30 November 2011

Studio Visit

Visited a studio in Belper last week and was pleased to see a Hasselblad being used for a product shot. It turned out that this was a test shot and even the photographer said that using the Hasselblad for this is:
"a bit like using a sledgehammer
to crack a nut".

Love it because we all over do it at times. When you need to get a result you use the equipment you have and if you have just got a new toy - then that is the best reason.

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Book Cover

The book cover has been prepared for the publisher. Lovely to see that my image for the cover has been used and incorporated into the design that Lance and Chris were working on - I think it looks fabulous. I will be buying many copies and handing them out for next Christmas! Family beware.

This is the part I am most proud of:

Here's the original image I handed over:

Lovely also to see that my head and shoulder shot has been used. Looks like it has been converted to black and white - very pleased with that too. Here's my original:

I'm very happy with the whole process for this. It was great fun to do. I had time to think things through. Equally I pushed myself as there were a couple of things I did that shoved me outside my comfort zone. Very satisfied with the results.
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21 November 2011

Head Shot

Got the chance to shoot an author today. Brilliant. Full studio set up and time to develop what I wanted to do.

Love these shots and really enjoyed doing this. This is my particular favourite:

Nick Corbett

The image is going to be used on the dust jacket of his latest novel. I am hoping that images I prepared on Saturday will be used for the book cover. If so I know what all my family will be getting for Christmas!

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20 November 2011

One Day Three Galleries

On a day trip to London one should never plan to do too much because there is never enough time. Three galleries in one trip sounded like a lot as we would be looking at four different exhibitions - but we were game.

First stop NPG - no nothing to do with Prince and the New Power Generation - get on.... But the National Portrait Gallery to see the finalists of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Red head with red guinea pig was the winner - better known as 'Harriet and Gentleman Jack' by Jooney Woodward. Up close and personal this is a stunning shot. There were two other portraits that caught my eye. One was the boy in shower 'Oliver' by Kelvin Murray and 'Happy at 100' by Karsten Thormaehlen. Before looking at the exhibition I went and had a look at my favourite portrait Johann Christian Bach by Thomas Gainsborough. It is a lovely painting.

Harriet and Gentleman Jack, 2010 - Jooney Woodward

Happy at 100, 2011 - Karsten Thormaehlen 

Oliver, 2011 - Kelvin Murray

Johann Christian Bach, 1735-1782 - Thomas Gainsborough c 1776 Oil on Canvas

Next was time for lunch which we enjoyed in an Italian around the back of the National Gallery. Then after watching Charlie Chaplin, Batman and a unicyclist entertain the crowd in Trafalgar Square (and also try to work out which rooftop they shot the reluctant bomber from in Spooks) we set off across the Thames to the South Bank and the Hayward Gallery.

Charlie Chaplin begging for money

The sun was making weird things happen to the Thames

Hayward Gallery:
Here the shows by George Condo 'Mental States' and Pipilotti Rist 'Eyeball Massage' were enjoyed. I had seen the interview Alistair Sookes had with George Condo on the Culture Show about this exhibition so it was rather startling to see this work for real. It is frankly disturbing, funny and challenging in equal measure. I don't like the demonic glee associated with the portraits he has created over the last decade - but I love his abstract work from the 80/90s. My favourites were 'Nothing is Important' 1985, 'Pink and Orange Abstraction' 1997 and 'Expanding Canvas' 1985.

Pink and Orange Abstraction, 1997 - George Condo
Image curteosy of www.pbs.org
Pipilotti is an artist who enjoys moving images and playing with how we view those pieces. It was all very entertaining, interesting and challenging. I loved the way the huge space was broken up into smaller spaces with the use of voile hanging from the ceiling. This separated her earlier work from the current work. My favourite was the small projection on the floor as a spot of light this drew the crowds because of the way it was viewed. Clever artist.

Heads waiting to go into the Hayward Gallery

Somerset House:
A stroll over Waterloo Bridge looking for the Shard and we were at Somerset House.
We were not entirely sure which building was which

The Dazed and Confused exhibition 'Making it up as we go along' is what we had come to see and very interesting it was. Intriguing portraits and some great ideas.
Dazed and Confused Show
Spent a lovely 15 mins watching the ice skaters and if I can work out how to download the video off my Flip and onto here I will show you it.

And then the journey home.

The jewel that is London at night

Conclusion: you can do 3 galleries in one trip and not feel worn out at the end of it.
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My dining room shall have a dual purpose when it is finally finished. Walls and ceiling now done, carpet laying last thing to do.

Once completed my plan is to use the wall space to showcase my work. Clients do occasionally call round and they will be able to see it up on the walls rather than the usual glimpse they have on my iPad.

Knowing I had planned this for the room I have ensured it is painted in plain light colours so that the work becomes the feature. No feature wallpaper for me. (A current trend I do not subscribe to).

The biggest piece will always hang above my gorgeous black and silver fireplace and I need to make sure I do not cover all the wall space with shelving units or book cases. It is going to be a challenge but one I will certainly enjoy.

Now I need to think about lighting and the windows. I have enough choices with lamps and spot lights to show off any work. But the windows are a different matter altogether. My curtains did not survive the wash I gave them. A whole new approach might be needed. I'm thinking black out blinds. This will also mean the images don't get direct sunlight on them. Win-Win.

Pics will follow when it's all complete. In the meantime here's one I prepared earlier...

As it all comes together it will look great ... or is that grate!

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16 November 2011

Anton Corbijn

One of my favourite photographers photographing one of my favourite bands is Anton Corbijn.

Joy Division 1979
His beautiful black and white images have become the key iconic images for bands - particularly U2 and Depeche Mode.

U2 Joshua Tree 
"His pictures may be used commercially, but they are never the mere fulfillment of a brief." Francis Hodgson writes in Anton's new book 'Inwards and Onwards' (published by Schirmer/Mosel).

Corbijn has recently started making movies. I think because, although photography forms his main avenue of business, filming offers him a new adventure. Photography, which he has been doing for 30 years, has become second nature to him and he needs the challenges that filming provides. 

The man is clearly an artist and his work continues to inspire me.

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13 November 2011

Speedlite 580

Have borrowed another Speedlite 580 flash to see how they operate together. Had a bit of fun in the dining room setting them up and testing them.
Slave Unit in action

Then went out to a gig putting one onto the speakers and set myself up the other side of the stage.
Failure. The remote unit did not fire.
There's the slave unit not firing at the gig

Still trying to work out what went wrong because when I got home, with everything on the same settings, the remote unit fired.

An interesting dilemma.

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08 November 2011

Take Make

As Ansel Adams said:

"You don't take a photograph,
you make it."

I capture.
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Bouncing Becky - New Instructor

A pleasure to once again see Bouncing Becky to capture some images for her. This time she needed shots of her new instructor - Matt. We had loads of fun.

Matt taking a Bouncing Class

Becky introduces Matt
the newest employee of OneSixEight Fitness
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05 November 2011

Managing Contacts

I have been networking for a year now. Networks are constantly evolving beasts and at each meeting I will pick up new business cards or will add a contact number directly into my phone.

Decided I need to tidy all this up. I need what is in my phone, in my contacts folder on my iPad and on the business cards to all match.

I'm sure there is a clever way to do this - like some sort of sync app, or package or magical click of a button - that will make them all appear on each device. However I'm old school (and frankly have the oddest way of organising things) and so I have input them individually.

Yesterday I bought a business card wallet and filed them into relevant slots. It now contains all my WIBN contacts business cards. First dilemma was whether to file under first name, surname or company name. Wow that was a toughy. Decided on first name because that's how I know people. Lots of 'Js'.

Next was to get them onto my iPad. It, fortunately, files alphabetically under first name so I'm on a winner here. To make it really easy to spot my WIBN contacts in amongst friends and relatives I gave them all the prefix 'WIBN' (rather than Miss, Ms or Mrs). Crafty eh?

Finally my phone. Once everyone was in there I set up a folder called WIBN and all the ladies are neatly to be found in that folder. The final job is to add Twitter names.


Now I need to do the same for my network friends from NLB, think I need another business card wallet for that.

Crikey this really makes me realise just how many people I am now in regular contact with in connection with my business.

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04 November 2011

Lest we Forget

Please wear a poppy this coming week.
It doesn't mean you are religious
It doesn't mean you believe in war
It doesn't mean you believe in conflict
It doesn't mean you agree or disagree with any political party.
What it does mean is that you are conscious of the debt you owe to people who have paid - sometimes with their lives - to protect this country.

Wear your Poppy with Pride

Last year I went to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas and was touched to see this young soldier looking at the names of those that had fallen engraved into the walls of the centre piece monument. It was an extremely moving moment and I cried when I captured the image.

I hope he remains safe and returns to his family when his time spent serving this country is done. And it is for him and all those people engraved into that wall that I wear my Poppy this week.

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03 November 2011

WIBN Burton - success

Another smashing meeting with my Women in Business Network at Dovecliffe Hall Hotel.

I cannot believe how great these meetings are. Such great people doing such wonderful things - some so creative, some so supportive, some so practical - but all provided by women who are dedicated, passionate and inspiring.

Camera Appreciation - Gift Card

Today I promoted - for the first time - my camera appreciation gift card idea. These went down really well and I had five people showing interest, which I will follow up tomorrow. From zero to five in 60 seconds - that is brilliant. Plus I had one confirmed booking for some training for next week.

These gift cards will address the issues raised by comments I have had over the last few months and hopefully help people find unique gift ideas for their loved ones:

"My husband bought a camera but he never uses it cos I don't think he understands all the buttons."

"I'm going to buy my mum a camera can you teach her about photography so she gets the best from it."

"My daughter is going to study Art and part of that is photography can you see if she is talented."

"I have loads of images on my computer
but I don't know what to do with them."

I cannot praise our organiser enough - the wonderful Rebecca Hogarth. The business that comes my way through these meetings is directly down to her - so I thank her, most sincerely. If any of you reading this are interested in attending then please email me. If you are a woman in business then I whole heartedly recommend you find a local business network and make it work for you too.

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02 November 2011

Exhibitions 2012

Making plans for exhibitions in 2012. I would like to have more bites at the cherry this time. I intend to create a schedule that will involve one set of work being exhibited in three different places. At the moment the plans are still in the discussion/ideas stage but as they stand it will mean two shows in London and one in Derby.

This would suit my local network people as they said they could not get down to London last year - but I know they would be more than happy to support me and attend an exhibition closer to home.

This is all part of the plan to get more people to see my work.

Watch this space as this idea unfolds. I might be asking for support so be ready to respond.

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Now here's something I haven't done for a while - a bit of photo restoration work. Have been asked to give a quote. Hope they want me to do it because I find it very satisfying.

Here's one I restored for my family, it's a photograph of my Uncle Pete and Uncle Tony taken in the 1950s: 

And I also sorted out an image for my neighbour. This was taken in the 60s when he had received his very new police bike:

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