Tag Archives: commercial photography

Equestrian photographs

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.





































































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Wine product photography

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

Coquille D'oc Rose blog





















For what became known as the style photographs this is what I produced.

Wine style photograph





















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.

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Model test shoot

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?

Model shoot1





















































































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From St Dizant du Gua to my garage

From St Dizant du Gua in the Auvergne region of France to my garage is quite a journey. It was while I was tidying up my garage (an on-going process) that I came across this mixed case of Pineau. It has been lying hidden in my garage for so may years I had forgotten it’s existence.

Many years ago while driving through France on holiday we came across the utterly charming little Chateau de Beaulon. The main attraction for me were the grounds and the Blue Fountains but we were met by the owner and invited to sample the produce – well what can you say. Obviously I was impressed since I came away with a case including tasting notes.

Now after lying so long in the ever changing temperatures of a garage including two of the coldest ever winters and situated close to the central heating boiler I imagined an investment gone wrong. Nope – the wine is as good as the day I bought it.

If you are ever in this region I heartily recommend a stop. If you want to know more follow this link. http://www.chateau-de-beaulon.com/site/une_tradition/index.php?l=en

Chateau de Beaulon Pineau















Chateau de Beaulon

















Chateau de Beaulon map























Tasting notes for Chateau de Beaulon pineau

















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From Cars to Flowers

I have just spent the last couple of days  inside photographing car interiors while the sun was shining outside. Don’t get me wrong it was really quite good fun with the smell of leather and the shine of chrome but when the sun is shining there is only one place to be and that is outside. Anywhere as long as it is outdoors.

As usual on a Saturday morning I was up early with my coffee wandering round the garden and noticed that the last couple of days of sunshine had ripened the lilies. Probably ripened isn’t the correct botanical term here but you get my drift. So coffee down and out with the camera for some gentle relaxing photographs.

Although I love landscape photography I am not a flora kinda photographer  but this is the result. Here is one captured and processed this morning.


Flower photography - Lily























And just round the corner I noticed that lovely early morning light on some poppies and well here’s the result. In fact this might be worth getting a print made. Quite often with the digital age photographs only exist on a monitor which is a real shame.

Backlight poppies






















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A nice little commission

A few weeks ago I took a couple of photographs of wine bottles as part of an on going series. When published on my blog ( an old one) the owner of the Domaine where the wine was produced asked me to photograph his 2011 range as he had new labels and brand to roll out. This was for the retail store on the website. What a nice job – Thank you Charles.

The interesting thing is the Domaine is in the glorious South of France and I am in the slightly damper and overcast Northern Ireland. What you can do with a courier company and broadband.

The first photograph below is what started the whole thing off and below is a couple of photographs of the new product photographs as commissioned.

And the website – it’s www.sainterose.com

Wine photography
















wine product photography









































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