I hope you are all fit and well. Sometimes being confined to one space brings not only the worst out of people but also it can make you very productive. It can also make you think outside the box for other things for example. I am sat at my dining room table with my Mac set up and not a meal and also a C-Stand with boom arm and a Rode shotgun mic. My DSLR is on a tripod across the table and my wife is going mad because she has no room to work from home.
Anyway, the most exciting part is that I have finished my Cine LUT pack and I can now bring it forward for release. I really enjoyed creating this pack even though it’s time-consuming. It will save you a hell of a lot of time with your workflow and I have tried to include a little bit for every type of photographer. Even though I photograph people and characters I have a lot of experience in other genres like landscape and I have even done still life. My thought process was to take a RAW image from my hard drive of most genres and edit them the way I would if I was to present or sell the image. The looks varied but every style was completed with care and must say I am happy with the results.
You will get not only 30 LUT presets but also a fantastic in-depth PDF of the pack and a how-to install them. You will also get a quick video tutorial giving you an idea of how to work with them. They are compatible with Adobe Creative Cloud only so make sure that you are bang up to date on that. I have also named them with my initials IM in front so that they sit in your library in sequence.
The way they work is very simple. It is entirely up to you if you use one preset or stack ten, it’s simply what gets the look you need. Don’t forget to use different blend modes and also drop the opacity if it’s too harsh. Very often one LUT is not as good as when another is stacked. Also, be mindful of using a layer mask and simply brush out the areas where you do not need the LUT effect.
They are out for release in my website shop at midnight tonight the 25th of March. There will be an early bird offer of £12.50 before returning to the normal price of £22 on April 1st. Yes, that’s right don’t be a fool and miss out…………… couldn’t resist that one!
I would love to see what you create with the pack and why not get in touch and show me some of your images with the presets in action.
Thanks for the support you are showing and I will endeavour to bring you more good content soon.
I trust that you are well during this strange time. I have decided to share with you some landscape images over the coming days that are free to download. These landscape images are some of my favourite images I have taken over the years and they are free to you to print or use as you feel. I am hoping that you will use them as screensavers or print them and hang in your home. You might even want to print them and give away to friends or family. I will give you a brief description of where and when they were taken so that you really get the feel for them.
To get these images I would appreciate it if you subscribe to my website and youtube channel where you can get free content.
Thanks for your support and I hope you enjoy the images
The free images can be downloaded from my online shop
Why not join me and the team from Skint Creative Studio for an evening discussing all things covering my work. At this amazing venue, I will explain the thought process behind my set builds along with examples of the props I have used and how they were made. I will start by rewinding to 10 years ago where I used just natural light. We will arrive at the present day where I have developed a style with studio lights that looks complex yet its very simple. I will speak about the stories behind some of my best work that will no doubt bring a smile to your face and inspire you to take on the challenge yourself. We can waltz through a decade of images noting the improvement and attention to detail that’s given me opportunities to exhibit around the world. I will also be on hand at any time for any questions you may have. You can send questions in advance if you are not comfortable asking in a crowded environment. It will be a relaxed evening with a few surprises for the people that come along.
I hope to see you there.
Hey all, just a catch up really to let you know whats going on regarding the downloads that are here. First of all, let me explain exactly what our intent is and what our goal is surrounding the downloads. Back last month we released the first texture pack that gave you some 50 high-resolution texture images.
We will now give you a further pack of 5 high-resolution digital backgrounds followed next month by a pack with two characters, male and female shot against a white backdrop for you to easily select. You can drop them into any image creating great images.
We must make something clear about the content we are giving away. First of all, you are allowed to use them anywhere you like for any reason. The quality is there for you to crop and resize and you can combine the three packs to complete an image. You will have a background choice and character choice. You can then add any one of 50 textures and use blend modes to create a great mage from scratch.
Right, now for clearing something up that is becoming a bit of a nag, to be honest. We do not give these packs away for you to pass off in camera club competitions as your own work. They are for mixing with your own work if you are an artist etc or to practice with if you are a photographer that doesn’t get outdoors much or does not have access. I think that camera clubs can be very protective of work that is not strictly their own. Personally we don’t have any issues with you using them as you wish because that’s how they are intended but, I suppose you have to respect club rules. If camera clubs are not your thing then guess what? Go ahead and enjoy creating cool stuff and do as you wish.
So just to recap, we will release the background pack towards the end of this week followed by the final pack of characters next month. Our long term goal is to bring you tutorials and packs that can help you along in your work. We will be holding a couple of portrait masterclass groups in the near future so watch this space.
I am so pleased that you have supported my endeavour to bring this texture pack to you. I hope you get some use of this since there are a number of high resolution textures to work with. By combining them and using different blend modes and opacities you can create something great! It’s all part of a new plan to bring you more content that can help you progress and develop.
The textures are named for you to get some idea of where they have come from and how I feel they make me think. For example Molotov cocktail was taken in Chernobyl and Asylum at a derelict hospital. From Chernobyl to Belgium and among other places these are all part of the first ten years of my Journeyman character. You don’t have to travel the world to get them, they’re right here for you to enjoy.
Don’t hesitate, to get in touch and post your examples of what you create with these textures. Your support means everything to me and lets me know it’s appreciated.
Available to Download from Online shop now, free for a Limited period grab them whilst you still can.
It’s been 11 years I have enjoyed since I took up photography after my trip to Nepal in 2008. I photographed everything and got the experience and know how before my “style” was identified.
I believe this has to happen organically because otherwise you will go mad trying to perfect every genre without success. My first experience of creative style came in the way of “The Journeyman” series that is now 10 years old and continuing. The idea of being somewhere grand and derelict alone fills me with a rather relaxed mellow mood. After realising that derelict buildings and grand staircases are in themselves creative backdrops I was winning in every sense.
The one thing I needed was natural light in order to get a shutter speed quick enough to freeze me still while I was on self timer. I would instinctively hunt large windows or smashed windows. To be honest any available shaft of light was used to its full potential. After a while I knew that it wouldn’t last and sometimes I would find the perfect composition only to be let down with the lack of light. I would then ramp the ISO upto 800 or 1200 knowing that my paintwork might suffer. This is 10 years ago so I realise that technology has moved on however, so has security on derelict buildings.
Fast forward 5 years to the thought of lights and actually lighting a person or environment. The idea scared me and I hated the prospect of learning something new.
I am by nature an obsessive beast and fast forward again another 5 years. I now have a studio, teach lighting and love the thought of lighting tricky situations. That itself made me think about the possibility of being more creative yet in control of the concepts.
Moving on things have happened where I now have a great close group of friends that I class as family. We plan and build elaborate sets out of any old junk and this in turn has brought me riches in attention.
Alas the big currency in photography seems to be exposure and that doesn’t pay bills! So with this in mind this obsessive man has come to another crossroads where choices have to be made.
You get nothing without sacrifice and work ethic so here we are in 2020 where I believe in myself and my friends. I hope to go on to get some more opportunities through reaching out to you and networking along with meeting more people.
It’s a tough trade to be in financially rewarded for your efforts by here I am attempting to kill it!
I’m sat here reflecting on this year and to be honest its gone in the blink of an eye, again! I felt like I was making a bit of progress in January when asked to give a demo at the Societies convention in London followed by working for Benro later in the March at The Photography Show at the NEC. Both went well for a few reasons but the main reason was the random timing and change of direction for me regarding my work. I met Lisa Grey who is an art curator at Flux and she has been a Godsend in terms of directing me and being a great outlet for my work. Before I knew it I was seeing my work displayed in Greenwich London alongside some outstanding artists.
It was my first experience and I loved it and more to the point I sold a piece of artwork to a gentleman that owns Damien Hirst sculptures! Things seemed to be going really well outside of the studio but I felt quiet inside the studio. I got the lads together in Gez, Deaks and Anthony and we got on with building a set called “The Kiosk”. It’s always good when we have a set build and we record behind the scenes stuff because it brings us together. It’s no secret that I am just the front man in this small team and I love listening to others chip in with ideas.
After a really great time looking at the exhibition in London I realised a couple of things. The first being that things “happen” in London and there are people who will pay for good artwork. The opportunities are more frequent but of course living there is not an option for me due to the expense. The other thing is that I have still not exhibited in my own town or even in South Wales. I find that a worry and it’s because venues are simply too expensive and yet these people would rather properties or rooms go empty than have possible revenue from passers by and commission from sold works. It just doesn’t sit right with me that my work has been exhibited in USA and London yet nobody really knows here. To put this right I am contemplating with the lads about an idea of exhibiting at my studio. That can be a 2020 goal!
Also on December 19th I was lucky enough to teach GCSE photography at my local comprehensive school and it really hit a nerve regarding teaching. I loved every minute of speaking with the pupils about my work and how and why I do it. Talk about giving something back to the community this, really made me want to do more so I will.
This was quickly matched by the enjoyment of doing a second podcast for Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton’s “He shoots He draws”. This was episode 99 for the guy’s and I felt honoured to do it. It was said after that I came across a lot more content and happy with where I am in photography…… and I am.
I then did a facebook live set build walk through where I chatted about the Kiosk set up. This has got me and the lads thinking about doing more. We will be doing some more facebook live demonstrating lighting and portrait topics which will be free to tune in. Along with this I really want to push on this coming year with some free downloads, tutorials and of course more teaching.
I’ll wrap up by thanking the usual suspects in Gez, Anthony and Deaks but also Sarah who has become an integral part of us and what we do. Also Glyn Dewis for some sound advice and just being a great friend. I hope you all live your best life and achieve what you set out to do in 2020.
I must say I am quite relieved after my most recent image “The Kiosk” since it turned into a bit of a labour of love. I first liked an idea that was on a site called Deviant Art some years ago where there were people painted in a queue at a paying station. It was done using cinema 4D and no photography was involved. This image stayed with me for a few years until earlier this year I thought about elaborating on an idea I had about a queue of characters all waiting for something. It then dawned on me that apart from us British people loving an orderly queue I could actually create real characters that want to change.
The rest just added on to this already exciting concept and I called upon my old boys Gerwyn, Anthony, and Deaks. I would soon recruit characters that I already knew and some had worked with me before now.
On with the set build where I decided on a city scene in a back alleyway. I wanted to get the outside in! I felt that this could give me free licence regarding the light because in the city there are lights and reflections everywhere. You would normally think with such a free role with lighting it would be easy but it was anything but. I knew two things and the first was that there must be a light from above like a street light.
I rigged a studio light to a bracket high and above that suited the character that was at the signpost but the others were a little more tricky. For the next character on the floor I decided to use a strip box with grid to channel light directly down to her and that would also reflect into the other characters a little. This was rigged up in front of my camera about 8ft. I then decided to fill the other characters outside the kiosk with a flash gun off camera and hidden behind the stack of newspapers. Inside the kiosk the character was lit with two camera flash guns, one on the floor and one on a stool nearer to his face. The reason for two flash guns in the kiosk was because it was painted matt black and absorbed a lot of light. The last light was a studio head positioned near the “change” sign to simply pop a little light on to the sign and the side of kiosk.
Once the lighting was set and done it was about getting the right settings for the mix of ambient light and flash. It was settled on something like 1/15th and F5.6 ISO 100. The street light above was gelled blue along with the flash gun behind the newspapers and the side light gelled red to add to the kiosk drama.
I added dry leaves which came in handy to put around the bottom of the traffic signpost. This concealed the three L brackets securing the plastic drain pipe to the floor. The floor was painted grey to mimic a road or pedestrian area and even double yellow lines were added to the floor with spray. The kiosk was made with 6mm ply and 3×2 wood framing. A door was added along with decorative trim work and an awning making it more believable. The phone booth was an acoustic booth bought from a clearance place and the retro GPO phone added later. I then decorated it with business cards and wrote the usual jokes and abuse that we may get on our streets.
As time goes by I realise that it only takes a second to press the shutter and yet weeks or months of preparation.
I was reluctant to get rid of
I set about a plan to marry it up with the firefighters backpack by making them into accessories that would suit
The result was great and as sad as it sounds I was so excited now and, the helmet was now looking the part when I attached a mouthpiece. This I acquired from my day job from an old broken headset and then I added the red star stickers gave it an eastern block feel.
Next was casting the character based on the story I created to accompany this set. At first I very much wanted an elderly thin person to look quite comical with the huge helmet. That was soon put on hold when our stylist Sarah mentioned Dennis her Grandfather. He is 85 years of age and quite the character so we decided that we can roll with that. As soon as I met Dennis we clicked and he was a true character where nothing was too much for him. Even the weight of the backpack now was probably around 20kg!
On to the shoot I decided on a 3 light set up. I used one key light with large softbox and a rear kicker light for the backdrop to give it depth and lastly a stripbox with grid to punch a bit of light on to the jetpack. We also decided to light the jet pack using fireworks so a lot had to come together and caught just right. That and a deadpan look from Dennis who was now playing the character Bryn Hughes from the story. The 3 images show the transformation of Bryn from an unassuming but bitter person into a determined soul with one last shot. He really didn’t care if he literally went out with a bang!
Sarah styled Bryn to show a conservative look through to a dishevelled look complete with black face from the dust of the Aerobie. I thought the goggle marks on his face worked well and I added a tear to his eye later on. The funny part was keeping a straight face when lighting the Aerobie near Bryn’s bottom while he kept a steely look. The studio was in uproar while he remained the true pro.
The story is loosely based on my own life frustrations so my wife says but it’s a mixture of research for dates etc. and my own imagination. I really enjoy working in series and stories and hopefully they sit better with people rather than a single image.
Lastly I would like to thank the Skint Creative team and now we feel we are heading in the right direction.