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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Photographing 100,000 People!

Two weeks ago, on my way to visit my grandparents I got given a leaflet advertising the ‘Peoples March’, a demonstration against Brexit, in Central London on the 23rd June. I am always on the look out for new photography opportunities and as I was already heading up to Birmingham to catch up with some university friends this proved the perfect pitstop.

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I arrived at the meeting place half an hour before the start, there was an air of both excitement and confusion among the people gathering to make their voice heard. It was clear the amount of people far exceeded expectations at over 100,000 and many had no idea where the march actually started..

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Through sheer luck and determination (and no logic) I ended up at the front of the march along with all the tv cameras and political figures.

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It was a purely peaceful protest with samba bands, face painting and people singing. With so much going on it was hard to know where to look let alone photograph. I aimed to capture a mixture of people along with incorporating the backdrop of Central London.

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The light was extremely bright so I used a ND filter and focused on shooting with the sun behind me.  If you want to see more images from the protest check out my latest Instagram story @madisonbeachphotos.

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And if you’re looking for some travel inspiration check out Emily’s blog. Emily is one of my closest friends; both my roommate in Bangladesh and travel buddy in Eastern Europe and has just moved to Australia! A great travel writer and even better friend, head over to her new blog and give it some support! 

Running Away to Join the Circus

When it comes to photography I am a great believer in saying yes to as many opportunities as possible to expand your skills. Earlier in the week I was invited by family friends (who have 10-year old twins) to come to the circus.

I have shot much performance photography in the past but thought it’d be an interesting way to stretch myself. Inside the circus tent itself I wasn’t allowed to shoot video or use flash, but I often find restrictions can make you think outside the box.

It was a small circus but this worked to my advantage as I could get a front row seat and get up close to the incredibly talented performers.

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Shooting Expired Kodak Film

Last year I won the Ginnel Foto Fest Analogue awards. Part of my prize was being sent a box full of film. Some I’ve used before such as portra and Agfa, but there was also a roll of Kodak Tri X medium format film estimated to be 50 years old.

I have always wanted to shoot it so last weekend when me and my cousin went to Peacehaven. A small suburban town on the English coast where my cousin, Harry, grew up.

I got some surprisingly good results..

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If you ever get your hands on some expired film be sure to double check if your local lab develops it. After walking 40 minutes to mine it turns out they don’t develop expired films. If you’re based in the UK I would strongly recommend AG Photolab who are super friendly and based in Birmingham. I sent the film off on Wednesday and got it back today!

Photography on the Streets of Prague

While inter-railing through Eastern Europe the sun was not on our side. We went a week without seeing it and when it did make an appearance from behind the clouds it was still -4 degrees! This made photography really hard as it made images look flat and dull.

With just a couple of days left a miracle happened.. I woke up to sun shining through the hostel windows. I didn’t take my Sony A7RII on the trip as I knew how cold it was going to be and that I’d have to leave it in the hostel when we went out partying.

So with just my phone I headed out to the main square in Prague. My old iPhone performed really well and I got some shots I’m really happy with. Only problem was it killed my battery within the hour and I was meant to be meeting Emily. Despite a lack of map, google maps and an internal sat-nav we managed to find each other.

So here are my favourite images from my hour in the middle of Prague draining my phone battery:

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Bangladesh In 35mm + A Magazine Feature!

Having lived in Bangladesh for four months one of the things I was most excited about when I returned home was to get all my films developed (and seeing my family..).  I am very happy to finally share the images with you which have been featured on Huck Magazine. Hit the Link to see the article!

 

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Photographing Winter Solstice

Being back in the UK there was only one way I wanted to celebrate the shortest day of the year: at the Burning of the Clocks in Brighton. An annual parade complete with paper clocks and samba bands resulting in a bonfire on the beach and fireworks. Thankfully it wasn’t too chilly and my hands were warm enough to snap a few photos..

 

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Bangladesh Travel Diary: Riding Rickshaws and Buying Clothes 

I am currently based in Bangladesh working as a community worker and documenting my adventures. Follow my blog to keep updated with the ups and downs of living in such a beautiful yet challenging country.

I am currently getting settled into the village which I will be calling home for the next 3 months. I have spent the last  few days learning how to fit in.

We first headed to our local market, a 3 minute walk from our compound. Our group descended on a fabric shop, giving them the most business they’ve had all year. We sat on stalls lining the middle of the shop and swivelled and pointed to fabrics we liked the look off. Two hours later, and £6 down I had got enough fabric to make two traditional tops and a pair of trousers.

After browsing the market for an hour or so we headed back to our compound and went straight to our onsite tailors office to get measured up and put our orders in. With a little luck not everything was lost in translation and I won’t end up with an intricate, Bangladesh inspired onesie.

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We have also now started to visit the different communities we will be working in- by rickshaw. My first time in a rickshaw did not disappoint, I absolutely loved it. We got stuck in the mud, nearly fell out a few times and scraped a cows bum but I’m already looking forward to the next time we get to ride them.

Taking a break at a community library

The communities have all been very different; from a native tribe to an all girls school where a hundred kids followed us and said ‘how are you doing?’ in their best British accents. Even if they weren’t expecting us every community laid on a spread of cakes and tea, lots and lots of tea. In Bangladesh it’s very common to have at least 3 tea breaks a day. I am currently made up of 40% tea and 60% rice.

I’m looking forward to having my first day off for a week tomorrow and then getting stuck into our community work.

Before I Leave London..

Before I Leave London I am going to spend all my time photographing the people and sights which make up this crazy city. As this time next week I will be packing up my room here in Shoreditch in preparation for moving to Bangladesh. I can’t wait for my adventures in Bangladesh but until then I want to make the most of living in one of the most famous capital cities in the world.

I took all these photos in the last week in the abnormally sunny city..

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It’s fair to say wi-fi will be a bit ‘hit and miss’ in Banglasdesh but I will be aiming to post a weekly diary every week along with a few photographs I have snapped. As always you can follow me on instagram @madisonbeachphotos where I will post photos from my adventures. 

 

The Barbican in 35mm

The Barbican is one of my all time favourite places. Often devoid of tourists it houses a cinema, brilliant exhibition space and a conservatory- open only on sundays and free to all. The architecture is the main stand out point- brutalism.  Here are shots I captured during our time exploring the Barbican.

 

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As always you can find me on Instagram @madisonbeachphotos and over on my website.