Skip to main content

So Proud to Have Been a Speaker on The Bowens Stage at The Photography Show NEC

Well done to Bowens for putting on a seriously impressive display at The Photography Show this year.  The crowds were never ending and for me it was such an honour to be included in the line up.  

(the night before it all began, a very exciting and scary time)

I can not believe its over so quickly, not that it felt that way at the time.  Forty five minutes has never felt so long as it did while standing on that stage in front of a couple hundred people, all staring up at me hoping I won't be wasting their time.  Judging from the feedback and the vast number who remained till the very end I must have done something right.

(Me on stage - what a feeling that was, terrifying and thrilling at the same time - Thanks for the image Greg Thurtle)


Well I thought I'd share a few of the images from my time there. Some so that those who didn't attend could see what it was like and some of the images produced on the stage so those who did attend could see close up what I actually captured during the demos.


Its not particularly easy working in that environment, not having the time to ensure the setup is just right. Nor was the background ideal for the type of work I would have liked to create.  I normally work with either a roll of paper or a wall, floor and skirting board arrangement that leaves a perfectly level horizon line.  This stage however was curved.  But I did what I could and I'm actually quite pleased with the results.  And to be honest, I know I was actually spoiled having the space I had. Bowens provided an incredible space that just isn't often possible in live demo situations.  And I hear we'll have the same next year too with a few noted small improvements.


(This image is straight out of camera apart from a minor crop)

The image above was created during the light ratios demo and was one of the early examples showing a lower ratio (2:1) where the highlight side was only twice as bright as the shadow side. This is a flatter lighting style but works well in traditional work.  My preference though is something with a little more depth and stronger shadows and I would probably prefer something more of a 2 stop difference.  This image is straight out of camera with no editing apart from a simple crop to remove the line from the curved wall behind. For me though this image is pretty good exactly as it is and very little editing would be required, and certainly none at all required for the viewing stage if this were to be from a client shoot.  

(Here we were looking at higher ratios while changing keylight placement)

And for those who were there on the Monday and Tuesday, here is the model we had for those sessions.  He was older and didn't suit as well the chosen props but you get the idea of what you can do with children to bring a little character and something different to portraits.  


For this image I probably would have used a lighter background or a hair/rim light to add some seperation between my subject and background.  He blends in a little too much with the background here.

(The view from my side shortly before one of my talks began)

(This image is 4 meters tall - amazing to see one of my portraits this big)

(The Bowens Lounge - Such an honour to be included amongst so many great photographers)

Speaking at The Photography Show as part of TeamBowens was such an amazing opportunity and one which, believe it or not, I'm hoping to repeat for many years to come. Bowens and all their staff (particularly Rob & David) did a fantastic job organising what I saw as the best part of the show (I'm biased I know). Everyone on the team were so welcoming and helpful.  They all put me at ease (especially our ever so relaxed stage manager Kevin).  I couldn't have asked for more from my fellow photographers and the Bowens staff. They were always there to help and we had a great laugh as well.  (Comic Con sharing the same part of the NEC added to that too - I'll never look at Darth Vader the same again). I loved everything but the nerves leading up to each talk. I don't think I'll ever shake those.  

So thank you to the team and to everyone who attended.  I enjoyed meeting you all and very much look forward to what the future holds.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week.

(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel)
(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers)
Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I can improve each…

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before.


When I first heard that Phoebe was transi…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …