Ashley Morrison's Blog

January 18, 2016

Everyone sees things differently and sees different things.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 1:45 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I believe, and would therefore often say to others, that everyone sees things differently and sees different things too, when they look at my work or anyone else’s pictures.

And so it’s what you see or what other people see, rather than what I see, that I have spent most of my life trying to figure-out – as photography is what I do in an attempt to make a living – as I try to create the type of images that they and possibly others too, would want to use, using light to tell the story.

So for me, as a photographer, lighting is often the first thing that I will see or will look at.
(Because obviously, one needs light to take a picture – because without it, the camera or recording device that you are using, would not record anything – so all that you would get in the end is a black picture or image)

So light is obviously very important – and being able to control that, has therefore been one of the many things I have spent my time over the past 30 years trying to master.

However, I know that light is just one of the many things that could make a big difference, so it’s by no means the only thing – and so that leads me to what I’m about to show and talk about here today.

When I am shooting a home, which I’m hoping that an Editor from a National magazine will want to feature, the goal would normally be to produce about 15 images as I know they will at least want to use 10 images – and so, I would usually put a full day aside to take those pictures.

“A full day to take 15 pictures”, I hear you say – “flip me, I could shoot the entire house in less than 30 minutes, as shooting a few rooms isn’t very hard to do.”

And you would be right – because taking some pictures is easy and I too could easily shoot an entire house in less 30 minutes.
However, producing or creating the type of images that someone like an Editor from a National magazine will actually want to use – and would, therefore, be willing to pay me some money for the use of them – is very different to just taking some picture that others could use if they wanted to, as almost any type of image would good enough in that case, if that was really all that I had to do.

Which basically means that I know that I may have to do a lot more than just take some pictures of whatever happens to be there – because what the camera often records, doesn’t always look as good as what my eyes see or what my brain records when I look around a room.

To help illustrate what I mean – which should also help explain why it would take me so long to shoot a home, as well as why I’d possibly charge a lot more for the use of my work than many others would – I’m simply going to let you see the set of captures that lead up to this one image…
The sitting room in Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. of this sitting room in Jillian’s former Fisherman’s Cottage, which we shot last week in the County Down village of Groomsport.

To my eye, I can assure you it looked great – however, as you can see from this first picture that was taken…
The first picture taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. it appeared very dark on screen – which was mainly due to the weather outside, as it was raining at the time.

Plus the windows – which were very much in keeping with this type house – were relatively small and deeply set in the 2 feet thick walls so not a lot of natural light would pour in, even at the best of times I reckon.

Anyway, that was my starting point – and so as I knew that this would probably be the lead shot or the one that an Editor would want to go big with at the start of the feature – then it was pretty obvious that I and my team were going to need to do a lot here, should we want to achieve our goal. Which was of course, not just to see if I could take a picture, but was to see if I could produce an image (or set of images in this case) that an Editor from a National magazine would want to use… and naturally want to use badly enough, that she would be willing to pay me something for the use of them too smile

Because at the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, photography is all about trying to make some money – as this is what I do for a living – rather than for a hobby or for the fun of it.
So if you don’t see me smiling or looking like I’m having a load of fun, that’s because I’m totally focused on my goal – which I know I need to be, if I’m to succeed – because no one has ever paid me for excuses, only for results Smile​

So this is why I’d ask Marie to help me – and often someone else too, like Claudio here, in this case, to help both of us – because people only pay me for what they want to use, not for me to do the actual work for them.
Which means I know I need to produce some images that they will actually want to use, if I’m expecting them to pay me anything afterward​, for the use of our work.

The chicken or the egg, which comes first… type of thing.

Anyway, they say a picture is worth a thousand words – so since I’m obviously rambling on here about all sorts of different things and I know, as I said at the start, “that everyone sees things differently and sees different things too”, when they look at my work – and many of you who are reading this, will be looking at it for very different reasons too, then I’m now just going to let the pictures speak for themselves, to let you see what all we did here.

And for those of you who would often ask me questions about what all I do, because you would like to do this type of work too – I would suggest as you look at each ccaptured​ frame below, you ask your self what would you have done next, if that was the image that appeared on your screen, after you had taken the picture – because it’s what you would have done next (rather than what we did here) that would result in your image looking different – be it a lot different or just a little bit different in the end… because everyone sees things differently and sees different things too smile

Anyway, I have said enough, so I’ll let you enjoy putting the words to the pictures – as I’m quite sure what you will see here is not what I see…
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
One of the first pictures taken in the sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
The sitting room of Jillian Espey's former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport.
.. which just leaves me to say a big thanks to Jillian here…
Jillian Espey at the dining table in the kitchen of her former Fisherman's Cottage in the County Down village of Groomsport..
.. for not only inviting us in but also for putting up with us, as we turned her beautiful house upside down Smile​

All of which should also let you see why ​it takes us a full day to shoot a home – and why the amount that I would charge for the use of our work, would therefore naturally be reflexed in all of this too.

Cheers
Ashley
www.ampimage.com

Advertisements

January 30, 2015

As easy as 123.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 7:45 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

They say ‘Amateurs talk about equipment, Pros talk about money and Masters talk about light’ – which is in some ways is true; however, I reckon most photographers will actually talk about all three, because each is important to them – as most know, one is only as good as the weakest link.

Anyway, today I’m going to talk a bit about lighting – which is something I’ve spend the last 30 years trying to master, as a photographer – who according to Wikipedia:

A photographer [the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”] is a person who takes photographs.

Anyway, at this time of year, the days are short here in Ireland and it’s not always ideal weather neither, as it often dark & very grey outside – which therefore naturally effects how it looks indoors too. Which was very much the case last week, when we were shooting this 1920’s detached house in Belfast, as you can see here in the 1st frame…
The natural light in the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. which I took to see what the room looked like first, naturally lit.

Then in this 2nd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added a directional light, while Marie starts to tweak a few things in front of the camera.

And in this 3rd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added some fill light… and there you basically have it.

Well almost – as that was really only the start of it, as there were about another 30 minutes of the girls playing around before we finally asked Megan to strike the pose here…
Megan Edgar in the sitting room of her 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. by which stage, it had been ‘styled to within an inch of your life’ as Marie would say – but that’s another story for another day Smile

So by no means ideal light; however, it was as simple as one…
The natural light in the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. two…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. three…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. and after 30 years of practicing – as well as the odd wee tweak here & thereby Marie who also makes it all look so simple to do – we had the next shot of the dining room here…
The dining room in Megan and Bryan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. in the bag.

And so it was throughout this house – 123, 123, 123 next smile

It was just the 4, 5 & 6 parts that slow us down – but nevertheless, what a great house – so just like to say big thanks to Megan and Bryan here for inviting us in and we will keep you posted once we hear more.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com near Stormont Park in Belfast.

December 10, 2013

There are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject…

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 3:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

.. so here are just a few, which we produced of these beautiful Hammam beach / bath & hand towels, over the past few months down at the beach…
Hammam beach towel
.. in bathrooms…
Hammam beach towel
.. hanging over a towel rail…
Hammam beach towel
.. on a wash hand basin…
Hammam beach towel
.. on a kitchen work top…
Hammam beach towel
.. and even being used as a table cloth…
Hammam beach towel
.. as each image tells a different story – all be it of the exact same thing.

So when someone says, can you take a picture of ‘my thing’ and how much will that cost, you can see why I would then usually start to ask them questions, as it’s not just as simple as saying “oh that will be £…”.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what words would you like me to say – or more importantly, what words do you need me to say when I’m telling this story using my camera and lights?

Will one picture do or do we need to take a few different pictures to complete the story – and so then comes the questions about the use, and what all are you planning on using the images for: in which media, for how long and where in the world or who in the world are we writing to here ??

Lots of questions, because as you can see from this example, there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject… even one as simple as a towel.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts for today, which I thought I’d share with you – as well as letting you see some recent examples of what we have been up to.

Hammam towels…
Hammam beach towel
.. available from Natural Calico of course 🙂

Blog at WordPress.com.