Friday, 21 March 2014

Chrissie and The Famous Grouse

Chrissie and I had a walk about the Famous Grouse Distillery a while back, we were scouting for suitable locations for a shoot. However it was a bit close to the main road and very close to a public walking area. However we took a chance and went for it, the water was icy cold as we both climbed into the water, yes its true I had to de-breek to get the shot....the little hairy legs got an airing!

Although it was July the water was still chilly and aftewards we wandered up to get a view and spied this blue bench over a farm gate.....perhaps an ideal shot for a model, what you don't see if the huge pile of cowshit that stood between the bench and us, pretty view anyway.

Chrissie and I usually drive around and try to spot areas worth exploiting, on the way up the Sma Glen we saw a huge line of newly felled trees, it must have been about 300 meters long and 10 meters high. Ideal really! We parked the car at the side of the road and did a shoot on the other side of it whilst cars whizzed past.

On a small road back to Methven we came across Keillor Wood, a small car park with 2 woodland walks, we took the south one..and found a clearing in the trees.

Which happened to be full of bugs and biting things that just loved the taste of the kind of pale skin that redheads usually have.......Chrissie was an unexpected treat for the wee bloodsuckers.
I returned to this place a week later and found much better areas for a shoot, some other time perhaps, when the beasties are dead maybe.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


In June 2013 I had a joint shoot with Nicola and we found that Tillie was in the area, a quick couple of emails later and Tillie was organized for a studio shoot. We decided to go for contrasty shots using a black background, we found the lighting to be quite tricky to get correct or should I say the way we wanted it. However in the end we both came out with more than a handful of fine images

The image below called 'The Chair' won a FIAP ribbon.

This image below called 'The Studio Floor' won a Salon Silver at Salon Kula

A further acceptance with 'Pearls in Peril'

I have to say Tillie was excellent, very friendly yet professional. She knows exactly what she's doing and takes direction easily and runs with ideas with ease. Highly recommended!
My 'will work with again' list grows yet again.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Caterthun Stones

So May 2013 turned out to be a busy month indeed as this shoot with Chrissie Red was to be my fourth. It was one of those days where we had nothing planned we'd just go out in the car and see what we could find, although a backup plan was to head to GlenEsk. On the way there we saw a small sign post for historic Scotland...The Caterthun Forts...We had no idea what that was but we followed the road along small country lanes til we got to a small car park. The Caterthun Forts turned out to be two ancient hilltop forts with the road running between the two, one called the white fort and one called the brown fort. The white fort was closer but steeper so we had a wander up the hill, its a plateau ringed with boulders which at one time must have been quite substantial. It overlooked the mountains to the North and the farmlands to the South, East and West.

  This image was taken on the wall looking East. 

In the middle of the fort was a large deep hole, grassy and wide. Strangely people had started to build a small cairn inside of it.

The Caterthun Stones - FIAP accepted image

On the way up to the top of the fort we past a  wooded area, now normally pine trees are planted close to together but these were spaced sparsely. Inside the wood was this fantastic glade, lush and very very green. Open to a lot of light and perhaps a lot of rain which was why it was so lush inside. It was one of those quiet serene places where you could just sit for hours.

Yes it really was that green!

A few B&W to escape from the greenness!

It's amazing the places you can find if you just get out there and commit yourself to finding something. This location is definitely one worth going back to, so many possibilities and very very quiet.
After a while we headed back over to Brechin for something to eat and watch the auld geezers sail their boats on the pond at the Pictish Center. A good day out really!
Chrissie was amazing as ever.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Emma Willis

May was a busy month!, it also warmed up nicely and  by the time Emma WIllis came up to Scotland the weather was lovely and warm, I had decided on a 2 hour studio shoot then heading off to the beach. So Emma arrived at the studio, bouncing down the grassy track in her new car. Into Studio Roro with a roaring start....this is an image called Roses and Lace.

Next up is my old suit, sadly I'm too chubby for it now lol

The image below is one of my favs, it's just a simple shot but I like it.

The suit comes off....

Well two hours goes by fast and off we went to the beach. And being the heartless photographer that I am I forced Emma into the water. How far in? she asks....erm all the way, completely soaked, hair n all. Oh how she did squeal in the cold water!..Muahahahaha.  This image was taken when she came back out after a few submerged shots.

Now Tentsmuir is a common beach for horse riding and Emma said she always wanted a shot of herself with a horse, so I asked a passing horse rider if we could take a picture of Emma and the horse.

The horse liked Emma but was a bit unsure of the camera, the focusing light sometimes attracts unwanted attention from animals and little kids. We got Emma dried off and headed over to the sand dunes and this was one of the last images of the day.

All in all a grand afternoon out really, Emma is good company and works her socks off, unfortunately she lost the lock for her tummy button jewelry. A little trip to St Andrews to get said lock finished off the shoot nicely , after setting her off in her car with a fond farewell you would think that would be the end of the day right?! I set off home and 5 mins into the journey I get a call from Emma, some local sod had driven her into a ditch. So back I go to find her, her poor new car was stuck in a water run rut, also she blocked up the road causing a small tail back.....I managed to get a rope from a nearby farm and eventually we managed to pull the car out without any damage much to the relief of a now ever increasing tailback. I had to laugh a little and called her a trouble maker, winked and said goodbye. An eventful shoot really :-)

Monday, 30 December 2013

Boarshill with Chrissie Red

My last blog featuring Elle Black described how cold it was yet the very next day I had a shoot with Chrissie Red and fellow photographer Nicola Sheperd and it was very warm indeed, again a beach shoot only 15 miles south of Tentsmuir at a place called Boarshill Rock.
The sun was out and the small cliff face kept us sheltered from any breezes. The area around the massive rock is a combination of jagged rocks with a grassy beach and a sandy beach, its a little micro world on its own. It's one of those place where you can return again and again to get different images and still find something new. The rock its self stands between the rocky shoreline and a short cliff face, wind and rain has weathered the rock into a bizzare shape, Chrissie calls it Elephant Rock and that is indeed its shape. The sun was out and it was a lovely day without the light being too harsh, so we parked our gear at the rock and got down to business.

The image below is a FIAP accepted image called 'Boarshill Rock'

The image below called Red in the Rock won a FIAP award

Nicola wanted to do some 'Big Dresses' as she called it so Chrissie brought along some various dresses and got kitted up, The rocks near the waters edge were catching a bit of wind so we headed down, unbelievably Chrissie managed to traverse thru the craggy rocks in high heels. By this time you can see a small squall brewing over the water as if Chrissie is summoning up a storm.

Down where we kept our gear there was a natural inlet to a little sandy beach. The tide came in quite quickly there and some of our gear nearly floated away.

All to soon though time ran out, this location is definitely worth a revisit, there's lot of little coves and rock formations, and of course the main rock itself. Chrissie as always was a star, she works locations and environments as if she has owned them for centuries, the mark of a true professional and creative artist.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Elle Black Returns

May in Scotland is very changeable weather wise and so it proved this day when I had organized a shoot with the lovely Elle Black, originally we had arranged a morning shoot but it didn't tie in with a later shoot the same day for Elle so we made it an afternoon shoot. The morning started warm and sunny, a lovely spring day that soon turned horrible by the time 1pm came along. When Elle appeared bang on time it was gray and dull with a bitingly cold wind. I have to say I did warn her that it would be cold and that the sea would be freezing however like a trooper Elle got down to business....just in time for the rain!

The rain stops for a short time to get this beach shot.

Then the wind picks up and gets colder

The image below is a Salon Acceptance called Ran, depicting the Norse sea goddess who captures souls of dead sailors washed upon the shore.

We also did some shots in the water for a very short time but it was simply too cold to do much and we headed for the shelter of the sand dunes, amazingly it was quite warm out of the wind.

Using the debris washed up upon the shore

Finally heading into the trees to get a bit of shelter from the wind

I have to say this was one of the coldest shoots I've ever done and Elle did very well to cope with it, she struggled at times when many would have given in but she still came up with great poses and really pushed herself like a true professional. A highly recommended model.