Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Posts tagged “studio

More “New Blood”…

Looking forward to this tomorrow! And still 2 spaces left…


Indoors For A Change: Rosa Returns

After 2 very successful location nude shoots, the ever-superb Rosa Brighid is back at Fotofilia but this time for a studio shoot. Want to come along? Get in touch.

“Sin City” Masterclass

Fancy photographing specially-styled models in the studio and then learning how to turn them into eye-popping noir-esque images in the style of the “Sin City” movies (& graphic novels)? Well, we’re bringing in the excellent Photoshop guru Joshua Mclean to show you how in this Fotofilia masterclass event.

Only a week or so to go and still a couple of spaces so book soon…

The Male Portrait

Our successful recent workshop “The Male Portrait” included the opportunity to photograph two charismatic male subjects. One, Tom, is a professional model and no stranger to Fotofilia shoots…

Tom King at Fotofilia

Tom King at Fotofilia

Our second subject, Nick, was rather less used to be in front of the camera but proved to be an excellent and very photogenic model. Nick is, apart from many other things, the lead singer and primary creative drive behind the band Telsen (who I happen to play bass guitar with)…

Catching Up…

Forgive me, reader. It has been weeks since my last post and all I can say in my defence is that it has been a busy and very varied time. Not least, we have been working towards moving into our new studio. I went along to the new premises to take some photographs for the architects who will be transforming it from long-empty and fairly run-down 3 storey unit in Birmingham city centre into the exciting hub for Midlands photography that we know it will become.

Until now, I haven’t been able to say very much about the space and I’m still not going to tell you everything, but Fotofilia will be occupying the basement of this huge unit. The rest of the unit will contain… well, you’ll just have to wait and see. For now, here’s a couple of images of the basement as it is now…

The basement from the "top" end by the spiral staircase.

The basement from the “top” end by the spiral staircase.

The goods lift area.

The goods lift area.

From the "bottom" end of the basement.

From the “bottom” end of the basement.

I’ll share more details in the fullness of time but it looks likely that we’ll be moving in early in 2014. And yes, we’ll be hanging onto the Regent Parade premises too (I’ll have some news about that very soon).

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.






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.