Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

The Howth Marina Shot Collection. Commissioned by Ray McCabe of McCabe’s Deli’s.

All image credits.

I was asked to think about taking a few shots for a new cafe opening down on the River Liffey by Mr. McCabe himself. He loved the fact that the opening was going to coincide with the Dublin Tall Ships festival arriving down the Liffey in late summer. As a result he wanted nautical themed pictures that would look great even when the festival was over and the ships had sailed. As his new branch is a stone’s throw from Dublin’s central artery, this made perfect sense. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that the best place to fit the brief was the Howth Marina, situated thirteen kilometres north of Dublin. Emails were sent and within a day or two I had the location set. I packed a lunch, warm jumper and weatherproof jacket and set off. I knew Ray was looking for around eight images, so if I aimed for about ten to fifteen, he’d at least have a choice. Here are a small selection of the final prints I’ve chosen to show you which will give you an insight to what was going through my head that day with regard to fitting the brief and the customer’s specifications.

Finding texture is always a great way to make dirty old objects look pleasing to the eye.

Its always good to look up, especially when there are no options at eye-level. A fun and simple shot.

Always remember the target audience. I don’t want to give the coffee drinkers a headache before they go back to work. I tried to emulate the mood of the sleepy-head here with a peaceful shot of the yachts.

When looking up still brings no joy, look out.

Keep it simple, over-cluttered images are not easy to view. You wont win the hearts of the tea-ladies if you don’t. I figured if my granny didn’t like it, well…

Think about the main image. This could easily be the first image customers see. Treat the commission like a gallery. Each viewing should transition smoothly to the next.

The end of a long day in the office. Time to go home. Your collection is complete and the project is concluded. It’s also a peaceful image to send your viewer on his way.

I had the lass in the print shop finish off the days work which she then submitted to Ray and he was delighted. He just received a custom collection for a great price, and in the space of a couple of days. Aim to be a little cheaper and a whole lot more reliable. I think this small business tip should fare you well. Three jobs like this per week would make life very comfortable indeed and would make the Canon 5D mkiii seem ever that little bit closer to being mine. Ach, I’m dreaming again, till next time.

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When asked to go down and take shots of your mates band make sure you do it justice. Every job you encounter will take you on to the next, so make sure it’s correctly executed. You can be sure that if you’re last shoot was a little lazy then you will only get half the cash for the next one if anything at all! You should be aiming to increase your income. Not eventually be that guy who works for free but it’s ok because he’s not that great. Even if it is your best pal’s first live performance do the best you can. I have to make it clear though, some free work is never a bad idea if you know it may lead on to another project.

  • In order to set up your camera correctly to allow for all available light in the venue, you’ll have to get down there the day before and check for yourself.
  • I usually bump up the ISO to 800 or 1600.
  • Change mode to monotone (Most will tell you not too but I get faster, clearer, sharper images when the camera doesn’t have to process colour).
  • Use a fast prime lens like the super reliable 50mm. Best investment I ever made and not a great expense either. For Canon. For Nikon. The 50mm prime lets in a whole heap of light with its shallow depth of field. This allows you pinpoint the exact location of your viewer’s attention.
  • Try to leave your flash at home. Good flashes are not cheap and this will ruin your hot-shoe connection if someone knocks it, trust me. Fixing your camera’s hotshoe and a broken flash will destroy your insurance policy.
  • Get to know the whole band, not just the lead guy, to the point that when you’re snapping away, they will not be distracted by your presence during a song. And when you want them to turn and face you, all you have to do is gesture slightly. Do not take the attention away from the stage!
  • Do hand out business cards. It’ll quickly get fans to leave you with some space to work if they think they are helping you promote their favourite band. Speaking of which use the Security guys if things get out of hand. Equipment damaged by beer and elbows quickly adds up. Think about insurance.

I think I’ve covered all the technical aspects, now it’s up to you to get out there and capture what makes this particular band special using nothing but imagery. As always I’ll leave you with a wee example. This is Worth and Bondi. I’ll stick a video at the bottom of the page for you. See if you can tell me what the drums are..

Here are the shots.

I’ll leave the comments open to you guys on this one.