Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inspiration (2010)

So what happened to my photography between 2008 and around November 2010? Not a lot to be honest! Moving house, changing jobs, and then the inevitable (for me) lack of confidence when it got to be a year or two since the last shoot.

Ivory Flame
Finally, I was determined to do something ... and that something turned out to be booking a shoot with Ivory Flame. She was always up the top of my list of models to book as and when I could afford to pay a model, and she is rather good at making a nervous (born again) newbie at ease. A very good afternoon got me under way again, and I decided I was going to 'do something photographic' every month. In fact, that was my New Year's Resolution for 2011.

Annie Moya

Soon after this shoot I had an opportunity to upgrade the camera, and traded my Nikon D50 body for a D200. Far superior to the entry level D50, and was top of the range in it's day (about 5 years before). Lenses and flash fit of course, so it was an easy upgrade. To try it out I booked a short fashion shoot with Sophie Smith, who happened to be touring the South West.

Lady Persephone

The first half of 2011 brought with it a series of photoshoots on various themes, and the ideas start rolling. More shoots than I'd ever done before with fabulous models such as Annie Moya, Miss Pixie, Niki Marie, Poppy McLean, Sarah 75, Mike Rayner, Lady Persephone, Laylah and Fiona S.

Fiona S


Miss Pixie

Sophie Smith

NikiMarie & Poppy

Mike Rayner & Sarah

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Brief History (2008)

Wow, in my mind it always seemed like it was a longer period of time, but according to the evidence (net-model work references) all my shoots at this time were between January and June 2008! That sure was a busy few months then!

We had visited New Zealand in 2006, with a view to emigrating there. That was the excuse to get a resonable camera ... it's too big a deal to go there and not have anything to take a photo with! The camera of choice was an entry level Nikon D50 DSLR. I didn't really use it at the time to do much more than 'holiday snaps', and there were some features on my old Minolta that I missed, but it did the job.

Around this time my missus had gone back to University to do her MA in Conservation, and she really needed to use a digital camera for record keeping in the lab. We stretched to a fairly decent lens for her then, a Sigma 17-70 Macro Zoom. Also around this time, my business partner in the website business encouraged us to buy an Interfit EX150 lighting kit. I had an old flash meter from my pre-history days, so we were all set!

I found this to be pretty good for portraits and model photography, and I soon got involved in the net-model and purestorm forums. They proved to be a good way to get some photoshoots in, and get some help learning how to use the equipment effectively.
Khandie Khisses

Memorable times from 2008 include meeting Gestalta on a studio day at Andrew Appleton's Applephoto Studio in Lincolnshire, the very first Vivid Soda Burlesque Review in Northampton organised by James Thorpe Photography, and the Slipland Group Shoot which was at the Guild of Erotic Artists premises near St Albans.

James Rose
Also around this time, Carl Exigent invited Net Model members to his studio in Ruddington near Nottingham. The "Nottingham Club" was born, and the small group of photographers and models would pair off randomly to use the studio. I met James Rose at this time and we are still in touch now. These days he has turned Photographer and is known as Roziekins Photography.

Albums of these shoots can be seen on my website at Henry Wills Photography.

Natasha Danielle
I also took a trip to Steve Robertson's studio near Leeds for a weekend course   run by Simon Young. That was very inspirational and infomrative, and am opportunity to improve my studio techniques.

Unfortunately, moving to Swindon for work curtailed my interests for a while until late 2010 ... but that's another story! :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pre-History (1980-1990)

I started taking an interest in photography back in around 1980/81. My first camera was a Practica MTL. By today's standards a very basic bit of kit, albeit quite solid. The only 'technical' bit on it was the light meter in the viewfinder! My photographic interests at the time were mostly landscapes really.

My first 'decent' camera was a Minolta X700 when it won the 'Camera of the Year Award' in 1983. I bought it new and collected several fixed lenses covering wide angle, short-telephoto for portraits (oh how I miss the 80mm F2) and a 300mm telephoto for wildlife. I still have the X700 and flash now, but with a macro zoom lens rather than the bag full of fixed lenses. You have no idea how heavy some of these old 35mm cameras can be, and that one was thought to be lightweight!

Also around this time I started to experiment with slide film and B/W, developing both myself in a home built darkroom housed in a wardrobe. Many happy (and frustrated) evenings spent sniffing chemicals in a darkened room - perhaps explains a lot eh? :-)

I had an interesting dabble in medium format photography around that time, with the purchase of a Mamiya C220 'TLR - Twin Lens Reflex' that I used for portraits and the occasional wedding.

During this time I worked for an engineering company in Lincoln. There I got involved in the Sports 7 Social Club where I started a Camera Club. I guess there were about a dozen guys turn up each month, and we had competitions, demonstrations, portrait studio sessions (where I would drag some friend along to model for us and let people use my gear).

This is an album of scanned images from that period. Not many, I might dig out some more one day when I repair the scanner :-)