Black & White or Colour?

Hi all, I've not been able to blog for a while due to being so busy but I'm aiming hoping to be back on track now and blog much more frequently.

So here's a question that every photographer faces on a regular basis - when to use black & white for a particular image and when to go with colour?

Some background: ANY image can look superb in monochrome.  I love black & white images (and one of my wishes is to one day to shoot a white wedding purely in black & white) but equally I apppreciate that not every image works in monochrome.  For example, surely you'd want to see most sunrise/sunset images in colour so you can appreciate the vivid colours and tones?

I regularly shoot weddings of all descriptions and Asian weddings in particular are famous for being so colourful and vivid - surely there's no place for black and white?  Well, maybe there is for the occasional shot.

Here's a bridal portrait I took at a Muslim wedding knowing from the start that it would be a black and while image:

You might be wondering what I'm gaining from going monochromatic when I'm losing all the beautiful colours in her outfit?

Well, used judiciously monochrome strips away the non-essential and focusses the image on the core elements - in this case, I wanted the image to highlight her wonderful expression, herpose, the perspective and the intricate details in her outfit.

Also, the vast majority of the shots in the Wedding set were coilour so I like to use the occasional mono image to really emphasise the subject, and to provide a nice contrast to colour images.  The trick is to use mono on images that wil benefit and not to overuse it.

I don't often do this but here's the original colour shot for comparison purposes and to (hopefully) illustrate my point:

So to get the final image, I desaturated all colour, cropped and tilted the image and highlighted the bride's expression and outfit details.

It's a subjective thing of course, but I think the monchrome version is much more powerful than the colour original.

The bride agrees (thankfully!) - this image is a framed 18 inch square print in her house.  And let me tell you, nothing beats clients framing the work you've done for them.  It's a huge compliment to any photographer.

I'm available to photograph Weddings and Events - please see galleries for Weddings, Asian Weddings and Events.

Please get in touch via the Contact page.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, Mo

Costumes, Capes and Cowls - LSCC 2016

It's turning out to be a very busy time right now, especially these last few weeks but there's no doubt what, so far, is my most enjoyable assignment of 2016.

I was fortunate to be an official photographer at the London Super Comic Con 2016 and what a fabulous convention it turned out to be - really well organised, huge attendance and as always, the most colourful, high quality, creative costumes imaginable.

Even more than previous years, LSCC 2016 left me blown away at the sheer creativity, effort, dedication & time that goes into many of the costumes.  I'd go so far as to say that some of them were movie quality - check out the Predators, Batman/Batgirl, Iron Man & Spider-Man costumes in the gallery below.

Also present were big-name artists & writers from the comic book world, including senior Marvel Comics exec CB Cebulski (the guy with glasses in the gallery below) with whom I had a fun, informative and all-too-brief chat.  Thanks CB - you were every bit the gent.

I hope you enjoy the gallery.  If you're one of the cosplayers, please contact me and I'll happily send you a copy of your image.

Thanks, Mo

Powder & Wigs

Regular readers will know how I try and carry a DSLR whenever possible- mainly because you never know what opportunities you may stumble across.

Here's a perfect example - walking out of Piccadilly Circus underground station when a horse and carriage pulled up in front of me.  Even better, it was full of models in period costume!  

Rather than the splendid horse and carriage, the opportunity to grab an unusual portrait really appealed to me.

I was carrying my lightest combination (Nikon D7000 and Nikkon 35mm f1.8 lens) the greatest advantage of which is it's flexibility- it allows me to shoot cityscapes, architecture, street shots and as here, portraits.

This camera/lens combination really is great for natural light work and I would recommend it highly as a flexible setup.

Given the white tones of the models' outfits, I knew this could make a striking black and white image.

For more of my portrait work, please see my People gallery.  I'm available for individual, corporate and family portraits so please Contact me for more details.

Have a great weekend, Mo

 

 

 

Bowie

Just a quick post, mainly to share this photo and to express my sadness at David Bowie's death.

I was always aware of Bowie's music, of course but it was in the sixth-form at school that I really started to explore and appreciate his albums. 

I paid a visit to the Bowie mural in Brixton, South London and even a few days after his passing, there were so many people paying their respects.  What struck me was the sheer variety of people there - punks, office workers, young and old, black and white; all going to show just what a powerful presence Bowie was, and how diverse his audience was.

As always, I had my camera and wanted a unique image. It was then that I noticed the lady wearing the highly reflective shades - and THAT was the image I wanted.  It's now in my People gallery.

And if she's reading this, a big thank you to Elena Cresto for lending me the Bowie albums all those years ago at school!  He's been one of my favourite artists to this day.

Thanks for reading, Mo 

The Page Boy

The latest addition to my Western Weddings gallery is this portrait of a Page Boy at a wonderful wedding I shot recently.

For me, this portrait was all about his spellbinding eyes and I used a narrow depth of field to accentuate them.  I didn't use flash and instead took this with natural light from a window coming from the right.

A big thank you to him for being such a willing subject.

I'm now taking bookings for 2016 so please get in touch and let's have a conversation about how I can help you get memorable images of your big event.

Thanks, Mo