Cloud9 Duo Part 2

September 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Hopefully some of you read the first part of this blog post sharing the recent shoot and early results with singer and musician duo Cloud9. If you missed it you can read it here.


This is the second part where, as promised, I'm sharing the concept composited images with you. In all of these, the brief was to create a sense of drama and a bit of a gritty edge.


The Long Road: 

The background was captured in the New Forest and then created using software, although apart from a bit of cloning, I didn't need to do too much with it. The clouds were as they were, and I just added some light rays coming out of the cloud to the left. Then the fun began bringing in Julie and Gary and combining and blending them in with retouching and different compositing techniques to create the final image.


Dusty Tracks:

We knew before taking a single picture what kind of looks and backgrounds we wanted to capture and create, and a dusty road, path way was one of them. This background, also captured in the New Forest was perfect, with the gravelly stoney ground for me to add some dust in photoshop. A little bit of enhancement work was applied to this background and then just colour, before combining Julie and Gary.


London Skyline:

This last picture presented a bit of a challenge, in that I couldn't capture in one picture a rooftop foreground with a decent London skyline and dramatic clouds, so I had to pull in the roof and background elements in separately to create the final image. The nice thing about this is the background is that it's totally unique, given it doesn't exist! I'm going to create a short video showing the before and after's of this soon, so keep any eye out.

You can see larger versions of the pictures in the 'Concepts' photobook.

It was great fun and a real pleasure taking these pictures, creating these images and working with Julie and Gary to ensure the end results were what they needed.

Thanks for reading.



Cloud9 Duo

September 03, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I was recently commissioned to create a number of pictures for the brilliant singer and musician duo, Julia and Gary...Cloud 9 Duo.


When I took the first call, it couldn't of started better as Julia was looking for some fresh portraits of her and Gary, very much in line with my style of work and creativity, notably wanting plenty of drama in them. 5 pictures in total were to be produced, 1 on a black background, and then 4 composits. 


Whenever I work on concepts like this, the preparation phase is critical to ensure when we finally do the shoot, we are totally in sync with the look, feel and goals of the pictures we are taking. This is even more critical when shooting for composits, as the subjects are often having to picture themselves in an environment and actual scenic background, rather than on the white or grey background I'm using in studio for the original pictures.


The good news is, as soon as the research began, both Julia and I were sharing ideas that were very similar. This resulted in being able to create a set of picture ideas that would help keep us focused for the shoot, and also help me as I begin to capture backgrounds for the composits.


The shoot was split into two halves. The first, was focusing on the black background pictures, and then the second, we switched up the lighting and backgrounds to focus on the composits. I applied several different lighting setup's throughout.


I'm still working my way through the composits, but here is the final picture on black, and the first composit.


I'll share the remaining 3 pictures once completed. In meantime, be sure to check out their website. Julia sang a bit during the shoot and Gary did a bit on the sax. Both are very talented.


Thanks for reading,






New Work - Concepts with Dan Holbeche

July 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I've done a lot of work with Dan Holbeche in the past, particularly concept based and was pleased to create some new work with him again. Dan has been building a modelling portfolio for a while now and wanted some different looks to include. This is always good news for me as I try out different kinds of techniques and looks to my work.


The first picture was using a background captured early evening, where I wanted to darken the mood a bit and give more of a night time feel. I liked the angles, lines and perspective in this background once I'd enhanced it and rejigged it a bit to work with the portrait of Dan. Then it was a case of lining up the light in the background to the highlight's on Dan's face, and then blending him in and retouching. Colour wise I wanted low key so bought down the exposure and gamma a little to achieve the final look.

The next picture was a simple fashion/lifestyle portrait on a clean white background to give freshness, and then I applied a black and white finish. 


Finally was a picture with some motion in, where Dan is walking to towards the camera. At first I wasn't sure what kind of background to use with this, if any, and was contemplating a texture or something plain, however where he is walking, I didn't feel that would work, so I went with the large double doors, steps and used the light at the top to line up with the highlights on Dan to help sell it. I added a ton of addition lighting into this, normal retouching on Dan and then it was a case of blending and applying an overall colour tone to the picture to match the door light.

It's always great working with Dan. He is great at understanding the concepts I have in mind, and nails the poses and coolness every time. You can see him all over my website so check out my different photobooks, and will no doubt see more in the future.

I hope you like. If you having any questions about these or if you would like to have something similiar created, feel free to send me an email

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.




Black & White Portfolio

July 12, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I love black and white photography and I don't do any where near enough of it. However, that is slowly changing. Enough so, that I've finally created a black and white portfolio on my website so make sure you check it out here, and keep an eye, as this will definitely be growing over the next few months.

Here are a couple of pictures included:

I hope you like. Thanks for reading.


Tennis Player Portrait

July 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

With the Wimbledon frenzy around, timing was perfect to add a tennis player to my portfolio of work. I recently went out and captured some tennis court backgrounds, in preparation for this shoot.


The Background:

I wanted to get a local court with natural surroundings rather than Wimbledon (:) ), similiar to some of the PRO FOOTBALLER backgrounds I use and this was perfect. However as you'll see in the out of camera shot, the court was one of a couple side by side, and when I opened it up on the pc, I didn't like the surroundings on the right. So to fix this I had a play around in photoshop and created a mirror of the left side and combined the two. Whilst the angles and perspective aren't quite perfect, you'll see from much of my work, I've never got a problem bending reality a little. 

I purposely went for a little more vibrancy knowing that when I capture the player, I want colour to pop a bit, v's removing some of the saturation as I often do for other projects.


See the out of camera picture, then the final background:

Same image with some colour and sharpening processing applied:

Final background image with some photoshop intervention:

Now for the player. This is actually just one of several shots I captured, so you'll likely see some others soon, particularly as I want some with more action rather than the posed look. That said, I was really liking the attitude in this one. Most of the time, I'm creating backgrounds and the subject, combining both at the same time, however here, the background was already done, so my focus was on cutting the player out, retouching just the shadows, highlights and eyes, and then dropping into the background. Placing wise, I tried him in the left and the right to focus on rule of thirds a little bit more, but the impact here was all in the middle, and I liked the finished results. Apart from some small colour amends to help blend him with the background, and a touch of sharpening, I didn't do too much with this.

Final Image:

You can see the larger version by clicking here.


I have a load more tennis backgrounds, so if you or anyone you know might be interested in one of these pictures, feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading,