When I first got into photography, it was on board the cruise ships. An awesome job, we sailed to some amazing places, taking pictures of guests and videos of the ports of call. Sian and I loved it and we did it for a good three years before we moved to Barbados. I can honestly say it was here that I honed and learned my craft, and as well as the skills I learned, we also gained some pretty kick ass friends along the way – one of the best aspects of ship life was people you met and worked with.
Now, a cruise ship can be pretty intense. When you arrive at your first ship, it can be pretty daunting; you don’t know anyone and you have no clue how the whole ‘life at sea thing’ works. I remember our first night in the Officer’s Bar once we had arrived – I ordered a round for about 12 people, and went to sign the chit from the barman, and was both horrified and overjoyed with what I saw.
£6 for 12 beers?
I don’t remember much else of our first night in the Officer’s bar.
One of the guys we met on that first contract was a lovely chap called Angus. He was a singer in the show team, and when we could, we would often slip into the back of the show lounge and watch the guys doing their thing. Although I was pretty critical of the content of the shows (sorry guys!) there was no doubt that the team was incredibly talented. Remember Mike and Jenny? Remeber Corea? Yup – all from the same team, all awesome and now, all on this blog 😉
The weather wasn’t perfect – wet and windy, but the light was pretty decent. We met Angus at the train station, and then headed off into Crystal Palace Park. Sian and Toby went for a wander in the grounds, and Angus and I got stuck in with the shoot. Once I got a couple of lights up, the photos started to look really nice.
We took a few of the old ‘classic’ headshots – mottled green background thrown out of focus, and I made sure I was getting a nice shape to the light. In this shot, I used a big soft key light up top camera right, and then a hard, snooted rim light camera left, which gives that hard highlight on Angus’ right shoulder and the back of his head…I really liked it, and on showing Angus the back of the camera, he was pretty chuffed too 🙂
We took a couple more, with some outfit changes here, playing with the direction and quality of the light.
Then we wandered over to the bandstand, that I had embarassingly been banging on about. It is a massive rusted structure in the middle of a small pond and just looks awesome. I was saying to Angus that the rusted metal would look awesome in a portrait, only to find that we couldnt actually get on the thing – there is a moat surrounding it that can’t be crossed!!
Lucky for me, there were some huge speaker towers of the same rusted metal, and so we shot into the sun (hence that awesome lens flare!) and got some awesome looking portraits!
I much prefer these shots to the previous, the rugged texture from the metal makes Angus’ skin look a lot smoother, and the deep browns and reds it produces offer, I think, a richer and more interesting colour pallet than the rural green…what do you guys think?
As ever – a huge thanks to Angus for the booking, for allowing me to immortalise his image in the blog, and to you guys for reading!
Hope you all have a great weekend, and I will be back with more adventures soon!
Photographer Croydon Surrey Kent