Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The other side of the camera, and some product photography.

Well, I'm back in action after a very hard few months following a family emergency of sufficient magnitude to very nearly kill off this project of mine. But I'm back on track now and managed to get out to Derbyshire in the company of Ash from Knightvisions Productions, who was filming me as I chased a shot above Winnats Pass. The idea is to use the resulting footage in place of a written biography on the website, which hopefully won't be as 'dry' as a few paragraphs of blurb about me.

Being in front of the camera is an odd experience, and I've got nothing but respect for the people I used to film in my old job, many of which had no training whatsoever but still managed to come across pretty well. The feeling of being scrutinised by a machine is quite powerful. I think I'd get used to it eventually; in fact, based on the experience and a few questions that got my mind working, I'm thinking up some video ideas for the medium future. Nothing definite or concrete yet but there are possibilities there.

With the whole shoot being about me chasing the light to find a decent photo, the pressure was really on to get a decent shot, and to be honest I was getting a little worried as the evening closed in and the clouds refused to cooperate. Fortunately, at the last minute the clouds broke up enough to let the sun through and the only way to describe it is to say that Winnats Pass filled up with liquid, golden light. I think I did it justice:



It was nice to know that I can still come up with a decent shot under pressure! I'm still working on the video (this is the first week where I've been properly back in action) and my editing's very rusty but it should be up on the website in a couple of weeks.

I've also been doing some product photography for Mary from Crabtree Crochet, an interesting job which really brought home the need to tailor your shooting style to the client. She's got a very friendly, village-y image that would have suffered if I'd just waltzed in, set up my light table and shot everything on a white background. A good proportion of the shoot involved discussing the feel of the shots and building a small set that put that feel across, and also that could be replicated, as part of the job was to give her a starting point for doing her own photography. For a small business making a relatively large number of products it's simply not financially viable (for both the client and photographer) to hire me or any other photographer every time you want to sell something on the net, and it would be fraudulent of me to pretend otherwise. That's the basis of my blueprint for a product shoot - I'll take the first lot of photos for you, then show you how and why they came out the way they did, and then show you how to replicate that yourself with minimal outlay so you can continue along the same lines without having to fork out too much money for somebody like me.

Anyway, the shoot went well, although I think this guy had issues with me trying to photograph his friends: