Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

Hi Everyone

Fallen Tree Stockgrove Park
It's Christmas Eve and I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!.

I've had a couple of days off already and took the opportunity to take my Hasselblad 500C out for a walk with my Son Harry at Stockgrove Park. I used Ilford HP5 Plus film which is rated at 400 ASA but can be pushed to 800 ASA if the light is poor.

I'll be shooting my Polaroid SLR 680 over the break too along with all my other film cameras. It's great to give the digital kit a break and have fun with film. I develop the film myself but I don't print as I don't have a darkroom. Instead I photograph the negatives with my Fuji XT-1 and 60mm Macro on a lightbox. This is much quicker than using a flatbed scanner and I think the quality is just as good.

I've got a busy January with the first commercial shoot in Manchester on 3rd and I think next year is going to be a busy one. I've also got an expedition to India to photograph in April which I am really looking forward to.

If you know anyone who has been given a digital camera for Christmas and who might like to learn the basics of photography then please let them know that my first workshop of 2018 is booked for Tuesday March 6th. It's a full day at the lovely De Vere Horwood Estate in Buckinghamshire and is great value at £95 inc breakfast and a full three course lunch. We'll cover all the basics of shutter speed and aperture and get everyone using their cameras in manual mode. This enables people to understand how their cameras work and helps them to get the most out of them. You can book online here -

Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Photography Workshop, Singing for Syria and Winslow Livestock Market ran my first photography workshop last week with a very keen and friendly group of aspiring photographers. I'll be running these regularly from next March and the first workshop is all based around teaching people to use their digital cameras in full manual mode. We run through all the basics of photography from ISO, aperture and shutter speed to white balance and composition.

I started my career 30 years ago working with manual film cameras and I still believe that learning these basics was a great starting point for me and I'm always happy to pass on this knowledge to people who are keen to learn how to work their DSLR without relying on the auto modes.

Getting ready for the judging
During the workshop I took a few snaps with my Pentax 67 medium format film camera and developed the film that evening. I'm still a big lover of film and developing you own is very easy and doesn't cost much at all!.

Winslow Livestock Market
On Monday I photographed the local livestock market in Winslow which I do every year and I give the pictures to the Winslow Facebook group and also to The Bell Hotel who sponsor the event. It's great to see the town so busy and vibrant. I took some shots this year with the Hasselblad and black and white film but most of them I took with my Fuji XT-1 with the superb Fuji 35mm f1.4 lens and also some with an old Canon fd 50mm lens adapted to my fuji.

We had a great time last Friday where the team and I filmed a flashmob at Marylebone Station for the Hands Up Foundation and Singing for Syria. We made the film for free as we thought it was a great cause and the film has been shared online thousands of times already. Here's the link to the film on Facebook :-
It's always good to help out good causes and to put something back!.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Steelcase and Milwaukee

Last week was almost a record for Redshift in terms of work!. Toni my colleague photographed the Leeds Art Gallery, an office development called Thorpe Park in Yorkshire and also the Spire Hosptial in Nottingham. All three were interior shoots and then to round off her week Toni went to London on Friday to photograph a round table talk for Wildwood PR.
Blade product shot

Moody banner imge
Meanwhile I had a shoot for Steelcase at their showroom in Farringdon where I took some shots of their furniture, some pictures at an event and also some portraits of their guests which was great fun. I took over 30 portraits with my Godox two flash setup and left one camera there set up ready to shoot and used my second camera to photograph the event as it unfolded.

Range shot 
I had an early start on Thursday morning and caught the 7am train from Kings Cross to Newcastle for a two day shoot with Milwaukee Power Tools up on a site on the coast about an hour north of Newcastle. I love these shoots as we get through lots of different tools and the guys at Milwaukee are great to work with as I get a lot of creative license with the setups and lighting. Our model Stephen was cool to and easy to work with.

I shot some pictures directly into the bright winter sun using high speed flash with my Fuji and the results right out of the camera looked very moody as I overpowered the sun and filled in the model with the flash. This is a technique that I really enjoy using and the Godox flashes are great for this as they are light and portable with a compact rechargeable battery pack for each head making them easy to carry around on site. They also have enough power to overcome the sunlight when in HSS (high speed flash) mode when fired at 1/4000th of a second.
Hasselblad 500C

Even though I've spent most of my life in this business I still love cameras, particularly film cameras, and I added a Hasselblad 500C to my collection this week which I will be shooting with next week. It's a beautiful camera and I'm looking forward to running some Ilford FP-4 and HP-5 though it asap.

I still have my two Canon F1 cameras and some FD lenses too along with an EOS 50 which I bought from a junk shop with a lens for £12!. My Pentax 67 kit also gets used as much as possible and I've just acquired a Polaroid SLR 680 too which is great fun and the instant film packs are readily available again now.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Lux Live 2017

LED Rope at Lux Live
We've just spent the past three days working at Lux Live 2017 at the eXcel centre in London. Lux Live is a two day exhibition of commercial lighting manufacturers and features a range of guest speakers and seminars too. We started early on Wednesday and worked through the day covering the show for the organisers providing both video and stills photography. Thursday was a very long day as we left the hotel at 6.30am and started work at 8am and finished at the exhibition at 4pm then went straight to the Intercontinental Hotel at Docklands to cover the awards evening too. We finally wrapped at 1am and arrived back at our hotel at 2am this morning.

Architectural wall lights
 Quite a couple of days but we got to meet lots of our valued customers in the lighting industry and we love working for Ray, Miriam and the team from Lux Live as they are lovely people to work with and we get looked after really well.

We arrived back at HQ in Bletchley at midday and spent the afternoon backing up the pictures and video files and issuing the pictures via Dropbox.

I'm doing a charity shoot tomorrow for the Soldiers of Oxford museum in Woodstock near Oxford and I'm looking forward to looking around and photographing the displays. I'll post a few pictures on the blog as soon as I get them processed.

Chloe Pentax 67 120 Roll Film
Fallen down barn Polaroid
I love to buy vintage cameras and classic cameras and I picked up a bargain last week on eBay where I scooped a Polaroid SLR 680 instant camera from the late 1980's. I love shooting all kinds of film from 35mm with my Canon F1's and medium format with my Pentax 67 system and now I get to shoot instant Polaroid film too!. The Polaroid brand has just been relaunched and the film packs are readily available in Jessops and other camera retailers in colour and black and white. It's not cheap at £19 for 8 sheets of film but the results are good and the cost makes you think about making each picture count. The same can be said for the big Pentax 67 camera that I use as a roll of 120 film is £6.99 and it costs £6 to develop each roll too. The 67 format only gives 8 pictures per roll so again you have to be thoughtful and not waste the shots - good practice I think in the days of digital were many photographers shoot hundreds of pictures on each job.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Pride in the Job Events

My shoot for the NHBC on Friday went very well and was the last in a series of regional events that cover the length and breadth of the UK. I am very lucky to get to cover these events every year and it's great to work with the events team at the NHBC and the guys at Lodestar who provide all the staging, AV and events services. Each year I photograph 11 regional awards every Friday from August to November and we have the grand finale in London in January to look forward to as well.

Regional winner from London on Friday

Toni and I am heading to London tomorrow for another two day event - this one the prestigious Lux Live exhibition and awards evening which is a bit like the Oscars for the lighting industry. It's great for me as I get to meet lots of ex colleagues from my days of working within commercial lighting and current customers too.

The event is at the eXcel centre in London which is a venue that I like too as there are plenty of good coffee outlets on site!.

I took my first two bookings for a photography workshop today which I'm running on November 20th and I will post some shots and a video from that to show you what we got up to - it should be great fun and I'm hoping the two attendees will learn a lot and have some fun too. I'm also planning a weekend workshop for January at the stunning Horwood House conference centre and hotel in Buckinghamshire. There will be 8 places available so please do let me know if this is of interest.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

In London tonight ahead of my last NHBC Pride in the Job regional awards job tomorrow.
I love London and always take the opportunity to walk around the West End with my Fuji X Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 lens - a great combination for low light street photography.

Here's a few of the snaps from the wander around.

Centre Point from Museum Street

The Camera Cafe and Museum - Museum Street London

The Camera Cafe again - very tempting!
 I've photographed Centre Point many times over the years including a commissioned shoot inside. I love the 1960's architecture.

It's a great landmark and I use it as a guide for finding my way through London on foot.
Street Performer Covent Garden

Hat Shop Covent Garden

The Camera Cafe and Museum on Museum Street is my favourite spot in London. They sell really great coffee, good food, have a meeting space and toilet, have a free camera museum AND they sell Hasselblads and film. What more could any photographer want.
If you pop in say Hi to Adrian from me!.

There are some great street performers in London and this guy was really top notch. He even lit himself with a Maglite torch on top of his metal case in the foreground.

As well as a love of all things photography I love a hat too. I nearly fell for a green felt Fedora but managed to resist. The £90 price tag did put me off a bit and the thought of explaining the cost to my Wife was the final blow.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

We're back on Blogger!

Well after nearly a year off trying out different blogging platforms we are back on Blogger again. It's without doubt my favourite blogging platform and I find the interface really easy to use.
2017 has been a really busy one for me and for Redshift Media Production. We've made some really cool films, photographed lots of superb venues and taken hundreds of portraits and product shots. I've also now launched my own personal website where I'm offering one to one and group workshops. I'm really looking forward to running these and to passing on my knowledge of photography.

Instead of trying to review a missing 11 months I'm going to start again!.

Yesterday Toni and I photographed the new Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell for our fab client Hoare Lea Lighting. We photographed the shopping centre in daylight and then again at dusk to capture the lit effect of the malls. Unfortunately we got a good soaking at the end but that did enable me to grab the shot below which I quite like.

Rainy night in Bracknell

Tomorrow I'm off to London to see some prospective clients and hopefully to pop in the the fabulous Camera Cafe in Museum Street - my favourite venue in London. I'm also going to pop into the Photographers Gallery just off Oxford Street for a look around. They also make a great cup of coffee there too.

Last time I visited there I did some street photography around the West End and I took my personal favourite photograph of the year of a homeless man and his dog.

Man with Dog Oxford Street London
I had a good chat with him and bought him a cup of Tea as a thank you for letting me take his picture.

I had some good news last week as I was awarded an honourable mention for my entry into the International Spider Awards for black and white photography. The picture as shown here was taken on a commercial shoot for AEG Powertools in the summer. Hopefully next year I'll go one better and win the thing outright!.
AEG Chainsaw

Please follow my blog for regular weekly updates from my world of commercial photography. Although like anything this career isn't always easy and certainly has it's ups and downs I wouldn't want to do anything else for a living!.