Monthly Archives: February 2012

Large Format Landscape

Bamburgh Castle at dawn

Details: Wista 45DX, 90mm, 4 secs, f22 2/3, Fuji Velvia 50, 0.6ND Grad

Yesterday evening I made a presentation about large format photography to the City of London & Cripplegate  Photographic Society and received a very welcome. I covered all aspects of large format that I’ve used throughout my career on both 5×4 & 10×8, from portraits to still life and on into landscape.

I now run Large Format workshops both for complete beginners through to experienced practitioners. There will be a two day introductory to large format landscape on 2-4 Nov 2012 in South Wales and refresher days on 16 March 2012, 27 April & 25 May either in London or Essex. I supply the cameras for these workshops so if you’ve been considering LF and want to experience it before buying a camera then perhaps a Shadows & Light workshop is just for you?

Another recent speaker at the same society was Red Saunders, a photographer from whom I learnt a great deal of LF skill and technique.

Apart from shooting landscape in this form I’ve also done a great deal of still life with art directors such as Pearce Marchbank.

Stone, Paper, Scissors

Details: Sinar Norma 5×4, 150mm, 1/125 sec, f22, Fuji 100D
Art Director: Pearce Marchbank, Client: Marxism Today

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Inside Lives

My friends Rosie Berwick, Marjorie Devine-King, Bénédicte Emsens are putting on a collaborative exhibition ‘Inside Lives’ together with Debby Besford at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill in March.

I’ve had the opportunity to see much of this work at various stages and ‘Inside Lives’ will be well worth seeing. These photographers use a variety of formats and shoot both digital and analogue. Some of the flash kit they use use Elinchrom supplied by The Flash Centre.

Why not put the date in your diary and drop in to see it? You can combine it with a trip to the Portobello Road.

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Phase One – North Circ & Cold Hands

North Circular Road

Another cold day and I’m out again working at finding urban landscapes. An image here cropped from the original Phase One RAW file then processed using the Capture One software. Applying on camera filtration in the form of Lee ND grads would have been very difficult here if not impossible because of the various structures so I made sure that I held the details in the highlights for the sky then used the Capture One controls to pull out more shadow detail.

And I struggle with poor circulation in my hands so cameras outdoors in winter can prove difficult. the most practical solution I’ve come across is to carry rechargeable handwarmers. They make all the difference.

Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 3 secs, f22, 50 ISO, no filtration

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Phase One – 9 Below Zero

Waste Incinerator, A406

It’s late. It’s cold. However the Li-ion batteries that come as standard with the Phase One to power the IQ back worked just as well in the low temperatures as team at The Flash Centre had assured me they would. After 50 mins shooting I still had around 55% charge remaining and I could have carried on for a while longer but by then my body was too cold.

One criticism I do have of the camera is that it’s not possible to operate the touch screen on the IQ back when gloves and when it’s so cold and with a sharp northerly wind I’d prefer to keep my gloves on.

I’d been intending to shoot this waste incinerator for some time but knew that I needed to wait for a particularly cold night in order to enhance the steam and vapour that the plant gives off. I was driving back from Essex late on a Thursday and knew that all of the elements I needed would be in place. Standing downwind of this plant is much fun though as the smell is pretty overpowering!

This is yet another area urban Britain that I will add to a future Shadows and Light workshop. It’s gritty and grimy but does have a certain appeal.

Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 1 min, f22, 50 ISO, no filtration

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