Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do You Make These Classic Photoshop Mistakes?

Do You Make These Classic Photoshop Mistakes?

We’ll fix it in post...

Steenbeck - how films were cut in ye olden days.

Having just been shooting and posting for a TV commercial and a photo shoot, I got to thinking about something... and the sentence that I hear so often in both mediums, which is “We’ll fix it in post”.

Now, let me clarify right off the bat that I am not a purist who thinks that editing should only be done on a Moviola or Steenbeck (even though I do view ‘them good ol’ days’ as a golden era and the process as a lost art new generations can only imagine)... nor am I of the opinion that all photography belongs in the linear form of film and dark rooms.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let Me In v Let The Right One In

The Swedish original 'Let The Right One In' was one of the best films I saw last year. I cringed and my toes curled when I heard that Hollywood was doing its usual trick of lifting a successful foreign language film and remaking it (or, as they like to call it 're-imagining it'!) into a pale form of the predecessor. My reaction was amplified when I then heard about the title change because (apparently) the original title was too long for US audiences.

I recently read a very favourable review for this 're-imagining', I liked Cloe Moretz in Kick-Ass and now I've watched the trailer. I just know I'm going to be suckered into watching this... but will it be a full-blooded remake or an anemic copy?

And, for good measure, here's the trailer for the original movie, a brilliant film that really gets under your skin and remains with you long after the end credits have rolled:

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Tighter deadlines begin at 40!

I have been wanting to blog for quite a while but the last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic to say the least. Since the 12th of September I’ve had a magazine photo shoot, I turned 40, had to process the photo shoot pics, been extraordinarily busy at the agency as we prepare for a big, intensive campaign for one of our biggest clients, had a surprise party thrown for my said milestone birthday (thanks to my very cunning wife) and had a TV commercial to produce and direct at very short notice. There’s another TV commercial to do in the coming week or so, too. Deadlines lately have been nail-bitingly short and there’s more I’m aware of waiting for me on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The plastic-fantastic

Not so long ago I decided to buy the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 USM lens. I wanted a ‘standard’ portrait lens that was fast because I love shallow depth of field to isolate or emphasise a subject and am also a big fan of bokeh. Just getting back into the game of photography, I also didn’t want to splash out a lot until I really know what I want.

When the lens first arrived in the post, I almost feared that the box was empty it was so light. When I unpacked it and had a look at it in my hands, my heart sank. I felt I had bought a right piece of crap to be honest and, rather than feel I had gotten something decent for the amount spent, regarded the money well and truly pissed up the proverbial wall.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back on the screenplay treadmill

PCKNAEZ3C2ME Back in 2005 / 6 I had a feature project called ‘Shadows’, based on a screenplay I had written, almost ready to go. The potential financing package fell through and the producer at the time suggested looking at other means of getting the project into production.

By then, two things were happening in my life that prompted me to put the project, and filmmaking in general, on the back burner. First and foremost, my wife was pregnant with our first (and only) child. Added to this, we had become heirs to a dilapidated 400 year old farmhouse that we decided would become our home. The task was immense. It was clear that I couldn’t focus on a film project properly with these things happening in my life... and I certainly wasn’t going to pack my bags and disappear for a year playing movie-maker while leaving my wife with a new-born baby to contend with and the renovation of the farmhouse.

Getting up to speed - part 2

Here's the people-centric round-up of some of my work pre-blog.

Please click on the images for a bigger view.

Selections of a publicity shoot for Malta-based singer/songwriter Miriam Christine.

An experiment in creating a portrait from typography with PS (the subject was, again, Miriam Christine). Each and every feature is made of words. The words/phrases were from lyrics of the singer's past songs.

Getting up to speed - part 1

This is the first of two or three new blogs where I'll just try and do a bit of catch-up and summarise my work of the past year.

In this part, I'll show some of my photography work without people as the main focus (I thought the best way to split my work would be between people and non-people-centric work.

Please click on the pictures for a full view.

Shot taken from the prow of a Gozo Channel ferry boat in Malta. I liked the way the image, converted to black & white, kind of looks like a scene from a WWII movie.

Early test for a Lomography look in Photoshop. I was particularly drawn to the texture of the shoes and how they were being 'claimed' by nature. The old pair of shoes were left in our garden by my father-in-law. I don't think he missed them; he doesn't wear shoes very often!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

So... what’s the plan?

Now my blog is up and running (I wanted to see if the first post goes up to satisfaction before really getting going)!

As my profile and header states... I am a screenwriter, director, photographer and head of creative & audio visual production at the Malta branch of an international integrated communications agency. As well as the obvious interests such as film, books and photography, I am also a big football fan (my team is the ‘legendary’ English lower league club Southend United, but, by way of an apology, I also look out for Liverpool as my Premiership club), world food lover and a wine, malt whisky, cognac and cachaca guzzler (not always all at the same time). Oh... Southend United's nickname is 'The Shrimpers', so that will explain my blog's title.

Ramblings of a blogging virgin

I never entertained the thought about running my own blog until recently but I’ve been more and more interested in other photographer blogs... and blogs of other subjects... and it started me thinking (something actually managed to achieve that!).

Still, this blog is approached with some anticipation because I feel the other bloggers I’ve seen have much more interesting lives, more fascinating work and greater knowledge than my little self.

Doing this blog is really to serve the purpose of ‘getting out there’ from my small insular island base of Malta and Malta’s little sister island of Gozo. It certainly isn’t because I feel I have wisdom and amazing work that will serve the world as an altruistic treat by being made available on a blog.

Any way... hello blog-world.