Here’s a little video that friends and I recorded last June during the London to Brighton Bike ride.
My friend Zoe is the main person behind the UK distribution of Stepper bikes: http://www.3gstepperbike.co.uk. She’d got a team of friends together to do the charity ride on them and asked me if I could do some photography for them. I thought we could do better than just photography – why not video it using the GoPro’s we have at work!
So armed with 6 GoPros and various attachments we kitted out their bikes and one helmet to record it. Needless to say we have HOURS of footage. I’ve only recently found time (and remembered!) to put something together. The internet being what it is with a short attention span I wanted the video to be limited to 3-5 minutes. So I found a suitable song and put a few clips together. Shame it’s so short but it meant only one (long) evening for me.
After producing this someone mentioned that Premiere Pro has a stabilising effect inbuilt – if only I’d known! Don’t fancy re-doing it as I’d have to upload separately and Vimeo free account will only allow one HD video a week.
And a few photos.
Yesterday I did a job for Brad and Ian at Materials Council and Architronic at their stand at the Super Brands London exhibition – part of the London Design Festival. It involved photographing their stand and the surrounding area in the morning before the public turned up and then coming back in the evening for the opening reception.
Photography geekyness wise it’s not overly difficult however there were some areas to keep an eye on. The exhibition is called “Whiter than White” where the Materials Council is displaying some of its white materials. So the areas to keep an eye out are :
White Balance – With mixed lighting (white light panels above, and more orange Tungsten not far away) then white balance is something to keep a close eye on, especially since the title of the display has the word “White” in it – wouldn’t be great if everything was orange! The obvious get-out for this is to shoot RAW and choose the White Balance later in post production – so this is what I did.
Exposure – When you get a viewfinder full of white – and if on some camera automated exposure mode there is the danger that the camera will under expose the white to get it averaged out for middle gray. There are different techniques to counter this – and I used a mix depending on the scenario. When steadily photographing the white material – going up and down the display I switched the camera to manual and set the exposure myself. The lighting on the display was fairly even so this was made possible. At other times when moving around photographing people around the display etc – I generally used Aperture Priority set to 2.8 for nice shallow depth of field, but set the camera to exposure compensation of +1/3. This could on occasion be not enough, or too much – but since I was shooting RAW this gives more leave-way to change the exposure later on.
With post production the trick is to get the material to be white, but not blow-out the details. Also while shooting and editing the old term of “expose to the right” applies i.e. exposing so that the historgram sides to the right – more white, but without over exposing. The point of this is that making things darker in photoshop etc tends to be better than making them lighter – as noise etc becomes more evident then.
Here’s a quick selection of the opening night. Got in rather late but edited a quick few for their newsletter today.
if you’re wandering about the Gin – then they were the sponsors of the Architronic areas (presentation area turned bar for the reception)
I took a few pictures of some of the areas – and will upload a couple of pictures later on.
In collaboration with Super Brands London – the Tent London show is going on at the same time in another part of the venue – The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. I was quite surprised to see this as it was upstairs and a LOT bigger than I expected – it was huge. As far as I can tell – Super Brands was for the larger more established designer companies, and then Tent was for the smaller companies – either starting out or still relatively small scale.
Unfortunately – as I was working I didn’t really have the time to photograph them but there’s plenty to see.
If you’re into interior or furniture/fittings design and free over the weekend – I highly suggest going. Mind you – open House London is also on this weekend. Entrance for Super Brands/Tent London is £8 in advance or £10 on the door for adults. Less for kids etc.
On Sunday I did my usual stint of charity work – covered the Terrence Higgins Trust sponsored walk- the walk for life.
A few years ago I thought it would be nice to do something worth-while with my photography and asked around so see if there’s anything I could do. At the time my friend Michael (a.k.a. Funtime Mikey) worked for an AIDS and HIV charity called Crusaid who organised the Walk for Life charity event and he put me in touch with it’s organisers. Since then I’ve covered it a few times (My sieve of a memory has lost count) and since then Crusaid merged with Terrence Higgins Trust.
The walk starts and ends at Potters Field Park – between Tower Bridge and the Greater London Authority building – a great location.
Had celebs Sugar Dandies and Sarah Cawood starting the race.
In the end there were performances from Louise Dearman, 4 Corners and Freddie impersonator.
People always dress up and there’s a great vibe lending itself to some fun photos. Thankfully didn’t rain but it was a bit on the cold side and was overcast. Means no nice blue skies for photos alas. Having done these before I’ve learnt that ins such conditions a pop of flash is handy to illuminate faces and some exposure compensation is sometimes needed as the light overcast sky can trick camera metering if you use it (which I do).
As I currently have more free time – may be worth looking for other such charities/events that could do with some photography.
EDIT: Here’s a link to the THT set on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150909225967332.433512.6316017331&type=1
Here’s a very abridged gallery of photos:
Focus on Imaging 2012 started today.
This is the UK’s biggest Photography trade show/fair. It’s at Birmingham NEC and started today (Sunday 4th) and goes on until Wednesday (7th March). Practically all the main photography manufacturers have a stall there and also a lot of other interesting stalls also – retailers, magazines, smaller manufacturers, trade agencies, societies, Universities etc. If you’re a big photography fan then it’s a must at least once – especially if considering buying some equipment.
But as well as stalls trying to sell you stuff there are other things of interest – here’s the show’s What’s On page.
Talks, demo’s, workshops etc. Unlike other trade fair which have separate paid for seminars – these talks are fairly small, but also free. I’ve been to a few in the past e.g. on Nikon Speedlights and they certainly can still be interesting. Here’s a list of all the talks.
With a quick preview picture:
Deals : usually there are some good deals to be had at the show and this is why I’m going this year – I’m hoping to buy a Full Frame lens cheaply before I hopefully upgrade to the Nikon D800. I will try to blog prices here – but as I’m only going on Tuesday – it may be a bit late for most I’m afraid. Should still be interesting though. Although – I have seen someone mention that they bought a Nikon 16-35 from the Jacobs stall for £850 – that’s their normal shop price! Although purchasing a lens is my main purpose for going it has been more than a year since I last went – so it should be an interesting day out anyway.
Other things I’m hoping to try/buy:
- Try a production D800 (already tried a demo one)
- Take some photos with my own card on both D800 and D700 to compare
- Look at Computer monitors – I’m thinking of buying a new 24″ monitor
- Try some Wacom tablets
- Maybe buy some 1.72m wide Colorama backdrop paper.
- And generally just geek out
Been very busy of late, both social and work – part if this has been shoots and a holiday on a canal boat with my University friends (photos/videos to follow). However just before the little holiday I went to the Chap Olympiad event. I’ve been a couple of times before and there’s at least one set of photos on my main photography site. I finished editing the photos last night and have put them up on Facebook for now – may put best of the best on main site but thought I’d try a Facebook link here.
I don’t have a facebook page/group/thing as I think sites like MySpace etc come and go and prefer to direct most internet traffic to main sites or something I can control like this blog. However I wanted to share the photos with friends and those who went – so have made the gallery publicly visible – I hope you can see it (please let me know if it doesn’t work).
But here are a few favourites.
I would definitely suggest going to Chap Olympics if you’re into such fun dress up events. You can sign up to news on their website : Chap Olympiad. It’s all good light-hearted fun. Everybody dresses up and you can compete in the Olympiad if you turn up earlyish (I think it usually opens 12 and you can register before 1pm). Events have included Cucumber Sandwich Discus, 100 yard saunter, bicycle and umbrella jousting. The event is organised by the fine people at The Chap Magazine – also well worth a look.
As per my last Blog post – on Saturday I was taking photos for Terrence Higgins Trust at London Pride. I went to meet them at the starting point for about 12. No float/bus (seems they cost a lot – and this after all is a charity) but they did have a fair few staff/supporters there and a small but great marching band, plus semi-clad good looking guys.
There was no real brief really – I think they were happy just to get anything and everything – concentrating mostly on the charity but also on other aspects of the march.
Having never been to a Pride march before (not being gay they never seemed a high priority for me) I wasn’t sure what to expect. At the starting point it seemed all quite relaxed – you could walk around the different floats and mingle with everybody etc. So come 1pm when it started – I was expecting the same. After an initial filtering system so that the organise could intersperse the floats/buses with procession walkers (intially all the people were in one lane and all the floats in another) we started walking down Portland place into central London. After a while I noticed that there was crowd fencing either side of us with a little crowd. But as we went further into the middle of town the crowds became bigger and bigger and it dawned on me – I wasn’t just covering part of the march – I was actually IN a march, separate from the crowd. Not what I was expecting but fun.
There were a few floats with DJs and sounds systems etc – but in my opinion our modest marching band (1 Tuba, 2 trumpets, 2 drums, 1 trombone and 1 saxophone) was much better. Added that extra spirit to it missing from just playing a record or CD. They’s also done their homework and played a few “gay anthems” – you know YMCA and the like – although that was the cheesiest of them, others were better.
As I had stuff to prepare for Saturday night and an earlyish start for that too (well 8) I didn’t hang around for the post march entertainment i.e. gig in Trafalgar Square and then bars and clubs in and around Soho. Maybe next time.
Took almost a thousand photos on the day !! But here’s just a few generally un-edited.
Thought I’d share some photos that I was working on last night – from an art gallery (of sorts) opening on Friday. It’s still open until the 12th of June (7pm) so if you like what you see , or just regardless anyway, you can still go down there. Has a bit of everything – Photography, paintings, sculptures and some more bizarre stuff. All – what I guess you might call alternative, but not necessarily “modern art” (which on the whole I’m not keen on)
Here’s Ben’s blog post on his set : http://therealbenhopper.com/blog/2011/06/09/photographer-ben-hopper-presents-in-a-box/
On the opening night there were also a fair few performances randomly scattered around the place….. Oh of court when it’s about art it ‘s called “Space”. And it is fabulous “space” lovey darlings No really – it is. The place is called “The Old Abattoir” and I’ve seen other events being held there but never been before. No idea if it was a real abattoir or not. But it’s a wonderful mix of old walls, with or without plaster in various states, columns and pipes. Wonder if they do shoots there at all… hmm.
Anyway – you can find out more details at these links.
So some photos. Mostly of the exhibits/art but also people and performances. Click on them to see a larger image.
When covering friends fashion shows I’ve got into the habit of doing a little back-stage stuff. Sometimes the back stage stuff is more interesting to shoot and look at than the stage/catwalk stuff (for me anyway – all the stages of preparation, the before and after etc).
Usually I go along with a prime lens (50mm f1.4) that can shoot large apperture so that I don’t have to bother people and loose the feel of the moment by firing off flash at everybody. e
On this last weekend Lady Lucie asked if I’d like to do a quick few shots of the models – of course! (Although I didn’t have said prime with me) Due to the space available and the fact that it was being shared with 4 other designers – hanging around doing the standard back-stage thing wasn’t an option but I went back there just to do a few shoots before the girls went on stage.
The space was crammed with models, makeup, hair and designers so options were a bit limited but I went on a rekkie to find a good location. Initially it seemed an option between brick walled fire exit, plain wall, or plain stairs – but then I realised that the wall just to the left of where Lucie and the girls were getting ready was fantastic! Couldn’t have found a better wall if I’d go looking! So below are the shots from that quick 10min session.
Unfortunately my camera was all set up for nighclub work (since the show was during a night club event) and I didn’t think to change it so I’ve had to tweak a few things in post – inc taking the saturation down to suit the mood of the background – but on the whole I think these have come out quite well
Also had to clone out a conduit pipe and plug box here and there.
Also thought I’d test the slide-show gallery doobrie on this blog theme – not tried it before – so here goes. See above.
Will have a go at putting a different sort of Gallery at the end.
Some links /credit
Designer – Lady Lucie
Makeup - Tabby Adams
Wigs – Kezia
Said Gallery doobrie. Not sure which I prefer – slideshow or gallery. Slideshow is more visual but you can click on the individual items in gallery.