Clayton Bastiani Photography: Blog http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog en-us Clayton Bastiani info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) Tue, 03 Oct 2017 18:02:00 GMT Tue, 03 Oct 2017 18:02:00 GMT http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/img/s/v-5/u301005367-o495950958-50.jpg Clayton Bastiani Photography: Blog http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog 120 40 Fascination with nature http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/10/fascination-with-nature The world is a fascinating place. From the largest creation to the smallest and beyond. Every little thing has been considered (by nature or divine intervention - feel free to decide for yourself). 

I never meant to have a thing for bugs and insects, but these things happen.

I recently wrote a piece including a section on how to be inspired and how to find your path in photography. The biggest part is to look for patterns in your work. There's always patterns.

What are you into?

What do you want to photograph?

What do you enjoy photographing?

(Please remember there's no point to any of this if you're simply photographing things you don't enjoy).

Give it a while and those patterns emerge and show the paths you like to travel. 

 

And so here I am. Lots of pictures of bugs and insects.

 

What's it all about? Who Knows? I absolutely love their details. Incredible details. 

And on the bugs there are bugs....

And on those bugs there are bugs...

And on those bugs there are bugs...

 

You get the picture. 

Seriously, the world is a fascinating place.

Get fascinated. 

 

Ps. Maybe avoid an early drink for my next blog. But boy am I writing quickly. 

 

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info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) bastiani bug clayton close colour insect macro nature organic photo photographer photography up http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/10/fascination-with-nature Tue, 03 Oct 2017 18:02:31 GMT
A week with my new strobes http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/8/a-week-with-my-new-strobes I only went and bought some bloomin' strobe lights....

 

I'd made a list of all the bits and pieces I'd need if I wanted to set up a basic home studio and then thought right, over the next few months I'll put a bit aside and save up. 

And then I heard about a complete starter kit on ebay and that plan quickly went out the window. At around £140 this kit wasn't going to break the bank too much. It includes tripods, brollies, 3 flash heads, softboxes, triggers, bag... plenty to get me started.  

As far as I can tell the lights are re-badged versions of the Godox Mini Master 180w. For a room about 13 foot square they're plenty bright enough. I can replace the modelling lamp (although I'm barely leaving it on as they get rather hot and there's no cooling fan) but I can't replace the flash bulb. (No need as the whole unit is cheap enough to replace instead).

Nothing fancy. On off buttons for flash and modelling light. A tester button and a turn dial to adjust the flash brightness. I've got a light meter so it's easy enough to test the strength as I turn the dial. They don't have a regular modifier fitting, but I've tested them with a snoot and a bowens/universal adaptor and they work a treat. The tripods are rather light weight for my tastes, but work fine with due care.  All in all I'm rather pleased. 

I bought them as a starter kit and hope to learn loads over the coming months. Will they last a lifetime? Who knows? Maybe with care and attention.

Are they fun and easy to use? Hell yeah!

Here's a sample of the results from my first week with them, creating dark thriller style imagery for my book cover work:

 

If you're interested, the lights can be purchased here

 

 

 

 

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Grey and Cloudy Starts on Dinosaur Isle http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/8/grey-and-cloudy-starts-on-dinosaur-isle I live on an island and I guess for some people just saying that can bring up visions of sandy beaches, palm trees, clear blue waters, high temperatures... et cetera, et cetera...

Only this island is at the south of the UK and since the schools have broken up we've had a lot of rain. And our seas are kinda murky, not clear. 

Don't get me wrong, on certain days the skies are beautiful, the days are warm and you can be the only person on a beach several miles long, imagining a time when dinosaurs roamed these parts and pretending to be a character from a Jules Verne novel who has stranded their U-Boat off the coast and discovered a long lost world.

 

A wonderful model, Joey21, made contact as she was down here on holiday and I suggested an early start so we could catch the sun rising and have the beach to ourselves. We started at 4am and drove to the beach. As expected, the beach was quiet, but it wasn't exactly golden, warm and didn't have the Sun saying "hello" to us both with it's warm rays of light. It was cold, grey and very cloudy. But nevermind, such are the joys of working on location.  The universe wanted us to have grey and cloudy, so you work with it as long as you can without feeling too cold (safety tip: it's important to keep your models alive and happy to work with you). Although the weather wasn't playing ball I think we did alright. 

A massive thank you to Joey21 for being an absolute trooper. 

 

 

 

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info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) acrobatics bastiani beach cartwheel clayton colour dawn fashion isle joey21 joeymarie21 model of photo photographer photography portraiture sunrise wight http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/8/grey-and-cloudy-starts-on-dinosaur-isle Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:02:28 GMT
Back to the studio and back to textures and overlays http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/7/back-to-the-studio-and-back-to-textures-and-overlays So I'm getting quite a bug for flash photography. Like using the pen tool or luminosity masks, I managed to avoid it for quite some time. Now I've started I'm not sure why I left it so long.

After working with the brilliant Nikita Caslida at Gavin Taylor's recent lighting workshop I got in contact and asked if we could do a shoot at our local studio, Studio2

I can't pretend to be an expert at flash yet. There was a lot of faffing and cursing as I tried to set things up, but there was a greater confidence behind all my mistakes. Even if I wasn't getting it right I was less scared to man handle the lights and try things out.

I am eternally grateful to Nikita for her patience. 

I assumed the finished pieces would be close to 'straight out of camera', only I started digging around my old folders of textures (papers, rusty tins, baking trays, etc...) and things just kind of took off from there and I'm loving the results. Although there's similarities between the set I challenged myself to make every picture different. I haven't spent time with textures for a while and it was good to go back to old working methods, applying new learnt techniques. 

There's more to come, but here's the results so far...

In the meantime, it's back to practising frequency separation techniques. There's always something to learn :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) bastiani book caslida clayton colour cover creative illustration isle jacket model nikita of overlay photo photographer photography portrait portraiture ryde studio studio2 texture wight http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/7/back-to-the-studio-and-back-to-textures-and-overlays Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:33:56 GMT
Mental blocks and the wonder of Laurel and Hardy http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/7/mental-blocks-and-the-wonder-of-laurel-and-hardy Sometimes, when I show people my work, they will ask how I manage to keep coming up with ideas for what to photograph. I usually laugh it off and take it as a complement, but inside I think off all the times I've hit a brick wall, mental blocks where nothing goes right for a while and the journey forward can be a struggle. I can see how looking back through almost a decade's worth of work can make it appear to be a stroll in the park, but I assure you (at least in my case) that isn't always so. 

So what do I do when this happens?

By far the best thing I've found for myself is to put aside whatever it is I'm stuck on. Mojo gone? Ideas lacking? Struggling with the commercial demands? General apathy towards my work? Let it burn in the back of the mind for a bit, rather than at the front. If I want to take a break from photography I go for a walk or start building something out of wood. If I want to stick with photography I start looking for new things to learn and whenever possible I try to make the experience enjoyable as it helps remind me why I got into taking pictures in the first place. A rekindling of a romance that began many years ago.

Projects develop in the process of all this. My 'Collections' Series, landscapes, nudes... These have all begun thanks to these moments. Each represents a a re-connection with photography and remind me of how much I love and enjoy this medium. It doesn't take too long before I'm firing on all cylinders and the world or photography seems ok again. 

 

 

Another project that has come out of these moments is my Animation work. At the moment it is simply for fun, but it is developing nicely and I can't wait to see where I am with it all in a few year's time.  There's strong links to the surreal sequential work of Duane Michals and the brilliant special effects of early cinema, especially Laurel and Hardy films. My current aim with them is to storyboard and produce a 30 second film, then a 3 minute film and then... Well, we'll see. 

The animations can be viewed here

I've created a separate folder for a couple containing nudity. These can be viewed here.

 

The Magician - Part Two

 

 

 

 

 

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Fantasy and make-believe http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/5/fantasy-and-make-believe I've always been a fan of fantasy and science fiction illustration. My one request every Christmas is for a copy of the latest edition of the Spectrum book - a fantastic, jaw dropping and inspirational, collection of fantasy and sci-fi illustration in both 2d and 3d. I've yet to get my attempts featured in the Spectrum Annual, but one day I hope to. 

 

I had the absolute pleasure of working with the model Kes Wild a few weeks back and we spent a couple of days down here on the Isle of Wight taking lots of pictures, covering all sorts of ideas and focusing quite a bit on the fantastical and otherworldly.

These types of pictures give me a chance to stretch my imagination and practise my Photoshop skills. Sometimes I have a definite plan and can bring them all together relatively quickly. At other times it's like doing a jigsaw without a picture guide and I have to wait for the image to tell me where it wants to go. The quickest will take somewhere between 4 and 8 hours. The longer ones might take a few weeks. Do a bit, step back, have a think. Is it working? Start again? What's missing? What needs to change...?

I reckon it might take me a few months to finish those I plan to work on (and to a standard I'm happy with), and I thank Kes for her patience. 

I'm very pleased with those I've managed to complete so far...

Model: Kes Wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) Art Bastiani Black Clayton Colour Composite Digital Ethereal Fairy Fairy-tale Fantasy Kes Model Monchrome Mono Otherworldly Photo Photographer Photography Photoshop Pirate Princess Tale Tower Wench White Wild http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/5/fantasy-and-make-believe Wed, 31 May 2017 08:46:19 GMT
Workshops and re-visiting flash photography http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2017/5/workshops-and-re-learning-flash-photography Never be afraid to say you don't know everything. The learning is often the best part of the journey...

 

I used flash lighting at college many moons ago but then sort of stopped using it and, over time, developed an irrational fear for the subject, preferring sunshine instead. Put me in a studio and I look a bit like a perplexed and frightened rabbit. 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a lighting workshop hosted by GT Imagery with the wonderful local model Nikita Caslida

Gavin enthusiastically and clearly explained, step by step, how to set up and light various fashion style shots. Answering all our questions along the way and then letting us try out the styles for ourselves. 

The evening was relaxed and fun and by the end of it much of my fear had gone and I can't wait to get back into the studio again to try things out and get better. I don't think I'll ever let go of sunshine, but I might have been converted enough to incorporate more flash photography in my future work. 

Watch this space. 

I strongly suggest anyone looking to get more into strobe photography keeps an eye on Gavin's workshops. Well worth attending. 

Thank you Gavin and Nikita :)

 

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Return of the photogram and photographic competitions http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2016/10/return-of-the-photogram-and-photographic-competitions Welcome to my new site and new blog. 

Ah! New beginnings. 

So, what have I been up to this week..?

 

The Collection

There seems to be a run of photographic competitions to enter this time of the year. This week, I managed to enter the Lensculture Emerging Talent competition at www.lensculture.com with just hours to spare. 

I say it a lot, but I love experimenting with my photography. Going right back to my early days in the darkroom I enjoyed making camera-less pictures, following in the footsteps of photographers such as Man Ray / Lazlo Moholy-Nagy's photograms. I've been making my own photograms for some time now, dipping into the theme whenever I can, using digital enlarger technology rather than analogue. 

My first attempts were scientific / clinical studies, but eventually I realised that I could loosen up a bit and employ some of the skills I use in the post production of my other photography. I started combining pictures, playing with scale and creating juxtapositions of objects that would usually not exist together in such a manner.

I'm always collecting 'things' that might be useful in my photography (I'm sure this is heavily influenced by my Dad who had a shed stacked with 'stuff' as it might prove useful one day). It's a good excuse for me to go through my collections and turn them into pictures rather than leave them gathering dust.

 

 

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info@claytonbastiani.com (Clayton Bastiani Photography) and bastiani black bugs camera-less clayton collection collections competition experimental insects isle leaf leaves mono monochrome museum nature odd of photo photogram photograms photographer photography strange surreal white wight http://printsales.claytonbastiani.com/blog/2016/10/return-of-the-photogram-and-photographic-competitions Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:32:39 GMT