Poland Trip Picture

Anthony Llobet, Hair Dresser & Salon Owner

Anthony Llobet, Hair Dresser & Salon Owner, Barcelona

I went to photograph Anthony whilst still recovering from a stomach bug that had been doing the rounds of the city. I was feeling very light-headed and generally not ‘all there’, I did however have an idea in my mind as to what shot I would like and when you are lucky enough to have this, it can make taking photographs that little bit easier; you have to all intents and purposes solved the creative puzzle and now its just a matter of technicalities and perhaps ‘shoe-horning’ the reality of whats possible into the form you had in mind.

Funnily enough Anthony had only just recovered from the same bug so was either being sympathetic or he too was still slightly delirious (trust me, after this bug you lose so much water, etc, in such a short space of time, it is like a natural high).

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Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

El Jardinet Dels Gats

I don’t do so many articles for this magazine anymore, but I got called up to do this at shot notice and was free so said yes.

I know this little park quite well, situated at the back of the Boqueria market but, I suspect, not much visited or written about in guide books, it is pretty easy to miss, a lot of it is shielded and the canopy of trees and tranquilty is hardly like to catch the eye with all the other things going on around there. I met Alex and her mother who run the place  and another guy who is a cat therapist/whisperer etc, etc.

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Posted: October 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Various Interviews

I realise I am behind in posts and it seems like a good idea to do one covering the interview photos I take every month.

I have said this before, that doing these is not going to make me rich! But I do get to meet people, who for the most part, are interesting and quite a few either become friends or clients.

Included in this selection is a photo of Mad who was a friend before and we later did a shoot that was pretty successful.

Also in here is an image of Julian who became a friend AND a client and we have had quite a few long nights out at a favoured cocktail bar and I have also photographed his plays.

Kostas was also fun to photograph and I am still looking forward to trying his restaurant some day soon

The photo pictured above is the latest and I have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong so used it as an excuse to try out one of the new light modifiers I had bought there (along with a new camera and lenses). I wanted to try and reprise a look I used last year of Pablo, who became a friend as well.

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Posted: October 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Joanna Mills, Irish Runner

In the run up to the Olympic games in London I got a call from a guy who I had worked with in the past, he is a sports journalist and the last time we met was at the Marathon in Barcelona where he was helping to promote the marathon in Belfast.

This time he was working on a story about Joanna Mills, a contender to represent Ireland in the 400m  and the relay, there was however a cloud hanging over this because certain governing bodies had made a complete hash of choosing the final team which then led to appeals, so that Joanna and her rival where left hanging as too who would go forward.

Joanna was in Barcelona taking part in an event on Monjuic but it was obvious this mess was hanging over her, but still she was lovely to work with and a great girl. Her father was her manager and minder and he was, let us say, a little more like an attack dog waiting to pounce, but I still managed to get him to hold a reflector and hopefully persuade him my intentions were honourable.

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Posted: July 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial, Events | No Comments »

Hollis Duncan, Bike Cross

This photo is an example of me having an idea in my head and striving to make it real. I have probably said before, that one does not do these interview pieces for the money, but they, at least, give you pretty much free reign to do as you please.

I had an image of this shot in my head and basically I nailed it.

I needed the ambient light to be close to sunset to paint in the background and then i used 3 flashes to get the effect I wanted, I had quite a lot of gels on the 2 main lights which was set up co axially at a point that Collis would cycle through pretty fast, on the camera I had a ring flash to add some fill. Doing a shot like this means you get one shot each time he passes so timing is pretty important, I prefer to work like this anyway, having a motor drive going always makes me uncomfortable as it can run away with you and also I think there is some atavistic reaction from the analogue days of burning through too much film. This picture is not cropped and is one of quite a few that I would be happy to use in portfolio.

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Posted: November 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Sagrada Familia, A Never-Ending Story

This was for an article in the Metropolitan magazine. I knew nothing about the story or the person nor had I ever met the writer.

The pictures were taken in the summer but the article did not appear till October.

I am not a big fan of the Sagrada Familia, to tell the truth, I find it kind of monstrous, a case where Gaudí had decided ‘less was definitely more’, also the neighbourhood is not one of my favourites, it has that transitory feeling of areas around train or bus stations, and a little sordid perhaps.

And of course the multitude of tourists can be claustrophobic, especially if you are trying to work.

Because the writer was there I did not have much time so decided on using the park in front and used a brolly on a flash and did the whole thing in about 5 mins. I quite like the wonky angle and I like the post production that brings out all the texture, even in his shirt!

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Posted: October 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Micheal Witty, Walking Tours

I had to meet Mr Witty at a hotel near plaza Catalunya, the place was full of old German tourists and the vague description I had meant I was sure half the people there could have been him.

When someone I thought was most likely to be him did appear and proceed to wander around looking unsure of himself, I decided to call out his name, but I had a mental block and stumbled trying to remember it and what escaped was a “Witty!” delivered in a rather scary, headmasterly way, he looked round and for a brief moment I think he may have been taken back to his schools days, judging by the look on his face, I have no idea why I shouted his name out like that…

… Anyway he was a really nice chap, so no harm done.

I decided to try and find an outdoor space, I knew if we asked for permission to do pics everyone would run around like headless chickens looking for someone else to make the executive decision and unable to do say would say “no, sorry.” So best option would be a quiet spot.

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Posted: October 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Paolo Guidoni, Opera Singer

Paolo is one of those people you just get on with. I went there with an idea to experiment with a lighting effect that would give me an almost painterly effect; quasi Renaissance perhaps. As a result I fluffed around a little experimenting with different things, but Paolo was very patient and amenable.

I photographed him in the building where he is setting up a new company that will be  mounting productions, they have a nice sized space and a stage and I look forward to seeing productions there. I love the way it is situated in a quiet side street in El Born and from the outside you would have no idea just what was going on in there.

The effect I got was by using 2 lights on the same stand, one with a brolly and the other above with a warming gel on a bare head, for the background another was used to pick out the details of the stair case which I liked as it almost looks like a stage set. Unlike a stage set I could not control the comings and going of people, sure enough when you want to start taking pictures, your supposedly deserted location turns into Piccadilly Circus.

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Posted: September 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Joan Calvet Merce

Joan works for a wine company as a taster. To get to his house I took the Bicing to what is the last stop in that direction, essentially Sarría, it is all up hill and with a heavy camera bag quite a challenge.

Once you are in the rarified world of this barrio you soon realise where the money is; they actually have houses here and private foreign schools.

Joan lives in a kind of bungalow at the end of a cul-de-sac, you enter a large security gate to find yourself in a world of vines and plants and, unfortunately, a haven for Tiger mosquitoes, I was as obsessed with killing the little devils as I was in getting the picture; they leave you with big welts and a bad itch almost the moment they touch you.

For this shot I wanted the dog to be in shot because A. He is mentioned in the text and B. I loved how he matched the throw on the seat.

The lighting could have been simple because there was so much natural stuff flooding the place, but after having hauled all my kit up those hills I was damned if I was not going to use it. The only thing I regret is that the fill which was a ring flash was a bit too strong and has left its distinctive shadow effect, especially around the dog.

I can just blame the mosquitoes for that lapse in concentration!

Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »

Pregnancy Services

These are images for an article about people who offer services to pregnant women in Barcelona, aside from the usual midwifery this includes such things as massages etc.

I did pictures of several of them together at the offices where they worked. There was a nice amount of white space and natural light to play with as well as using the flash I had with me. I started with some minimalist shots to differentiate from ones I had done earlier in the week of someone on a verdant patio, I also wanted to do something that was not all smiley, the trouble is of course this is what most people want.

Two of the women photographed in this simple austere white style wanted to have more images taken in the pastoral vein of the others I had done.

Shots like this are easy to do and have no technical challenge, all you need is sun, shade and some greenery, it is hard to get inspired but what the hell, I had the shots I prefer, I understand they may not be the most flattering but they are  honest and I like them.

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Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | No Comments »