Natural Light

Horse on St. Cyrus Beach

I wrote about my gradual return to shooting film a while back and I mentioned having some 100% analog projects in the pipeline. I can finally share one of them with you. Horse and I have been talking about doing a shoot where it’s just us, camera and the beach for quite some time and earlier this year we drove up to the beautiful St. Cyrus Beach on the East coast of Scotland where we spent a couple of hours walking, talking and taking pictures. We shot 3 rolls of film (2 black and white and a colour one) and I really enjoyed working like that again. It reminded me of the very first shoots I did as a teenager where there was no pressure, no assistants, no stylists, no crazy light equipment - just a camera and the person in front of it. Enjoy!

GEAR
Nikon FM + 50mm f1.4
Kodak 400 TX
Kodak Portra 400

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?” is the title of Jill Jackson’s most recent album. It was released in May last year and I was responsible for shooting publicity images for it, documenting the recording process as well as filming music videos for the first two singles, “My Baby” and “Goodbye”. The photoshoot took place on a cold winter day in December 2017 in Glasgow’s Charing X area, Kelvingrove Park and my flat. It was freezing but Jill is a trooper and this shoot was, quite literally at points, a walk in the park in comparison to some of our previous endeavours (for “The Ones That Got Away” album cover for example, I had her standing knee-deep in ice cold Loch Lomond waters in November).

“My Baby” music video was filmed backstage at the Barrowlands as well as during album’s launch night at Saint Luke’s while “Goodbye” was filmed in WEST On The Green and Glasgow Green. By the way, the album itself is brilliant so go get yourself a copy.

 

“Are We There Yet?” Promo shoot:

Recording process (at Kyoti Recording Studio):

Barrowlands dressing room during the filming of "My Baby" music video:

Album Launch at Saint Lukes:

GEAR:
Nikon D4
Nikon D700
Nikkor 85mm f1.4
Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8
Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8
Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight
Neewer 120cm Octabox
Reflector


PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver
PocketWizard MiniTT1 Transmitter 

Videos filmed with Sony A7III + Sony 35mm f1.8
Nikkor 85mm f1.4
Metabones Nikon G to Sony NEX E-mount Converter
Zhiyun Crane 2 Gimbal
Edited in FCPX

Analog Photography

Digital photography didn't exist when my interest in taking pictures begun. I was 16 when my parents got me a second hand Zenit 11 and in order to get my head around it, I enrolled in photography workshops where l learned the basics of an SLR as well as how to develop negatives and prints. My first digital camera was a Nikon D40 which I got on sale in 2009, and I've been shooting digital ever since. I love it, I enjoy its flexibility, the control it gives over your files and the retouching process and how much faster your overall workflow can be thanks to modern technology.

Having said that, I've been missing shooting analog for some time. I feel like I second guessed myself less when I shot film and was more confident in my abilities. Admittedly, I was a teenager then and that might've simply been the arrogance/ignorance of youth rather than confidence, but I felt drawn back to the days of shooting analog nevertheless. You can get really snap-happy with digital just because you can, rather than because you need each frame, so I wanted to remind myself of the discipline of shooting film where each shutter pressing matters, and where you don’t have the digital LCD screen on the back of your camera to double check the exposure. And so a couple of years ago I got a Canon AE-1 (with a 50mm f1.8 lens) on eBay and started shooting analog again. Not for commissioned stuff, cause that would be a commercial suicide, but for personal projects, behind the scenes shots, friends and such. I've tried different films and fell back in love with Kodak (duh!) which is what I used to shoot all my black & white stuff on back in the 90s.

I don’t develop my own film or prints these days as I don’t have the time and, to be perfectly honest, don’t think I’d have the patience anymore. I’ve been using DS Colour Labs for that and they’ve been great. All in all, it’s been an educational and interesting return to basics for me, if frustrating at times. I’ve realised I shoot differently on analog, I even tend to frame images in a different way than on digital. Conversely, I’m definitely not as trigger-happy when working with a digital camera now. I’ve actually got a couple of bigger 100% analog projects lined up at the moment and I’m dying to get a Rolleiflex and try shooting medium format but for the time being here are a few images taken on film over the past couple of years:

Nicole Caldwell

You may have seen Nicole Caldwell belting out "Purple Rain" on the X-Factor recently. I've been a fan of her voice ever since I've heard her perform with Soul Nation Choir a few years ago. Being able to finally work with Nicole on her very first photoshoot as a solo artist was a great opportunity. And a lot of fun! The brief was "bohemian/hippie/natural" so off we went last month to Mugdock Country Park (one of my favourite places to shoot) with Caroline Stewart on makeup duties and spent an evening walking about, laughing and talking nonsense. Oh yes, and we took some photos too. Enjoy!

PS. Big thanks to David for all the help!

Caroline Stewart Bridal Make Up

I've worked with Caroline Stewart on numerous shoots throughout the years, she's a brilliant makeup artist and a pleasure to have around (that last bit always helps!). Caroline got in touch a couple of months ago and asked me to take some promotional images for the bridal side of her makeup business. Kirsty Low from Model Team was our face for the day and we spent a gorgeous sunny afternoon in Edinburgh taking pictures. All shot with natural light (although we did use a diffuser and a reflector throughout). Have a look below:

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