Three magazine covers by Neil Genower

This week I have three covers of Uk TV listings magazines with the recently produced ITV drama "Arthur & George".

All shot in around 30 minutes at a farmhouse in Oxfordshire.

Equipment details: Canon 5D mk3 with 85mm 1.2 L lens. Mixture of elinchrom strobes and Kino flo daylight balanced continuous lighting.

Processed in Capture One 8 and Photoshop.

 

The changing face of cameras........ by Neil Genower

I'm currently trying to figure out what my next camera/lens should be. I've used many different cameras since the inception of digital. Strange how when i used to shoot film, I hardly ever changed cameras. Nikon F3/4 a Hasselblad and a handful of lenses, now we seem to change our cameras every 24-36 months. Is it because they always get better, or is it because we have so much access via the net now to what's new and happening? I watched an interesting chat between two, let's say, mature photographers about which direction cameras are moving. It seems that most of the point and shoot pocket cameras are now being ignored in favour of the iphone or android, let's face it, how many folk actually print their pictures anymore? So, phones are always with us and now offer reasonable quality if you're only looking at the pictures on a monitor. My work means I need to shoot stills with a silent or very near silent camera. This has previously meant I needed a camera blimp or silencer box. With the advent of these new mirror less cameras, I no longer need to use the silencer, although I'm stuck with my Canon lenses and the system I'm referring to is Sony, who are at the time of writing, the only manufacturers of full frame mirrorless cameras, that shoot silently via the electronic shutter, I'm referring to the Sony a7s. I'm aware of both Lumix and fuji who make silent cameras but I prefer the full frame. Red cameras now make The Dragon which shoots 6K video but allows you to extract 19mb stills files, and it can shoot 100 fps, that's some decisive moment. Changes in camera manufacture are happening so fast it's hard to keep up, I do sometimes long for the reassuring clunk of the Hasselblad, the slow wind on and the twelve frames. Have we progressed? I guess so, but there is still a time and a place for quiet, thoughtful calm. Digital pictures are wonderful, but where do we slow down in this race to take pictures in darkness, with cameras you can barely hold they are so small, giving us files that will provide enough resolution to print the size of a small town? And anyway, who cares? No one really looks beyond the screen. Traditional Digital single lens reflex cameras as we know them will probably be replaced by the mirrorless variety. At least they will be smaller and lighter. There are some folk out there that don't sign up to smaller and lighter (see my previous blog post) but for most of us, this I suppose is progress.

Hasselblad 500cm

Hasselblad 500cm

Red Dragon

Red Dragon


A review of the bloggers....... by Neil Genower

It has become a photo phenomena....The photo bloggers. Millions of camera users waxing lyrical about anything to do with photography, including me. But who are they, and are they worth your time of day? Below I list just a tiny minority of the more popular photo blogs and my feelings about them. I will add to this list from time to time.

Zach Arias has a blog known as DEDPXL which seems to be an offshoot of his web page blog. Zach is a competent photographer who has a witty laid back style aimed at the more funky young photographers. He shoots editorial and music and is an "ambassador" for Fuji. Quite what ambassador means, I'm not sure because he is paid by Fuji to nip off to exotic, sexy light locations around the world, to use their cameras and say sweet things about how good they are. Although his reports and videos are entertaining and informative, they leave you in no doubt that it's basically a Fuji promo. But that's OK, at least he plays straight and admits that Fuji do pay him, not for the endorsement, but the job of taking pictures for their brochure and promotions. His blog is straight talking and his knowledge convincing. he has some good videos on technique and real world reviews on his use of equipment. He has apparently sold all his DSLR gear and opted for the fuji X range of cameras......oh, and he has a 'phase' as he nonchalantly calls it, so not entirely reliant on the APS-C format then. If you like casual but reliable chat and video, Zach is for you............ Worth a book mark? YES.. entertaining

Thorsten Von Overgaard is one of Leicas biggest and longest serving bloggers. He has been running a website dedicated to Leica for quite some time. His knowledge of Leica is impressive as is his equipment list. I'm not too sure what his pedigree is as a photographer but he syndicates through Getty and has in the past shot some news stories and general newspaper work. He now spends most of his time running workshops around the world..... for Leica owners. I have to include a bit of a caveat here: Thorsten likes names. He dovetails perfectly with the Leica brand as his videos often include shots of his luxurious taste; Hermes, Louis Vuitton. He recently had for sale a black and white print of a horse, shot by him, signed and touched with the midas of Leica for a staggering four thousand euros. look out Andreas Gursky, you have competition. So, if you have a big fat wallet and like to be seen with all the right names, sign up for an espresso and a cool cigarette with Thorsten........and don't forget your Leica !.............worth a bookmark? Leicas only

Ming Thein Runs a very informative blog and certainly knows his stuff. Ming covers a range of cameras for review. Leica,Nikon,Ricoh and in particular the Olympus 4/3rd range. He makes some videos where his intelligence and understanding of the more technical side of photography shines. He writes thoughtfully and is probably the antithesis of Zach Arias in that his language is more theoretical and less comedy. Definitely a site for the serious casual photographer and one who has a deeper understanding of the physics of photography. I believe he shoots still life, mostly watches and jewellery to a high standard. His non still life photography is good with strong images of structure and architecture, many in black and white............ worth a bookmark? YES....you will learn something here

Ming Thein

Vinny Jones shoot set up...... by Neil Genower

A while back I photographed Vinny Jones. It was for a publicity shot for his TV show 'Toughest cops USA' The location was in London's East end and I had about five minutes to shoot the picture. I wanted the picture to reflect the feel of the documentary so I ws going for the urban gritty look. Vinny looks pretty mean anyway, so I just had to get the lighting right and then give it a grade to suit in Photoshop.

As you can see in the diagram I've made here, I wanted to highlight the edges of his face and shoulders, so I placed an SB800 at each side and a little back. I wanted a narrow beam of light so I moulded two sheets of blackwrap around each flash to give me the angle I wanted. Blackwrap is a fantastically handy roll to have in your bag. Very cheap and perfect for flagging off unwanted light. I recommend everyone to have some lying around in your bag, it scrunches up into a small ball when you're done with it and tucks away in any pocket. It's very tricky to execute this lighting without a stand in, unless your subject has plenty of time, which mine didn't, so I had to make sure I was all ready to go as soon as he stepped into frame. You don't need expensive lights for this, any small flash with a sync for a wireless trigger and a manual mode with power output steps up and down. You must work with your ambient lighting, most DSLR cameras only sync at a maximum shutter speed of 125th or 250th so be aware that in most cases you need to 'beat' the ambient or it will kill your lights. Some dedicated flash units will sync at faster speeds, but the power output at these faster sync speeds is compromised. 

Lighting diagram of the Vinny Jones shot below

Lighting diagram of the Vinny Jones shot below

                   Vinny Jones. © Neil Genower/ITV

                   Vinny Jones. © Neil Genower/ITV

Keeping the light......... by Neil Genower

Daylight HMI © Neil Genower/ITV

Daylight HMI © Neil Genower/ITV

I'm changing gear today, literally and blogging about lighting for filming, it can and does relate to stills too. Here's the scenario: You have several pages of dialog to shoot, involving more than four actors, all with dialog. The scene needs a master establisher wide shot, several two and three shots, a tracking shot and possibly eight singles. Script time of day is 11am. This scene is going to take you all day. You arrive on set at 6am ready to shoot at 8am. It's going to be a sunny day according to the forecast. The location (interior of an orangery) is facing west.

You are the director of photography or simply the photographer, what is your lighting plan? There are two significant things to consider here; the ambient light and the temperature of the light you want. Although the scene will consume about five minutes of screen time it's going to to take all day to shoot, so your main consideration is the continuity of the light. You need daylight for the entire scene, and as it only takes up five minutes of screen time,it's going to take the best part of 9 hours to shoot. Therefore the sun that is at 8am over the other side of the building, will by 3pm be blasting it's beams right through your windows. As you can see from my picture, you have to cheat for sun, as light that you have control over all day long. By using the white silks you defuse the light enough so as not to create shadows, so the light is daylight, constant and directional without being contrasty, with the lights being at a constant angle. Should you need to return to this scene but later in the afternoon, say a script time of 5pm, you might want to lower your lights and add a 1/4 cto (colour temperature orange) to the lights just to give that late afternoon warmth, the same would apply to early morning but here you might want to use a gel which is described as 'straw", a thinner warmth you find with morning light. As photographers, we don't often have the luxury of big expensive HMI lights and generator trucks, but the principle can be used with less elaborate lighting rigs. In stills photography we should take some tips from the cinema world and use the colour, intensity and direction of lighting to give our pictures the feel to compliment the subject. By using gels on either constant light sources or flash we have a lot of control over light temperature, something that saves us time and trouble when we try and emulate this on the computer.

Prosthetic TV make up........ by Neil Genower

As promised, here is a visual running order of actor Kevin McNally being made up as Mr. Tibbs.

The whole procedure took approximately two hours.

Early morning start for actor Kevin McNally

Early morning start for actor Kevin McNally

The palette

The palette

Oh no... not the glue!

Oh no... not the glue!

"Just the usual please chaps"

"Just the usual please chaps"

Looking....er good?

Looking....er good?

Listen up

Listen up

Almost Mr Tibbs

Almost Mr Tibbs

Colour mix

Colour mix

 

Mr Tibbs

Mr Tibbs

 
Nose and upper lips

Nose and upper lips

It's a two man job

It's a two man job

time to breathe through the mouth

time to breathe through the mouth

Face off... well, a little anyway

Face off... well, a little anyway

Coffee time

Coffee time

More glue

More glue

Odd croissants

Odd croissants

Taking shape

Taking shape

Theatre or studio ?

Theatre or studio ?

Checking the continuity

Checking the continuity

Gallery Inspiration....... by Neil Genower

©Chris Killip

©Chris Killip

Horst P Horst

Horst P Horst

So, when did you last see a print, or even hold one? We all have instant access to almost every picture ever taken or painted by anyone with any worth, and billions of those with none. There is no substitute for actually eyeballing the print. Here in London we are fortunate enough to have free access to almost all the galleries in town and can just call in anytime to take a look at some of the world's greatest art. Admittedly, we do have to pay for the guest exhibitions. I wonder whether we absorb as much from a picture viewed on a monitor as we do from the real thing. I think not. As a photographer, I draw significant knowledge and ideas from paintings. I can't paint to save my life but I can admire and appreciate the use of colour and light from painters. Looking through the galleries at the National Portrait gallery in London, you notice how many painters used the light coming in from the left, as you look at the picture. This is thought to be because we read from left to right, so our natural inclination is to read a picture from left to right and of course our eye will always go to the brightest area of a picture first. If you want to learn more about colour and how colours of opposite hues can complement each other, check out some master artists. Renoir used the contrasting colours of blue and orange, opposites on the colour wheel, to facilitate the aesthetic appreciation of his work. My point here is that we should all take the time to see more original works, whether they are photographs, painting or sculpture. They come to life in a way computers are unable to represent. So, when you get the chance, go and see real art, it will inspire you and hopefully encourage you to take your pictures off the pixel and get them onto paper. If you're in London, the Tate Britain has a wonderful exhibition of photographs from documentary photographer Chris Killip and it's free. At the V&A museum there is a must see exhibition from photographer Horst. If you're a portrait photographer, you really should see this show. The Getty museum in Los Angeles has a terrific exhibition of photographs from Minor White. Wherever you are, see what is going on in the galleries, you may just see something that triggers an idea.

Minor White

Minor White

Renoir

Renoir

Film Stills & weddings........... by Neil Genower

Titanic: ITV Studios/Deep Indigo Productions © Neil Genower/ITV/Deep Indigo

Titanic: ITV Studios/Deep Indigo Productions © Neil Genower/ITV/Deep Indigo

Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham-Carter in Henry VIII © Neil Genower/ITV

Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham-Carter in Henry VIII © Neil Genower/ITV

Shooting film stills and shooting weddings are very similar. You have a story, in the case of a wedding, a love story, a cast and you have a location. From the photographers point of view, you have to be discreet and quiet and record all the key scenes, or if it's a wedding, moments. Equipment will be similar, with the exception of a blimp which is essentially a DSLR silencer and recommended when shooting film stills or pictures of any performance where there is recorded dialog. Incidentally, the blimp can be very useful when shooting the ceremony, when audible shutter noise would be intrusive. I have shot thousands of film stills and can testify that the most important aspect of the job is diplomacy. Knowing where to be, when to shoot, when not to shoot, who to keep informed of what you're doing and probably of most importance is to know the mood of both the actors and the crew., reading situations. These same qualities should be applied to wedding photographers too. I always try to make sure the make up artist for the bride can be around after the ceremony when I usually shoot all the couple shots and singles, this discipline comes from working as a stills photographer on set; If I'm shooting portraits of the actors, I always have both make up and costume with me, they would insist on in anyway. It is their work I'm recording and they need to make sure all is in order. Stills days are long too with a full day running from 8am through to 7pm. When shooting film stills one of the first things I do is to speak to the DOP (director of photography) it is he or she along with input from the director that determines the look of the film, or how it is graded. Will it be warm,cold, saturated or de-saturated. I then try and match the look of my stills to those of the final graded cut. As a photographer shooting either a wedding or a film, you need to be able to supply an excellent body of work that represents the story, it's not easy but it is hugely rewarding.

Wedding Photography.....do you follow fashion? by Neil Genower

© Neil Genower

© Neil Genower

There are two genres of photography that seem to follow a photo style. Weddings and fashion. It it expected that fashion photography changes it's style, after all it's fashion! Wedding photography however, for many years didn't really change it's style. Right up until the reportage fashion arrived, wedding photography had been pretty much the same, and didn't often include candid pictures but mostly concentrated on set ups and the usual bride and groom, group and cake cutting images. It is quite normal now to start shooting a wedding with the bride and her entourage camped in a hotel bedroom surrounded by the detritus of the forthcoming day, ending up some twelve hours later, on the dance floor. But what about style? One must assume brides and grooms are influenced by what they see in their research for photographers, and in magazines and wedding websites. The last couple of years have seen a move towards more colour and more pictures shot on film or employing film look filters on digital pictures. The black and white, grainy journalistic style pictures are still around but not dominating the scene. Pictures have got more humorous and I have to say, contrived. Wedding photographers are constantly striving to find their look, something that will set them apart from the crowd, but in doing this, they risk losing sight of the point of the pictures. Is it about being a weird and whacky, creative photographer or recording a day in the life? As a photographer you have to balance the feel of the day with original documentation and a style you are comfortable with. One assumes that the wedding couple have already decided you are the one they want from your portfolio, so it's fairly safe to say, carry on and shoot your style. Should wedding photographers follow the fashion? I would say, yes and no. It is inevitable that brides and grooms will want the contemporary look, but in providing pictures that are contemporary, is the photographer being like all the others? On the other hand, if your style is not in vogue, are you out of the loop? We are not all followers of fashion and brides are knowledgable and know what they want. If it really doesn't suit your aesthetic to shoot the fashion of the day... don't. Trust in your pictures and there will be people who will gravitate to what you are doing, after all, you just might be the next new thing! 

Prosthetics..transforming the actors by Neil Genower

Actor Kevin McNally as MrTibbs.© Neil Genower/ITV Tech: NikonD3. 70-200 f2.8 @70mm. f3.2 100th sec. ISO1600 HMI film lighting.

Actor Kevin McNally as MrTibbs.© Neil Genower/ITV

Tech: NikonD3. 70-200 f2.8 @70mm. f3.2 100th sec. ISO1600 HMI film lighting.

Here is actor Kevin McNally having gone through the riggers of a three hour make up session. I shot pictures of the process from start to finish. It's pretty mazing what a good prosthetic team can do with the human face. It's a long slow task for an actor to go through but the end result is well worth it. I shall soon post the all the shots from the sequence, here is a picture of finished work.

The accidental picture..... by Neil Genower

 
Original Image with no photoshop © Neil Genower

Original Image with no photoshop © Neil Genower

Retouched Image in Photoshop LAB © Neil Genower

Retouched Image in Photoshop LAB © Neil Genower

So, how did photography evolve? I guess one could say scientifically, experimentation and discovering things by making mistakes. Today photography has infinite possibilities with the advent of photoshop. We can almost do anything with a picture, unimaginable just a few years ago, but very few of this digital manipulations happen by mistake, they are all actioned consciously. This is different if we shoot with film. We can make mistakes unknowingly, we can of course manipulate the image using unusual lenses and filters and in our processing. The photograph above is the result of a mistake. I took this picture, in fact two pictures, on a trip to Los Angeles. I had access to the old Redondo Beach power station and as I had my Sinar 4x5 with me, thought it would be a perfect chance to test my rusty large format skills. Because I hadn't used 4x5 for a few years, my discipline in that format was... well, let's say sloppy. In case you're not familiar with a large format camera, check out this site here but it is essentially a lens and a simple box body with sheets of film four inches by five inches in size (or 10X8) you get to shoot one picture at a time. So, how did I make the picture above? Well, I exposed the single sheet of film at Redondo Beach, then some days later having forgotten to make sure I'd taken the film holder out, or at least identified it as an exposed sheet, exposed it again on a shot of a gun shop back in Culver City. When I got back to London and processed the film, I was annoyed with myself for making this simple mistake. However, having scanned it and looked more closely, it was actually a pretty interesting shot. Now, here is where I really needed photoshop! The original image was flat, very thin and lifeless, but the composition and the way the double exposure had fortuitously fallen, made it a good shot. Could I extract any colour and contrast from this file? I played with the curves for a while without too much success and then thought I'd try the LAB channels. An awful lot of weird bending in the A and B in curves gave me the shot I was looking for. So, from one mistake shooting film and a few experiments using photoshop, I was able to get a picture I was very happy with.

 

Unorthodox sports photography.... by Neil Genower

Serena Williams at Wimbledon - London 2012 © David Burnett

Serena Williams at Wimbledon - London 2012 © David Burnett

American photographer David Burnett uses an interesting array of cameras, from Canon 5D's to Speed Graphic 4x5 with a 120 Holga thrown into the mix. He is a great exponent of film photography using his speed graphic and Holga to get the kind of pictures that digital can replicate, but never quite emulate.There is something about pictures taken with film, and I don't intend to make this a "film is better than...." piece, it's not anything about the look of film versus digital or the costs or how easy one is against the other. It's just more about tangibility and how the heart feels about ones work over the head. It's quite tricky to write about film and digital, without sounding like one is trying to face one off against the other, so I'll not even try.

What is very interesting though is the work of David Burnett and how the camera or the medium makes no difference, it's the moment and the frame, and in David's case, the depth of field.

If someone was to ask you to cover the Olympic games, in a generic style, not for any publication, but as a record of the event, you'd start to think about equipment, right?.......right! so, fast DSLR's a good range of lenses, preferably as fast as possible, couple of speedlights, lots of flash cards.

When David Burnett was requested to cover the London Olympics his choice of equipment was unorthodox to say the least. He choose to shoot most of the images on his old Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4x5 camera with a Kodak Aero Ekta f2.5 lens, more than 60 years old, often all hand held! The depth of field one gets from such fast large format lenses is very shallow indeed and required David to pre focus on a point and hope the action, or some of it, took place on his plane of focus. In my opinion his pictures are amazing, not just because of the unwieldiness of the camera but that he had to really concentrate on what he saw and as you can see from his website, they are so exceptionally different from  what one would expect of sports photography.

Everything has it's place and it's very inspiring to see the work of a wonderful photographer having the courage of his convictions to do something out of the ordinary.

Amazing wet plate video...... by Neil Genower

 
 
Wet Plate collodion process © Ian Ruhter

Wet Plate collodion process © Ian Ruhter

In this digital, photoshoped world it's a refreshing change to see photographs shot using methods from the 1850's. Yes, 1850! The wet plate collodion process was a very labour intensive affair and also a rather dangerous use of toxic chemicals.

The video here has got to be the absolute antithesis to the pocket iphone and instagram. Photographer, or as he describes himself 'alchemist' Ian Ruhter has pioneered the use of a huge camera that uses this process. Building his own camera which is positioned in the back of a truck, he drives around the US looking for subjects and vistas. Those who appreciate the work of Sally Mann are probably already familiar with the wet plate process, she has been using it very effectively for quite some time. Ian Ruhter has taken it a step further. I have to admit being rather envious of Ian's work and the process he goes through to achieve his photographs. It is however a big commitment, literally and as much as I'd love to try this technique out, it is more of an indulgence. Enjoy the video and check out both Ian and Sally Mann's work.

 
 

Shooting Music live........ by Neil Genower

     Take That live © Neil Genower/ITV

     Take That live © Neil Genower/ITV

Shooting live music is tricky but can be rewarding when you review your pictures. The biggest problem is the lighting. It varies all the time both in colour and intensity, from almost black to the brightest white. I've found that I have to shoot on a manual meter setting and be prepared to rock the dials (no pun intended) being careful not to drop your shutter speed too low, this will depend on how fast the artists are moving but try not to go below 160th or better still 200th. Don't be afraid to open up your aperture but make sure your focusing is accurate. I've used Nikon D3s and 4s and I'm currently using Canon 5D Mk3's. With both the Nikon and Canon I use the ubiquitous 24-70mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8. These two lenses are good for most things but perfect for shooting music. Your ISO will depend on what you can get away with, you almost need to set you shutter speed then a wide aperture and then you can see what sort of ISO you'll need. Live music photography has a strong documentary feel to it so it really isn't an issue if you're getting a decent amount of grain in the images, it can add to the soul of the pictures and after all, it is noisy! This is a kind of joke but in reality noise (grain) and noise (sound) can complement each other. Shooting with the Nikon D4 even at 3200 and 6400 ISO gave me such clean pictures I would often find myself adding noise to add a bit of energy to the picture.

One of the key disciplines when shooting live music is anticipation. If you can anticipate where the lead musician is moving to, you can be prepared for the shot. With vocalists you find their faces are hidden behind the microphone, being to the left or right of the mic will give you a cleaner shot. Don't always shoot with your finger anchored on the motor drive button, firing machine gun style isn't always the best way. I always shoot single frame and I can then pick the very best expressions. 

It;s great fun shooting live music, have fun and try and reflect the feel and and music the band are projecting.

Pictures worth a thousand words..... by Neil Genower

 

Is a picture worth a thousand words? In fact, what is a picture worth these days when we are subjected to images from every direction? Photography has come to us all. We are all photographers. And what is the point of photography? If a photograph creates and emotional reaction in us, then it has been worthwhile and there is a point to it.

I've always had the greatest admiration for photographers that cover war and conflict, partly because I've frankly never had the guts to do it myself but mostly because they have told stories and given us an insight into what goes on in the world, what is happening in parts of this planet that we otherwise would never know about.

I recently came across two pieces of work that reminded me what a valuable contribution to society these photographers bring. We should all be thankful that these people put their lives at risk, particularly in light of recent middle eastern events. The first is a video from eminent photographer James Natchwey. His words and delivery are without prejudice and ego and his photographs really are worth a thousand words.

The second is a small book I spotted this week. It's from the photographer Christoph Bangert and it's titled War Porn. I think the title trivialises what is a book of hard hitting pictures, some of which one may find disturbing. It is however an arresting series of photographs that remind you just how important it is to record mans inhumanity to man. If it was not for these brave men and women we would all be ignorant of these things. So, is a picture worth a thousand words, in these cases, definitely. Of all the billions of images taken and uploaded every day, very very few are worth the time of day. One could now probably say, is a word worth a thousand pictures?

War Porn.... Christoph Bangert

War Porn.... Christoph Bangert

 

Early Russian colour photographs by Neil Genower

Today I called into the Photographer's Gallery,London, as I often do when I'm around there and there was a surprisingly interesting exhibition. I find the Photographer's Gallery a little bit too keen to blur the edges of photography and other artistic media. For me, it doesn't have enough "photography". I know that sounds weird but in it's attempt to be uber contemporary, it loses sight of traditional photography. It's totally fine to have photography that incorporates video or sculpture or any other aspect of what is perceived as art, but it is biased to this too much and there is not nearly enough photographs that are just that, photographs.

Having said all that, I'm in danger of tripping over my own observations. On there at the moment is a wonderful exhibition entitled 'Early colour photography in Russia'. It shows how skilled the first colouring of black and white pictures were, really clever use of the available materials.Early experiments range from hand-tinting of images to early 20th century tri-plate isochromatic photographs and autochromes. If you're in the Oxford Street, Soho area of London, go and take a look, or check out the website http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/primrose-russian-colour-photography-2

Early Russian colour at The Photographer's Gallery.

Early Russian colour at The Photographer's Gallery.

The Abba boys by Neil Genower

Quite a while back I went to Stockholm to photograph Benny and Bjorn, the two boys from Abba. They had a magnificent music studio on the harbour, it was a converted fishing warehouse. They were both very charming and played "in an English country garden" on the piano to myself and Martyn the writer. Funny to think they, along with the girls, made the music I grew up with..... thank you for the music and thanks for the pictures.

Pammy and the ring flash by Neil Genower

Pamela Anderson.....shot with a ring flash, as per her request.

Pamela Anderson.....shot with a ring flash, as per her request.

Yup, she asked for the ring flash. Late the night before the shoot the producer called me and said "do I have a ring flash"? Nope! I used to, but not now. Long story short.....I hired one early the next day and made the shoot with minutes to spare. Artists sometimes will request/demand particular lighting. Barbra Streisand famously brought her lighting cameraman when she was a guest on a chat show here in the UK.  Pamela had also asked the video guys to light her with a ring light around the lens of the video camera. 

Excellent video from Gregory Heisler by Neil Genower

I stumbled across this video from photographer Gregory Heisler recently. It's a year old but that makes no difference. Gregory gives and interesting insight into how he shoots pictures. He reveals in most cases how he lit his subjects. I've been working in this department for years and I found it very interesting and entertaining. He gives lots of valuable information and is a great watch for any aspiring portrait photographer.