Morgana, photographed in London



Morgana
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)

Whilst I"m not usually a fan of studio based group shoots for various reasons, and tend to not to attend too many, occasionally there will be something which persuades me to join one. The neon shoot last July was one such, and the opportunity to get a few shots with Morgana was enough to persuade me to join a recent 'MeetUp' shoot in North London.

The promo for the event described Morgana as 'the alternative legend Morgana', and that sums things up pretty well. If you're not familiar with Morgana's work, a quick google of Model Morgana will fix that, and make it pretty clear why I'd be happy to put aside my indifference to group shoots, and sign up for this one. Additionally, I'd already exchanged emails with Morgana, having used one of her corsets in a previous shoot, when shooting her good friend Lucy Fur, so not least, this was also a good chance to meet her properly.

Of course, one of the reasons I'm not usually enamoured of group shoots is that in order to keep things running smoothly, the lighting setups need be functional, and, in order to keep six photographers happy, pretty much suited to all. So, broadly speaking, you will end up with a setup that's comparatively straightforward. No harm there-most of my lighting setups are usually one light, two max, with very occasional straying into the rock'n'roill bleeding edge dizzy heights territory of three lights. I'm that crazy, me. Anyway, my point is, simple lighting does not automatically equal bad lighting, but I do like it to be my own lighting, rather than someone else's. If someone else has set up the lights, and told you the aperture/speed for the shot, I find it difficult to feel that it's 'my' photo. Anyway, I managed to end up being the last of the photographers to shoot for each of the lighting setups, which meant that I could actually experiment a bit with the lights, and change them round a bit.

For two sets, I didn't change anything, but for one set, I thought there was potential for something a little more dramatic in changing the lighting. The light was originally set up with a big octobox, with the model far enough away from the white background to drop it out to grey. But, nothing dramatic. Adrian Jones, one of the other photographers had brought along some pretty impressive antlers for his own image, and was gracious enough to let me use them for a couple of shots. Very gracious-I know that as a photographer, having sourced a prop, and set everything up for the image *I* want, to have someone then go 'cool-I'll do that too!' is more than a little galling. So, hat's off to Jonesey, for being so genuinely generous in letting me steal his antlers for a couple of shots. Anyway, first thing I did was take the ambient lights down to leave just the light from the proper lamp, and take the soft box off it, so that we'd get much more direct light, and stronger, much more dramatic shadows. This resulted in a couple of images from the session that I can definitely call my own.

But, this does highlight the good side of group shoots-meeting other photographers, and seeing how they interact with the models, and how *they* get the best out of the situation. It's always interesting to see other photographers work, and there's always something you'll learn from seeing this interaction. After this shoot, for example, I know that I'll be taking much more of an interest next time I'm anywhere near an antiques place, or second hand junk shop-as I've realised now, you never know when something might show up that may well make an image some way down the road.

So anyway, Morgana. Blimey. I have to say, out of the images I got, I could pretty much have picked a dozen or so at random, and been very happy to post them. She's an amazing model, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with Morgana again just as soon as I have the opportunity, but this time having much more control over the setup, and full control over the concept of the shoot. In the meantime, click on the image above to be taken to the gallery of images from the first shoot, and check out the iPad wallpaper, featuring Morgana,
right here.





Neon, photographed in London

neonicon  6064
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I recently attended a workshop on shooting with various flavours of neon lighting, at Adrian Pini's studio in North London. It's rare that I attend any kind of workshop these days, but this one intrigued me. Definitely a chance to try something a little unusual, particularly in a technical sense, but more importantly, an opportunity to try a few things out before a forthcoming shoot.

There was some stuff about colour theory, I gather, and some technical information on why, etc, which I’m sure was fascinating, but I managed to miss that by showing up 30 minutes late. I then made a spectacular entrance by taking a seat, which then promptly collapsed, much to the amusement of everone else in the studio. Now, I'm no supermodel, granted, but I'm not the biggest bloke on the block either. I may sue Adrian.

Ania, our model for the evening, was fantastically patient, and worked her heart out. She made loads of contributions to the shoot, and managed to stay focussed and enthusiastic throughout. No mean feat, I can tell you. Overall, I would say that I'm pleasantly pleased by the results. Whilst it's difficult to come away from a group shoot like this with images that are truly your own, I'm happy to say that I think I managed to do so. Overall, no complaints from me.