Behind the Image #14 – Automotive Photography

Cars have always been one of my favourite things to photograph. I don’t really know where my love for cars came from. I guess probably from the fact I used to watch the F1 with my Dad as a child. We also had a friend who would exhibit his classic cars at shows and my Dad and I would head along to see them. I do love motorsport. I will block out entire weekends just to watch the Formula 1. It’s no problem to stay up through the night to watch practice 3 in the early hours followed by qualifying …

Behind The Image #13 – Still Life with Lens & Film

I needed to shoot a header image for an upcoming article that I’ve written for Digital Photography School. It’s an article about gear – which is unusual for me – but don’t judge by a book by its cover because I promise it’s not a techie one! So anyway, I shot this little scene with one of the beautifully engineered Fuji lenses for my little digital camera alongside some old film that my Grandfather shot. Since this series is called behind the image I thought I’d give you a real genuine “behind the image” experience… First off I want to …

Behind The Image #12 – Cotswold Street Photography

This year I’ve been dedicating more time to exploring the Cotswolds. I don’t really know why it took me so long to do this considering I have been living in Banbury for five years now, but anyway I’m having a great time getting out and about to all the beautiful little villages. I’ve also liked the idea of street photography for a while now. I’ve got a few friends who are pretty good at it, and following their feeds has been really inspirational. Something I’ve come to realise is that not all street photography looks the same. I know it …

What’s In A Photography Degree?

I often hear it said (mostly in photography forums, but occasionally to my face) that photography degrees are not worth the money and you would be better to either just buy some gear and practice, or do a business degree. Now I’ll confess up front that I didn’t do a Photography BA. I couldn’t find one that included the things I wanted to study and so a History of Art BA was a better match for me (I am more interested in history and theory). I was fortunate to be able to study some different genres and theories of photography …

Behind The Image #11 – Tulip Portrait

I don’t often shoot black and white images, but I’ve been more interested in them recently. I tend to go through phases with the way I post-process photographs and at the moment I think I’m chasing a “fine art” aesthetic inspired by the still life images I saw at the end of the Don McCullin exhibition. I’ve always wanted to shoot beautiful flower portraits. The idea of a flower “portrait” really fascinates me. To me, for an image of a flower to be a portrait it has to describe a characteristic of the flower. It has to go beyond being …

How I Make Time For Photography

I always wish I had more time to do the things I love, and I’m sure that I’m not alone. It can be easy as a hobbyist to suddenly realise that you’ve not picked up your camera for a few weeks, let alone shot anything you love. To be honest sometimes this happens to me too – being primarily an academic and a journalist means that sometimes I let my photography slip. This always makes me unhappy. I know that if I’m feeling a bit down it’s probably because I’ve not exercised my photographic creative muscles recently enough. So I …

Behind The Image #10 – Dark Fairytales

This image is a little different to most of the other LARP images I’ve shot over the years – let me tell you why. I edited it in Photoshop. Normally I don’t edit my LARP images in Photoshop. My entire workflow happens in Adobe Lightroom; a specialist piece of photography software designed for cataloguing and archiving images as well as doing basic editing. My process is that I import photographs from a LARP event into Lightroom, colour grade every image, rate them either 1* or 3* (ditch or keep, exceptional images get 4*) and re-crop them if they need it …

Behind The Image #9 – Bikes in Oxford

I remember the first time I photographed with intent. I had a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles camera that printed Michelangelo in the corner of every frame. Apparently they came out in 1990, so I would have been about five or six years old. For some reason, and I have no idea why, I decided to take an entire roll of film just of my bike. My bike was given to me by a relative that had grown out of it. It was a pink girls bike with a luggage rack on the back and a white seat with Bambi on. …

Behind The Image #8 – Shakespearean Portrait

It doesn’t seem possible that we’re eight weeks into 2019 already, but here we are almost at the end of February! This week I had the pleasure of heading along to lend a pair of hands on a workshop my friend Neil was running in Banbury giving people the opportunity to photograph the gorgeous Ginger Galore. Portraits inspired by historical imagery have been my thing for some time now. I guess for me it was a way of using what I’d learned photographing roleplaying events and combining it with my love for studying History of Art. So when I had …

Behind The Image #7 – The Beecroft Building & Keble College

There were two main reasons I picked Oxford Brookes to study History of Art. The first was that it had a banging rowing team (that for reasons beyond the scope of this post I didn’t join). The second was that it has a fantastic and well-regarded architecture department, and a modernist architectural historian in the history of art department. All in all I studied quite a bit of architecture on my undergrad degree. I had initially planned to study the architectural photography commissioned by Le Corbusier as my Masters by Research, but that fell by the wayside when videogames showed …