Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 8 & 9 of 52

I struggled to get the subjects I wanted for week 8 so it got delayed, but this week is double bubble - two weeks for the price of one.

So this week I was trying my hand at portraits and wanted some different subjects other than Sandra and Pitu; I think they're bored of being in front of my camera.  I did try to do it all myself but it proved way too difficult, to set up, focus, click, edit position, click again etc etc.  So I was glad when some friends offered to help out as models for me.

Having finally managed to get models I took them out to a location which was a nice setting, only to find out my cheap wireless triggers decided not to work!? - so I couldn't use my flashes the way I was hoping.  So instead I made the best out off the situation and used the natural light, it was a little strong to be honest so I didn't get the effects I really wanted.
The annoying thing is back in the UK I have my Pocket Wizards (Poverty wizards or Pockets rinsers as they are known because they are so expensive) which would have done the job perfectly! 
Oh well, live and learn.

Having watched quite a bit of material on photography I was keen to try a few different types of shots, again this proved harder than the pro's make it look.
I did take many shots but after a bit of editing I only chose a few; due to interest, lighting and the pose. 

As for Week 9, I had odd one out as the subject, so lots of running around looking for similar yet different items to play with.  This was easier as close up and macro I enjoy and I can manipulate the subjects without much effort, unlike people.

So after finding likely subjects it was onto the actual photography.  I tried to be creative in the thought process to the shots and play with lighting and angles where possible.
Some of the pictures taken are below and the chosen photos can be found HERE & HERE



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everybody was Kung fu fighting

When I was a little boy (all those years ago) back in the 80's, I was heavily into Martial Arts and I used to watch Martial Art movies all the time.  But the one genre which rose above the rest and had SO many variations made were NINJA films.  There were hundreds of them and there seemed no shortage of crappy storylines - as long as the word 'Ninja' appeared in the title and some guy was kicking and punching whilst wearing a black ninja suit it got made, and yet sadly, I must have seen nearly all of them.
Most of these were simply awful, but one guy stood out from the rest was Sho Kusugi.  
The reason he stood out so much was he was a real life Ninja, playing a Ninja on film.  
Pray for Death was one of his best.  He did a few movies, some featuring his sons and then he seemed to disappear; as Ninjas do!  That is until now.

I just watched Ninja Assassin (come on with a title like that who wouldn't) and low and behold Sho was the lead protagonist.  A role he played well too I might add - as he's a typical hero type.
The plot as always was thin and typical revenge story line, no great dialogue and paper thin acting for some characters, but some great work did go into this, nice slow mo (ala Matrix stylie) and wickedly fast fight scenes, blood and gore, but more importantly was the little details so important to the mythology of Ninjas;  things like the hand gestures, training and weaponry used. 

I was happy to see Ninjas back on the big screen, when I say big screen I mean my TV screen of course.  Then whilst chatting to Hussian he told me of a film about Yip Man (Ip Man)
Quick background, Yip Man was Bruce Lee's teacher and all round Chinese hero. 
The lead was played by Donnie Yen, another talented martial artist, but I must say great work on this performance in the role.  Nice pace to the movie, good background story, great martial arts, a little wire work and 'loosely' based on Yip's own lifestory, with a nod to Bruce Lee at the end.

Why not check out those movies and here's some of my favourite martial art movies you may also want to see: Fist of Fury (Bruce Lee), 36 chamber of Shaolin (Gordon Lui), Drunken Master (Jackie Chan), Shaolin Temple (Jet Li).
Worthy mentions also go to: Kung fu Hustle & Ong Bak.  
I could go on but you get the point - here's a classic clip to whet your appetite, enjoy ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week 7 of 52

Having had a little extra time this week, I must admit I never did put it to any real use.  Rather than working hard on my photos I lost myself in a few TV series such as House MD, Modern Family and the odd episode of several others; lazy I know.
I did try some new ideas and shots; which really is the purpose behind this project.  I also had some photos already in the bag for this one, so no real harm done.

As it is Valentines this week I thought the theme should be LOVE IS...
The chosen picture can be seen HERE

WEEK 7 - LOVE IS... 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A brief history...

Having recently listening to Bill Bryson's: A short history of nearly everything, I found this little animation on YouTube; which I think you'll agree is fantastic!  (the book is too)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Onwards and Upwards

This has been quite a week.  I was going to have to post my week 7 early but it seems I have been given some extra time from work as Vaughan decided to let me know with 2 days notice they had taken me off my schedule and I wasn't working because they had received complains from the last program I did, 3 weeks back!?  WTF? 
Anyway I am tired of all the BS so I have officially resigned from Vaughan Systems, more on that later.

Lots of things to sort out for my future now.  I am moving again; never do stay still for long, lol. 
I am going to put my photography to use and try and go pro with it, maybe a little soon but needs must.

We have started packing things up and getting quotes and its more than I would like for what little we actually have so if anyone has a magic carpet do let me know ;)

Pitu being her crazy self fell and hit head, then decided to go unconscious; kids!!!
Lucky I have been watching House M.D. so I knew with a cane, lumbar puncture and MRI we could solve anything; just kidding, but she did knock herself out and quickly came to after a minute.
China did this once when she fell down the stairs at home - it is a horrible feeling to have your child go limp in your arms :-S

So thats all I have to report right now, but stay tuned - things are afoot ;)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Week 6 of 52

The theme for this week was FIRE

This was a hard one!  Now normally I would jump at the chance to set things on fire, but doing it constructively is a different matter.  One idea I would have loved to do was fire poi! 
Sadly I don't have any and I wasn't going to buy some just for this shot; but it would have been cool.
Another crazy Idea I had was to set fire to an aerosol spray can, as they give off huge flames, sadly this too didn't work; spray too strong (its dangerous anyway, and should only be attempted by trained professionals or idiots)

I finally found a Martini glass, bought it, got it home set fire to it and it cracked, due to the heat!!  So I substituted the Martini glass for a shot glass - which worked out better I noticed after looking at the shot (pun intended)  
So I played with a few candles and sparklers, tried to write my name - forgot had to spell it backwards; its always the small details :-S

I thought of some other crazy ideas, but didn't get round to actually do any of them, but it did get me thinking at least.

The photos I did take can be seen below and the winner as always can be seen HERE
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