9 09 2014


she was the epitome of noir. lost in her own world. aloof and anonymous. a passenger in the same car, but very much a stranger. original on iPhone, processed in Snapseed


Petal Girl Shot

11 05 2012

So recently I had the idea of shooting a homage to the classic American Beauty image. We decided rather than scarlet petals, to use black. 3000 (approx) were obtained from a stage effects supplier. Put a foam mattress on the floor, and used my black background sheet on this. The model then obligingly lay in the centre, and we unceremoniously tipped the entire package over her. Although she looks naked, she is wearing a bra & nude-coloured panties. Lighting was from a single 120J head, inside a softbox boomed over the set. I shot this from above, simply by standing on a chair with a 28mm lens, on the D300  (I’m over 6′ tall and the chair added another 18″). It was quite a challenge to make sure that the petals covered her adequately; next time I think I could use a petal wrangler.


29 04 2012

Observations from the field

3 04 2012

So recently I’ve been shooting in various clubs and restaurants, and have a few observations to share.

First up, where any booze is being served, you need to be extra vigilant with regard to lighting and stands, and also storing your gear. I had stashed my bag under the table; fortunately I had remembered to close the lid. Sure enough, a glass of fruit juice went over the edge of the table. And drinkers generally aren’t interested in photographers and their careless placing of lightstands. What silly bugger left that there? Oops. Stupid place to leave a light anyway, wasn’t it?

Japanese drinkers though, are more deferential and polite, more respectful. Just what I’ve found. Still pays to be careful though.

And a practical observation: while I’d love to plug my lights into the house mains supply, there are some disadvantages. First up, the cabling, especially where foot traffic crosses the cable’s path. And then (maybe unique to Japan) the limited current draw on the circuitry. If I have to be responsible for another blackout in a bar…. Japan has a reputation as a futuristic nation – couldn’t be further from the truth!

So I’ve largely been relying on battery-powered strobes (usually a bunch of Metz 40MZ units) for these type of events. The only disadvantage is the battery capacity – even shooting at 1/16th power, the juice starts to run out around the 250 frame mark. So right now I’m looking for alternative external battery packs. Quantum Battery 1 seems like the best option, since with the right cable that can power any of my battery type flashes. Plus it works as a counterweight on a boom, or on the base of a light stand.

My friend Freya, Goddess of Metal

18 03 2012

My friend Freya, Goddess of Metal

…so after we did her very serious-looking headshots, we then went upstairs and watched some Aerosmith videos. And then fooled around a bit. My studio doesn’t have a wind machine but an assistant with a large cardboard box worked fine…