Monday, February 5, 2018

Doing Amazing Things With Amazing People.

I was talking with the owner of Parrot Cove Lodge in Belize, about their marketing and the kind of images that would tell their story in a way that stands out. Reading the reviews their guests had written it was apparent that the staff contributed highly to the very favourable reviews they were getting. So many people commented how amazing the staff were and so the caption came to life - “Amazing Staff For Amazing Guests”.

Looking for a way to say this in a picture form and without needing a lot of copy, I came up with the idea of shooting the staff at Parrot Cove Lodge doing amazing things in their roles at the resort.

In the main picture featured in this post is of one of the ladies who works on the Front Desk, and also has some accounting responsibilities. All the models in the campaign are actual staff and there were many funny moments setting up these shots. You should know that all the staff are actually shot in position in the scenes and no one has been photoshopped in. 

So here’s some insight into how the campaign was shot.

We placed a ladder across a corner of the swimming pool and our subject was kind enough to step onto it. I gave her some props and held another in place for where I wanted it in the final shot and with my camera locked in place on a tripod, I fired my camera and lights wirelessly.

After I had all the positional shots I wanted, we cleared the subject and the ladder and props from the frame so that I could expose a clean frame.

By placing the clean frame on a layer below my portrait layer I was able to erase anything I didn’t want in the final image by letting the background of the clean frame layer come through.

To finish of the illusion, I painted in the reflection in the pool and added a tiny drawing I made of a goldfish into the corner of the shot.

It was fairly overcast on the day so I also added some blue sky to match the lighting I had set up for the scene.

So with what you know now why don’t you see if you can workout how I did the rest of the series in this campaign. It’s amazing what you can do when you have amazing clients!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Life Can Be Surreal

My last post was in January 2016 and things have become quite surreal since then.

My photography business is now based in Belize and there is someone named Donald Trump installed as the President of the United States of America. My own country is heading rapidly out of the EU, while drones and driverless cars have become ubiquitous. And we now have not just one dog but two — Jazz and Pepper.

When I set up a photography business in San Francisco in 2009, I knew I would shoot campaign photography, products, portraits, and other things - except for weddings and nature/ landscape photography. However I met a lot of people in San Francisco who wanted intimate small weddings which were more like portrait sessions and soon found myself shooting weddings about once a month.

And now after just over 2 years of being based in Belize, looking through my pictures I see how enchanted I have become by the amazing colours, weather, and the light of the caribbean. Our property is on the beach facing east so I also have a huge collection of all colours and types of sunrises looking out to sea and a large amount of landscape and nature photography. The sights of this mostly undeveloped country are so visually appealing it's almost a crime to go out anywhere without a camera!
So here in Belize I'm shooting campaigns, product, lifestyle, and travel type photography, and am preparing to shoot my 5th beach wedding style shoot in February. I still submit stock photography too and am finding my Belize photos are being licensed quite regularly now too.

So this is to say my blog is live again and talk to you next time!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 and the clock is ticking.

Happy New Year to you and may it bring you wondrous photo opportunities to capture and hone your skills with.

I spent the major part of 2015 doing travel photography and editorial shoots. I also have a good quantity of images to tag and prepare for the various photo libraries I contribute to.

So even though this opening post for 2016 is mainly to say "Hello" and wish you the best for 2016, Here are my last image sales of 2015.
In 2008 we were driving into the Hamanasi Resort in Belize. On turning a corner we were confronted with this view of a building being delivered to the facility. It has been licensed 3 times previously to being licensed again on December 31, 2015.

And last but not least, this image also shot in Belize, of one of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in 2009. This image has been licensed twice before being licensed again on December 31, 2015.

And the clock continues to tick so off I go for now.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Improve your photography with a different point of view.

Quick Tip:
One simple way to make your photos more interesting and dynamic is to experiment with shooting your subjects from different angles and viewpoints.

Here is a scene shot on my desk using toys for my models.

Here is the exact same scene shot from lowdown with a macro lens.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Create a controlled desaturated image in 2 minutes.

Here's a fast method for giving your images the popular desaturated look. It's a look often seen in film posters but you can see this look in many other places too.

This method allows you to control how much or how little you want the effect to be visible and also gives you control over tone and individual colors. It's straightforward and uses adjustment layers in Photoshop so you can save the effect as an action to use on any of your images without starting from scratch each time. Basically you'll have created your own customizable filter.

Watch the video and have fun!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Belize Effect Continues

I've been in Belize for the whole month of May and notice that once again my stats are acting as if they are affected by my global placement.

I've commented before that whenever I visit Belize, the sales of my Belize located stock photos seem to increase. So once again when I look at my stats for those pictures I see that I have made 14 sales on 10 of my Belize images for the month of May instead of just 3 or 4.

It is just an odd coincidence but I wonder how long it will last. Also it's always the older images that pop up too  — anyway, these are the images, if you licensed one of them, Thank you :)

Apart from these I sold an additional 34 stock images in May.

Friday, April 3, 2015

17th Street afternoon

There isn't a story to this. Just walking down 17th Street in San Francisco on a sunny afternoon, and these are a handful of views that caught my eye.

Boyz on Bikes

Who will be the chairman?

Crossing genders

Weed of wisdom

Sun worship at Church

Blooming house

17th and Abbey

Car wash, yeah!



Marching to the beat