A list of Creative Agencies in London

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:  hello@thestable-london.com and i will check them out and ad them to the list.

 

The Nautilus
Playgroup
Freely
Will London
Mother
Fallon
Biblioteque
The Paper Boat Creative
Superfad
tequila
agency.com
TBWA
unit9
McCann Erickson
JWT
Publicis
Sudler & Hennessey
Ogilvy
TAG Worldwide
Saatchi & Saatchi
Lowe
Fruition London
http://www.nexusproductions.com/
BD Network
Radley Yeldar
CDP Advertising
Iris
Sector light
Partners Andrews Aldridge
Elvis
Ideas Eurobrand
The Hub+
BBH – bartleboglehegarty
Krow
CHI
http://www.mycontagion.com/ – Euro
http://www.deep.co.uk/
http://www.spotlightideas.co.uk/?p=122
Joshua G2
Addiction
Adam and Eve
Karmarama
Krow
Souk
St. Lukes
Brothers and sister
AMVBBDO
Proximity
Freud Communication
DCH
albion
splash-london
Grey
RSCG
Watermill
CHI
CIA
www.krowcommunications

http://www.deadpixels.co.uk/

Naked
Albion
Glu
http://www.hi-res.net/
the red brick road
Mullen
Arnold
Amsterdam
Selmore
Droga 5
http://www.monorex.com
http://www.idexperiential.co.uk/
http://www.digitalanddirect.com
http://www.living-group.com
http://www.jory.co.uk/
http://www.dotcog.com/

html5agency

My first Exhibition 2013

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!

JWT Reception Exhibition

JWT Reception Exhibition

My Biography

 

shots of portraits

Urban portrait

Trails

Trails #2

High Tea #1

High Tea #2

High Tea #3

Exhibition view

Beers!

Trails #3

JWT

Wide shot of Exhibition

Wide shot of Exhibition #2

 

Union Hair turns 1

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

Everyone loves cakes!

Everyone loves cakes!

nice to see a full house!!

nice to see a full house!!

Professional Photographer Portfolio entry

This weekend I took delivery of the latest issue of Professional Photographer… and Guess what!… I’m in it!
this is a dream come true for me, to have one of my images in print is something that I have always wanted! Onwards and Upwards!!!!

May Issue of Professional Photographer Magazine

May Issue of Professional Photographer Magazine

Alan Harford Neon Face PP. Portfolio

Until next time thanks for Listening…

Kenco: Grand National tactical ad.

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.

Shot of the ad in the newspaper

Printed Version of the latest Commissioned job for JWT

 

Kenco, JWT, Advertisng

Printed Version of the latest Commissioned job for JWT

And I’m back!…

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

Worlds largest wet-plate camera

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!

Enjoy!!

Trails – A turn of phrase video

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.

 

Digital Holga Camera

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!

 

a pre-visualisation render

http://www.saikatbiswas.com/web/Projects/Holga_D.htm

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.

Lomography explained: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomography

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?

Summit SP2 Photofix scanner review

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.

summit negative scanner

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.

20111220-190247.jpg

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.

20111220-190045.jpg

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.

20111221-083501.jpg

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!

Arcane Roots Barfly gig

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!Trails

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.

Right! I think We’re fireing on all cylinders again now!

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.
adieux

Morellas Promo Shoot

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

while others can.. I simply can’t

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.

Morellas Promo Shoot

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.

Lucy Pose 1Alice Pose 1Lolo Morellas Pose 1Corrine Pose 1Becky Pose 2Lola Morellas Pose 2

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.

Morellas Photoshoot groups shot

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.

 

Morellas_Group_Final_thestablelondon

 
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.

Foley Artist – Loretta D. Brown

 

Live performance video for Foley Artist, a 3 piece Surrey based band. www.foleyartistband.com
Directed, Filmed and Produced by Alan Harford – www.thestable-london.com

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.

Great Canon 7D video

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.

Editing a Music Video

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.

 

Editing 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.

Planning and filming a music video

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).

 

Crew and Band from the Foley Artist shoot

 

 

 

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.

Shot 2 for Foley Artist Shoot

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!

 screenshot from the footage

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…

Gig flyer Design for Foley Artist

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.

 

Foley Artist gig flyer

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

Websites

A range of websites that i have designed and built for companies. Using HTML, CSS and Javascript technologies to meet the briefs set by the client, and to achieve a bespoke website.

Portraits

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.

Sian Sanderson Promo Shoot

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.

 

Zombie Apocolypse

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.

 




Books I am reading

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.

Elissa Franceschi Website and CD Artwork

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!!!

 

Portrait Workshop with lou o’bedlam

I have just got back from a fantastic weekend away in Brighton. This was not just an excuse to get down to the coast but a weekend based around Portrait photography.

Last year i attended Garage Studios flash photography course taught by Mr Adam Bronkhorst, sitting in for the first part was a chap called lou o’bedlam who had taught a portrait course the previous night. Needless to say i have been waiting for his next visit to the studio again and have not been let down by what i took away from the weekend. Starting the Saturday with the intermediate course we touched on the basics of portrait photography and what makes us as photographers take better pictures, and what differentiates us from happy snappers who take pictures for memories rather than to show others and seek others approval.

Lou doing his teaching thing

 

Model pose from Garage Studio

We were given the chance to shoot with a couple of different models and then critique others work and have ours pulled apart with a view to seek out what works, what doesn’t and how to improve. The weekend was really interesting as it talked about deeper things than just taking pictures of pretty girls but also what it takes to get the “gold” from a model or the subject you are photographing. using devices and techniques to distract the model from their preset poses and physical structures. The importance of taking your time wherever possible to talk to the subject and to establish what it is that you find attactive about the subject that you can focus in on and capture in your one frame that tells a story and suggests a captured moment in front of the camera.

 

Tess posing for a fellow student

I found it interesting learning about the pose of a model and what makes a model more attractive and why. This was covered more on the second day that delved deeper in to the aspects of what makes a good image and why some body shapes, poses and crops should used. particularly in hands and limbs, which can look strange to the subconscious if cropped oddly… Something i would have never thought about before this weekend. the word Arbitrary was used a lot when talking about crops of an image. Things need to be done for a purpose.

I took some good shots and also some bad, but Lou said kept saying that even if its a bad shot its not the end of the world! Its just a bad photo. I learn’t that even if they are bad, I can still learn from the shots. I ended on a high with my favourite shot of the weekend! When I took this shot i had gotten the chance to develop some form of relationship with the model and got a bit of banter going. The models were really professional, really friendly and made it really relaxed. Lou kept saying that we didn’t need to worry because they were “just models” but i think that was just to make us not feel intimidated when photographing with them under such a false situation.

Model Portrait from this weekend at Garage Studios Brighton

 

I had such a great time doing this course and would recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their photography technique. Lou was a funny guy and has given me a reason to get out there and shoot portraits more. It gives me a confidence for my more production based shoots in the future and has taught me that I need to break down the process of taking a picture in to micro details, concentrating on one thing at a time, until that one thing becomes second nature, then you move on to the next thing, then the next thing until the whole process is just a reflex. So i need to shoot more and shoot often! because It is fun, it is a rush and it is great getting good feedback from others regarding the work that I do. One thing i wish i had done is gotten the class members contact or flickr pages so i could have kept in the loop of what they do in the future.

 

Tessa poses for my final and best shot of the course

I have put some others up on my Flickr and will post some more at some point.

Like Lou says on his website

“Photography is Love.
Love is God.
Photography is God.”

Sian Sanderson Promo shoot

Sian Sanderson Posing for a shot we took mid June

Sian Sanders promo shoot

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Sian Sanderson a talented singer songwriter. She approached me a few months ago and asked if I would like to work with her and get some shots she can use for her online presence. I instantly said yes and brought a good friend of mine Katy Sparkes onboard who was responsible for the awesome zombie shoot I did about 6 or so weeks ago. We had actually been discussing how badly we wanted to photograph a female with tattoos and a rock n roll look just before Sian approached me so it must have been a sign or something.

The brief was open as she had no real ideas as far as direction or styles went just as long as it wasn’t the whole long grass or forest set ups that seem to spam alot of the interweb. After a bit of thinking it and looking at some of the styles of my favourite photographers I had a concept of her taking high tea at a really posh location and surrounded by bright cakes and indulgence.

This for me seemed a great way to juxtaposition her alternative look and style with something that be taken as a fashion shoot as well as a promo for a singer. With this brief I sorted the location at originally the Oatlands Park Hotel but upon a recce thought it was not swish enough for what I needed. Roll on to a bit of a panic the week before the shoot. I have the model, all the props and dress sorted, the makeup artist was set just no location.

Thanks to the Nic and Karen at the Hand and Spear pub in Weybridge, Owners of the recently refurbished Youngs pub. The styling was just what i was  I had in mind and just an awesome location. Regarding the butler the wonderful Andy Jackson an old friend of mine seemed to just work so well with Sian, both looks and personality wise. A good laugh was had and just really glad it went so well!

The shoot was fast and went well. The retouching was minimal due to great makeup and a clear skinned model. Overall it was a great shoot, and really looking forwards to the next one! so if you have any ideas or suggestions get in contact!

The stable bought some flash triggers

Hi.

I have just bought from warehouse express Interfit Strobies i Sync Receiver
Interfit Strobies i Sync 4 Wireless and Optical Trigger/Receiver Set.

For my d300s powering my nikon sb800 and sb900.

Has anyone else used them before. I am going to give them a go this weekend and see how I get on with them. Ideally I would have liked the T2d’s but they are £200 for what I needed or the new pocket wizards which is more like £500 up till now the cls camera system on the D300s has been great because I can adjust the flashes on camera, but the infra red outside is just rubbish. It’s a nightmare unless right in line of sight.

I have no idea how the shots are going to be effected or enhanced with this new bit of kit but hopefully it won’t slow me down because things will have to be manually adjusted.

Let’s hope they are reliable on shoots and not too battery hungry otherwise they will be getting sent straight back!!

I guess review and feedback of shots to follow.

The Stable goes Lomo

I recently won a place at Garage Studios in Brighton and these are my thoughts about the day and Lomo cameras!

Having never touched a Lomo or a Diana cameras before the course i was not sure what i would be able to get from the day. It was a quick learning curve for me as i had a bit of a background in 35mm photography before and understood the basics such as ISO, Aperture and Shutter speeds from my Digital SLR Photography experience. I had a great time and learnt a lot about the history and techniques behind Lomo photography and so that we all had a purpose and inspiration for shots, we each had a shot list which we had to complete within our two rolls of film. It’s a big step back from the Digital photography I know and am used to, but I found it very liberating at the same time because I had to think about what I was going to shoot more and not have a clue as to how it was going to turn out until i got it developed.

This i found most exciting about the whole experience, the unknown and organic nature that Lomography camera have, each one a style and personality of its own. Since the course i have received a Diana F cameras a gift and enjoy taking it out with me on trips. It’ a bit like a busman’s holiday from photography when i take a Lomo camera out with me instead of my Digital camera. The experience is a pleasure and each picture developed i learn or find something new…. I still need to practice my focusing though!!

 

Lomo Smart Car

Lomo Smart Car

 

 

Angle

Angle

 

Multiple Exposures

Multiple Exposures

 

Street band in Brighton

Street band in Brighton

A Can of beer left in the streets of Brighton

Good Times!!

I have a Roll of Black and White film which i am still to scan and process in photoshop so i shall look forwards to sharing them in the future!

Cheers

The stable

Paperchain gets its picture taken

The other week Geraint from paperchain said that his shop needed some new imagery and a storefront shot to go on the website. Obviously I said I would love to do it as a keen photographer and a good friend of the shop.

I have worked with Geraint previously on some new product shots for the website which came out really well. You can currently check them out on the paperchain website. www.paperchainproducts.com

After work in London doing my day job we headed over to the shop. I always shocked with the amount of kit I have bought and collected in the last couple of years! Assisted by another good friend and talented make up artist Katy Sparkes www.sparkesfx.com and of course supervised by paperchains director Geraint Smith we hot footed it in to Kingston and got set up!

The shop is much bigger than I could handle with even an 18-55mm kit lens so I had to set the D300s up on a tripod and shoot thR shop in sections and stitch it together in post. (something I hadn’t done until this project!) but I am really happy with the end result and think that it shows the shop in an interesting way.

I hope you enjoy it and come visit the shop soon!

For anything photography related you can contact me on hello@thestable-london.com

panorama of Paperchain stopre front

Cheers for now!

Shot using:
Nikon D300s
18-55mm nikon kit lens
SB900 with a 76cm softbox at one end
SB800 with reflected umbrella at the other

Zombie apocalypse Photoshoot

This weekend was a great weekend for the stable! Recently I have been in chats with a few buddies about cool projects to work on and we finally got started on one of them.

The project in question was a zombieland inspired photoshoot with special effects by the talented Katy Sparkes www.sparkesfx.com. This is a pre-production shoot for a bigger project. Used to get an idea of how my kit works, what is needed, how long things take and generally how thongs need to work.

Short on time and with only two models we certainly got alot done and in really happy with the shots. Some look a little but hammy and I think that’s down to me rushing or being rushed on to the next shots. This is something I need to work on. Only call a shot a wrap when your happy with it.

Taking all of my kit with me I hot cracking setting it all up. I found that the wide angle kit I had suited most of my needs but experimented with my nikon 50mm prime which is great! and disappointed by my sigma 28-70 f2.8 which I find soft and not great on the focusing side of things.

Using a couple of speedlites triggered by nikons fantastic yet at times frustrating CLS system (not to be confused with the crap boy band.) the lights were used with lastolite softbox on a handy pole ad some times reflected with 1.5m wex reflector held by some helpful assistant.

I haven’t retouched any of these images so they are not final images but I am just so excited bout them I wanted to share some with you.

We have alot of planning to do for the real thing. Lots of zombies, a brilliant band, bigger location and awesome makeup.

Enjoy.

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