Pomegranates, pottery and Paul Hollywood

There, that should put the search engines through their paces, today was a rainy day, in fact it didn’t really get light before it started getting dark again and it’s a bit early for that type of meteorological behaviour, yesterday in contrast was nice, went to photograph a pottery class run by Anya Rozijn in a nearby further education centre here is Anya loading the kiln and some “helping hands”

Later on it was time to photograph the pomegranates I bought last week, and I wanted them to look a bit moody to suit the weather so I assembled some props against an old cushion (How that ended up looking like wood panelling was a happy accident) with a false shelf and this is the result, quite happy with it in general but now wish I had left a few seeds around the knife at the front. Comments welcome.

And finally re: Paul Hollywood, the sourdough starter I thought I had killed suddenly made somewhat of a recovery and is in fact now in a dough and sitting there trying to double it’s size. More to come on that. 


Autumn has arrived

Wind, cool mornings, falling leaves and having the fire lit and dead sourdough starter all mean one thing; a change in the season and Autumn is here, an excellent time to get out with your camera and snap some lovely colourful shots, here’s a couple from today in the studio and yes the bloomer was freshly baked  #can’tstopbakingbread

Did you notice the little fellow from Jurassic Park?

Through the looking glass

The latest addition to my studio are these glass blocks which are designed for bathrooms and windows in the construction world, very cheap to buy and easy to use, one use for them is as a gobo and shoot a flash through them to cast interesting shapes on a background, here I made some examples on a grey background but with coloured gels on the flash to show how easy it is to change the feel of the picture.
On the last picture you can see the four blocks on the left through which I fired the flash.


Cross but not-so-hot

It’s Good Friday today and Easter time should be sunny but today it was not, it rained on/off so it was a staying-in day. Despite the weather I made the above shot look sunny by using a bare flash off camera way over to the right with a coloured gel called a 1/2 CTO (colour temperature orange) which makes the light look warm, and when you put it far from the subject you are shooting, it looks like sunshine streaming through the window.
Then as tradition has it on such days there were Hot cross buns to be made, I use a great recipe from THE BREAD BOOK by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake which is a brilliant book with many (over 130) different breads, buns, sweet, sour, savoury recipes and this particular recipe works every time. Actually I have made these buns the last 3 weeks on the trot, I just don’t know where they go, sometimes I don’t put the cross on the top. When they are fresh from the oven I brush them with a cold sugar syrup to make them sticky, look there’s one missing already…..

Silver machine

I decided to photograph our car in the style of a new car launch, I took inspiration from this billboard shot of the new Volvo V70 and thought it would be fun to mimic the style

There were a few things to consider, I needed a warm ambient light inside the car, I needed a moody/dramatic sky and I needed some controlled light on the wheels without lighting up the whole side of the car, things I didn’t have handy on Sunday were: a castle or whatever that is in the background, cobble stones and a brand new Volvo.
The shoot itself took 20 minutes and about another 30 minutes in photoshop, see the finished shot and more details after the jump

The finished image is made of 5 seperate frames as I shot different aspects one at a time. Overall I was quite happy with the result considering how little time I spent on it but I will definitely re-shoot with a better location and paying some closer attention to some aspects that I am less happy with which are: angle of the car and it’s position in the frame, front wheel slightly turned in, background and sky, foreground with more detail and some fill light on the side of the car plus I want some light skimming the front of the car so watch this space! our car btw has done 280,000 km
 (just run-in then I hear other Volvo owners say….)

The jump

Goofing around in the back yard, I have been meaning to try “the jump” shot for a while and tonight the planets were in alignment, my willing assistant who was in the process of preparing dinner at the time (hence the apron) was encouraged (instructed) to jump off the wooden ledge and those who know our garden will be familiar with the water just the other side of that ledge!

For the technical readers I fired two SB800s with pocket wizards from left and right both gelled with full CTO’s and set the white balance on the camera to tungsten to bring out the blue in the sky, I shot with a wide angle and was lying on the floor. Judging from his pose, I think Frank was the least impressed of all of us!
(click on the image to see it real big and even see swifts in the sky!)