Monday, 21 February 2011

Working with Simon Green and Flava

Simon Green and I have come to a nice little agreement that involves him teaching and mentoring me, and I in return will work for him. At the moment we are finding time to fit everything in and get into the flow of things and so are still in the teaching/learning/observing stage. But I have to say it's going pretty great. Simon will offer me whatever he can, which I am very grateful for, as for me observing shoots of a professional and getting tips and skills along the way is pretty damn awesome. I couldn't ask for more right now. Hopefully when I have reached a level that he is happy with, I will be able to work with him too.

Yesterday Simon asked me to pop down to the studio as he was doing a shoot with UK dance group, Flava .  They were after simple commercial images for promotional purposes which could be used as the basic images or then edited to be fun shots for the website. I hung around the studio and observed whilst taking background documentary style shots of the group and Simon. They were really great fun, energetic and took some great shots.

Here is a sneak peek of my images from the day. I will post a whole post of them tomorrow when I have finished editing them!

Next week, being half term, is super busy and Simon is taking it off to spend time with his family so I won't be seeing him at all. So after next week I will pop down to the studio to go through my images and edit them with Simon. Being able to edit images with a pro is a pretty great opportunity. Getting their creative input and eye, as well as feedback on your work is also amazing. But Simon will also be going through the editing program Lightroom with me. I have only used Photoshop in my photographic life, and have heard little of Lightroom, although what I have heard is good. Simon recommends it as it makes his editing process much quicker and easier, cutting down the editing time from weeks to days. I have to admit to being a fan of photoshop. However this is because what I like to do in photoshop involves applying actions (unsure as to whether you can do this is Lightroom) and making some crazy effects. A lot of my images have been veering on the side of abstract and so have required the work to be done in Photoshop. However, as portrait photography and commercial photography requires only basic editing, Lightroom serves as the perfect tool.

A big aim of many professional photographers it seems at the moment, is the strive for getting the image right IN the camera. It makes sense. Anyone can pick up a camera, point and shoot a billion times, find one good image out of 100 and edit it. However what seperates a pro is the technical skill to be able to get the image right and do little editing. You should know the lighting, how to adjust it in camera and work with the mid-tones to get the lighting right. This is the big one. This is what I am still learning. It's not all about focus and depth of field, and it can get confusing! This style of taking photos is how it was originally done. With film you only had 36 shots, so you had to get it right. Rachel Devine and Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room spoke at the Altitude Summit conference in Salt Lake City about this. Rachel uses the general 2 roll rule, in which she restricts herself to the equivalent of 2 rolls of film worth of shots. Roughly 60/70 shots in which to get what you want done. If you're doing a bit shoot this can be a challenge. Obviously this doesn't work if all your aiming for is one good image.

Like I said, anyone can pick up a camera and shoot. Lots of people judge photographers for this, believing that anyone could do it. But it's a lot harder than that. Trust me.

So anyway. These images are what I have edited, and I will be showing them, plus the originals to Simon when I next see him. After that I will put up the ones I edited with him.

Abiento x

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