Sunday, 23 May 2010

Branston Memorial Cup

Had a wonderful afternoon and evening at the Branston golf club, thanks to Eric for inviting me, it was in  aid  of a wonderful cause..... 18 holes, a red hot day and a close match..... to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Kev cup.


Eric's new club!

one, two cha cha char....




Clubs

Bets action shot of the day, for me anyway!

Lining it up



One small step


One small slip...


The Moon over the ninth

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Talula (Stage Name)

Talula and I had a meeting in the meadows.... all was comfy cozy then Eric rang! DOH!

No seriously, me and Talulah did a location photo shoot on the Burton washland meadows yesterday evening, just accross from the library starting off in the trees, progressing to the open meadow grassland and ending up on the tree avenue path (litterally) by the iron bridge.

Here's a taster of one I've edited (slightly).

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fashion Photography and its inception. Incl my influences

Fashion photography

Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, or Allure. Over time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories.

 

History 
The Countess in a photo by Pierre-Louise Pierson (c. 1863/66)Photography was developed in the 1830s, but the earliest popular technique, the daguerreotype*, was unsuitable for mass printing. In 1856, Adolphe Braun published a book containing 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione, a Tuscan noblewoman at the court of Napoleon III. The photos depict her in her official court garb, making her the first fashion model.
In the first decade of the 20th century, advances in halftone printing allowed fashion photographs to be featured in magazines.




Fashion photography made its first appearance in French magazines such as La mode practique.
 In 1909, Condé Nast took over Vogue magazine and also contributed to the beginnings of fashion photography. Special emphasis was placed on staging the shots, a process first developed by Baron Adolf de Meyer, who shot his models in natural environments and poses. Vogue was followed by its rival, Harper's Bazaar, and the two companies were leaders in the field of fashion photography throughout the 1920s and 1930s. House photographers such as Edward Steichen, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst and Cecil Beaton transformed the genre into an outstanding art form. Europe, and especially Germany, was for a short time the leader in fashion photography. But now with the change in time every country has taken considerable measures to promote the field of photography. The artists abandoned their rigid forms for a much freer style. In 1936 Martin Munkacsi made the first photographs of models in sporty poses at the beach. Under the artistic direction of Alexander Brodovich, the Harper's Bazaar quickly introduced this new style into its magazine. In postwar London, John French pioneered a new form of fashion photography suited to reproduction in newsprint, involving where possible reflected natural light and low contrast. 




In the mid 1940s as World War II approached the focus shifted to the United States, where Vogue and Harper's continued their old rivalry. House photographers such as Irving Penn, Martin Munkacsi, Richard Avedon, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe would shape the look of fashion photography for the following decades. Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography — and redefined the role of the fashion photographer — in the post-World War II era with his imaginative images of the modern woman. Today, his work is being exhibited in the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, FL. This exhibition features more than 200 works and spans Avedon’s entire career, including vintage prints, contact sheets, and original magazines from Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and The New Yorker.




By the 1980's, mass market fashion photography was clearly defined in the genres of fashion, accessories and beauty. The same photographers who were shooting the editorials also began crafting editorial-like ad campaigns. The emerging power of the photographer and the supermodel, resulted in their higher salaries and greater influence in fashion. The enormous investment of time and money into fashion photography and its social value, can be compared with studio painting in prior centuries. Since the 1990's, the photographic style of luxury realism has transformed into a more everyday naturalism, making fashion photography relevant to art and history. The 1980's were marked by high glamour typified in Herb Ritts, who continued through the 1990's. After the deaths of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, some of today's most famous fashion photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Peter Lindbergh and Annie Leibovitz.

References
History of Fashion Photography at aidan.co.uk". http://www.aidan.co.uk/article_fashion1.htm.


Some of my Influences:


Horst P Horst
Most often known as just Horst, (August 14, 1906 – November 18, 1999) was a German American photographer best known for his photographs of women and fashion taken while working for Vogue magazine.

The younger of two sons, Horst was born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann in Weißenfels-an-der-Saale, Germany, to Klara (Schönbrodt) and Max Bohrmann. His father was a successful merchant.
In his teens, he met dancer Eva Weidemann at the home of his aunt's, and this aroused his interest in avant-garde art. In the late 1920s, Horst studied at Hamburg Kunstgewerbeschule, leaving there to go to Paris to study under the architect Le Corbusier.
While in Paris, he befriended many people in the art community and attended many galleries. In 1930 he met Vogue photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, a half-Baltic, half-American nobleman, and became his lover. He traveled to England with him that winter. While there, they visited photographer Cecil Beaton, who was working for the British edition of Vogue. In 1931, Horst began his association with Vogue, publishing his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue in November of that year.
His first exhibition was hung in La Plume d'Or in Paris in 1932. It was reviewed by Janet Flanner in The New Yorker, and this review, which appeared after his exhibit was over, made Horst instantly famous. Horst made a portrait of Bette Davis the same year, the first in a series of celebrities he would photograph during his life. Within two years, he had photographed Noel Coward, Yvonne Printemps, Lisa Fonssagrives, Natasha Paley, Cole Porter, Elsa Schiaparelli, and others.
Horst rented an apartment in New York in 1937, and while residing there met Coco Chanel, whom Horst called "the queen of the whole thing". He would photograph her fashions for three decades.[1]
He met Valentine Lawford, British diplomat in 1938 and they would live together as a couple until Lawford's death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together.[2]
In 1941, Horst applied for United States citizenship. In 1942 he passed an Army physical, and joined the Army on July 2, 1943. On October 21 he received his United States citizenship as Horst P. Horst. He became an Army photographer, with much of his work printed in the forces' magazine Belvoir Castle. In 1945 he photographed United States President Harry S. Truman, with whom he became friends, and he photographed every First Lady in the post-war period at the invitation of the White House. In 1947, Horst moved into his house in Oyster Bay, New York. He designed the white stucco-clad building himself, the design inspired by the houses that he had seen in Tunisia during his relationship with Hoyningen-Huene.
Horst is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, but is also recognized for his photographs of interior architecture, still lifes, especially ones including plants, and environmental portraits. One of the great iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is "The Mainbocher Corset"  with its erotically charged mystery, captured by Horst in Vogue’s Paris studio in 1939. Designers like Donna Karan continue to use the timeless beauty of "The Mainbocher Corset" as an inspiration for their outerwear collections today. His work frequently reflects his interest in surrealism and his regard of the ancient Greek ideal of physical beauty.

 


Herb Ritts
(1952-2002) Born: Southern California
Based in Los Angeles, Herb Ritts is very much an image maker for our time, a photographer whose assured eye, fertile imagination, and affirmative spirit translate our culture’s dreams and desires into strong, memorable pictures. As a photographer of fashion and celebrity, Ritts has created memorable covers and spreads for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone, among others, as well as album covers, movie advertisements, music videos, and commercials. Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, The GAP, and Giorgio Armani are among his many corporate clients. In the past decade,

Ritts has also published several books that bring together photographs around a particular theme. His images capture the beauty of strength and youth, the appeal of the human body, the radiance of California sun and sand, the maniacal grin of Jack Nicholson and the tattooed torso of basketball star Dennis Rodman. Many of these photographs were created independently; others arose from Ritts’s commercial assignments, chosen from the hundreds taken on a given shoot or made at his own initiative immediately after a job. Fine art, design, fashion, photographic media, and global marketing are all dynamically connected in today’s complex culture, and Ritts’s work exemplifies our broadening notion of artistic activity. Born in 1952, Ritts grew up in southern California, and his career began in the late 1970s with informal portraits of friends in the movie industry.

The photographer himself attributes his first success to shots of actor Richard Gere taken on a desert excursion that ended with a flat tyre. Ritts mastered his craft and developed his personal aesthetic photographing men’s and women’s fashions, often for Italian magazines, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His sequences frequently had a narrative theme and a specific period setting. A fashion spread on jeans and overalls echoes the early Gere portrait: Ritts rented a fifties garage in Los Angeles and cast his muscular models as greasy garage mechanics. Ritts' s eye for period style and his instinct for the timing of fashion revivals enhance his ability to make pictures that fire the imagination. Ritts is drawn to clean, pure lines and strong forms; the graphic simplicity of his images allows them to be read and felt instantaneously. In Backflip, the somersaulting body folds into a flat, symmetrical shape; we enjoy recognizing it simultaneously as a weightless abstract design and as a solid athletic body suspended in space. For Ritts, as for many photographers, the nude is a central subject. Ritts’s images—of models, of athletes and bodybuilders, of Maasai women in Africa—celebrate the human body as strong, sensuous, and beautiful. He takes pleasure in evoking the tactile appeal of surface textures, showing the body flecked with grains of sand, veiled in sheer fabric, caked with drying mud, or exposed to cascading water. While some figures exult in their male or female identity, in other images the emphasis is on the shapes of limbs and muscles or the tender connection of intertwined bodies. A recent series of the dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones suggests a classical frieze, as Jones’s powerful body moves through poses that are, like dance itself, both abstract and expressive. Among Rifts’s books, Men/Women (1989) is an expression of his feeling for the beauty and sensuality of both sexes. Duo (1991) is a sequence of studies of a gay couple, one a former Mr. Universe. Many recurring themes in Ritts’s work—bold simplicity of form, the nude, the rich and varied textures of the human body and the earth, the links between human beings—are explored in a new context in the book Africa (1994). Travelling to East Africa, Ritts savoured a working situation unconnected to fashion or fame. His photographs of the Maasai people, of animals, and of the landscape they inhabit create a timeless world of vast spaces and ancient ways. 

Ritts’s portraits of famous figures, from Madonna to Dizzy Gillespie, often have a whimsical quality, creating the sense of an intimate encounter with a larger-than-life personality. The subjects may spoof their public personae or "play themselves," reminding us of the degree to which celebrity in our media-saturated culture decrees constant performance. Ritts presents some subjects in terms of trademark features or associations, transforming a personal detail into an emblematic symbol: Elizabeth Taylor' s eyes and diamond, Mick Jagger reduced to the word "MICK" spelled in studs on an old stage outfit, comedian Sandra Bernhard represented by only her open mouth.  At other times, Ritts catches us off guard with an unexpected twist. Madonna is renowned both for her glamour and her outrageousness, and Ritts captures these elements in pictures of her vamping as a classic sex goddess and mugging in Mickey Mouse ears. But his images of the famous blonde stretched and distorted by fun-house mirrors or in eighteenth-century powdered wig take us by surprise. Ritts' s portrait of Glenn Close partially made up for her role as silent film star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard is an image of illusion and role-playing stripped bare, while close-ups of politician George Wallace, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and director John Huston confront us with the tracks life has left on these faces. As critic Ingrid Sischy says in the exhibition catalogue, to create the celebrity images Ritts makes, "you have to be savvy on all fronts . . . you have to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a playmate, and a great persuader . . . Because he has such a natural grasp of, as well as of all the technical aspects, Ritts can pull off the equivalent of miracles—photographs that become icons."

Cindy Crawford                                
I like the lines in this picture, simple plain background emphasising the shape of her body ad the texture of her hair.






Madonna (True Blue)   
Another iconic image of Madonna, Ritts uses a wall to reflect light and create a line mimicing the flow of her body and head angle, again a simple bacground whitth some highlights which I think almost looks like and extension of her hair texture and highlights.
Stephanie Seymour
  
I particularly like this shot again it seems a straight forward shot, possibly outside with natural sunlight creating a shadow or either a reflector or fill flash to soften the shadows. This is something I would like to emulate in my wedding photography, and of course during the course
Cindy Crawford

This has a similar feel and pose to the Megan fox, Armani shot that I copied for one of my fashion shot poses. A very simple shot natural diffused lighting with possibly a bit of fill light. Would we be looking at this image if it wasn't Cindy Craford? perhaps for a moment because it's a scantily clad woman, but not remebered.





Patrick Demarchelier
Born near Paris in 1943 to a modest family, he spent his childhood in Le Havre with his mother and four brothers. For his seventeenth birthday, his stepfather brought him his first Eastman Kodak camera. Demarchelier learned how to develop film, retouch negatives and began shooting friends and weddings.As a teenager Demarchelier used to charge his friends and family a few centimes each to take and retouch their photographs. Today, a portrait by Demarchelier – if he’s inclined to take it – will set you back tens of thousands of pounds. But don’t expect the blemishes to be airbrushed away: Demarchelier has now tired of what he describes as today’s “perfection-obsessed” society and the photographers and image-makers who “want to turn all women into models”.
In 1975, he left Paris for New York to follow his girlfriend. He discovered fashion photography by working as a freelance photographer and learning and working with photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Terry King, and Jacque Guilbert. His work drew the attention of Elle, Marie Claire and 20 Ans MagazineHe later worked for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, first in September 1992 which resulted in a 12-year collaboration. Demarchelier shot international advertising campaigns for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.Demarchelier has lived in New York City since 1975. He is married to Mia and they have twins. Since the late 1970s he has shot the covers for nearly every major fashion magazine including American, British and Paris Vogue. He has also shot covers for Rolling Stone, Glamour, Life, Newsweek, Elle and Mademoiselle. He has photographed many advertising campaigns, including Farrah Fawcett shampoo in 1978, the Brooke Shields doll in 1982, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Cutty Sark, and a Calvin Klein ad with Talisa Soto and Giorgio Armani, Chanel, GAP, Gianni Versace, L'Oréal, Elizabeth Arden, Revlon, Lancôme,Gianfranco Ferré. He was also the primary photographer for the book On Your Own, a beauty/lifestyle guide written for young women by Brooke Shields. Since 1992 he has worked with Harper's Bazaar, becoming its premier photographer. Demarchelier was awarded the contract for the 2005 Pirelli Calendar.
Over the years he has catapulted the careers of many make-up artists like Laura Mercier, Jason Marksand Pat Mcrath.Demarchelier is referenced in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, when the "dragon lady", Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), asks Andy (Anne Hathaway), on her very first day on the job, "Did Demarchelier confirm?", leaving her utterly confused. The first assistant Emily calmly jumps into action and calls his office, replying, "I have Patrick!" Demarchelier also made a cameo in the film version of Sex and the City; he can be seen taking pictures during Carrie Bradshaw's fashion shoot for Vogue magazine, In 2007, Mrs. Christine Albanel, Minister of Culture, honoured Patrick Demarchelier as an Officer dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

This one make you look again, why is she posing like this? then you see the tittle and it looks like she's holding up the letter, very clever I wonder if I could try this in one on one of my images.

Simple beauty lighting, hair lighting, clever pose .... what else can you say .. nice lipstick?



This one is a bit darker, perhaps sensual or seductive, a bit of film noir look about it, it looks like it has overhaed lighting to give it that dramatic look and a good pose, I thik sometimes this is the hardest this to get, perhaps its the model with a natural or experienced style helping the photographer, or the other way round, I do think it take two to tango.......







Richard Avedon

(1923–2004) revolutionized fashion photography starting in the post-World War II era and redefined the role of the fashion photographer. Anticipating many of the cultural cross-fertilizations that have occurred between high art, commercial art, fashion, advertising, and pop culture in the last twenty years, he created spirited, imaginative photographs that showed fashion and the modern woman in a new light. He shook up the chilly, static formulas of the fashion photograph and by 1950 was the most imitated American editorial photographer. Injecting a forthright, American energy into a business that had been dominated by Europeans, Avedon's stylistic innovations continue to influence photographers around the world.



Born in New York in 1923, Richard Avedon dropped out of high school and joined the Merchant Marine’s photographic section. Upon his return in 1944, he found a job as a photographer in a department store. Within two years he had been “found” by an art director at Harper’s Bazaar and was producing work for them as well as Vogue, Look, and a number of other magazines. During the early years, Avedon made his living primarily through work in advertising. His real passion, however, was the portrait and its ability to express the essence of its subject.

As Avedon’s notoriety grew, so did the opportunities to meet and photograph celebrities from a broad range of disciplines. Avedon’s ability to present personal views of public figures, who were otherwise distant and inaccessible, was immediately recognized by the public and the celebrities themselves. Many sought out Avedon for their most public images. His artistic style brought a sense of sophistication and authority to the portraits. More than anything, it is Avedon’s ability to set his subjects at ease that helps him create true, intimate, and lasting photographs.

Throughout his career Avedon has maintained a unique style all his own. Famous for their minimalism, Avedon portraits are often well lit and in front of white backdrops. When printed, the images regularly contain the dark outline of the film in which the image was framed. Within the minimalism of his empty studio, Avedon’s subjects move freely, and it is this movement which brings a sense of spontaneity to the images. Often containing only a portion of the person being photographed, the images seem intimate in their imperfection. While many photographers are interested in either catching a moment in time or preparing a formal image, Avedon has found a way to do both.

Beyond his work in the magazine industry, Avedon has collaborated on a number of books of portraits. In 1959 he worked with Truman Capote on a book that documented some of the most famous and important people of the century. Observations included images of Buster Keaton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Pablo Picasso, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mae West.

Around this same time he began a series of images of patients in mental hospitals. Replacing the controlled environment of the studio with that of the hospital he was able to recreate the genius of his other portraits with non-celebrities. The brutal reality of the lives of the insane was a bold contrast to his other work. Years later he would again drift from his celebrity portraits with a series of studio images of drifters, carnival workers, and working class Americans.

Throughout the 1960s Avedon continued to work for Harper’s Bazaar and in 1974 he collaborated with James Baldwin on the book Nothing Personal. Having met in New York in 1943, Baldwin and Avedon were friends and collaborators for more than thirty years. For all of the 1970s and 1980s Avedon continued working for Vogue magazine, where he would take some of the most famous portraits of the decades. In 1992 he became the first staff photographer for The New Yorker, and two years later the Whitney Museum brought together fifty years of his work in the retrospective, “Richard Avedon: Evidence”. He was voted one of the ten greatest photographers in the world by Popular Photography magazine, and in 1989 received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London. Today, his pictures continue to bring us a closer, more intimate view of the great and the famous.

This exhibition is the most comprehensive exploration to date of Avedon's fashion photography during his long career at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, The New Yorker, and beyond. Working closely with The Richard Avedon Foundation, ICP curator Carol Squiers and guest curator Vince Aletti present new scholarship on the evolution and extraordinary, ongoing impact of his work. The exhibition features 175 works by Richard Avedon, spanning his entire career, and includes vintage and edition prints, contact sheets, and original magazines.




To Summarise, I suppose the ingredients for a good fashion shot would be a particular theme in fitting with the (current) fashion clothes worn, a beautiful model to show off the fashion clothes, lighting again to suit the style. taken by a famous photographer with connections, with a bit of sex thrown in for good measure. The image can be either a part of a person, some of the person or all of it.

*A daguerreotype (original French: daguerréotype) was the first large scale commercial photographic process.
It was developed by Louis Daguerre together with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Niepce had produced the first photographic image in the camera obscura using asphaltum on a copper plate sensitised with lavender oil that required very long exposures.
The image in a Daguerreotype is formed by amalgam i.e. a combination of mercury and silver. Mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate that consists of a copper plate with a thin coating of silver rolled in contact that has previously been sensitised to light with iodine vapour so as to form silver iodide crystals on the silver surface of the plate.
Exposure times were later reduced by using bromine to form silver bromide crystals.
The image is formed on the surface of the silver plate that looks like a mirror. It can easily be rubbed off with the fingers and will oxidise in the air, so from the outset daguerreotypes were mounted in sealed cases or frames with a glass cover.
When viewing the daguerreotype, a dak surface is reflected into the mirrored silver surface, and the reproduction of detail in sharp photographs is very good, partly because of the perfectly flat surface.
Although daguerreotypes are unique images, they could be copied by redaguerreotyping the original.
The daguerreotype was the first publicly announced photographic process and while there were competing processes at the time, the accepted scientific etiquette of the time was that discovery was attributed to first published. All of the initial photographic processes required long periods for successful exposure and proved difficult for portraiture. The daguerreotype did become the first commercially viable photographic process in that it was the first to permanently record and fix an image with exposure time compatible with portrait photography, but this was after extra sensitising agents (bromine and chlorine) were added to Daguerre's original process.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Frog

Found a frog in my garden so I took it's picture,  someone did say I was good at portraits, this time I think I've found my match....

Monday, 10 May 2010

L3 Fashon Finished Images

Here are my selected final images, they are not quite finished being edited or cropped so stick with me on this one..... all of them were shot with the same lighting setup of a single side lighting at 45 degrees to the model, close to a white background to produce a shadow, all were taken in the College studio except No6 'Red Dress' this was taken at the models home with my studio equipment. all the shadows will be edited to enhance the definition of them and some crop, No 9 The gun will have a gun photoshopped in her hand, I thought it could have a bit of a James Bond look about it.

1. the white hat

This has been cropped to close in to the product , it could be advertising Jeans, Boots or could be a background image.






2. the white hat take 2

Similar to above










3. tippin the hat

Mmmmm. there getting a bit samey now!








4. check shirt 'n' denim skirt

?!







5.me and my shadow

OK here's a different pose, could be used for a tight/ boots ad.




6. Red Dress

A similar shot to the Holly Willoughby series as seen on a previous blog entry.







7.  Hitchin' a lift

again not much done to this except a tighter crop











 8. black Dress

Exactly the same treatment as above. but with a different pose.











9. my name is Bond

this one I wanted to have the look of a james bond girl style complete with add in gun












10. legs

This one was intended as a tight advert and to emphasise Kelly's legs I have lengthened then, not much else done except a tighter crop.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

L2 & L3 Exhibition prints

As discussed with Mr Steve here are my 10 images that I am suggesting he pics one from, they are not all directly involved in my course but have been taken during my course and influenced from it.


Level 2:






















































Level 3:




























Still to be edited and finished