Posts Tagged 'strobist'

A Boy & His Barn Owl…

A boy and his barn owl...

Ok so this isn’t an everyday occurrence but during a recent fashion shoot, we stopped off at a models apartment for a quick break and low and behold he’s only got a barn owl as a pet! I was totally blown away. Not an amazing shot as one I didnt wanna use flash and (twit) twoo available light was very dim.

The shots from the shoot will be used by a new up and coming internet based fashion magazine “Dorkzine” and will hopefully go live this Sunday, I shall report back as soon as I know more. But for now here’s a few more shots, the shoots theme was colour…

Dork Shoot - Colours

Me being me I have been desperate to work light painting into a fashion shoot for sometime but whilst waiting for darkness to descend and in keeping with the colour motif, I used graffiti as a nice backdrop. Later on obviously the lights and gels came out ;-)

Dork Shoot - Colours

Photographer: Jon Shackleton (
Assistant Photographer: Gideon Foster
Stylist: Lucy Ellis
Make Up: Shell Sullivan
Model (Male): Toni Le Britton
Model: (Female): Johanna Scott


Geeky 3D!

Er Hellooooooooooooooow!

First attempts at off camera flash self portraiture. Inspired in part by Nocturnes great recent work. I have wanted for a long time to try stuff like this and its finally come to fruition! Looking forward to lots more experiments along these lines in the future, not just on my self don’t panic!

As much as I find this new found world of inspiration exciting, challenging and not to mention fun, I think it will take time for me to adjust to it, for I am used to running around in the dark with a flash gun popping off a few bursts then, moving to the next subject etc as I do with my light painting work. I think whilst I am learning such techniques I will find it initially quite frustrating not having the usual freedom I am accustomed  to and having to think more about where I place my lighting etc. I don’t think its that different to what I am doing at the moment just a little more structured.

I Want One!

I saw this on another blog and had to repost as this has got to be the maddest bit of camera set-up I have seen…

Expect to see this on Dragons Den? I doubt it but hell I’d buy one!

Keep On Truckin…

Well another weekend flew by, literally at times, as I mentioned previously, Friday night was going to be consumed by the Aftershow. Where we saw the excellent Gideon Conn, who yet again wowed the crowd and during a rapturous climax brought the show to a close with a cover of the Outcast hit Miss Jackson! The boy who seems to be so shy and unassuming has a real stage presence. Even when playing lesser know tracks the crowd who are normally just head nodding to the usual, run of the mill indie acts that play regularly were bouncing up and down and having a great time. We didn’t really stick around to see anyone else as had a big night ahead of us Saturday night (More of that later) but here’s a few images of Gideon in action…

Aftershow Birthday - Gideon Conn 13/09/08

Aftershow Birthday - Gideon Conn 13/09/08

And finally, proving that all photographers have a loving relationship and total respect for one another, even those that are your best mates, heres Gideon (not the singer / rapper) aka G, aka Th3g

Mutual Respect Is Common Amongst Photographers!

Saturday started brightly, I finally got our poor broken down washing machine fixed, its been blocked up for over a week and we were starting to run out of clothes and the water in it had started to smell! YUK!

Then all the football results went my way, much to my delight, oh well apart from Aresenal cruising to a 4-0 win at Blackburn but hey you cant have everything ;-) As for Saturday evening, what can I say things couldnt have gone better. G and I set off just after eight and after a couple of hours driving and some blasts from the past; including Roni Size, Mr Scruff, KRS 1 and other such musical delights, on the stereo we arrived at our meeting place with Andy, a contact from Flickr. Neither of us had met him but were both more than happy to meet up with him as he seemed like a cool guy and was more than capable at “our kind” of photography! We owed him a visit anyways as a previous planned trip had fallen through. All the way down we had been watching the clouds slowly disappear and the stars coming out to play, twinkling in the Autumn sky.

By the time we reached our intended destination, mist had started to form and was swirling all around us, as we crossed a freshly cut field visibility was patchy but the way was illuminated by a full moon and the scene around us was pretty much otherworldly. When we finally approached the location the mist had become thick fog and we could see little more than 15ft in front of us.

The General Pt2
The General
F5.6 / ISO 100 / 167secs / 10mm.
Green gelled flash from behind and to right of camera, cab red gelled flash multiple times, underneath gelled flash yellow, again multiple times.

Lil Pinkie
Lil Pinkie
F5.6 / 201secs / ISO100 / 16mm.
Pink gelled flash from front, cab lit by yellow gel, rear and underneath lit by aqua gelled flash. All fired multiple times.

Keep  On Truckin Pt2
Keep On Truckin PT2
F5.6 / 225secs / ISO100 / 12mm
Exterior greeny blue gelled flash (only once or twice), interior lit with violet flash multiple times and finally underneath lit from rear and far side with “Chrome Orange”

The next shot isn’t amazing but it shows you just HOW foggy it was…

F5.6 / 106secs / ISO100 / 20mm
Red gelled flash from rear and front lit by yellow gelled 2million candle torch.
Hopefully this will give you a size of some of the beasts that we encountered, to the left of this there were empty containers lined up, they are by no means small and this thing absolutely dwarfed them. I remember feeling last time I visited and particularly this time, that some of these now decaying relics resembled massive dinosaurs as they slowly lumbered out of the thick primordial fog.

After packing up our gear we made our way back slowly, pretty blindly, through the fog to the car, where I preceded to make us all a nice cup of tea on my Pocket Rocket Stove. Andy having not met us before was well impressed by how prepared we were! After sharing thoughts about this amazing place and how well we thought we had shot etc we were off to check out a spot we had briefly checked out earlier in the evening before coming here.

10minutes later, zipping down lots of country lanes we were there, due to the nature of the place I am not going to mention where it was but safe to say we didn’t break in or do any damage whatsoever. That goes against our ethos, if we couldn’t have got in we wouldn’t have bothered. Anyways here follows some shots, they are not amazing as I was a lil uneasy shooting there at first but we all settled in after a while and were happily shooting after a little uneasiness.

Shooting Star
Shooting Star (Lockheed T33a)
F5.6 / 132secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Green gelled flash from right side once or twice, cockpit flash twice with red gelled flash and intake lit by red gelled Maglight, joint lighting from myself and Andy.

Thrust (Mig 27k)
F5.6 / 64secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Lit by red gelled 2D Maglight (centre) and again same torch gelled blue, run around in a circle. Whilst shooting this Andy, quite rightly, commented that it looked like an X-Wing from Star Wars! You can pretty much see just how bad the light pollution was here, I really hate that horrible orange sky but what can you do and having said that think it looks ok in this shot.

Bluenose Bast*rd
Blue Nose Bast*rd (Avro Ashton)
F5.6 / 38secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Like a big squid like creature, swimming out of the darkness, all that remains of this beast is the nose and partial fuselage. I was gutted I couldn’t get inside to light the windows but what can you do eh!

After shooting a couple more shots, which sadly didnt make it past the cutting room floor, we all decided it was time to call it a night as it was fast approaching 5am. A very productive night was had by all and I look forward to seeing the others shots.

Will add other pics later, hope you enjoyed the shots and delights this trip provided.

Recent Exploits

Little write up about what I got up to over Bank Holiday, certainly not everyones cup of tea but what the hey the results are pretty good. We visited the following sites…

Former German work camp not far out side of Crewe. Very little info to be found on the net but as of June 16, 1945 the U.S. France and the U.K. held a combined total of 7,500,000 German POW’s and DEF’s. During the two World Wars many hundreds of Prisoners of war were lodged in Shropshire’s 18 POW camps. These were not all in occupation at the same time or during both wars. We had permission to shoot this site, so was a nice relaxed wander about.

Nissen Skyline

F7.1 / 25mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Grass, green gel flash multiple times from behind camera and to right of frame. 1st hut lit blue multiple times from inside, the same for the doorway and windows of the second, purple and yellow respectively. Each lighting type was repeated twice during the exposure to build up colour.


Next up was Doddington Castle, or Delves Hall, I believe its also known as. In a pretty shabby state.

“This fortified tower was built by Sir John Delves in 1364, on the site of a former moated manor house. The tower was initially free-standing and was probably intended as a place of refuge for the family. In the 17th century it was incorporated into a range of domestic buildings which were known as Doddington Hall.[3] In the Civil War the hall became a garrison for the parliamentary forces. It was taken for the king by Lord Byron in January 1644 but retaken shortly after.In 1727 the house and estate passed to the Broughton family. The house was demolished around 1777 and replaced by the new Doddington Hall, leaving the tower as a landscape feature which was possibly used as a gazebo or a banqueting pavilion. The external staircase to the former house was retained when the house was demolished and it was attached to the tower.” From Wikipedia

Doddington Castle

F7.1 / 11mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Not a long enough exposure, when we arrived the stars were everywhere so I slapped on my battery back and was gonna do a mega long trail, sadly it wasnt to be as not long after I’d set it going it soon clouded over again! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!


Following this was a nearby ramshackle house, owned by former quarry magnate Jim Barry, here again have struggled to find out anything concrete about the place. The house is a strange one and the first of two we would visit tonight where the house is separated into two and without leaving the house its only possible to get from one side to the other by going upstairs, not advisable I would say as there are bowing ceilings and at one stage a clear view right in the attic from the ground floor. Access to the actual house is tricky as most of the entrances have had huge piles of earth shoveled up in front of the doorways, so much so that at the front of the building it would be possible to gain access by a first floor bedroom window. Despite going in and having a mooch about couldn’t be arsed lugging camera in and gear in take shots so here’s a few exterior shots…

Green Meanie

Green Meanie

F5.6 / 3.5Mins/ ISO100 / 16mm

Garage exterior lit from behind camera and to right with green gelled flash, interior lit by orange gelled flash, both fired multiple times during the exposure. Red tyres lit by Rachel, playing with flash triggers, nothing like free lighting, with out have to fire a flash ;-) Moon to rear of garage…


Jims Garage

Jim's Garage

F5.5 / 5Mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Composition is poor but the colours are nice and the painting was tricky with three light painters. Each of three former garages at Jim Barry’s house were full of deep thistles, nettles, brambles and the odd tire thrown in for good measure, guaranteed to trip you up kinda stuff. Couple of minutes into the exposure and in position after Nocturne, as he put it, took one for the team, finally being the person to trip over, a chair of all things, we began to light the garages. Th3g lighting the red  then runs out of batteries and only begins lighting his end after Nocturne and I have stumbled back out of the hellish undergrowth this end.

Blue – (Myself) Fired multiple times, at ceiling and wall.
Green – (Nocturne) Same I presume!
Red  – (Th3g) A little late but as above.


Finally on the list tonight was another abandoned house, with the same strange quirk as the last, that one side was on accessible from the other via the first floor, agin not a great idea as I nearly found out later! This was a bit of a strange place this, what with [b]This is hell[/b] written above the fireplace, birds, bats, doors shutting, huge gaping holes in the upper floors, shotgun cartridges litter the floor, topped off by an eerie breeze drifting gently through the rooms. There were a few more shots I would have like to tried here but Sunday was rapidly turning into Monday and we had already lost three of our party to tiredness and we’re ready to call it a night after this.

Now Who Would Live In A House Like This?

Now Who Would Live In A House Like This?

F5.6 / 1min20secs / ISO100 / 10mm

Fireplace lit by two tea tree lights, left hand window lit multiple times with red gelled flash after negotiating, yet more holes, brambles, nettles etc for the second time this evening. Not amazingly lit but like the sinister feel to it.

Down The Dark Dark Steps In The Dark Dark House...

Down The Dark Dark Steps In The Dark Dark House...

F6.3 / 1min 25secs / ISO100 / 10mm

Accidental shot this really, I had tried lighting the stairs with tea tree lights and strobing the stairs from the landing, but that was well overexposed so thought I’d have one more pop, without candles before we left. I was supposed to be shooting with a green gelled flash but when I got to the landing for the second time I had picked up a naff steel blue gel and I may as well have been shining a high powered spotlight down the stairs. I got fed up and a lil freaked, as behind the box on the landing (old boiler I think) was one of several large holes in the floor. So coming down the stairs in the pitch black, I fired the flash a couple of times so I could see where the hell I was going.

Heading back to the car, even the two cans of Relentless I consumed during the evening were struggling to keep me awake and it was a hard trudge back to the car, through long grass. Finally reached home at around 6am or so. All in all an enjoyable little jaunt with some sites definitely worth further inspection and investigation. my profile


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