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Untitled (Novella)

I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a very, very long time, but I am planning to be regularly blogging soonish, so this is a quick update for anyone still following my work on here. In many ways, I think that this will be the main port of call for publishing my work online, and I plan to blog a lot more about my images, the processes behind them, online and offline inspirations, and about topics and themes that inform my work!

So here’s is my Novella series so far:

Untitled #1 (Novella)

Untitled #2 (Novella)Untitled #3 (Novella)Untitled #4 (Novella)Untitled#5(Novella)Untitled#6(Novella)Untitled#7 (Novella)Untitled#8 (Novella)Untitled#9 (Novella)Untitled#10 (Novella)Untitled#11(Novella)Untitled#12(Novella)Untitled#13(Novella)Untitled#14(Novella)Untitled#15(Novella)

I’ve finally shot and compiled images #1-#15, with images #16, #17 & #18 sitting on my desktop. I’m quite happy with the series so far, but I really need to travel a bit more and shoot more varying images/landscapes other than buildings and trees, and to get away from all of the greenery in my work! I really, really, want to use other people in this series as I think that it would be great to be able to direct people and consider the human/nature elements of the images a lot more, rather than trying to find images that correlate in some way. Perhaps I should map and plan the images out beforehand? This series was supposed to be more observational and easy going, but it’s actually turned out to become very structured, which I didn’t expect.

I have several favourites from the series so far, such as Untitled #3 and Untitled #11:

For some reason, these image just work aesthetically for me; they seem to ooze a sense of unresolved drama and mystery and I find myself wondering just how each of the images are connected.

 

Do you have a favourite image from the series so far?

New Year Reflection #1

profileimage

I shot this image about 4 years ago, in the corner of the common room at university.

I never would have thought that this many years later it would come to be face of my brand, representing the genre bending fine art & fashion work I aim to produce. I’m aware that my work is nowhere near at the level I want it to be and at times I worry greatly about this. But this is a new year. It’s time to let go of any doubts and fears that have held me back. Now is the time to go forward and grow!

Filip @ Grace Model Management

My thoughts on my test shoot with Filip @ Gracemodelmanagement and how I adapted to working with the environment to produce different lighting techniques.

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A Colourful World

It’s A Colourful World

Colour is one of the most important aspects of my photography, regardless of what genre I am shooting.

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I love using colour; the way that it can both hinder and help you to get across the deeper meanings within your images, whilst also being full of ambiguity is such an exciting prospect.

I hardly ever shoot an image purely in black and white, and even the ones that are have been converted after the fact. I am not the biggest fan of black and white imagery but I do have a few plans to shoot some of my own images, maybe even a series, using black and white.

Finding the right balance of colour within an image, is for me at least, an enjoyable yet extremely organic process. Most often than not, I do not determine the final outlook of a ‘completed ‘ image, it is decided with 1-4 hours of editing and around 30+ layers.

Take my two images, The Eleventh Day and These Days:

Comparision

When placed side by side, they are quite similar in terms of colour but if you look at the layers in both images, you will see that they vastly differ. For The Eleventh Day, there are over 3 times more layers than These Days.

The Eleventh day Layers 1

 

The Eleventh Day Layers 2

 

These Days Layers

I use a lot of curves layers (set to luminosity so that only the colour is affected) as well as solid colour layers (often set to colour blending mode) as this decreases the chance of colour banding, which is a nightmare.

So, as you can see, I never take color grading my images lightly particularly as I think that colour is one way to heighten the appeal of images as being otherworldly, not matter how much they are rooted in reality.

In fact, I say colour grading because the main influences for my photography stem from cinematography.

I’ve always wanted my work to be cinematic, so I thought that there would be no better way to do this then to look at and study cinematography, which if rife with interesting colour combinations.

Here are a few of my favourite film stills to give you an idea of the kind of colour schemes I look at:

 

Melancholia

Melancholy
Director: Lars Von Trier

 

Inside Llwyn DavisInside Llweyln Davis
Director: The Coen Brothers

RideRide (Lana Del Rey)
Director: Anthony Mendler

Road To PerditonThe Road to Perdition:
Director: Sam Mendes

ShameShame
Director: Steve McQueen

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Wes Anderson

What colours do you use in your work?

What is your favourite colour to photograph and why?

The Eleventh Day: The Editing Process

When I shot this image, I wanted to create this story about a character that was trapped, his past behind him and his future in front of him. I wanted the image to be that in-between moment of indecision. Should he go back to the house and stay there or should he venture out into to the unknown where it could be dangerous or potentially harmful? I called the image The Eleventh Day because I wanted to insinuate that the character has taken a long time to consider what they are going to do and they have left it to the Eleventh Day to decide.

In terms of editing, I looked at a lot of film stills to give me an idea of cinematic grading. I had a specific colour palette in mind- blues and greens- and I stuck with it but I added a few colours that I hadn’t intended to. What I like most about my post processing is that it is such an organic process. I start out with an idea of which colours I would like to use and a general idea of what I want the end image to look like, but I’m extremely open when it comes to editing my images. Sometimes the end result is completely different to what I had anticipated.

Here is my editing process for my image, The Eleventh Day. As you can see, I use a lot of curve adjustment layers, solid colour layers and a few textures. The stormy sky was added right at the end on a whim. I’d never planned to put it there but I felt that the image needed a bit more drama and I like to think that the storminess of the sky reflects the character’s clouded mind.

 

The Eleventh Day: The Editing Process

When I shot this image, I wanted to create this story about a character that was trapped, his past behind him and his future in front of him. I wanted the image to be that in-between moment of indecision. Should he go back to the house and stay there or should he venture out into to the unknown where it could be dangerous or potentially harmful? I called the image The Eleventh Day because I wanted to insinuate that the character has taken a long time to consider what they are going to do and they have left it to the Eleventh Day to decide.

In terms of editing, I looked at a lot of film stills to give me an idea of cinematic grading. I had a specific colour palette in mind- blues and greens- and I stuck with it but I added a few colours that I hadn’t intended to. What I like most about my post processing is that it is such an organic process. I start out with an idea of which colours I would like to use and a general idea of what I want the end image to look like, but I’m extremely open when it comes to editing my images. Sometimes the end result is completely different to what I had anticipated.

Here is my editing process for my image, The Eleventh Day. As you can see, I use a lot of curve adjustment layers, solid colour layers and a few textures. The stormy sky was added right at the end on a whim. I’d never planned to put it there but I felt that the image needed a bit more drama and I like to think that the storminess of the sky reflects the character’s clouded mind.

 

Stop Shooting, Start Thinking

I’ve been coming up with a lot of new concepts over the past few weeks and as excited as I am to go out and shoot them, I decided that it would be in my best interests to do the complete opposite. This is because I don’t want to start shooting any random image that springs to mind; I want to create image that are both considered and I want to make sure that the images fit into the themes I explore through my photography.

Also, as I have a lot of different images floating around my mind, I was unsure of which image to shoot first and how I should go about deciding upon which idea would fit, both visually and aesthetically with the images I have already shot. The last thing I want to do is to shoot an image that is practically the same as the last one I shot. By considering what to shoot next, it means that when my images are placed side by side in chronological order, they will all differ but retain similar qualities and attributes. To figure out what to shoot next, I decided to analyze my work:

imagesanalysis

As you can see, I have made comparison between my images and wrote down key words that describe what I see within my work. By doing this, i have came to the conclusions that I need to shoot images at a more of a ¾ angle as well as use a range of camera angles. I feel that by doing this, it will really diversify my work.

I also decided to type up a small statement about my work and what it means to me as the creator. I feel that this was something that was long overdue. I’ve been shooting a lot without thinking about what I am saying with my work. Now that I know exactly what my work means, I can start tailoring my ideas towards my themes and making them more polished. As well as considering the themes within my work, I’m also trying to create my own visual style, more within editing and through colour choice. My work is influenced heavily by cinematography and cinematic grading but I feel that the ‘colour palette’ for my work is still a work in progress. The only thing I can really see in my work at the minute is that I shoot and use a lot of blue clothes in my images. This is actually something I like as I feel that my work is both blue in colour and in mood, so it works.

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Looking at your work as a collection and making notes on how they fit together is something that I would recommend to all photographers and creative to do. What better way for you to define your work by looking at the actual work itself in context with one another. I’d also suggest that you should really think about what your work is saying and how you can make it distinguishable from others. You don’t have to be fully original (I don’t believe originality exists) but you should want people to recognize your work when they come across it.

A great way to do this is to think of a photographer that you like. Picture their work in your mind and write down all of the associations you apply to that photographer. Now think about your own work. What associations do you want other people to make with your work? Write down a list of associations and then look at your work collectively. Do your work and your associations match? If they don’t, how can you change your work so that they do fit together? If they do fit together, think about how you can build upon your associations so that you can create new and exciting images.

Once you figure out what themes are within your work, you can then go out and shoot, knowing that your images fit together cohesively and collectively. That way, when someone asks you what makes your work different from other photographer’s, you can confidently tell them exactly what makes you different.