Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dairygold Baking Block

Dairgold lemon drizzle cake food photography with McCann erickson

Dairgold Chocolate brownies food photography with McCann erickson

There is only one thing better than shooting food, and that's shooting food in close up !
So close in fact that, as you focus on a hazelnut or a piece of lemon rind, the delicious smell of the food becomes quite distracting, especially when Sally Dunne, food stylist, is the MC.
The art director is Ray Swan and he began this Dairygold  campaign in London over a year ago. I'm happy to say has brought it all back home.
These 2 images have already run a few months back but watch out for the Christmas special !

Dairgold mince pies food photography with McCann erickson

They were shot using my Leaf Aptus 11 40mp back and the a Mamiya RZ 67 with extension tubes and a 250mm lens.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fujifilm X Pro 1

They say there's no such thing as a perfect camera but that doesnt stop me or anyone else looking for it. My latest find try is the X Pro 1 from Fuji. About a year ago, I dipped my toe in the Fuji camera pool and bought the Fuji X10, which I've enjoyed using and has been in my pocket on many trips. If sometimes I get lucky with an image that I want to submit to the library I work with (more about that to come in another blog being planned), I cant because the files really aren't big enough.
So I bought the X Pro 1 with a 35mm 1.4 lens (50mm equivalent), along with a FREE 18mm (equivalent to 35mm) and I took it with me on a recent trip to France to shoot some food and some landscapes. I went with my friend photographer Jonathan Lovekin and made this portrait of him on a walk one afternoon.

I'm not much of a technoid so I'm not going to talk about the specs here, there are other people around doing those kinds of reviews very well so I'll just be talking about what the experience of using it to take pictures. It has a lovely feel and is very simply laid out, so easy to use quickly and instinctively. I like having the exposure compensation dial right by my thumb.  I also like having the choice between the optical viewfinder and the more accurate digital viewfinder. It reminds me a lot of the Contax G2, except that the auto focus on the X pro is more reliable. There's no question about the quality (over 16mp) - Oh and it's certainly lighter than my Nikon D3X! 

The images are sharp and with lovely tonal range and when Sometimes I feel like not having to make decisions about lenses, camera bodies filters etc etc and just concentrate on looking around me, the Fuji feels like the kind of camera that will just work. I suppose rather like the idea of picking up a Leica and a 35mm lens, it allows the simplicity of looking, composing in either viewfinder and then 'click'. 

When the mood takes you to photograph, the first thing to engage is a sense of wonder at the possibilities for photographs everywhere. A sure fire way to inhibit this is to start packing camera equipment just in case!  My recommendation for a good 'sense-of-aesthetics' work-out and a sharpening of the composing 'eye' is to decide on one camera and a prime lens and work with that. Making decisions about WHAT to photograph rather than HOW.

The one techinical thing I would like to mention is this. I had some issues when I came back processing the RAW files. I started in CS5 Camera RAW in Bridge and found a uniform dot pattern all over the images so we upgraded to CS6 for full compatibility in the hope that this might help.

 Once processed in Camera Raw CS6, the resulting tiffs had been given a mosaic or painterly effect. Many people we found online also had the same problem, so we got in touch with Fuji.  They advised us to download Silkypix from the CD (or online). To work on a RAW file in Photoshop, you need to open them IN Silkypix. The interface is quite basic but its generally quite disappointing to have to get used to a new piece of software just to process RAW files just from this camera. The files are converted into either Tiff or Jpeg, you can't convert them into a more standard raw file, which is a pity. In my opinion his first stage of the editing process is a time consuming and doesn't allow for the full RAW capability of the files. I will keep on using this until Adobe come up with something better.

A few negative points.
The battery is not as good as anything I've used from Canon or Nikon but is much better than the X10. I would recommend you buy a spare if you are going to use this camera to shoot continually for several hours. I wouldn't recommend this camera if shooting video is important to you either.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Converse Chuckies

5 or six years ago I photographed my sons slightly faded blue Converse Chuckies. I loved how the worn canvas looked and they seem to morph into each other lying on the floor. I photographed them exactly as I found them. 

I submitted the image as part of the 50x50 print sale in Habitat and it sold out in a week. Since then I've seen it in on walls in interiors magazines and it crops up in conversation with people who either bought it or know someone who did. 

So when my son came in wearing his current worn out pair I did a deal. 'Sell me those and you can buy a new pair.'

Deal done and I brought them into the studio. These are far more battered than the last pair and I can only put that down to wear and tear being harsher when you're 17 years old as compared to 11.

These were shot using the  Zeiss 50mm F2 macro planar on a Nikon D3X 

Im going to produce a large format limited edition of prints to take advantage of the amazing detail. 

Anyone interested get in touch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dublin Business School portraits

The first of a series of ads that I shot with Ian McFarlane from ICAN for Dublin Business School have appeared on the street at last. We cast over 140 people in the studio and I was very happy with the final 9 people. They all worked really hard and did a great job representing the target market for DBS. I enjoyed working with our cast to get those authentic 'looks' between the poses. In particular I thought Shauna from Frasers, was great. She looked fresh, full of energy and really got her personality across, which is what we wanted.

Here's a selection from her shoot.

 Looking forward to seeing the next images as they are published.
Thanks to Jane Gribbin for the make-up and grooming.

For the technically minded, we shot using a Nikon D3x with the Zeiss 85mm 1.4 (which is super sharp!) and 2 Profoto XL silver umbrellas, one with diffusion, which I really love. The combination of the 2 helped create the daylight feel.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the Aer Lingus series

Having spent the last 20 years flying whenever possible with Aer Lingus, it was great to be rewarded earlier in the year with a great series of ads commissioned by Paddy Gerraghty at Irish International (and they say there's no such thing as Karma!) 

The last time I shot a campaign for Aer Lingus it was completed about a month before 9/11 and the campaign was pulled without ever running.

Portrait of Laurent mellet
AD: Kevin Leahy, Irish International 

So we were eager to get to work and I called in Paddy Daly at Yoke Productions to produce the shoot and Stefano Cherubini from Happyfinish in London worked on the retouching. 

The Batman cowl was sourced and finished by Ben Millar models in London from a replica of the original piece.

If I had a €1 for every time someone said 'I see you've bought your seats for France this year!

(Aer Lingus flies direct to Toulouse Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday throughout the summer! folks for all the best deals go to

Speaking of Kevin Leahy (art director - Irish International) we shot two transatlantic business class ads for him recently and this time.

I shared the retouching with Kevin Brookes at Irish International. I completed the effects and grading. I'm very happy with the final ads despite not being allowed to take any pictures over chicago, NYC, Paris and London !

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Prints for Ely Wine Bar, Ely Place

Ely Wine bar in ELY place have recently redesigned the upstairs room in their beautiful Georgian building. To decorate the walls owner Erik asked Francis Curran and I to look at some of the Burren images originally commissioned for the international award winning ELY book. I re graded them to
make a series of warm tone black and white prints, and asked Jim at Inspirational Arts to make the prints. I'm very pleased with the results and Erik and Michelle have them all up on walls already!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Series of portraits of Irish Olympians for Cara Magazine

After many weeks of tracking down a selection of Irish Olympic qualifiers, Editor Fran Power lined up 6 competitors and manager Sonia O'Sullivan for photography. This was by no means easy as everyone was in the middle of many long hours of training in preparation for the games in summer. 
I had an idea in my mind how the portraits could work but it wasn't really until we got to each of the locations that the final compositions presented themselves. I particularly like the training hall that we photographed Darren O'Neill at, in the National Stadium, but undeniably the most dramatic had to be the Military Road, where we shot Mark Kenneally. The trickiest, in terms of the shoot, was photographing Grainne Murphy as she had a busy training schedule.  We hoped to do an underwater shot, but time was against us, and despite having managed to source the underwater equipment, we didn't get a chance to make it happen. 
For those unfortunate who are not travelling Aer Lingus this month, here's Cara Magazine's July edition.

We are delighted to say that about 36 posters of these portraits will be displayed all around Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport, and in Heathrow all summer long to support the Irish Olympic team. More on this coming soon.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trevor Hart - Dublin Bus shoot

Following on from his successful TV ads for Dublin Bus, Stephen Rogers from Rothco commissioned me to shoot the outdoor campaign. Using the same cast we shot in Baggot street and Rathfarnham, with very mixed weather but got what we needed in the end. Everyone commented on how  accommodating the South Dublin drivers were as we shot 'Purple Lightening' sitting in our self made traffic jam. "I can't imagine North Dublin drivers being so patient", said one commentator. 

Music by Ethan Hart.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trevor Hart - Impossible Plane Photography

Recently we were working on a  campaign for Aer Lingus and after the shoot the art director Paddy Geraghty from Irish International suggested some background images, so we shot a variety of angles of the A330 which we were working on. I decided to see if we could make these shots a little more interesting! These two images are sketches really for what could be a great idea - a series of impossible images! Images we would love to see but where it would be almost impossible to put a camera? A shot from the rear tail looking over the body of the plane coming in to land? A wide shot looking in to the cockpit of plane taking off?

Watch this space.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trevor Hart - Supervalu producers photoshoots

As part of a campaign by DDFH&B to promote Supervalu's own brand products and suppliers, we were briefed by art director Conor Swanton to photograph three suppliers here in Ireland and in Cordoba, Spain.
We photographed Margaret Farrelly from Clonarn Clover, Ken Ecock from Oceanpath in Howth and Thomas Hengy from Med International.

As you can see in the video, Cordoba is a beautiful place and Thomas and his business partner Jean Bernard were excellent hosts and helped us find the best place to shoot  among hundreds of acres of olive groves. When we had our shot and the sun had finally gone we were invited to an olive oil tasting which was incredible. Apart from the variety of olives, I had never imagined the number of factors that effect the final product in the bottle. The olives Thomas and Jean Bernard use at Me International are pressed, filtered and stored in air tight vats within 5 hours of harvesting which is very important if you want to get great flavour from the olives and insure a beautiful extra virgin oil, which they certainly do.

 Their top tips for preserving your olive oil in good condition are as follows.

- Air is the enemy of olive oil so treat yours like wine, keep air out & store away from bright light.
- Colour has no relation to the flavour flavour.
- Try to use olive oil without heating. It's great in the pan but when it smokes it's destroyed.

I am so grateful to all the suppliers we photographed for their enthusiasm (food producers always are enthusiastic and so passionate about what they do!) and also their generosity in allowing us to use up so much of their time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trevor Hart - Irish Rugby series in Cara April/May

Fran Power, editor of the Aer Lingus magazine CARA asked me to shoot a series of portraits for a story about the people behind Irish Rugby for the April / May issue. As many of my friends already know, I'm not a huge sports fan but I know enough to be grateful to Jonathan Sexton for making it to the shoot less than 24 hours after the re-scheduled Paris match. Despite having a stomach bug and feeling generally battered from the match he arrived and  performed magnificently.

A big thanks to Mark Jones at the ERC and everyone who gave us their time, especially Claire Seale who co-ordinated the shoot on behalf of the Aviva Stadium and gave us access to this amazing facility. I also want to thank Jane Gribbin and Christine Lucignano for make up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Trevor Hart - Bord Bia Fish Campaign

Art director Ray Swan from McCann Erickson commissioned me to shoot 2 fish dishes for Bord Bia new campaign Fish for Family and Friends that you can see quite a lot outdoors at the moment.
Sally Dunne did the food styling on these dishes and they were as delicious as they look !

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Trevor Hart - Cavan Fleadh 2012

Graphic designer Ross Curran, from Designworks, commissioned me to do a series of portraits of participants of this year's Cavan Fleadh 2012 for Comhaltas. The idea was to give traditional music a youthful, dynamic and fun look.
Hair and Make up by Christine Lucignano

See below the behind the scenes video :