Friday, 2 August 2013

Step by Step photography

with Edd my editor
My last four days have been spent in a photographic studio at Search Press in Tunbridge Wells. I arrived with a car full of boxes packed full of art materials and two port folios. One had all of the finished paintings (over 100 of them) needed for my next book and the other the planned step by step projects.
My lovely Editor Edd, directs the whole process brilliantly and Paul (the wonderful photographer) spends his days going up and down ladders under the hot lights. As I paint, each of the painting processes are photographed while Edd writes down what I have used and what I have just done. Every so often there is a FLASH as the camera takes another shot. We always take far more photos than we need so that the best ones are finally chosen for the book.
It can be quite a challenge because as the paint is wet and flowing perfectly across the paper, that's when the shot is needed, but of course its also the exact moment when I like to drop in another colour, but no! hold on, FLASH, drop in now, FLASH another shot, more paint, or another colour then another FLASH. Then relax, watch the paint move and at that perfect moment a final shot is taken.

So the next time you are flicking through a step by step project, do imagine how it all happens!

Once all of the paintings are complete, the shoot is not over. Its now time for all of the materials used in the book to be photographed. This might seem like a simple job, but believe me, its an art. Juan arrives with his design skills and a wealth of experience then the cameras are all adjusted, milk crates are moved into position (yes, milk crates, the photographers MUST HAVE item apparently) white boards are positioned and then, the materials are painstakingly arranged into stylish compositions. They are works of art in their own right.
Paul, Edd and Juan

You might think a pile of art materials appear thrown together, but no, they are all individually placed, their size, colour and shape is very much taken into account. the image is viewed on a monitor and the items tweaked till the perfect shot is achieved.
It took almost an entire day for these materials because there are so many of them.
For a week before the shoot I was placing items on a table in my studio, checking lists and worrying that something would be forgotten.
This is going to be a lovely book I am sure, so much work has gone into it, I do hope you enjoy it.

On Wednesday evening when Terry and I were in the town, we noticed the local Art Society seemed open and a group of painters were busy working away, so as we have both given demonstrations for the Tunbridge Wells Society in the past, we thought we would call in.
What a lovely group, tea and home made buns were immediately offered and we ended up sitting with them and chatting. The art world is such a small and friendly one.

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