The week started with a twelve hour shoot at The Celtic Manor in Newport with a full brief to record the event, surroundings and food using as far as possible only ambient light. The event consisted of a conference with breakout meetings, an exhibition with tasting of Welsh foods, a spectacular buffet lunch and an evening dinner with entertainment provided by Llantrisant Male Voice Choir.
I do prefer shooting utilising only ambient light as you can achieve a much more natural result but sometimes particularly in conference and dinner venues whilst there is plenty of light to see what you are photographing you can very often be shooting at the extremes, with very slow shutter speeds and wide open lenses and the problems of movement and lack of depth of field that can bring with it to say nothing of colour casts from a mix of daylight, tungsten and fluorescent lighting.
I used a tripod for some of the food photography before the event became busy but soon had to resort to handholding as the guests arrived and space became an issue. A shallow depth of field and some movement can help create some interesting images but a steady hand is a must to avoid the dreaded camera shake.
A commission to photograph the launch of The Wolf Studio Wales in Cardiff bay followed. Essentially the brief required a press shot for distribution to the local, national and trade media of the Welsh Government Economy Minister Ken Skates AM with Bad Wolf's Chief Executive , Jane Tranter and Managing Director Julie Gardner.
Some thought had been given to this by the studios PR company IJPR who had a set up complete with directors chairs and film lights in front of some branding. All I needed to do was balance some off camera fill flash to light the subjects and a nice picture resulted which gained some column inches in many trade publications.
Corporate portraiture is a regular for me and this week I was commissioned to photograph fifteen staff at WRAP Cymru for web, social media and marketing use. All images were shot in the same style against a white background and three versions of each sitter supplied, one face on, one angled left and one angled right.
White backgrounds don't just appear by placing a white background behind the sitter particularly if you main subject is lit by flash as is the case here when a muddy tray background can result. To get a true white background the background needs it's own light to create the clean white. Not too much though as the background will just bounce the light back causing a softness around the head and a degrading of the image.
All pictures are shot in colour but I rather like a black and white conversion which I think works well for portraiture allowing the character of the sitter to come through.
A feature picture for The Ford Motor Companies internal communication magazine @Ford followed, telling the story of a Ford employee who runs marathons, including the London Marathon and also imparts his enthusiasm for running to his local primary school pupils in Swansea by organising a running club and marathon events for the children.
I recently had the pleasure of photographing the Wales Media Awards organised by The Journalists Charity and held at The Holland House Hotel in Cardiff. It was great to see so many colleagues there and such talented media people being recognised for their good work.
It must be 33 years since I attended what was then The JR Freeman Press Awards as a recipient of the Weekly Photographer of the year Award.
The life of a photographer can indeed be very varied.