The Forestry Commision and the Devil

June 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
Over the last few years I have done many shoots for the Forestry Commission and with the current round of cuts on spending inevitably, and sadly, PR budgets will be lost. I was thinking about this the other day as I really enjoy doing these sort of jobs. For me environmental portraits are always far more interesting than studio work. That is why I used to love working as a press photographer. At my time at the Northern Echo newspaper I primarily did only environmental portraits in addition to sport, hard news and court snatches (which I detested with a passion I normally only reserve for the traffic wardens and golf).
S
o I thought, as it may well be a thing of the past, I'd have a root around into the files and pull out some of the shots from the last twelve month and do a little strobist style commentary on how and why.
Essentially the pictures were used to accompany press releases and other internal/ external PR uses.


Devilish work in Hamsterley Forest
The Forestry Commission has linked up with the acclaimed Wear Valley-based Jackass Youth Theatre and Jack Drum Arts to create a chilling Halloween evening in the 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) woodland, near Bishop Auckland, on Sunday 30 October 2011.
Hamsterley forest pic: Paddy Burton of Jack Drum Arts takes on the role of the Devil to narrate a ghostly Halloween walk in Hamsterley Forest for the annual ghost walks. Pic Doug Jackson

PR Photographer Doug Jackson
I used two flashes in this pic. One front right on the trousers and one rear and left (from camera). shutter speed 1/50th at f 6.3  and 140mm. 640 iso  pic: Doug Jackson


PR Photographer Doug Jackson
With this shot I underexposed the natural light to artificially darken the scene and filled back in with flash. 1/80th f 5.6 iso 400 80mm. The devil is cross lit., that's to say one flash behind, camera left (see the light on the ground?) and on in front of the subject, left again. (Note no shadow ion nosed..so flash is roughly eye line and in the direction the face is looking)  pic: Doug Jackson


PR Photographer Doug Jackson
Similar setting to the previous pic. Again a classic cross light set-up. The front light is behind the tree on the left (see it?) and the rear light is behind the tree that the devil is lifting (i airbrushed out the light stand!)  pic: Doug Jackson


PR Photographer Doug Jackson
This is a more neutral exposure using alot more ambient with just a bit of fill flash. 1/60th, f6.3 iso 1000.  pic: Doug Jackson
New Woodland Manager
A NEW Forestry Commission chief has been appointed for Cheshire. Keith Jones, aged 58, has taken up the role of regional director for north west England and the West Midlands.
These shots were done at Whinlatter in the Lakes.

Freelance photographer
This shot of Keith is a typical long lens portrait. If your using a long lens to photograph a portrait do try and get as far away as possible but still fill the frame. This will maximise the effect of the foreshortening perspective.  pic: Doug Jackson

Freelance photographer
This shot uses two wireless flashes. One is in front and above Keith (again look at the shadow on the nose) and the other is on the logs. f5.6 1/200 and iso160  pic: Doug Jackson

Freelance photographer
Again a completely ambient light shot on a long lens. This is a great time to us the AV setting on you camera (A on Nikons). You know you want the aperture wide open so you tell the camera you want f2.8 and let it do the rest. Aperture priority has its uses. I shot this at f4.0 as at f2.8 my 70-200mm lens can have too narrow a depth of field and unless the focusing is bang on there is softness. The Canon 5D mkII's focus tracking is just terrible!  pic: Doug Jackson

Freelance photographer
Three flashes used here. One on the car, one for the logs and one front and left of Keith. As you can see from the Shadow on the nose the flash on Keith is slightly too far round the LHS and should be closer to the camera, ideally. Still it all adds interest.  pic: Doug Jackson


Christmas Tree from Hamsterley Forest
A top rower has set course to help shape County Durham’s spectacular woods and he plans to start by spreading Christmas cheer!


Mark Child, 25, has been appointed Forestry Commission forester for beauty spots including Hamsterley Forest, near Bishop Auckland, Chopwell Wood, Gateshead, and Slaley Forest, near Hexham.

Now he’s getting ready to oversee Christmas tree sales for the first time in 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) Hamsterley Forest which begin on 1 December, 10am to 4pm. He said:

“It’s a really busy time of year and I’m fully away that a visit to the forest to pick up a Christmas tree is a long family tradition locally so I’d better be on my mettle!”
editorial photography
Mark here is lit from the right and the left (slightly) by two flashes. The one on the left is giving a bit of spill - fill (That's tenuous!) and is mainly pointing at the van. No so keen on the shadows on the face.  pic: Doug Jackson
editorial photography
Two flashes used here too. One quite subtly on the tree and one almost where Mark is Looking. Normally you would try and not have some one looking out of shot. I mean if they are looking away from the camera you would try and have them looking through the centre of the image. IE if they are on the right of the frame they look left and if they are on the left they look right. But its worth trying different stuff. Not sure this works though.  pic: Doug Jackson

editorial photography
A very common technique is to shoot though things to frame the subject or fill in space. People when stood up are normally tall and thin (well no so thin in my case). So getting a landscape (wide) shot is quite hard . What you have to do is use the space around them for something else. Either have then in the centre or 2/3rds across (be decisive!)  pic: Doug Jackson
One Wheel is Enough at the Guisborough Forest Festival
A gravity defying 12-year-old from Stockton struts his stuff at the 8th Guisborough Forest Festival on Sunday.
Ignoring BMX and mountain bikes, Cameron Peacock, a pupil at Bishopsgarth School, opted to shed a wheel and pestered his parents instead to buy him a unicycle for his birthday.
“If you can ride for a metre without falling off by the end of the night we’ll think about it,” said a sceptical dad, who took him for a taster session at the JUST unicycle club in Stockton.

Usually when you do a shoot like this you have a vague plan in you mind. Something like 1) a couple of long lens pics - unicycling down a long path 2) a close up fish-eye shot - perhaps silhouetted against some trees....blah blah

The good thing about this one was Cameron was the one with the suggestions. He just doing more and more crazy things so the shoot was very easy for me....
Press Photographer Sheffield
Cameron Jumps off a rock here. This is shot with the fish eye to 'heighten' the jump although the distortion is a little too extreme. I used a flash high and left to fill and fix the image.  pic: Doug Jackson

Press Photographer Sheffield
Two flashes used here. One left and rear (see light on tree) and on e front and camera right on Cameron. Watching him land these jumps is amazing.  pic: Doug Jackson

Press Photographer Sheffield
Standard long lens cycling down a path  pic: Doug Jackson

Press Photographer Sheffield
Not enough fill flash on this one but the skill is just amazing. (his..not mine)  pic: Doug Jackson


Press Photographer Sheffield
This is essentially a high wire act. I did not expect him to look at the camera for these shots.  pic: Doug Jackson


Press Photographer Sheffield
I always get a standard headshot type image. This one has committed the heinous press photographers crime of having a thumbs up....oh the shame!  pic: Doug Jackson

YORWOODS initiative
Andrew McDermott, 23, has been appointed as a project officer at YORWOODS – a North Yorkshire based forest initiative – tasked with the job of getting more landowners to sign up for a groundbreaking Forestry Commission grant scheme.
South Yorkshire PR Photographer
This shot of Andrew was take utilising a small spot of natural light poking through the branches. I quite like it but its a shame the lower hand is obscured by something.  pic: Doug Jackson

South Yorkshire PR Photographer
Lots of fill flash on the RHS here to compensate for the sun. Again both these pictures are examples of why its good to use a wide and a long lens for portraits.  pic: Doug Jackson

I hope you found some of these examples of interest and feel free to leave a comment or two about the photography or just your thoughts on the state of PR in the recession.

For more samples of my work take a stroll around Doug Jackson Photography

Also have a look at my recent Industrial Photography Blog Post


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...
Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March April May June (1) July (1) August (4) September (4) October November December
January February (1) March April May June (4) July August September October (1) November December (1)
January (1) February March April May (1) June July August September (2) October (3) November (1) December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December