Magazine Covers Production Project

DSC_2077-20jpgSo, for a recent production project at University I decided to look at magazines and how they are designed and produced with specific genders in mind. I looked at two popular magazines – one aimed at males and one aimed at females. I know I could have created my own magazines and the design of them would have been completely down to me but, I wanted them to be as authentic as possible and this way people can relate directly to the product.

I did a lot of research into the two magazines I would be creating covers for – GQ for men and Vogue for women, so I could match the tone of the articles featured on the covers, DSC_2029-1the fonts and colours used and the style of the images used as well. I took original stills using myself and my Man as models for each of the covers and layered article ideas and the magazine names over the top.

I kept both images in black and white, with the female emanating ideas of simplicity, purity and femininity (even if I do say so myself!) and the male representing strength, power and masculinity – as is typical within mainstream media.

It was finicky and a pain in the ass sometimes, but with a lot of patience and a lot of breaks to stop me smashing the keyboard, the end result was exactly what I was aiming for!

For those of you who might be wondering, I took the images with a Nikon D7100 then imported and edited them slightly using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I then saved them as simple JPEG’s before opening them separately and adding the magazine design piece by piece – starting with the names and working down from there. Granted, positioning everything properly and fighting for control against my OCD wasn’t always easy, but I got there in the end!

Magazine Covers

On the whole I really enjoyed the project and I’m thinking about doing another one but maybe shake up the status quo a little bit by creating designs that challenge certain representations. For now though, I’ve talked enough! For my photography and projects from me, check out the links at the bottom of any page on my blog and they’ll send you to my various social media pages. Thanks all!

 

Solar Eclipse March 2015

Solar elclipse image framed by cloudsA Solar Eclipse is an extremely  rare phenomenon, in which the Sun is either partially or completely covered/obscured by the Moon. Eclipses have been observed from Earth for thousands of years, with many cultures circulating superstitions around the natural occurrence. Since there will never be a Solar Eclipse that covers as much of the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere in my lifetime, I wanted to write a detailed feature about my experience, what a solar eclipse is, how to observe it safely and also some media I captured while viewing the eclipse.

Once In A Lifetime…

As I said in my introduction above, an Eclipse on this scale will not be happening again in the UK during my lifetime – the next total Solar Eclipse is forecast for 2090 in the UK. As I live in the Midlands, I saw around 90% totality as the Moon covered only most of the Sun from where I was viewing the Eclipse. However, further North, up into the Faroe Islands, it was reported that up to 98% totality was visible for a short time, with 100% totality visible only on Svalbard.

According to NASA, a solar eclipse can occur up to five times a year, however, this of course depends on where you are in the world, and relies on the fact that a solar eclipse can only occur during a Full Moon. Over the course of the last 500 years, there have been just eight total solar eclipses that were visible from the UK. The last of which took place in 1999 and thousands travelled south to Cornwall and Devon in order to view it.

Safety First!

There’s nothing like viewing a Solar Eclipse first hand, however, it’s important to remember never to look at the Sun directly, even if 90% of it is covered by the Moon, the rays from the Sun can still do irreparable damage to the sensitive mechanisms in the human eye.

Even though the Solar Eclipse was broadcast through television network coverage and online, millions ventured into the great outdoors to view the Eclipse for themselves. However, remembering suitable equipment with which to see the Eclipse effectively but also safely, is key to viewing this rare event.

How To View a Solar Eclipse

A whole range of devices and simple tools can be used to safely view and capture a Solar Eclipse. Something as simple as a colander or sieve can be looked through in order to minimize the glare from the Sun. Others may prefer to create a basic pinhole camera using a piece of paper or a box such a shoe box with a small hole in order to funnel the suns light into a small space and reflect it onto paper. This allows the viewer the see the reflection of the Sun as it is covered by the Moon.

As you can see above, safety comes first when capturing or viewing a Solar Eclipse, however, with the right equipment/tools for the job, it’s easy to view a Solar Eclipse and keep your eyes safe at the same time.

My Experience of the Solar Eclipse March 2015

For the Solar Eclipse I travelled with friends to the open areas of the Peak District which are just North of Sheffield where I am usually based. We decided that being away from man made light and tall buildings/trees and out on the moorlands would be more effective that trying to view and capture the Eclipse in the City.

We knew that capturing the Eclipse with our cameras could be problematic, even with the correct filters etc on our cameras, however, we found that with the cloud cover we had on the day, we could safely use sunglasses to glimpse the event and use the cameras Live View feature to camera the Suns position without having to focus manually and using the view finder.

Below is a vlog post I captured during the Eclipse, I hope you enjoy the video and my image from the event featured at the start of this post, apologies for the lateness of this post since it’s been a month since the Eclipse but I didn’t want to rush the writing and creation of this post and the media attached!

Panoramic Tunnel

Hello all!

Since I’ve been delving into the world of photography more and more recently what with my Facebook Photography page and Flickr page being created and updated as much as possible, I’ve been taking more photos than ever and getting creative!

I also have a wonderful Man who bought a Go Pro not long ago and let’s me use it so I’ve also started testing the waters with making vlog posts. So anyway, I’ve created this new Photography section of my blog, and here’s the first post in it.

First off I want to show you the image that I created – it’s selected as the featured post of my home page but here it is if you missed it.

Untitled_Panorama1-1

I’ve been teaching myself and learning from others as many editing and image capturing tricks and techniques as possible just to try and improve upon my skills. Slowly but surely I’m picking it all up and I wanted to create a real show-stopper, colourful and surreal image in this tunnel panorama.

I won’t give you a step by step guide on how I did this since you can see the actual shooting method I used in my video but it’s basically a 360 panorama, curled on the polar axis using a nifty Photoshop tool. I won’t say it’s simple, even though I’ve made it sound quite easy since once you’ve pressed a few buttons the real work begins and you’ve got to make it all match up and balance the colours etc. which takes a while!

So here’s the video I made, there’s a fun intro with me going on an adventure to the park, setting up my gear etc and then a real quick taster vlog where I have a little chat with the camera! Let me know what you think of it since it’s something I would like to do more of in the future.

So there you have it, since I’ve created this new category I’ll be making regular photography posts from now on since it’s a huge passion of mine and I want to be able to share it with you guys!

As always, a massive thank you for reading and take care folks 😉

Light Painting

_DSC7113So I’m sure I’ve mentioned before now that, my Man is a photographer, and as a photographer he has a particular fascination with light paintings. A light painting is where you use a tripod to stabilize your camera and then take a long exposure shot. If you do this with something lit up and moving in the shot, it will create trails and shapes with the light.

Since a long exposure shot means the lens is open for a longer amount of time than normal, the camera can capture the light as its in certain positions – meaning the movements will create complex patterns and movements, but all in one image.

My Man is a big fan of finding new toys and tools to create new images and new styles with when it comes to his photography. He discovered wire wool spinning some years ago now and uses them frequently within his work, before I knew him I’d never come across it before – it’s basically spinning around a piece of steel wool that’s been set on fire and I think a whisk is involved too somehow.. Anyway, it creates sparks and showers of light coming from the point where the spin is happening and lights up the whole area in the image which looks amazing. He’s also experimented with light sticks, torches, LED’s and light Poi but tonight he wanted to try something new!

After seeing a nifty bit of kit one of our friends was using in Northumberland last weekend, he decided to push the boat out and spend a fiver on some fairy lights _DSC7109and cellotape.

Fair enough it’s not the most extravagant or sophisticated instrument ever but it’s amazing how versatile it is when you start playing about with movements and twisting motions and exposure times.

Tonight we created his new little toy – two strings of fairy lights cellotaped together, with a small collection of the lights tied together at the end of the rope.

We didn’t want to venture too far away from home without knowing what the results of this new gadget would be so we only went out into the garden but, we spent about an hour experimenting with the lights and delays etc to see what we could do.

I think we got some really interesting shots – two of which are posted below, and learnt a lot about what the lights can be used for etc. so hopefully we’ll be playing around with them a bit more next time when we venture out to areas with more space and darkness.

So that’s all from me for today folks, I’ll be back after my next photography adventure!

Dark Sky Park Trip

13758038165_1ffd4fa174_oEvery now and then, my Mans photography

(and sometimes mine), takes us somewhere a little different. Not all the time – it’s not as glamorous as that, but sometimes!

We started planning a trip a few weeks ago, and having found somewhere to stay, people to come with us, a designated driver and planned  a route, we set off yesterday. Since I found an article online a couple of months ago, we’ve been wanting to head up to the Northumberland National Park, the main reason being that it’s winter and the Park is one of the worlds few official Dark Sky Park – making it one of the best places around to see the skies and delights within those skies during the night hours.

Over the next few days I’ll be developing and editing the shots and timelapses we did etc and posting them on my Flickr page so, feel free to check that out. However, I’ll post a sneaky couple of images in this post for your opportune viewing pleasure. Above you can see one of the images I captured of the turbine farm we stopped at on the way home.

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Although the low cloud and fog last night prevented us from getting any real timelapse footage we did get some beautiful images – my Man managed to capture Mars very vividly several times (as you can see to the right), had some fun with light paintings etc. On the way home this morning we also managed to capture some beautiful images on the dramatic landscape and weather – including some very fast moving clouds and a wind farm.

Anyway folks, as you can imagine after my chasing the dawn and flitting the night away in the middle of nowhere, I’m pretty pooped and my sofa is calling so, take care and I’ll see you next time I take a flight of fancy in the name of photography 😉