Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, Kay Jay

Kent Music Promo Photographer, taking it back to music, its a Natural High with the talented Kay Jay.

Back in October 2011 I was lucky enough to be part of a creative team that worked on a location video shoot for the amazing Kay Jay and her jointly written, with her then fiancée now husband, Kevin Sutherland. Its name simply ‘Natural High’  drawing on influences from her own past which are abundantly obvious when you hear the track and believe me in two days I heard it a lot!

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

It was shot on location at an amazing house in Norfolk call Battleford Hall, an old vicarage owned by Kate’s uncle, who the whole crew referred to as ‘Uncle Pete’ who during our time in residence looked after us in what can only be described as VIP treatment. I think I probably owe him a few bottles of wine as we quaffed long into the night on the first day!

So I spent two amazing days lurking around behind the cameras and trying to get enough time to get some decent portraits in between scenes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

My absolute favorite without a doubt is this one, album cover material? only time will tell.

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

Also because I have had to hold this back for nearly 5 months I have also held back the following image never before seen not even by Kate!

Kent Music Promo Photographer | Taking it back to music, with Jay Kay

Some of the more observant of you might notice this is a rehashed blog. The reason is that Kate has just released the single and heres the final video

In two days I met some great people: Melissa Kassinen simply great make-up and Lukas DiSparrow one of the worlds self confessed wierdos but a great director. Mr Guy Wilson a kindred spirit! Mr Kevin Sutherland and of course not forgetting the lady herself KayJay

Photographic Equipment, How Do You Use Yours?

So just how do you use your photographic equipment? More importantly do you actually know what you use and when?

Not totally sure where I’m going with this one, but bear with me there is a point!

My thinking all came about after I had some comments from one of the picture editors I work for. Basically his comment was along the lines of ‘are you having problems?’

Regrettably I instantly knew exactly what he was referring to and it was something that I had been ignoring for quite some time. For quite a while I had been making compensations in camera sometimes by as much as a stop!  I had to face up to the cold truth that I simply had to get my kit serviced!

To cut a long story short when I got my first body back from Miles ‘the Man that does’ his diagnoses was that the sensor was out of line, possibly due to a knock or two! no shit sherlock. not really a surprise I suppose! The difference was simply staggering. I could trust readings the camera was giving me for, ahem the first time in months!

This got me thinking about how I use the rest of my photographic equipment.

Way back in the dark ages of film. When I as a bright eyed and freshly qualified as a photographer. My photographic equipment consisted of only primes. which consisted of 35mm, 50mm, 80mm and 135mm and that was it! (I didn’t shoot any motorsport or sport then)

I now cover those lengths and more with just two zoom lenses. But I got thinking what focal lengths out of that range do I use the most?  Professionals and amateurs alike are always planning new photographic equipment purchases, normally new lenses. And they aren’t cheap and as a full time photographer any money invested comes directly off my bottom line and in turn the money I take home to pay the bills! So I need to invest in any new photographic equipment carefully.

So I decided to analyse what I use and when. To help me I found a great little app called Exposure Plot. I simply ran it on only the frames I shot this year up to the end of August only. A total of around 43,000 images so a pretty fair cross section.

This is what I got for the most used focal lengths:

Photographic Equipment - Focal Length Analysis

And this for apertures used:

Photographic Equipment - Aperture Analysis

So what does this actually mean? Well to date rather than fork out a massive wad of cash I have opted to hire in specialist lenses against jobs when I have needed them. The downside of this is that my hire bill from this year currently stands at around £2,500! money I’d sooner hang onto in the long run. This is mostly for large primes, which considering the amount of Sport and Motorsport I shoot isn’t really too much of a surprise. I had been thinking about an 85mm prime but looking at the graphs what would the point be other than a gigantic waste of money? The trusty work horse 70-200mm f2.8 never misses a beat.What is does suggest is that its time to invest in a large prime again.

What is more interesting is the usage at the other end of the focal length scale. I am very tempted to retire my 24-70mm f2.8 and invest in 2 or 3 fast primes instead.

Go and give it a go I think you’ll be surprised I know that I was! If nothing else it will help you spend your hard earned wisely!

Even a Professional Photographer deserves a Holiday

As I go about my daily work as a professional photographer I always think July is a weird month, neither here nor there.

So we normally have a holiday. Well even a professional photographer is allowed one  they? But before I could have a well-earned rest there was still some assignments to take care of. As well as the end of the plethora of school sports days and proms that happen at this time of the year.

The beginning of the month saw me on the red carpet in Leicester Square, London for the World Premier of Status Quo’s first feature film ‘Bula Quo’

Status Quo's Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Status Quo’s Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt – quite simply legends!

Actress Laura Aikman | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

The beautiful Laura Aikman poses with a fan at the star-studded Premiere of ‘BULA QUO’.

Later in the month with the help of good friend and fellow professional photographer Ross I’Anson. We headed off on a road trip to Belgium to an extremely hot Massmechelen in  South East Belgium for round 5 of the British Rallycross Championship. I really enjoy going there its a tight circuit and always entertaining. The rest of my galleries from the round can be found at http://rallyx.rubberduckdoes.com. My race report is over on The Checkered Flag

British Rallycross Championship Round 5 Maasmechelen, Belgium | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Kevin Procter looses a rear damper in the Super car heat 2

British Rallycross Championship Round 5 Maasmechelen, Belgium | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Championship leader and the winner in Belgium, Julian Godfrey.

A quick interior and food product shoot for the guys at The Vinorium. Who are opening a new Deli and eatery. If you’re in the Ashford area I really recommend you take the time to visit them to sample their quality wines and mouth watering foods.

The Deli at The Vinorium | Professional Photographer Matt BristowSo it was holiday time and off to France we went. I didn’t do much snapping as my gear was commandeered by my niece! But I did take the time to get a couple of frames. No brief just what I felt like! Something I think that most professional photographers loose sight of.

I’m a sucker for panoramas and I hate heights! But I couldn’t resist a quick handheld 6 frame panoramic of the Bologne skyline.

Panoramic cityscape of Bologne-Sur-Mer | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Panoramic cityscape of Bologne-Sur-Mer

Never shoot into the sun is a rule you are told from day one when you study photography. Well I have news for you that isn’t always the case. Your flash can over power the sun, well kind of!

Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Quick Portrait – Rules were made to be ignored!

I haven’t shot a startrail for ages. Nothing fancy just in the garden of our holiday home. A quick 60 frame stack. Shot at an exposure of 30 seconds with 30 seconds gap between. With a couple of random strobe bursts for the foreground.

Startrails in France | Professional Photographer Matt Bristow

Startrails in France

Any questions or comments please leave them below. I’ll answer everything in as much detail as I can.