Tag Archives: Blog

Facebook Photos & Gala Bingo Metrocentre

A couple of weeks ago I headed up to Gateshead to photograph the relaunch of Gala Bingo Metrocentre for the guys at 1000 Heads to be used on the Gala Bingo Facebook page. Facebook allows individual bingo players an online community and place to engage with one another and Gala Bingo itself. Like all online media content is key and photographs are a great way of  to both engage an audience and allow interaction especially through Facebook which people can comment on photos and tag themselves in them. Gala Bingo Metrocentre like a lot of the Gala Bingo sites has it’s own dedicated Facebook page from which you can find the whole gallery of photos from the shoot and info on Gala Bingo all of which were edited in camera and handed over on the day for overnight uploading to Facebook. Continue reading »

Testing Times

 

Testing kit is essential, whether it is a new purchase or just something you’ve hired in or borrowed. User manuals are great as are the hundreds of user videos on Vimeo and YouTube but actually testing and playing with a bit of kit gives you the opportunity to try things others have not thought of or in situations unique to you.

Next week we’ve got a time lapse running from Monday to Wednesday for a client using a GoPro HD Hero2. The reason we have opted for this camera is a result of several factors but mainly due to power, the GoPro can be powered from the mains using a mini USB adapter. This means the camera can be set up and left to run for the whole time using a large SD card. This brings the cost down for the client and hassle for us.

On this occasion the client is supplying their own camera but relying on us to capture the sequence. To that end I have bought my own GoPro HD Hero2 and started the testing. It is something I have wanted an excuse to buy any way and am sure it will get used in the future anyway. So today the testing started with a time lapse test on a drive from home to Pinewood Studios. I set the camera to shoot at half second intervals and I turned off the spot meter.

One thing I find out that I hadn’t read about was the fact that the GoPro seems to have a folder max size of 999 images and when it hits that limit it creates and starts a new folder. This of course means that multiple image sequences had to be created in QuickTime Pro. These were then edited together in FCP 7. Music came from audionetwork costing a whole £1 for a non commercial licence . Rather that then ripping something off itunes and not paying for it even if the project is non profit. Musicians are artists too. There are many instances where the internet becomes enraged when a filmmaker or photographer has their work is used without permission and shared with the world so it’s a shame so many don’t seem to have the same respect for other artist’s work.

 

A Very British Cult on Indiegogo

 

This week sees the launch of the Indiegogo campaign for  November Films “A Very British Cult.”   A Very British Cult is going to be a feature length documentary about the 1970’s and early 1980’s self help group Exegesis. A group that was  not short of controversy every resulting in questions in Parliament and a BBC program about it.

Louis Price our director grow up in the program with both his parents members of the organisation and is exploring what really went on and examining how it has effected his and the other members lives.

Most of the documentary will be shot digitally just like the above pitch video which we filmed main on my Canon 5D. However there is the intention is to shoot part of the documentary using dramatic re-enactment the on 16mm film, which will be more in keeping with media production of the time . This will probably be the last time I get to shoot on actual film which is both an exciting and yet sad prospect.

November films have a good track record in the documentary field having already produced Beyond Biba, and distributed several documentaries in the UK.

To learn more about the campaign or the film click here to take you to the Indiegogo campaign page

 

Cooking test shoot

As the year is coming to an end and the nights are drawing in I am already planning projects for next year. One of which is to be a cooking series injunction with with brother-in-law Iain who as well as being a trained chef is now an organic farmer, with a farm on the Suffolk/Essex border. Currently they visit two farmers markets a week one in Stoke Newington on a Saturday and Queens Park Farmers Market on a Sunday. Here Iain not only sells the produce of the farm but often gives out cooking advice. Next year we intent to take this a little further and create a cooking video blog around the farm and the produce it sells integrated with recipe methods and ingredient lists.  Right now we are in the designing and testing stages before going into production sometime after Christmas, trying to establish a look and style along with the practicalities, which are numerous.

The video above was shot in that vain, to see how the lenses I currently own as well as how the Canon 5d mk2 would fair close up. So as christmas was coming I thought I’d try  shooting the making of a Christmas cake. Admittedly the cake in question was a Delia Smith kit from Waitrose. Lighting wise I did start out with practical available light and my 150w pepper until the bulb exploded and from there on it was just the kitchen and under counter lights. As the location we have in mind doesn’t currently have a mains electricity supply we will be looking low powered and battery powered lighting for the actual shoots. This is only one test we will need to undertake along with a set test and testing what are the best cooking equipment to use both in terms of best for filming, cooking and overall design look.

Nothing To See Here

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Everyday people, companies and organisations all try to get our attention and garner our interest. This is what advertising is essentially about. For years communicating advertising messages to large sways of the population was restricted by money, the more money you had the more people you could reach. But heres the thing advertisers and advertising agencies have always known it’s not the quantity of people you reach its the right kind of people you reach. It is advertisings 101.

Today it is cheaper to connect with a mass audience using the web, advertising revenues are huge for the web at large and porthole sites such as google. Web advertising predominantly relies on click throughs from one site to another whether it be sales or information and this is the fundamental difference between traditional advertising, print, TV, radio and the web. Traditional advertising wants to take you somewhere else from where you hear or see an ad, that or in gauge a emotional connection or notion about a product or brand which outlasts your connection to the advert. If traditional advertising didn’t still work we wouldn’t have free to air TV still. Continue reading »

Workflow: Backing it up

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This week a good friend of mine had his car broken into and had his laptop, ipad, and back up hard drive stolen loosing everything. This is a a fears for most of us in the digital age with our whole lives centred in one place, diary, photo album, music collection, love notes, emails, and work. Hearing this first hand is the equivalent of a digital mortality check.

Backing up is important but so is separation of back ups especially when traveling. On the off chance your bag gets stolen you wont loose everything. But it’s not just the fear of theft we should be worried about it’s failure of equipment, computers and hard drives do have a tendency of stopping work, no matter what their age. I had a LaCie rugged hard drive I was using as my portable hard drive, it lasted less then a month. Clients have phoned slightly panicked to ask if I have a copy of the footage I shot for them as their drive had failed, strangely enough another LaCie Rugged drive, and yes I did have a copy. Continue reading »

Freeing Old Negatives

There use to be a time when people would quite often only shoot one roll of film a year.  The roll would either contain 24 or 36 exposures and would have a family Christmas at the beginning then a sumer holiday and then at the end of the roll the start of the next Christmas.  Today we all takes more pictures than ever before. Not only do we take more we probably share them more with email, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.  But what about all those old negatives we have in draws, packets and files? Just like that pile of CDs that are now on the computer it’s possible to do the same with those negatives.  Film scanners can be relatively cheaply bought either new or on Ebay.  Use it  to scan all your  archive and then you can stick it back on Ebay or pass it on to a friend to do theirs. Last thing any of us want is another un-unsed box cluttering the place up.

Here are a few I scanned in the other day.  Most of the negatives are from my work as Picture editor at the University of Westminster Students’ Union fortnightly magazine, The Smoke.  Most of the photos were shot using either my  my trusty Olympus OM2n, using a mixture of Ilford HP5 and Delta 400. The scanner is no way be means up to modern standards, it’s ten years old and has lived in a draw for much of that time. The software is not great and the whole thing is rather temperamental but its nice to rediscover images that I had forgotten. The scanned negs have not been altered but for the removal of the odd bit of dust, just shows how good the faithfully thirty something year old OM2 is.

 

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The Best Camera.

Although I am very lucky to have some great equipment I don’t have it will be 24/7. However I more likely than not to have my iPhone with me.  My iPhone allows me to quickly take photographs with out much effort at all. “The best camera is the one you have with you” to quote Chase Jarvis.

The iPhone like many mobile phones as an incredible camera built into it which alone a few years ago would have cost more than the phone itself does today.  This is great for everyone and unlike traditional cameras and I include film and digital in that, it is far easier and quicker to show and share your pictures with others via MMS picture message, by email,  or social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  Now of this will come as any great headline news I would imagine but with a new raft of Apps for the iPhone it is even easier to create even more stunning and interesting images where once you would have needed thousands of pounds worth of software to do so.  My current favourite App is Best Camera created by photographer Chase Jarvis.  Best Camera, unlike other photo Apps gives you the ability to create your own unique look by stacking a selection of filters on top of one another and there by giving you greater input into how the final image will look.  Best Camera also allows you to share to all your social media, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, email and to it’s one community gallery in a couple of clicks once you have set it up. Genius!

A few recent iphone photos.