Claire’s Band Shoot…

Check out the amazing voice….

Had a fun shoot with Claire Colbran, jazz singer in these 2 bands, backing singer in the Chicago Blues Brothers and rather excellent on trombone too… a Colbran family thing apparently!


The Photography Bit

So we had 3 lights – 2 behind at 45 degrees, one at the front at about 20 degrees. Rears were un-gelled with shoot through brollies, front was 1/2 CTO on a softbox.

Most shots were taken with the Canon 17-40 F4 L & 5D Mark 2 -with the occasional 70-200mm shot. Space dictated the lens choice.

The Shots

Claire now has colour versions of all these, and I also created some black and white shots too – which I really liked so here they are…

Radio Aire DJ Shoot

Michael Blades broadcasts live from Leeds every Saturday and Sunday night, jetting over to Rock FM in Preston for saturday afternoon…

Having found McFade Urban Shoots on Google, he’d spotted the style of images he was after – so we met outside Leeds Town Hall and had a great couple of hours shooting and chatting about life on the radio. He’s a keen photographer so showed him a few tips too.

Here are a few of the shots we created – using city centre locations, lighting (mainly 2 lights – different coloured gels to add vibrance) and a bit of imagination.

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Bonus Shots….

And as a bit of a bonus, I did a few “unusual edits” – which I sometimes do for clients.

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5 Fairground Photography Tips

Got a fair coming to town?

They’re brilliant to shoot at night – all those moving lights create amazing patterns; so much for the eye to see.

Here are 5 tips for making the most of your night there

1 Long exposures – so take a Tripod!

Every night photographer will use a tripod, so best to take it. You can capture so much more with a tripod – this ride was just 2 long stick spinning around – with a long exposure they traced out this circle.



2 Get in Close to Stationary Stuff

Kiddies rides get really quiet later on, so you can usually get close in – here’s a cool car taken with the 17mm lens. They’re always very colourful and great subjects – and most fairground attendants are happy to let you get close when it’s quiet. Don’t try it when it’s moving though!


3 Zoom Burst Heaven

When the rides stop moving, they can look a bit static and boring in your image… so we can introduce our own movement. Zoom Burst are pretty easy – you just set your exposure time to a few seconds, or even up to 30. Set the shot going. Then change the zoom on the lens as the shot is being taken… you can do all sorts with the zoom – pause it at various points in the zoom and see what happens.


4 Get something “static” in shot – add to the story

Moving stuff is fantastic, but doesn’t really tell us much about the place – so have a go at finding signs and interesting things to put in the shot. This reminded me of a Bon Jovi album my brother used to play all the time.


5 Shorter exposures often work best….

When I say short, I mean 2 seconds…. with this ride, the Scrambler, really long exposures became messy, lines everywhere and no really distinctive shapes.

The shorter look allows you to see one rotation of the ride – you can often see a geometrical pattern forming…


Sam’s Big Band!

Band leader, arranger and sax supremo (is that bigging you up enough Sam ?? lol) asked for some shots of his big band – so we got everyone into an empty office in Leeds and started creating some shots.

Herding cats and musicians is never easy, though it didn’t stop us creating some cool shapes with the instruments and body parts!

The main breif was white background stuff – though being McFade, we had to create some extra odd shots too…

Here’s one where we added a little toning – unusual green tones..

Pretty useless for agent use, but if Sam ever needs to promote the band on Twitter, or make a flyer, these unusual shots are the ones which get noticed.

And then there’s the crazy green face look… not sure what inspired this, but imagine this on a bill board or flyer board… everyone would look!


Here’s a few more – and they’re available for hire at

Bradford Cathedral Photographs

Bradford has a bad press.

It’s one of those places which offers so much, yet never seems to escape that image of desperation.

The thing is, there is so much on offer to the Photographer that it’s well worth a look.

Here are a few gems to enjoy…


  • Bradford City Hall – full of statues of british monarchs
  • City Park – the UK’s best urban fountain and light show
  • Little Germany – just off the centre, a collection of beautiful buildings in a confined space. Look up and you’ll see them
  • Undercliffe Cemetery – for the goth, emo and photographer, a rel gem of a place. A mix of grand and meek graves in a huge plot overlooking the city.
  • Saltaire – just out of the city, this is a mix of mill, model village, round-ended chapel and lovely park – with a wier and canal thrown in.
  • Alhambra – distinctive theatre, with it’s lights and dome.
  • Media Museum – not so much to photograph, more to have a brew in and enjoy the exhibitions
  • Bradford Cathedral….


I’d never been in the cathedral to recently, having shot it outside from many angles I’d just moved on to Little Germany. But on a particularly cold day, I went in for refuge and found this wonderful gem of a building. It’s no York Minster – rather a small, quiet and beautifully understated space.

Here are a few shots from inside there

The Photography Bit

They are all HDR shots – which means I shot 3 frames, each 2 stops apart, for each image. This gives you more “information” in the dark and bright areas of the scene than shooting just one shot can. The result is that you can “show” more detail in the final image.

The first shot has a lot of “Vignette” added – to draw the eye down the nave.


Second shot is looking down the nave from the alter end of the building. Note that you can see lots of detail in the rafters – HDR allows this




The third shot is a mono – taking a diagonal composition. There are still details in the rafers, and you you can see some detail in the bright windows.


Probably my favourite from the day, as it’s a lovely peaceful scene.


And finally the classic floor to ceiling shot down the nave



So next time you’re in Bradford with time to spare – cross Forster Square and pop in the cathedral for a look.