My Backyard – a photo essay to capture interiors, exteriors, people and life on the streets of Bristol through 2013
My backyard can be as exciting and more challenging to photograph than any exotic location, I just have to open my eyes and see beyond the familiar.
First up in the My Backyard series are two environmental photographs which feature street art. Watch this space, as the year unfolds, for more images around and about the streets, buildings and people of my home City.
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©2013 Hugh Burden Photographer
This interior shoot for Beautiful Homes magazine features a fabulous 1860 converted rectory. The interior photography of Vince and Sarah’s home, festooned, tinselled and ready for Christmas needed sympathetic lighting. Fill flash was used to balance the cold dull daylight with the warm house lights and candles. As the shoot progressed moving from room to room, I couldn’t help but get the Christmas spirit especially when presented with Sarah’s delicious home-made mince pies served up with piping hot coffee.
All in all a hard days photography but a lovely day, if he has time, I think Santa might just take a break here while enjoying a mince-pie or three.
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When BrewDog opened their speciality bar on Bristol’s waterfront, it was a good day for beer lovers. Drawing on my own specialities, I photographed the people, interiors and exteriors of the busy waterfront bar, adapting to fading daylight, tungsten light and street light.
Kit is only as good as the photographer and I rarely mention it. However having recently upgraded my Nikon gear, I am absolutely delighted with the digital capacity of their latest chip, it captures amazing detail even in low light.
I was well focused too, the idea of a refreshing pint when finished kept me going. Cheers and thanks BrewDog!
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See the case study with testimonial here, Interior Photography Case Study BrewDog
all images © 2012 HUGH BURDEN photographer
The merger of photography and digital art brings many sophisticated possibilitie - is it photography or something new?
Gold medallist and founder of PerformWell and SportPerform, Paul Burden
image © 2012 Hugh Burden photographer
Last January I was pondering “photography is and isn’t what it used to be” with current technology and the digital revolution, as the starting point of discussion. http://www.hughburden.com/blog/index.php/archives/517
From an art and historical point of view, painters have always had complete freedom of expression to create any impression, or any fantastical world they imagine. Photographers, on the other hand, were restricted to a moment in time, as Cartier Bresson called it “the decisive moment”. for people photography. That moment, when light waves hit silver halide on glass or later cellulose acetate, the photograph was decided. Once this moment had been chosen, the rest was a mechanical process to arrive at a physical image that one can hold and view. This very mechanical process was and sometimes still is cited as the reason that photography cannot be an artform. The debate, of course, had and still has protagonists on both sides, some yays and some nays.
Fast forward some one and a half centuries, through the widespread use of photography, to consider the impact of contemporary technology. Digital photography and post production techniques have become very sophisticated opening up limitless creative possibilities for image making. Photographers can make photographs to create any impression, or any fantastical world they imagine.
Just a minute, is that not what painters always had?
In the hands of an artist technology may well be the opening door to photography finally being welcomed, undisputed as an artform, an impression of art or maybe something new - photography is and isn’t what it used to be.
Thanks to Mhairi Smith, Urban Splash, for sending Urban Splash’s latest hardback ‘Transformation’ published by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The book showcases a few of my interior photographs of Lakeshore, Bristol, among many of Urban Splash’s other RIBA award-winning schemes and looks at how Urban Splash has grown from small beginnings into one of the most respected regeneration companies in the United Kingdom. Co founders Tom Bloxham MBE and Jonathan Falkingham RIBA explain their approach ’we will leave this city not less but better, greater than it was left to us…’ (oath sworn by citizens of ancient Athens)
I am always struck by how beautiful presentation elevates what might ordinarily be, in my view, ‘straight forward’ photographs. Not to say any of the images that appear in this beautifully produced book are less than perfect. Just to acknowledge the total contribution the client, art directors, writers, designers, photographers, typographers, printers et al make; each supporting the others input. Of course the photograph is the most important bit (I would say that wouldn’t I?).
The Telegraph and Lloyds TSB set out to find Britain’s best University entrepreneurs. I was commissioned to take an environmental portrait of the South West’s regional winner, Tim Woolmer the founder and chief technology officer of Yasa Motors.
YSA motors have developed a revolutionary electric motor weighing in at under 20kg and capable of propelling a car or bike at speeds of up to 200 mph and getting from zero to 60 mph in lightning times of less than 3 secs… amazing….
I read recently a comparison test where the latest i phone camera was pitched against a mid range DSLR set on auto. When the i phone competed well, very well indeed, it seemed to me that photography certainly isn’t what it used to be. Photography has been democratised, picture taking has become ubiquitous in every day contemporary life. Every one is a ‘photographer’, recording and publishing online, every birth, marriage , bottle of wine drunk and candle blown out, all within seconds of the event. Long gone are the mystical mysterious yellow rooms of alchemy, depth of field, the scheimpflug principle, f stops, dodging and shading, push processing, clip testing: I could go on. The silicon implant in your camera and Adobe Photoshop have pretty much changed photography, it is not what it used to be.
Or is it?
The way images are physically captured have changed, sure, the way we process those images has changed. The wider participation of the population who make images for commercial and private use has dramatically changed also. However Photography is the same as it always has been. Photography is about communication it is about ideas, propaganda, sentiment, information… fun, even art. Professional photographers have had to raise their game to stay in it maybe but now, all of us can enjoy the creative process through photography.
Photography is and isn’t what it used to be.
Some time ago I embarked on a challenge…… shoot a self portrait. Well, this challenge got a bit out of hand as I was shooting pics with me in them – all over the show (is this called narcissism…. mmm?… anyway swiftly moving on) – here are a few examples of my modelling endeavours …
One image that caught my eye was entered into the International Aperture Awards. So – despite the model - the Judges awarded this image ‘Silver’ in the People photographer, Portrait section. And here is (drum rolls) the ‘afore mentioned image – tah rrrrah
February 2009 was a snowy event across the UK, the Downs in Bristol was no exception receiving its share of the white stuff. The Downs are like Hyde Park in London, except there is no lake, no horseriding, no deckchairs, no bar and…err..no gallery….ok…the Downs are nothing like Hyde Park.
Anyway whilst crunching across the Downs one early evening I came across this couple, happy to be out in the cold and snow. Once the couple settled down to serious posing it didn’t take to long in the cold to get their environmental portrait.
Sun, sea, sand, and clear west Wales fresh air made for a very pleasant days shoot for Coast magazine producing interior and exterior photographs and some environmental portraits of the family all at this beautiful seaside location. Unfortunately there was no time to top up one’s tan, or roll up trousers and paddle (where’s my knotted hanky?).
The charming family with three brilliant kids, who fearless in front of the camera made the shoot a memorable and fun one.
all images ©2010 HUGH BURDEN photographer