AM Industrial Photoshoot

Today was a new experience in product photography.
AM Industrial manufacture pipe inspection cameras ranging from push rod systems to remote control cameras that power through sewage to give eyes into the unknown world of drainage.

Using my 7D with 18-55mm lens I was set up in close quarters of the showroom. Using a fluorescent mains power light to illuminate the background and my Canon 430-EX paired with the on board 7D sync to bring out the products.

Powering through the day photographing around 20 products from all angles, the main thing I learnt was timing. My initial thoughts were once the lighting and camera settings were established it would be a quick job to switch products and get into a good momentum. Oh how wrong I was.
It’s a very long day as I made sure every shot form every angle was done with a change in lighting (adjusting the aperture) as a contingency if some lightings produced better shots.

I did use a clever iPad app to plan the lighting and placement of my shot. ‘Celtx Shots’ is easy to use and was a great visual aid for pre-production. I will definitely be using this for all my photography shots and videography projects from now on.

The editing process on Adobe Photoshoot will be long as it will be extracting the background to create transparent backgrounds for the images to be used in catalogues.

Thoughts and review of editing will be in later blog post.


NAGS (Newton Academy for Girls in Science)

NAGS is a scheme for girls aged 10-11 (Year 6) which helps introduce them to everything fun about science and its capabilities. It’s in partnership with the University of Lincoln, The Lincoln UTC, Vex Robotics, Singleton Birch, Siemens and WiSE@Lincoln.

I aided with filming on the day using the incredible Canon C100 with Steve Smith. We were filming for John Stacy, the College Marketing Manager for the College of Science, capturing the essence of the day as the girls started in the computer science labs building remote controlled robots, and later programming them to run mazes unmanned.

Using the C100 was an interesting learning experience as I picked it up quite easy being from a Canon background. The only time consuming aspect was it only having prime lenses, so for close ups and wides we were constantly interchanging lenses to suit the shot.

For a few shots we used a simple Marantz and boom mic to capture opening and closing talks to summate the day.

The launch event went swimmingly and the girls really enjoyed their time exploring science.

Video to come soon.

JUST Lincolnshire & Total Voice Lincolnshire

I’ve begun volunteering for a local organisation in Lincoln, by contributing my skills in videography by filming and editing for JUST Lincolnshire.

JUST Lincolnshire aims to make a real difference to the lives of people from all backgrounds. By championing equality, tackling discrimination and celebrating the richly diverse make up of Lincolnshire.

The first project I embarked on within the media team was for Total Voice Lincolnshire which JUST Lincolnshire help out with a lot. Six people wrote a short film where they all acted out the processes of, and understanding, how to fill in a new government form PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

The PIP form can present some confusion around specific entitlements to people with different abilities and their current entitlements. Hence, why it was a great way to demonstrate it on film from people with learning disabilities for other people with learning disabilities to understand.

It was a fun day using a simple set up of 2 x Panasonic 151, and a boom mic. One for wide shots and another for close ups. I headed up one camera with Steve Smith on the other, and Tiffany Freeman on sound. Myself and Steve planned and set up the shots adapting to the room capabilities and the mix match of natural light from windows and fluorescent ceiling lights.

Credit to Steve Smith for editing, especially with a few colour correction issues surrounding the mixed lighting throwing the white balance off.

Seeing the enjoyment from the group was heart warming and taught me a lot of patience for actors with different learning abilities. Definitely looking forward to the next media team project with JUST Lincolnshire and Total Voice Lincolnshire!

Link to video available soon, awaiting permissions.

The Gemini Project

This project was set up, by Hazel Donnelly at New Media Lincs, to work with the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Arts Collective Service. Long name I know but they’re a great organisation that focus on mental health patients and their rehabilitation through the arts.

The Gemini Project is headed up by Terry Overton and has been running since 1995 takes on a new creative challenge each year. Over the summer of 2013 they began creating mosaics to decorate and brighten up a once dull courtyard at Discovery House, Lincoln.

My role in this project was to capture journey they all took in planning, drawing, preparing the mosaics, cutting and sticking, planting them in the courtyard and most importantly the journey of their rehabilitation.

Shot almost completely on my Canon 7D, with a time lapse shot constructed using a GoPro Hero 2. Capturing The Gemini Project was a collaboration with Jess Brear who focused mainly on the interviews with the organisers of the project.

I creatively set the tone for the 10 minute documentary exploring different camera angles to portray the narrative. A reoccurring issue of censorship arose a few times with some patients not wanting to be on any footage at all. Mitigating this risk was easily done a few times by giving them the camera to have a play with and understand what we’re filming. This ensured they weren’t in that direct footage and also kept them engaged and didn’t single them out of the project.

The finished documentary was showcased at an NHS exhibition day, in Lincoln’s Showroom, for health care and the arts within the NHS.

You can view it here.

Next In 2014 The Gemini Project is focusing on making elaborate hats and bonnets.


At first glance, Sergio Figliolia appears to have photographed quiet areas with carefully lit lampposts. Until you read his concept behind it.


He argues that the lamposts are ‘the only incarnation of public services’. He argues that the light is an ongoing battle between humans and nature, each lamppost is like a safe refuge. He goes on to say the lampposts are like flags we humans have placed in victory after completing a short conquest over the dark.

Figliolia’s approach to production is inspiring to me. I can almost see his thought process in his head. He obviously sees lampposts a lot and began to create a metaphor for them, like alternate symbol. He then went out and captured the common lampposts in desolate areas to accentuate his new symbolism. Then with the accompanying words he reinforces his thoughts on the subject.

This is definitely something I need to develop in my work: creating the back story behind the photographs. Something to trigger different emotions from the images and/or reinforce what is already apparent within them.

Street Ghosts

In a nutshell, Paolo Cirio, spotted silhouettes of people on Google maps’ Street View, printed them life sized and stuck them on the wall closest to where they were originally captured by the Google car.


Probably the first thing that comes to your mind is ethics. How is it ethically correct for Google to display images, without consent, of us in the public realm? At least they blur out faces though, that makes it all ok right?
Or, how is it ethically correct to print out images of people without consent, even if their faces are censored? Well thanks to Google publishing them to the public realm, there isn’t much you can do. Anyone can access these photos.

Paolo Cirio, using Google’s free online mapping service, took screenshots of random people and blew them up to make life sized cut outs which he then pasted onto walls in the original location spotted on Google Maps’ Street View.

This is touching on the fact that it is impossible to photograph streets, during the day, without people occupying them. The world we live in is massively inhibited and overflowing with humans, so much so that we can’t walk down the street without seeing another person. Google had to adapt to this by censoring people’s faces, a simpler solution to photoshoping them out completely.


Cirio is questioning if we actually accept being photographed by Google, as we never signed any disclaimers or were never approached for us to decline.
By posting these photos, Cirio is hoping the subject returns to the same spot and sees themselves. What would you do if you saw yourself printed onto a wall of the corner shop you pass every day?

On the other hand, I have friends who embraced their shot on Street View, so much so they used it as their social media’s profile pictures.
I guess it comes into another debate about background ethics, age and the media affecting them. Put loosely, the elder generation tend to be more reserved about social media engagement compared to younger people.

Carabanchel Prison

Prisons, Hospitals and Masions have always had a distinct eerie presence about them, once  they have been vacated and left to rot. There is also a large influx of Urban Explorer’s content surrounding these types of buildings, which has inevitably diluted the impact of the buildings through photographic presentation.

Jean-Yves Gargadennec visited Carabanchel prison, Madrid, and had a guided tour which provoked feelings similar to that of the previous inmates: “I felt confined by the repetition of bars and doors”.

carabanchel prison

The clean, minimal editing approach to documenting this building is refreshing, compared to the numerous filters, high contrast and HDR effects Urban Explorers use. Gargadennec captured the raw feeling with method, using a box camera.

Gargadennec not only photographed the building and its rooms in a simple documentary format, but he went further than the typical Urban Explorers method and met some of the victims of the prisoners. This gave a lot mroe feeling and depth to the series of images, in comparison to Urban Explorers standing in their own photos, or photographing each other.


It seems Gargadennec wanted to express the initial feelings he felt, upon visiting the prison, with his audience rather than just photographing an abandonned building for personal pleasure, and using the images as accolades to show off their explorations.