Saturday, 19 June 2010

Follow the red shoe... part two

Follow the red shoe, just follow the red shoe...
Red Shoes #1
The red shoes have become a sort of way marker for my creativity. Part of my branding as it were. If I keep following them, the path will be good.
Katy and strobes
What is photographic style? There has been quite a bit of talk about this on lost of blogs recently; it got me thinking about what my style is. The first thin I asked mysefl was where it came from.

My picture taking style is influenced by everything that has gone before. Sweeping statement, but what does it mean? Ity means my Dad, and how he influenced me by lending me his old Agfa camera when I was a kid, it means looking at the hundreds of photos he took of the family and how he took them. They were all black and white and full of emotion. It means all the movies I saw as a teenager. It means all the books and comics I read when I was young. The list goes on, but this is how I was influenced and this is where my 'style' comes from.
Hallowe'en 2007
Catherine, Silver Dress
Back then I wanted to try every technique under the sun; I had the sun-burst filter and read all the magazines and so on. Then I was still searching and learning. My style was only developing. The books I read told tales of far off worlds and exotic heroes and beautiful women. Some told tales of the past through the words of our Gothic story tellers; I was mesmerized by the dark tales of mystery and imagination. All this and more, is reflected in the photographs I take. I try to stick to a simple technique; I use one or two flash guns and usually set them up in a linear cross lighting fashion. It works for me. But that is only a technique, style is about what the content and emotion that comes out of the photograph is. When starting out it is important to learn as many techniques as possible, use them and master them so they become second nature. Then forget about them and just shoot.
Paul and Katana
I want them to be edgy, I want them to tell a story and sometime I want you to be uncomfortable, just a little, when you see them. My 'style' is my interpretation of the world; its how I see it, full of possibilities and emotion. Its what I try to capture in my photographs. My photographs have become my own comic book, but still when I turn the pages, its always something new, even for me. I don't know the end of the story either, but it sure is fun watching it unfold and wondering where the red shoe will take me next.

What do you think your style is?
Think about where it came from and where it is going.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Wonderful! I totally understand what you mean by wanting it to be a bit uncomfortable at times. I think its fun to evoke that kind of feeling.

    I would agree with you and the inspiration of style. We see so much and learn so much over life what a waste it would be if it didn't become part of us in some way.

    I love the idea of open ended inspiration, and as you've said adapting to each situation. Great images! All the way back up to the shoes.

    Nice post,

    All the best, Kelley

  2. Nicely summed up Noel. Love the image of Paul and the light particularly on his face. Looking forward to part 3 of this series!

  3. thanks for commenting Keley, David...

    @Kelley, for me its so important that a photograph has emotion in it, otherwise its just a picture. And in some small way when, I get it right, all past experience is in that moment, captured forever.

    I think that your 'style' is ever evolving, and, hopefully, never static. We do have to adapt to all sorts of situations in everyday life, photography is not different. I thinks thats what makes it so exciting and a fabulous medium for expression. the canvas is not limited to one brush stroke.

    @Daniel, thats my brother, Paul, a truly great brother; he was awarded that katana on receiving his first dan blakc belt in Wado Ryu karate. The lighting set up on paul is the one I use mostly and one of the easiest; one strobe in shoot thro' umbrella, one gridded and the subject in the middle.

    Thanks again, Guys.

  4. Hi Noel,

    I wouldn't say I've developed any real definable style but I will say that what I take photographs of has changed. When I first started photography many years ago I was more into landscape, but now having got back into photography over the past few years I think I'm more into people / portraits. To this end I'm looking to try to learn more about strobism so that I can control the lighting to create better lit portraits. I've tended to stick to diffused on camera flash or natural light, I guess because it's easier or I know it.

    I've a long way to go having only started this journey but I'll get there with some help from Glyn's workshop (whenever it launches) and some spare time, which I find the hardest bit of all to achieve!.



  5. @David,
    Hi David, this weather is too hot for blogging! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I started off in landscape mode too, as it were. then when I found strobism, I saw the light... this heat is getting to me...

    all the best