Monthly Archives: April 2016

Rachelle in Dark Light

It was November by the time Rachelle and I got back to shooting again and not the weather for location shooting, besides I was still in the mood for experimenting with Dark Light (stupid made up name). It was cold and dismal outside when I picked her up from Chrissie’s flat but fortunately the studio was as toasty as could be. So again with the Dark Light, and why? because practise practise practise gives solid results at the end of the day and I like it. Its good to find a working technique but it often needs honed and tweaked to get the best out of it. Therefore I make no apologises for working with this type of lighting again, its about subtle adjustments and getting to know the good and the pitfalls. With just a single light to work with it can get a little bit tricky in places. Anyways…..some images I think.


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Working with the red velvet this time was very tricky, it took several attempts to find the right modifier and angle. As usual it wasn’t the model that was the problem but the lighting and colour, not enough light made the red look lifeless and brown, too much light killed the curves and shapes. Fortunately Rachelle had a lot of patience as I tried various combinations, but in the end it was worth taking the time out to get it right.


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We tried a some lingerie and kept the same lighting but a different angle, which seemed to work a treat.


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But then why keep it the same all the time, change the lights and angles for a different theme.


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And then clam lighting just because…..practise practise practise…..


Rachelle Visage de l'été

Rachelle Summers

Rachelle Summers

A Dark Summer Allure


The clam lighting approach to portraits gives a consistent backdrop colour which makes it really easy to add textures to without all the palava of an intricate cut n paste exercise.

Its always a joy to work with Rachelle Summers and we never seem to run out of ideas in the studio, if you get a chance to work with her then I strongly suggest you do.


Keira Lavelle

In all honesty I can’t remember how Keira and I got together for a shoot but I’m very glad we did. I do remember having to pick her up from a bus at the train station as the train station was closed due to massive derailment inside Dundee just next to the station. I also remember booking the studio thinking that September can be cold and iffy weather wise, And of course it was a lovely warm sunny day. After a cuppa tea for me and a cuppa hedgerow clippings infusion for Keira we got down to shooting.


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A ‘quick’ change of lighting and more tea…


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More light changes and a couple of textures added in post processing..


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We then rigged up a velvet curtain, like a stage curtain and used a spotlight.


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Then a few portraits using clam lighting…


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Keira Lavelle

Keira Lavelle


I have to say Keira was fab in the studio, always willing to experiment and try different things out, friendly and good company too, highly recommend to anyone. I have another shoot with her soon-ish, hopefully the weather will be good and we can head off to the beach this time 🙂


Stephanie in the Studio and Out

September 2015 rolls up and I managed to get a studio day sorted for the Camera Club featuring Stephanie Dubois, in fact we had to make it a day and a half because there was no room for my own slot on the first day. So I booked the morning after the main day. The first shoots here were mainly test shoots for lighting but they turned out well.


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When it was Vron’s time to shoot she turned up, as usual, with a large pile of props and clothes, included this facinator …..

Steph in Feathers


And I have to admit I’d been wanting to take images of Vron’s car for a long time, the little figaro looks amazing, it looks like a timeless classic. So we both went out with Stephanie and got some interesting shots…sadly the figaro didn’t live much longer, it was involved in a crash and came out very badly indeed, fortunately Vron fared better albeit with aches and pains.

DSC_6007-Edit Stephanie and the Figaro On the Road RIP Figaro


The studio day was a big hit and everyone can away with some cracking shots. So the next day I had Stephanie for 4 hours, a  couple of hours in the studio and then outside…in the fresh air.

Stephanie Dubois

Stephanie Dubois

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Some rope as a pulling prop….and some dark light


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Then we went down to Morton Lochs for a spell, it was still nice and warm outside too.

But before we got to shooting anything this little chap appeared…A Dunnock



There’s a log across a pond, its actually very stable but looks a bit dodgy when walking across it


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It was a very nice day outside and Stephanie rocked it in and out of the studio. Highly recommended to any photographer, a  very versatile model with a distinctive look.

Hopefully more image to come of Stephanie later in 2016……watch this space!


A Diaz in the Dark


A long long time ago (last September) in a galaxy far far away (my house!) …….

Helen Diaz and I got together for a shooty type thingymabob, she turned up at my house and we had a chat and a cup of green tea before heading off to do dark deeds in a very dark place in the dark side of the Tay Road Bridge (Fife).

Keeping with the dark side theme I’ve selected mostly B&W. Helen has a fab look and lovely black hair and I wanted to use that against the black of the studio, that subtle blend when the hair just about melds into the background. Anyways of we went with some classic nudes first.


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Oh look its that raggedy thing again… lights up well in the dark!


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Helen Diaz

Helen Diaz

After many cups of tea and chats about darkly things we did portraits using clam lighting.


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Bloody hell!!….a colour one!…how did that get there?!??


Miss Diaz


What a fun mad day with jokes and japes and many a pulled face. Helen is great to work with and has such a distinctive look, very much fun and a joy to experiment in the studio with. Sadly the day went too fast as it always does. Highly recommended to anyone, and hopefully she’ll be back here again for some more darkly deeds and green tea!


Chrissie and Glen Turret

Chrissie and I decided to go out on one of our jaunts again, I had been using Google earth to find abandoned buildings and such and came across a building in the middle of the forest. It was somewhere near Comrie and a bit of a clamber to get to it, however by the time we got there the forest had pretty much taken it over and shooting there would be dangerous and very limited….

Spot the Chrissie…..


So after all that fighting through the forest we headed to the Famous Grouse Distillery for food, they have a great restaurant there and its become one of our regular places to go to in that area. But on the way in we came across two very special kittens, their names were Glen and Turret. They are successors to Hamish the old distillery mouser and guardian who sadly died not long ago. the kittens were fab and full of beans. Camera pics

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After lunch we went up the single track Glen Turret road to Loch Turret, it was empty of people and quite a warm still day there, normally its a hollowing gale. Anyway we found a good scene to set up right next to the path.


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Chrissie Red

Chrissie Red

It was a very picturesque scene but we didn’t have long to spend so we headed back again when other people started to arrive. On the way back we were held up at ‘horn point’ by errant highland cows!!!……who refused to budge!! Chrissie grabs my camera for these shots.

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Also this is first time I’ve every seen a blonde highland coo…


Yet another fun adventure out into the wilds of Scotland, something always happens when we go out on a looksee….oh I never mentioned the naked wasp dance, ah well some other time 😉

Stay tuned for the next Chrissie and John adventure…..


Lulu and the Light

By now I’m really starting to get into dark images….I like to call it Dark Light, just because its nonsense and I like nonsense (who would have guessed!) However today I started off with something a lot brighter. Mainly because I had already worked with Lulu and dark light before, and change is a good thing….especially socks, tis always good to change socks and other things before they whiff.

And with a big whiz bang flash of we go!.

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Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Then we add something raggedy and a pendant……


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Ooppps…dark light did that get there?!?!?!…


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Then back to basics……

Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Miss Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Then on to portraits and playing around with textures in PP…

Lulu's Back


Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart

Lulu Lockhart



Then a final dark light in an arty farty emotive kinda way ……….

The Turning Away


Afterwards we went for lunch at the nearby cafe, the original idea was to do a couple of hours in the studio then take a meander along the Fife coast until we get to the airport for Lulu’s plane. However at the cafe I realised I had lost my house key, so after lunch I had to drive to Allison’s work at 2 to pick up her key…on the assumption that I would still get back home before her. (you can sense where this is going)

By the time we did all this it was getting a bit tight for doing the coast route and getting the plane but we made a bold stab at it…we headed for Lady’s Tower at Ellie. Even by the time we got there we would only have 15 mins of shooting time, we didn’t even get that. Lady’s Tower was full of sightseers so we turned tail and headed back to the car. The traffic on the way to the airport was horrific, slow and congested. We did make though but with not much time to spare. The trip back was worse, it took over an hour to get from the airport to the north side of the Forth Bridge, and for no apparent reason. And this meant another hours trip home from there meaning that Allison would be left locked out when she got back…..oh dear it’s turned out to be another McNairn ‘adventure’. All in all we got there in the end and the day was fun and ‘eventful’.

Lulu was as fantastic as she always is, always delivers and is fun and professional to work with. A lovely driving companion to have as a passenger and modelling wise…well, the results speak volumes really.