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Archive for February, 2011

25 Feb 2011

Colin Montgomerie at Malmaison

Fund raising night for Maggies at Malmaison

After being at Deeside Golf Club, Colin was going to Malmaison on Queens Road for a champagne and canapé evening to promote the Maggies appeal. The evening hosted by BBC sports commentator, Rob McLean heard Colin Montgomerie and Colin Welsh (Chairman of the appeal committee)  explain why a Maggies centre is so important for Aberdeen. Click here to see how much their centres can help suffers and their families, and click here for more information on Monty’s Maggie’s appeal.

The committee had kindly invited Sandra and I as guests. When I got my invitation, I noticed that there were 10 raffle prizes of a photograph of Colin with the Ryder cup. I accepted the invitation and emailed asking if they had arranged the photography and offered to do this free of charge, and my offer was accepted. Malmaison Set up a room for the photography and all the prize winners came up and got their photograph taken and they will get a print sent to them. The photograph above is of Colin and Andy Roger, the General Manager of Malmaison in Aberdeen. Malmaison and Andy have been great supporters of the appeal and last year Andy and a team of  Mal staff walked 164 miles covering both the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way. Click here to read more.

Sandra was with me, and took the opportunity to get her photograph with Colin and the Ryder cup.

Click here to see all the prize winners and shots of the famous Ryder Cup.

22 Feb 2011

Colin Montgomerie at Deeside Golf Club

Colin Montgomerie forum for Deeside junior members

Last Thursday, Colin Montgomeris was back at Deeside Golf Club with the Ryder Cup. He had kindly agreed to have a question and answer session for the junior members at Deeside Golf club. Colin established a relationship with Deeside last year when there was a special tournament at Deeside with Colin to raise funds for the Maggies appeal. Click here to find out about the event and the appeal.

The junior members had some great questions and Colin is very articulate and gave them a great insight into his amazing golfing career. Doug Watson, the club captain, made a very good job of hosting the session and finished up with a rapid fire series of either or questions so all the juniors and members present could find out more about "Colin, the man, as well as the golfer"

After the Q and A session, all the children and a few of the members there lined up to have their photograph taken with Colin and the Ryder Cup. When Lucinda, his assistant saw the number in the queue, she said it would be impossible as he was on a tight schedule but we started and went very quickly and took 64 photographs in well under 10 minutes. Colin was very complementary about how quickly it was done and although I would have liked longer, at least everyone got their photograph taken. I had a background set up which was only big enough for a tight shot of 2 people so Lukas had a lot of Photoshop work to do to "add background" where required. I have already had some very positive comments about the images (see below) which we are selling on-line with 50% of the sales going to the Maggies appeal.

Click here to view all the images.

Good Morning Neil,

The photos from the Colin Montgomery Juniors session at Deeside GC are superb.
Would you let me know sizes and prices please? I’ll probably go for standard sizes for all of them apart from the threeshot (NWG2816) which we’d like enlarged – it’s brilliant.

Many thanks, Kirstin

Kirstin Gove, Communications & Media Training Manager
AVC Media Enterprises

21 Feb 2011

Rainy Day wedding at Norwood Hall

Julie and deBroy on 19th February 2011

Saturday was very wet, windy, and almost all Julie and deBroy’s photographs had to be taken inside at Norwood Hall. Fortunately this Victorian mansion has lots of character and is a good venue for photography, both inside and out. de Broy got photographed with his son, Damien, his Best Man, at the front door and at the bottom of the stairs. David was upstairs photographing Julie getting ready while I photographed all the guests, also at the bottom of the stairs, before Julie came down and got photographed with her flowergirls and Kenny (who was giving her away) before going through to the service.

After the service, Julie and deBroy received their guests in the new bar area in Norwood while I set up my lighting in the library. I was using a Quantum T5DR on a stand with an umbrella triggered by an on camera Quantum Trio which has the built in radio transmitter. Setting the camera exposure to use some of the warm available light, and throwing newspaper on the fire just before the exposure creates good warmth combined with the  "studio quality" lighting.

16 Feb 2011

Group Portrait in the Studio

Harley and Friends

David had a group of 7 girls in the studio a few weeks ago. Harley wanted a portrait of her friends before leaving for Spain. David had the music on and there was lots of laughter coming from the studio and the girls had great fun.

Our Studio is big enough for a group of 7 but on a 12 ft background, it can feel "claustrophobic" keeping a group contained to the background. Before the sitting, David and I spent some time chatting about the group shots and looked at the work of Babak, a photographer in Toronto. He had a nice group that we both liked but when we studied it, we realised that it had been created by combining individual shots. David tried this out with the girls and then combined the 7 shots using Photoshop to create a nice group with the advantage of choosing the best shot of each girl.

13 Feb 2011

Box Frames

Portrait of Miller Giles

Two weeks ago, David was talking to me about a portrait sitting where the little boy was not at his best so he arranged a second sitting and he got much better shots, the second time round. I did not realise until the viewing that the sitting was for Wendy and Bruce, who’s wedding I photographed in 2007. (Click here to see their album).

At the viewing there were several shots of Miller that Wendy and Bruce liked so instead of one large portrait, David suggested 3 box frames to hang together. and prepared a visual to show how this would look. Wendy and Bruce decided to go with this idea and less than a week later, the box frames were ready to collect.

They looked fantastic. The very narrow black moulding against the black background gives a very minimalistic look but the 2 inch deep moulding gives the depth and looks great without distracting from the image. As the shots were full frame, a smaller size was more appropriate but three of them together will create a very impressive wall display.


The day after the portraits had been collected, David got a nice email from Wendy and Bruce – see below

Good morning David,

Just a quick e-mail to let you know that we are delighted with the
pictures. They look amazing.

Thanks again.

Bruce & Wendy

We are currently working on a product brochure that we will give to all clients so they can see all the different presentation ideas there are – canvasses, box frames, acrylics, metal prints, beautiful frames, etc. If we can arrange it, we will photograph how our clients use our images in their homes, and possibly we will include the portraits of Miller on Bruce and Wendy’s wall.

8 Feb 2011

Cocoa’s, Market Street, Aberdeen

Lamination work by Nu-Style

As part of an ongoing project to supply images to show lamination work done by Nu-Style, I was photographing Cocoa’s, a stylish Bistro and a chic bar just off Union Street.

I was featuring the work done by Nu-Style which included the table tops in a light cream coloured laminate, a table top area as you go i the door in a stylish black laminate with a pattern, which is also used in the cubes beside the lounge seating.  I really liked the black textured wallpaper beside the top at the door and as the architect was there, I was able to ask him about it and he is sending details and this may eventually be on a wall in my office as a backdrop to new samples I am about to order.

The laminate in the toilets is very impressive and gives the toilets a wow factor. The highly reflective panels and the bright spotlights does not make this an easy subject to photograph, but I have now photographed several toilets for Nu-Style so I know how to tackle this which often involves positioning the camera and tripod so the reflection does not show, and then using the self timer so I can be out of the room when the camera fires.

To see some of the work done for the metal fabrication services supplied by Nu-Style, click here, and for previous lamination photographs, click here. I am still working on a list of projects, studio shots of laminates, and photographs showing the workshop, and showroom, so there will be more posts showing the wide range of services and facilities, Nu-Style has to offer.

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8 Feb 2011

Holiday Inn Express

Photography for re-branding

Last week, I had photographs to take at the Holiday Inn Express in Chapel Street after a recent re-brand from Express by Holiday Inn to Holiday Inn Express. The hotel has been upgraded with new signs, new flat screen TV’s in the bedrooms, and many other upgrades. I have photographed the hotel several times but obviously the recent changes meant new images were required.

With the Brentwood Hotel being photographed last week, and photography booked for the Bauhaus, and more shots at the Brentwood for later this week, I am spending a lot of my time in hotels.

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4 Feb 2011

Re-touching example

Using Photoshop to create shots

This is an example of an everyday request. At Ted and Kathleen’s wedding on the 27th November, I took lots of requested group shots and all the ones listed by Ted and Kathleen, but not every option can always be covered. The couple who are either side of the Bride and Groom, in the larger group shot above above, wanted a shot of just themselves with Ted and Kathleen. It was relatively easy to crop the group of 4 as an upright shot and we could have just went close to the shoulders and "cloned" out anything noticeable. However by finding another similar shot where the fireplace can be seen, Lukas was able to "put back" the fireplace by combining the shot on the inset.

The end result is indistinguishable from a shot I might have taken. I often make the point that I like to do everything in the camera whenever possible but having Lukas, an exceptional Photoshop professional, as a key member of our team is a great asset. He is probably wondering why I am featuring such a "straightforward" task as he does this type of job and much more complicated ones everyday but I know this example will be useful to show clients what is involved.

The most important thing is that the client liked it – see the email received.

Thanks Neil,
That is absolutely brilliant. Be in touch after our holidays
Regards Ted & Kathy

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