I suppose I could have called this post sea horses!
Over the summer I was invited to take some photographs of a rather unique event. Once a year the Mid Antrim Hunt here in Northern Ireland takes over the beach in Carnlough to host a day of competitions. The course included racing into the sea, round an obstacle, back onto the beach and then a series of jumps. For a non horse person to me it was a bit mad and great fun to watch and photograph. Despite the fact that this took place during the warmest and sunniest day of our exceptional summer the day of the event was grey with no sun at all.
To follow are just a few photographs of the day. If you have any comments scroll past the photographs to the comment box at the end of this post.
I was asked recently to produce some photography for a winery in the South of France called Domaine Sainte Rose. Run by Charles and Ruth they produce a wide range of very high quality wine.
If you enjoy a glass of wine then you should check out the website at http://www.sainterose.com
After accepting the commission I waited with anticipation for the UPS van to arrive with three cases of wine including white, rose and a selection of red. All the way from the South of France to a snowy and cold Northern Ireland.
The brief was to produce photographs for the online store which is quite a technical task from a lighting point of view and to produce photographs with some style to them. This is the most difficult part of the work as I wanted to show the wines in a sympathetic setting. I also wanted to produce a couple of slightly more quirky photographs where I would break some of the traditional photography rules.
The product photographs look like this
For what became known as the style photographs this is what I produced.
All of the style photographs were photographed in this setting to allow the wine to stand out and to give a consistency to the imagery for brand and marketing unity. As an example of some of the other photographs I took here is one below.
Wine photography style shot
I would be interested in any comments you have. Just drop a message in the comments box below.
Madrid – a big city, a very big modern and vibrant city. I went there last week on a short break, not knowing what to expect. I was hoping for great tapas and good weather and that’s exactly what I got. I arrived in the rain after a twelve hour journey and the next time I saw rain was on the morning I left. In between it was blue skies but cold. Perfect weather for exploring the city. Explore! I walked miles each day in a city that is easy to navigate both on foot and via the excellent Metro.
As I didn’t have much of an idea of the city before arriving I had no idea of the type of photographs I might take. As you can see below I veered towards a documentary, street style of photography that is not my usual style at all.
Enough of the words and on with the photographs and if you have any comments I would be delighted to hear them. Just add them to the comments box at the end of this section. If you want to see more of my photography I am also featured on https://macromo.de/FrancisPeacocke
Changing of the guard
Changing of the guard 2
Design institute stairwell
Food – but not for me!
Pipe and beret
A lovely traditional bar with very friendly staff
I’ve posted a little about this before but here we are again. Most of my photography takes place on location, in the great outdoors, weather permitting, or in various locations such as churches, hotels, clients premises etc. A few times a year I get together with a small number of other photographers in a studio together with a model to freshen up our thinking and learn from each other. It’s a bit of fun for a few hours although there are limitations as well. Making sure you don’t get lazy and copy what the last photographer did is always on my mind and there are small issues with too many people in a studio, all keen to shoot.
Out of this last session I was determined to come away with something clean, modern and minimalist. I’m not a great fan of props generally and when I met the model my idea was to produce something that suited her look. The result is below, what I have styled a city smart look. Do you agree? Did it work?
Isn’t it nice to see photographs in print. Today there is an increasing use of photographs in digital form only. Through smart phones and social media the number of photographs taken and shared is enormous but it is quite often a case of seen today and forgotten tomorrow.
I think this is true even in the professional photography world. More and more wedding couples only want their photographs in digital form. I often wonder how many even bother to get prints made never mind albums. Are they relegated to a file on the laptop or sitting forlornly in the timeline of their Facebook page?
What prompted these thoughts was a recent phone call from a bride from September 2010 – yes 2010 for whom I had supplied high resolution photographs on DVD as requested.
Now almost two years on she wanted a print version. Not a full blown album but something better than the high street offerings. I sourced a very good company that makes great quality Photobooks, did the design, got them printed and now copies of these books are winging their way to the USA and England to relatives.
I realise there is still the work and responsibility of design and quality the same as for a full scale album for less financial return but when I received them and was checking them out before delivery to the client I remembered the pleasure of simply seeing photographs in print.
Below is just one spread from the 26 page hard cover photobook.
Wedding photo book
What do you think?
Sometimes it’s good to just try new things with new people away from a commercial need. Last Saturday I and a few like minded photographers booked some studio time to refresh standard working methods. Some ideas worked and inevitably some didn’t.
Below are just a few photographs from the session that I liked. What do you think?
Backlight model photograph
A few years ago I was fortunate to go to New York to shoot a television commercial. Recently I started to scan some of the negatives (yes it was that long ago) to file as digital versions. I have to say I loved the city – the people, the noise, the bustle and the sights.
Below are just a few scans for a flavour of what I saw and experienced.
For those interested the scans were done from 35mm film with a Nikon Coolscan 4 and then loaded into Photoshop CS5.
New York cab
Must say I found the cops really friendly and when asked to pose boy could they!
Just a pose
And a bit of transport diversity
Inevitably there were lots of people and queues.
Empire State building
And from the top of the building all of New York is there.
New York skyline
Now that winter seems to be here I retreated into the studio for another model portfolio shoot last weekend. The photographs below are some of my favourites simply because of the eyes. Pardon the pun but they really do have a look.
A few weeks ago I photographed Matthew and Caroline’s wedding in St Malachy’s in County Down and then the reception in the Carrickdale Hotel in County Louth. Now for a guy from County Antrim that’s a lot of county to cover but with light traffic and very few wrong turns it all went swimmingly. It was a small intimate and very friendly wedding with a lovely couple as the stars on the day. I really must thank the bridal party and indeed all the guests for making my job easy and for being so friendly and welcoming.
The couple are just back from their honeymoon and sent me a very appreciated email over the weekend. One quote made it all worthwhile – “The photographs are fantastic, especially….” Well thank you.
Below are a few photographs from the day that I particularly like.
To view the full size image just click on the thumbnail as the photographs are cropped to save space.
Working in a studio is not something I normally do when photographing people. Of course in my commercial photography I use lighting in a controlled environment but when I’m photographing people I prefer to work on location. Somehow a studio defines the style of photography whereas I prefer the subject’s reaction to the location to be a more open and intuitive process. Maybe this comes from my love of landscape photography or from my work in wedding photography where you are always reacting to the situation, the light and the people.
Not owning my own studio I am always looking at suitable venues for when the need arises and recently I came across a small studio in Belfast available for hire at reasonable rates. The best way of assessing the suitability of a studio is not to wander around it but to use. For that purpose I got in touch with a local model just to do a test shoot.
I didn’t want the traditional model look and I was trying to assess the variety of lighting and backgrounds to create a look so I aimed for a more direct, harder edge approach. I must say the studio was excellent with window light, white and grey/black backgrounds and excellent lighting equipment. I quite like the variety I got in one hour with contrejour, soft and hard shadow effects. To suit this I wanted a certain direct look from my subject and I got it. And of course a big thank you to Isa – the patient model for the day.
What do you think?