karohemd: (Photo)
To my horror I just realised I hadn't blogged about this summer's group portrait shoot at The Roost. Every year a group of (mostly amateur or semi-pro) photographers get together and hire a venue in central London. The Roost (or its sibling, The Perch) is ideal for this as you get three floors worth of different rooms, all individually furnished and stuffed with interesting, weird and wonderful props. Most rooms have huge windows so there is plenty of natural light and I usually don't need to rely on extra lighting equipment. There is always a number of models available but many photographers bring their own. We usually work on a collaboration basis, i.e. nobody gets paid and it's an exchange of time and skills. In the end, models, photographers and designers will have new material for their portfolios.

This year I had only two planned sets, one with the band Last July and the other a collaboration with the dress designer Jezebelle's Boutique, the model Druidess of Midian and the hat designer Off With Her Head.

So, here are a few examples: First off, Last July:

Last July

Last July on the nice sofa

Last July - Nevla
Nevla

Last July - Dvae
Dvae

Last July at The Roost - Alix
Alix




Druidess of Midian:

Va Va Voom!

Skull Dress Pinup

Skull Dress Pinup

Fascinating Fascinators 2


A few more shots incl. some from behind the scenes on flickr.
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karohemd: (Chef)
Halloumi "burger"


Ingredients (for one, multiply accoringly):
block halloumi
portobello mushrooms (the big ones)
1 beetroot
2 tomatoes
2 gloves of garlic, 1cm ginger, mixed herbs, olive oil
salt, pepper, pimenton

I first boiled the beetroot, then quartered and peeled it, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt and kept warm wrapped in foil.

The halloumi was sliced in three and marinaded in olive oil, pimenton and pepper (you don't need any salt as the cheese is salty enough) while the beetroot was boiling, then fried in the marinade with the portobello mushrooms (sliced in half).

For the couscous, I deseeded and finely chopped two tomatoes and cooked them down in olive oil with garlic, a bit of ginger, dried mediterranean herbs, freshly sliced chilli and seasoned with salt and pepper. Into that I stirred the couscous, added as much boiling water as needed and put on a lid until the couscous was nice and plump.

I started with a pile of couscous on the plate then stacked mushroom and halloumi slices in the centre and arranged the beetroot on the side.
karohemd: (Photo)
A friend recently pointed me at his blog and I've been backreading it ever since. I had been aware of his work but not his name.
His work is absolutely stunning, not just from an artistic point of view but also his ability to pick the right image at the right moment. For example, for this image, did he wait until someone came along that just fit in or was he randomly there at the right time?

This one is another favourite, just because of the mastery of exposure:

and this is just plain funny:


So, if you like stunning photography or even if not, have a look at his blog or website.
karohemd: (Photo)
I had this funky tin so I thought I would try my hand at some product photography.

karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
On Sunday I took part in an alternative fashion photography workshop run by Allan Amato at 4 Princelet St., an amazing Edwardian house.

The morning consisted of a demonstration of various lighting techniques (fill lights, key lights, one, two or three sources, with/without additional reflectors/diffusers etc.).
In the afternoon we split into three groups, each picking a room with a different lighting setup first rotating models, then rotating photographers so everyone got to shoot with everyone in each setup. The venue is absolutely amazing with a large number of rooms, many of them with big windows, creaky floorboards, even creakier stairs and lots of really old furniture and paraphernalia.

The models were fantastic, too, all with different styles and personalities: Nina Kate, Ulorin Vex and Viktoria Modesta.

Equally different were the attending photographers, reaching from photography student to older than me and both amateurs, semi-pros and pros. I got along really well with everyone and we already vaguely planned a group outing to Houghton House (if/when we're doing it, I'll be asking for people to model for me so keep your eyes peeled).

And last but not least, Allan Amato was cool, too. Nice guy, happy to answer questions and give suggestions. Definitely someone I wouldn't mind getting to know better over a couple of pints.

Let's start with Nina Kate:

karohemd: (Photo)
Dark Morte was one of the models hired for the group shoot who was gracious enough to step in when two of my originally planned models had to cancel.



Bigger and two more )
Photography by me, post-editing by the model.

Amaranth was already armed with a concept and had picked both a spot at the venue and an outfit when we started shooting.



Bigger and one more )
Photography by me, post-editing by the model.



More as and when I get round to editing the photos.
karohemd: (Photo)
My alarm went off at 6, I hit snooze once, SSS, get dressed, spend too long faffing about to have breakfast, lift arrived, bought breakfast before setting off, pretty much smooth sailing to and through London to The Perch.
Said Hi to Gothindulgence and other early arrivals, chat a bit, scout out venue which had a few changes and then did [personal profile] nevla doing Ghost Dog/Ninja impressions on the roof, incl. some wild wideangle shots and an experiment with multiple exposures.
A short bit with the rather unconventional Angel of Darkness (the first of my replacement models) was a lot of fun and included a tricycle, a dollhouse, an accordion and odd but cool poses.
Then a short and fun bit with Beth Ryan and Hal Sinden (who has the sharpest beard ever and is thankfully not a mad AI) involving props and some extreme perspectives.
After a spot of lunch, Amaranth was next in a high contrast black/red set, followed by another trad goth set in various locations with Dark Morte.
The final set was with an incredibly flexible and bendy Canadian ballerina called Danielle. I'd run out of steam (and ideas) so the outcome is probably not as interesting as if we had worked in the morning. Still, I have at least one stunning shot.

After clearing up and packing, we set off again, the TomTom sending us round in circles (or so it seemed) on a longer route through London but we got out eventually and back to Cambridge in good time. After 12 hours on my feet and often crouching in awkward positions at a rather hot location, I am thoroughly exhausted and will sleep well tonight.
karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
On my way from work I noticed how clear the sky was and you could see the various shades of the full moon very clearly so when I got home I grabbed camera, lenses and tripod (which took a while as various pieces were in different places) and went into the garden. I tried to cheat the automatic lights but failed so there was a bit too much ambient light for my liking but I think it was OK regardless.
Having only 400mm (the Sigma 70-200mm plus x2 teleconverter) to work with was rather restricting so the shot below is a tight crop. At least the D700 has enough resolution to still make it work.

Mars is in opposition this evening and it was just visible as a reddish spot but I failed utterly to get a good picture of it. The only one I have is in the same frame as the moon but in that it only came out as a spot.

 

Bigger )
karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
I've finally been persuaded to take part in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition run by the Natural History Museum. Previously, I had shied away from paying £20 just for taking part but now I decided I have enough disposable income to take that loss.
I entered three images from my Antarctic cruise:

Back from work
in the "Animal Portaits" category

Feed us!
in the "Animals in their environment" category and

Takeover ritual 4
in the "Animal Behaviour: Birds" category.




Wish me luck!

I will post again when the public gallery is online so you can vote for me. :o)
karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
I was in a weird mood last night, too bored to watch TV/DVDs or read so I unpacked the SB-900 speedlight I'd bought earlier in the week and mucked around a bit, first with the washing machine and then with myself. These were the two best results, both taken with the Sigma 12-24mm and SB-900 at full power remotely fired via CLS trigger, handheld.

 

Bigger )
karohemd: (Photo)
Photography students recreate classical paintings
(German text but that's not really necessary)
karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
When I mentioned during one shot that I accidentally included part of the light source, Miko suggested I take a shot that shows the setup: Nikon SB-600 flashgun at 1/8th power, fitted with a StoFen diffuser and a homemade cardboard snoot sitting on a Gorillapod (short tripod with flexible legs). So this setup:



This isn't a very good example because the final shot isn't exposed enough but you get the idea.

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