Giving back
March 21, 2018 by GordonM in people, portrait 0 Comments

Reading this article on RangeFinderOnline about photographers giving back resonated with me a great deal as I’ve been wanting to do something along these lines for a long, long time but work and being busy always seemed to get in the way.  It’s probably unlikely that I’ll ever stop being busy doing the things I love, and often for the people I love, but now being at least semi-retired there are no excuses to make good or better use of my time. In my previous line of work in education and just generally in my life, it’s always been important to me to help, to guide, to give of my time to those who’d like to improve themselves or to help with their career aspirations.  So I was pleased to talk to some people at the NEC Photography Show yesterday about the possibilities and now looking forward to seeing what might come of some of the ideas I’ve been having. Are you or can you find the time to be giving back?

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How was that photo lit?
January 27, 2018 by GordonM in lighting, portrait, Workshops 0 Comments

Rather than tell you how a photo was lit I’m going to give you some tips that I give photographers on my workshops so you can work it out for yourself, I’m a believer in the old philosophy Give a man a fish …. feed him for a day Teach a man how to fish … feed him for a lifetime 1. Look for highlights in the eyes … a. that will show you the direction and how high or low the light was in comparison to the model’s face. b. the number of highlights will tell you how many lights/reflectors were used from the front c. the shape of the highlight will usually tell you what type of light was used eg. square/rectangular – softbox, round – umbrella, octabox, bare reflector bowl or beauty dish 2. Which is the brighter side of the model … the light (or at least the brightest light) was coming from that direction 3. Where are the shadows …. eg. shadows on the left of the nose then light is coming from the right. eg. shadows under the nose, chin, boobs etc, then the light was coming from above. Shadows on the background or […]

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Something a little bit different
January 23, 2018 by GordonM in gear, people, portrait 0 Comments

Sometimes for the sake of creativity, perhaps even sanity, I have to do a different style of model photography.  Not that there’s anything wrong with what I was currently doing as far as I was concerned, but doing something different challenges you and causes you to research styles and techniques and therefore learn something new.  And this was how it was for this particular occasion. I haven’t shot glamour for a long time and when I did, it was a Page 3 style of glamour with both well-known and aspiring Page 3 and Lads Mags models.  I was never one for what I call a crass style of glamour photography, which although isn’t classed as porn, in my opinion it really doesn’t show off female models in the best light as I think it can sometimes look quite degrading.  But that as I say is my personal opinion.   However, it seems to be popular with amateur and some professional photographers and even aspiring models, but in reality when you look at the glamour marketplace, it’s a style that I consider to be really old-fashioned. Nowadays, glamour is much more natural occurring rather than traditionally posed shots and for that reason […]

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No Makeup Project – Shoot with Saff
November 18, 2017 by GordonM in gear, people, portrait, project 0 Comments

It was a really bright sunny July day in Haverhill when Saffron Jaye Richardson and I got together for the next shoot in my no-makeup project.  I first met Saff when we both went out to Mallorca last year for a few days shooting fashion.  This was a very successful and enjoyable trip, we got along well and the photos were terrific.  Saff is a model who is always immaculately turned out, does her own makeup which is top-notch and when posing gives off an aura of elegance and sophistication. So to agree to this no-makeup shoot was a significant step for her and she admitted to being really nervous as it would be the first time on a photoshoot without makeup.  I reassured her that she had no need to worry, she looked terrific and what with her recent hair colour change to brunette, I could immediately see that the photos would turn out great.  If I could tame the light from the sunny day that is. The bright sun was giving lots of harsh shadow and with no makeup shoots you have always got to be careful with lighting so as to not show up any imperfections on […]

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No makeup project shoot with Melissa Alice
April 7, 2017 by GordonM in fashion, people, portrait, project 0 Comments

Melissa Alice lives not too far away from me and she had some availability to come to the studio to work on this project shoot. I saw one of her photos on an internet modelling website and just loved the look of her curly hair and she would be just perfect for my no-makeup project. She was keen too so we set a time and date for last weekend and I planned to do the no-makeup look for probably just over an hour and then spend some more time with her on some different looks with makeup. I was hoping the weather was going to be a bit brighter but unfortunately it was a little dull and drizzly outside so the amount of light coming through the window was not too great, but not too bad overall sometimes or so I thought. Looking at the data for the shots for different sets though, there actually were big differences in the ISO between sets. The first set started off reasonably low at 640 ISO as I was using the 56mm wide open at f1.2: The second set I needed a wider angle for the sat down shots and so had to swap over […]

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No makeup project with Georgia Annable
March 31, 2017 by GordonM in people, portrait, project 0 Comments

It was a nice sunny day, although a little chilly, when I turned up for a shoot with actress and model Georgia Annable after she had been in touch and wanted to be part of my no-makeup project.  I have worked with Georgia before on her family’s farm smallholding and there were some nice buildings that would give us cover if it were to rain, or as was the case on this day, to provide some cover overhead to block out the strong and contrasty light from the sun. Good lighting plays an important part in this project as too much contrasty light, from the side particularly, will show up any flaws on the skin.  Georgia had great skin but as I’ve said to all the models in this project, I’m not out to embarrass any of them and that I would always strive to get nice lighting that complements the natural beauty we are trying to achieve.    With this in mind and armed with a Fuji X-T2 with 56mm f1.2 attached set to a wide aperture in aperture priority, I positioned Georgia just under the canopy of a small lean-to used for storing a tractor and some straw […]

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