Saturday, 23 June 2012

Don't Smile: Xenia Photoshoot

Okay... so as every single one of you will definitely know, this week involved me taking photos of an actual person - something very different to what you've all been getting used to.

They can (almost) all be viewed HERE.

Overall, this is probably going to be my longest post ever - so I won't blame any of you if you just skip through and look at the pictures... I probably would...

This all came about from my 100 Strangers project, on a trip to York I spotted a girl eating an ice cream who, even whilst clearly busy with said ice cream, was kind enough to let me take her portrait. The resulting photograph was Stranger No.42. After getting home and uploading I had seen that I had a new fan so had a look at their profile pictures to determine whether this was my stranger, and much to my surprise, I came across a different picture I had recently seen on 500px. Not only was this my stranger, but I had seen my stranger before in a photo by a photographer from London (see if you can find her... HERE). I still can't quite believe this myself - a girl from Russia, who did some modelling in London, whose pictures made it to my screen days earlier, who then lived in York, before finally walking down that street and onto my camera sensor... I need a statistician to try and figure out some likelihoods here... 

Over the next couple of weeks, much was discussed and it was decided we would try and do a shoot in York with a very summery feel. Little did we know at this point that summer would decide to completely desert us this year. At least this gave us time to thoroughly plan everything we possibly could... styles/lighting options/accessories/locations... This was definitely an advantage for me considering I'd never done anything like this before, and it was only Xenia's 4th shoot - it was good to spend hour after hour simply looking at good photos, listing what I like and dislike about them, learning which poses work, etc. 

So, finally, last Monday we got some sun so the night before we arranged to do it then... 

Part of what we were aiming for was that snapshotty style, with a lot of flare and loss of contrast - and to not be too careful with composition. A really shallow depth of field for foreground objects also seemed to be popular in this style - so I ended up just sticking with my 50mm 1.8 - and for the whole shoot used it wide open with no lens hood. One of the first shots was this one, which is quite possibly my favourite... (so what if not snapshotty... the rim light couldn't be better and I like the symmetry... this set me up for much more symmetry later on)

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Creamery, Hawes and Wensleydale

This week's post shall be a quick one (word-wise at least)...

The last post was about Swaledale, but on the same trip we visited Hawes and the Wensleydale creamery to show Keri just how wonderful a place it is... so... straight to the photos!

The view from just outside the Creamery

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A Quick Stop At Muker

On our way back from Hawes last weekend, we came over past the Buttertubs and into Swaledale where, at this time of year, the entire valley bottom is bright yellow. We had to get back to Richmond for a certain time, so unfortunately I only had around 45 minutes to explore the fields around Muker - this is never, ever enough time for this part of Swaledale - but I just had to make do...

Upper Swaledale has pretty much always been one of my favourite places, since visiting East Gill as a wee lad - and for some reason I never get taken up there as much as I would expect. I have lived most of my life just 40 minutes away and yet I can probably count the occasions I've dragged my family up there, quite comfortably, on my hands alone. In fact, I have never, ever, walked the walk from Keld to Muker at any time of year - never mind when the fields are like this.

So... having only 45 minutes, I really had to get a move on to make the most of this special occasion for me.

First, was a very quick stop off at a little waterfall by the road. I had forgotten it even existed, but had been reminded by a photo by Colin Gregory a while ago (I think). I have no idea how I forgot about it, it is pretty difficult to miss whenever you drive up this road, but still... here it is:

Waterfall by the Muker-Keld road. Definitely would be more spectacular with a little more rain...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee: Lighting the Beacon

We came back up to the real north for the 4 day weekend of the Diamond Jubilee and had to pack quite a lot in. Starting with a birthday party on Saturday, followed by trips up the dale to Arkengarthdale one day, Hawes and Muker the next, the Wensleydale Creamery, a sunset/night walk down by the river in Richmond, watching the lighting of the beacon, the parade... the list is endless. In all likelihood I shall be writing the parade, Hawes and Muker all individual blog posts for themselves when time allows - so you can all look forward to them sometime soon.

Bank holiday Monday was probably the busiest day of the lot, and it was finished in quite memorable fashion with the beacon being lit above Richmond - and a large number of people made the walk up the hill to witness it (probably most of the people who hadn't already had too much to drink on the day on which the pubs of Richmond must make half of their yearly income).

We set off out at about 9pm, and at first seemed like the only ones going, until we got past the racecourse and onto the single track road that heads out towards Marske and Reeth where we found ourselves in quite a crowd of people all meandering up to the top of the hill. By 10pm, we had arrived and I took this quick panorama to show what it was like...
Arriving at the beacon