Art houses in the London Area

Tree House 4

Living accommodation in the roof space of a disused factory. East End.

For the last 20 years I have been photographing artist’s studios and various art activities. This started as final project on a BA Photographic course at Westminster University. After I had left the university  I took the opportunity to broaden the scope of the work to include activities like tattooing, hairdressing, clothing fashions, car painting etc. Concentrating on the diversity of artwork rather than any idea of quality or type.  Visits to the tattoo studios of Lal Hardy (New Wave Tattoos), George Bone, Jon Nott (working in Guildford and Brighton), and Ian of Reading all greatly assisted me with a group of contacts. One contact led to another as people began to talk to their friends about my work. Continue reading

Portraits whatever next?

The progress of computers continues as new software continually is offered for sale. Sometimes it goes round in a complete circle. Photoshop, and many other art editing programmes, have a lot of content about cutting out and pasteing bits of images together in different ways.This technique has been around since Rejlanders first took a pair of scissors and paste to construct his image The two ways of life way back in 1857. He used 32 different carefully posed photographs that conformed to hand drawn master plan of his finished photograph.The technique has been used for good and evil many times since. Another famous example is the photograph of Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky where they were edited out of the photograph at various times in Soviet history. John Heartfield used the method as well to attach Nazi propaganda in the 1930’s spending about a week making each image.

I’ve recently been experimenting with a plugin to refine the cutting out of edges. It works by selecting keep and drop colours. Where there is a colour difference it works very well.Here are some examples where the figure was shot in the studio and the background done elsewhere.

Studio portait with different backgroud shot outside

Studio portrait set in different landscape

Studio picture of model with added waterfall backgound.

Studio P photo with added background.

Studio picture set in an industrial background

Studio portrColour picture,converted to blackand white, with added different background. ait set in different landscape

Colour studio picture with a different background

Just in time

Sometimes events can come together in unexpected ways. Following a studio lighting course  I did with a furniture company director things developed in a way that has been mutually beneficial to both of us. The furniture man was a keen photographer who was keen to lean more about lighting. He had some underused space in his factory that he wanted to utilise more efficiently as a small studio where work in progress could be photographed. Sometimes he was simply too busy running the factory to set a day aside for a shoot so I ended up doing the work for him. One of the photographs is illustrated here.

Armchair manufactured ny Greengate Furnitur

Greengate Furniture chair

 

Get it right!

IMG_5685

A simple photo of my much loved camera used on Ebay to advertise that it is for sale. Dramatic lighting is unnecessary as its main function is to show potential buyers exactly what they will get should they win the auction. This is a colour digital photograph (Look carefully and you should see some red triangles and numbers on the lens barrel) that has completely neutral tones. If this doesnt appear to be the case it might be that your colour monitor is incorrectly adjusted.

The camera sold for a good price.

De Stijl Reitveld chair photo

I have a lot of experience photographing furniture, antiques, and art objects of various kinds. One of my short course lighting students was also the MD of a furniture company and a very keen photographer. He had a space that was under used in his factory that was just large enough to photograph most  of the things that were made there.  They were fairly large pieces of furniture:arm chairs and three or four seater settees designed for hotel use. I made a factory visit to test the practicality of using the space (it was just large enough) and did some test lighting and exposures.

An unexpected important sales enquiry created an urgent need for a set of high quality photographs of a range of upholstery work. Day to day business pressures prevented the director from doing the work himself so a quick phone call got me involved and the photographs were taken and processed by the end of the week. What started as a one day introduction to studio lighting for his product range developed into an actual studio in the factory and another job for me.

Photography always takes a lot more time than most people think. There are very few short cuts. Automatic cameras have an unfortunate way of not providing the goods when pictures are  viewed in a ver sepecific way.

Cowley Road Carnival, Oxford.

Carnival blog

I’m always looking around for new projects to work on. At every big public event there will be thousands of pictures taken that will progress no further than the camera memory dustbin icon. They are mementos of fun on a fine summer s day. How can you set about revealing something more lasting that speaks about the society we live in? Continue reading

An open letter to Sam about colour problems on websites

Dear Sam,

Thanks for an enjoyable day helping you sort out better ways of photographing cake decorations for use on your employers website.
We talked at length about the need to get good, accurate colour, especially when dealing with foodstuffs. Continue reading