As the title suggests I have been away for the past month doing various things. I am in the process of putting together a behind the scenes edit of my trip to India which was an incredible experience. I am also going to release behind the scenes at the English Championships Slopestyle Champs! So lots to come in the next week, I will also be putting together another newsletter which will be sent out soon.
Often we take for granted what is right on our doorstep, and how much beauty there is around us. And I know it might be a cliché to say that but it is true and I am definitely guilty of taking for granted whats right in front of me. I go on these trips around the world to various countries, normally cold ones in the middle of winter with incredible scenery whilst I am there I capture as many photos as I can with the mindset that I might not get the chance to come back, so I best make the most of it. Obviously this is not a bad thing when I am on a trip because I get a lot of photos that I can use, but I come home and am so eager to get away again on the next trip that I forget the UK has some pretty incredible scenery and landscapes. So don’t forget to pick up your camera and just take a few photos close to home, you may be surprised at you results!
The other day I watched a video on how to create a black backdrop without having a black backdrop! Now this is nothing new and many photographers have done this but I thought I would try myself and see what my images would come out like. Knowing how to do this can be really useful for making photos look like they are shot in the studio when they are actually just shot on location, and in this case they were just shot in my garden. Another good thing about this technique is that you can produce professional studio quality photographs with really no kit. There is no need for expensive lighting equipement and the technique itself is very simple.
The set up: 1 Nikon SB-900 pointed at the models face (held by my brother)
First you expose your shot without using a flash. You want this shot to come up completely black, so shoot on the lowest ISO, and as fast as your flash sync speed will allow, this is usually between 1/200 and 1/250. From there adjust your aperture until you get a completely black photograph. The next step is simple, use your speedlight, set the power accordingly, generally with the speedlight’s you will have to use full power because of the very little amount of light coming into the camera. And from there you just get creative and move the speedlight about until you get the shot you want. Here is what I managed to get:
Now after seeing what I have managed to achieve get out there and shoot!
So a the other day I said I manage to get an old Kodak Instamatic 50 camera that shots 126 film which can then be reloaded with standard 35mm film. I took a trip to Wales the other day and shot a roll of 126 film with my Instamatic, the film is now developed and I am pretty happy with some of my shots. Check out the gallery here: http://www.brandonfoto.com/?gallery=kodak-instamatic-50-2
Over the weekend I went to a car boot sale. And if you ever want a classic 35mm or any older camera you should go to your closest car boot sale; there were boxes and boxes of cameras. I guess a large majority might not work but you are only paying a couple of quid for the camera so it could be a good decorative piece if all else fails!
Anyway, I bought a 50 year old Kodak Instamatic 50. This is truly a classic camera, it uses 126 film which I managed to track down and it is now loaded in my camera ready to be used. Looking at all the old cameras at the car boot sale got me thinking about how I got started in photography. One of the first cameras I used was just a simple point and shoot 35mm camera that my parents bought me. I then read an article about how times have changed, it made me feel really old, but it was true and brought up some points which made me think. One of them was that children today can get really cheap digital cameras to use, and when I started as I said it was a basic 35mm snapper! However as much as I am a huge technology lover and any new gimmick or piece of techy equipement I want it! But it is so nice to just go back to your roots and shoot with film. It is how some of the best photographers in the world learnt the basics, it is how I learnt the basics! I still shoot film today and I use my mom’s first ever camera she got a Ricoh KR-10 Super, and it works perfectly, I would go as far as to say I reckon my children will be using it! What was your first camera? I would love to hear what you used!
I will post up some photos from my Instamatic 50 as soon as I get some shots and develop the film.
126 film loaded and ready to go
As I have already said I am starting a web series called behind my lens where everyone will be able to find out exactly what goes on during my photo shoots. I have always watched behind the scenes videos from loads of other photographers and I find them to be really interesting. So watch the first one in the series and I hope you like them!
I recently did a job for Right To Play at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club. Whilst I was working I set up my GoPro Hero 3 to capture a lot of photos so I could put together this short time lapse. I am starting to really enjoy the possibilites of time lapse photography and I will be putting a lot more out very soon, I am just getting used to how it everything works.
I have also been working on a new intro for my videos for a web series I am calling “Behind My Lens”. So this is the first video I have uploaded with the new introduction.
Check it out:
Last Friday I did another shoot for Right To Play UK. This time it was of their 5Km fun run at Battersea Park. It was a nice evening and I managed to get some good shots, which Right To Play are using on their website now. Check it out here!
I have been doing freelance work for Right To Play for nearly a year now and have done quiet a few events for them, it has always been a pleasure to work for them and so far I have always been pleased with what I have been able to take. The next event I will be doing for them is their annual football tournament which is held at Chelsea Football Clubs ground. This was the first job I ever did for Right To Play and things have come a long way since then, I am looking forward to it and I will post up some of the photos from the day here.
I also wanted to say that I have a lot more photos from the day that Right To Play did not publish. So if anyone wants any of the photos from the day and wants me to look and see if I can find some more for them, feel free to get in touch with me and I will be more than happy to help out.
Here is a few photos from Friday which I liked:
If you have not already heard the UK has changed it’s copyright law. It is called the “Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill” and it received Royal Assent on the 26th April. This bill allows the government to introduce, through regulations, controversial copyright reforms. If a work is deemed to be “orphaned” then it can be used as long as there has been a good enough search to try find out who owns the work.
As photographers we are constantly in a fight to retain the ownership of our images especially with huge social media sites like Facebook and Flickr actually removing metadata from photographs! This really emphasises just how important it is, more than ever before, to have your photographs correctly copyrighted with all of the metadata embedded in the image, as well as using a watermark. Already apps like Marksta are around so you can take precautions when you upload photos from your phone.
This bill is just giving the huge companies potentially more power to go and basically steal photographs and use them for whatever they want without crediting the owner, let alone paying them a penny! Even though the bill has received Royal Assent the proposed copyright changes have not yet been approved by the government, however if it does get approved then all sorts of ridiculous copyright laws could be passed as all MP’s have the power to do is to vote yes or no, they cannot make changes to the bills. Basically all of this is completely ridiculous!
Now is the chance to make a stand, as a photographer I have already signed this e-petition and I think everyone who works in the creative should do the same because it is not just photographs that could be stolen, graphics and artwork can just the same. Here is the link to sign the petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49422
And if you would like more information and in more detail about the new copyright laws check out this blog post on PetaPixel.
So, a little while ago I said I was working on a new project which involved skiing and LED’s and all sorts of cool stuff. I posted the photos of my brother in the garden skiing and they were just my test shoots. I have now finished the entire project, and I have used flares and smoke grenades as well as the LED lights to get my final photographs. The finished photographs were put into a digital magazine as well as a print version. You can order a copy of the print magazine if you follow this link: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/517929?__r=324799 Alternatively if you are lucky enough to have an iPad get in touch with me and I will give you the instructions for how to install the app onto your iPad so you can view my work in an interactive way, which includes videos of the shoots and some explanation for how I did everything. Here are some of the photos from the shoot, if you want to see more follow this link: http://www.brandonfoto.com/?gallery=flares-smoke-grenades-and-leds Also check out a short video of what went down when we did the shoots: