Utilising Artificial Light in Night Photography

Aside from my tasks I undertake as part of my Masters degree I like to keep up with personal projects. This week I set out to photograph low light portraits both inside and out. I have found shooting personal projects keeps me motivated.

For this set of images I was shooting on my Sony A7RII and cracked the ISO up to make up for the lack of natural light..
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I sat the model near the window so I could use the light coming in from the street

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When I was outside I was always looking for artificial like which I could utilise such as the blue lights of the ambulance, park lights and street lamps.

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Also exactly two years ago today I graduated! Its been a crazy two years with lots of photography ups and downs but just scrolling through my blog I can see how my photography has developed. It’s exciting to think about what I might be creating this time next year..

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Shooting £1 Film at Night

Earlier this week a fairground rolled into town. I already had a roll of Agfa film (£1!) in my Olympus so I set out to see what I could document. As the ISO of the film (hows sensitive it is too light) is just 200 I used the flash to give the film a chance to capture what was going on.

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The fairground was fairly small so afterwards we headed out to explore Brighton after dark..

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Bangladesh Travel Diary: Eating Bangla Style 

I’m currently based in Bangladesh as part of a team of community workers. Follow me over on Instagram (@madisonbeachphotos) and here on this blog to keep updated with the adventures and challenges faced when living Asia.. 

One of the biggest cultural differences to  the UK is the food. Bangladeshi’s eat rice for every meal of the day and often don’t feel full until they’ve eaten rice. 


As a fan of rice I wasn’t apprehensive about my new diet but after two months I can confidently say I am now 80% rice. And here in Bangladesh the only dessert we have been served is rice pudding! As an owner of a very sweet tooth this has been the hardest thing to adjust to food wise, I am especially missing cheesecake. 

Delivering first aid training.

We have been working incredibly hard delivering important workshops to those living in rural Bangladesh. As these communities are often cut off from main cities these workshops provide the residents with vital information about health and social issues affecting their villages. So yesterday after a long days work and planning for future projects in our community we decided to have a Bangla Style BBQ to celebrate our hard work so far. 

It was a brilliant experience as I got to cook and see first hand how the meat is killed (!) and prepared. I think it’s incredibly important to avoid burying your head in the sand when it comes to where your food comes from. 

I got to peel potatoes and make the roti (round flatbread) although our resident chef tried to subtly fix all my attempts. 

We ended up pouring a bit too much fuel on the fire; it was more reminiscent of a bonfire than a BBQ. We had a long wait for it to die down so we didn’t loose our eyebrows turning the chicken. But we did end up with a delicious meal of chicken, garlic potatoes and roti under the night sky filled with stars. There was no rice in sight and we all went to bed full! Although I did look forward to rice for breakfast.. 


Finding time to Photograph

The only way to get better at photography is shooting as much as possible. But this is often easier said than done especially as many people have demanding careers  and family responsibilities. Whether or not your job involves photography making time for personal creating work is incredibly important. Having recently started a new job making time to shoot and edit personal work has been one of my priorities. Here I have fitted it in to my travels to and from work.

On my way to work..

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..and heading home from work

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Finding time to photograph at different times of the day also allows you to capture various tones and a range of people. The atmosphere of London changes completely from walking to work in the day to traveling home a night.

Even if you don’t do anything with your personal work it’s a great way to keep you motivated.

You can find me on Instagram @madisonbeachphotos or over on my website.

For the Birds

A short film capturing the brilliant must-see Brighton Festival event ‘For the Birds’. After driving to a pick-up point you are taken in a coach to a secret woodland location where the trees are filled with sculptures and audio installations inspired by the movement and sounds of birds.

Seeing the Northern Lights For the First Time

This time last week I was in my Reykjavik hotel room putting on as many thermal layers as my body would allow in preparation for our midnight adventure; northern light hunting. I was a little naive before I touched down in Iceland, I assumed they would be visible most nights in an Icelandic winter.Nope. When we arrived we spoke to numerous people who had been there for over a week and there had be no sighting of these mysterious lights due to cloud.

We arrived on monday with tickets for that evening to be taken out on a coach to the middle of nowhere to witness the lights. It was cancelled and we re-scheduled for tuesday. Needless to say it was cancelled again and again. We were slowly running out of hope until we woke up on thursday, our last full day, and the sun was shining through the clouds.

We were picked up at 9pm and drove an hour South-West from Reykjavik to the edge of the ocean (although it was so dark we had no idea). The city lights were dull in the distance allowing for whats known as black spot to provide the perfect backdrop for the northern lights..

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A dodgy photo of me looking the wrong to prove I was actually there

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Iceland was one of the most photogenic countries I’ve ever visited. I shot hours of footage while travelling and have put it into a short video:

I shot 4 rolls of film which I’m very excited to be picking up today, I’ll be posting the photos on the blog and to my instagram @madisonbeachphotos

Visiting Burning of the Clocks for the first time

Yesterday with my Japan travel buddy Juna I visited the Burning of the Clocks in Brighton. It far exceeded my expectations with thousands of people taking part and spectating.  The annual event celebrates winter solstice and ends with fireworks and literally burning clocks in a big bonfire on the beach.

I can’t believe I’ve never been before, I have now added it to my list of must-go-to events in East Sussex; Lewes Bonfire, Brighton Pride , Burning of the Clocks and Brighton Photo Biennial. The event was well organised and there was a great family-friendly atmosphere.

Ig:@Madisonbeachphotos

Revisiting the Ruins (of my A-Level Photography Project)

In July, at the age of 20, I finished university after studying photography for the last 3 years. Today I had the chance to visit the site that acted as the background for the project that sparked my passion for the experimental nature of photography. Back in 2013 I chose Tide Mills,East Sussex, as the location for the last photography project I would undertake at 6th form college, where I first studied photography. Here are a mixture of photos from today and my fire project:

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IG:madisonbeachphotos
www.madisonbeach.com

Some more images from my A-Level project: