Blog

Dee Delahunty Shoot
20th February 2016
Very enjoyable day at Mainshoot Studio in Brighouse with Dee Delahunty, a great model very professional but friendly at the same time, highly recommended.

http://www.mainshootstudio.co.uk/?_escaped_fragment_=home

https://purpleport.com/portfolio/deeamy/



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Zoe Harlotta Photoshoot
23rd January 2016
I had photographed Zoe before at Millwood Studio in Stalybridge, so when a friend of mine, Ian Marshall, who runs Mainshoot Studio in Brighouse, organised a shoot with her, I was keen to take part.
An enjoyable shoot and we came away with some great images.

https://www.facebook.com/zoe.h.collinson?fref=ts



Thanks Ian, looking forward to our next shoot with Dee Delahunty on 20th February.

https://www.facebook.com/dee.amymodel.1

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Cinderella Bridal Themed Photoshoot
15th January 2016
You will remember in my last blog I described a fabulous day out with Damian McKillicuddy, Olympus UK's Head Photography Trainer, at Manchester's Victorian Swimming Baths so immediately booked on his next training course at a stately home near Liverpool.




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Baroque and Roll - Shoot at Manchester
28th October 2015
The Victorian Swimming Baths at Manchester is a wonderful place, a fine example of Victorian architecture, I had visited before to look around and loved the place so when I discovered Damian McKillicuddy had arranged a shoot there entitled 'Baroque and Roll' based on Marie Antoinette with attitude, then add a watery slant to fit the environment, I signed up immediately. Damian is a very experienced photography trainer and is Head Photographer for Olympus UK.
Two professional models in specially made costumes and headdresses did a brilliant job both modelling and enduring the cold in the unheated building.
These training courses / photoshoots with Damian are an ideal way to learn from the best and come away with guaranteed killer images. I signed up to the next one straight away. See Cinderella Bridal themed shoot.




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Shoot at Thornton Abbey with Liv Free
24th October 2015
Another model who's work I have always admired is Alivya V Free (Liv).
Liv is based in Lincoln and as she lives quite a way from me I arranged a shoot nearer to where she lives, after some research I settled on the fabulous Thornton Abbey Gatehouse at Thornton Curtis in Lincolnshire, an English Heritage property which makes a small entrance charge if you are not a member.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/thornton-abbey-and-gatehouse/access

Liv is the complete package, a model, hairdresser, makeup artist and headdress designer / creator, if that is not enough her sister designs and makes period dresses.

The gatehouse is a fabulous building in very good condition with roof and windows, even heating, unlike the abbey nearby which is a virtual ruin.

Liv was able to provide 2 costumes with headdresses she had made, both were brilliant, had a great time with an accomplished model, time flew and after 2 hours we hadn't quite finished so over-run closing time by 15 minutes which didn't go down well with the Site Manager, but at least I got the shots I wanted !

DEADLY TOUCH



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Medieval Queen Shoot
19th August 2015
I have admired Lilly Von Pink's work for some time and finally decided to arrange a shoot with her at Lever Castle in Lancashire, a great place for location photography, it isn't staffed and its free !

http://www.12monkeys.co.uk/2013/04/lever-castle-rivington-lancashire-april.html

The theme was 'medieval queen' Lilly had the robes and would design and create her own headdress. There is no roof on the ruined castle so we were fortunate it didn't rain. The castle has numerous arches in excellent condition as you will see from my images.
Had a really productive shoot, Lilly is a true professional and didn't need any direction, she went through her poses like clockwork, knew exactly what was required, highly recommended.
See other images in gallery.




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The Reluctant Mechanic Shoot
06th August 2015
There is a wonderful vintage car sales and repairs garage / museum not far from where I live at Hepworth, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with the unlikely name of The Carding Shed as it is based in an old woollen mill. I had the idea that I wanted to shoot there and the owner kindly allowed me a couple of hours when it was closed to the public. Now I needed a subject and after seeing Pip Atkins profile on Facebook I knew he would be ideal for The Reluctant Mechanic.
I sourced a couple of props, a girlie mag and calendar from the 50's and arranged a shoot date with Pip.
Had a brilliant shoot Pip was really friendly and a great model, where else can you find a 50 year old male model with such style, experience, not to mention a fabulous beard and curled up moustache.
See other images in gallery.




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Speedlite Workshop
20th May 2015
Last Sunday I attended a full day speedlite workshop at Millfield Studio in Stalybridge, Cheshire. Presented by Andrew Appleton the morning was classroom based and after lunch we put into practice what we should have learned in the morning!
Using our own cameras and speedlites (on camera) we shot Sharon our model outside under an overcast sky, firstly exposing for the background without flash then adding TTL (through the lens) flash which conveniently on my Canon 5d mk2 uses evaluative metering (not spot / average etc) and treats the speedlight as a fill light which is exactly what was required, reflectors were also used to soften the image.
Indoors we Shot Sharon positioned by a bright floor to ceiling window bouncing the speedlite off a wall to fill shadows. The final setup was in a fairly dark area of the studio using 2 Yongnuo cheap manual speed lights on stands (£31 each post paid on EBay, highly recommended by Andrew) as slaves triggered by our own speedlites on camera to light Sharon's hair, again using reflectors to soften the on-camera flash.
A great hard working day with lots of fun, I learned more in one day about using speedlites than in the last 10 years.
Many thanks to Andrew and our pleasant and very capable model Sharon.
Now busy buying the equipment to put my new skill into practice.
Highly reconmended.
Myths and Legends Bodypainting Shoot
05th April 2015
Many photographers try to create imaginary characters and scenes in their images but yesterday I was introduced to the world of body-painting where real and imaginary characters are painted on the models' bodies.
Millwood Studios in Stalybridge, Cheshire was the venue where unusually the models almost outnumbered the photographers. Painting started early for the 8 models with a 9am start, this is far from a quick process, the 9 photographers were asked to arrive at 3pm, the models were ready to photograph at 4pm and shooting finished at 9pm, a 12 hour day for the artists and models.
The photographers had it easy only working for 6 hours but no one had chance to stop as there was such a variety of myths and legends to photograph including a mermaid, a siren and a wood nymph.
A really enjoyable day in the company of an artistic and friendly group of people.

Whitby Goth Weekend 1st Nov, 2014
06th November 2014
I really should stop going to the WGW, I have been many times and every time I vow I will not go again as the event, photographically, has been 'done to death' pun :)
The reason I continue to go is because I like it and I have never yet been refused a photograph by the characters who are now inundated by photographers, up to 15 of them decending on their 'victims' pun ;)
Let's see what happens next year.
Please have a look at my efforts in my gallery.
Thanks for looking.
H
Jilted
24th May 2014


The lady in the wedding dress was part of the Whitby Festival and kindly agreed to pose for me at the entrance to a famous alleyway called Arguments Yard, I don't know if she intended to represent Miss Havisham from Great Expectations but that is certainly who she reminded me of.
On returning home I set about looking through my old images for a fitting room setting and found one of a panelled archway taken at Oakwell Hall in Birstall, West Yorkshire one Christmas, if was perfect for the theme plus I needed an opening for her to put her hand on as in the original alleyway image. The chandelier and table were from a Chatsworth House setting in Derbyshire. It was quite a long job to select the subject and add all the elements together, a lot of manipulation, including reducing the size of her hand (transpose) as it was too large and dominant, I finally applied a yellow tone to the image.In the end it has been worth it as I am pleased with the final outcome.



Whitby Goth Festival
28th April 2014
Went to the Whitby Goth Festival yesterday and whilst driving over the North Yorkshire Moors the fog came down as it quite often does on the Moors and the weather was quite fitting for the festival and Whitby with its association with Dracula. I left the fog behind on the Moors but when I arrived in Whitby it was raining which it did on and off all day. Already there were festival goers walking around the town in some amazing costumes, Goths, Steam Punks and others that didn't fit into any category. The streets were full of photographers also and when one photographer found a subject many others gathered round. I must have asked about ten festival goers if I could photograph them and not one refused, some may look a little intimidating but they are all very polite and obliging even when detained by a stream of photographers. This is my third visit to the festival over the last 15 years and whilst originally most of the participants were in their teens and twenties, today most are a lot older, some in their 60's / 70's with more diverse costumes rather than just gothic. The photographic subject matter is commonplace now but it was still a very enjoyable day and I came away with plenty of images and some not half bad.
Sex and the City
04th April 2014


Finally produced a new image that I am pleased with after a fallow period of 6 months.
The city backdrop started as a colour shot of Manhattan skyscrapers taken from the Staten Island ferry, this was converted to mono in RAW, contrast increased, sharpened and motion blur filter applied in Photoshop.
The businesswoman is a photograph of my daughter, filled with black in Photoshop.
The light source was applied with a soft white brush in Photoshop.
Hope it won't be another 6 months before I produce another !
Edinburgh Fringe
18th August 2013
Had a very long but very enjoyable and rewarding day at the Edinburgh Fringe last Thursday. I went up for the Fringe 2 years ago and got a couple of unusual shots which have won international gold medals so I though it might be worth another try.
The Royal Mile,actually a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh, is always jam packed with street theatre which include performance groups, artists, singers, dancers all of whom thrust fliers into you hand to advertise their shows which run night and day for the 3 weeks of the Fringe.
I always try and talk to the performers to build up a relationship and show interest in them before asking to take their photograph and it hardly ever fails and they will pose for you which yields much better results rather that trying long distance telephoto shots.


Photofit




Tom Gilzean
Tom is 93 years old and has collected for an Edinburgh sick children's charity for the past 11 years, 365 days a year, he has collected £440,000.
He battled long and hard with the Council for a licence to collect money on the Royal Mile and is very well known by the local shopkeepers, he gets a free lunch everyday at an Italian restaurant owned by a Scotsman!
After speaking to him for a while he asked me to put on his bow tie, which I was only too pleased to oblige as it improved his portrait, as he can't manage it himself these days.
Tom collects money from his wheelchair and it would have been difficult to move him in front of a better background so the background was put in later, the cut out of Tom was done using Topaz Remask brilliant software for this purpose. The Stone work behind Tom comes from the Remembrance Memorial in Dewsbury Park.
A really lovely man.




Mendea aka Charlie Chaplin
Mendea is Spanish and has performed in the UK for the past 3 years, after a donation and a chat was willing to do any pose I asked, the shot below he created himself.



Knocking on Heaven's Door
There were a troup of girls dress like this advertising a show and as it happened they were near a church doorway on 'The Mile' so I asked her to stand in front of the door and pretend to knock, being a young girl I thought she would wonder why on Earth I was asking her to do this, but straight away she said to me ' Knocking on Heaven's Door'. Bob Dylan obviously spans many generations, unless there have been more recent cover versions !
Really like this shot.
I am expecting the comment "why is an angel wearing pyjamas" but I have a couple of answers ready:
"Because 75% of people die in their sleep" and
" How do you know, have you ever seen an angel?"
I don't mind the pyjamas as it gives it a more surreal look, rather than the cliché look of a tutu and tights. :)

Damian McKillicuddy Studio Experience Day
18th August 2013
Had a brilliant day in Chester last Sunday at a Damian McKillicuddy Studio Experience Day and I cannot recommend it enough. Damian is quite a well known professional photographer, has a larger than life personality and is an expert in lighting models using all types of studio lighting and speedlights.
He explains the art of model photography very well and starts by advising us to ask ourselves what is the end result you are trying to achieve and light the model accordingly.
He started by demonstrating the three main types of lighting, Butterfly, Rembrandt and loop and went on to create different sets with Zoe, an excellent professional model, demonstrating with one set how to take a professional looking image using just 2 or 3 speedlights, the final set used mixed lighting colour temperatures, model movement and a smoke machine.

A Day at Saltwick Bay
09th August 2013
Last Saturday was a beautiful Summer's day and also pretty good for photography with a deep blue sky and wispy clouds scurrying across it propelled by strong winds which ironically spoiled my day and turned out to be very expensive.... see later !
The shot below depicts the Wreck of The Admiral Von Tromp, a fishing trawler that ran aground in 1976 with the loss of 2 lives and to this day it still remains a mystery as to why the boat was travelling towards land and not on its intended course out to sea.
I did this same shot a long time ago,longer than I care to remember or own up to, around the same time as Joe Cornish,I may even have been there before him as I hadn't seen a photograph of the wreck before, I just stumbled across it on a day very similar to last Saturday.
My original shot was on Fuji Velvia slide film and the digital processing is in a similar style, I still like the punch and depth that the saturated colours give this type of image.
I got to Saltwick Bay, a mile south of Whitby Abbey, about 8.30am, too late for the 5.30am dawn light, there was a time when I would have been there for dawn, but the sun was strong and fairly low in the sky so I ran off about 20 shots in very windy conditions when disaster struck, I had my camera on a sturdy tripod but couldn't be bothered to weigh it down by suspending my camera bag beneath, I turned to pick up something from my bag an heard the tripod and camera crash onto the rocky shelf and saw the lens had broken of at the base exposing all the electronic contacts, suddenly a perfect day was spoiled.
Disheartened I had to quickly leave as the wreck is in a cove which gets cut off at high tide, I cheered up a bit to revisit the wreck in the evening when the tide had gone back out but didn't get a better shot.
A hard lesson learned :(




Mono conversion and removed the metal upright to tidy up the image, shouldn't really do this but it does improve the composition.
Photoshoot With Jess Wilcock
14th July 2013
Yesterday I did a photoshoot with a couple of friends from Lancashire, the model was Jess Wilcock from Manchester
The first half of the day was in the studio, where we used studio flash and then ambient lighting, the second half of the day was outside in an urban environment.
I am no expert with studio flash and my approach is very much trial and error, the problem with this approach is that it is difficult to see the results on the screen on the back of the camera so you can end up with a lot of shots with similar lighting which may not look good on the computer as they may have deep shadows under the eyes or on one side of the face, it is also difficult to take your time when it is a shared shoot.
Shooting outside also brings its problems as you cannot control the weather, on the day in question it was hot and sunny casting very contrasty shadows across the face but as there was some cloud, suddenly it was overcast.
Its all a good learning experience but it takes time to master, some of my better efforts are shown below.
A final big thankyou to Jess who put up with 6 hours of posing with not much of a break, a great model who is not only attractive, has a striking hair style and really knows how to pose and turn on 'the looks'.







The Great Yorkshire Show
14th July 2013
Always fancied going to the Yorkshire Show but never quite got there, but last Wednesday finally made it. I was uncertain whether there would be any good photographic opportunities but I thought it would be good to experience it.
Fortunately the day was mainly overcast, unlike the 3 days before and after, as 7 hours in the open would have been exhausting in the heat. I don't think there is massive scope for serious photographers, or maybe it was me that did not see the possibilities :). What I can say is that most of the areas are open to the public, especially good are the cattle sheds where the animals are prepared for showing.
I even managed to get into the show rings with the professional photographers without any trouble. An interesting day out but no spectacular images, I have set up a GYS gallery if you would like to see the results.
Marie Antoinette Shoot
06th July 2013
My next project will be a Marie Antoinette studio set up, have a lot to arrange yet, model, MUA, background, props but have checked out dresses from the Royal Exchange Theatre Costume hire in Manchester. These are the 2 I have short listed.


SIZE 34


SIZE 32
Edinburgh International Print Salon
30th June 2013
Great news, got 3 prints accepted in the Edinburgh International Print Salon, this is not an easy one to get acceptances in as they only hang 200 prints in their exhibition selected from about 3000 entries so very pleased.

The accepted images can be seen in my gallery and are:
Charlie and the Queen
The Foolishness of Youth
Harvest of the Skies