Curious Oyster & The Tribe of Xanadu

Storming the Fields ~ Y NOT 2011

Last weekend I was asked to do some promo pictures at a festival, not my usual type of work for sure, but the guys organising the gig have been doing some very interesting things lately and I was keen to get involved, plus I quite liked the idea of getting back to my roots of documentary style photography.

Curious Oyster is a collective of incredibly capable and driven individuals that are currently bursting up all over the place to put on some truly amazing shows.

Between them they bring together a whole host of other talented people & resources for each event ~ aiming always to work with the best, these are then known as the Tribe of Xanadu.

Its an incredibly simple yet flexible model that seems to work very well indeed.

Between them there is such a wide range of skills and resources ~ from sound engineers and sound systems to bookers and promoters, woodcutters and caterers to DJs's and decor makers.

For the Y-NOT Festival they'd been asked to put on a marque with DJ's and Bands with only a weeks notice and the most ridiculously small budget.

When I arrived and saw what they had achieved I was seriously impressed.

It's not even a case of them managing to pull off the challenge. What they created was a truly amazing experience.

They had a Beautifully cosy tent with awesome decor that managed to be a chilled out cafe in the day with acoustic acts and such, and then transform into a throbbing dance floor with the most amazing atmosphere come nightfall.

I had a fantastic time and met some great people. For all those wanting copies of the pictures feel free to rip them straight off this post or simply hit the tweet & like buttons bellow for the page to appear in your stream.

...  keep your eyes on these guys ~ they got stuff goin on... Curious Oyster facebook page

Reviews of the festival...
Derbyshire Times
Burton Mail

Click through to see the pictures...

Making a short film using a Canon 500D

So I've just finished my first short film and I thought I'd share some of the tech specs and considerations on here.

It is written from image23 on Vimeo.

Click through for more details...

Lighting Set-up #4 ~ Muscle Definition

Just recently I was asked to photograph a body builder for a competition to appear on the cover of Mens Health magazine. Having never lit for muscle I found this a nice little challenge and I thought I'd share my approach here.

So the brief was ~ B&W images on a flat white background with as much muscle definition as possible. Surprisingly this was remarkably easy to achieve. 

After researching past covers of mens health It became clear that they tend to use a simple cross light set~up on the model, which makes sense as shape is defined by shadow, so if you start adding too many lights you're in danger of loosing the shadows and that all important muscle definition along with it.

What you really need is to have a main light with plenty of power to give you lots of contrast & shot bare bulb to give you a good hard light. That, as far as I'm concerned is the most important thing to achieve.

I used my elinchrom D~lite it2 head with a reflector and placed it approx 45 degree's camera right, about 2 foot above the models head and approx 4~5 foot away from him. I then used an Sb24 camera left behind the model as an edge light.

For the background I used two Sb28's . One was placed near the Sb24 but pointed at the curve in the backdrop and the other was hung from the ceiling and pointed at the upper part of the backdrop.