Photographer: Dave Kai Piper
Assistant: Paul McKelvie
Model & Make Up: OhLa
Hair: Nikki B
Lingerie: Fred & Ginger | London
Sigma SD1M & Fuji X-Pro
Hare & Hounds | Birmingham
A few weeks before this shoot took place I had shot a bridal collection with the D800, and quite happy with the results, I mention this for two reasons.. It was the first time I had used my funky homemade background and raised another question. Do Nikon and Canon still have the major monopoly as camera manufacturers? The D800 was, as most people know, just wonderful to use, but is there another way ?
For this shoot I wanted to try something a little bit different. Anyone who knows me will know that I also have a Fuji X-Pro1 at my disposal and also I have a Sigma SD1 Merrill. Many people have been asking if these cameras are a real alternative to Nikon and Canon in a professional world. A hard question to answer when not in context, however, I would still say that Nikon and Canon have both the Wedding and Sports areas wrapped up, and lets put Hasselblad and such aside for a moment. In the Fashion + Art worlds, Canon and Nikon no longer have the best cameras, no longer are they safe. People like Sigma & Fuji are quite rightly fighting back. The New Global Vision range from Sigma is astonishingly different from the glass of old and Fuji, well.. Fuji is just creating a new brand of ‘Billinghamesque’ style and chic with the X-Series of cameras. I just adore everything about the new range.
This shoot was all shot with a Single Light (sometimes used as a strobe and sometimes constant (400ww head)) Modified using a Westcott Apollo softbox. But I will leave you to guess which photo was taken on which camera, I don’t really want to go down the pixel peeping route, thus won’t be posting high res images…
Oh.. I used a whole range of X-Pro glass, and Pocket wizards for all the triggers on both the Sigma & Fuji Cameras. I used the 50mm F1.4 Sigma lens for the Sigma SD1M
What a year !! Totally insane….. Where to start.. Well.. I took this ?
That was fun !! In 2012 I shot with all the new cameras and what a year it was for new cameras indeed.. the D800, the D600 the 5D mark 3 the 6D, the 1Dx, the 1DC, before even starting on the Fuji’s.. I guess some of them were 2011, but who is counting. For me the CSC camera really took hold in Marrakech and New York city. Talking of new things in fact, both Marrakech and NYC were added to the list of cities traveled as well as Washington DC in 2012. RMG added myself of creative’s they look after and Westcott took me on as a Westcott Pro. Sigma and I did a joint workshop with Advanced Photographer, Nikon Magazine N-Photo and I did a rather cool shoot at Stoneleigh Abbey. The Duotone article for Practical Photoshop was a great hit and had many follow up articles looking at editing on the road and editing styles for clients. Photo Pro ended up with many interesting articles looking at portfolio and such. February will see the Fuji shot Cover of Photo Pro which will be interesting ! Almost three Covers for them this year so good news on that front. Digital Camera magazine asked me to write a little wrap up column for them about a photograph I admire. I choose of of Neil Snape’s amazing photographs.
Which . .. .
Takes me into the subject of 2013, ish… So some people take photos and some people make photos. In the article about Mr Snape’s amazing image I spoke about the wonderful balance in the particular shot and how these things are hallmarks of world class photographers. I have noted that my photography over all lacks some things that great photographers like Francois Berthier, Patrick Demarchelier, Tess Feuilhade, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Cecil Beaton, Peter Lindbergh have. They seem to have this skill to arrange, create, nurture , cultivate feelings and emotions. It sounds crass, but like a puppeteer performing, pulling the strings above the expected audience. We see the images, we love the images I love the images, but .. I am beginning to really feel a great admiration for how these images are taken. Anyone can use a camera, anyone can do what these people have done, but.. the thing that sets them apart is why they do it. For me.. this gives them the edge and the room to be in the mental space one is needed to be in to totally give your self to the art. These people show us that Photography is one thing, but the Art of the Photographer is something next level.
They had the total trust of the camera to work with them and not against them, to use it as a way to express rather than a tool to impress. This is something I am really going to take forward with my own work this year. In the deepest possible way, trying be a photographer maybe is the wrong mental head-space Maybe… one is a photographer anyway and should just deal with it. Well, that makes sense to me anyway. I think I am trying to say, I am who I am, the label should not matter and just do what you need to do.
This was really a great year in terms of portfolio shots. I have had some great help and been in some fun places to get them shot. Shooting the beach images with the Horse was totally a nightmare, but, worth it I think. Shooting the Pool shots with Laura & Mark was fun, almost trashing a D3x into a swimming pool was interesting as was almost dropping a Pentax into the sea. Sigma have been totally nice to me this year and I think I now have shot with and used every lens they make. So big thank you to Ray & Paul over at Sigma. The SD1 has been outstanding also, quite the rare and interesting camera for when you need that x-factor. Sigma have had quite the interesting year actually and totally worth a note. The new range leadership at SIGMA JAPAN seem to of really been working hard and the new Line up of Art lenses look set to be real game changers when it comes to quality and design. the 35mm f1.4 is quite frankly stunning on every level and a marked step up from any other lense they make. Considering I rate the 105mm 2.8 the best lens ever made, that is quite some praise. I just really hope they release the 120-300mm 2.8, 105mm and 70-200mm pretty soon !
I am not sure of the truth of this.. But I think this is first Cover of a photographic magazine using the X-Pro ?? Not sure.. I am sure If I am wrong someone will comment . Either way it was pretty fun to shoot. The lighting was a careful Mix of Westcott and the Orbis. I know it was released this yea, but it was taken last..
Fuji have been super busy making some major noise on the CSC front, again.. thank you to Fuji for being super nice to me ! Major noise for the lack of noise I should say, and when there is noise…. it’s nice. The update to the X-pro was just amazing in two ways. I guess it show the amazing pressure they are on to get the camera on the market, that they could make such a big upgrade for it ? Why not get in right first time out ? Anyway. the very start of the new year so the announcement of another camera. the X100s, it looks pretty amazing on the write up, the new focus systems are pretty amazing and sounds pretty much like the system I asked for on my last review….. I may have to contact my lawyers about that one in fact Maybe they should just call the the New X-Pro the DKP signature edition… but yes, it looks like we now have a split screen focus system for a digital camera, I have not had my hands on one yet.. but.. rest assured I have already left a voice mail with Fuji HQ. The X-pro was just so suited to the streets of NY, it was just about the perfect camera.
So the other two covers for Photo Pro…
For now I am off to try and make a 2012 gallery. I think one photo for each month might be a fun project. We wish you all the best for the coming year and in which I turn the grand 30. Let’ all really make this count. I for one have a clear aim and goal in mind to setting my work up and really pushing my self. I would love to say more about my plans.. but one must wait.
We shot this summery shoot quite a while ago now, the shoot was put together by Chloe-Jasmine for me to test out the new Canon 5d Mark3 and the new Nikon D800. As you might of well guessed, both cameras are pretty stunning. All these shots are from the Canon. There will be a review of both the cameras soon.
We shot these using Sigma lenses in the orchard , we pretty much used the RAZOR sharp Sigma 105mm for all of these shots the wider shots are using the 28mm Sigma lens. The 105mm and Mark 3 are an amazing combination. The super fast camera and focus system is very trusting.
Model: Laura Eve Thyer, Chloe-Jasmine & Sarah Beaufoy
South Petherton | Somerset
The 5d Mark 3 is one of the most responsive cameras to date and has the best focus systems I have ever used. Combined with a sensible file size, amazing high ISO performance, clarity, tonal gradation and wonderful colour balancing Canon have maybe created the best ever all round camera. The Canon is pure joy to use. Getting usable files at 12,800ISO is nice, but, last year I don’t think I took many files over 1600ISO. Video tends to be shot at Higher ISO’s on average due to the different photographic styles needed for video and film, meaning the 5d 3 needed to excel in this area to keep the huge indie film maker fan base happy. No one will be disappointed with this new camera . . . Super fast, super responsive, super sharp and being able to confidently deal with anything. The 5d mark 3 could be a camera that will improve your photography. Being able to forget about the camera and being able to think in a purely creative direction. The 5dm3 is nothing remarkable, nothing to really get excited about, on paper it seems unimpressive, however, this is one of the most refined cameras on the market today and will be loved for many years to come because of this. It is totally on my shopping list . . . A wise investment.
On the day of the shoot we had be blessed with the most amazing sunshine. Sarah Beaufoy had arranged with Chloe-Jasmine to be able to shoot in the most stunning Blossom orchard, Lizzie Conner supplied the wonderful dresses and styling. Having such bright back lighting was amazing as the the bright blown-out details just looked amazing when shooting at 2.8 on the 105mm Sigma. I used my trusty Duotone editing process to remove some colour and warm the overall look to give them a nice golden yellow feeling.
FOCUS ON IMAGING is Europe’s biggest annual imaging show, covering all your needs from image capture through to output and beyond. Whether you are a professional image maker or processor, a buyer of image making equipment or materials, a manufacturer or distributor of products or a keen hobbyist, a visit to FOCUS ON IMAGING is a must.
Over 200 exhibitors and product launches galore – - So the Website says.
So, Was it all worth it ?
Well. its free (if you sign up before the event) So its off to a good start at least. For me personally, I had an amazing few days, running about meeting people, making deals, seeing new toys, shaking hands, seeing demo’s and having a bit of a geeky time.
Canon deemed the event unworthy of there attendance, the word on the street was that since they do not have a new product to show, what’s the point in coming. Maybe to save face with your current clients who spend hard earned money with you ? Its like Cadburys not being at a Chocolate Show. Canon lose points. Hasselblad did not attend either, it was a shame, but more understandable. It would of been nice to see Apple there too. Sony had a HUGE stand with a very over the top runway event. Sony seem to think they were still in Japan. Sony still don’t have a camera to make me think of shooting with one, but give it a couple of years. The cameras have some impressive functions and toys, they just need refining a little for me. Pentex had a whole range of new cameras and the new digital back camera, but I never stopped to check them out, sorry ! i was really busy !! I did check out the great new range from Lumix, very nice indeed!!
so who did turn up and brought cool things? Well, Nikon had another new camera aimed in the middle of the range, the D7000. I would still put my money in the D90 , D700 or D3 though. Anything smaller than the D90 would see me going to see the chaps at the Lumix stand. One of the coolest new things I was shown was not even on show. While taking to the chaps on the Orbis stand (please do check them out - http://www.orbisflash.com/ ) I was introduced to Eddie. Eddie is part of the new Tripod range from the 3 LEGGED THING company.
I am awaiting my very own Eddie very soon. There are two others in the new carbon fibre range, Jimmy and Brian. Jimmy is the bigger brother and Brain a smaller more compact and lighter version, check the site our for more info. http://www.3leggedthing.com . I really should say a very big thank you to the very lovely Album Epoca team. This year I was asked to supply some photos for there new range of books. I designed the books and sent them off to be printed and never saw them until they were on display at the trade show, so I was very keen to how they printed up. I have to be honest and, yes.. even though they are my photos, I was taken back a little by the quality of the books and the print. Even the other printing companies were a little interested in seeing the quality of the print. They have over 400 styles of covers and the best print quality I have seen in a wedding book. No, there not the cheapest, but you can see where your money is going. Seeing Flavio Bandiera’s work in these books is a joy, but, seeing my work next to his, well, is a slightly bigger joy to say the least. Do check out the Album Epcoa website and check out there amazing work.
[SinglePic not found]
[SinglePic not found]
I had a very long chat with the people at the Royal Photographic Society and the BIPPm trying to work out which is best for me, I have a feeling the RPS are much more suited for my needs and we have been talking workshops amongst other things.
Topaz Labs and Portrait Professional were there showing some cool new plug in software for quick easy edits, I did stop and have a chat with the guys. Topaz were very impressive and very busy, they must be very happy with there results from the show. They have some clever software and slick demo’s to show it off. Lovely guys and best of luck to them. NIK software were there too, I had a long chat with there Marketing Manager and hope to bring you some very good news very soon, for me NIK have the edge with there stunning, well made range of products. After a couple more meetings I am sure there will be some amazing news!! Its safe to say I think they had the edge on all the other “plug in” type products on display. The Topaz Masking tools (Masking 3) are very very nice though. The Topaz Labs programs seem more for creative style then NIK Software.
Inside Focus, an exhibitor’s Perspective, from James Madelin, inventor of the orbis® ringflash and frio™ hotshoe adapter:
“Focus 2011 was a big step up from last year… with many more photographers dropping by our stand to catch up, watch orbis® and frio™ demos and generally hang out and talk about all things lighting, tweeting and more (not forgetting the all-important topic “cake.”)
Tradeshows are great fun from the perspective of an exhibitor. It’s massively exciting to have a chance to hang out with such a diverse range of photographers in one place over a few days, and the atmosphere from our demo team was almost like I’d imagine a music tour might be, with everyone sharing nicknames and in-jokes by the last evening. Exhausting and energising in equal measure. I got to shoot some photos too, which is something I never feel I do enough.
Bring on Focus 2012 !
Damien Lovegrove had his new coffee table book on display of the extremely gorgeous Chloe Jasmine Whichello. Chloe came down on the Tuesday to hang out and say hello, we caught up a little and had a look around , it didn’t take us long to find Starbucks.
Damien :- My first art or coffee table book will be officially launched at the end of March. The book titled ‘Chloe-Jasmine Whichello’ was shot over four and a half months in the second half of 2010. There are punchy street portraits, high class fashion shots and delicate art nudes among the 160 or so photographs of the fabulous C-J. The first 1000 copies of this lavish edition will contain one of five signed and numbered archival prints each in a limited edition of 200. The first 1000 books will also be numbered themselves and signed by Chloe and I.
Standard Edition Price: £49.95 (Pre-order)
Special Edition: Available from FloppyChicken.com
Another little highlight was meeting the incredibly talented Steve Kraitt. He was not at the show, but myself and Chloe bumped into him at the Lovegrove stand. If you not know Steve’s work, I urge you to go and check his work out. Have a look at http://www.kraitt.com/
To sum up, Its just like walking around a very large Calumet store to be honest, but, its also a fantastic chance to see more products in a great way to compare them. It is also, a fantastic chance to network. As you might well guess if you did come to the event. Its set up to sell, and sell alot. Calumet, Jessops and Jacobs were all there with a whole host of the smaller trade show sales shops. You could lose lots of money very quickly indeed. Especially if you went to the Phase One or Fuji stands. The Colour correction and printer company were there in force with Fuji and Epson taking the Key spots. The event is set up to sell and provide to wedding photographers, this means that the wedding album printers are all there and all have very busy stands. (Album Epoca are the best – because they use my work in the demo books ! I have to say it !!)
I would love to see Focus really focus on photography and photographers a little bit more, it would be fantastic to see the Arts world a little bit more represented at these sorts of shows, I say get some local artists to show work !! A nice gallery would not go a-miss at a photography event !! I shall leave you with a the very lovley Vicki Blatchley modelling a Brian the tripod from 3 Legged thing.
[SinglePic not found]