Stuart Cosgrave Photography: Blog en-us (C) Stuart Cosgrave 2021. All rights reserved (Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:20:00 GMT Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:20:00 GMT NEW PRO FOOTBALLER Pictures.... I recently had the pleasure of creating some more of my PRO FOOTBALLER pictures. This time for Bournemouth Sports FC players/brothers, Jack and Harry Burton. I've blogged several times about these shoots, so if you follow me here or on social media, you'll have a good idea of the behind the scenes, and how I shoot and then create them. So I figured rather than walk through similar here, I'd pull together a very short video clip that show the before and afters with very subtle changes made along the way.

Here are the other pictures I created with Jack and Harry.

Hope you like. Click to see more PRO FOOTBALLER and SPORTS pictures. If you are interested in one of these, or would like to discuss ideas with no obligation at all, feel fee to get in touch.

Also, make sure you follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to keep up to date on all work/projects and more.

Thanks for reading/watching.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing PROFOOTBALLER Portraits Sports Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:32:39 GMT
2015 Look Back Before steaming forward into 2016, I wanted to take a look back at a few of my photography highlights in 2015. I've had the pleasure of working with all kinds of people. There were a couple of stand out projects and pictures I took which I am personally quite proud of. Some of you may agree, others may disagree which is the beauty of photography and art. But I wanted to share them any way with a short summary as to why I liked so much. These aren't in any particular order.

Olympic GB Swimmer Dan Speers:

I was really pleased with the results of this picture for a number of reasons. Firstly, before getting to the techy elements, Dan was a great guy, brilliant to work with, and a real inspiration to others in terms of his discipline and passion for his sport. Secondly, I'd been wanting to add a swimmer to my athletes portfolio for a long time now. Finally the picture itself. I love moody dramatic pictures and this has all of that. Also  I love the pose. We tried a couple of these and Dan nailed it. Making sure we got his arms symetrical was really important, as was working on where there light fell. I wanted just enough to show off his physique including the abs, but with some fall off. Finally, in terms of the story being told, for me this picture tells you everything you need to know about Dan. He is serious about his sport, passionate, is confident, has a real phyiscal presence and stature and means business! I have no doubt Dan will fulfill all his dreams at the highest level!


The Long Road With Cloud Duo:

I loved working with Julie and Gary. They had great ideas from the start and we quickly clicked on the concepts they had in mind. Also they wanted pictures to be created using compositing techniques which I really enjoy. I was really pleased with this background. A bit of traffic dodging in the new forest and some photoshop to remove some cars in the distance made the road empty. I love the perspective, the leading lines from the road pulling you into the picture and the dramatic clouds. What makes the picture though are the poses that Julie and Gary pulled out the hat which were full of attitude and seriousness. I love the way they are standing, and their expressions. Finally, the blending and photoshop work involved really made the picture work.


Tip of the Hat:

This picture was another composit but with a different finish hence me choosing it. It was using a portrait captured from a 2014 shoot with model Dan Holbeche, but I hadn't found a background to fit the angle of Dan until I got this one in London. The way the eyes are lit, his expression, the outfit and also the way this came together in photoshop with the black NOIR feel is why it's one of my standout pictures for last year. I also like the perspective. Dan is an excellent model to work with. Totally nailed the shot here.


Gary from Cloud Duo:


The simplicity of this shot, expression and details in Gary's face makes this intriguing which is why I love this picture. He has that look of someone who is interesting and has many stories to tell. Technically I like where the light hits his face, the fall off and how it's defined his chisseled jaw.



I shot several portraits on black backgrounds last year. Normally I tend to shoot guys on the darker backgrounds when creating heavy drama and shadows, but where Kat has a lot of body art, I wanted to try and blend beauty with some drama and grit. The reason it makes my list of favs are her eyes, the expression and the body art. For me, it's intriguing, pulls you in, has beauty with a nice bit of edge to it. I'm always a fan of simple close up portraits and was really pleased with the finish.


Tennis Champion:

Some sport now and a slightly different type of picture, and I have to confess, this is my son. But as he always helps me practice with my shoots, and nails these cool looks, this also makes the cut. Another reason I like it is the fact I had to create several elements of the tennis court in photoshop myself. The final result of the background is very different to reality and I was happy to do that with this picture. Reality wasn't important.



Finally one of my PRO FOOTBALLER portraits. I love this picture of Nathan. His pose and expression is great, I really like the stadium background and floodlights which all blended nicely and finally the leather football. I ws so pleased he and his dad bought this to the shoot. The finished print of this was fantastic.


There you go. My picks from last year - now to 2016! I hope you liked reading. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch or leave comments.

Thanks for reading!





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Retouching Sports Fri, 08 Jan 2016 05:15:00 GMT
A New Year means New Ideas.... Happy New Year everyone!


I normally write a few posts over the Christmas period but this year I was fortunate to have a couple of weeks out from work so decided to down ALL tools. That meant no photography (apart from some family Christmas snaps), no computers, no photoshop, no tablets, etc to concentrate on good family time and it was great.


As always this time of year I start thinking about different ideas for projects and shoots looking for inspiration and already have some good things in mind so watch this space. In the meantime, I haven't posted blogs to share my most recent work as I normally would, so you can check it out HERE.

Also, keep an eye on the blog later this week where I'll be posting a look back on 2015 sharing some of the highlights and favorite pictures.

Thanks for reading. I'm hoping you all enjoyed the festive period and I wish everyone the best for 2016!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Mon, 04 Jan 2016 21:14:21 GMT
Happy Halloween! Getting this in before the Halloween weekend begins. I don't get into the Halloween hype at all, but, a few years back I messed around with a picture of my son, making him look a bit scary, much to my wife's delight, and whilst she didn't like the results, it was a great opportunity to mess around with some different processing and photoshop techniques.


Here is that picture:

So this year, I thought I'd use Halloween as an excuse to create a new scary picture. Again, mainly as a project, to have some fun and practice things in photoshop. I've had this picture in mind for a while. In fact, since April, as that's when I photographed this background. I drive past this location every day, and have often thought how different the tree's look, and with the right toning and processing, could look a bit creepy and add some some suspense and intrigue to the picture. So I went out and took this shot knowing that at some point, I'd add a character into it. Of course, just my luck, some friends of mine drove past me that day wondering what the hell I was doing creeping around the woods early in the morning!! Any way, here is the original out of camera picture...

For the subject, I asked my mate, Shannon Milton if he fancied helping me out with the picture. He's a barber and I've worked with him in the past creating this portrait which is still one of my favorite ever pictures.

He was happy to help, and as it turned out, he had bought the scary silver skull mask for the barbershop, so I suggested he bring that aswell and we'll see what we can do. Normally for shoots, there is the warm up phase, where the subject is getting used to posing, I'm tweaking my lights etc. Sometimes people don't need that warm up time, and the following picture was the first click of the shutter I made, and I really liked it, so thought I'd share.

Back to the Halloween picture......we then got Shannon into character with the mask and a black sheet I had lying round. Here is the out of camera picture which looked pretty good as is.

Now onto combining the two.  I played around with the positioning, and whilst a lot of my work reflects the rule of thirds, a lot of it doesn't. I know it's breaking the rules, but I prefer to focus on what looks right, feels right and what I like. However, putting Shannon in the middle of this blocked some of the crooked eery trees, which I didn't want to lose, so in the end, applied the rules anyway.

Then onto the photoshop fun. I could ramble on for a while talking about what I did to this picture, but instead, given it's halloween, I thought I'd create a very short video showing the before and after's, and steps in between. Make sure you watch closely, as some of the changes are subtle. I hope you enjoy. You can see a bigger version of the final picture here.

You can catch other video's I've created on my website by clicking here and if you want to be part of a concept shoot like this, whether for a crazy scary halloween picture, or for anything else, feel free to get in touch. I'm always keen to talk ideas.

Thanks for reading.



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Halloween Portraits Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:30:00 GMT
Cloud9 Duo Part 2 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.



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Retouching Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:38:36 GMT
Cloud9 Duo 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,






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:45:00 GMT
New Work - Concepts with Dan Holbeche 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 [email protected]

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 17 Jul 2015 04:45:00 GMT
Black & White Portfolio 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.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Black Portraits White and Mon, 13 Jul 2015 04:00:00 GMT
Tennis Player Portrait 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,


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Sports Fri, 10 Jul 2015 04:30:00 GMT
New portfolio additions Hi


I've been doing a few different shoots in recent weeks and working as always on some personal projects so wanted to bring everyone up to date on my latest creations.


First is result of an ongoing project using a ton of cool images captured using model Dan Holbeche some time ago. We did a 2 - 3 hour shoot with several concepts in mind which are likely to keep me busy for the rest of the year. Here is one of the most recent images. Very simple, and have stuck to the spy / 007 / hitman theme, and have messed with a very contrasty black and white treatment leaving Dan on a white widescreen background.



Next are some recent PRO FOOTBALLER pictures.

First is Josh who plays for Parley Sports FC. Josh and his family are big AFC Bournemouth supporters, so with them being promoted to the premiership, this was the perfect time to capture Josh in the stadium. Really liked the super hero style posing in this one!

Next is Toby and Oscar who play for Bournemouth Sports FC. These boys are also massive fans of AFC Bournemouth, and their parents chose a similiar stadium background to use aswell. The brothers did great bringing some of the serious, mean looks and poses to the shoot which added to the drama of the final picture.

Really pleased with the results I must say. Of course the PRO FOOTBALLER prints I create bring these to life on another level, but you can check out all of my portfolios to view these and any of my work at a larger size under photobooks on the website.


Thanks for reading. 




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:30:00 GMT
Bournemouth Sports FC I was fortunate to take my PRO FOOTBALLER stand to Bournemouth Sports FC end of season presentation on Sunday. I was really pleased to receive such good interest in my work from parents on the day, particularly where photography is an art and is therefore subjective, and my work and style is never going to be for everyone's taste. There is nothing better for me when people share my vision around the type of pictures I want to create, and more importantly the feeling, drama and impact I want my pictures to relay.

I have to give a big thanks to Steve Main (V - Chairman for BS FC) for making this happen and all support given to making it work. Also to John Rolfe and the club as a whole. Having been to a few presentation evenings, I have to say I was not only really impressed with the presentation itself, but more importantly the sense of a club that focuses on the right things, and with good principles to help develop young players.

Here are a couple of iphone snaps from the day.


I'm looking forward to working with families at the club in the future.

Thanks for reading.





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Tue, 12 May 2015 04:45:00 GMT
Video Page For those following me on my facebook, you'll of seen me posting very short clips that show before and after pictures and the changes I make to my work to create the final images. I've now set up a dedicated video page on my website and you can check these out here. As the collection of videos grow, I'll be also mirroring these on a you tube channel.


If you haven't seen any, these video's are short clips and aside from the PRO FOOTBALLER promo video, are focused on showing the out of camera shots I've captured, and then the changes I make in photoshop as I combine all the elements together, add some effects and create the final image.

Keep an eye on there as more and more will be added as I work through new projects, and will likely revisit a few older one's aswell to give a hint as to what goes into creating my work.

That's it for today. Have a good week!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Videos Mon, 11 May 2015 04:30:00 GMT
More PRO FOOTBALLER Action! As the football season draws to a close, you'll of seen me posting different PRO FOOTBALLER images on my social media pages. Especially as local team AFC Bournemouth have done so well to win the championship and gain promotion to the premiership. I'm a spurs fan, but to see the local club in our area do so well is superb! Of course it wasn't too long ago I was shooting pictures of their stadium to use as backgrounds for my PRO FOOTBALLER pictures. Needless to say, if your kids are AFC Bournemouth fans, and you want a portrait with them in their kits inside the stadium to celebrate their history making season, book now.

On this note, I'm excited to be taking my PRO FOOTBALLER stand to Bournemouth Sports FC end of season presentation evening this weekend. I'll probably post a few pictures of the setup on facebook so make sure if you aren't following me you do so here to keep up to date.


I have a few PRO FOOTBALLER shoots in the pipeline so will be sure to share results here soon. I'm also working on a couple of other projects that I'll blog about soon so stay tuned.


For now though, in sticking with PRO FOOTBALLER pictures as the theme of the moment, I've included again my PROMO video for anyone new to the blog. Please share with friends and families you think may be interested. As always, I really appreciate the support.

Thanks for reading and having a great weekend!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 08 May 2015 04:00:00 GMT

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the sunshine. You may have seen on my facebook page my new PRO FOOTBALLER stand and photo book all set up and ready for this years presentation evenings and tournaments.


I wanted to share a few iphone snaps of the stand and banners here on the blog. I need to mention Print Designs who did an excellent job with my artwork designs to bring all of this together for me! Really impressed and great customer service so check them out if you need any of this kind of stuff. You'll see my son at the end standing next to the banner looking a bit shocked at his picture on the banner - gives a good idea of the size of these which I'm delighted about.


I'm also loving my new PRO FOOTBALLER photobook making it easier for people to take a look at my work rather than working through full size prints. ...


I'm hoping to take the stand to several clubs and events through the summer onwards so will keep you posted. First up is Parley Sports FC where I'll be setting up the stand tomorrow and Sunday so if any of you are there, be sure to come over and say hello.

Here is link to my PRO FOOTBALLER page and below is my latest PROMO video. Hope you like it and share.

Enjoy the weekend!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 17 Apr 2015 07:02:23 GMT
PRO FOOTBALLER WEEK - Promotional Video Not much talking to do today except to say please check out my  new PRO FOOTBALLER promotional video below and if you like it and/or know any one that might be interested, please feel free to share this blog or the link to my PRO FOOTBALLER package info page HERE.




Thanks as always for reading, 


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Pro Sports Wed, 11 Feb 2015 05:45:00 GMT
PRO FOOTBALLER WEEK - The Main Pro Footballers My latest PRO FOOTBALLER work came in from Stephen and Amanda Main, for their 3 football crazy sons, Lucas, and their twins, Alex and Harry. The three of them play for Bournemouth Sports FC for their respective age groups, so wanted to capture them in their team colours.

If you've seen my PRO FOOTBALLER work, you'll know it has a certain look and feel to it. I don't tend to do cheesy smiles in any of more, and whilst my PRO FOOTBALLER shoots tend to be with junior players, this doesn't change. I want the players to look like they mean business. Real serious because when I add them to the backgrounds, I purposely add in more drama and impact to the pictures aswell. Heavy clouds, lots of detail etc.


So, it's always great when my clients share this vision and totally get the look we are aiming for, and Stephen, Amanda and the boys totally nailed it. No warming up was needed, once the lights were setup and we got the player positions organised, the boys were on form behind the camera pulling out several awesome poses!

Even though shooting three players, I tend to shoot each player individually and then bring them together in photoshop. Once the favorite three pictures were selected, I produced a quick test shot cutting the players out very roughtly, positioning them on a background and then reviewed with Stephen and Amanda to make sure positioning and sizing of the players works. Then onto the processing side. I'm not going to talk any further on this, instead I've created a very short video that shows the out of camera pictures, the background and then the different steps I went through.........


Here is the final image added to the black mount that I put these on for print.

You can see more of these in my PRO FOOTBALLER portfolio and if you are interested in having one of these shoots, be sure to check out my PRO FOOTBALLER page and feel free to get in touch with any questions.


Thanks for reading,





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Tue, 10 Feb 2015 05:45:00 GMT
PRO FOOTBALLER WEEK - Q&A My PRO FOOTBALLER package has been running for a couple of years now and continues to be received well. I've been meaning to give the PRO FOOTBALLER package details page a make over for some time now, and create a newer version of the promotional video which shows the process I go through in creating these. I've finally got round to doing this so  am calling this week PRO FOOTBALLER week to help relaunch the package. Each day I'll be posting about my PRO FOOTBALLER pictures so please keep an eye on the blog, and my social media. As always I really appreciate support, likes and shares that my followers and customers give me. 

So first up is a Q&A to help explain what my PRO FOOTBALLER package is all about, why it's different and unique. With much of my work being concept based, this package still represents one of my best value offerings, so I wanted to give a good over view here on the blog and thought doing so in a Q&A format would be good approach........



PRO FOOTBALLER is a specific package I offer to junior football players who wish to be captured in a dramatic, billboard style image. However, this is a photoshoot with a difference, as I cut out the players from the studio background and blend them into a football background, adding effects and enhancements to the entire image to create a picture that has impact and is full of detail and drama.


How much does it cost?

My PRO FOOTBALLER package costs £100.


What do you get for £100?

  • Planning and preparation for the shoot - ideas about kit, accessories, posing, backgrounds to be used and more.
  • The actual shoot - photoshoot under studio lighting - typically lasts 30 - 45 minutes working different poses until we get 'the shot!'
  • Private online proofing gallery allowing you to choose your favorite image.
  • Professional processing, retouching and blending of the player into chosen background.
  • 24X16 high quality print mounted on black surround.
  • Post and packaging charges for the print. (prints have to be collected from me, however instead of printing myself, I use a leading  lab who charge for delivery to me.)


So when you say you cut out the players, apply professional processing, retouching, blending into backgrounds and so on, what does that involve and what difference does this make?

Check out my promotional video to help explain more:




How long does it take you to create the image once decided on the pose?

The processing and retouching typically takes on average around 3 hours. Sometimes more, sometimes bit less, depending on what we are doing with the picture. 


How long does it take for the print to arrive?

I usually say to allow up to 2 weeks for your print to be ready for collection, although I normally better this.


Do you shoot more than 1 player?

Yes. I can add more players to the image, however additional charges do apply given I have to work through the processing, retouching and blending into background work for each player. I also get queries to shoot entire teams and the same applies.


Can I get more prints?

Absolutely...and if ordered at the same time as the original print order, you won't be charged for post and packaging again. I can get prints for all sizes so feel free to get in touch and I can share all the options with you for print sizes.


Can you frame the image?

I can, however this does mean additional costs so again, feel free to discuss these with me and we can agree what makes best sense for you.


Do you require a deposit?

Yes please. As with all bookings, a 50% deposit gurantee's the studio at a certain time and also covers print orders.


How can we see your work?

I have a dedicated Pro Footballer photobook on my website which you can access here. I also have a printed portfolio which you are more than welcome to come and take a look at. I also hope to run a stand again in the summer this year at some of the local football tournaments in Bournemouth and surrounding areas, so you can keep an eye out for me.


Do you run any offers on your standard price?

From time to time, I have run reduced rates on the package, however this tends to be rare as a lot of work goes into producing the images which are a unique investment, and where the price includes the print aswell, it really is great value already.


How do I book?

You can contact me via email - [email protected] or can call me on 07919 222131. Not just for bookings by the way, if you have any questions about any of the above, or anything else, please don't hesitate to call me any time with no obligation whatsoever.


Thanks for reading. As mentioned above, I'd really appreciate if you can share this page with anyone who may be interested.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing PROFOOTBALLER Portraits Mon, 09 Feb 2015 05:45:00 GMT
BACKUP People! Real quick post today. I've said it before, but make sure you back up all your pictures. I spoke to friend the other day who said they haven't backed up phone and camera pictures for nearly a year which made me wince! 


Don't run the risk guys - priceless memories captured in your pictures need to be protected! Especially nowadays where many people are relying on their phone as their main camera to take their snaps. I run a military operation for backing up devices in our house these days given Mrs C has a habit of dropping phones into water! :)


With Christmas, new year and 2014 done, make sure all the magic is protected and you keep on top of your favorite pictures.


Have a good weekend.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Photos Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:15:00 GMT
B&W Portrait - Simple sometimes best! You'll of seen a couple of images I've created recently here on the blog, on Social media and in my portfolios of model Dan Holbeche. Dan has worked with me on a number of personal projects, some that will be shared this year. The last picture I worked on was a snow themed image involving plenty of photoshop work processing, retouching and effects, as does much of my work. However, I stumbled across one of the shots taken shortly after the snow pose, where Dan is wearing the same winter jumper but with a hat aswell, and I fancied having a play around with this with the aim of simplfying everything.  I don't do too much on white background these days but I wanted to give this a black and white finish, so a simple white background would work well and emphasised the focus just on Dan.


So here is the final image. In terms of the post processing, I amended the crop a little bit to bring Dan's face closer and allow for some negative space, and I then worked on blemishes, details and some light work on shadows and highlights.

Hope you like. You can see a larger higher resolution version in my portfolios by clicking here.

One thing is for sure, I love black and white and don't create enough of it into my work. Something I want to change!

Thanks for stopping by.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Black Portraits White and Mon, 19 Jan 2015 05:45:00 GMT

With the new year in full swing, I wanted to call out all Athletes. Whether you are at the beginning of a journey to better fitness and shape, or you are already a fine tuned human specimen. If you play a specific sport, are a boxer, martial arts expert, instructor, personal trainer, footballer, rugby player, basketball player, netball player, Whatever your sport, or if you are working towards some specific goals and want to track your progress, make sure you capture your achievements!


How can I help with this?

I specialize in creating sports athletes portraits. These aren't your normal sports action shots per se. I tend to work more on capturing athletes posed, but in an image that tells a story, trying to portray the hard work and dedication that has gone into becoming the athlete you are today.

What is different about my work?

Most of what I create is concept based. It starts with an idea, a theme, and will more often than not involve me shooting a subject in the studio, and then going out and capturing a suitable background that will combine well with the subject, but also help create a final image that has impact.


Below are examples of where I have done just this, and you can access my athletes work here. If you are an athlete and have an idea and think I can help create an image for you, feel free to get in touch. I'm always keen to talk through ideas with no obligation whatsoever.


Thanks for reading!








(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Sports Fri, 16 Jan 2015 05:30:00 GMT
Let it snow... I wanted to create a portrait and add some snow in Photoshop for Christmas, so we set up model Dan Holbeche in a shoot before Christmas with him wearing a winter jumper. I wanted the pose to be cool and the picture to have a touch of fashion to it. The shot was lit with cutting him out and dropping into a background in mind, so wanted some rim lights on his face and clothes to help him blend in to the surrounding natural light in the image  


Below is the out of camera picture cut out pre any processing and retouching: 



For the background, I actually dug out an old portrait I'd taken of my son during a snowy spell a few years ago and then cloned him out:



Then I combined Dan with the background:



Next I worked on the retouching: 



Once done I needed to cool him down to help blend in with th background and appear to be cold:



Bring the snow into the image in Photoshop was the fun part. I built this up slowly to add depth and focussed on smaller snow in his hair and beard. Once done, I amped up the detail in the entire image more:



Finally I felt the whole image still looked too warm so I cooled it down even further with some desaturation, added some clarity and more contrast and a tiny bit of vignette for the finished image: 




I hope you like it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an [email protected] 


Thanks for reading! 





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Mon, 12 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT
Portrait & Physique Shoot So, with people thinking healthy and returning to the gym this time of year, I purposely held back sharing some of the portrait and physique shots I got of Jake Chester late December.


The objective of the shoot was to capture a range of images. Firstly, more fashion style portraits, and then some physique pictures. In terms of the post processing and retouching on these, it was mostly colour, blemishes, shadows and highlights. In all of these we were aiming for a gritty and dramatic edgy feel.






Once we'd done some fashion shots, it was time to fire up the guns....




The shoot was great fun. Jake was in awesome shape for December compared to me and my off season physique and he totally nailed these! Keep an eye on my site as there is more to come of Jake. Also, can click HERE to see the above images in bigger better quality.


Thanks for reading!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Body Building Physique Portraits Tue, 06 Jan 2015 19:37:25 GMT
Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for 2015!


Before you get started on your new year, remember to back up your smart phone pictures, camera pictures and save the memories from last year and over Christmas! Easy to leave and lose them. Especially on smart phones!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Thu, 01 Jan 2015 11:05:33 GMT
THANKYOU!!! It's been a great year. Hopefully you've all enjoyed seeing my new work and the website which  I'm continually trying to improve on all fronts.

This post isn't to talk about my work though, but instead, and more importantly, to say thank you to all of my clients, to all of the models I work with on personal projects, and to all followers and supporters of my work both on social media and here on the blog. You guys spreading the word, sharing and supporting what I do is really appreciated so thankyou!!!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Tue, 30 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT
Best of Blog 2014! It's here again, which means another year is almost done. It's always great to reflect and be thankful, and then start focusing and planning for the new year and new projects. I've worked with some great people this year and have really enjoyed creating new images.

So, as always, I wanted to share some of the most popular blog posts in 2014 in case any of you missed them and fancied a read. I created a few images late on this year, where I need to share results and behind the scenes, so these will fall into next years.


So sit back, relax and enjoy by clicking on the titles below......


The Fairy

Rossgarth Youth FC Tournament

This is what I do

Dark SideDark Side

Scooter Boy

Scooter BoyScooter Boy

Anita Alner Fashion Photoshoot

Motorbike Portrait Shoot

Sara's Barber Shop Verwood

Whitehall Composite

Model Matt Holbeche Projects

AFC Bournemouth Footballer Portraits

I hope you enjoy reading these. I aim to post more frequently in 2015 and with more behind the scenes so make sure you follow me on social media and here on my blog to keep up to date.

Thanks for stopping by!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Mon, 29 Dec 2014 05:15:00 GMT
Merry Christmas! Wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Have a great time with your friends and families!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:27:55 GMT
New Portrait Addition: Quick post today to let you I've added a new image to the site.  This time with model Dan Holbeche. We were looking at the mission impossible covers for some inspiration so for fun I put the flame one together and then started working on the smoke idea based on Ghost Protocol. However once I'd created some fake smoke in photoshop I found the background boring, so thought about making it look like the smoke was coming from the building behind him.

MI2 Movie Cover:


The Hood:


Hope you like. Any questions, feel free to drop me a note.


Thanks for reading....


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:37:58 GMT
PERSONAL PROJECT: The Fairy If you follow me on facebook you'll see that I recently posted a step by step of all the images and processing applied to create the fairy shot which I recently added to my portfolio. I've had this concept in mind for a long while, in fact since early in the year when we bought my daughter's fairy costume for a fancy dress. But it wasn't until October that I finally found the background I wanted here. 


So, here is the first out of camera image of Imogen in the studio before being cut out:


Here is the cut out slightly tweaked version:


Here is the mushroom background found in the woods 10 minutes from my home:


Here are the remaining pictures in order of progress:

I hope you like. You can click on the picture above to see a larger version on my site. It was great fun putting this together. I'm always working on personal projects when time permits, so doing something with a very different concept and look to my normal work was good fun. 


Thanks for reading!






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Sat, 13 Dec 2014 07:09:19 GMT
Christmas Bookings!

(picture above taken on a Nikon compact camera by my daughter)

So, November is nearly over, and the Christmas buzz is kicking in. The time of year where everyone is busy shopping for presents and making plans. If your ideas for gifts include portraits, or PRO FOOTBALLER shots, remember to book early to avoid disappointment. I always need to allow good time to ensure you get your high quality prints in time for the big day :)

If you are interested in PRO FOOTBALLER shoots and would like to understand more, please click on this link. For bookings or queries, you can contact me here.


Have a great weekend.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 28 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT
Personal Project: The Tunnel I've had this concept in my mind for a couple of years now since seeing something similiar, but had never had a chance to get a bike into the studio. Finally when I did, it took me 6 months to find a background that I really liked that I thought would work nicely. This was a personal project different to the normal portraits I create, so I was pretty excited to see what I could do with it.



I got several angles of the bike but this one stood out. In terms of lighting, I used 2 softboxes and a beauty dish, so relatively simple setup, and all on a white background, ready for cutting out in photoshop. Course, the challenge with this concept was that the bike was stationary, and I needed to convey motion in order for the composit to work.




I was recently in Geneva and whilst walking near the train station, came across this tunnel which I knew I had to capture and use for backgrounds. It was perfect. Loads of texture, gritty, lights with different colours, leading lines, curves etc. So I ran back to the hotel, grabbed my gear and got back to start clicking. As always, taking backgrounds like this doesn't always make sense to people, and I can honestly say, the amount of strange looks I got standing inside this tunnel taking pictures was very funny. Just as funny, although not to me, was trying to capture different exposures without cars, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians coming through it every few minutes. This didn't make it easy, and meant preparing the background for the bike involved quite a bit of repairing.



Here is the image made up of several exposures with some clarity and details added. I opened up the shadow areas and then made it wider for more of a 16:9 film kind of frame. I also did a lot of cloning removing specific elements that were either distracting or didn't work. Notably the barrier that runs in the middle. This went right through the image, yet, when I dropped the bike in and angled it to make it look as if turning, it would look like he is about to crash into it, so it needed to go. Cloning can be simple at times, but can also present it's own problems, particularly when trying to use different textures and bits of a picture that have light spilling in places. Any way, I managed to make it work.

I messed with the lights adding some small rays, and then put some blur in there to help create the impression of movement.

For the bike, once I was happy with the resizing, angle and composition, I worked on details, cleaning up blemishes and the beauty dish reflections, enhancing some shadows and highlights, light on the front of the bike, and then added some streaks and more motion blur, again, to add to the effect and feeling of movement.

Finally, where the tunnel had some blue light, I wanted to add some blue to the overall picture which also helped blend the bike into the background and help the image make sense.

I'm pretty pleased with the results. You can click on any of the above images to see a larger higher quality version in my portfolio.

Any questions, comments etc, feel free to send them to me. If you have a concept in mind, I'm always keen to hear about ideas so feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading.







(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Sports Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:10:21 GMT
Personal Project: Whitehall Composite You'll of seen my mate and model Matt Holbeche appearing on my website in several of my photo books. I had one last picture of him looking sharp in his suit to work on and had some backgrounds from Whitehall in London that I thought would be perfect.


Here are the before images and as you can see, I did quite a bit of cropping, cloning and manipulating of the background in order for it to work.


I used a three light setup up for these and a reflector to open the shadows a little. The background below is straight out of camera before applying some HDR treatment and making changes, stretching and skewing a bit to fix the lens distortion.


Matt out of Camera:



Whitehall background:






As always, once I've done the major leg work on my images, I'll have a play with colors trying to blend them in to help pull off the fake composite, and also to see if it can be enhanced further. The following image was me doing just that, and I have to say, I was totally torn choosing which one I prefer so turned to facebook followers to help me out. Thanks to everyone who commented. Sure enough the image above was the favorite and has made it's way into my portfolio, but a few people were digging the below so I wanted to share here and under my recent work on the website.

Combined v2:



To view the larger better quality final images, click on the pictures above.

Thanks for stopping by!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:18:39 GMT
Sara's Barber Shop - Verwood I've known Sara for a long time now, and she asked me if I could work with her team to capture some portraits posing in outfits with some fresh hairstyling.


First up was Shannon. I captured a few shots of him on his bike and then got up close to focus on the hair styling.



Next was Drew. There was a big focus on accessories to help the portrait tell a story, so we added the clippers, comb etc to help with the concept.



Shannon then did an outfit change, and I captured several poses and looks. At the end of the shoot we bought out a hair dressers chair and Sara's dog, and I managed to grab the following portait of Shannon and the Dog which I thought worked really well.



Finally, we grabbed a few group shots including this fun one...


I really enjoyed working with the team there.

If you are local, and need a short back and sides, definitely worth using the barber shop! (I'm saying that as a customer of theirs in addition to being their photographer :) )

Thanks for reading!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Portraits location Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:35:45 GMT
New Work: Pro Footballer Shoot - Joe & Alex - Liverpool FC With Liverpool playing Real Madrid tonight, I wanted to share before and after's of a recent PRO FOOTBALLER shoot with brothers, Joe & Alex. Two hardcore Liverpool supporters, and football fanatics.


These guys turned up to the shoot well prepared and ready with some poses which is great. The boys totally understood the kind of larger than life, super hero look and feel I go for with these portraits and nailed it!


As always, we spent time shooting several looks and poses to give options. I typically sway more towards shooting a single player for the PRO FOOTBALLER image, but can add more players if needed. I tend to find it's easier to still shoot the players individually, and then combine them into the one image, and that's exactly what we did here. I created a different wider background for this to give the two players more room around them, and added some more interesting and dramatic clouds. See the wider shot and then with clouds added....




Here are the boys cut out and positioned ready to drop into the background (before any colour corrections and retouching applied):


Then I positioned to the two players slightly to the left of the background, resized them a little to show some of the difference in height between the brothers, and then began working on them.


The boys parents were keen to keep relatively realistic, v's some of my other PRO FOOTBALLER images, and other work in general, so I didn't stray to far from the out of camera shots, in terms of effects. I adjusted the exposure a little to match the background, worked on blemishes, lights and darks in the skin, enhanced the eyes, desaturated a little and then focused on blending the players with the background.

Here is the shot at 90% completion. I always take my images to this point and then step away for a bit and then return and for the finishing touches, or to revisit any thing that's niggling me about the shot.

.....and here is the final image with some final colour changes, clarity and vignetting....:

I was really pleased with the results. Needless to say this has made it's way straight into my portfolio. You can see a bigger version of the image by clicking on the picture above.


Keep an eye out for these boys, as there were several good shots from the session, so it's quite possible, you'll be seeing more of them :)

Thanks for reading.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:38:49 GMT
Website Enhancements Hi everyone. 

I've made a few enhancements to my website that I wanted to share as I've been working to make the whole experience a bit better and quicker including adding a 'lifestyle', and 'recently' option on a new menu from the home page I'm calling 'photo books.' I've then added an option to view the work that sits in my actual portfolio. Approaching this way means I can share more work, but also allows people to hone in on select pictures across all of what I do quickly. I've also added a 'quick portfolio' link on my home page to go straight there...


I've also changed the way each photo book is laid out so you can scroll down instantly and view as a snap shot, or click into images to make larger, and can still view as a slide show....



I'm always tweaking the site but these are some of the bigger changes I've made for a while and am pleased with how it's looking. Take a scout around it and let me know what you think. I'm going to be adding to the newer categories in the next few days so keep an eye out.





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:05:37 GMT
Sneek Peek: Baber Shop Portait I was recently commissioned to capture some portraits for Sara's barbers in Verwood. I'm not going to go into masses of detail here, I'll save for a seprate post. However, I wanted to give a sneek peek of one of the shots that I captured of Shannon who is a member of the team and his dog sitting outside the shop. I loved this picture so much, as soon as I got back from the shoot, backed up the images, I began processing and retouching it and then added to my portfolio. I hope you like...


Here is the out of camera shot........


Here is the final image processed and with some on the image



Thanks for reading. Keep an eye for a post that covers the Barber Shop photo shoot in more detai.



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Portraits Mon, 13 Oct 2014 04:30:00 GMT
NEW WORK : Pro Footballer Shoot - Jack I wanted to share before and afters for a pro footballer image I created for up and coming footballer, Jack.


With this particular image, I loved the pose that Jack has here, and his facial expression. Really meaning business, so I didn't want to put him in front of the normal goal, or in a stadium setting. I liked the colour of the kit, so wanted to do something with a background that would allow me to add some yellow in so I worked with some stadium chairs I have in my collection, and changed their colour to match the colour of the shirt.


Here is the before image of the background pre a colour change: 


Here is the out of camera shot of Jack:

Here is the combined final image: (click on the image for a larger view in the PRO FOOTBALLER portfolio)



Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:53:55 GMT
CALLING ALL PRO FOOTBALLERS Hi everyone. Thanks for dropping in on the blog today. I wanted to cover a recent football tournament I attended and to talk about a few changes coming to my PRO FOOTBALLER package.


First of all, I had a great day at Parley Sports Football Tournament on Saturday 23rd August. (bank holiday weekend). The organisers laid on a great event, and I was really pleased with the amount of interest in my PRO FOOTBALLER portraits. (iphone snap of the action)

I've been in touch with many of you since and am looking forward to creating some great images of your football players! Here is an iphone picture of my make shift stand with my son (assistant) :)



Speaking of the stand, where this year is the first year of me covering tournaments, I held back from throwing too much into the setup. I've certainly got some cool ideas to improve this for next year!


A quick reminder to those who have requested a shoot. I normally run a discounted tournament price on the package, but, in order to secure this, you need to be sending over the deposit within 7 days after receiving the shoot details, so make sure you don't miss out!


One question that came up several times is whether I would shoot teams in this way, and this is something I'm looking into, so keep an eye out for more details.


I'm also going to be updating the video which shows the before and afters on the PRO FOOTBALLER page, so also worth keeping a close eye out. One of your players may well be included on there aswell and in my portfolio!


Finally, I'm going to run a PRO FOOTBALLER competition towards the end of the year which I'll announce on the blog. The competition will apply to all PRO FOOTBALLER's who have had a shoot in the past. All names will be put into a hat, and footballer will receive another PRO FOOTBALLER shoot COMPLETELY FREE. This will include the prints, p&p....basically everything you would normally get for £100!! A great opportunity to capture the player wearing a different kit, in a different background, different pose etc!


That's it for me today. Thanks again for reading. As always, any questions on this or anything else, feel free to get in touch!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Thu, 04 Sep 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Email Down Real quick post to say I'm switching servers with my [email protected] email address so if I don't respond right away this will be why. If you need to contact me quickly, please give a call on +44 7919 222131.


I should be back to normal within 24 hours.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:14:36 GMT
Parley Sport’s Youth FC Pre Season Tournament

I hope you are all looking forward to the bank holiday weekend. I wanted to let you know that I'll taking my Pro Footballer Stand to Parley Sports Youth FC Pre Season football tournament on the 23rd August, and as always at the tournaments, I'll be offering a discounted price for these shoots. If you are at the tournament, be sure to stop by and say hello, and if you aren't familiar with the Pro Footballer shoots and package details I offer, click this link or the Pro Footballer logo above to access my dedicated page.


Thanks for stopping by! Have a good one.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:30:00 GMT
Motorbike Portrait Shoot I've added a couple of shots to my portfolio from a recent fashion portrait shoot using a motorbike as a prop. I wanted to find a location that would allow for some natural light/hazy lens flare style shots of the models and the bike, aswell as some grittier, more detailed images.


I worked with models Matt Holbeche again along with Helena Rose for the first time. We decided on the shoot very quickly, so there wasn't a lot of time to prep. However, we shared a couple of ideas and I have to say both the models bought their 'A' game!

The first selection of shots were focusing on using the natural light available, with a single light bought in for some fill. Here are the results with Helena on the bike:



The next shot was something we had specifically discussed wanting to create. This was actually inspired by a marketing picture that Fossil had taken. The look, feel and the bike itself had a 50's feel, so we wanted to put a slightly more modern twist on it. This was taken once the light had dipped a bit more, around 8ish in the evening, and I used a single light in a large soft box, high up facing down to create some flattering soft shadows. I created two finishes in the post processing. One in black and white, and then the other, which is my favourite, with more of a desaturated look. I thought these can out pretty cool!



Finally the shot that is currently appearing first when you land on my website home page. I had some real fun with this in the post processing stages adding clouds as the sky was very flat and uninteresting, and doing quite a bit of work on the skin to enhance the shadows and highlights, and also to give it a gritty feel, but also a slight cartooney look. Finally I applied a black and white conversion and really liked the results.


I hope you do aswell......



Thanks for reading.

Any questions about the way I captured the images, the lighting, or the post processing, am always happy to share so feel free to drop me a comment or email.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Motorbike Portraits Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:05:20 GMT
PERSONAL PROJECT: Suave & Sophisticated I wanted to share a new addition to my portfolio. This is a concept I've had in mind to create for a while now, having captured some cool shots of model Matt Holbeche a while ago, looking sophisticated in a suit.

The background was captured in London, where I landed on my feet a little, as the concept for this shot was to always have a slick flash car in the image, and a few mintues before shooting the background, I had photographed a fully loaded Porsche ready to cut out and drop in. However a Ferrari was parked right outside, setting the perfect scene, and making my life a little easier. :)


The portrait itself was shot in studio, with rim lights hitting the side of Matt's face to help blend into the street light at the top right of the picture. Accessories help add to a shot. I always tell people to accessorize, and the watch in this was perfect and adds to the look and feel of the shot.


In terms of processing, I had to do quite a bit of work on the background, including cutting out movement blur on the flags, removing blemishes and enhancing the highlights and shadows on the Ferrari, including darkening down tyres and making the alloys pop a bit. I added effects to bring out the textures in the building and added more light effects coming from the street lamp. I played around with the positioning of Matt a little aswell. I tend to shoot close up a lot as love to capture details and expresions in the face, so I pulled him close to the front of the image and enlarged as if he were standing right in front of the lens at the scene. Normal retouching applied to skin, eyes, clothing and then finally I applied a black and white conversion. I've been doing quite a bit in black and white recently. Here I think it helped bring the whole piece together better, and with the black suit, black bow tie, white shirt, dark watch etc, I think it worked.

I hope you like. Thanks to Matt Holbeche for bringing the coolness to this project aswell - he totally nailed the look I was after. More project work with him to follow soon so keep an eye on the blog.

Thanks for reading.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:30:00 GMT
Rossgarth Youth FC Football Tournament


Hope everyone had a good weekend. You'll of seen me posting on Facebook some pictures from the weekend where I sponsored Rossgarth under 8's at the Rossgarth Youth FC football tournament, and for the first time, set up a stall (make shift style) to show my PRO FOOTBALLER work and see if people were interested, and I'm pleased to say they were.



The programme had my PRO FOOTBALLER advert in there aswell which many of you will recognise:


I met many people over the two day's, families, footballers, football managers and all of the Rossgarth managers, organisers etc which was great. One of the highlights was meeting a Gran who had been given one of my PRO FOOTBALLER shoots as a Christmas present a couple of years back, and whilst walking past said that the other work I had on show looked like one she had been given. I over heard this and we started talking. Below is one of the early PRO FOOTBALLER shots I worked on, and one I love for the fact it's a bit closer to the boys and I loved the pose and look these guys pulled off. This shoot was all planned by Ryan and Luke's uncle who is a friend of mine, but I never got to meet the boys mum or Gran so this was great. In fact, once I met the Grandparents, they told me Luke was playing at the tournament and made sure both boys and their mum stopped by the stall to say hello aswell.



Putting the stall together was a first for me and I have to give a mention to my mate James Ashby (Donation who pulled some magic out the hat late on making a sign for me. Also to my mate Chris Parkinson who got hold of the display stand and board by pulling a few strings. Knowing people at these tournaments are willing to stop and show interest in the PRO FOOTBALLER shots means hopefully there will be a next time, and when there is, I'll do the stand, signs and marketing with a little bit more style! (below is an iphone picture of the stand sign in place in the back garden one evening last week when testing everything out.



Both days meant early starts getting the stall up and running. On the first day my son was playing in the tournament which was a bonus, not only so I could enjoy watching him play, but so I could get him up early and down there with me to help set up:)



Here are a couple of shots of Ben in the team winning his medal and then one with all the under 8's who I sponsored and the managers....



Yesterday being Father's day meant all the kids arrived at the show to give some support which was a nice surprise. (am sure the sweet stalls had nothing to do with them coming wallet was definitely lighter by the end of the day :))



All in all, I really enjoyed the weekend. It was great meeting so many people who I hope I'll meet again.

Thanks for stopping by! 





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:07:58 GMT
NEWS: ROSSGARTH YOUTH FC Tournament Sponsor.... Some news I wanted to share... I'm really pleased to be sponsoring Rossgarth Youth FC's under 8's age group at this years six-a-side tournament with my PRO FOOTBALLER photoshoot package. I'll have the below advert appearing in the official programme and weather permitting, will be setting up a stand to show my portfolio of PRO FOOTBALLER's and some before and after's including video.



I'm really excited to be part of the tournament, to support Rossgarth and to see many of you on the day. The dates for the tournament are the 14th and 15th June at Potterne Park in Verwood Town. The tournament kicks off at 9am on both days.


Last year my son played in the tournament which was a real proud moment for me, and we had a great day out supporting all the players. In fact, it was shortly after in the early part of the following season where he was awarded his ever first man of the match! A moment I loved, and obviously meant only one thing to updated PRO FOOTBALLER shoot. (not sure he saw it as the perfect way to celebrate mind you) If you follow the blog, my facebook page or have checked out my portfolio's, you'll of seen this picture already...........


Any way, thanks for reading. I hope to see some of you there, and good luck to all the teams. Enjoy the day!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Thu, 12 Jun 2014 04:30:00 GMT
WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN - 1 day left on PRO FOOTBALLER PROMO I can't believe it's only 1 day to go before the world cup kicks off in Brazil. Of course, this means, only 1 day left to take advantage of my WORLD CUP PRO FOOTBALLER promotion. In case you missed the details, here are details from a previous blog, and below is the promotion poster.


This is one of the best prices I have run the package at, and offers great value as it not only covers the shoot, it includes all of the photoshop work and you receive a large 24x16" print. Hurry, as time is running out! If you aren't sure and would like to discuss in more detail or see examples of the final print, feel free to get in touch with me.


Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:11:21 GMT
South Coast Fashion Week Last Sunday I attended the South Coast Fashion Week at the Bournemouth International Centre and took my son Ben courtesy of my mate and model Matt Holbeche.


You'll have seen some portraits recently on here and my website of my mate Matt Holbeche who was modelling at the fashion week.


Whilst there we got some pro photos taken of Ben by an excellent photographer, Caroline Reed who specialises in kids photography, fashion and weddings. Caroline kindly took some shots of Ben including this picture of him hanging out with Matt and some of the other excellent models at the end which he loved! Big thanks to Caroline for sharing this. If you are looking for portraits of youngsters, weddings and fashion, check out Caroline's website.....


In meantime, here is the picture...........


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Models Portraits Thu, 15 May 2014 19:57:57 GMT
Anita Alner Photoshoot I wanted to share some shots from recent shoot with Anita Alner. This was a test shoot purely for Anita to get used to being in front of the camera, posing etc, so we kept the background very simple. In fact, this was shot in a lounge with white walls.


I used a simple light rig for this. One light with a softbox to diffuse and I bought in the reflector where I wanted beauty lighting.


Anita did great, as did her mum who was assisting. Looking forward to working with them again! I've added a couple of these to my portfolio so be sure to check them out.


Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Beauty Fashion Portraits Thu, 15 May 2014 04:00:00 GMT


So, the football season has come to an end and the England squad has been announced for the world cup, so it's perfect timing for me to announce a promotion I am running on my PRO FOOTBALLER  package for junior football super stars in the making!


From today, up until 12th June, when the tournament kicks off, I'm offering the entire package for a one off payment of just £80! This excellent price includes....


  • Concept and shoot consultation - full preparation for the shoot.
  • Studio Photoshoot
  • All creative post processing and retouching in photoshop to bring the player into a dramatic background
  • 24X16 large high quality print of the finished image
  • Print post and packaging
  • Low resolution digital watermarked image


This is one of the best prices I've offered the package at, so what are you waiting for? Use this as an opportunity to either celebrate the world cup and get your footballer's in a billboard style print looking proud to wear their country colours, or if you are still in club mode, this is the perfect way to recognise your favorite team.


More details can be found over at my dedicated PRO FOOTBALLER page so check it out and if you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.


Thanks for reading!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Mon, 12 May 2014 19:38:20 GMT
England Footballer Portraits So with the world cup fast approaching, I'm focussing on several football themed shoots. I'll also be running a promotion on my PRO FOOTBALLER shoots, so if your kids are into football and you would like to see a portrait of them wearing their national colours for the world cup, get in touch.


In the meantime, here is another shot using my friend Luke as the model. The background is actually from AFC Bournemouth and you can see earlier blog posts that cover the details of this HERE. Where they have red seats like Wembley does, I was able to pull off the England theme.


As always, I'm setting up my key lights to hit the edges of the subject to help with the cutting out process in photoshop, but more importantly to blend the subject with any artificial or ambient light that are in the backgrounds.


Here is the before shot of Luke:


Here is the background prepped:


Here is the final composit:


I'm always working on different concepts, not just football or sports, so if you would like a portrait, or have a concept in mind, always feel free to get in touch with no obligation. I'm more than happy to discuss ideas.


Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 09 May 2014 20:49:12 GMT
AFC Bournemouth Footballer Portraits Hi everyone.


You may have seen these shots already over on my facebook page, but I wanted to share some before and afters for some recent footballer portraits of a friend of mine Luke that I've put together using the recent stadium backgrounds I shot at AFC Bournemouth. These have been added to my sports and PRO Footballer portraits so be sure to check them out.


So first up, I wanted to try and shoot a real widescreen shot capturing one side of the AFC Bournemouth stadium which included the floodlights so I could add some fake lights and rays to enhance the image a bit, add more impact etc.


Background Prepped:


Luke out of camera:


Combined final image:


I also captured a background of the exact same side of the stadium, but at an angle which I thought adds an interesting perspective and feel to the image. Particularly where I could add some clouds to bring some drama to the shot.



Background prepped:


Luke out of camera:


Combined final image version 1:

Combined final image version 2 (which ended up being my favorite)

I've got more shots to work through of Luke so keep an eye out. I'll also show a before and after for another shot of Luke wearing the England kit next week.


Thanks for reading, have a great long weekend.






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Fri, 02 May 2014 07:00:03 GMT
Matthew Holbeche Projects For those of you who follow me on my facebook page, you'll of seen I did a project related photo shoot with model, Matthew Holbeche.


The shoot comprised of three looks. White shirt, simple setup. Smart suit, (almost James Bond style) and then casual/fashion - cool looking. I have concepts in mind for all of these different looks, the idea being that I'd have enough options to work on.


I used several lighting setups for each of the different looks, starting with just one to keep things simple, and then adding others to create rim lights that look cool for simple backgrounds and work great for pulling off composits.


Here are a couple of the portraits I've already worked on.

Next is a composit. I shot this background a long while ago now and have struggled to find a portrait that would fit this scene until this shoot, where one of the portraits of Matthew jumped out as having potential. Quite often, before I spend hours cutting out subjects, applying enhancements, processing etc, I'll often have a quick play around to get a sense of whether I think it's going to work. If it does, I'll start from scratch and work through my normal processing steps, retouching, enhancing background etc.


Here is the background with very little processing applied:

Background prepped:

Out of camera shot of Matthew:

Test combining both elements:

And finally, the finished image:

I've got quite a bit of material to work with from this session, and several other compositing ideas to look forward to working on so keep an eye out as I'll be sharing more when finished.


Thanks for reading and thanks to Matthew Holbeche for doing an awesome job! Will be doing more work with him in the future!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 25 Apr 2014 10:59:27 GMT
AFC Bournemouth Shoot Hope you all had a great Easter. I've had a lot on recently so not had time to keep on top of my blog like I should!


I've been wanting to capture some fresh football backgrounds to use for composits aswell as offering to customers as an option for my PRO FOOTBALLER package for some time now, especially stadiums, so I was really pleased when AFC Bournemouth agreed for me to shoot the stadium before and after the recent Reading match.


I always get a few funny looks when I'm out shooting backgrounds for composits, and the AFC Bournemouth stadium were no different. Especially when I was capturing the seating and step areas! Here are a few phone snaps of the stadium shots I was capturing:

I've started working through the backgrounds making some tweaks and enhancements in photoshop to add the drama and colour finishing I like. Here is one straight out of camera, and then with some tweaks and colour treatment applied.

I'll be sharing some early composits here on the blog later this week so keep an eye out!


Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:53:11 GMT
Mothers Day, Prints, Sneek Peeks & Latest News I've been working on several projects recently, so wanted to share some latest news.

I was asked to shoot some portraits for mothers day gifts on location. I don't shoot children and families so much any more, but when I do, I prefer doing them on location to add some life and color to the backgrounds. It can also add to the story telling. With this particular shot, I added a high key look in post processing to liven it up even more given it was a fun shot.....



One of the shoots involved delivering a high quality print which would be framed and presented as a surprise gift on mothers day. Below is a shot of the image and then the mum holding the print looking pretty pleased:




This brings me onto prints. Every few months I post a blog reminding people of the importance of prints, certainly to me, my workflow and the type of work I produce, but also encouraging you guys to get more of your work printed. It's too easy now with devices etc to capture work but never get it up on the walls. I recently posted on my facebook some refresher portraits I shot of my kids and was delighted when the enlarged prints turned up! Holding the end product in a high quality print in your hands adds a new dimension to the photography process. I absolutely love getting my projects and client work on print and receive great feedback around the quality of these.

My message as always..... get prints of your snaps up on the walls. Enlarge the high quality stuff if you can. If we work together I'll always encourage prints as an option and show you my portfolio of work in print form to give you an idea of the kind of results I'm always talking about :)


Sneek Peek/Latest News

I have a couple of projects in the pipeline that I'll be sharing results on, but in the meantime here are a couple of early portraits from those shoots. More to follow.....





I've redesigned my business cards so thought it would be worth sharing.........




Finally, my PRO FOOTBALLER backgrounds are always being revamped so if you have a junior footballer who wants to be captured in a cool, commercial looking image, feel free to check out the details of the package and get in touch.



That's it from me. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of the week.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Footballer Portraits Pro Wed, 02 Apr 2014 07:22:07 GMT
Serious Side... I wanted to share a new addition to my portfolio. This is a shot of a friend of mine Tom where I wanted to shoot a very simple, close, dark dramatic portrait using a single strobe light in a softbox, black background and then zooming in tight to give it some real impact. A lot of my work is cropped close in and I do like the feeling that gives off in a shot.


For colour processing, I really just added contrast and desaturated the colour. The retouching was pretty minimal too, and if your wondering whether I enhanced the beard in any way....I didn't. It's was as tidy as that straight out of the camera. Not a hair out of place! I did remove some minor blemishes, and bring out the light and dark areas a little. Then just some enhancement work on the eyes to finish things up.  


It's amazing what cropping can do. Photo's and style are very subjective. I have to say I've never had a problem cropping in and cutting the tops of heads a bit if it works for the shot. I find it helps pull you into the image a bit more.



I also applied some black and white treatment to this and love the results....




Let me know in the comments which one you prefer....


Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Cropping Dramatic Portraits Thu, 13 Mar 2014 05:15:00 GMT
This Is What I Do.... I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, and given it's January (although nearly over), beginning of a new year etc, I figured this would be a good time.


When I tell people I'm a photographer, they ask me what kind, weddings, families, kids, maternity etc. For those people who have followed my work for the past few years, you'll of seen that I have actually done a bit of all of these, and I've learnt plenty along the way. However, whilst I still shoot portraits, a lot of what I create has evolved along with my style. 


Most of the portraits I am producing now start with a concept. An idea, a theme, something that has different elements to it that I want to bring together to create something different and unique. Sometimes this may be one, or a few images.


Shooting a subject in the studio is just one of the critical steps in the creative process that I go through to produce my images. Good interaction with the subject to bring out character, expressions, feeling, emotions is critical as is quality of lighting. In addition to this though is the process of capturing backgrounds. I'm always scouting new locations and building up a collection of backgrounds that I will use in my images. Then finally there is the photoshop and retouching where all the planning, the subject, the background images and creativity come together to result in what I always strive to be a cool, edgy, artistic bend on reality that has a larger than life feel to it. I want my work to have impact. 


Style is often something I get asked about. If you look through my work you'll notice most of it is quite dramatic. I don't tend to do smiles too often with my subjects. Instead I love portraits that are intense, interesting and in particular a look in someone's expression that suggests they means business!


I've picked a few random images from 2013 that started with a concept, shoot the subject in studio and then add the background elements to create the final image. Click on the image to go to the blog posts which show before and afters aswell as details of the shoot setup etc. Hopefully this helps to show more about the way I produce my work. I've also added a video clip showing what goes into my 'PRO FOOTBALLER' shoots, and it's the same kind of steps that apply.




If you have a concept in mind and would like to work with me to create a unique portrait, feel free to get in touch. I'm always keen to hear new ideas that we can make happen.


Thanks for reading.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Fri, 31 Jan 2014 05:00:00 GMT
Scooter Boy! I captured a backround a while ago with the intention of compositing a skater or scooter rider into the shot and this turned out to be my first personal project of 2014.

I wanted to show the background out of camera prepped, and then with a couple of minor additions.

Here is the prepped background:


With contrast added:

With additional light source to give the effect of more light coming from the lights in the subway to then light the subject:


Here is the out of camera shot of Tom. Always helps when my subjects turn up prepped, and he had all the additional gear needed to help pull this off. He also did a great job with the pose and also facial expression. (you'll see from most of my work, I tend to go for a more serious 'Mean Business' kind of look  rather than smiles)

And here is the final this link to see bigger version.

Scooter BoyScooter Boy

I also wanted to play with some different tonal effects to see how this would look. (Basically some play around time for me with different effects). See all below.


More projects on the way so keep an eye on the blog. In meantime, if any of you have a concept in mind for anything like this, always feel free to get in touch to discuss your idea. Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Sports Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:14:07 GMT
Guys Need Portraits Too You Know! I have a confession to make. I hate being in photos. Friends and family will confirm this. I'm much more comfortable being the guy behind the camera.


As last Christmas got closer and closer, I pulled out a family video slideshow I put together from Jan 2013 when we had all the snow, and it showed a family walk where my wife and three kids are all together, rolling around in the snow having fun etc, but I was no where to be seen. I didn't appear in one image, and there were lots! I was the guy taking all the pics.

Don't get me wrong, I love being that guy, but this really got me thinking about how guys don't tend to want to get pictures taken too often of themselves. Certainly not professional portraits, and yet to our kids, we are probably heroes, and the power of a good portrait shouldn't be under estimated. Especially many years from now!


Anyway, point of the post is......guys..........if you haven't got a decent pro portrait of yourselves, make this year the year you get one done and get something up on the walls in your home. Any concept you have in mind, simple on white background, dark dramatic with shadows on black background, or if you would like something a little more creative and different where we work together to capture a pose and then put you in a cool background to add some drama and impact. Whatever you are into, make sure you get in on the action and let me know if I can help you achieve that!


If you don't fancy the pro portrait approach, if this post just jogs you like it has me to get into more snaps and family video's so your loved one's can see more of you in action (and you in your prime), mission accomplished!


Thanks for reading.....



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 17 Jan 2014 10:16:29 GMT
A New Year....A New You! I wanted to write a post about some of the Athlete portraits I specialize in, and given it's a new year, where health and fitness is usually on a lot of people's minds, I thought this would be a good time.

A lot of you might be starting out on a new fitness regime, some of you may already be in tip top condition, others may be personal trainers, part of a football or rugby team, a rower, cyclist etc etc.


All sports require dedication and commitment to achieve certain goals, whatever they might be, and this is where I come in. If you've worked hard to achieve a goal, or you just love your sport, what better way to recognise your passion or these achievements than through a professional portrait showing you in action or your passion. Of course much of my work isn't just based on a standard portrait. Capturing a great pose is just half of the process I work through when creating my work. I'm always creating new backgrounds for different projects and will work with clients to capture something that fits the story or character we are wanting to portray as I bring it all together to hopefully create a larger than life feel to the image. This style might not be to everyone's taste, so we can certainly create simple more traditional portraits if preferred aswell.


Click on the link or see the snapshot below of my athletes portfolio. If you want to see yourself in something similiar, feel free to get in touch. I'm always keen to talk through ideas and different concepts and where we can push boundries, we will to create something unique. Lastly don't forget about prints. If you read my blog you'll have heard me harping on constantly about the importance of a print. All my work is geared towards showcasing the image on a high quality print. This brings it to life which is why I only use the best labs to ensure the best quality finish to compliment my work, and your portraits. The look and feel of the print is worth checking out, so if you ever want to see the physical prints first, again, feel free to get in touch.


Finally, if you are currently under construction working on a new you for 2014, get in touch if you have a goal and could be interested in a portrait once you have reached your targets. Maybe you want a before and after shot? It would be great to recognise this achievement and I'd love to hear what ideas you have in mind.


Thanks for reading.





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Fri, 10 Jan 2014 04:30:00 GMT
New Portfolio Addition Hopefully you all had a good Christmas and New Years. If you haven't already done so, make sure you back up all of your phone and camera pictures and get some printed! I've made a real effort over the weekend to get on top of my Christmas pictures of the family etc  and have just ordered a good bundle of prints to ensure I don't leave it too long.


Anyway, I wanted to share a new addition to my portraits portfolio. This ended up being the last professional photo I took in 2013. Objective was to create a composit but to keep the portrait very simple, so this was shot with a single light and I used a grey background which works well when bringing it all together.


Here is the out of camera shot.......

And here is the final image......


Simplest is often best in terms of lighting setup and the image itself. That was the objective for this portrait and I was pretty pleased with the results. Any questions on the processing and retouching feel free to add comments below or get in touch.

Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Mon, 06 Jan 2014 08:32:32 GMT
Best of Blog 2013 & Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great Christmas. I certainly did and kept the vibe going for as long as possible with the family hence very little blogging and social media from me.


However we are about to move into the new year so always a good time to reflect on the most popular blog posts in 2013, and then look forward to what's in store for 2014.


These are selected purely based on number of hits, so without any further delay, here they are starting with the most viewed....... Click on the title to go straight to that post and have a read......












I'm looking forward to 2014. I already have a list of personal projects that I want to work on. I want to thank everyone for reading the blog, following me on social media sites, people who shared and liked my work and also spread the word. I really appreciate all of your support. 


Enjoy your new year celebrations and have a very happy 2014!





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports beauty fashion Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:08:21 GMT
MERRY CHRISTMAS! A quick note to wish you and your families and very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


(Picture taken by my daughter)


Enjoy the festive season with your family and friends, and as always, thanks for reading!


Next week I'll share the most popular blogs of 2013 as read by you all.


Until then, have a good one!



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Christmas Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:35:28 GMT
NEWS! PRO FOOTBALLER Christmas Special Offer! Ok people! Christmas is closing in on us fast, so if you are thinking of having a PRO FOOTBALLER shot taken so you can gift someone the print for Christmas, this offer may help you out!

For all PRO FOOTBALLER sessions booked and shot before the 18th December, You'll receive a 10% discount off the standard package fee AND 15% off any further print orders!


This is my best deal yet on the Pro Footballer package, and is perfect if you want to keep a print for you, your children, and then be able to give one to the grandparents!


Click here to go to the PRO FOOTBALLER page to see what you get for this amazing offer!


To book this excellent offer, don't leave until the last minute. Please move quickly to avoid disappointment!


Click here for contact details.

In meantime here is some video footage showing before and after's to give you an idea of what goes into producing these images.










(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Fri, 06 Dec 2013 05:15:00 GMT
New Portfolio Addition A couple of weeks back, you'd of seen a sneek peak showing a work in progress for another of the golfer shots I worked on as a personal project with Scott in the summer. Well, as promised, here is the final version and to see larger version, head over to my athletes portfolio. To see the out of camera shot and the work in progress click here.

I still have a couple more to work on, but am totally out of backgrounds now, so need some good weather and will sneek onto a course and get some more.


If you are a golfer or an athlete of any kind and would like a portrait feel free to get in touch!


Thanks for checking in!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Golf Portraits Sports Wed, 04 Dec 2013 05:15:00 GMT
Allow time for Prints this Christmas! I wanted to put a very quick post up to remind everyone that with Christmas fast approaching, slots for shoots, and more importantly time for post processing and any prints wanted before Christmas will run out pretty quickly. If you are wanting prints for gifts for Christmas etc, please get in touch sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment :)




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Portraits Prints Tue, 03 Dec 2013 05:15:00 GMT
The Voice! For those of you who follow the blog, you'll remember a portrait shoot I did for singer Ben Lake who appeared on the BBC show 'The Voice.' You can check out the original blog post that covered the shoot here.


I've done a few things with Ben since, and he got in touch a couple of weeks back wanting a poster for an up and coming show he is performing in and asked if I could produce something for him using my original work. I don't do this kind of thing too often, but any opportunity to get creative, and I'm there. Ben requested a Vegas theme and sent some good examples of posters that he liked during planning which I always request for a project like this to help ensure we are on same page, clear on objectives and what we want the end result to be.


I'm not going to go into masses of detail about producing the poster, but wanted to share the original portrait shot, and then the final piece that Ben will use to promote the show.


Final Poster:

As always, be sure you check out Ben's website for latest news and up and coming shows......

Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Design Portraits Mon, 02 Dec 2013 05:15:00 GMT
Sneek Peek - Golfer Portrait I thought I would share a quick sneak peek of an image I'm in the process of creating. This is another of the images I shot of Scott who is a keen golfer. (You can see more shots of Scott from previous blogs by clicking here  AND here) Below is the out of camera shot, background and where I've got to so far. (I got lucky to get away with using this background given  he is hitting in the wrong direction, however, where he covers the flag, I think it works) Still some way to go with this one so given it's a personal project I'll take my time and keep coming back to it when time permits. I'll share the final image when it's finished. (below are low resolution versions)








Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Golf Portraits Sports Wed, 06 Nov 2013 08:05:47 GMT
Follow Me On Social Media Hi Everyone. Real quick post today. Google Plus just gave me my own URL, so figured would be a good time to share this along with links to the other social media I use to share news and latest photography work.


Google Plus:






You Tube (video's coming soon):




As always, appreciate the support. If you use any of these platforms, feel free to connect with me.


Thanks and have a great weekend.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Media Social Fri, 01 Nov 2013 08:23:08 GMT
Halloween Personal Project Last year I messed around with a picture for Halloween and never really showed it given the subject was my son, and my wife didn't like what I'd done to him. A year on, and I added it yesterday to the banners on my google + and facebook pages and a few people quite liked it, so I thought I'd show a quick before and after and talk about some of the effects I applied.


The big bonus with this shot, although not for my son, was that he was recovering from a bug, so had had a fever, was really tired, washed out and pretty moody. Perfect combo for a moody scary Halloween shot. (You can imagine how pleased he was when I suggested trying out a few different lighting setups and photos with him).


Anyway, I used a black background for this shot and a single strobe facing him directly. Normally I'm using a beauty dish or soft box, but here I used a Reflector and Grid to create a very narrow light directly on his face and then to have the light fall off very quickly. I also didn't want any light spilling onto the background, so kept him a good distance away.


Here is the shot straight out of the camera. If you look close, the poor boy has dark bags under his eyes where he was so tired, and he even had blood shot eyes which did me a favour and saved me having to add these in.

The background I used was the back of a local football stand which was a light beige colour, however where I overlayed this onto the black background, it become very dark and added to the effect.


I then painted his eyes red, made the veins stand out a little bit more, and added contrast and shadows to his face and created a fake light spot around his mouth and jumper. I remember this look from the Blair Witch project with the torches in their faces when they were talking etc. I also added a very light hint of red in his skin to add to the theme of red throughout the final image. (Larger version at the bottom of the post)


We don't get into Halloween in our house, apart from loading up the treats ready for the knocks on the door. This, like many of the projects I do is to learn new things, to be creative and produce something different. I need new subjects for another Halloween personal project ready to share this time next year though, as I've been told I'm not allowed to do this type of thing to any of the kids again!! Any one interested, give me a shout :)


Thanks for reading.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Thu, 31 Oct 2013 05:15:00 GMT
Pro Footballer at Old Trafford! Real quick post to share an update to a previous blog post about the recent Pro Footballer shoot I did with Owen. If you read it you'll know he is a big Manchester United Fan and the Pro Footballer Print was a present for his 8th birthday. Owen's mum planned to give him the print whilst at Old Trafford for the recent game against Southampton, and was kind enough to send me a picture of him holding it outside the ground and looking pleased so thought I'd share. Particularly as it made the trip all the way up there!

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Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow I'll share before and after of a Halloween themed picture I worked on as a personal project.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:02:07 GMT
Rossgarth FC Man Of The Match My son has signed for his first football team this season and just two games in, was awarded man of the match. Loving football like I do, I couldn't have been prouder. 


I'd been planning to do a pro footballer shoot with Ben wearing his Rossgarth FC kit, mainly for fun and for family memories, plus I wanted to hang one of the 24x16" mounted prints I produce as I love the finish on them. Knowing he grabbed the man of the match the day of the shoot was a bonus. 


You'll of seen shots of Ben in my portfolios already so I wanted to do something different. When Ben came in from a training session in the rain completely soaked earlier that week, I immediately thought I wanted to try and re-create this wet look after his match that coming weekend. I'm always continuing to experiment with new techniques so figured I would create a wet, stormy look to the image. To pull this off I managed to persuade (bribe) Ben to let me hose him down a bit after the match to give the look of heavy rainy weather. 


Once he was soaked, we moved into the studio and started working on some poses. I loved this particular look so began putting the images together. Where this is a personal project, I was afforded the luxury of time, so I worked on this over about 3 weeks. Coming back to a creative image like this helps in terms of reviewing what I've done with a clear head and fresh eyes, and that really helped with this one when trying to pull off the bad weather look. I had also applied some elements that I eventually removed as I didn't think they looked right.  



Any way, as always, here are the before and after shots plus Ben holding the print........















I was pretty pleased with the results so mounted the image onto black and added some wording at the bottom before ordering an enlarged 24"x16" print. Here is a shot of Ben pleased (or pretending to be pleased) with the print.


Thanks for reading. Keep an eye on the blog next week. Especially if you are a new follower of my work here on the blog or on social media. In meantime, have a great weekend!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Pro-Footballer Sports Fri, 18 Oct 2013 04:30:00 GMT
Manchester United FC Pro Footballer  

I wanted to share the results of a recent Pro Footballer shoot with you. Owen is a massive Manchester United FC fan and his mum thought one of my PRO FOOTBALLER posters would make a perfect gift for his 8th birthday.



A lot of my shoots relate to a concept, and so as always, I will agree details of the shoot and discuss accessories and clothing to help achieve the look we are after.



For Pro Footballer shots it's simple. Turn up wearing your favorite football kit and bring some accessories such as favorite football, football boots etc. Not only was Owen fully prepped and looking very cool to start shooting, (thanks to his mum aswell of course) they also bought his Manchester United goalie kit with gloves, so where I haven't shot a keeper before, I was keen and pretty excited to see what we could do with it.



My style in most of my photography is dramatic, especially when it comes to the Pro Footballer shoots, so I don't tend to do big cheesy smiles etc. It's more about trying to make the players look larger than life and to add presence and impact.



Owen nailed this concept straight away. Sometimes people need a few minutes to get in the groove for a photoshoot. I'm the worst for wanting my picture taken, but he was bang in form from the very first shot posing with an 'I MEAN BUSINESS' look which is exactly what I strive for. Of course the downside to him doing so good is we ended up with too many great shots to choose from!


As always, here are the before and afters shots.














If you have checked out my Pro Footballer page, you'll know that the finishing touch is for the image to be mounted onto a black background with a Player ID and then delivered in a high quality 24"x16" print. This is the part of the process I enjoy most, especially when clients see the print for the first time. Here is what Owen's print looked like mounted:

Where Owen did such a great job with the posing and had two kits, his mum was keen to see if we could do some 7x5"s on the white background to be framed in a montage. Whilst these were shot with compositing in mind, I managed to have a play  around with them and add some effects which resulted in these 6 images which were also pretty cool:

Owen did a top job with these and am hoping he loves the final image when he opens it on his birthday. I really like them all and have finally added a goalkeeper to my Pro Footballer portfolio!

Thanks for reading.





(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Pro-Footballer Sports Mon, 14 Oct 2013 08:59:47 GMT
AFC Bournemouth's No 1 Fans..cont'd...... Wanted to do a follow up post with an update on one of my recent pro footballer shoots - AFC Bournemouth's No 1 Fans!


The day that I delivered the print to Will and Lewis, AFC Bournemouth tweeted fans to send in photo's of their favorite memorabilia with the opportunity to appear in one of their up and coming programmes, so their parents put the picture in and sure enough it made the cut!


Here is the cover and page in the programme and the picture again.



Always great when my work makes into a publication. Even greater that these little guys appeared in the programme for their favorite team! Will be a great memory for them to look back on which is one of the reasons I love shooting portraits in the first place.


Thanks again to the boys for doing a great job! 


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Sports Mon, 23 Sep 2013 04:00:00 GMT
Golf Photoshoot Part 2 As mentioned in part 1, here are a couple of portraits that I captured from the golf shoot with Scott. I wanted a real contrasty look with a lot of fall off to add to the drama, so these were shot using a reflector and grid modifier and then 2 softboxes either side of Scott, but set back to feather the light a little.


The look I was aiming for, as with a lot of my work these days, was a desaturated, dramatic, bill board style finish.

Here is simple shot on black background but is one of my favourites:


And here is a portrait of Scott with accessories cut out and dropped onto a textured background to add to the dramatic feel I wanted to achieve.


Must say thanks to Scott for helping me out with these. He did an awesome job, especially with some of the poses for the action shots. Keep an eye on the blog as there will be a part 3 as soon as I've shot a couple more backgrounds.


Thanks for stopping by!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Sports Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:45:00 GMT
Golf Photoshoot Part 1 Before the summer, I started building a collection of golf backgrounds with the intention of finding a golfer to shoot in the studio, and then bring the two together.


One of the backgrounds I captured was whilst standing in the bunker and I really wanted to see if I could pull off shooting a golfer doing a chip shot to the hole. I've seen different bunker shots but not where the golfer's back faces the camera so was keen to see what I could do with this and the composition.


Local golfer Scott Hathaway was happy to work with me for this personal project. He showed up with his clubs, accessories and so we were ready to shoot.


Generally when I am out shooting backgrounds, I've already got a concept in mind and this helps when it comes to the studio shoot. I was able to work on getting 'the shot' for this particular background. Here is the background straight out of camera, then prepped, the shot of Scott and then the final combined image.


I have several other 'swing in action' shots of Scott and will share these soon. I need to capture some more backgrounds first. However I did shoot more of a portrait of Scott holding a club and ball and thought this one came out pretty nicely. As above, see the before and after shots below.


Be sure to check back tomorrow where I'll share a couple more portraits from the shoot.


Thanks for reading.






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Portraits Sports Thu, 19 Sep 2013 04:45:00 GMT
AFC Bournemouth No.1 Fans! I wanted to share before and after shots from a recent PRO FOOTBALLER shoot I did with some twins....

Will and Lewis are massive AFC Bournemouth fans and turned up for the pro footballer shoot with their new home kits, new away kits aswell as AFC Bournemouth's training tops so they were definitely well prepared for the session.

I love bringing out details in my work so bringing different kits, accessories such as the footballs, boots etc helps make these shots work well. When it comes to these shots, the look I'm going for is more of a dramatic, larger than life kind of a feel which is why I add clouds, and bring the subjects close to the front. The twins both nailed that with the their expressions and poses!


Here is the cut out of the two of them:


Here is the background I started with:



& some clouds:



And then here is the final shot, mounted with the player ID. I spent a lot of time bringing out details in the kits, the badges, the footballs and also normal retouching applied.


Finally, here is a shot of the boys holding the print. I know I've mentioned on several blog posts how all my work is geared towards producing a final print so I probably sound like a broken record, but I can't talk up highly enough how good these look. I use a top leading lab for all my work, and they really do an amazing job with these!


The shoot was great fun, the boys did great and I really like final image, so this has been added to my PRO FOOTBALLER portfolio.

Keep an eye out as I'm likely to work on a couple more of the twins in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading.








(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Fri, 13 Sep 2013 04:45:00 GMT
Dumbells Wanted to share a new addition to my portfolio from a recent female fitness shoot. 3 light setup used, and a reflector to open up the shadows a little bit. I'll show before and afters in a post next week. I purposely wanted to add a gritty feel to this image so bought out lots of details in the gym backgound and added clarity to give a feel of drama and edge to the final image.   

I'm continuing to add to my athlete portraits portfolio so be sure to check it out. Also if you, or any one you know is into sports and are interested in a portrait feel free to get in touch. I'm always keen to talk ideas and new concepts!

Speaking of personal projects, I did a shoot with a golfer this week so will be sure to share some of these soon.

Quick reminder that my special offer for Pro footballer shoots runs till the end of September. 15% off package price!! Check out details here - PRO FOOTBALLER OFFER.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.








(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Compositing Gym Portraits Retouching Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:07:37 GMT
OFFER - Pro Footballer Shoot - Summer Savings! With three kids of my own, I can't believe how quickly the summer holiday is flying by. When I was a kid it seemed to last forever so maybe this is me just getting old and time passing by quicker! Any way, the new football season has just kicked off and I know pre season friendlies and training is in full swing so I am offering a 15% discount on my PRO FOOTBALLER package on all bookings made before 30th September.

If you or your child has either bought a new football kit for their favorite team, or would like to be captured in a billboard style high quality print wearing their local club colours, be sure to check out further details of the package on my dedicated page via this link. 

Below is short clip showing the process I go through to put these images together:

Thanks for stopping by. Any questions on the above, feel free to get in touch.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Footballer Portraits Pro Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:30:38 GMT
Boxer I put together a shoot with a Boxer as a personal project a couple of weeks back. I wanted to shoot quite close and really bring out the expression in the face aswell details in the gloves and fitness gear. I used two lighting setups. Aim as always is to keep things simple. Two setups's used, a beauty dish with no diffuser for a bit more contrast and a silver reflector to bring in some fill light into the shadows and a three light setup. Beauty dish for fill and two side soft boxes as key lights.

Apart from accessories, only other thing we added was some water sprayed on as fake sweat to help pull of the shot.


Here are the before and afters:


Street Fighter



I also took advantage of the hoodie to shoot a dramatic looking portrait shot without sticking to the theme of boxing.

Here is the before and after:



To see the final images enlarged, be sure to check out my portfolios.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Boxing Compositing Portraits Sports Fri, 16 Aug 2013 06:39:28 GMT
Why No Blogs? Well, the truth is I've been completely snowed under with a house move and other things I won't bore you all with, so needed to give focus to getting the family settled in to avoid us all living out of boxes for months on end! For those who have been checking in over recent weeks, apologies for being so slack! Anyway, I'm pleased to say we are getting there and this hasn't meant I haven't been shooting. In fact I've managed to work on several personal projects recently and have more in the pipeline so will share these shortly.


One of the shoots was with a boxer. Here is a straight out of camera shot and I'll show you what I did with this in a post next week including lighting setup etc......

Thanks for reading,






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Athletes Boxer Boxing Portraits Sports Sat, 10 Aug 2013 08:38:22 GMT
Portraits & Backgrounds I wanted to share a portrait that I shot a couple of years back and stumbled across by accident and decided to revisit and produce a composit with. I took this shot of my best mate Dan and for what ever reason never saw this shot as a keeper when selecting the best images from the shoot. Don't ask me how or why I missed this one! Anyway, I played with the crop a bit and then really wanted to see if I could drop this into a grungy background. I played with some different retouching and colour tones and I thought it looked pretty cool. Below are the shots once cropped as I bought them together to create the composit. In terms of the lighting setup, this portrait was not shot with compositing in mind like I normally do so I had  to find a background with more light on the left side to help pull off the fake. I liked the perspective and lines in the ceiling of this car park so thought this would work well. 

Speaking of backgrounds, I've been shooting and processing several different backgrounds over the past couple of months with compositing subjects into them in mind and I've got several ideas I'll be working on so will keep you posted on how these turn out.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Fri, 24 May 2013 06:42:40 GMT
300 You will have seen a few different rugby shots over the past 6 months where my mate Andy was happy to do some posing for me. This composit is the last of the shots that I wanted to try and do something with.


Here is the original shot. I used a 3 light set up for this, a beauty dish at the front powered right down giving just a bit of light, and then two soft boxes at the sides which were the main lights giving a nice rim light on the arms, face and some of his back.





I wanted to do a background made up of clouds so used the following pic:





I put Andy into the background, tinkered a bit with the perspective and width of the clouds shot, added contrast and a bit of retouching to bring out the highlights and shadows and ended up with the following image which I thought looked pretty cool.



Rugby Clouds



One of the presets I have in the photo editing software I use looks very similar to the colour effects used in the movie 300 so I figured I would see how close I could get to achieving similar with this shot. Here is the final version:




Thanks for checking in. I'll have another before and after to show here on the blog soon.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Portraits Retouching Thu, 09 May 2013 07:09:19 GMT
Follow Me On Facebook I've been busy working on several personal projects recently, notably capturing different backgrounds that I am preparing for future compositing concepts I have in mind. I'll share results with before and afters once I finish them. In the meantime I wanted to say that I'm posting more and more shots, latest news and behind the scenes over at my facebook page aswell so be sure to check it out -


Enjoy the bank holiday weekend! Next week I'll be posting a couple of before and after's for these latest portfolio additions......






(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Fri, 03 May 2013 12:05:35 GMT
Beauty Shoot I got together with Emily who is an up and coming make up artist to capture some shots for her portfolio.


The brief for this session was to capture some simple, close up well lit beauty shots. As always, I went through the process of prepping for the shoot, agreeing the type of shots we would aim for, different poses and lighting so we were nicely organised prior to the session.


In terms of lighting setup, I used a beauty dish with a diffuser and softbox for the evenly lit shots, and then a single soft box feathered to create shadows for the rest. Grey and Black backgrounds worked well for these so no need for a third light.


For the makeup shots, the objective was to show off Emily's skills, so whilst I retouched some for my portfolio, here are a few straight out of the camera with nothing applied other than color correction.

Here are a few that I retouched....


In terms of the post processing I applied some minimal retouching to the eyes, the skin and hair. The rest was just colour enhancement.

I need to give some credit to Emily aswell. In addition to applying the makeup and then modelling, she also spent time researching some poses and looks that she wanted to achieve, and it was Emily who found the image that we used to inspire the following shot. The original was more black and white than Porcelain, but I had a play around with some techniques and managed to get close to a Porcelain skin finish, without the lipstick looking to vibrant and making the image look like a selective colour shot which I'm not a huge fan of.


We spent a bit of time getting the pose right but it was worth it as this was my favourate from the shoot......


Be sure to check out Emily's blog.

If you are interested in building a portfolio or have a concept in mind feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Beauty Portraits Mon, 15 Apr 2013 05:00:00 GMT
Armani Here are some shots from a fashion style shoot I did a couple of week's back of Phil who bought his Armani range with him. 


Simple lighting for all of these, just a beauty dish without the diffuser, giving me a bit more of a contrasty light, and some fall off with good shadows to accentuate Phil's jawline. No rim lights this time as I wanted more shadows for a dramatic feel. I also enjoy working with one light and seeing what kind of results I can get.


After working the black background I wanted to switch to grey to add a different feel without quite so much drama to the image. Still using one light, simple clean looking portraits were what we were aiming for.


And as always, I wanted to have a play with some tonal effects and particularly liked this finish......



Thanks for reading. I'll be sharing some beauty shots next on the blog so keep any eye out....


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Fashion Portraits Mon, 25 Mar 2013 05:30:00 GMT
Admin Stuff, Backgrounds, And Processing Hi All, 

Few bits to cover in today's post so will get straight to it.

Admin Stuff:

I've been playing with business card options for a while now and designed some new one's recently that just came through which I thought looked pretty cool. Let me know what you think?

I was also really pleased with how my Pro Footballer post card flyers came out when I collected them last week so thought I'd show them off - here is a phone shot of them stacked up yesterday. I was recommended to use Uniprintuk and I have to say, not only did they turn them around lightening quick for me, the quality of the cards are excellent. If you are in the Bournemouth area, be sure to check them out.


I'm constantly on the hunt for backgrounds as I continue to enjoy compositing and the possiblities shooting and processing in this way offers. Here is a before and after of a Sub Way background I shot in the last couple of weeks. I used it with another one of the Rugby shots I took a few months back. I'd tried a couple of different backgrounds but they just didn't work until this one, and I was pretty pleased with how the final image came out, so added it to my portfolio.





I've got some processing to get to asap for a couple of shoots I've done recently and will show results on the blog as soon as I'm done. One is for a fashion/model style shoot and another, a beauty shoot with an up and coming film make up artist. It's always tempting to get started on the processing  as soon as all the images are imported, but I tend to wait till the following day, if not longer and go into selecting the keepers and then the processing phase with fresh eyes. I find this helps. In fact, when it comes to my composit work such as the Rugby shot above, I'm actually finding myself spreading it out over a much longer period of time. I worked on this at different times for over a week to get it just how I wanted it.

Anyway, thanks for reading, enjoy your weekends and keep any eye on the blog next week where I'll be showing some of the results.




(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Admin Compositing Portraits Processing Fri, 15 Mar 2013 05:30:00 GMT
A Retouch With A Difference Ben Lake, the singer you will recognise from a shoot I did last year got in touch wanting a headshot, but because he wasn't local and couldn't get down south any time soon, wondered what I could do with a shot he loved from the original photo shoot.


I took a look at the shot he liked and there was only one problem. There was a microphone in the middle of the shot and he wanted this removed to either show an open collar shirt or for me to add more tie in. Here is the original shot.

I started having a play around with the microphone and managed to remove most of the details pretty quickly, however, as with all things, there is often a simpler way. I pulled up all of the shots from the original session and I managed to find one image with a loose tie, open collar and jacket, so figured rather than trying to draw in details, why not air brush the head from the shot he liked onto the jacket, shirt and tie combo he wanted!

Here is the jacket, shirt and tie combo:


Here is the final shot with some tonal effects that I always love to try out. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Thanks for reading. Check back Friday for a bits and bobs blog post.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Portraits Retouching Wed, 13 Mar 2013 05:15:00 GMT
The Story Behind The Photo - DIESEL Quite often people ask how I have put together a particular shot, what lighting I used, what processing I applied, the location, gear etc, and whilst I do provide some behind the scenes details for shoots, I thought I'd post more of the story behind some of my favorite shots. I'll talk more to camera settings, the environment I shot in and why, any challenges I faced, mistakes I made, and then post processing applied.

To start things rolling, I wanted to use one of my popular shots from 2012, DIESEL.

I shot DIESEL in a City called Lappeenranta, in Finland. I was there attending my brothers wedding and hadn't left any real time in the weekend for photography. After a day of traveling I arrived at the hotel, had a quick bite to eat and then flew out to try and cram in the only bit of photography I would have the chance to get.

Most of my work is portrait based, however you'll know if you follow the blog and visit my website, I also enjoy shooting Landscape and Travel for fun, and I had this in mind for the trip. I'd been told about the Harbour and could see some nice light coming down from the hotel so headed in that direction trying to find a subject that would inspire me.


Obviously boats were all around, the harbour itself was lit up nice, but as I walked away from the action, I stumbled across 2 DIESEL pumps and thought they might make a pretty cool picture. I did get some pretty strange looks from passers by as I began taking shots of a petrol pump.


What made me shoot DIESEL pumps? First off I had good evening light, also some dramatic clouds in the background, however it was the texture in the wooden and metal flooring around the pump, and the details that made me want to shoot this. I like shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range) and this was shot with that in mind. 3 exposures, 1 normal exposure, one 2 stops under and one 2 stops over.

Camera Settings: I shot this in Aperture Priority Mode at F22 so I could get sharpness throughout the picture, and also leave the shutter open longer to get a smoothness in the water. Camera was on the tripod for sharpness and I used the self timer rather than me touching the shutter button to remove any chance of movement in camera, again to achieve good sharpness.

Here are the images straight out of the camera prior to the HDR treatment:


Processing was pretty simple. I adjusted white balance and exposure. It was then a case of adjusting the whites, blacks and reducing some noise picked up in the HDR process. I applied some vignetting so that your eyes get drawn to the tank in the picture first as it's the brightest part of the image and then finally, a good bit of sharpening given it's a landscape.

Final Image:

Here is a b&w version:

 I also had a play with a slightly different version. Same settings etc, and tried for a completely different look. I prefer the shot above, but do love the heavy grey cloud hanging over this and the fact it gives the same subject shot differently, a completely different feel. 

Thanks for reading.


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) DIESEL Finland Lappeenranta Thu, 28 Feb 2013 08:19:25 GMT
Gym Composit More personal Compositing project work to share this week with my good mate Andy as model again.


I captured a cool gym background a while ago and prepped it knowing I wanted to drop a subject in and finally got round to getting this done. Here is the original background straight out of camera with no processing applied.



Here is the background once processed using High Dynamic Range software and with some tweaks to the colour made. 



Then for the subject. I used a 3 strobe light setup on Andy to ensure I had good rim light wrapping around him and some contrast fill light in the front, so two softboxes on each side and a beauty dish without a diffuser at the front for some fill.



Once I bought the two together I wanted to give this more of a gritty feel. I blended the subject into the background, adjusted the size a little, applied some small retouching in a few areas, some dodging and burning and then some global effects to change the overall tone and colour of the image.



Hope you like. Thanks for stopping by!


(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Compositing Wed, 16 Jan 2013 05:30:00 GMT
Portfolio Additions Hi everyone. Quick post to say I've been doing some tweaking to my website and have added some new images to my portfolios and have also changed the layout a little.


I try to keep the portfolio fresh and filled with recent work but must confess, I've had little time to keep on top of it in recent weeks so pleased to have got this done. I've made changes to most of the portfolios so if you get the time, have a scan through.


Hope you like the updates.



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Portfolio Thu, 10 Jan 2013 05:00:00 GMT
Show Me The Prints! This is my first blog post of 2013 (not including a brief happy new year message on the 1st Jan) and I wanted to share some thoughts about prints.

2 weeks before Christmas I got a call from someone wanting to capture his 2 nephews in a themed Composit and then enlarge on a print to give as a gift to their grandmother on Christmas day. I'm not going to go into details of the shoot and concept as I'll share this on a seperate post, however, when the print arrived and I inspected it, I was reminded just how great a top quality print can look, the difference an enlarged print can make in terms of impact and how badly I have been in getting round to printing some of my personal work and getting it up on the walls in recent times. Particularly as I gave some prints of my work to people as gifts this year for Christmas which I know are already framed and on the walls in their homes!

(picture above taken on phone camera)

I don't get into the new year resolutions stuff, but one of my goals is to definitley get more high quality prints of my photography framed and up on the walls in our house.

How about you? Do you have any cool prints up on the walls or are you storing them all digitally? In my opinion you can't beat a quality print. Feel free to comment below.


Thanks for reading.



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Prints Mon, 07 Jan 2013 05:45:00 GMT
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the festive season. I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2013!


2012 was a great year and I want to thank all of you for reading the blog! I'm looking forward to seeing what 2013 will bring! 


All the best, 



(Stuart Cosgrave Photography) Happy NewYear Tue, 01 Jan 2013 15:01:46 GMT