A New Home

From today, 11th September 2017, Rob Lamb Photography has moved to

Unit G6
Enterprise House
Marina Commercial Park
Centre Park Road
Cork

We’re waiting to get the old landline number transferred so for now the best way to contact me is on the mobile

087 683 8511   or

rob@roblambphoto.com    as usual.

Still a bit to do on the new place to find homes for everything and hang a few pictures but I’ll be taking appointments and viewings here as before.

Quick Thinking

Hours of Practice

It’s in the nature of what I do that many assignments come at short notice.  Yesterday lunchtime I was asked to photography my daughters for a promotional image for the dance company they work so hard for.  My pleasure.  But what to do?

What do we have to work with: it’s sunny, we are blessed with a large garden but it’s a bit cluttered (trampolines, sheds, swings, nets etc), we also have access to our neighbour’s garden which is a lot greener (but quite narrow).  Thankfully it’s half-day at Secondary school and the girls are in fine form and have matching dresses.

So we’ll work out the garden thing but the sun is the first challenge.  Nice and bright but we need to make sure we deal with the contrast between the direct sun and the shadows.  There’s no real shade at this time of the year so we need to plan to shoot in full sun.  Personally I generally shoot into the sun or at a slight angle so that my subject is in reasonably even shadow and we might get a bright rim light.

Fine but now there’s a stop (or more) between my subject and the background.  You have two options: expose for the shadow and blow the background by overexposing it; or get some additional light into the subject using a reflector or an artificial light source.  I want my background so it’s going to be the second option.  I’m a big fan of the reflector but I don’t have one big enough to light a full length shot and no time to find something to improvise.  On site I’d normally use on-camera flash to fill in here but I have a little more time and enough kit at home to try something else: off camera flash to one side.  This gives me the option to get more dramatic lighting (since it’s a dance pose).

When we get to the bottom of the garden there’s actually some lovely dappled shade at the bottom of the garden from the bare trees.  Two bonuses here: the back-lighting is now way more interesting and textured; it’s also somewhat diffused so there’s slightly less contrast between the sun and the shade.  Result.

As it happens my first few test shots show that the camera’s exposure is pretty much bang on so we work away.

Some lovely stuff in there and hopefully we’ll be seeing them around Cork very soon ahead of the show in May.

Daughter Number One has been on at me since Christmas for some nice shots of her dancing to balance out the swimming pics on her wall.  So as well as the duets for Tina we do a few of her on her own.  I’m sure Other Daughter will want some now too when she sees these…

January Project Teaser

It’s been quiet on the blog – lots going on in the Gallery but January is traditionally when I get time for a few personal projects that help me think about how (and why) I work.

So look out for more here about that but in the meantime here’s a clue to something which I hope to start today.  Looks like it’s brightening up a bit so it might actually come off as planned.

This motley crew of camera are all lined up and ready to go.  You might recognise a few relics here but let me assure you that they are all fully functional and ready for action (well I’m hoping that they all step up when their time comes).

Sometimes I do get asked how many cameras I own (normally by someone else’s kids).  I normally don’t count them all cos it’s embarassing how many of my film camera I’ve held on to (and I’ve a couple more than are in this photo).

 

Diversions

The Japanese Gardens, Ballinlough

 

The IR-converted D70 hasn’t been out for a while.  Years in fact.  The battery was so flat it had completely reset.  It was one of my phases: the IR phase.  Like the Fisheye phase I guess every photographer has these.

But over the last few years I’ve been focussed on my core skills as a portrait photographer and that’s all about traditional people skills and natural looking tones.  I think classic portraiture endures whereas the latest trendy-faddy look will always date.

I’ve always been fond of the IR landscape look  – those dramatic black skies!  I just don’t shoot that many landscapes.  And it hasn’t exactly been IR weather.

Today was better though and with a full day in the office in the offing I took 15 minutes out in the sun at lunchtime to see if the D70i still worked (it was a DIY job afterall).  I decided to just go out there and shoot what I saw in a very familiar location.  No real analysis, just image instinct.

I think it’s worth doing a bit more with the IR landscapes.  You need to get the balance between the IR look and good composition.  They are remarkable because of the IR thing but you need to use it to make a good image (and avoid the snowscape look).  I just ned a few more sunny days and a little time to get out there!

The Stories of God’s Bus

Outside St Mary’s there was this bus.

Photographer Cork
God’s Bus. St Mary’s, Pope’s Quay, Cork

To me there seemed to be a whole bag of stories relating to this bus, the people on it, the people who own and maintain it, where it’s been and what it’s doing outside St Mary’s on a Thursday morning.

And I’d love to know.   And I’d love to photograph them.

But what came over me as I walked past the bus was a familiar old feeling of intrusion.  It’s one I used to feel when I saw something like this on my holidays – I was fascinated, I knew there was a great story waiting to be told, I could even see some captivating photographs waiting to be taken, but I was inhibited by not wanting to intrude: I had no real right to pry for the sake of a good photograph.

My curiosity isn’t stronger than someone else’s privacy.

I thought that perhaps this would change now I do this for a living. I’m a full-time professional photographer now.  But clearly for me that doesn’t give me the right to be nosey for a photograph no-one has asked me to take.  Even  if it will be fantastic.

Maybe it’s my English background.  No doubt many other stunning photographs have been created without such qualms.  Maybe the people concerned would have been more than happy to tell me their story and let me photograph them.

But the best thing about doing this professionally (for me) is that people ask you to photograph them and tell their story.  It’s the asking that makes the difference.

So I shot this ‘from the hip’ without the people on the bus noticing and went about my own business.  That probably says a lot about me but I’m OK with that.

My Morning in Numbers

After much talking about it, I finally took the morning off today.  In true BBC style, here’s how my morning shaped up in numbers:

1 Person wandering around town with only a very short list of things to do.  Looking around in the sun between the showers and enjoying being in the City

2 Drivers seen going the wrong way down one-way streets

3 Great Ideas for new photo projects which may never happen (must write them down)

5 Photographers meeting up for breakfast

15 minutes late to meet them because I had to go into the office first

25 Days left to catch the Terry O’Neill exhibition at Wandsworth Quay and the City Council Offices – go see, great to see these images in real print

32 Photographs taken whilst wandering the streets of Cork.  I decided to bring the camera in case I saw something and pulled it out at St Mary’s on the North Quays.  More of these later.

205 Minutes out of the office.  Not much but great value.

3,000 euro for the Terry O’Neill print I had my eye on.

I didn’t count the number of businesses which had closed since I was last in the City – but I did notice a good few new ones as well.

Good to get some time out of the office…

Cork Craft Month 2012

I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Cork Craft Month at the Old Mill Kinsale last night. The Old Mill is the location of an exhibition entitled “Who Made This ?” – Cork Creates 2012 which showcases the work of 30 Cork-based craftspeople.

Craftspeople on display in Kinsale

In June this year Cork Craft & Design Network invited me to photograph each of the selected craftspeople. I was expecting to be asked to photograph their work but this exhibition brings the story of each of the Makers into play and the curators wanted to feature them more strongly.

So I had a day of photographing 20-odd very interesting (if somewhat reluctant) people who are far more used to putting themselves into their work than on film.

I think it’s worked wonderfully for this exhibition and there was a lot of talk last night about the portraits and the link made to the Maker from the work and how it enhanced the relationship the viewer (and hopefully the purchaser) had with the work to know more about it’s precedence.

And nice to see my work on the wall next to so much wonderful Art.

The exhibition runs until the end of August in Kinsale and there are lots more more events going on as part of Cork Craft Month running into September

Portraits of Makers featured at Cork Craft Month, Kinsale
Tracing Craft back to the Makers, Cork Design Network

Big Thank Yous

A Big Thank You to everyone who called in before the mid-term for the Halloween Dress Up.

We had a steady stream of kids coming in for their pic and we raised over €450 for Crumlin and the Ronald McDonald House.

There are a few prints still here for collection so don’t forget to come and get yours if you took part.

Pics from the Halloween Dress Up for Crumlin
Pics from the Halloween Dress Up for Crumlin

Pepperstack Bistro, Aghada

Martin doing his stuff at the Pepperstack Bistro

I’m pleased to annouce the launch of Pepperstack Bistro’s new-look web-site:

http://www.pepperstackbistro.com/

I know Imelda has put a lot of work into the site since we did the photoshoot earlier in the Summer.

The food looks good but I have to say that it tastes even better and you can be assured of warm, friendly service.

Best of Luck with it guys and we’ll be back down there as soon as we can!

Credit also to Green Amber Web Solutions for putting the site together