Skip to main content

Through the Eyes of the Students of Hastings High School

(Photo by Jess Whelan)

Well I have finally received all the model release forms I needed to post these images to my blog. I have been looking forward to posting this for weeks.
The work you see in this post has NOT been shot by me. Every image here was taken by students of Hastings High School during their activities week, in which I was privelledged enough to be apart of. It was an inspiring week that made me feel so happy to see so many young students so enthusiastic for the craft. Its hard to remember a time when I felt as in awe of photography as some of the students clearly did here. This gave me a new enthusiasm for the craft myself.


(Photo by Tia Downs)


I had four main objectives when I agreed to help out on this week of activities. The first was to show the students how to take better pictures using their own cameras. All too often we stick to the auto settings provided on all new cameras as it is the easier way of doing things and in most cases it does produce reasonable results. But auto won't always produce an acceptable image and in many cases learning how to use the various options available will mean a superior result. So we discussed things like exposure compensation, white balance and setting shutter speeds and F-stops either manually or by using the various program modes available on most compact cameras. (Photo on right by Taylor Darker-Batt)

(Photos by Tia Downs)

The second objective was to give the students an opportunity to use a professional camera in a studio environment. For this I brought my studio lights and white background into the school so that they could have some fun using the equipment themselves. The idea was to give them an insight into how a professional works. Together we set up the studio and they each took turns with the camera. (Photo on left by Amy Finley)

The third was to teach them a little bit about seeing the light. Sometimes all it takes is moving about a bit, to face a different direction or to step into some shade to improve the lighting conditions and take a great portrait. And sometimes you can find great light and great backgrounds in the unlikeliest of places. For this the students used my Canon 5D and one of my fast lenses. I provided some suggestions for where they could find good light and interesting backgrounds and then sent them on their way to see what they could come up with. The results were excellent and they even managed to help me see more out of a seemingly ordinary environment. Most of the photos shown here were using natural light. Only the photos with the pure white background were using studio lights. The rest were taken in and around the school. (Photo on right by Sam Ross)

(Photo by Jack Edge)

(Photo by Sam Ross)


And the fourth objective was to show the students what sort of improvements they can make to their images using image manipulation software. In this case we used GIMP, software which can be downloaded for free. I must say though that it wasn't the easiest software in the world but it can do much of what Photoshop does. I think it just takes some getting used to. Still, we're hoping to have access to Photoshop Elements for next year.

(Photos by Alice Lewis)

Overall I thought the students did a great job. They really seemed eager to learn, something I imagine isn't always apparent during their day to day coursework. And for this I felt I had to showcase their images. I am really proud of what they came up with and at times I look at these images and forget that they aren't my own. I hope that this experience will stay with them forever, making them think twice before setting their cameras to Auto and making them see more than just their subject when they look through the lens.

(Photo by Francessca Bednarova-Harrison)

Comments

jess said…
WOW these are great i love the photos!! thanks for a great day useing your equiptment!!:)

Popular posts from this blog

Zoe returns, this time with baby!!!

This was a great opportunity for me to experiment in my new studio.  Zoe let me do this with her baby bump a couple of months ago with great success so we took the time again, this time with her new baby.  Some experiments were successful and some where not.  But that comes with the territory.  You can't find new and exciting ways to shoot without finding a few bad ways too.  I'm just greatful that the only mess we needed to clean up in the end was a little wee.  It could have been a whole lot worse.
As usual, Zoe photographs so well and I am again so pleased with the results.  She is going to have some great images to show her daughter when she grows up.  Zoe looks absolutely fantastic, and without any signs of having been pregnant just a few short weeks ago.  Of course, apart from her bump she hardly showed any signs of even being pregnant.  If only all women could be this lucky. 



I had forgotten how easy it is to photograph newborns.  They can't run or crawl away.  Th…

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work.

In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below.


(It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain)
I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me seemed somewha…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

Do You Have a Little Pirate in Your Family?

If so, why not capture it in a beautiful portrait so you can cherish these memories forever?


I designed and built this set for a client. She came to me with a son and daughter and during the consultation we discussed the interests of the children, as I always do. Our ideas for portraits for her daughter were going to be easy. She loved the idea of modelling pretty dresses so her shoot was sorted. Her son on the other hand was more difficult. Where ever possible I try to incorporate something about the children into each portrait. That can mean books, sports, dance, musical instruments or anything a person has an interest in. In this case he hadn't yet developed any interests, other than pirates.


Now my client didn't want me to go to too much trouble. We agreed it wouldn't be easy to make anything pirate themed look as though it fit my style and level of quality. A shop bought costume wasn't going to cut it. But I just had to try. I love dark wood in my portraits and I …