Damian McKillicuddy Studio Experience Day
18th August 2013
Had a brilliant day in Chester last Sunday at a Damian McKillicuddy Studio Experience Day and I cannot recommend it enough. Damian is quite a well known professional photographer, has a larger than life personality and is an expert in lighting models using all types of studio lighting and speedlights.
He explains the art of model photography very well and starts by advising us to ask ourselves what is the end result you are trying to achieve and light the model accordingly.
He started by demonstrating the three main types of lighting, Butterfly, Rembrandt and loop and went on to create different sets with Zoe, an excellent professional model, demonstrating with one set how to take a professional looking image using just 2 or 3 speedlights, the final set used mixed lighting colour temperatures, model movement and a smoke machine.

A Day at Saltwick Bay
09th August 2013
Last Saturday was a beautiful Summer's day and also pretty good for photography with a deep blue sky and wispy clouds scurrying across it propelled by strong winds which ironically spoiled my day and turned out to be very expensive.... see later !
The shot below depicts the Wreck of The Admiral Von Tromp, a fishing trawler that ran aground in 1976 with the loss of 2 lives and to this day it still remains a mystery as to why the boat was travelling towards land and not on its intended course out to sea.
I did this same shot a long time ago,longer than I care to remember or own up to, around the same time as Joe Cornish,I may even have been there before him as I hadn't seen a photograph of the wreck before, I just stumbled across it on a day very similar to last Saturday.
My original shot was on Fuji Velvia slide film and the digital processing is in a similar style, I still like the punch and depth that the saturated colours give this type of image.
I got to Saltwick Bay, a mile south of Whitby Abbey, about 8.30am, too late for the 5.30am dawn light, there was a time when I would have been there for dawn, but the sun was strong and fairly low in the sky so I ran off about 20 shots in very windy conditions when disaster struck, I had my camera on a sturdy tripod but couldn't be bothered to weigh it down by suspending my camera bag beneath, I turned to pick up something from my bag an heard the tripod and camera crash onto the rocky shelf and saw the lens had broken of at the base exposing all the electronic contacts, suddenly a perfect day was spoiled.
Disheartened I had to quickly leave as the wreck is in a cove which gets cut off at high tide, I cheered up a bit to revisit the wreck in the evening when the tide had gone back out but didn't get a better shot.
A hard lesson learned :(

Mono conversion and removed the metal upright to tidy up the image, shouldn't really do this but it does improve the composition.
Photoshoot With Jess Wilcock
14th July 2013
Yesterday I did a photoshoot with a couple of friends from Lancashire, the model was Jess Wilcock from Manchester
The first half of the day was in the studio, where we used studio flash and then ambient lighting, the second half of the day was outside in an urban environment.
I am no expert with studio flash and my approach is very much trial and error, the problem with this approach is that it is difficult to see the results on the screen on the back of the camera so you can end up with a lot of shots with similar lighting which may not look good on the computer as they may have deep shadows under the eyes or on one side of the face, it is also difficult to take your time when it is a shared shoot.
Shooting outside also brings its problems as you cannot control the weather, on the day in question it was hot and sunny casting very contrasty shadows across the face but as there was some cloud, suddenly it was overcast.
Its all a good learning experience but it takes time to master, some of my better efforts are shown below.
A final big thankyou to Jess who put up with 6 hours of posing with not much of a break, a great model who is not only attractive, has a striking hair style and really knows how to pose and turn on 'the looks'.

The Great Yorkshire Show
14th July 2013
Always fancied going to the Yorkshire Show but never quite got there, but last Wednesday finally made it. I was uncertain whether there would be any good photographic opportunities but I thought it would be good to experience it.
Fortunately the day was mainly overcast, unlike the 3 days before and after, as 7 hours in the open would have been exhausting in the heat. I don't think there is massive scope for serious photographers, or maybe it was me that did not see the possibilities :). What I can say is that most of the areas are open to the public, especially good are the cattle sheds where the animals are prepared for showing.
I even managed to get into the show rings with the professional photographers without any trouble. An interesting day out but no spectacular images, I have set up a GYS gallery if you would like to see the results.
Marie Antoinette Shoot
06th July 2013
My next project will be a Marie Antoinette studio set up, have a lot to arrange yet, model, MUA, background, props but have checked out dresses from the Royal Exchange Theatre Costume hire in Manchester. These are the 2 I have short listed.


Edinburgh International Print Salon
30th June 2013
Great news, got 3 prints accepted in the Edinburgh International Print Salon, this is not an easy one to get acceptances in as they only hang 200 prints in their exhibition selected from about 3000 entries so very pleased.

The accepted images can be seen in my gallery and are:
Charlie and the Queen
The Foolishness of Youth
Harvest of the Skies
Two Prints Accepted in the 2013 London Salon
05th May 2013
Really pleased that I have had 2 prints accepted in the 2013 London Salon.

I have tried about 4 times in 10 years to get an acceptance in the LS and failed, so really pleased to get 2 accepted apparently one image was in contention for a medal but narrowly missed out.
The LS exhibits 200 prints each year and the 80 members, most of whom are very well known photographers, can enter 2 prints each without them having to be selected, so it only leaves 40 for the rest of the world !
For anyone not familiar with the LS

"The aim of the London Salon is to exhibit only that class of photographic work in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution"
The London Salon of Photography is a unique body of photographers, from worldwide membership, whose sole aim is to exhibit, annually, the very best of pictorial photographic imagery.
Membership of the Salon is by invitation only and the roots of this organisation go back to the year 1893 when it was formed as "The Linked Ring", becoming the London Salon in 1910 when the first London Salon Exhibition was held.
The Linked Ring members were heavily involved with a breakaway organisation from the Royal Photographic Society being concerned that the Royal Society placed its emphasis on the science of photography rather than the art.

Another off 'The Bucket List' :)

Boris's Bikes

Charlie and the Queen

20,000 HITS !!!!
18th April 2013
My website has just achieved 20,000 hits :)
Seems like a heck of a lot of people looking at my photos, more than a small town !
Thanks to all of you who have dropped in, hope you enjoyed looking at my work.
Beauty Themed Workshop
06th April 2013
Next Sunday I am going to a Beauty Themed Workshop at J16 studio in Crewe, Cheshire.
Looking forward to learning tips on lighting setups, fashion model posing /communication and post processing, a professional model is available so should get some good shots also.
A maximum of 6 photographers in the class and still one place left if you are interested.
Will post some images in a week or so.

Had a great day at J16 studio, the owner Marc was really helpful and knowledgeable about studio photography and gave us some great advice. The model, Janet Hazel Allsop, and the MUA Natalie Jade Pimblett did an excellent job and the other guys on the course were really nice people, all in all a great day out and some desent images to take home.

Sweet Temptation

Epic Photoshoot
16th March 2013
Going to photoshoot today in an old Manchester mill, its organised by a friend of mine, it could be quite manic as there are upto 18 models and MUA's plus 5 photographers, could be a complete disaster or loads of fun. Will blog on the outcome and post some images, if I get any later.

I think it ended up with about 9 models and 9 photographers, I lost count.
A great MUA Raffat-Beauty worked non-stop all day on hair and make-up producing some amazing styles for some great models, a long hard day but worth every minute.


Photoshoot with Amanda Borg
04th March 2013
Had a great photoshoot yesterday at Wings Studio, Aintree, Liverpool, the model was the fabulous Amanda Borg who currently resides in Southport but originally from Toronto, Canada and thankfully she has retained her wonderful Canadian accent and avoided the 'scouse' creeping in :)
The Make Up Artist was also called Amanda, saves me forgetting the names, Amanda Hall, who did a great job with the make up, hair and sorting out the clothing and accessories. The studio owner is called Wing and was invaluable in adjusting the lighting and even provided us with tea and biscuits, a top-class man, anyone who wants an easy way into studio work from this knowledgeable gentleman book him now, you will not be disappointed.
Gold Medal in Serbian Circuit
27th December 2012
I joked about the Serbs not being very religious when I discovered that the results of the Miroc Photography Circuit were being announced on Christmas Day but soon changed my mind, God forgive me, when I won the Salon Gold Medal for 'Majestic' in the Mountain Landscape section.
Feel a bit guilty really as the 'mountain' was taken in the Peak District where there is nothing high enough to be called a proper mountain, even worse this 'rock' was only 3 metres high and the tree is my bonsai !
Hope this blog doesn't reach the Republika Srpska :)

The Scarecrow
15th December 2012
I have had an idea for a while to photograph a scarecrow partly because they are both funny, happy and appealing but at the same time a little scary or sad. I left it a little late in the year as the corn had been harvested leaving fields of stubble, but some fields had bales of straw left out which are always a good photographic subject.


Gold Medal at Great Barr National Exhibition
03rd September 2012
I had 6 images accepted at the Great Barr National Exhibition (Midlands) recently with 'The Foolishness of Youth' being awarded a Gold Medal and 'Harvest of the Skies' receiving a commendation. These are two of my multi-award winnng images and can be seen below in previous posts.
Baby Portraits
03rd September 2012
I photographed William, my nephew, 10 days ago when he was just 3 weeks old and this is my favorite image.

See My 'Reader's Spotlight' in Amateur Photographer Magazine dated 1st September, 2012
29th August 2012
I sent 20 images to 'Reader's Spotlight' in Amateur Photographer Magazine 3 months ago and they have just printed 3 of them, with a write up, in the 1st September issue which came out yeaterday.
It's good to get the exposure (no pun intended) but it is a little disappointing that, as usual, the print quality in the magazine is not the best, but the £50 fee helps !

The Royal Photographic Society’s 2012 International Projected Image Exhibition
28th August 2012
I have just heard that two of my images have been accepted into The Royal Photographic Society’s 2012 International Projected Image Exhibition. This is the first time I have entered this competition so very pleased.
The images are:

Harvest of the Skies

The Foolishness of Youth

Silver Medal at Robin Hood International
07th August 2012
'The Foolishness of Youth' (see image below) won a FIAP siver medal at the Nottingham Robin Hood International Exhibition, I also received a 'commended' for 'Harvest of the Skies' and had four other images accepted.
28th June 2012
I was lucky enough to be given a first class rail ticket to London so went down on a one day photographic trip, I was there just 7 hours and had planned a grueling schedule of potential shots all over the Capital which I had no chance of completing but I had a good go and captured the main ones, didn't stop all day so was shattered but happy at the end of it.
I hadn't time to stop for food and drink so it was a good job that this was included in the tickets for both legs of the journey.
On arrival at Kings Cross I got the tube to Southwark on the South bank of the Thames and headed for the Tate Modern Art Gallery, I had a look at the £50m diamond scull created by Damian Hirst which was very impressive in a blacked out room with just one spotlight trained on it, but no photography allowed! I didn't look round the other galleries as I couldn't stay long but found a good shot of one of the colourful entrance doors which can be seen on 'Latest Images' page of this website.
Next stop was More London a collection of modern architecture on the South bank of the Thames, plenty of photo opportunities here around Tower Bridge including The Shard, City Hall and several amazing buildings with no name just an address.
Final destination was Canary Wharf so on the tube again to photograph One Canada Square, this used to be the highest building in the UK until The Shard was finished recently.
Time to get back to Kings Cross to catch the train back to Leeds, with three quarters of an hour to spare I nipped next door to St Pancras recently rebuilt train station which is well worth a look.

Some of the images from this trip I have processed from RAW files and are shown on the 'Latest Images' page of this website.
Judge's Medal at The Robin Hood Exhibition
05th June 2012
''The Foolishness of Youth'' received the Chris Forster Judge's Medal at the Robin Hood National exhibition organisd by the Nottingham Photographic Society.