CASE STUDY: Clearsite Solutions New Brand Photography

https://youtu.be/OerDMZkhlX4

I don’t know how marketing people do it, but they do come up with Amazing straplines than just sum up a business instantly. 

Fliss Lee, from “Honest Folk” in Morley, describes Marc’s business, Clearsite Solutions, perfectly in one sentence

Providing the blank canvas you need to create your unique standout spaces. 

Marc’s business goes into offices, buildings, shopping centres, units or anywhere that business happens, and removes all trace of the old business, ready for the new one to move in and make their own mark. 

Fliss was creating a new brand and website for Marc and needed photos of what they do to illustrate the website and fuel their future marketing. A suitable project arose in Bristol in one of the largest shopping, centres in the city back and these teams had been stripping out this shopping unit.

Our challenge was to create some engaging photos, which showed professionalism, health and safety, the team in action and the tools involved in such a project, from what was essentially a site of carnage and destruction! LOVE a challenge 🙂

So the first thing was to meet the team, who were busy grinding things from the ceiling. Anything that involves sparks will look great in photographs, so this was the first setup. 

I set up the tripod and a couple of lights and put the camera on long exposure to capture the sparks flying across the room – this would create little orange lines of light – a bit like a firework. 

We then had the team demonstrate a lot of the different tools and processes they use to pull things down. Big boys toys if you like – but all tools for specific tasks to make things quick and safe.

Another part of the brief was to get some relaxed photographs of Marc for his personal brand. So we organised a quick meeting downstairs where he could chat to the team and relax a little.

A bit like most business owners, Marc isn’t keen of being photographed. So shooting these candidly, like a “fly on the wall”, worked really well and we got some great shots. 

Also, we needed a couple of solo shots, an industrial setting and used one of the tunnels underneath the shopping centre. He just walked up and down the tunnel twice and we got lots of options for him. 

Another thing we needed to illustrate was Marc managing the project. So we got him working on the laptop, using a seat by the window overlooking the mall to hint at locations they work in. Actually, we captured a couple of team shots out in the shopping mall so you can see brands like New Look and KFC and the background. 

Marc had seen some “creative” team photos I’d created using coloured lighting, each holding different tools. So we got the guys involved and used some coloured flush to create a few  🙂

The final idea was to capture a few images of the new marketing materials with the brand on – so the phone case, business cards and helmets. These images can be cropped to any size for any marketing or advertising use where you need a hint of the logo to add a splash of colour.

We’re looking forward to updating Marc’s imagery periodically over the next few years as his business goes from strength to strength.

Temple – Leeds – The New Holbeck!

A new name for Holbeck

Here is a video version, with the words spoken… or carry on to see the photos and read it for yourself. 

The area south of Leeds station has been rebranded “Temple Leeds”,  probably because of “Temple works”, an iconic Mill building in the style of an Egyptian temple.  Previously this area was just called Holbeck – which is a district of Leeds. 

 I went for a sunset photoshoot, to capture the Architecture and also record the masses of new building going on in the Temple Leeds area. 

I first knew of Holbeck around the year 2000, when I worked in Marshalls Mill. There was very little to report down there, other than a red light district and an annoying 15-minute walk into the city through quite a scary dark Arches area.

This has completely changed now, with a totally new Skyline in the area. The South entrance to the train station transformed The Fortunes of the dark Arches. General gentrification of the Holbeck area is taking place

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I managed to park next to the midnight Bell and Crosskeys pubs, so the Temple Leeds journey starts here with a view over the stream that gives Holbeck its name.

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Most of these photos are taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV,  with a 24mm tilt Shift lens. 

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Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

With it being such a lovely calm day I managed to get great reflections in the “Leeds Liverpool canal”, all these photos are on the south side of the train station, you can see the bridge over the canal. 

On the Far Side of the train viaduct, there is a small, white curved Footbridge from which you can get this classic Temple Leeds view over the city. The trees on either side of the bank really are taking hold now, so it feels a little like you are in the countryside, Looking In. 

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Over the bridge, I joined Whitehall Road. 

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Copyright of McFade Photography

 This is a mixed residential and commercial area, with a brand new development called Riverside West, and an almost-complete complex called Wellington Place. Both have gone up recently and seem to be pretty busy. 

Next to Riverside West both the Leeds Liverpool canal and the River Aire pass under some large Bridges. From the bridge, I took this photograph of the canal as it enters the centre.  The old brick viaduct is no longer in use but was part of the old Leeds central station apparently. 

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 The building you can see just to the left of this photograph is known as “No 1”, “26 Whitehall Rd” –  it is one of the regional developments down there and has a very distinctive box-like quality.  

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Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

As you can see, I was on the wrong side for the sunset,  so had to settle for some detailed photographs with the colourful clouds to one side.

For the final leg of the journey I swapped to the 70 to 200 lens so I could get some “detail images”, there wasn’t a lot going on with the sunset by this point, so it was worth changing.

These last few images are from Globe Road, which links you to the Water Lane area, following the path of the canal. 

It’s definitely an area worth visiting with a camera. Maybe do it in pairs because you occasionally do get some “interesting” characters milling around.  As you can see there is a mix of old Victorian architecture and brand new. You also have train and Canal transport to throw into the mix. A bit of something for everyone

When to go….

 I would suggest that the light is better in winter because the sun sets in a very different position! 

 

Moody Bradford City Centre

You can’t always get the weather you want on a test shoot – but somehow, bradford suits this kind of sky.

It’s got this old yortkshire stone architedtue going on – yellow stones stacked up to make mills and shops. Pair that with blubous grey clouds and you have an appropriate look… maybe not the one the tourist industry were after!

This was all done with a brand new Canon 17mm Tilt Shift lens, you can read more about it and buy one if you click on its picture

 

Bradford done with the canon 17 mm

Canon 17 mm TSe lens

So I started out on Sunbridge Road, where you can park for free if you’re lucky. Cobbles and Yorkshire stone everywhere.

A spot of renovation going on here – a building of 2 halves

The famous TJ Hughes store on the hill here – maybe the shift effect is a bit severe on this – it needed another frame to make more room at the top and bottom. You shoot and learn

Same buildings but a little lower on the street

The world famous Alhambra Theatre

Again – but from the other side

A place I always visit, the media museum. Often got some great exhibitions on in here.

The best investment they made to the city centre, this pond is a fantastic focal point for everyone in the summer… just not this day

Here we have a stitched HDR shot – 6 photos – 3 shots low down, 3 high up – then all blended together using LIGHTOOM and Photomatix

A bit of olde worlde effect here with Split Toning in lightroom 

The City Vaults – a traditional boozer with bands and decent beer.

I actually started up here – Lister Mills. The sun was out for a good 10 minutes. 

See – sun out on this one too

Sunbridge Road again for these 3

Here’s where you can park for nowt – Yorkshire people like that

Done a good job of cleaning this one up

And finally, a HDR stitch of the city hall – 6 frames all mushed up together to make this one.

Tilt Shift Lens in Hunslet, South leeds

What is Tilt Shift?

If you don’t know what a Tilt Shift lens is, this chap explains it well. So take a look at this first if you’re interested.

South Leeds Architecture

There are some interesting new buildings in the south of Leeds these days – this first one is the Leeds College of buildings, created by Fuse Architects. For this shot I went to the middle of the road island ans use the 17mm tillt shift lens. I took 3 photos – one with the lens shifted up, one in the middle and one down. So the view here is actually incredibly wide – and notice that all the vertical lines are – well…. vertical!

This next building is Indigo – taken just meters away from the college shot. It’s a HDR of 3 images, each 2-stops apart.

This building is incredibly angular and the 17mm TS lens makes the most of this. I’ve left  part of the image pretty empty as I’m sure in the future this area will fill with new buildings, so this will become a unique shot over time

Indigo again – from the same place as the previous shot, just rotated the camera through 20-30 degrees to the left to get both lanes of traffic and the traffic island in shot. The processing on this is very cool to compliment the “indigo” name 🙂

New Dock, formerly Clarence Dock, has lots of linear architecture – here we have the armouries to the left, flats to the right and tower at the end. To get this view I took 2 HDR shots, one low down to get the boat and water, the other high up for the sky and buildings.

They were blended in Photomatix with the exact same settings and then a pano created in LIGHTROOM – as that does the job and is INCREDIBLY easy to use. 

A different view of the college of building, I really like those green frames around the windows

A straight shot from the middle of the road – shadows lifted in LIGHTROOM, but other than that very little processing

Indigo again – from the safety of the pavement this time! I saw this fella walking across the road – as the lights turned green, he started to run, so had to get him mid-sprint! 

Outside New Dock – this is where I was parked actually, just loved the light reflecting off the top window.

It’s 6 shots HDR – 2 sets of 3 – made by shifting the 17mm lens up to get the building tops.

Indigo from the other side – this is the view most will see of it, it’s at the crossing which goes to Crown Point Retail Park. The road to the left heads into town, so most traffic heads down there. You can see more of the building from this side, the overhang and the glass lower floors. 

Indigo Closeup portrait shot – you can do portrait shots with the tilt shift, just :-

  • put the camera into a portrait position,
  • roughly compose the image
  • get the camera level
  • shift till you get the whole building in there
  • shoot!

Another New Dock shot – again with a shift to get both the foreground water in, and the tops of the buildings in. 

Loved the light on this one – taken from the pelican crossing with a mother and baby looking on behind me

And finally, a panoramic using the tripod head’s ability to rotate. It’s just a case of start at the left, take a shot – rotate the camera a bit, then take another, then repeat till you get to the end. 

Tornado Steam Train on Ribblehead Viaduct

A 50 year Wait – Tornado Steam Train Scheduled Service

I didn’t wait 50 years – but it was 50 years ago that the last steam train service ran over the iconic viaduct in the Dales.

It was only for a few days in February so I decided to brave the weather and head up there. I’d incorrectly assumed that every train would be steam, so had a shock when I saw about 6 normal boring ones going over the viaduct!

So I got a LOT of shots without the train on….

This is from the Ingleton side – the sun falls directly on to the arches, definitely worth a look if you’re up there

The sun was out for a while – but Whernside was properly in shadow for this one!

This was taken from the roadside as I was heading to Ingleton for some lunch

On the way back from lunch we had more sun – so thought I’d get a few shots as the shadow slowly engulfed the arches, one by one.

This is near White Scar on the side of Ingleborough

Back to the rocks, where I was for AGES

 

Really liked this crack in the limestone

Many hours later

I was stood on these rocks for nearly 3 hours – no 4G, unchanging light, tried hundreds of photos – bit of Focus Stacking practice, which is really easy with the 5D4’s new touch screen shutter.

I’d almost given up by 4ish then people started gathering in the distance, behind the Ribblehead Pub.

The Kit and Settings

So got the 24-70mm lens on, ND grad (3 stop) in place and the polariser on. With hindsight, the polariser didn’t make much different AND forced me to up the ISO to compensate for the long shutter. After all – the train is moving, i guessed I needed about 1/100th at least for it not to blur.

  • F8

  • 1/160th

  • ISO 1000

All alone on the rocks

Amazingly I was the only person on these rocks – was expecting lots of company, but I think people were more interested in the actual train over the steam patterns.

I was looking for an epic landscape with hard, cold limestone in the foreground, then the bridge in the background with a long plume of steam as the train passed over.

I got lucky – it’s exactly what happened! And the rain stopped for the moment when the train actually passed.

It goes very slowly over the viaduct, so you can fire off many compositions as it passes – I’d have got 20-50 shots I expect – you just don’t want to miss out having waited for so long.

Colour shows how grey the day was – I’ve eeked a lot of texture out of that sky in processing.

Using a different white balance, taken from the limestone, you get a cooler vibe

The train leaves the viaduct, and doesn’t stop at the station! Ingleborough in the background too.

So there you go – I’m not a trainspotter and have no knowledge of steam, other than clouds of it look really cool on viaducts in the dales!

 

3 Tips on Looking Like Leaders – Show How You Work

How do you do what you do….

Simon Sinek’s hugely popular TED TALK talk on branding talks about:-

  • Why you do what you do
  • How you do it
  • What you make/do

If you’ve not seen it – here it is on YOUTUBE – it’s well worth a look.

 

If you look at the “why” – that’s usually a mission statement, tricky to photograph, but the “how” is something which we can support with great images.

“How” you do something is a huge part of your offering – being seen as experts and using an expert team helps make you the “go-to” supplier.

Show People How You Work

Photographing you or your team in action instantly tells people a massive amount. If gives personality to the images, it’s evidence you exist & that you have a team, it shows you the “vibe” of your organisation…. and much more.

Here are a few examples from the McFade Archives

1 Show your “skilled workers”

If you have a team on the workshop floor, showing each step of what they do instantly hints what they do – a small explanation is all that is needed. Far more effective than copy alone.

These images are from a light industrial company with a huge variety of processes – each page on their website had an image at the top to introduce the process. How many people do you think just looked at the photo, not bothering to read the text?

 

A huge car supermarket chain prides itself in using all the latest technology and skilled mechanics on each car as it arrives.

A cabinet maker in action – the concentration on his face says it all!

Add some personality to your bar photos with your “mixologist” in action

2 – Show Yourself In Action

If you’re self-employed then you can show yourself being the expert. This is Oksana, a personal trainer, we wanted to create some dramatic image to attract the right type of clients. What better than showing Oksana “walking the walk”? 

If you’re a consultant, then how about visiting a client site and doing some of your tasks. Gavin helps hotels grow and trains their staff, here are a few shots of him in different scenarios.

 

3 – Show Yourself Presenting

Only experts get invited to talk at conferences – right?

Well probably yes, so what better opportunity to lift your profile than having someone take images of you in action – with an engaged audience hinted at with blurry heads in the foreground.

This is website expert Andy Firth talking to a packed room in Sheffield

Gary King presenting at a business seminar

Rachel Hatfield sharing her Social Media expertise

 

Be First In People’s Minds

When people think of your industry – you want them to think of you FIRST. Then you want them to think you are are THE GO TO EXPERT.

Support this with great images of not only what you do but HOW YOU DO IT and you’ll see your business recommendations sky rocket. 

 

A few more recent examples

 

Craftsman making bath bombs!

Web developers creating

Electrical engineer testing with latest iPad software

Gas fitter servicing a boiler

Team re-processing lots of waste fluid containers

Lumilow Lighting

Enlightened LED Lighting Specialists

Lumilow are lighting consultants – MD Andy Chell was up front, the product itself was not going to be an exciting thing to photography!

I guess lights are a bit like petrol – fuel is not that interesting in itself, but put some in a Ferrari and it gets interesting.

Lighting is like that – it’s how it makes “stuff” look, and cost efficiencies, which, they are selling.

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The Shoot

We needed something completely different to any other “lighting” company.

They have a vibrant showroom, with table football, drills, high heels and a living room set! We used every corner to capture the fun, friendly vibe Lumilow are keen to promote. It’s all about a professional, personal, yet fun experience for every customer

Here are few shots from the 200+ we delivered! They have a fantastic library for years to come now

Whalley in Deep Water – Flood Photos in Full Force

Lancashire Flood – Whalley Gets Its Full Force

You can’t have missed the flood news over Xmas… first Cumbria, then Lancashire and now it’s in Yorkshire too.

So as Lancashire got a real beating by the rain on Xmas and Boxing day 2015. I decided to have a little drive out and see what happened in Whalley.

The roads in to the town were largely closed, so thought the best place would be the A59 bridge over the Calder – it was pretty epic. Its usually a small river weaving through the trees, but yesterday it was like a 300 yard wide lake, flooding right up to the arches.

There were lots of people looking on – I spoke to a business owner who was looking to the arches, took a long lens photo and we checked his property on the screen. It looked about a foot deep by his door so hopefully no too much damage – just a wet workshop floor.

After, I went up to Whalley Nab road – where I got the high view shots.

Whalley Photos

Here are images taken on the A59 where the calder passes under. Click and see them larger

VIVA CAS VEGAS!

Casvegas…. Pontecarlo….

West Yorkshire’s casino district?

Well maybe not, but between the 2 or them, they have a couple of real photographic gems.

The boating lake at Pontefract’s racecourse is fantastic for sunsets, and this bridge in Castleford is pretty spectacular after dark.

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So what brought me here…

Well 2 things really – I’m starting the huge McFade Winter Nights series of workshops, 17 in total, so wanted to get out there and do a little warm up shoot. It may not be obvious (intentionally) but there’s quite a bit of added torch light on some of these shots – which is what I’ll be teaching on the workshops.

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I think we’ll pop along and shoot the bridge at some point in the winter – it’s a pretty cool structure, with it’s mix of bright white light and surrounding warm “yellow” light, the weir itself is lit nicely and the way it curves offers loads of interesting views.

Secondly, a facebook group called Strictly Yorkshire, has had a lot images from here recently – I’d never been at night so went along with Suki to check it out. What we thought would be 30 minutes shooting turned into a couple of hours, and we met a guy from the facebook group too.

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Technique…

HIGH ISO

Well there’s a mixture here – initially it was raining so doing longer exposures put the camera at risk and the lens got wet… So I jacked the ISO up high and did 1-5 second exposures to minimise the damage!

HDR

When shooting the deck and surroundings, the tonal range of the shot suggested HDR – mainly because the water would burn out completely before the deck started to light up. So I shot my usual -2/0/+2 brackets then merged them later in Photomatix, using a pretty “out there” vibe to make the deck bright blue!

Torch and Long Exposures

As I got to the far end where the flour mill was,  I got the bright LED torch out and started to light the buildings – they’re pretty dark with only ambient light on. The torch brought out the lettering nicely and also managed to make the shot balance well – with the whole mill standing out from the dark sky. These shots were 30 seconds, slightly underexposing the sky so the torch work on the bricks would stand out.

 

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McFade Winter Nights

Just a very quick plug for the workshops which kick off in November 2013…

Check out the details on the training website –

It’s all about showing you how to create shots like these – both on the shoot, and later in processing.

There’s a lot of experience in photoshop/RAW editing goes into image creation these days – so I want to ensure you’re getting the best from the files you create so you can win those club competitions, sell prints or just wow your mates on Facebook – whatever motivates you to create images.


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Photographic Therapy

Snow Blind?

I’ve used the term “snow blind” a lot recently – it’s refers to that moment when you’ve been shooting the same thing over and over again, to try to get that “perfect” shot – usually for an art director or designer who’s looking on.

You’ve tried all sorts, move the lights, changed the background, stood on a ladder, led on your stomach, added in all kinds of things…. and it’s still not quite working.

That’s snow blind….

Doesn’t happen often – just now and then, usually after a sleepless night or something!

Clear the cobwebs

So you take a break, grab a coffee and chill out for 5… then get back to it.

All good.

But how do you get back to being your creative self after a long day on a job….?

Reboot…

Well a great way to “reboot” is to head out somewhere and do something totally different.

So on Monday I got everything done in the office headed out east to see if there were any nice crops or round bales to shoot.

Totally changed everything – no flash, no people, no cars, no goal… just me and my camera bag.

Fields and Bales….

It was the most changeable of days – clouds hiding then revealing the sun constantly. Great fun to capture as your canvas was never the same for long.

Tradition dictates that you’d use tripod, ND grad filters and polariser on an ultra wide lens for big bale shots… which I did for a short white… but then decided to use a 70-200 F2.8 lens, wide open, to line the bales up with trees in the background in different way.

Shapes…

It got to the stage where I was just making shapes out of the elements in the shot – rather than shooting “the bale” I was shooting “a triangle of things”.

Its more an excercise in composition when you boil things down to this level – like going back to basics. Really good fun, we should all do it occaionally.

Rainbow…

I called in at Fairburn Ings, a place where they do everything possible to ruin the photographer’s enjoy mkent of the area, filling in 2 lay byes I used to frequent, and building fences which block great views…

Whilst there a fantastic double rainbow arrived – and I had no foreground.

Long Exposures

I admit to owning a 10-stop filter… there, it’s out…

These are black discs which attach to your lens and make your exposures about 1000 times longer. Popular with landscape people as they make clouds go surreal, people disappear and water milky in the extreme – yet stationary things remain totally unaffected.

So I tried it on some wheat, which stopped still as the clouds moved. That was nice.

Also tried it on Ferrybridge Power Station – where it smoothed out the steam plumes and clouds to give something rather odd.

Swan…

Ok – there’s a swan shot too… it was at Fairburn Ings car park

Conclusion

Oddly enough, I hear of amateur photographers losing inspiration far more than professionals getting jaded… we don’t get time to get bored!

But if you’ve been on a project or theme for a long time and are starting to get snow blind, I’d strongly recommend going somewhere and getting back to basics – experimentation is the gift “digital” gave us, so get out there and just try stuff you’ve not done for years.

It’s amazingly theraputic

PHOTOS!

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Wind Farm Workshop with McFade Training

Wind farms are, by definition, positioned in windy, desolate places. This makes for truly atmospheric shots – given the right lighting conditions.

The best time is sunset or sunrise, because the sun light comes in low and lights 1/2 of the turbine, leaving the other half in shadow. It gives a 3D feel to them.

Also you get coloured skies at sunset/rise. This provides a dramatic background to your stark, white turbines.

The other thing to look for is the “interaction” between turbines. When you look at them, try make them “sit” together in the photo nicely – I usually avoid them “overlapping”, but it’s really down to the individual.

So here’s a few shots from the night… wasn’t the best night ever, but was pretty close.

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Sunny Holbeck

I’d just put an exhibition in the Midnight Bell pub and had the camera with me… so decided to get all nostalgic for 15 minutes and capture the end of town I worked in for 2 years – Holbeck.

It’s had one hell of a face lift since 2000, now housing lots of businesses, 2 new bars and lots of eateries – a long shot from the red-light district reputation of old.

So here’s my nostalgia set for August 2013 – Water Lane and Marshall Street in Holbeck.

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Bradford From Above will Blow Your Mind

Don’t Look Down!

When Richard Sara-Gray said that we may be able to get a decent view of Bradford, I never realised I’d be on top of the ice rink, looking down from over 150 feet onto the very heart of the city!

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So up we went on a cold, windy but occasionally beautiful day – armed with everything from the 17-40 F4 to the 500mm L lens.

 

Here are the shots I created from up there – in a really fulfilling 2 hours of discovery… it’s grim up north? Maybe, but it’s infinitely fascinating looking at it!

 

HDR Photography in Leeds… Armley

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Famous for it’s monumental prison and a gyratory, Armley isn’t the first Leeds suburb you’d go shooting alone in – let alone on an incredibly dull February day.

I took to the canal first first, to see how the graffiti artists are doing – these walls change regularly.

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Then down to the river Aire and over the footbridge for some more shots.

All these are HDR shots – which means “High Dynamic Range”, where we take a few photos at different exposures (brightnesses) the blend them into one. We run workshops on this – check out the next one here… http://www.mcfade.co.uk/training/leeds-photography-workshops-coming-soon/

Oloneo and Lightroom 4

The shots were processed using Oloneo and Lightroom – Oloneo is a specialist HDR program, and Lightroom is a version of Photoshop aimed at photographers.

The rest of the shots here are not “edited” as such – but “synched” in Lightroom to show you that editing photos got a whole lot easier.

Basically they all have the same settings – same colour, brightness, contrast, vignette…

The only thing that’s wrong are the dust spots – so you’ll see blobs on the shots below. Dust tends to be the biggest pain these days – even on self-cleaning sensors like the 5D2.

 

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Fake that sunset in Lightroom 4

So many landscapes have these amazing sunsets, nuclear red skies with amazing orange hues….

Do you think they “really” looked like that when the photographer was there?

Here’s a demo of how easy they are to fake in Lightroom 4….

  1. Original Look
  2. Tone and Saturation changes
  3. Tidy up dust and lift the dark areas
  4. Lens correction
And that’s it really – just click on the photo to advance through the images

Tetley Brewery – The End of an Era

Leeds Iconic TETLEY BREWERY – Demolished!

 

Tetley was a huge brewery on the edge of the city centre, one of a dying breed of city centre breweries, most of which fall to demolition sooner or later.

Wikipedia says… .

 

The original brewery was opened on the current site in 1822. Parts of the original buildings still stand and extensions have been built as late as 2006. The Brewery opened a museum on the 19 March 1994.The attraction proved popular; however, redevelopment of the land surrounding the brewery led to the attraction’s closure on 7 April 2000. The building is now bars and restaurants which are part of the Brewery Wharf development.
All fermenting now takes place in stainless steel Yorkshire squares and conical vessels; the slate Yorkshire squares, dating from about the 1880s, were broken up and removed in autumn 2008.
 
 

So nearly 200 years of making beer came to an end in 2011, and the demolition is well under way. The giant arms of demolition cranes are seen pulling down walls and tearing up metal like paper.

McFade Photography @ Tetley Brewery

Gaining access is imposlible for health and safety reasons, but you can see quite a lot of the rubble and scrap from outside the grounds, so we captured some images to mark its passing on a sunny evening on March 1st 2012.

LEEDS PHOTOS – Jan 2012

New Leeds Photos for 2012

We’ve taken advantage of the amazing sunny January days by getting a new set of images of Leeds for you to enjoy.

Here’s a pretty extensive selection from the new set – there will be more to come!

 

 

Buy a copy for your home!

They will all available for purchase on Photobox very soon.

My shop is http://www.photoboxgallery.com/mcfade and I will create a new gallery there ASAP.

They’re also available to liscence for use on print/web, and in large format prints to give your office environment a boost!

 

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Past Power To the People…

 

I’m not sure where my fascination with cooling towers came from – maybe the few around Padiham when I was a kid caught my eye? They’re just so incredibly huge and un-natural looking that I’m quite drawn to them. So when I got to Leeds and started discovering the county of West Yorkshire (andy beyond), I’d end up photographing these things whilst my peers were on the piers at Whitby and Saltburn, or in the dales.

Ferrybridge, Eggborough and Drax are the big ones in Yorkshire, and they’re surrounded by large fields, so you can get some nice juxtaposition shots of lovely wheat fields with the towers looming over them!

Don’t get too close though, the security people are soon out to accuse you of being naughty and ask you to move on!

 This dis-used power station is a bit of a find really, you can find all sorts of photographic delights just walking around – the echos you get when stood inside the towers is a totally unique experience. Even a small pebble being kicked causes a long, lingering boom sound. Try singing Puccini in there!

There are 5 towers, each one seems to have a slightly different interior, be it full of wood, totally empty, got a bridge in there or even some kind of cat-walk.

The graffiti boys have been there too, so the grey drabness of 330 feet of concrete is broken by their colourful sprayings.

 They’re so dark inside, that any views outside tend to be just white, so I put an eye in the sky on this next one… just out of curiosity really.

 

There is a bit of greenery poking through… not a lot though!

You need an ultra wide lens to get floor-to-sky photos 

There is a lot of red brick littering the place – thought I’d bring out the reds in this next shot.

Not sure what the square thing is here, though we guessed it was a huge water tank

An industrial shoot…

I like a photographic challenge – in fact, I had a project called “something from nothing” in the past, where I’d go to places with seemingly no photographic interest and then diligently crawl around looking for something interesting. They usually ended up with really dark skies and became broody and moody…. it’s easier to make dramatic dark shots from such situations.

Well I had a similar challenge last week where I was invited to perform my “mcfade magic” on a waste disposal site in Sheffield. Its a place where companies send their used waste – things like old paint and waste chemicals come to the site and are dealt with in a clean and environmental way.

Having seen my HDR and strobist work on this website, I was asked to go along and use those techniques where I could to create something that would stand out from normal industrial images – so that’s what I did.

Above is a “colour popping” HDR of the inside of one of the buildings – using HDR allows you to make the place look really bright, especially getting detail into the roof areas which were very dark to the naked eye.

Here we have one of the guys in a oxygen face-mask pouring waste paint into a tank ready for processing. We had a single flash on this one, high to the left, and then underexposed the background for a bit of drama. I did of course create “normal” shots too, just in case this dark-skied look wasn’t appropriate.

A little creative licence with the fluorescent tubes which they recycle…

Off camera flash on people opening up the trucks

Another interior HDR showing the safety features of the complex

This reminds me of the end scene of Raiders of the Lost Arc….

So something different to the norm – really enjoyable project and a great bunch of people on the site who were only to happy to join in and help.