Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Red Squirrel Playing Peek-a-Boo!

We are lucky enough to live at the foot of the Cairngorm mountain range in Kirriemuir. Kirriemuir is known locally as the gateway to the glens.  As well as the lovely hills and glens we have gorgeous woodlands full of wildlife, including these furry friends:

Photo of a Red Squirrel eating a nut in Scotland. Photographer has used a telephoto lens to shoot  Scotland's wildlife
Whilst in the woods on Saturday, I managed to capture a funny video - here is the link in blue:  video of a squirrel playing Peek-a-boo with me. It was amazing how close it came and how inquisitive it was.
Have a look for yourself, it's so funny. It was taken on my mobile phone so the quality isn't perfect but it came so close to me that the camera and tripod with 300mm lens was far too over the top!

This photograph on the left was shot (I mean photographed - no squirrels were harmed in the making of this blog!) in the low evening sun back in March 2012. I frequently walk the dog through Caddam Woods and I am delighted to say that the red squirrel population is definitely thriving in this area.

My favourite squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) fact: They are mainly solitary creatures but when the temperature drops they can often be found in relatives dreys/dens huddling together and having sleepovers to keep warm.

If you would like to find out more information about the conservation of these animals and what you can do to get involved, please check out the Scottish Wildlife Trust or Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels.

As many of you will know, my other passion for photography is capturing red heads of a different kind - Hair photography. Have a look through our various galleries and please follow our blog for more squirrel activity updates, photography tips and recent projects.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Hairdressing Photography with Louise Chrystal

The first time Louise Chrystal and I worked together was years ago, on a shoot for a make up artist. Louise was styling the hair to compliment the make up looks. I instantly saw that she had an eye for what would and wouldn't work in camera. Since then we have kept in touch and finally we got the opportunity to plan a shoot.

hairdressing photoshoot, fashion, 80s inspired metallic tones, photographic lightingLouise currently works freelance and was looking to produce some new images to use as promotional material to show a more creative side of her work. When we asked about the planning behind her shoot, she told us she was looking for photographers who specialise in hair photography, rather than general photographers who 'give it a go' with little knowledge of the hair industry or how to create a professional hair photograph.

Knowing that Louise had an early passion for architecture, I expected nothing less than a structured avant garde look. She delivered exactly that, and produced fantastic looking hair that I couldn't wait to wrap my lights around. This particular look was inspired by retro 80's pop culture with a contemporary up to date feel. The make up (by Margaret-Anne McKay) complimented this look perfectly with this seasons metallic hues.

Although the model has dark hair, we decided to photograph her against a dark charcoal background. Having worked with many hair models over the years, we know that lighter tones of backgrounds can wash out depth of colour within hair and can dull down highlights.

The model was shot against a charcoal wall in our studio. We placed a background light on the wall down low, creating a gradient effect from light to dark, we then used a blue gel over the top to tone the wall with a blue tint. We placed a snoot in from the left hand side of the shot. A blue gel was used on the snoot to create a highlight down the neck of the model, and to throw some blue highlights into the hair itself. This again, was to add to the 80's pop feel - the technique was used a lot in old school music videos as well as stills. A second snoot was positioned in from the right hand side to give the band of shine around the hair. These concentrated lighting techniques show off the over all structure of the hair style, and define the face from the background. The warmth from Nicole's natural skin tone was toned down in post production as a cooler skin tone worked better with the cold blue lighting effects.

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If you would like to book your next hair shoot with us, please get in touch and follow this blog for up to date information and more creative photography blogs.