Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Photo manipulation - portraits

Having a bit of a crisis of conscience over photoshopping portraits.  I've recently done a load and many of the people involved (mainly the young girls) asked me to photoshop them.
I'm OK with doing a bit of skin smoothing etc, but where would you draw the line?
This is a list of the things I would normally consider doing to an image: -
  • Skin smoothing
  • Spot/blemish removal
  • Brightening of the eyes
  • Darkening of the lashes
  • Colour matching of teeth
  • Removal of stray hairs
  • un-closing of eyes (usually as a clone from another similar image)
  • removal of bright/shiny areas
What I am not so sure about is when I am asked to change the overall shape or add to/remove from the image: -
  • reduce the number of chins
  • give someone more/less hair,
  • make the eyes bigger
  • plump the lips
  • "make me look like a supermodel"
  • make people thinner/broader/taller/shorter
What do you normally do, and where would you draw the line?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Recently I visited Manchester Airport with my family to see the Concorde on display there.  Had a great day out, with a tour filled with interesting facts about the aircraft from early development designs through to final demise.

Here are some of the pictures from the day

 The cockpit was amazing.  There wasn't a single inch of the walls or ceiling that didn't have some sort of switch, dial or control on it somewhere.

Apparently Concorde got so hot when it flew that it would expand about 20 inches in length.  Special "stretchy" paint had to be developed and there would be large gaps appearing between the banks of controls!

Fuel consumption wasn't bad at about 17mpg (although I think that was per passenger!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jodie: Botanic babe

I photographed the stunning Jodie Osborn in Southport's Botanic Gardens on Wednesday.  I stuck to my new year's resolution of shooting in full manual mode, and I was not disappointed with the results.  Below are my two favourite shots of the day. 

Although never having done any modelling before, Jodie was a natural and a pleasure to work with.  I'm already lining up for another shoot with her, and am confident my other photographer friends will be knocking on her door too!

Thanks Jodie, for making what I do an absolute pleasure!  See my website for the rest of the pictures from the shoot - - click Image Gallery, then Portraits.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year end musings

Well 2010 is nearly over and what a year it has been.  I was made redundant, setup my own business and decided to go pro as a photographer.  I have met so many wonderful and interesting people this year, it has been a real ride.

I am really looking forward to 2011.  Lots of people to photograph, lots of new techniques to learn, but mostly looking forward to all the new people I will meet and friends I will make.  I love what I do, why oh why did I not do this earlier?

To everyone I have met this year, clients, models, make-up artists and fellow photographers, I wish you a Happy New Year and health and happiness for 2011.

John x

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inspirations: Jo Rutherford

What can you say about Jo Rutherford that hasn't been said many a time before?  This lady has possibly had more effect on the lives and careers of local photographers, models and make-up artists than anyone else I can think of.

I met Jo through the Scouts - we were both at one of their Waterside Lodge Dragonboat racing events, and we both had our trademark Canon white lenses on our cameras.  I remember her coming bounding over to chat to me, friendly, outgoing and full of enthusiasm.  At the next event she mentioned the walkabouts - the third one was happening at Waterside Lodge and would I like to come along?  I nearly bit her arm off...

It was a fantastic opportunity - I met so many people, got to try studio setups and photograph models in many varied situations.  There were make-up artists and a professional model was on hand to offer tips and advice to both the models and the photographers.  Some of the attendees had come from miles away, hundreds of miles in at least one case, such was the draw of this event being organised by Jo.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Jo gave me the push and confidence I needed just as I was being made redundant to start offering my photography services professionally.  She even got me started in wedding photography which led to my first wedding portfolio.  I really don't think I would be where I am today without Jo.

Jo, you are an absolute star.  I know there are many, many people who will agree with that, and it really doesn't cover just how much love there is for you in so many people that come to your walkabouts and that you have photographed over the years.  You are kind, selfless, generous, super talented and just so damn lovely that I am genuinely proud to say I know you and have worked with you. 

Please, if you have read this, take the time to visit Jo's blog and website for some of her beautiful and stunning images.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On location photo shoot with Fara

I had the pleasure of photographing the lovely model Fara Elizabeth yesterday.  The remit was to create some wintery photos before she had to leave Southport with work commitments.  We decided to go to Hesketh Park and the Botanic Gardens and see what we could come up with...

The rest of the photos are up on my website, click Image Gallery, Portraits and you will see Fara's album.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter frost

By 'eck it's been cold lately!  Southport has been under the grip of quite a frost, several degrees below zero, cold enough to freeze the sea on the beach and the marine lake.  I ventured out with my camera when I had the chance and got a few shots.

These were taken in my garden

This was the view of my neighbour's tree, completely white from the freezing fog the night before

Then I headed into town and decided to take my camera with me.  I knew the Marine Lake was frozen so wnated to get a couple of pictures.

This unfortunately is the mindless vandalism done whilst the lake has been frozen.  Dozens of the bridge handrail supports kicked onto the ice.

and these are some very brave / very foolish lads - walking on thin ice!  Rather them than me!