STYLING OUT - HOW TO SURVIVE AND GROW AS A PHOTOGRAPHER

Now this is a blog about the future of photography or what i call 'Styling Out'

I'm all about stylised photography, stylised colour grades in films, photography and beautiful, decisive lighting to wrap it all up into beautiful final pieces. Stylised is defined as 'depicting something in a mannered and non-realistic style.' Styling your light in interesting, unnatural ways. 

This is where 'Styling Out' comes in.

Meet Mr Joe down the street. He's 24, he's been shooting on a Canon 5D Mk III. You also have a Canon 5D Mk III. You guys are killing it. Oh wait.. you're shooting on the same camera, same lenses.. how the hell is a potential client going to chose between you? Style. It all comes down to your style which, in modern days, is a combination of arguably eight things: Your predetermined plan, your eye, your location, your camera technique, your lighting technique, your make up, your styling, and your post production. Depending on a number of things, some of those will fall away but thank god.. eight things you can do to scupper your competition, eight things you can do to define your photography over the next Mr Joe. 

Here are two photos. Both by me but with different approaches - Both have their place and neither are wrong or 'bad'. This is the most basic way i could show  how we can visually execute the same visual into two different end results. This is what will make photography survive as an art-form. 

Interestingly, a lot of my work is all down to my post-production colour grades and retouch work. This all stemmed from starting as a photographer shooting on a shitty Nikon D70 in the low light, fast moving music pits of London as a 17 year old and fighting my equipment all the way from the shot to the edit. You just couldn't get anything editorial out of those early digital cameras in those situations. It was a total baptism of fire. As a result, i got incredibly good and efficient at retouching and editing my images. My post production was absolutely where my style existed and the initial camera part of photography became a 'get it down on paper' so we can get into the creative edit. That's still my speciality but my in camera work and art direction is as key now which brings up the production value and quality of the overall image.

If you're a photographer, amateur or professional, ask yourself where your photography style exists - break it down into those eight categories and outline your strength -  If you're an in camera creative or a post creative, a style creative or mua creative, a location creative or a lighting creative... or just an all rounder, work out what makes your photography your photography and pile everything you have into that and style it out. No one can touch you and the skies the limit. 

OPPOSITES ATTRACT - OML 1 (One minute lessons)

Today, i'm going to get into the opposites of photography. They don't attract at all.. that was a cheeky turn of words used to pull you in with something familiar. After that, this is all pure honesty.. pure reality and stuff i've happily (or unhappily) happened upon.

Shadows and highlights... ANALOGUE VS DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY. 

Now this is a real fucker for anyone trying to switch between the two. 

With digital, if you're going to get the exposure of the photo wrong (or want to retain information to save later) it's better to under-expose (not let in enough light) as the shadows preserve loads of detail. If you over-expose and let in too much light, the highlights are blown out forever never to be saved. Sadface. Therefore it's better to shoot under to later save a sky. This means you can get away with faster shutter speeds in low light and save it later. 

With FILM however, you need to do the opposite. Firstly, take a light meter reading exposing for the shadows (which means you'll naturally be over-exposing (letting in too much light for the mids and the highlights) and then overexpose a little more (+1 stop for portra and fuji 400h) - Highlights can be pulled back LOADS whereas if you don't let in enough light, the shadows retain very little if no information at all and will just get hella grainy and destroyed! Film has a lot of latitude to save an image that is overexposed if you get your exposure wrong so really it's so forgiving. 

NERD OUT OVER 

i lied. This is a photography blog. It's only just begun. sozzle xx

DIGITAL - I shot this way under-exposed and pulled up the shadow and retouched in contrast where i needed it. By under-exposing, i could retain all the beautiful colours i wanted and get the background that significantly brighter exposed properly and retouch the forground after to balance out the two elements. 

DIGITAL - I shot this way under-exposed and pulled up the shadow and retouched in contrast where i needed it. By under-exposing, i could retain all the beautiful colours i wanted and get the background that significantly brighter exposed properly and retouch the forground after to balance out the two elements. 

FILM - Here i metered for the bottom left corner on the burgundy sheet and it gave me a reading of 1/100 and F5.6 on my FUJI 400H. I then shot it at F4 to over-expose the frame and after i brought down the blacks and exposure in post to give me loads of beautiful contrast and a nice amount of grain but not too much or too little. 

FILM - Here i metered for the bottom left corner on the burgundy sheet and it gave me a reading of 1/100 and F5.6 on my FUJI 400H. I then shot it at F4 to over-expose the frame and after i brought down the blacks and exposure in post to give me loads of beautiful contrast and a nice amount of grain but not too much or too little.