Here’s a little shot I managed to get at the end of a shoot the other day…
A company I was working for had hired a pool to do a fashion shoot there. The pool had really been hired to shoot around it, but once we’d finished we still had over half hour left on the clock. I grabbed my GoPro, asked one of the models to put a floaty dress on and began to hold my breath and shoot underwater… Considering the lack of available light I’m really pleased with the shot. In fact, I think there’s something quite haunting about it.
Amazing what you can do with a little free time, a small amount of light and an undertsanding model… Here’s a few behind the scenes iPhone pics from the shoot.
So, I made somewhat of a big switch recently. After watching hours of YouTube videos and reading everything I could find I purchased an iPad Pro and Apple pencil with the intention of completely changing my workflow so I could constantly have my “editing suite” with me.
Installed on my iPad from Adobe CC I have Adobe Fix, Adobe PS and Adobe Mix as well as third party programs such as VCSO and Enlight.
The shot above was actually shot on the iPad, edited on the iPad and then “drawn on” using Adobe Sketch on the device…
It took a while. It was a huge learning curve for me but I’m delighted with the results. I absolutely love editing images on the iPad, and in truth, I’ve barely used my MAC since.
There are downfalls. The file handling is somewhat frustrating as you’re restricted to the built in Camera Roll. So for example, if I take an image into Adobe Fix, work on it then it exports the image to Camera Roll. I then want to edit in VSCO, so I do just that it, save it and it exports to Camera Roll. All of a sudden I have 3 varied images all on my machine. Not so much of a problem if you’re just handling 1 image at a time, but for larger shoots with 100+ photographs it can become somewhat confusing. I almost wish there was a way to overwrite previous versions of the image on saved to the Camera Roll. Despite all of this though I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I love the handling, and the precision the Apple Pencil gives you and having it on the rad with me, at every shoot, on every train etc has been a massive time saver.
With news that the next OS update will give the option to handle true RAW files (not through a conversion in Lightroom mobile) I only see it becoming more and more of a “must have” tool for professional photographers.
Noir Hotel Portrait – Taken on iPhone – October 25th 2015.
I hate admitting defeat. I hate giving up. But as far as my work goes if I feel something isn’t working or that something’s having a negative impact on my work I’ll always pull the proverbial plug. And that’s what I have to do here… The 365 Project just wasn’t for me. It’s changed the way I shoot – I shoot more, undoubtedly, but it wasn’t working. It just didn’t sync with my own creative process.
I don’t “share” photographs easily. I think about it and probably overthink it – before I post anything. This was my trouble with the 365 project. I went to Birmingham for a few days last week. I came back and there was about 5 photographs on my iPhone that I really liked and wanted to share. The trouble? I had to dwindle it down to 1. But then, the next day (I took a day off) I didn’t really have anything so I had to settle for some half arsed snapshot I went out to take. That’s the part that will never work for me. I feel it degrades the integrity of the photography. It’s sharing for the sake of sharing.
Ive changed the website to better reflect what I want to achieve. I want it to be a kind of photographic journal. The same kind of imagery; iPhone shots of things I see, concepts and portraits etc. But now I no longer feel restrained by the ‘what’ and ‘when’ I post. I still plan on updating the site frequently – at least 4-5 times per week but I’ll be a little more methodical with it. It will hopefully now be a site that I feel reflects me and my work.
So I am only day 12 into my 365 project and I have to say I’m finding it more difficult than I first considered… Although, I guess it’s inevitable, I’m really trying to stay away from “point and shoot” images. I’m doing my best to work on the photographs each day; come up with an idea and concept and shoot it. For obvious reasons – the main one being time – this is much easier said than done.
The image above was taken on my Pentax DSLR yesterday and it’s one of my favorite images of the project so far. It’s deliberately under exposed and shot on RAW as I wanted a dark, grungey and grainy effect for the shoot. For this image I just used one flash light to the side of the model.
I’m trying to be very varied in the photographs I’m shooting for the project – mixing up iPhone shots and DSLR shots.
However, make no mistake, even so early on I can see the benefits of this project. Even on days where I am full up with meetings and editing etc I’m still “forced” to shoot, and enter the creative process. I remain pretty determined to see the project through. Already there are some photographs I prefer to others which I guess is natural. On the flip side of that there are photographs I’ve taken for it that have really grown on me. I’m also keeping a journal and entering information each evening about that days photograph; just things like how I shot it, how I feel about it. I’m finding this very handy as it helps me keep track of what I’ve shot and what I need to focus on. It will also be a real benefit if I decide to publish this in print at any point.
I’ve finally decided to take the proverbial plunge and do the 365 challenge. Each day, for a year I’ll upload an image shot that day. I think it will mostly be stuff shot on my iPhone – some conceptual pieces, some portraits, some behind the scenes images and a host of randomness. I know this isn’t a new concept by any stretch of the imagination but hopefully I can do things a little differently… You can follow my 365 project by clicking here.
Also just a quick note to say my website has had a redesign so please feel free to check it out by visiting carlbeebee.com
Very pleased to say that this week I have signed a contract to write and release a theory book. The book ‘Photography Philosophy & Creative Context’ will be available to buy next year. In all honesty I’m a little daunted by the task in hand – and the idea of writing 30,000 words is terrifying me… But dammit, we’ll give it a good go… I’ll keep posting updates on here and maybe a few snippets of the writing to get a little feedback off you good people.
Ok, on a completely separate note – as far as my Facebook goes I have now all but given up on using my ‘page’ as any kind of worthwhile tool. It seems other than sponsored posts things aren’t really seen from other pages. I’m concentrating on using Instagram more now – both for personal bits and work related things. So please give me a follow on there http://www.instagram.com/carlbeebee (@carlbeebee)
As ever – thanks very much for reading. It is very much appreciated.
Along with some fellow artists I am in the process of launching ‘Bro&Brew’. The company will act act as an artist promoter, book publisher as well as an online and printed magazine… You’ll be seeing the logo creep up on a lot of my work and sites etc from now on…
We are currently searching for artists, writers, photographers, instagrammers to submit work to be featured in the magazine.
To help explain it a little better here is the information that will be placed on the ‘about’ page once the site is live:
Bro&Brew is the brain child of international photographer Carl Beebee and illustrator Emma-Loiuse Gibbons. It is also backed by some very kind, friendly associates and bro’s who for the time being would rather remain nameless…
It is a network for conceptual and narrative based art. It is publishing house for fine art books. It is a promoter of artists as well as an online and print publication. It is the company we always wanted to work with. It is the hellraiser of the art community. It is a place where artists, writers and generally creative people can submit their work.
Our manifesto is simple…
Be cool, be edgy and be different. That’s it. The only guideline. We realise lots of people like landscape photography and pretty watercolour paintings of river sides – there’s lots of sites that publish that content. This isn’t, and never will be one one of them.
If you have created some artwork, writing, music that you feel fits our ethos please head on over to our contact page and submit some bits and pieces for consideration.
Please head on over to www.broandbrew.com to keep updated and to submit work. We have also launched a Instagram page that can keep you updated with cool news and projects etc so please check it out by clicking here.
The shot above is from a home studio session with model Jo Fry I shot a couple of years ago. There’s a fair few images from that shoot that I’ve used in various portfolios and marketing etc – but to my knowledge this is the first time this particular shot has been edited and uploaded anywhere online…
I hope you like some of the images and hopefully it will inspire others to actually have a proper look through some of their older images – it may just surprise you!
Nearly everything I shoot these days is in digital because let’s face it; it’s easier, cheaper, quicker and often (usually) more commercially viable. Bridge cameras, DSLR’s and iPhones have all helped bring the digital revolution to the forefront of photography. It’s nothing new. But it leaves me cold. More people than ever now take photographs. This is a good thing I realise but I think it takes away the love of it all. I realise I’m probably not explaining this too well but there is something so unique, and so special about shooting with a film or Polaroid camera.
I’ve recently moved house, and this gave me a great excuse and to sort through boxes and boxes of 35mm negatives and exposed Polaroids. I looked through them all, and they just seem to hold so much more substance. They are real. Printed in front of me. There is in my opinion an art to them which will forever elude digital photography.
I’m aware there are many photographers that still shoot in film, but in truth it’s not something I do enough of and I need to change that. I need to feel like a “photographer” again and in my humble opinion shooting with film is such a large part of that.
I decided that I needed some personal projects to work with to use film again so I started to look through the internet to gather some inspiration. I came across a great article on fstoppers.com by David Geffin titled ‘Why I’ve gone back to shooting film, and why you should too’ It essentially told me what I already felt and I found myself nodding in agreement as he suggested that our DSLR’s have “turned us into the equivalent of photographic sloths”
I then watched a film which I had been meaning to watch for a while called ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ who was a Nanny in America but had a somewhat secretive life as a street photographer. I’d urge anyone with an interest in film photography to watch this film.
For me, I’ve decided that for the first time in years, next month I will shoot a model completely on Impossible Project Polaroid 600 film. I’m looking forward to this shoot more than any other I have done in a serious amount of time. I have also been wondering for some time how I could make my 2nd California book different to the first. I am now starting to consider shooting a large portion of the book on Medium Format film as well as Impossible Project…
Thinking about film, and how I can implement it has kind of taken me back to where I started and in all honesty it has helped me regain my love for the art form which is photography.
Apologies for the complete lack of blog updates recently – been crazy busy and I can get really bad at remembering/finding time too blog…
So, a few updates… The piece of above is from a new collection of conceptual portraits I’m creating. The series is entitled ‘Desire’ and aims to create emotionally driven portraiture…
This photograph above is from a vintage, fashion shoot I did with my friend Esme – still lots more of these to edit and hopefully I’ll add some more to the blog very soon…
In other news the great folks at VSCO invited me to start a grid of my iPhone work on their site – there’s only a few images there at the moment (including the one below) but I intend to add many more of the coming weeks. BTW if you haven’t already got it I highly suggest you download the VSCOcam app for your iPhone – it’s my favourite photography app and has some truly unique effects… You can take a look at my VSCO grid here: http://carlbeebee.vsco.co
And finally there is the news regarding my small trip to California…
In November I will be travelling to LA with three of my closest friends – during the trip – as well as several fashion shoots I will be documenting the towns, landscapes and the adventures of our trip for my forthcoming book ‘California Calling’ which will be internationally released at the beginning of 2014… This is a trip I’m really excited about and I really think I’m going to create something truly unique and very, very cool… What could possibly go wrong?
On this note – the casting is still open for these shoots – so if you’re a model in California and are interested please drop me a line at email@example.com
One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with my website, is settling on a way to organise my online galleries. Recently I’ve had a page with links to different galleries; portraits, conceptual, places, polaroids etc. but I found that all a bit tiresome… It can also be difficult when you have a image that could fit into more than one category – where do you put it then? Just in one or in both galleries?
I’ve spent the last few hours taking lots of photographs down (and adding a few new ones) and I’ve “bundled” them all into one gallery. At the moment I like it and it seems to be easier, but I’ll likely change my mind soon.
Those that have been reading my blog for a while know that I have a bit of a love, hate relationship with Instagram.
Just recently however, I’ve tried to use it a little more purposefully, and I have to say I’m really enjoying it.
I only upload images that have actually been taken on the iPhone but I do try and mix things up a little bit by uploading “proper” photographs (portraits, places etc.) as well as shooting some behind the scenes images from photo shoots along with just completely random photos (see above).
If you use Instagram please follow me on @carlbeebee – and leave a comment in the comment section below with your username so I can follow you back.
The photo above is from my iPhone shoot which was exclusively for ‘Snap My Life’ – taken on a iPhone 4S.
The studio shoot, using only the built in camera app on the iPhone had it’s up and downs… Because there is no manual metering mode on the iPhone camera it it can be increasingly difficult to get an exposure (and focus) that you’re happy with.
I found if I used too much light then the camera gave the skin tones a highly saturated yellow temperature but if the light wasn’t significant enough this allowed for unsharp images and noise – so finding the right balance was essential.
The only editing I gave the photographs is the same editing that I’d give any studio portraiture if it had been shot on my DSLR; brightness, contrast, clarity, saturation etc.
I have to say considering these were taken on a phone camera I’m very pleased with some of the results – as with any shoot there are some images better than others but I do feel, overall that the images are of a high quality… In fact there are at least 5 images that I would happily use in a portfolio of my work – this is a testament to the camera.
This shoot would of been near on impossible just a few short years ago and it is a credit to modern technology just how far these “camera phones” have come along – who knows, maybe in future editions of the iPhone the camera app will be able to deal with manual controls of the exposure and white balance etc.
The whole experience of shooting with a phone in a studio was very unique – and so different to using a pro DSLR – but the results are there for all to see – it is possible to get good, high quality studio portraits using a camera phone.
To see all of the photos from the iPhone shoot please go here.
There is also a behind the scenes video from the shoot on YouTube here.
I don’t often use ‘Instagram’ anymore. I don’t really have anything against it I just generally prefer to build Lightroom Presets that I think suit individual photographs.
Having said that, I took the photograph above a couple of days ago on my iPhone and tried a few different presets, but I couldn’t get it how I wanted. I got frustrated and bored so decided to whack it into Instagram.
As it turned out I really love the look of it with it’s current filter so I was pleasantly surprised… Maybe I should give Instagram a little more thought in the future…