I had a wonderful 3 nights in Venice, Italy this Summer on a personal trip. It was my first visit to Venezia, and it really is a fantastic and awe-inspiring city to walk around.
The architecture and canal system with gondolas provide a perfect backdrop for photography, and you can find great lighting at any time of the day due to the narrow streets and tall buildings providing great contrast between shadow and sunlight.
The city is small and can easily be walked around during the day, although you have to navigate through the bustling crowds and over small bridges. Whilst you can become lost very quickly, you are never too far from a familiar point.
Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) was always busy but not uncomfortably so, even during our visit in the height of the summer. There were long queues to visit the Basilica, and it is worth getting up early to go to the top of the Campanile di San Marco (St Mark’s Bell Tower).
It is great to participate in themed group photoshoots to get creative ideas flowing and try out lighting setups. A recent local ‘Peaky Blinders’ group shoot in an industrial area of Leicester was ideal to try something new. With the Peaky Blinders TV series becoming ever more popular, with the airing on BBC and now NetFlix, there were plenty of models keen to take part and dress up for the occassion.
I had the chance to be involved in a Leicester studio photoshoot recently using ultraviolet light and paint only. This was a new technique for me as a photographer, and took a bit of trial and error to get the correct camera settings and lighting position. The combination of UV light and specialised paint on the model gives a very unique look. The colours certainly pop against the dark shadows. Very different results to my normal style of photography.
I had the pleasure of shooting with Lady-Viper from Purpleport recently. We were looking for a mix of a gothic look with slow-motion for an eerie / haunting style. Lady-Viper brought a wonderful selection of outfits and accessories, and we had fun experimenting with camera settings and motion to get the look we were after. All images in-camera, with Lightroom and Photoshop for cropping and colour grading.
Getting models, photographers and makeup artists in the studio at Halloween is a great mixture to create something a bit different. The MUA did incredible work body painting the models, and with minimal lighting we captured very moody images.
A photoshoot at my local Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome took advantage of the last of the summer sun for 2018 with glorious weather at a fantastic venue packed full of old aircraft. Bruntingthorpe is a family run business on a big scale, with the ex RAF base being used for storing of old military aircraft and a vehicle fast track proving ground.
We had the run of some areas of the site away from other activities, and with a group of photographers and models, we used the day to capture a unique set of images. It was fantastic fun, and with my Bowens lighting heads and Travelpak triggered by PocketWizards and Nikon D800 I was very pleased with the resultant set of images.
This set of images was from a recent street photoshoot in the city of Leicester on a very warm Sunday afternoon in the middle of the 2018 Summer heatwave. I love using urban areas in cities because of the wide range of backdrops that can be used – walls, doorways, factory entrances etc. I use my small speedlights to mix artificial lighting with natural lighting to provide a dynamic looking image. The side streets of a city are generally quiet on a weekend afternoon, so we can get on with creating a great set of images without too much interest from passers-by. It is a great way to capture fashion and portrait images with a little difference.
I managed to spend a few days in Finland in March, 2018 and grabbed a few hours at the end of each days to capture some images of the very cold winter climate around Turku.
Turku crossroads in the city centre.
Turku building lit with the late afternoon sun.
The snow is piled up on the sidestreets, and stays around for some time.
The setting sun providing backlight for the snowpiles.
Turku cathedral (1276-1300) with the frozen River Aura in the foreground.
Turku Cathedral is reported to be the most important religious building in Finland, rebuilt after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827.
Cracks in the ice of the frozen River Aura. The locals were quite relaxed about walking on the river, so when in Rome…
The setting sun on the frozen River Aura. A great way to exercise.
Local ships converted into restaurants and bars surrounded by the frozen water.
I started off 2018 with a few more trips to Norway, when the weather was still cold with snow covering the higher areas. I used my Fuji X-Pro1 with 18mm, 35mm and 56mm collection of prime lenses, as they are easy to pack in my carry-on baggage and provide fantastic image quality.
Traditional grass roof homes at the edge of a Fjord in Alesund.
Alesund harbour at night. It is amazing how much light in the sky there still is in the evening, captured with a camera long exposure, which has also smoothed out the water.
The mountains around Alesund. Shot whilst waiting for my colleagues to finish skiing in the area.
An aerial view of the harbour from Aksla viewpoint in Alesund
Residential properties are dotted around the base of many mountains in Norway, the glow of orange light giving away their position.
Industrial buildings on the edge of the water in very cold conditions.
Aksla viewpoint after a gentle dusting of snow the night before.
Residential and commercial properties at the waters edge in winter.
Alesund harbour lighthouse at night with a long exposure.
Alesund fisheries museum in the harbour, with the yellow building of Aspoy School in the background.
Local Norwegians depend on ferries for their day to day transportation.
A residential area against a backdrop of a wooded area signalling the start of a lovel walk back to the centre of Alesund.
A walk through the woods can be slippery in Winter without the right walking gear.
A view of the mountains through the trees. there are great viewpoints along the walk back to town.
Even though the snow and ice in town has disappeared, the slightly higher ground on the scenic walk showed the difference in ground temperature.
The statue Mot Havet (Seaward) in Alesund town centre overlooking the docks.
This large cruise ship appeared on the Saturday morning, providing activity for an otherwise very quiet weekend for Alesund.
Snow capped mountains lit by the morning sun.
Alesund at dusk, with the gorgeous blue light.
Alesund harbour at dusk.