I was lucky enough to get away for a weeks holiday this summer with some very good friends. Having not been to Corfu before I was excited to visit there, however reluctant due to the economic crisis surrounding Greece at that time. However, good news was it didn’t matter a bit. Life as normal there it seems.
After spending 10 days in Tenerife last summer expecting fantastic Spanish food, beautful views and to live like kings for the holiday, we certainly did not. Terrible food, expensive and very Brits abroad. So my expectations of Greece/Corfu were not too high… I’m pleased to say i couldn’t have been more wrong.
Great weather, fantastic fresh seafood, friendly people and great value for money when eating and drinking out. Plus our Villa that we stayed in was the business.
This is a list of some of my favourite street photographers… I’m sure it will grow… It’s more for personal reference i guess! if you know anymore that should be on here let me know and I will add them!
Creative Agencies come and go, and its important to know who, what and were these companies are. Here are a list of agencies worth checking out, see what they do, how they do it, how big they are and what makes them different from the others.
If there is any that I have missed off, or think should be added to the list email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and i will check them out and ad them to the list if I think they cut it!
Arm and Eye
The Paper Boat Creative
Sudler & Hennessey
Saatchi & Saatchi
Partners Andrews Aldridge
BBH – bartleboglehegarty
http://www.mycontagion.com/ – Euro
Adam and Eve
Brothers and sister
the red brick road
Well it was not technically my first exhibition, BUT, it felt like it. I put my pictures up, wrote a biography, cringed a little whilst doing it, sent out invites, panicked that I hadn’t got enough money for booze and then relaxed and got on with talking about my photography with the family, friends and guests that had come along to have a beer and look at my work.
It was one of the most amazing things that I have done with regards to feeling like I am actually getting somewhere with photography! Last year I really upped my game and got on with some serious promotion and really wanted to make things happen. The exhibition was originally intended to be help at Gramercy Park Studios in soho, the shots were held there for a while, but i was never giving the opportunity to invite guests and actually exhibit my work, so I held another showing, at JWT in their reception area. Plenty of people from the agency turned up, I got to chat about work and future projects. had beers! All-in-all it was a lot of fun! I have to Thank all the staff at JWT for allowing me to show my work, John Proudfoot and Stuart Westcott for their amazing retouching skills, Monica Mazzini, Tim Marney, all the Models and also Jerry Tout who without him non of this would have been possible! Thanks!
This weekend was the first birthday of my good friends hair salon “Union Hair” the girls have worked incredibly hard and have done so well in their first year! I’m proud of them! aswell as being talented they are generous too! they threw a great party and had some great friends come in and say hi. Happy birthday Union! I hope that you have many more years ahead of you! if you would like to check these people out book yourself in and get your nails done! www.unionhair.co.uk/ or give them a call and speak to Laura or Zoe! TEL: 01932 222000
This Weekend was the Grand National… Of which i didn’t win!… Yet again!
But I was commissioned to do a tactical ad for Kenco by JWT. A nice simple shot, using the new Canon 5D Mk3. A great bit of kit! A Great start to April.
Back with a bang!
After a tough year last year both personally and professionally, I am back!
I cannot begin to tell you how busy i have been working on developing my photography career. Having the chance to work with a fantastic creative agency and develop my profile within my job has been one of the toughest and most rewarding things I have ever done! I have moved away from design and website design and concentrated solely on photography. If you would like to contact me regarding commissions or have any questions please feel free to contact me.
AL @ the stable london
I had read about this camera a while ago and completely forgotten about it until i came across it via Huck’s blog on twitter.
Its both inspiring and beautiful to watch, as an enthusiastic photographer and someone who dreams to one day do something a percent as creative as this!
I recently worked on this video with Trails and Ben Pollard. Really happy with the result and glad to have gotten the chance to work with these guys!
I Helped Film and direct this video along with a bit of prop making thrown in.
A little while ago one of my new pals from a band called The Catharsis asked if i would be interested in doing a logo for his new record label. The record label is an extension of what Morgan (the Founder) believes in, only putting out music that he likes regardless of if it sells or is ‘pop’ enough to sell. I love this idea and love the name. The brief was fairly loose, just a few examples and a little bit about the owner and the label manifesto. A minimalist approach was in order, nothing too fancy, nothing too modern. Morgan is a big fan of Joy division and that minimalist look with the sketchy look came was inspired by their artworks.
A minimalist approach was in order, nothing too fancy, nothing too modern. Morgan is a big fan of Joy division and that minimalist look with the sketchy look came was inspired by their artworks.
The name gave me connotations of a small old town that has some sort of biblical connotations so etchings and old drawings or religious material and old buildings and outhouses were what i started with. Typeface wise I needed something that was sympathetic to the illustration and also gave a nod to the Joy Division reference.
Due to the nature of the logo it needed to work in both a stacked and linear layout. It would need to work on Business cards, T-shirts, Online and other printed material. Its a simple logo, but effective.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in getting on touch with Morgan at Sabbath Tow Records check them out over at http://www.facebook.com/sabbathtownrecords
I’ve just seen this and loved the idea of it but it made me wonder if it’s a good innovation or if it goes against the whole point of these types of cameras…If you’re into cameras etc that is!
With applications like Hipstamatic and Instagram such a huge hit on iPhones and other such generic smart phones, digital cameras are developing and closing the gap between colour information, 35mm film and medium format quality images. Just look at the quality you can get from a consumer level SLR like the 550D compared to an earlier “Professional” standard camera, it would make sense for someone to think up a Lomography or toy camera digital version of these much loved cult cameras.
I would probably buy one of these because it’s a neat idea and a gimmick, but the whole fun and cult following of “toy” or “Lomography” cameras is that you really don’t know how the images are going to look until you get that film back from the lab. Common defects and aesthetic variables such as light leaks on the film, out of focus, over/under exposed shots. Each camera seems to have its own personality and quality, but is the innovation of a Digital Holga camera a step towards a homogeneous kind of Lomographyesque photography where people know exactly how shots are going to come out – with a colour grade and film grain look on it, nodding back to those early cameras and styles of photography? These cameras open up the market to everyone who wants to take quirky pictures at a better resolution than is currently available with smartphone Apps and without learning how to do it in photoshop/aperture and it also eliminates the expense of developing and printing your negatives.
It’s a bit of a rant and I guess the same things might have been said about everything that has gone from analogue to digital, but at least when digital cameras were invented it was a whole new world to photography. Is this just another gimmick for people to put bad photos on Facebook?
About a month ago now I rescued my old Canon FTb from a dusty draw and decided to look further in to why it had forsaken me by blowing out all the images I took the last time I had it out with me.
Looking at it I found that the aperture ring in the lens had broken and was not adjusting. Everything else seemed fine on the body such as shutter speed and control, dials and metering seemed fine. A couple of days later I had a bargain deal on a new second hand 50mm f1.8 S.C lens at a cost of about £20 inc. p&p.
Loaded with so ridiculously expired film (no point in wasting some good stuff if it’s still broken) I have been carrying this tank of a camera with me everywhere. Roll finished and £4.99 and 1 hour service later the negs came back. After seeing a mate able to scan using a flatbed scanner I wanted to see what I could do with mine… Not alot so Jessops got £50 of my money in exchange for a Summit SP2 Photofix negative/slide scanner.
When I was doing my reading up on scanners there wasn’t really alot out there. And alot of there brands I have never heard of and have identical looking boxes made by about 4 different brands. So I thought get one. What’s the worst that can happen. Getting it home I was impressed with the size and ease of set up. Software is clunky but straightforward enough. Plug it in, choose your slide settings and load the film begs in to the holder, insert and click capture. Simples. After a bit of use I found that it exposes slightly better if you leave it for a while to do its thing. The maximum resolution is 3600dpi so it’s not too bad I thought.
Once I had scanned in a bunch of negs as high quality tiffs and jpegs I obviously had to bring them in to photoshop and work in them. At 100% these files are noisy and grainy and have lines rubbing through them. This could partly be due to the expiration date of the film used (which also meant colours were inconsistent and faded) but the lines through the images were a result I was not expecting. Having gotten used to high res desktop scanners and practically noise free digital camera images I did not even take in to account this digital noise issue and obviously this is down to the quality of the scanner and resolution. It’s certainly too soft to work on retouching wise. I thought I would be able to get a shot in in film, get it developed and use it alongside my digital work. I think not.
I will have to test some more films first but I have a feeling it will be going back to jessops and I will be spending a bit more money in the new year on a better scanner.
As you can see the images are OK At a small size but blow them up and the result is soft, noisy and low quality. The expired film used as said before could add to the issues. Further tests will be carried out and I shall give 100% image samples. If I wanted a stylised low res image I might as well just use my iPhone and hipstmatic!
Over the last two and a bit months I’ve been photographing as many gigs as i can get in to!, which has been interesting with little money due to saving to move in to London. I cannot hack the commute anymore! This set is a few selects from the Barfly show in November with Trails opening the show in true style. Full of energy, fantastic sound and a rock vibe that makes you want to party your legs off! and nearly smashing my camera up in the process! 22 were second on and a set to remember! UV lights, strobes galore and amazing music mu only issue was that due to how packed the venue was I left my flash in my bag at the merch stand and thought i wouldn’t need it, after doing tests with the guys in trails the lighting was OK and thought i wouldn’t need it with a nice 2.8 lens on the camera. NOTE TO SELF: Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups!
As soon as 22 came on the lights were out and I got a whole bunch of UV smears on my screen! not great so it was a bit of quick thinking with the settings and also getting lucky with the other photographers flashing away like lunatics! at some points i felt bad for the bands due to one photographers complete disregard and blasting them in the face.
Arcane Roots came on and the crowd jammed right up close and locked me in a corner. A few of the shots came out well but from the same view point there was not a lot of variety. Lessons learned Take a flash if its allowed but use it sparingly or with the band in mind.
Have more confidence with the kit and I need to just get the shots! fuck everyone else, its my pictures that matter at that moment. Don’t get squashed in to a corner, its not going to get you the best shots! and finally Photographing gigs is hard work and a great test for seeing how well you know how to use your camera.
I hated photographing concerts because there is so much competition with other photographers and probably because I didn’t know my camera well enough so its a great way to learn under pressure and every gig i learn something new and normally come away with one photograph that I am happy with. And this is one of them!
so I might be taking more shots at gigs in the new year.
After a bit of a break from the “Admin” side of things and just keeping busy on the living day-by-day side of things The Stable London is now back to it! We’ve had some amazing projects come out way and ALOT more in the pipeline. Concentrating on improving my gig photography I have bee attending 2-4 shows a week in an attempt to get my skills up to scratch! Its so hard but totally worth it! and I have found that gig photography is a great way to get your name around quickly and show waht you can do!
Still having said that I much prefer the art of desining a shot and planning the shoot side of things so i know exactly how my images are going to come out, rather than the “Oh shit this venue has crap lighting” or “there is 5 photographers already here taking pictures” gig side of things.
So I’m updating the portfolio section and setting the foundation for the projects i have worked on recently so that when the site gets its tweaks and amends in the very near future i will be able to show you ALL of the work and selects in all their glory.
Keep inspired and keep looking at whats around you. Ive found that keeping your head above ground is the only way to be inspired. working away in a room on your own going over the 1 influence that you think makes you different…does not make you different at all… It just makes you seem lazy and niche.
I was asked to take some shots of the Morellas, A 1940’s inspired Female vocal group for an upcoming gig at Wembley Excel center. Their existing images were not up to the standard they required so I worked with them to produce a range of single shots and a group shot. Make-up Artist: Amy-Lei. Hair stylist: Jo Wells
I have have really busy as of late, I am trying to keep myself busy. Going through some tough times at the moment and writing anything on here just seems futile!
I dont know when i will get my thoughts in to some sort of cohesive logical state, but the reason i started writing this blog was to put my thoughts and journey as a designer in to the world. the books i’ve been reading, the influences i am taking from. It all seems pretty pointless at the moment. Normal service will resume I am sure. But writing words about things that no one will ever read seems pointless at the moment.
Yeah i’ve been taking pictures, yeah i’ve been buying art, yea i still live at home, yeah i work a day job, yeah its all pretty standard stuff.
Your missed only by the people who notice you.
Recently I took on a project with the Morellas, a 1940’s inspired vocal group. The shoot was to generate promo images to be used on Britain and Ireland’s next top model live show and also their own website and social networking sites. It was a seriously busy day, I arrived at 9am with a car full of kit and the 5 girls were already getting hair and make-up done. by 1.30 they were ready for me to start shooting. The girls wanted individual shots so i did a range of tight crops and bust shots. I also managed to get in a quick group shot.
Hair by Jo wells, Make-up by Amy-Lei. Photography and retouching by Alan Harford thestable-london.com. The images came out great. It was a fantastic project to have been involved in as i got to really play around with lighting within a limited space and try and get a nice even lighting and pick out the detail in the girls hair and make-up.
This weekend Has been Busy Photographed a band called The Catharsis in The Zenith bar in Angel friday night and had a blast with the band. Went to a Film production seminar in LDN Saturday and Sunday did a long old shoot with The Morellas a 1940’s styled group. The shoot was to arranged inorder to get a few shots of the girls individually and also last minute get a group shot.
The retouching was really fun to do, I learn’t alot from this one image. I am happy with the end result but there is a few things I wished i’d changed whilst shooting. Perhaps alter the pose and adjust the composition slightly. You live and learn.
Video was shot using a Canon 550D using a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens and a Nikon D300s with a 35mm 1.8 prime. Audio was recorded and mixed by Doug Grant @ Homeless music. Edited by Max Downey (www.maxdowney.com) and David Phelps. Graded by Matt Lee-Redman.
Assisted by Katy Sparkes (www.sparkesfx.com)and Stephen Poole.
This is what can be done with a Canon 7D video!
It just blows my mind. The story is touching and heartfelt, the shots are beautiful and the overall look and feel is just fantastic!
Directed/Edited: Eliot Rausch
Director of Photography: Luke Korver, Matt B. Taylor
Song: Big Red Machine / Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
check out Phospictures http://www.phospictures.com/
If you see any videos that you like email them over to me and i’ll put them up online here for others to check out.
After I had backed up all the footage and had it converted from the native format on my Nikon D300s and the Canon 550D I had it converted all to ProRes HD. any footage that was not full 1080p was up-scaled and brought to a consistent format, to ensure that everything was the best it could be going in to the edit. Using the latest purchase to transport the data around the place my new 2TB WD MyBook. Once converted the rushes turned out to nearly 188GB!
Sitting down without a plan or knowledge of how to edit is a pretty daunting task, so i spent the best part of 3 hours on a monday evening attempting and failing to edit this video and get clips synced up…. MASSIVE error. one thing i have learn’t by now is stick to what your good at. Even though recently i did a post about being a jack of all trades I think that eveyone has their limits. and learning to cut video on a live music video was probably a bit more than i had bargained for. Cue Max Downey a friend and colleague from Hogarth Worldwide (my current daytime job employer). Max is certainly making some waves with his skills and offered to help me on this project and show me the ropes. Speaking to him and watching him work you can see straight away that he knows exactly what he is doing. Setting up the footage he quickly makes a rough edit using multi clip editing process it lays down the foundation for what is to be the video.
Creating a 3 camera cut and getting everything in time to the beat is the next stage in the process for this video. the video quickly takes shape and within the first evening we have the first cut with initial roaming shots and cutaways peppered in the mix to give the video its pace and intensity. Making notes on the train home I had to look for shots that I liked and shots that i could do with cutting out. Second session with Max the Edit was done to how we felt it should look, with loads of teh roaming shots used and details and nice tweaks to give the video a wide variety of shots and keep the video interesting. The audio take had to be re-recorded due to the over-spill from the live recording session being too much, luckily the audio engineer was top notch and sorted it all out perfectly and it slotted in exactly the same.
Its now waiting to be graded, to get the some of the shots more consistent and bring some of the detail out in the shots. Due to the lack of lighting and also trying to keep the location hidden so it doesn’t look like its in a school hall. I’ve adjusted some of the shots and got rid of the main centre on establishing shots as I was never happy with that shot and also with a bit of an open forum with some editors at work, I decided to get rid of it which now gives the final cut more intensity and doesn’t allow the audience to relax between the shots. I’m just really looking forwards to handing over the final file to the band. I’m now planning to arrange a release promotion and try and get it exposed as much as possible.
With the evolution of many DSLR’s featuring HD video capabilities, I have been itching for a reason to bust out the camera and film something. Going out for a beer a few months ago with Matt from Foley Artist (who i seem to be doing a lot of projects for at the moment) spoke about projects that I was keen to undertake or try out, somehow moved on to the mention of doing video work using DSLR camera kit that i have got and how I’ve been testing a few bits out. Keen for them to have a video to raise their profile as a band and also to accompany the recent release of their debut Gorgeous Dog E.P (recorded buy Doug Grant @ Homeless Music).
Discussing this further over a few lagers we decided to make a go of it and produce a video, as i had a promo project for another band fall through I was keen to use the time allocated and get some more work under my belt during the month of July. My creative partner and I have been working on a few ideas for future projects and I felt that Foley Artist was the perfect match for our live session concept. Speaking to the band I put forwards the treatment and took a bit more of a brief of what they wanted. Foley Artist didn’t want to use a pre-existing song as they felt that they had already done that and were giving them out for free at shows, they wanted some newer material to be recorded and publicised. Sitting in their kitchen discussing ideas, it was key for me at a first project to keep it simple and keep it organised. Getting the band to organise location and proposed props was first up as the budget did not allow me to spend my time buying/renting these things in. I spent the next 3 weeks getting camera kit in and making sure i had a good idea of how things needed to roll on the day of the shoot. Organising people to assist was a hard task at such short notice and on a weekend, but thankfully Katy Sparkes (www.sparkesfx.com) my got SFX make-up artist and Stephen Poole friend a friend of the band were there to help out. Because we wanted to give the video a live look and feel audio would have to be done on the day, so enlisting the talents of Doug Grant Co-Owner and engineer of Homeless Music a mobile HD Pro-Tools based recording solution that has worked with the many local bands offering a cost effective solution for audio all the way up to the likes of Arcane Roots who are seeming to be a force to be reckoned with…Anyway… This solution meant that we could achieve a live performance that was top quality and sat well with eh video takes I would capture.
Arriving on the day to an empty school hall my first panic was how the hell am i going to light this and make it not look like a school hall!!! Tapeing binbags to the windows and shutters blacked out alot of the “schooly” type stuff and laying the old patterned rugs down gave the set a live-lounge feel that i was aiming for…Not quite Abbey Road or Maida Vale but you have to start somewhere!
Setting up took close to 4 hours with a quick break for lunch, we started filming the three locked off angles and Audio was completed in 5 takes, using the audio playback the various roaming shots, close ups and my first attempt at using my Hague DSLR Stabiliser rig… think I need a bit more practice with that thing!!! Being the Set designer, lighting op, Director and Camera man certainly meant that I did a lot of running around over the meagre 3 hours we had to shoot, before the breaking down of the equipment had to be done. Ingestion and backing up were a major priority then on to Editing. More to follow…
I seem to be working alot with the Foley Artist at the moment, having shot two promo shoots with them and also shooting a live performance video with them, they seem to be liking what i am doing (which is always a good thing). For any band gigs are the life blood, they get them out there and infront of crowds, the more you play the bigger the crowds (if your any good that is). I think these guys are a great bunch and really enjoy their music. As a client they are pretty easy which is always a nice change, they give me a fairly open brief and let me get on with it. I had seen a few of the examples they had put together which was a kind of DIY punk style with cut out images and a rough looking type style. With that in mind i really wanted to use images that i had taken from the promo session i had done previously.
In my opinion when doing a flyer for a fairly unknown band its important that the flyers are clean, clean and accessible. I see so many flyers for heavy metal bands or indie bands that play the London circuit and you can barely read them, they are certainly pretty to look at as a piece of “flyer art” as I call it, but for the 3 seconds people normally spend reading flyers its got to get the bite size bit of information to it’s audience quickly.
With a shot selected I took the supplied examples from the band and chose a very clean Gotham font and a selective colour pallet as the starting point. The type coming at angles frames the main body of text and works with the image subjects. Designing a flyer is not something that i would normally rave about or i would say i do lots of but when trying to get in to the music design scene, these small jobs and favours add up. A firstly successful execution i feel and would certainly work as a template for this bands future flyers. building up a brand identity is almost as important as writing great music to bring in the crowds.
For more information on this band check them and their FREE E.P out over at their Bandcamp Page
If you would like to see some of the shots i have done for these guys there are some older posts here
Shot during and after a weekend photography course at the amazing Garage Studios in Brighton’s North Lanes. I found it gave me a completely different perspective on how to shoot models and people, and gave me the confidence to take a risk and just ask to “make” a photo with a complete stranger.
I was contacted by Sian Sanderson a Soul singer from London. The Brief was to create a look that was not the normal Woodland location
or sitting by a lake look and feel. As the Styling of the artist was quite alternative and her music so soulful,
The High tea styling was this inspiration for this shoot. Something that was striking, different, elegant and useable in a myriad of usages
from flyers to online usage.
Taking inspiration from files like 28Days later and Zombie Land the goal was to produce a range of images that were both exciting and pushed my skills in every way, from pre-production and location scouting to retouching the images in enhance the already terrifying make-up effects. With Assistance from Matt Allen and Awesome Special Effects make-up by Katy Sparkes.
Folding techniques for designers..
I got it from magma books just off of leather lane, where I was helping out In the print studio at Greyworks. Now for £20 and a penny change I got the book and cd with all of the folding templates…now you who’d have thought that the name would have given it away for me but it basically shows you a bunch of origami stuff. Fanning and wet creasing… Not what I am after. The book looked great in the shop but once I got back to the studio I was a bit disappointed with my purchase. Needless to say I shall be taking it back to magma books in covent garden and changing it up for a more structure based paper engineering book.
Stand by for a better review tomorrow I hope.
This is a very quick film test i did using the work 550D with an ebay adpter ring (£8.99) and my Nikon 1.4 lens.
I will follow up with a proper film test later, but it looks good and gives me food for thought to buy one very soon!!
I’ve just started work on my Girlfriends website http://www.elissafranceschi.com to help her promote and act as a landing site for her New album Into the Light. Of which the Artwork was designed by myself. It was a big style rush job and was Design and built in 2 evenings. The eCommerce shop was done by a friend Jan Leeks who is a genious and not just web development but anything Arsenal! the Man is a ledge!
The site needed to be clean and simple, Be straight forwards for me to build and use the existing look and feel for the new album. Using a shot that didn’t make the cut for the album artwork (Taken by Josh Jones) The image needed extending as did most of the images in this artwork. Something i will insist the Photographers to do next time i do artwork for a CD is tell them to SHOOT WIDE! its all very well making a nice looking image but its not good when you have 12 songs of lyrics to include along with the standard Please and Thank yous that Albums tend to include.
Its been really simple to do as most of the framework had already been set up previously, the Bio page and Store page and the Blog. It was just up to me to tie them up to an umbrella page and develop a Picture Gallery. In time additional pages will come such as gig pages but for now it was just important for us to get site up ready for the launch of the album, which appears to have been very well received!!
Also this weekend I’ve been using my Nikon D300s to use for video work recording video blogs for Elissa and I have to say i am not very happy with it. Really bad camera noise which is audioble when filming, even when using an off camera microphone. I think the Canon 550D will be bough and in my mitts in no time at this rate!!
If only i could afford the 5D!!!