Sunday, 24 July 2011

Once Upon A Time In The West.......Midlands!

I have not posted for the last week as I have been on a little holiday break to Shropshire with my girlfriend Rachael. We were visiting Rachael's Nan Betty as it was her annual garden party, this year with a wild west theme. I knew that I wanted to take some quite specific images using external flash. I wanted to use as much flash as possible to create a strong contrast and large depth of field to the photos. This is something quite different for me as I usually shoot with a large aperture f1.8 to f2.8 to achieve a very shallow depth of field.

View this image here on my flickr page © Anthony Dorman

I was keen to re-create the old wild west images created with massive powder flash so I set up one of my studio heads with a shoot through umbrella on full power to the camera left. I did all this thinking that I would convert the colour RAW files to sepia tones. I did however like the colour images once tweaked in photoshop and was in two minds about which to use. I made the slide show video below for a laugh and as a way of saying thanks to everyone who had their photo taken.

Here is a selection of some of the sepia images featuring a variety of the misfits, outlaws, vagabonds and harlots ha ha.

The last image is of me (yup I know I look stupid) and my girlfriend Rachael who made my weekend/ year by agreeing to marry me this time next year as part of Betty's 2012 family party celebrations. Now that we are saving for the wedding I am available to shoot party's, family get togethers (no matter how silly) and all sorts of other events. I can be contacted via my website below.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

More 100 Strangers (The Art of Persuassion?)

Due to a mixture of circumstances I have been unable to update my blog and indeed shoot as much as I would like to. When I don't post I feel guilty and when I don't shoot I feel sad. I had a chance last week to get out with my camera with the specific intention to continue my 100 Strangers Project which I started over a year ago. After an initial flurry of shots (a number of them I'm not too happy with) I have really slowed down.

59/100 '100 Strangers' see it here on flickr © Anthony Dorman
The shot above was taken on the Metro which is train/underground system which connects most of the more populated areas of North Tyneside. I had been sitting opposite this guy watching him looking out of the window. The light was illuminating his reflection in the window and I knew I wanted him in my project. With only about 30 seconds to spare before my stop I plucked up the courage to ask him if I could take his portrait. Although slightly bemused by the request he agreed to be in my project. I realised that I had persuaded a complete stranger to not only take part in the project but also take direction all in the space of 10/15 seconds. I showed him the image on my camera to which he said 'let me know if I'm going to be famous' It is bizarre but I have heard this before.

My stranger featured below caused a bit of a spike in my flickr photostream stats, as she featured on Explore. I was on the lookout for strangers when I saw her sitting with a friend near Monument. She really stood out form the crowd with her fantastic vibrant colours and fantastic smile. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to ask her which is weird considering I took 1000 street portraits in 1 day back in March.

60/100 '100 Strangers' see it here on flickr © Anthony Dorman

I asked her if I could take her photograph, which she agreed to and I cheekily walked her and her friend into a more shaded area as the light was very severe that day. Like my metro stranger I was amazed who accommodating people can be once they have agreed to have their portrait taken. I was once told there is a famous quote about how being a photographer is the only profession where you are universally obeyed! I'm not too sure about that, I think there is some truth in it but I also think I managed to find two nice people. I am amazed that I get very few rejections for my 100 strangers project. I find the project helps me see good in people, I have been of late becoming very jaded and cynical about the general public. Having spent the last few years selling my soul doing something I hated as a job I have wanted to distance myself form the general public. Perhaps I have somehow manage to sell myself as someone without an agenda. I'm not selling anything, there is no money required just 2 minutes of your time - sometimes only a few seconds. I always try and capture the best or at least something interesting about the people I choose to photograph. I won't include someone I really don't like, perhaps I am subconsciously choosing people I think I would like.

I posted my 60/100 on my flickr pages and was contacted by my mate and photographer Chris Harrison whom I have posted about earlier in this blog. He had taken this lady's portrait in Northside Tattooz as she is a customer of Low who I have also featured on this blog. Talk about small world!!!!! Here is Chris Harrison's portrait for his Elvis Baby series: