Some personal projects

01st May 2014
I thought I should let people see some of the other stuff I do and have done, so I've added a new portfolio to the Gallery Section, and here's a short background about some of the photos & projects.

I've loads I can chat about, but here's just a few to give an idea of some of the projects & shoots that I could lay my hands on quickly.

I've passed as Licentiate (got an "L" as they say) with The Royal Photographic Society and also with The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers. I have other qualifications on the go at varying stages... but I have been deliberately trying to use personal projects for my training & development these days. Keeping my official Wedding work separate.

The 2 photos below are from my panel I submitted to The Royal Photographic Society for my "L".
There has to be a cohesion between all the photos... good symetry and printing has to be flawless. Absolutely no burned out highlights or blacked out shadows.
I had 9 photos ready with the portrait of Shamey top centre... I was one people photo short to sit underneath Shamey and complete the set, so the day before the panel was to get assessed, Ali & Annie posed for me in our living room. I had the idea of a mother/daughter relationship picture. Their two looks are real and natural. Sometimes you just let people sitting for you do their own thing.
They all had to be printed & mounted. I attended the qualification panel at Birmingham. The judges paused when my panel was put up and they pointed at the Ali/Annie print. I could hear them mumbling.
I started to panic - had I made rushed printing errors ?
Turns out they just loved the photo - "one of the best of the day" they said. Phew..... Passed lol

My "Death of a Clown" photo came about by me planning to do a full 40 photo story book which I could edit down as my application for an Associatship with one of those top Photographic bodies.
I have 2 or 3 such projects at varying degrees of being completed (or not as the case might be).

It's always interesting to push that bit further. And I'm always learning something new. I might try a weird off camera flash set up during a Project shoot that I can use every weekend at my weddings, and visa-versa.

I don't see myself as a great photographer, but more of a busy one. Just doing what I do and learning as I go.
In fact I wouldn't say I was great, good or whatever. I just know that I'm better than me last year... and a lot better than me 5 years ago.
I know as well that the photos I currently think are good, I'll probably want to hide them away in a year or so.
I've just spent a few hundred pounds on new sample wedding albums as my current ones date back to 2010 and I shoot weddings a whole different way now.
I suppose that's personal progress ?

So here's a small sample of pix, I'll add more to the Gallery Portfolio when I get a chance to pull more out of the archives.

If anyone would like to know camera or flash set-ups of any of my photos... just ask me... drop me a line. If I see a photo from anyone else I like the look of, I always try to find out from them how they did it - and what was in their mind when they set up that way.
It's good to share :)

East Fortune Hospital, shot on an old Canon A1 35mm film camera. I do a lot of film work still. Having to manual focus, and set manual exposure, not seeing the photos straight away - and only having 24 or 36 photos to take keeps your photo wits about you. Switching back to full on digital then makes you realise how lucky we are to have such great tech these days.

Another visit to East Fortune. I must add. I always let The Police know I'm on site there, and have written to the owners for official access. It's not the kind of site for just wandering in. There are many real dangers there.
Anyhoos , scaremongering out the way, it was on this visit that I came across a very small brick hut, in a state of pure mess, and instantly saw the potential of a good photo here...

Excuse the shaky photo here. It's just to show what I saw, and captured with a very slow shutter speed on my Fuji...

And from that photo I shot the "Death of a Clown" pic.
I'm normally right against photographers that chuck a black and white variant of a photo into the mix, as if they can't make up their mind what to do with it... but I'm exactly the same on this one.
Torn 50/50 as to what one I like best... full colour or almost black and white... what do you think ?

Runaways and Scared kids !
Here's some out and about street photos featuring Makala and my Annie...

The Sphere Project.
This was one of those projects that got me excited for an hour or so... then by the time the shots were in the camera I thought they were just daft.
Still... it's something different, that's for sure...

Some still life.
People photography is my main love... but sometimes it's nice to shoot stuff that doesn't move.

The Calender Shoots
I did a series of shoots with local kids, that we made into a calender. Great fun, and all the kids were right into it, all playing their parts really well.

Some official portraits...
People posing for me for all the right reasons, used for PR, Marketing, and web sites.

Loony Dook 2012
I was just out of hospital, having spent 2 weeks fighting off surgeons who wanted to get a medal for whipping out my insides due to a severe Colitis attack.
Lost a lot of weight and could hardly walk... but still managed to stand in the sea up to my waist for 20 minutes longer than anyone else to get some photos.
Anyone that greets about how tough it is... ppfffftttttt :)

Some of the cooler kids...
Ok , maybe not all kids, but it's nice to pull in some friends and get a groovy photo or two out of them.

And a self portrait taken on New Years Day. No boozin' the night before, so a nice clear head to start 2014...

Awwww my kittens !
Pet photography can be good fun. I say can, as most often it is a major pain the but.
If you plan on taking photos of your own pets, get them used to it early on. Lost count how often I'd hear owners tell me in the studio "Oh he's normally very well behaved." as their dog runs around not sitting still anywhere, let alone in front of a camera. It's defo true what they say about animals & children :)

And finally for just now... finishing on some low tech photography.
Last week I put a roll of Ilford SFX200 35mm film into the Canon A1 and set a target to use it up within 2 days. Develop it, and get the negs scanned in.

A few favourite shots from that roll of film... nothing special about them... but it's what I got last week on that 36 exposure project...

The Canon A1 has a lever so that if you want to do a double exposure, you slide it along, so when you wind the film on, all you're really doing is priming the shutter... I must have hit that by mistake when I took these "two" photos of a Preacher type guy on Edinburgh's Royal Mile... the first when he was being bothered by a hen party lass wanting a photo with him, the second when he spun around to face me... there's something about the whole action I like...

Finishing with my mum & dad. Still a constant source of inspiration & encouragement. Allowing me to set up a darkroom in The Eden Hotel , in the small room opposite the gents toilet in the mid 1980's.

Thanks for checking in folks.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.



Photo comment By m tait: very talented,really enjoyed looking through them.
Photo comment By margaret: I was dreading the closeness of the pictures but I think it is great shows the love and growing old is all part of life.Well done Grahame. Mummy xx

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