Friday, 17 April 2009

Behind the scenes at Gulf Photo Plus

A few pictures from GPP in Dubai a couple of weeks ago. It's not all work, work, work...

Chase Jarvis tells it like it is:

David Hobby - aka the Strobist - drinks light:
Joe McNally tries to make a break for it:
Scott & Cody from Chase Jarvis Inc start a fight:

Kate Jarvis and Ali Al Riffai:

Mohammad, the man who makes it all happen:

Adam Swords chats up the ladies:

Erik, Zack Arias' studio manager, finds something in his beard:
The "non-official" official photographer:

Erik, Nathalie and Omar are surprised:

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

An end to battery madness

For those that are also tearing their hair out over the availability (or lack thereof) of batteries for the new 5D mark II, I can now inform you I am the proud owner of 3 new batteries courtesy of Canon Dubai!

While in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus I immediately made a bee-line for the Canon stand with a red-hot credit card in hand. Less then 2 minutes later I had them in my grubby hands. The local dealer assured me there were no supply problems in UAE, so why they are so scarce in UK continues to be a mystery. Oh well.

New "Strictly Business" blog

The Association of Media Photographers (ASMP - the American equivalent of our own Association of Photographers) has recently launched a great blog focused on the business of photography.

The subject matter and material is based on their "Strictly Business" seminar series they ran last year. Chase Jarvis was kind enough to sponsor me and 3 other photographers to attend the Chicago event, and it was very rewarding, helping to shine bright light on how I should be running my business - everything from producing estimates and bids, to image licensing and negotiation skills.

I've had a look through the first few posts and the new blog is well worth adding to the list of photography resources for any emerging photographer.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

On Assignment - Jamaica part 1


Jamaica is one of the most fun places you can hope to shoot - the people smile, the place is relaxed and the sun never seems to stop shining. Unless you are trying to shoot a family having fun on the beach, in which case it decides to cloud over and start raining...

Needing to pull something out of the bag, I tried to make up what we were lacking in cooperative weather with some fun and drama. Our "family" of models got into their swimwear and I had them begin to run out of the sea. The colourful boat had been hired for the day and I placed in the background for some visual interest.

With the sun just about peaking through a cloud, I had them backlit as they came out of the ocean, while setting the white balance on the camera to cloudy helped give the pictures a warm tint. To keep the action looking fresh and natural, I had them run through the water about 10 times, reviewing the shots on the rear monitor each time and giving them instructions.

To get a dramatic perspective I shot at the wide end of my 16-35 from close to the ground. As the familay ran out of the sea, I would run backwards holding the camera by my knees and maintaining a roughly contant distance to the models.

I didn't trust the camera to focus properly by itself, so I pre-focused at a distance of 3m and shot at f/11, knowing this would provide enough depth-of-field to keep everyone reasonably sharp. I also set exposure to manual and bumpoed the ISO up until I had a shutter speed of over 1/500th to freeze the action.

After each sequence I would review the shots on the rear screen to check the position of the people and the surf, provide some direction to the models, adjust my framing and shoot another sequence. My call of "just one more time!" became a bit of a running joke, but we ended up with a beautiful picture we were all proud of.