Whizzing out the frame in a Little Italy Van

What happens when a commercial client challenges you to create an unusual portrait in a place where the light isn’t quite right? You get creative, work out what the final image should look like, then find out a way to make it happen, of course… This was a commercial shoot for Little Italy, an espresso bar a few hundred yards down the street from us in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. In lieu of payment, Little Italy display my portraits in their customer …

Opaque Smoke & Background Bokeh

How to backlight smoke so it becomes opaque, and using a slow shutter speed to capture background lights as out-of-focus circles (bokeh) in your portraits. Rui was a guest at a wedding I was shooting. I loved his look, and had in mind a specific image I wanted to capture, with backlit smoke around him. Despite not being a smoker*, Rui was happy to pose for me, so we made our way through someone’s else’s packet of cigarettes until I …

Lighting Up An Ancient Lecture Theatre For A Science-Themed Portrait

This shot was about fire, camera and action, as part of a commercial commission to create a visually striking portrait of a chemistry lecturer. The Royal Institution (RI) is an independent charity that promotes scientific understanding. They put on Christmas lectures every year and in 2016, the lecturer was Saiful Islam and the theme was energy. Saiful is a Professor of Chemistry at Bath University, and I spent a day with him during which I captured about a dozen shots. …

Foundations: Shutter Speed, Your Camera’s Eyelid

If the aperture is like the pupil in a human eye, then the camera’s shutter is like an eyelid – light can only enter while it is open. The ‘shutter speed’ refers to the length of time that this shutter is open for, allowing light to fall on to the camera’s sensor in order to create an exposure. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second, with a ‘fast’ shutter speed including settings such as 1/250th of a second …

Foundations: The Exposure Triangle

Exposure is the technical term for the creation of a photographic image. An exposure can be deemed underexposed, correctly exposed or overexposed although, as photography is a creative art, this is a subjective judgement. Therefore, a correctly exposed photograph is one that is as the photographer intended. An underexposed image has darker tones than it ‘should’ have, while an overexposed one is too light in tone. An exposure is created through the combined effects of the aperture, … To get …