photography

 

Does what it says on the tin really. I’ve popped a mobile friendly version up on Vimeo, in case you need it.

 


 

UPDATE: I’ve been asked how I put this video together. Well, prepare to witness my geekness…

 

I love little photo projects people do. Martin Parr (a hero of mine) has many collections, including parking spaces, people on mobile phones, or even the simple self portrait. His sense of humour tickles me.

 

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I’ve never found what I wanted to collect, at the end of each year I regret not having set myself a witty brief at the beginning of the year. So this year I thought what if I’ve sub-consciously collected everything? Which I have, on my phone. Just as a silly experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I dumped all the photos I’ve taken in a year into an image sequence, no editing or cutting bits out. Would it be a mess? Would it be kinda OK, I think it’s… kinda OK. It helps that I tend to take many photos of the same thing, so the object is allowed to hang for a fraction of a second over a few frames. I was inspired by this excellent time-lapse of a road trip… I’ll be ripping this idea off soon.

 

 

To do this, first off, I have an app called DropSnap installed on my Android Phone. It automatically backs up every photo I take to Dropbox. You can do this using the official Dropbox app (on iPhone too) but DropSnap gives me some more filtering options, which means I can sync more than just the regular camera roll (Instagram, Snapseed, etc). So that’s been busy stuffing photos up into the clouds like a weird hoarder’s heaven. This made it easy to find every photo I took in 2012 and dump them in one big folder.

 

The tricky bit was preparing them for the video. All the landscape and portrait photos needed to sit central and have the extra black space on the top and bottom or the sides (depending on their orientation) to make up the space in the video. In steps the work horse that is Photoshop Image Processor! After a bit of head scratching and swearing I created a workflow that did the job. First, I made an action that puts any image into the middle of a black 1080p sized canvas. You can download mine here if you like. Then I ran the Image Processor to resize everything, combined with my action to centre them on the black background. The settings should look like this:

 

image-processor

 

Then I opened my old friend After Effects. To create an image sequence you just drag the image folder directly into the project window. I dumped the sequence into a 1080p composition, added some Tom Waits and Bob’s your Mother’s brother! I hope that’s of some help if you want to try it out yourself. It’s a nice collecting project you can do without having to even think about it. Which is good for me as I’m very poor at thinking.


 
And now for something rather glamorous we’re working on at Poke. As part of the work we have done for a jewellery brands; Mappin & Web, and Goldsmiths, we have created a few photography campaigns. Mappin & Web speak to an older more high end audience that just want to have fun (whilst wearing diamonds and gold). Goldsmiths is a MASSIVE high-street brand that we’re injecting a sense of fashion.
 
First up we have some shots for M&W Autumn. A really fun day’s shoot out at Port Lympne in Kent.
 


 


 


 

Christmas! We’ve tried to make things a bit more seductive and eccentric, rather than snowballs and eggnog. Mappin & Web just want to make their customers smile, which is a great brief.
 


 


 

Moving onto Goldsmiths, here’s their autumn campaign. Everything is much more theatrical and special. We created a fairytale setting based on The Secret Garden.
 


 


 

For Christmas we set the scene in vintage Hollywood. Beautiful elegant long dresses, holly and baubles set in a spectacular 100 year old mansion.
 


 

The photography was used throughout the stores across the UK. Even placed in products to help complete the picture.
 


 

 

Last year we went on an American road trip (again) with a more of an outdoorsy angle. It was awesome. Starting in Colorado, then all over Wyoming, a brief dip into Idaho, then down through Utah, across Nevada and finishing up in good ol’ California. See the whole set of photos here, or scroll on down for some choice cuts.

 
























Still want more photos? Go see the whole set.

 

We take a lot of photos, bordering on too many, and the process of grading them all after we’ve come back from a holiday takes literally months. We use Adobe Lightroom, which is a great bit of software, but the interface it a bit fiddly. The answer it seems is with a plug-in called Paddy (there’s one for Mac called Knobroom  if you’re that way inclined), that lets you assign any command a midi controller can send to pretty much any of Lightroom’s plentiful functions.

 

So we got ourselves a Behringer BCF2000 from ebay, installed the plug-in, a few hours of factory resetting and swearing at things later… TA DA! It works! It’s motorised so all the little faders jump to whatever settings you’ve set for a photo… a bit like the Force – and you’ve got to admit, he does look more than a bit like something you’d find swinging around Darth Vader’s neck.

 

 

Just dusted off the photos we took behind the scenes of Machine. We’ve gone to town on the descriptions this time so if you really want to know how we did what we did, head over to the Flickr set, make yourself a cuppa and get reading. You’ll find a few abandoned prototype ideas in there as well, and some actual blood.

 

Hurray! We made a book of some (well, quite a lot) of our photos from our road trips across the states. It’s a bit of a precursor to the documentary film we’re still editing so we’ve given it the same name.

 

 

If you like it, you can go see the whole thing on Blurb’s site, and if you *really* like it, you can buy it from them as well.

O man, we totally visited Roswell, New Mexico. It was never one of those ‘I MUST GO THERE ONE DAY OR I WILL DIE WITH A SAD FACE’ kinda places, it just happened to be on the way between New York and California, so we popped in. And boy were we glad we did, it’s silly, and a bit serious/mental, and then silly again. Here’s some things:

 

First thing we did was Alien Zone, Areas 51 – a place with about 20 alien scenes that you’re encouraged to climb about and take silly photos.. SOLD.

 

Then we thought we should get the ‘real’ facts and checked out the International UFO Museum and Research Centre just up the road, it was closing for the night so we ran about and took photos instead of actually doing any reading or learning (we’re on holiday, why would we want to do a thing like that?).

 

And the next day we had to go and see what all the adverts we kept seeing around town for the Roswell Space Walk were all about, they boasted a Paisley-Horvak TVG9000 (no, me neither), how can you refuse? Luckily it was silly, quite silly.

 

We organised a tour with some random dude of the ACTUAL HANGER where an alien may or may not have had it’s bit’s cut out by sinister looking military types. We got to the car park next to the hanger and looked for a car with a large inflatable alien tied to roof (as arranged) but our tour was a no show, damn it, the truth is still out there.

 

Here’s many more photos of our time in Roswell:

 

You like aircraft right? You like lots or aircraft right? Then you’ll LOVE the aircraft boneyard we visited in Tucson, Arizona. You can get a coach tour around this massive military facility (we shot the video above through the coach window) and hear everything there is to know about the 4,400 or so planes, helicopters and missiles they have parked up there (most of which are ready to have their protective white coats stripped of and start flying and shooting things again), or like us, you can ignore most of what’s being said and take lots of photos:

 

To get an idea of the size of the place, check it out from God’s eye view:

View Larger Map

 

If you’re planning on taking a visit, pre-book your tour with the PIMA Air & Space Museum.

 

Just arrived in Woolacombe, Devon, and we have a great view of the sunset from our swanky apartment. So naturally we shot a time lapse of it, and will probably be shooting many more.

 

This video is also on Youtube if you’re that way inclined.

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We turned the clocks back to 1960 to have a Mad Men styled day at Poke. Lots of whiskey, lots of sexist emails, and lots of smart attire. Click here for a nice big hi-res version.