they are shot on 35mm camera’s or the bulkier Medium Format or even Large Format field camera’s. Am I advocating that we all step back to this technology? Not at all, but we should perhaps look at the images we create. So we can now create an image the size of a small house with eye watering sharpness and a veritable rainbow of colours, the question is do we need to? Surely we need to consider the QUALITY of the image we create, not it’s technical quality but its aesthetic qualities, does it work as an image? will people see it and understand what you are trying to achieve?
So when I shoot the pin up shoot I will be using a vintage car, I may shoot some of it on film, I will shoot most of it using the Canon 5d2 as it allows me to instantly see what I am doing and also is more cost effective. I will be lighting it using modern flashes / strobes. Do I want a technically perfect image from it? Not really, I want the viewer to look at it and think nice car, gorgeous model – rather than them remarking on the wide gamut of images, the fact you can zoom in and see the eye lashes on my model……..it’s not about the finer details it is about the whole image. It is a reminder of the 1950’s as they never were…..yes I am creating a fantasy but I also want to create a reality that almost was…..
I was recently invited along to a band shoot for a local band called the Guttercats. They were having promotional pictures shot for an upcoming EP and had asked Andy McGeechan to shoot it for them. It has been a fair time since I shot any promotional material for bands, think the last time (excluding gigs) was for The Satin Dolls.
The shoot was organised at Fargo Village which is situated in Far Gosford Street Coventry, a world away from the image of a wild western town. Fargo Village is part of a large redevelopment and revitalising what was a run down area of Coventry. It has for years been an area that is home to students and migrant workers and has quite a transient diversity. The development differs from so many in the past in that it does not seek to eradicate what was there and start with a new look, rather it seeks to return the area to a glory it once new. Old buildings rather than being revamped are being sympathetically restored, hidden timbers are now on show and large airy windows replace the thick steel mesh that held out vandals. There is definitely a community feel returning to the area with a new found pride.
Pretty much the first day of Summer saw Charli and I heading to Birmingham to try and take advantage of the weather. The light was pretty unforgiving it was harsh, bright and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. One of those days when you envy photographers who have the huge scrims and portable shades – the ones you only need for 5 days a year in England and today was one of them!
We started off at the Canal Basin behind the Mailbox, and took a couple of quick snaps:
As the light was getting harsher and harsher we dived into the nearest subway for a quick bite to eat and a throw away comment lead to us heading to Coventry Railway Station, yes the backdrop to many an expensive fashion shoot…..
Whilst we were shooting these we were approached by the station staff and asked if we were shooting for Virgin Atlantic as Charli was ‘wearing the uniform’
Through out my time taking pictures I have met a number of people who have inspired me, taught me and pointed out my mistakes. Hopefully as time has progressed I am making less mistakes but I do believe that once you have mastered every single aspect of a skill it is time to find another. Surely the pleasure comes from the challenge, the determination to produce something ever better?
I am sure that if you ask any great artist about their work, they would point out the flaws, how they would just change that little bit there…
So I thank the models that I have worked with, some would say that models are the blank canvases that we work with but in reality a good model brings so much more, they will interpret what you say, add little nuances and interest.
The photographers that I have had the pleasure of working alongside (and whose techniques I have unashamedly stolen!), the studio’s that have allowed me to use there facilities, the designers who have loaned clothing, the venues who have put on shows or loaned rooms, and of course the make up artists who with a few pots of powder create flawless faces or amazing fantasy creatures.
I would love to say that the day started off with gorgeous sunshine and a blue sky littered with fluffy white clouds. However this is England and it rained, not just rain but that heavy driving rain that starts off by soaking you and then sucks the life from your very veins…..vampire rain, yes it is vampire rain.
My model for the day was the delightful Charli Lambert who is an absolute treasure to work with and a natural fashion model, requiring very little direction and is one of the politest people I have ever had the good fortune to work with.
The shoot was styled by, and make up provided by Leanne Hume of leanneelisabethstudios.
So youve seen the stripes, why the reference to Bars……nope nothing to do with windows, merely the location we chose for applying make up was a bar in Coventry 🙂