Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some recent fashion images...

I was recently asked to shoot this seasons look book for a Ethical clothing label called Miksa. These a are just a few images from the shoot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back to the moving image...

I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I picked up a copy of British Journal of Photography to see the familiar face of Edmond Terakopian reviewing the Canon 5D mkII. I've met Edmond a few times now; he's an incredibly open and friendly source of advice on all things technical, and amusing person to chat to in the pub. I was not surprised therefore to see that BJP and got him to do a two part review on the Canon 5D. If you head over to his blog you can also see a video he shot with it (in a vague tribute to Laforet perhaps?), usefully he shot a lot of it in low light to really show of the cameras capabilies. Apparently so far it's had over 20,000 views - you can check it out here. His blog is also worth check out with its frequent gear reviews and other pearls of technical wisdom.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The New 'Speedlight prokit'

I recently found that the following Speedlight Prokit has started to go on sale in the UK. It's interesting to see that an upsurge in the use of speedlights, arguably fueled by independent websites such as Strobist, is naturally leading to companies to produce more accessories to meet the growing demand. Whether or not these things are value for money is another matter, the ProKit 4 set is currently advertised on the website as going for £79.99 for what is essentially some folded plastic bits and pieces that many keen enthusiasts have been DIYing for years. Of course these look far more professional and therefore photographers are less likely to shy away from using them in front of a client as some would with their 'sticky-back-plastic-modified-cereal-packet-snoot-system'. Still, persoanlly, I'm not sure I'll be reaching into my wallet just yet.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recent Editorial: Camden Booze Bus

This set of images was a recent editorial job for London's Time Out on the Camden 'Booze Bus'. Three paramedics were on duty with the 'booze bus', a trial system using a modified ambulance that aims to tackle alcohol related incidents in order to prevent the clogging up of hospital A&E beds.
And this was how it came out in this week's magazine. Initially thought it was going to be just the one picture - but they decided to do a mini mini spread.

Recent corporate portraits

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gaza demo, London

A shot from the demo on Saturday (17th January 2009) in central London.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Vanity Fair - 2008 in images

© Larry Fink
As you'd expect, quite lot of glitz and glamour shots in this portfolio, but it's still worth checking out, especially to see the odd Larry Fink image for the Presidential campaign. You can view it here

Nadav Kander - Obama's People

A friend of mine recently bought to my attention Nadav Kander's latest work for the New York Times. It's a a portrait portfolio of the new Obama administration, on a par with Richard Avedon's 1976 chronicle of the political elite. It consists of the same kind of simply lit images that focuses all the attention on the subject matter, rather than any lighting or location wizardry.

The New York Times editors letter found here, quotes Roland Barthes as suggesting "that any time a subject steps in front of a camera to have his portrait taken, four people show up: who that individual thinks he is, who he wants others to think he is, who the photographer thinks the subject is and whom the photographer will try to make use of to bring about his art."

I certainly think they're an interesting set of images, far removed from the classic clean over produced images we are used to seeing of important people involved in politics. The images certainly have none of the confidence and glossy production of the Annie Leibowitz images of the the Bush administration for Vanity Fair's 'War and Destiny' issue from February 2002. There is something a lot more real and raw about them - to me they seem to show a variety of characters, many of whom look awkward, possibly even ill at ease, stripped bare by the photos. Kander has managed to make a bunch of men and women in suits come across in a unique and individual way. This was why he was bought in for the job, and as the NYT article goes on to say; "In 10 or 20 or 50 years, Kander’s portraits might not say “diversity” at all to a viewer; informed by events we cannot foresee, the pictures will come to be freighted with as-yet-unknowable meanings and to trigger undivinable emotions, though, being photographs, they undoubtedly will become poignant: all such portraits grow increasingly elegiac, making their way toward their ultimate fate, in a desk drawer or attic pile, as memento mori."
© All images Nadav Kander
You can see the full slideshow here. Also worth checking out the behind the scenes images with voice over, and for a different but amusing take on the behind the scenes images check out the APE take on things here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One more...

Okay okay so I know it's not photography related again but I really like the work of this dude too and I think he's well worth checking out. He's an illustrator called James Carey who uses a lot of photography (presumably shot by others) in his work, whether making it into montages or just scribbling all over it. Either way he's a very talented chap.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And now for something completely different...

copyright Dave Decat
Love this guys work, Dave Decat, really interesting illustrations. Also pretty cool is the photographs from the fair ground shooting range taken each year (you can see them half way down the page on the left and side). i shall probably be doing more of the random posts over the weeks, pointing out work I like and hopefully bringing some of it to your attention...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

From the still to the moving image...

With improvements in technology that have led to rise of the digital still image - it's no surprise that the natural progression meant improvements in digital moving imagery. It is also natural to see well known stills photographers move towards moving image as another string to their bow and another path in their career. I have however been noticing this more and more recently. Fashion photographers such as Steven Klein and Sean Ellis, Editorial and advertising photographers such as Mark Zibert and Art Streiber, and press photographers such as Sion Touhig. Of course with the latest SLRs from both Canon and Nikon having HD video included as features it'll become even more common for photographers to start multi tasking and shooting video along side stills. Obviosuly different photographers take different routes into moving images; advertising photographers such as Zibert tend to move into commercials as their creative skills are transferable. But for the fashion photographer Ellis he's taken it one step further and this year his second full length feature film Broken is due out, following the success of his 2006 film Cashback. Considering Cashback won 6 awards and was nominated for an Oscar Ellis' interest in film is not simply some side project. In fact in a recent inteview he claimed he was probably just a frustrated filmaker posing as a photographer all along. Film for him was a new challenge. For a man who spent a year taking at least one picture every single day for his book 365, such challenges seem part of his character.

Something I have been following of interest recently however is slightly less ambitious but still nevertheless challenging and pretty darn interesting. Vincent Laforet is currently using the RED camera and the new Canon 5D II to make a feature documentary on a Hawaii based surfer, he's been keeping people up to date with behind the scenes footage over at his blog. One shot was taken by strapping a 5D II to a model helicopter in order to get a sweeping boom arm effect across the beach and into the fields beyond. This project by Laforet is really showing what is to come in the field of moving imagery, especially in terms of creativity and quality in a package that is affordable to a lot more people than it has been before (well maybe not RED camera yet).
copyright Vincent Laforet. Above you can see how Canon lenses can be coupled with RED One Camera system. Laforets use of such lenses and shooting at speeds of 100fps mean some pretty spectacular footage.

Whereas digital cameras spelled the rise of flickr and online sharing with people the world over taking a renewed interest in photography - will the rise of these kinds of digital film cameras lead to more aspiring directors? Will the flickrs of tomorrow be hosting films rather than photos as the creative moving image becomes more accessible to the masses?