Category Archives: iPhone

Photographing Musicians – Part 2 (behind the scenes)

Yesterday I shared some of the images from my shoot with Leah and Celeste. Today is a look behind the scenes of the shoot.

Here’s photo number one. Yes, I am wearing gloves…it was freezing!

Below is the shot I was taking at the time. As you can see above, I’m crouching down for a lower perspective, so that the cobbles lead into the image. The light is blocked on either side by the buildings, making it directional enough for a good black and white conversion. Leah was going for a Vogue-ish look, with a vintage vibe. The use of black and white and shooting in a street with old buildings helped create that.

I used a wide aperture (f/2.5) so that only Leah was in focus and the buildings behind her added to the vibe, but weren’t distracting.

(Nikon D700 & Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar @ f/2.5, 1/250th)

Number two is a good example of using whatever space is available. I’ve posed Celeste just inside the covered walkway between a giftshop and some public toilets. (Who says being a photographer isn’t glamorous?) I picked that location because a covered walkway gives brilliant control of light.

Here’s the end result. Celeste was looking for edgy photos that contrasted sharply with normal perception of a soprano. The strong light and brickwork are a big contrast to the style of images I was shooting for Leah.

Using the walkway with the strong light behind me has given Celeste lovely ‘catchlights’ in her eyes.

(Nikon D700 & Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar @ f/2.2, 1/125th)

Here’s another image from the same location. This time I’ve moved Celeste away from the wall and allowed the end of the tunnel to add a bit of backlighting to the scene. I’ve also moved slightly closer to make the depth of field shallower.

The result of a shallower depth of field (Celeste’s hair is out of focus on one side) and the backlighting is to make the image much softer. The strong light and leather jacket are still harsh, but the result is (I hope) an image that presents a more delicate side.

Note that Celeste’s eyes are placed at the top third of the frame and the eye closest to the camera is on the right hand third of the frame.

(Nikon D700 & Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar @ f/2.5, 1/160th)

Number three is, I think, the most interesting. We’re back in the same street as number one and I’m crouching down again, but this time I’m breaking all the rules.

Celeste is front-on and above me, traditionally an angle you would NEVER photograph a woman at – apart from making them look square, by shooting from below you also make them look larger. Not recommended! However, there is a reason for my flagrant rule-breaking.

By shooting from below, I’m putting Celeste in a dominant position, but by turning her head away from the camera I help to define her features, which goes some way to negating the fact I’m shooting her straight on. Shooting straight on makes her shoulders square, which adds a strength and aggression to the pose.

The most interesting part? The image below is Celeste’s favourite from the shoot. Some people will tell you there are no rules to photography, and in some ways they are correct, however, you earn the right to break the rules if you know them.

Finally, I shot with my widest aperture of f/2.0 to remove some of the distractions from the background and then chose a panoramic crop of the image, because I felt it best matched the look we were aiming for.

(Nikon D700 & Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar @ f/2.0, 1/160th)

Do get in contact if you’re interested in a portrait shoot.

If you’ve got any photography questions, do ask away via my Formspring page and if you’re interested in my 1-1 photography training workshops, you can find more info here.


iPhone photography

Happened to walk past this abandoned car before the weekend – quite impressed with how well my iPhone shot came out with a bit of Photoshop work. It’s murky and dark, and not all like most of what I shoot, but I quite enjoyed creating something a bit different…

As always, the camera that counts most is the one you have with you. (Annie Leibovitz is even a fan of the iPhone for that reason.)

Sunset by the river – how to take good photos on your phone

It’s amazing the kind of images you can produce from a phone. I blogged about it briefly last year, although I don’t often share photos on my blog.

Taking photographs on a phone is actually a really good exercise to improve your photography – you can’t just make an interesting photo with a shallow depth of field (the sensor is too small for that) and you have to think very carefully about the image, and the limitations of the ‘camera’.

The composition has to be really strong and the I’ve found that I need to think very carefully about the light and how the small phone camera will interpret it. Simply put: the photograph has to be twice as good as if you had an SLR.

(Photographer Chase Jarvis has done some amazing work with an iPhone, and even published a book of images from a year of his life.)

Here are a few images I’ve taken with my iPhone.

a walk by the river Thames on Sunday evening…

and another from my honeymoon in Barbados…

To see more of my work visit, and for my non-commissioned work Flickr.

iPhone photography

It’s always interesting to challenge perceptions…

The following shot  could have come from a good SLR. In fact it’s from my iPhone.



A good photo is all about the light. In the right conditions you can produce some amazing things from surprising equipment.

Earlier this year Lee Morris caused a massive stir with a fashion shoot he shot entirely on the iPhone. What was entertaining was that he didn’t tell anyone he’d used his phone until a few days after he’d posted the images online. Excellent lighting equipment and professional make-up and hair all played a big part in the shoot, but Lee Morris ruffled a few feathers.

I’m not for one minute about to ditch my Nikon D700 and lenses and shoot a wedding on the iPhone, but I’m certainly going to try and take a few more shots while I’m out and about…

(the above shot was edited using Photoshop Express for iPhone.)