Sunday 27 June 2010

Final 40

A sunset at Whitby - North Yorkshire, UK

I'm coming to the final stages of my Solo Photo Book Month project 2010. I have just over a week to shoot more photos and design the book. Plenty of time. So far, I have around 47 image so far and i think I'll get more photographs this week to make the number of final working book photos come to around 60. From that, I'll edit it down to the final 40.

The photographs I've taken have been a great mix of styles that i described in an audioBoo podcast as 'snapshots'.  Maybe not a totally accurate way of describing the image capturing process, but it's close enough. Has the project turned out as i expected? Yes, better than I'd imagined actually.

My SoFoBoMo project book 'Making Movies' will be uploaded on July 7th and a download link made available on that day from the blog and my website.

Friday 18 June 2010

Staff Only

A 'Staff Only' still life found on a door at Goathland Railway Station, up on the North Yorkshire moors.

I love the red shades of colour mixing with light and shadow, the lines within the door, the various marks on the door from years of use and the fact that the keyhole cover sits at a jaunty angle.

Sunday 13 June 2010

SoFoBoMo Week One

The film's director lines up the camera for a take

The Solo Photo Book Month project has started strongly. I need a minimum of 35 photographs for my book detailing the making of the vampire film 'Christian', and i already have around 9 that i am pleased with. The Polaroid look works great too, creating a familiar laid back look to the images. The book layout and design will start next weekend, ready for me to easily add photographs later this month. Alongside the photography, I'm also shooting video on the phone with surprisingly good results.

More photography is on the way. This week, I have a load of promotional photography to take of the various film characters for the posters, website, DVD box cover, etc, etc. I'll be using a combination of digital and film to get those, although it will be the b&w film shots that I'll be paying extra attention too. A mixture of 35mm and 6x6 film will be used for the portraits that will have a Gothic flavour to them. Lighting at night will be tricky but I'll use available street light, portable lights and flash as and when needed. I always adore a lighting challenge.

The weekend has seen me working to rid myself of a bad cold ASAP. I may, or may not, make it to Monday night's shoot. I don't know yet if I'll be fit enough yet, although it seems to be going.... slowly. I suppose that I'll make that decision on Monday morning. Colds are easy to catch, and sadly, less easy to shake off. Fingers crossed i can loose it quickly. I don't want to infect the entire cast and crew with my cold.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Vampire Nights

Actor Carl Isherwood (Christian) through the movie camera viewfinder

The filming of the vampire movie 'Christian' commenced yesterday and i have to admit that i had quite a lot of fun. As the director of photography it's my task to help the director with the visual style of the film. Lighting and the framing of scenes are really the essence of what a DoP does. I love lighting stuff.

The shooting will continue during weekday nights for around four weeks, possibly longer depending on the weather/technical problems etc. The film' website can be found at . Check out the movie's Twitter feed too for audio and video podcasts, photos and updates direct from the film set.

Friday 4 June 2010

All that Jazz

Dexter Gordon, Royal Roost, NYC, 1948 - photograph by Hermann Leonard

Long ago, when i was a student, i had a housemate and friend called Andy who was a massive jazz fan. Andy was a photographer who had combined his passion for music with his photography resulting in a superb collection of jazz portraits/concert photographs. The jazz clubs and festivals in Newcastle Upon Tyne acted as the perfect place to develop his portfolio.

A big influence over Andy's work was Hermann Leonard, an american photographer who photographed many of the jazz greats of the 1940's. Leonard's work fused the atmosphere of the smokey jazz clubs with the performance and persona of the artist he was photographing. The resulting images are among the greatest photographs of pro musicians at work ever taken.

As i wandered through the internet today, i came across Hermann Leonard's website, and his magnificent images in the portfolio section brought back all kinds of great memories of late night photography discussions as a Miles Davis album played in the background. Great days. Even if you aren't a big fan of jazz music, I'd recommend taking a look at Leonard's work. It is the work of a true master.

Hermann Leonard's website can be found at