The start of 2018 was quite busy for me, with lots of photography related events, some which are covered in other blog posts and anything else I shall write about here.
I’ll start with linking to the blog post for NYE, which didn’t make it to the December blog post, due to me writing that just before the end of the year, and technically part of it was in 2018, so I’ll include it here.
The first proper time in 2018 (not including NYE) of me taking my camera out was a shoot with a local model, Dee, who I’ve worked with many times now, was out in Spain with last year, and this shoot was to be with a graffiti background. There was another photographer there as well, who we both know, and while the original location we wanted to use wasn’t going to work this time, we managed to sort out a backup location that did. This shoot didn’t last too long as after parking up and then walking for a few minutes to get to the location, it was really quite cold out and I didn’t want us to be out there longer than necessary, particularly for the model. We managed to use a couple of different spots to switch the background up a bit and create some variety, but this is something we’re already talking about re-visiting when it gets warmer later on in the year.
I’ll now talk a bit and group the events I attended at Click Group Shoots together. With photography clubs that meet each week, due to my works shift pattern, some months I can get to most events, but then there might be months when I can get to none. In January I attended 4 events at Click.
The events at click are generally model related and three out of the four this month were of that nature (I’ll get onto the odd one out later).
The first event of the year was a ‘Sugar Skull’ event, and if you don’t know what that means, it’s a kind of makeup look where you kind of have a skull painted on your face. The makeup artist for this evening was Charlotte Mahdoodi, who I’ve seen at local music events and also noticed quite a lot of her artistry in images I’ve seen online, but this was the first time I’d properly met her. By the time I’d got there, most of the makeup was done for the three models on the night, and we split up into groups to take photos. I’d done something similar at another photography club last year, around Halloween, but it is an interesting concept and the makeup was done excellently, it was a really fun night and I came away with some fantastic images.
Another night at Click, and this evening’s theme was cabaret. This night we had two models, Kat and Eloise, both of which I’d worked with before at Click events. The last time I worked with Kat she mentioned that she’d seen me at some local gigs as her partner is in GoldWater, and since that event I have noticed her at some gigs. Eloise, a fantastic model, who I’ve only worked with at Click event, but keep meaning to try and sort something else out and just not getting around to it, but hopefully that changes this year. With two setups, I was trying to do something a bit different and had my bag of things to place in front of the lens to create interesting effects, but it didn’t quite go as planned, but I still managed to come away with some half decent images, so I was happy.
The final model related event at Click was probably my favourite of the month, with coloured gels being used. I really like using coloured gels in my photography work, but most of the time I used them in front of any lights I use to create a coloured light where I want it to be, this night we did also use this technique but I started off using coloured gels in a different way. With rolls of different coloured cellophane lined up, people could get a bit creative and I decided to do a few images where I had some gels covering my lens, with a small gap to shoot through so that the models face was ‘correctly’ coloured and around her was a different colour. I also had her hold some smaller rolled up strips of coloured gels in front of her face for a few shots. It was really fun to get a bit creative in a different way with coloured gels, compared to how I normally use them and it’s something I’m sure I’ll explore a bit more on other shoots. We did also use gels in their ‘traditional’ style, to colour some of the lights we were using.
Before we get onto the final event at Click for January, I’ll go through another shoot as it links together. There is a local park which I go to quite regularly and the council were building a new entrance with a bridge over the local river, which I’d kind of forgotten all about. One day I saw a story shared by the local newspaper on Facebook that the bridge was opened that day and I had the idea that it may be a good location to spin some wire wool. I posted a kind of cryptic message on Facebook about it, as I didn’t want too many people to be involved, the fewer people the better, being a brand new structure, and three of us were going to go along at some point to take a look. The following day, after work, I thought I’d drive down there and take a look, and after being there for only a matter of minutes I knew we could get something, so messaged the others and the next evening we would be back with our cameras.
One of the other photographers had to drop out, so it ended up being only the two of us, which was no problem, as I said before, the fewer people to cause anyone to wonder what we were doing, the better. We had the idea of trying to be quick and get a few shots done and be off. Starting out under the bridge, to try and minimise anyone seeing us, we got a few spin done, before I headed up onto the bridge for a few more. I really like the images we got and I’m kind of pleased that I can say I’m probably the first person to spin wire wool on that bridge, at least since it had been officially opened. I may have to go back some other day as this one was mainly trying to be quick and not cause any disturbance, but I’ve got a few more ideas I wanted to try out.
This brings me onto the final event at Click, as it was a wire wool spinning event. The organiser had asked me if I’d want to host an evening of wire wool spinning, and I was happy to. Leading upto the event, I had a few plans of going over quite a lot of things to start with and then getting into the actual spinning, wanting people attending to be able to go away and try it for themselves, safely, if they wanted to. However, I was feeling terrible on the night, having had flu for the previous week, and my throat was feeling really bad that it was quite hard to speak, so that went out the window. On the night the conditions were probably the best you could hope for, it had been raining earlier and stopped by the time we were meeting up. This allows you to get some nice reflections from puddles and any shiny surfaces, but also from a safety point of view, you are so much less likely to burn anything around you.
We met up at a local park, then walked to a skatepark area which is next to a play area, so we used a few different parts around there to create different looks. It can get a bit hard after a while to think of different things to do with spinning the wire wool, so it’s always good if you can walk a short distance to a new location to change up the background. Everyone that attended seemed to have a good night, I enjoyed it, even if I was feeling terrible, but hopefully it’s something that we may be able to revisit again at the club and possibly adding a model to some of the images, as I have a few ideas of how that could work.
There was one event at another club, Meadows, which is held on the first Monday of each month, and for this event we had someone I know from the burlesque scene modelling. On this night, Eden Winters had three different latex outfits to wear and it had been a while since I’d seen her. We started off taking photos against a new backdrop in the studio and then for the other two outfits we used the white wall, but I added some coloured gels to change it up a bit. It was a good event and always nice to catch up with people I’ve not seen for a while, hopefully it wont be as long until I see her again, maybe we can organise a shoot sometime soon as the last time we worked together we created some amazing images using smoke bombs in the woods.
Finally for January, there was a shoot with Charliee where I focused totally on gelled lighting. I worked with Charliee last year in the same studio, and on that shoot I did use gels a bit, but not as much as I’d have liked. I organised another shoot with her and mentioned what I had planned. Working with gels can be very hit and miss, you can’t use a light meter as the ‘correct’ exposure isn’t necessarily correct when using the gels in front of your light, so it can take a while to set things up. I think it went really well and we managed to have quite a few different setups in the time we were shooting. Some involved having just backgrounds coloured, and some where all the lights, even the ones lighting up Charliee, were coloured. It was really fun, both working with gels and working with Charliee again, and it is definitely something I’ll be doing again soon, probably even just dedicating an entire shoot to using gels again.
I shall just mention a few other things for January. I was meant to go along to a burlesque show, Babybug, but I had work the following day. This would not have normally been a problem, I was thinking I’d just get a bit less sleep and then catch up the following night, but this took place while I had flu, and I had to give it a miss. Then there was the English Open dodgeball tournament and Steel Panther gig, both of which I have covered in other blog posts.