Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Archive for July, 2013

In With A Crash

Here are a few pictures from last week’s “Studio Lighting Crash Course“. They feature two models that haven’t appeared on public Fotofilia events before despite both having worked with myself for other clients and personal projects. First up is Tom King, a great and versatile young model who came to my attention when modelling for a designer client of ours…

Tom King at Fotofilia

Tom King at Fotofilia

As you can see, Tom’s a handsome lad – but I love trying to show another side to my models so here’s another look entirely…

Tom King at Fotofilia

Tom King at Fotofilia

Not moody enough? Check this one out…

Tom King as his mom wouldn't like to see him.

Tom King as his mom wouldn’t like to see him.

I love this last shot best. Tom really played the part nicely. He’s a joy to work with and will be back at Fotofilia soon…

And then there was Daisy Pooley-Tolkien (and before you ask, yes, she’s related to the Hobbitmeister). I met Daisy a year or so ago through our old mate and Square Magazine editor-in-chief Christophe Dillinger. Christophe doesn’t often rave about anyone, but he raved about Daisy and when I asked her in for a “iphone only” photoshoot, I could see why – she’s lovely!

Daisy Pooley-Tolkien at Fotofilia (with pseudo-cross-process effect).

Daisy Pooley-Tolkien at Fotofilia (with pseudo-cross-process effect).

High-key Daisy Pooley-Tolkien

High-key Daisy Pooley-Tolkien

And finally, my personal favourite shot from the session, which shows Daisy’s beauty to the full…

Daisy Pooley-Tolkien at Fotofilia (using one light, if you're interested).

Daisy Pooley-Tolkien at Fotofilia (using one light, if you’re interested).

We’ll be running another “Studio Lighting Crash Course” in a couple of months. Get yourself on the mailing list or see http://www.fotofilia.co.uk/#!learn for course dates.

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Springtime In The… Cemetery?

Another day, another shoot with Fotofilia’s most booked model, Emile Walt. This time the images are from a Night Photo Safari back in May. Yes, a Night Photo Safari in May – when the nights weren’t really drawing in until around 9pm. We’ve been running these events for years but only recently have we carried them on into springtime when the days get longer.

Emilie Walt and blossoms by David Rann

Emilie Walt and blossoms by David Rann

Most of the people who’ve attended our Night Photo Safaris (and there have been hundreds over the years) will have memories of multiple layers of clothing, blue fingertips and hands sticking to icy tripods… but on this occasion, Spring had well and truly sprungled and our slightly altered route around the Jewellery Quarter included a blossom-filled Key Hill Cemetery. As ever, Emilie turned up looking amazing and had completely met my “wear something a bit vintage” brief.

Emilie Walt and even more blossom. By David Rann

Emilie Walt and even more blossom. By David Rann

Because of the timing, we were able to make the most of “golden hour” in this location.

Emilie Walt and catacombs. By David Rann

Emilie Walt and catacombs. By David Rann

Emilie Walt in Key Hill cemetery. By David Rann

Emilie Walt in Key Hill cemetery. By David Rann

A Night Photo Safari (since you almost ask) is our group photo-walk, usually by night (clue’s in the name, I guess) around the not-so-mean streets of Birmingham‘s historic and photogenic Jewellery Quarter. It offers the opportunity to try low light photography with advice on-hand if needed and the security of being part of a group led by someone with good local knowledge (that’ll be me). And if the architecture of the area and city skyline isn’t enough to inspire you, we bring along a specially-selected model so that you can try some low light portraiture too.

I think I can safely say ours was the first Birmingham night photo walk (we started about 6 years ago) – although there a few pale imitations around nowadays.


Mine All Mine

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion – that is, even more shameful than usual – but I’ve finally rebuilt my own personal website (this one being the official blog of the Fotofilia studio business).

It will be a blog-cum-gallery website and will have my own personal work and opinions so that the blog you’re reading now can concentrate on studio-related matters. I hope you’ll take a look

http://davidrann.co.uk/

I also own davidrann.com and hope to link that to the site too, soon.

Here’s a gratuitous taster of the kind of images I’ll be posting. In this case it’s an iphone photograph of Bethanie Stokes

IMG_4352


Come Round To Square

As someone who has over the years spent enough money on photographic magazines to buy a very nice car, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to find a truly original contemporary publication online – and for free. No need to sign any forms, get out your credit card or hand over any cash.

Square Magazine has been going now for 3 years and is starting to snowball in popularity. Whether you are, like the magazine’s editor-in-chief and my good mate – Christophe Dillinger, a dyed-in-the-wool square format aficionado, or just like to see wonderfully unique and ground-breaking photography, you could do worse than start with Square magazine.

Edition 4.1 is now online and is packed with great images. It’s free! What do you have to lose?

http://www.squaremag.org/

A page spread from the magazine.

A page spread from the magazine.


No Oil Painting

My last post prompted comments from Fotofilia club members of “How could you do that to our Emilie?” and “That 18mm lens should come with a warning”. Well, just to balance things up, and to show our lovely model Emilie in the way she deserves to be seen, here are a few shots taken about 20 minutes after the less-than- flattering images you saw in the “Right studio, wrong photographer” post.

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013

I loved the images taken during this very brief shoot (at the end of Emilie’s studio day last weekend) pretty much straight out of camera. But Emilie’s look, coupled with a simple, soft, pseudo-window-light very much reminded me of Flemish and perhaps Renaissance painting so, just for fun, I used the wondrous Snapseed software’s Grunge filter to add a painterly finish, vignette and colouring.

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013

I’ve written about this before but Snapseed, for those who don’t know, or have only seen it as a phone app, is available for Windows and Mac computers too. A very versatile and simple piece of kit for a very low price – and I love it when I have images that I think suit it (as, hopefully, these do).

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Emilie Walt. Copyright David Rann 2013.

https://www.facebook.com/ladyemilie.walt?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lady-Walt-entertainments/645227205504240

 

 

 

 

 


Right Studio, Wrong Photographer

I came back to the studio one day to find that the coloured paper background had been taken down from its usual position on the wall next to the white and black vinyl rolls and had been stashed away in the storeroom. Puzzled, I asked my assistant Simon why it had been taken down. It seems a photographer using the studio had insisted it be removed because “it kept appearing in the photos”. The photographer had complained to Simon that the studio was too narrow and too low to successfully shoot the ONE MODEL he was attempting to photograph. After trying to explain that perhaps the problem wasn’t the studio dimensions, Simon reluctantly removed the background roll. The customer is always right, right?

I’ll freely admit that Fotofilia isn’t a huge aircraft hangar of a studio and that we have previously had to turn down bookings where a trapeze-type swing was involved due to limited ceiling height. However, I have successfully managed to shoot whole bands (with instruments) and even large families on our 3m wide background without the need to remove backgrounds from the ceiling hooks.

The problem, and it has happened MANY times over the years, is that photographers show up with the wrong lens for the job, often their hopeless 18-55mm kit lens, stand too close to their subject and wonder why they’re getting the doors and ceiling in the shot. After a while, I began to wonder if I should put a sign on the ceiling which reads, “YOU’RE USING THE WRONG LENS, MUPPET!

This is very very basic photographic theory, which I’m sure most people reading this will already know, but I’m putting it here so that I can send the link to anyone who moans about backgrounds/stands/doors/their own shoes showing up in their images.

Here goes. The image on the left was taken with an 18mm focal length – notice how the wider field of vision includes peripheral clutter, stretches perspective, not to mention how the wide angle shortens Emilie’s legs and distorts her body and even face shape. The middle shot was taken with a 50mm focal length – what some of my students mistakenly refer to as a “portrait lens”. Finally, the image on the right is taken with a 105mm focal length – note NO clutter and flatteringly undistorted body shape.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Please note that these shots were taken on a crop-frame camera (you’ll need to do the mental arithmetic to work out the full frame equivalent).

And if this doesn’t convince you, take a look at the head shots below…

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

You don’t need to be an expert to work out that most people won’t thank you for being photographed with the wide-angle 18mm lens like the one on the left here.

So in future, leave my furniture and backgrounds alone and use the right lens. Fanx.