Pregnant with ideas.

This post is for those who have a desire to want to create imagery with an eye for making a living from it. To give you an idea as to how I think and approach a job here are two images from two very different shoots, but similar in that the subjects are pregnant.

Pic 1. Was a pregnancy based around surrogacy and the two sisters were eagerly awaiting the arrival. How do you convey that? Answer. Well lets use a new soft toy on the end of a fishing line, as if to say, hurry up babes, were waiting for you. The respective partners were put into shot doing what men can only do, wait. This image worked so well and made a very lovely canvas print. Shot on a jetty near the clients home, lighting was natural supplemented with flash through a softbox.

Surrogacy pregnancy on a jetty.

Surrogacy pregnancy on a jetty.

Pic 2. How do you come up with something that can say as much about the pregnant belly as the family and the husbands vocation? He's an artist. My answer was. Lets turn this into art. The subject coming out of the canvas, connected, yet separate. Clean and simple. a really nice print. Lighting was again natural supplemented with flash, turned down so you don't notice.

New pregnant art.

New pregnant art.

So when someone asks you to make a picture for them, think outside the box, ask yourself lots of questions that challenge you to create, or you could just be a person with a camera and no idea.

Gustavius Payne. Welsh Artist.

With iron ore and coal in the plenty and within easy reach of the sea, my home town, Merthyr Tydfil became the birth place of industrial activity in Wales, this in turn led to make an impression upon image-makers. Even greats such as J. M. W. Turner himself, who was probably commissioned by Anthony Bacon , a co-founder of Cyfarthfa works to visit.

So it seemed only fitting that while we were on holiday's and staying down the valley in Pontypridd with my mother in-law that I try to make an image of one of Merthyr's well know artists, Gustavius Payne.

I can't remember how I came to find out about Gus other than an inclination of an artist from Merthyr. It just took a little probing around on Google to find who it was I half remembered. It just so happened he was having an exhibition at Redhouse Cymru, an arts and creative industries center in the Old Town Hall, late Victorian Grade listed building in the heart of town.

After our first hand shake and pleasantries I wondered around looking at Gus's work, talking, trying to come up with an idea that would show some of Gus' work along with a strong image of the man himself. I just didnt want a, stand in front of a piece and look this way photo. That was going to be the easy way out. Saying nothing about me as the photographer and not really saying anything about the sitter.

Image 1, was my first set-up. I used the gallery structure to help me layer levels on a flat piece of film, giving it depth, something Gus' work had. Having Gus stand partially obscured by a wall, framed between two of his works made him the center of attention and yet still connected to his work.

Image 2, I wanted to move beyond the still image and try and introduce an almost painterly effect, having him be connected to his work. not quite in the painting and yet part of it. This was achieved by two exposures on the same frame. It took a little go as some of the frames the body movement was a little too extreme or not enough. This one I feel works best, still a portrait as his features are still visible but the painting still intrudes into Gus.

Image 3, This time a very simple approach, a head shot but still using the multiple two frames on one technique. This came about from an idea that sprang in to my head while shooting. Industry, strong, visionary.

As I was on holiday I didn't have all my kit so I shot them all with the natural light that was coming in from right side through large big Victorian windows. I could kill for a space like this to shoot in all the time.

I have to say a big thank you to Gus for giving me the time and not looking at me too strangely when I requested him move a number of times to get the frame right.

Image 1, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 1, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 2, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 2, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 3, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 3, Gus Payne, artist.

Storey Arms and Beacons Reservoir.

It was all about the light.

There was no way I was going to miss this opportunity to photograph one of my favourite places on Earth. Storey Arms in the Brecon Beacons National Park. I have photographed this place ever since I was given a camera, a long time ago. But this time it was different, these were not going to be mere geographical snapshots, postcards, little blue thumb collectors. This was to be about the light.

The wind was blowing so hard I had to stand, back to it trying my hardest to shield the camera so there was no camera shake, because, all but one of these shots was made with up to 10 exposures on top of each other. I wanted to paint this incredible light onto my film, not just record it.

This was one of those times when I happened to be in the spot at the right time when it all came together. the best part, there was only me with a camera. I couldn't have been happier.

Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Just a peek. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Just a peek. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Almost a white out. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Almost a white out. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Beginning to show. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Beginning to show. Storey Arms Brecon Beacons

Beacons reservoir 1.

Beacons reservoir 1.

Beacons reservoir 2.

Beacons reservoir 2.

Abercynon 1988, In Training.

The year was 1988, it was our first trip back home after emigrating to Australia in 1982. When we arrived it was cold and wet, but even back then I had a sense of missing it. I know, a little daft.

One day after having one too many cups of tea I had to get out on my own with the camera. So hoping into the car I made a short trip up the road from Pontypridd, as that's where we were staying, with my wife's parents until we went back up the road to stay with my parents in Merthyr Tydfil. Gosh we were having a great holiday, to Abercynon to make this little series of images from around the now closed pit head and railway station and a wonder around the roads, just looking. It was so lovely to look at things with my very Welsh eye, but from a new outlook at what was/is my heritage.

Back in the 80's that first decade of Australia I just couldn't make pictures. I would go out point the camera spend a lot of money on film, but nothing. The beauty of the places, the light bright colours, golden sandy beaches, ever so lovely for a holiday and that's pretty much what it was to us through that time. The only images I have of any merit, other than personal family snaps are these that are still giving me pleasure to look at, you can call it nostalgia if you like, I just see it differently. I see them as my training ground.

Now I'm older, spent more time living in Australia than I did in Wales I still haven't lost my want to be back there making pictures desire, but my eye has changed, I now have ideas that one day, hopefully I can initiate. In the mean time I will keep moving forward and making pictures.