We had talked about going to Basque Country in Northern Spain for a number of years, and Bilbao was on my list as a Spanish city I wanted to visit too. We decided to take the plunge and make arrangements to go there for a few days and experience the Basque region.
When Jen Brook posted an invite to a designer-themed Couture shoot at Velocity studios in Chorley a couple of months ago, I had to put my name down. As it featured Jen, Gem, Amber Tutton and Madam Bink, all models (except Amber) I had the pleasure of working with before, I knew this would be a good event.
It also featured Rosie Red, a designer and creator of fantasy bridal and couture wear and two fine Make-up Artists, Abi Pulleyn and Olivia Morewood. So with four great models styled in fantasy couture and two disused floors of the mill near Velocity Studios to shoot in, it turned out to be a great day.
I finally have had some time to start to work on my image backlog after a hectic few months of image making. In April alone I had 5 model shoots and a trip to the Isle of Skye for a weeks break and also a change to work at getting some landscape images.
Roswell Ivory is based in Milton Keynes and had contacted me a couple of times in the past to see if we could arrange a time for us to work together.
But somehow the dates we had available never quite matched up, or I already had a shoot booked when she was in the area. So it was really good that in February we found a date that we both could do. This fitted into a tour she had organised so it meant that she was able to come up to work with me locally so we could be fairly relaxed with the time and a venue too.
This was a studio shoot as February is a just a little bit too cold for working outside, the studio has some good natural light so most of these image were shot with just the natural light in the studio.
The artist nude figure studies were shot with a single studio light on a simple black ground.
Roswell Ivory is great to work with and as she is also a trained contortionist and as such she can make so great shapes with here body.
The location had a large mirror so we used this to create a set of legs and shoes images using some of Roswell Ivory vintage lingerie.
So here a few I liked from the session:
Having finally managed to process some of the urban ballet images from my recent shoot with the dancer Kayleigh Lush .
I thought it was worth sharing a few of them in my blog.
The idea of the project was to shoot a set of ballet themed images in a urban setting.
First of all I needed a good location, which also needed to be fairly local to me.
That choice of location was Saltaire, which is near Shipley and very local to me.
Because I have been there a number of times I knew that it had some really good locations which we could to shoot ballet against.
Another requirement was a trained ballet dancer, so I contacted Kayleigh Lush.
Now having worked with Kayleigh before , I knew she was capable of producing good ballet poses. Which is what I wanted for this project.
Kayleigh is a trained dancer and works really hard to produce great images, especially dance. So was the ideal choice for this project.
As I mentioned above the choice of location was Saltaire, near Shipley which is a world heritage site and has some interesting buildings to work against.
These include the famous Salts Mill with the Leeds Liverpool Canal running between its buildings.
As well as the impressive United Reformed Church. which is just across the canal for the mill builds.
All these building were built by Sir Titus Salt around the 1850s, and I was sure would give good and different building to shoot dance poses against.
On the day the weather was overcast and grey which was good, but to lift Kayleigh out of the background I needed some extra light.
To provided this extra punch of light, I therefore set up a single off camera flash unit fitted with a 19″ McGillicuddy beauty dish . This is my favourite modifier to use with a single off camera flash set up.
Urban ballet Images
As the day progressed the weather turned to light rain, which made working on pointe and landing jumps tricky for Kayleigh.
This therefore required us to make a change to the location, fortunately there was some local woods near by.
Which would provided some shelter from the rain for a while, but still allow us to shoot the projects theme of dance.
A question that came up at a recent lecture I was giving to a camera club was: How important is the title of an image?
Now this made me stop and think for a minute (so a good question). I know that when I am creating images I don’t have a title in my mind, it is all about focusing on creating that image. I suggest that the titling process begins when I add images into my library. They have a ‘working title’ which is normally a generic shoot title in combination with a file number. I don’t rely on just numbers and dates alone therefore all the images from that shoot get that generic title.
It is only when I have selected an image and start to process that image that a possible title might appear. It may also come from my thinking while processing the images.
You could say it all depends on what you are going to do with the images. If it is only for your personal portfolio then does a title matter?
My personal opinion is yes, image titles are important.
Images that are going out to be viewed either on my website or on an image posting website should have a title.
Creating a title for your image is all part of the creative process. I know from personal experience that sometimes it is easy to come up with a good title and some times it is very difficult to come up with a good meaningful title.
However this question was in the context of using images in exhibitions/ competitions.
So how important is a title?
My thoughts and experience of entering images into exhibitions is that for most International exhibitions the title makes very little difference.
The reason of this is the volume of images that have been entered makes the judging process a rapid affair. Some times the titles are read out other they appear as texted with the image. It is all about the image making an impact in the short viewing window that the judges have.
It is only in the medal selection process that the judges will most likely see the titles of the selected images.
There are exceptions to this – for example, the London Salon and possibly the Edinburgh International. (Both print salons) where the judging process is very different. The title of the image is very important for the judging here. Especially in the London salon where it is all about the images being selected that show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution, So the title is a very important part of that.
But I suspect that for the majority of the digital salons the title is not seen until the end of the selection process. Certainly looking in salon catalogues you will see that certain authors don’t bother with strong title so you might see Mountain view III , or Window light 4.
At club level
However in club photography circles the title is very important and is usually read out prior to the image being presented for viewing/ judging.
So getting a good title for the image is essential. As in this area the title provides a useful handle for critiquing, reviewing and discussing the work.
Alternate titles may be suggested as this review is undertaken, which may or may not help the author.
To me the role of the image title is and will always be an important factor of image making.
It is perhaps the final part of the artistic creation process. The title once chosen, normally stays with that image or any form of art (whatever it is) for it life.
To choose a strong title should be part of the challenge for any artist no matter what type of art is being produced.
So my answer was that a good strong title is important.
Get the title right and it will be part of the emotional response of the viewer’s experience when they view the image.
These are my views so it would be interesting to read others views.
Below are a selection of images and with my chosen title that have done well at all levels with their titles:
I occasionally get to work with like- minded creatives which is great. Sometimes arranging with them prior to the shoot, either to provide the make up, hair styling or style for the shoot. Alternatively if they contact me and want to collaborate with me in terms of wanting to have certain designs or looks photographed and that way we both benefit from the arrangement. They provide the outfits or designs and I provide the studio or location and find a model, after the shoot I send them their chosen images. Occasionally someone might turn up with the some of the others involved with the shoot.
This was in fact the case at a recent location shoot in Morecambe with wonderful model dancer Kate C.
I had the pleasure to meet Cristina Zani, she is a jewellery designer and her work can be seen here Cristinazani.com
Cristina had come along that day with her latest designs as she was wanting some images of these designs to use for her forthcoming exhibitions and for publicity information for these exhiditions.
Cristina works with various media and that day her pieces where made of wood and were bold and had muted colours that looked good against the skin of Katy, and the tones of the location. So we shot a series of images featuring Cristina work.
Below is a sample of the images Cristina chose, the model is of course Katy C, and the lighting is just using the natural light of the windows of the location. Hair was done by Amy and Make up by Donna Graham from Southport.
The last image has been published in an online article about a jewellery exhibition http://benchpeg.com/news/events/dazzle-2013-london-amp-manchester/
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