Perspective on Roads

Perspective and Lines….



I’ve always liked vanishing points and perspective, not only photography but in art, and just in life when you’re wandering around the countryside.

You can find them in arable fields, where the farmers leave long rows of potatoes or lines in the wheat.

If you have an old Roman road near you, that’s probably long and straight too. The above is a road on the moors near Scammonden which is effectively straight for 4 miles, with just a mild undulation here and there. So when you get a half decent sky-scape, you can get some wonderful perspective shots – the road providing an amazingly absorbing vanishing point.

Now before you all go out and start shooting the middle of the road, be warned that you may well die if you don’t pay attention!

The reason this road is suitable is the length of it, you can see cars either direction and spot cars well in advance.

The technique is pretty much traditional landscape, just get your ND grad filters on the sky, get low down and all that jazz.

For the more faint hearted (or sensible) of you, there are lines on the side of the road which you can use in more safety – it’s unusual to find 3 lines like this though. Very odd, and creates something a little different for a foreground.

And finally, if you find some junk on the road side, why not use it as a point of interest? This is a Nissan wheel cover thingy that was in the grass verge, so I just put it on the wall, made the wall and road have a shared vanishing point and moved the disc to sit in the foreground.

So there’s something to be said for roads if you’re a perspective junkie – they may not be as pretty as waterfalls, but you can certainly use them in your shots if you’re missing a strong subject.

Pleasant Surprise – The Audi R8

I’d finished creating my latest wedding book the other day so decided to get some fresh air by going for a shoot on the moors between Manchester and Huddersfield. It’s really gritty up there, not beautiful like the Dales, but more imposing, like a Gothic horror novel or some 80’s werewolf movie.

Wandering down to Scammonden Dam, the biggest earth embankment dam there is apparently (check Wiki for that, may have changed – who knows) and found a lovely black Audi R8 parked up.

Not one to miss an opportunity, I grabbed the camera and shot off as many HDR’s as I could do given the constraints.

First up, it was really harsh, bright sun shine – so the scene has massive contrast and shadows. Ideally I prefer something a little more subtle, evening light is best, you get a bit of colour in the sky and less shadow – or better, really long shadows. Think of the early Dracula films, they had those long shadows – they evoke something a little sinister!

Second, it was in a car park with other cars around… the last thing you want are other cars in the background, they just distract you. So I had limited options on the shooting angle – luckily one side of the car was clear, all the useable shots are from the driver’s side really.


No idea who’s car it was, so if anyone recognises the reg plate above, maybe they could let the owner know and ask if they’d like a print 😉

I’ll be using one of the mono images on a new McFade Automobile Art flyer soon – get that in to the Audi dealerships of west yorks


Wedding Photography – How much!!?!?!??!?!

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

If you’re looking to get married you’ll no doubt be in the market for a photographer to cover some of or all of your big day.

A little research will probably show you that there’s a huge range of prices, from the £250 “shoot and burn” type, to the £2000+ mega wedding packages.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

You’ll also see that there are all sorts of different styles of photography, off the top of my head there’s….

  • Reportage – usually black and white, candid photos where people don’t know they’re being photographed
  • Traditional – beautifully posed shots, everyone perfectly positioned
  • Natural light – people who refuse to use flash
  • Studio – guys who set up some lights inside and get people to come in and be lit as though they’re in a studio
  • Strobist – people who use flash outside, often 2 or even 3 flashes, with umbrellas sometimes

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

Obviously they can be mixed and matched, you usually get a bit of “traditional” for the group photographs, “reportage” whilst the photographer’s waiting for stuff, natural light outside and maybe a bit of flash indoors.

I often get asked what it would cost for McFade to shoot a wedding, and for a days work it does seem very lucrative – but after a bit of explanation of where the costs are, the biggest one being “time”, people start to understand why we charge what we do.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

To help with this I came up with a spreadsheet to estimate how long things take. Its actually quite surprising how many activities are involved from the photographers point of view.

You’re not only getting a person who can take photos, but a project manager, an MC, a planner, a shepherd…. lots of roles!

Anyway – here are the main activities a photographer would be prepared to help with on a wedding…


Phone consultation
Venue visit
Travel to/from venue
Travel time
Engagement shoot
Edit engagement shoot shots
Wedding Plan Creation
Creation of photo list
Phone calls etc.
Pre wedding shoots
Total hours shot
Rating of shots
Pre edit of the shots
Retouch of best shots
Add shots into album
The Wedding
Total time to shoot
Total travel for day
Editing Shots
“Screening” of shots
Pre edit of the shots
Retouch of best shots
Add shots into book
Showing of the Book
Travel to
Travel from
Time showing
Time editing at the showing
Extra Prints
Sizing photos for prints
Sending files to printer
Extra book edits
Number of edits
Edit time/edit
Uploading to website

To coin a cliché, the 8 hours a the wedding are just the tip of the ice berg – you will typically spend more than 8 hours in the preparation phase, with the travel to and from the venue to view it, plan the day and produce a time line etc. etc.

Even on the day, if you’re getting 8 hours of shooting in your package, the photographer’s probably got a good hour or more travel time to add on.

The real work is in the editing – screening the shots (to choose the absolute best, the second best and then the stragglers) can take a couple of hours if you’ve done a long shoot.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

Then dependant on how the photographer works, the pre-edit (converting from RAW files to a useable file format like JPEG) and retouching (making everyone look their best) can take up to a few days.

Once you’ve got the photos all ready to present, you need to create your album – be that in software or printing photographs and sticking them in a traditional album.

All done?

Well not yet!

If you’re creating a book, you’ll probably give the couple a chance to look over the book and change things around – this can easily add another day on to the process. You do need to factor at least one round of changes into the package.

All done…

Pretty much – there may be other tasks like uploading all the photos to a site where people can purchase them, or converting every colour shot to black and white, but these are usually things you can set going and leave the computer to do.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

The final thing worth mentioning is that all the editing and book making “effort” is related to how long you shot at the wedding… so if you went for just a 3 hour shoot, then the edit and book making may just take a day. But if you go for 8, it’s more like 2-3 days, if you have 12 or more hours shooting, then you’re looking at a maybe 4 days or a week.


Anyway – I’m sure every photographer who does weddings will have a different take on how they explain their pricing, but I hope by explaining how much time we spend to make your day run smoothly and produce a book/album that you can treasure for years to come, it’s shed some light on the mystery of wedding photography prices.