Sunday, April 24, 2011


I have almost become obsessed with Blossom in the trees. A few years ago I tried to shoot a series on Medium format. I shot about three or four rolls, have them developed and was happy with only a handful. The biggest issue I face is the wind blowing the branches, regardless of focus and shutter speed it always has an effect I'm not happy with. Technically 1/125 or higher should freeze any movement, of course coupled with the right focal length it should good. So any way I tired again - only this time on Digital, handholding and shooting wide open at f2.8 to drop off the background.

Almost spelling out a word!

Although no Blossom I just love the 'Acid' Green against the Bottle Blue Sky
My only complaint this time was leaving it too late. I've been adoring these Blossoms for weeks, and now the leaves are turning yellow and flowers dropping..... next year though I'll perfect it!

Analysis of photographers - Steven Lippman

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture given by Tom Ford of Getty (name needs to be verified dw)  One of the most valuable messages I gleaned, was the importance to keep photographing what you like. It is important to create a style that is your own, then to work around it and people will look for your work.

I am currently going through the process to define this myself, and create a new website which reflects this. I know this will take some time, and also a lot of failed attempts before I get it right. At the moment I'm looking at other photographers websites for inspiration.

I came across this photographer Steven Lippman (link) and was instantly drawn by this image

I love the close cropping and saturation of colours, it inspires me on account of it being a beautiful portrait. So it made me look further into his work.

Again another example of vibrant colours, which I'm sure Epson searched out. The background of the photographer is perhaps influenced from living in LA and growing up near the beaches surrounding. He also comes from a Skating and Surfing heritage / which again I'm sure has moulded his style and working practices.

From looking through his work it is evident that he composes his subjects to the right of the frame. I looked through lots of his work, and this does indeed follow through. He has a massive portfolio of impressive clients, and even some video direction in advertising clips.

The one area that I would consider a weakness is his Celebrity folio. I was disappointed with an otherwise impressive collection. Again a certain amount of framing to the right, but not only that but some un-inspiring photos. I do understand their are constraints, for example some celebrities have requirements. There is a time limit and no doubt creative control is constrained by contracts, but sadly none of his portraits capture the subjects soul - which to me is something I love to see and look for myself in that line of work.

All images reproduced from Steven Lippman for the purpose of study, and will be removed if requested by agents or photographer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Istanbul - Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul built by Sultan Ahmet in 1609 dominates the city with it's impressive six minarets. The official name is Sultanahmet Mosque, however the name 'Blue Mosque' was given on account of the 20,000 blue tiles that adorn the celling inside. In the Islamic faith building a Mosque is considered to be a declaration of ones faith. This legacy is an incredible vision well worth visiting.


Considerations when shooting this subject:

Firstly like any place of worship sensitivity and obeying all rules are necessary. This can be frustrating as many images you would like to explore are out of bounds. Primarily they can fall under a personal code of ethics, such as photographing prayer. Towards the rear of the Mosque where women are permitted to pray, some incredible photographs could have been captured - a woman's face almost in tears as she went through her obligatory Sujud prostrations.

The time that I arrived on both occasions was around 7 o'clock, I really wanted to capture the Mosque in 'colour' during my visit the skies were very grey, and no chance of blue skies. So I made sure that I took some photographs at night knowing the building would be illuminated. This is well illustrated in the very first image taken at 19:14 and only 30 mins later the last image at 19:45.

Also consideration to mixed light sources and colour balance needs to be accounted for. It would seem you either embrace the mixed casts or try to correct through post production. I have left it on most of these as I prefer the feel that it gives. Although perhaps not as you would have seen it, the results are still pleasing.

Converging verticals: also play a part - more so with wide angle usage. I think in the future I might use a wider view to start with, then allow for post production of correcting these. A larger canvas is required to pull and stretch the image out, then crop to a 'standard photo format'.

Also the use of a tripod. I had one back at the hotel, but as this was taken during my 12 hour shoot it was left behind. Instead these were shot 'hand-held' using a higher ISO typically around 1/30-1/60 at f2.8 exposure. This all effects the quality for reproduction at a higher print size. In retrospect covering this subject should have been one days shooting, taking time and exploring more angles.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Istanbul - final edit of the 12 hour shoot.

I have finally created my final edit of 12 hours of street photography on Istanbul. This previous page (link) explains the parameters and ideology behind this project. The other page (link) is a reflection of the process.

I will include a caption under the photography just the time frame it was taken within, and the quantity of photographs it was selected from; I've also added  brief explanation of why they were included.

Ironically enough these may not the best of the day - as I am now starting to see possible sets, and saving greater images for different posts that will follow. Hopefully however this will reflect 12 hours on the streets of this amazing city.

08:53-08:57 edit from 6
09:11-09:59 edit from 17
10:01-10:56 edit from 45
11:04-11:52 edit from 79
12:02-12:56 edit from 50
13:50-13:57 edit from 5
14:00-14:59 edit from 56
15:01-15:58 edit from 41
16:00-16:58 edit from 43
17:00-17:56 edit from 31
18:06-18:56 edit of 3
19:11-19:51 edit of 66
1.  I made a mistake here as I was running late and had taken too long getting ready and enjoying a heavy breakfast. This resulted in only 6 images to choose from. It was either the man who I ate with later, a street cat or some men working on a building site. I made this inclusion as I felt it represented the food in abundance in tourist areas.

2. I love this mans disinterested look regardless of the women lingerie - this was shot from the hip

3. This will form part of a series about freight being moved around. These men were moving these boxes by hand up steep side streets.

4. Areas of Istanbul are defined by stores this was the tool and machinery zone.

5. Sales of private lottery tickets not just from small carts but a well arranged business.

6. Only 5 images - I think it was at this point I wanted food. I was trying to compose this graffiti, when this woman walked into shot. Moments later the car just out of shot to the right moved in. This was one of those poetic photographic moments where everything falls into place.

7. I had to include this as I found the visual pun difficult to resist, I mean I guess they have satellite right?

8. I took a long walk along the Bosporus sea, many people sit and eat small lunches. This day only a handful of people braved the cold wind.

9. Some what a reflective image. The way the statue looks over some refuge.

10.  This has been included as it would represent the amount of stray animals. The Dogs are tagged and checked for rabies. However they sleep anywhere without a care for human traffic.

11.  Only of Three as the man in frame insisted that he visited his shop. I then must have spend nearly an hour looking over carpets - experiencing the hard sell. I guess there was an exchange of sorts, his photograph taken for my time.

12. The light was failing I visited the 'Blue Mosque' you could photograph anything but people praying. The roof structure inside was amazing. I'll post image from this later, however for me this symbolized the end of my day. With a low angle I was able to highlight this couple, once again pure poetry for twelve hours work.