fotodesign magazine

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+62 3647 0928

spring / summer 2018 issue



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creative photographic design


Contents page 4


page 6


page 8


p a g e 1 0 O B S E R VAT I O N page 12 THEMES page 14 CONTINUIT Y p a g e 1 6 C R E AT I N G A L O O K page 18 EFFEC T AND IMPAC T

AGES adrian bradbury/editor



So often I am asked as to how these things are done, or what was the starting point, I hope to provide some of the answers but it is more your imagination i hope to open up on, and provide the foundation for your own explorations and experiments. I hope you enjoy it.



Welcome to the irst issue of this new magazine, which is going to introduce you to some exciting design, photography, art and image making and that will explain some of the creative processes, from initial ideas and concepts into fully realised images. Many of the images will have been used for commercial purposes, some will be from personal portfolios but overall the idea is to explore the ideas and some of the thinking behind them. It is not intended to be a step by step, or how to but more that I hope that it serves as inspiration in developing your own skills and creative awareness.

page 20.COLOUR

p a g e 3 0 . I N S P I R AT I O N page 32 ME ANING

EQUIPMENT USED : Nikon F photomic, Nikon F3-HP, Nikon F4, NIKON F5, Canon 20D, Nikon D200, Nikon D300S, Nikon D5500 Nikkor lenses from 24mm to 300mm f2.8 Hasselblad 500cm, 150mm sonnar, 250m sonnar Elinchrom flash equipment Kodak TRI-X, Ektachrome EPR, EPD, Fuji RDP Ilford Papers, Fuji papers Apple iMac, Epson scanners, Canon printers, LaCie Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator

PAINTERLY Original photograph(below) enhanced and re-imagined through careful selection of ilters and effects is the key to succesfully creating something that is effective and has impact.

There is nothing permanent except change

Many images suffer from over processing that isn’t sympathetic to the subject. Here the idea was led by a desire to create a high key, high contrast image, with colour an important part of the outcome and allowing certain things to become part of the design as in the way the models hair breaks down rather than trying to be totally real. The colour combination went through a myriad of workings all of which could be options. The beauty of digital work is that possibilities can be realised quite quickly and it is dificult to reconcile them all. Keeping them as seperate options on ile is very good practice and consider variations or combinations of colour etc.


Shot on CANON 20D 135MM LENS F5.6 1/125SEC

a modern portrait Here, colour and contrast play a vital role in this image. The reduction of the detail carefully controlled through the use of the artistic cutout ilter from Photoshops ilter gallery, allowing just enough a suggestion of facial features. The detail in the over shirt combining with the colour of the background with clear use of complimentary colours of the blue/purple with the rich orange again create a pleasing visual efect. However it is more to do with the set of the model, how she comes across in the image. the eyes are looking straight down the lens with the head set level. the whole efect was to convey a sense of conidence and positive attitude without overdoing the pose, I wanted to retain that air of a conident and relaxed young woman.

05 model

Caroline M


cr e at i v e

Any design or idea needs to come from somewhere, it needs to be a response to something, or a reaction to something. That might be an event or a song, or something just observed and noticed. It might also come from the rich history of image making from across the centuries or world. So whatever it is that sparks the desire to create something we need to ind a way of interpreting that or saying something that is our take on it. It is diicult to come up with ideas out of the blue, we see so much visual information everyday of our lives, wherever we look that it can be diicult to recognise what is good or indiferent. For me I will explore and research images from other designers and image makers just to fuel the brain and start to understand how others create something. It may be that I am just looking at colour combinations, or the general feel of something, the scale of the image or typography and how the image sits within the layout - these

are just the beginnings of the process. Essential in the process are good images. It is often the case that some think that Photoshop can rescue anything. If you start with a strong, well concieved image that is technically as close to what you want, it will see you on the way to a more successful outcome. You really shouldn’t compromise your work or ideas with poor quality at this early stage - it will rarely improve and you will eventually come to the realisation that you need a better image. Preparation and attention to detail is everything.

The original image was shot using tungsten lighting from a ‘redhead’ 800W lamp, colour corrected using a dichroic ilter to be cooler and more like daylight colour temperature. Caroline’s features are quite strong and I could see that there could be a developed image which might with some work be able to become something quite dramatic. I had been looking at Inca images and the idea of the sun rays came from there, but I wanted something far more dark, focussing really on Caroline’s incredibly strong eyes. Again this is where in the original images it is important to get a ‘feel ‘in the image, It is often diicult to explain but from working with models over many years it is about taking many images, searching for the one image that stands out, where all the elements come together and ‘make ‘the image. Looking at contact sheets, or on lightroom or bridge it is often one or two images out of many that will seem to shout loudest at you. Then you know you’ve got the image.


Shot on CANON 20D 85MM LENS F5.6 1/80SEC

07 model

Caroline M



from initial image to a creative solution Jay has good natural posture and relaxes into strong shapes quite easily. I wanted something simple and relaxed but assertive, shot in daylight studio on a canvas backdrop aslo helped to create a softer overall feel. I use textures quite a bit which I photograph as and where I ind them. Here I wanted to create a distressed feel, similar to the patina on old silver mirrors.

Here we have an early version of a inished image. However, coming across this mannequin torso from a fashion shop inspired me to rework it into the inal version you see.


SHOTON NIKON D200 Shot 1/80SEC Shoton on NIKON CANOND200 20D 48MM 85MM LENS LENS F2.8 F5.6 1/80SEC

Image manipulation is about making judgement calls every step of the way. For me it is about using effects in a subtle and considered way and when it is necessary or creates mood, atmosphere. I try to avoid the gratuitous, preferring to respond in much the same way a painter might. I try to be sympathetic to the image which comes from a high quality starting point. I constantly look for ways to develop an image to be the most efective, sometimes working with several versions before honing and reining one to be the outcome. Attention to detail is very important - in the same way one checks a word doc, I will check systematically every centimetre of the image. You will detect that I changed Jay’s face in the inal version from the original image, I just wanted her looking straight at camera and hadn’t quite got that in the original shot, so I copied and replaced it from another shot . Again it is doing what is necessary to get the image - just so.


09 model



all shot on Nikon F4s on Kodak Tri-X


making images is about looking and responding I often will setout with a camera, to simply enjoy looking and working with the tools but always initially with an open mind, nothing pre-determined about what I want to make images about. Sometimes it may be something that initially doesn’t really have much mileage in it but as the idea grows from that initial notion it picks up its own momentum and just carries you forward............suddenly you are searching for similar subjects creating series of works which hang together because they use the same language.

The images are all part of a series of some 20 inal images which I made looking at the graphic and textural qualities of life worn walls and the juxtaposition of road signage in the streets of Florence. The series grew from simply wandering through the side and back streets of central Florence and coming to junctions where it was clear due to the narrowness of the streets that one can only assume the delivery lorries often had some diiculty in negotiating some of the sharp turns in their daily visits to the city, leaving some signs knocked askew or worst, corners of buildings missing patches of render then the textural qualities of the walls told even more of the history of life in these streets. Themes and series are a very good way of developing your understanding of the world about you. Many photographers/ image makers work this way as it helps to consoldate the work into a more complete body of work. It also helps to develop compositional and observational techniques allowing for exploration of visual language in speciic areas.


THEMES The urban environment can provide great opportunities for making images which allow the photographer to create something extraordinary out of the ordinary. It may just be the arrangement of shapes colours textures it may be about line and tone, composition and structure, all these things are part of something called visual language and through this we establish our own understanding and voice. Equally, we owe someting to images previously seen that help us to ďŹ nd our own way forward. These become reference points, markers if you like and help formulate our interpretation of what is about us. Themes become a hook on which we can hang ideas, images no longer appear as one offs but now form a series of similar thoughts and outcomes.

all shot on Nikon F4s on Kodak Tri-X



Often as image makers we are asked to develop a particular interpretation of a style or theme that creates a sense of a single image itting together with a family of others so that the impact is greater as a whole. It is often used to great efect in store/retail environments and point of sale displays. The concept behind this particular job was that the model was in the exact same position and only her clothing changed which required some extensive and careful manipulation of various garments to it in with her position. The other garments had been photographed in as near the same spot and with similar lighting so as to make the job of intercahnging them that much easier. It had quite an impact, especially when you saw 4 A0 prints side by side which were exactly the same except for the clothing changing. The images were quite both efective and even slightly perplexing as to how it had been done.


NIK 15O N F 4 S

300 MM F2.8

model jo thomson

location / the Algarve Portugal


the question to ask is : what if?

Creating visually exciting imagery takes development and experimentation. You need to be asking yourself what if I do this? does it work,? and if it does - what do I think of it? It is important to stay in control, don’t be misled by the amazing things or the gimmicks that Photoshop allows you to do - it can be so supericial if not used with care.

This series of images were for a fashion retail store as window and interior display panels. The client was open to ideas but wanted something that represented the style of the brand but was not concerned with just a catalogue version of what the customer could plainly see in the store. Colour was used for impact and to keep the continuity going throughout the number of panels some of which would be shop window others strategically placed about the store to remphasise the style, look and feel of the clothing line. I didn’t want the usual - models looking into camera but to be free and as though they were in their own zone, it was about a free spirit.



model emma


I have often found shooting background white outs effective to give that clarity and graphic quality that has impact on the page. Many magazines I worked for wanted this look, but it can be frustrating for a photographer who has a command of different lighting techniques if working everyday for a different title, each editor just wanted a white out background, what to do ..... the easy route would be to leave the lighting set up from day one through the week I found it more effective to change the type of lighting used to light the model/s, and clothes on each session. I would vary between several soft lights, or multi direct heads or just a single snooted head. Lighting provides the impact and contrast and is a fundamental part of photography. Learning to control it and manipulate it - is essential.


Especially important when working with bare white is to ind ways to create some sort of tension, sometimes standing straight can be just as efective as something more deliberately set. However, it is the photographer, combined with the model, stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist, who directs the way the clothes and fashion story is interpreted. These images were about creating impact so shape and colour were the key players as well as letting the lighting move away from conventional lighting but introducing gels to give more of a club feel. Some of the light was baled so as to create the silhouette feel on the legs again adding to the control being created at the shooting stage, rather than necessarily being added in post production. Certainly, having shot for many years on ilm which not only trains you to be quite precise and shoot what you mean. The advent of digital technology has allowed for things to be covered in post production but I still feel that if it looks right in camera then it should be good to go. Attention to detail at the shooting stage saves lots of retouching and adjusting later.


Colour is energy, it vibrates and colour works efectively in many ways. It can provide impact or it can be used to contrast, or compliment another. The green and red of this double page spread were deliberately chosen for the dynamic qualities they have when the are butted up against each other. There are many other similar colour combinations but experiment and explore, consider what works well, how does an increase or decrease in saturation afect the interaction of the colour, how might a diferent colour work etc and so on. It is about asking yourself questions and then making decisions. I look at colour and how it combines with other colours around it in all sorts of things whether it be the combination of colours in a fashion shot or an abstract painting. It might be from a poster that I have seen, or something in nature. Essentially, it is about being receptive and observant. Use that to help you build your own sensibilities about colour - the more you do the easier resolving colour in your work will become. Of course there are many pallette combination helping guides availble on the web and these can get you out of a hole but as you become more adept at using colour you will ind that it becomes intuitive. It will look right when it is.



Pre-visualisation is also very much part of the process. Art direction is an essential ingredient and there are many questions to consider before getting out there with camera in hand. How is the image going to be used in a graphic design context , for example - what is the client likely to require? but also what can I do to make the job go that bit further. Understanding the brief properly and discussing ideas ahead of the shoot saves time, aids conidence in the overall concept and considering things such as angles of shot and possible shooting positions means there is a greater chance that on the job, that whatever the diiculties there is some plan in place. Of course, there is always the need to adapt to achieve the best and often its the ability to think quickly which will mean you produce something of real quality.


art direction and decision making


THE BRIEF Photograph Le Mans series racing cars and create a series of art prints/posters

THE VISION Shot from a high angle which gave a very diferent perspective to the usual car shots, colour was again a vital part of the image and became integral to the overall design




RIES combining images collage and photo-composition Bringing images together from apparently disparate sources in order to convey a message or a story/narrative to illustrate an article can be a very rewarding experience. It often requires some detailed analysis of the brief and the possible connections that one can make. Links to other side issues sometimes or just to place the main thrust of the design into some sort of context. Photo-comping is very close to illustration in many ways having its roots in collage and photo-montage. It allows us to create visuals that cannot exist in reality, however I have always approached it with a feeling that the various elements work together to create a ‘scene’, by using images that can be made to represent something else or simply juxtaposing images to suggest a story or environment.



URBAN The urban landscape can provide equally a rich source of imagery - it is after all outside the door, its the journey to college or work, its the road trip or train journey but fundamentally it is about being able to ind that image, the angle, the quality of light or the time of day when things are diferent from the usual. The adage I use is making something extraordinary out of the ordinary - I look for those things we pass by, almost ignore everyday but try to ind someway of re-presenting them to the viewer, of reorganising the elements in a way that catches the eye. The images here are just a small part of my ongoing conversation with the Urban Landscape. The two larger images were part of an exhibition concerned with street furniture, and came about from standing at a zebra crossing in Birmingham city centre and doing what we all do - looking up to see if the lights have changed - and seeing the dark shapes of the traic lights against the lighter tones of the oice building became the inspiration for a new series of images.



I enjoy the process of making images, of looking at and observing the ever yday things - working the subject to see what is possible with the basic notion that came to me , how much can I do with it and what or where will it lead. The images here evolved not only through the initial photography but then into more abstracted imagery with colour being a vital component of the urban experience. 27




UP CLOSE Get close to your subject. Fill the frame use the capabilities of both lens and resolution to give you that impactful image.

Be careful of lens choice though - wide angle lenses distort the face, 85mm and above work best.

Think about the design and composition, where do I want the eye line to be? In all these images the head is carefully set level so there is no lift to the face - each model is looking through the camera lens, engaging with the viewer. Its a simple technique to getting that direct impact in the image.





and personal


The image on the left was shot with elinchrom lash on Kodak Tri X and deliberatley over processed to give some grain, it has been enhanced with photoshop. The image on the right was shot on Ektachrome EPR64 and with a Hasselblad and 150mm lens The lighting was Elinchrom lash with a focussing spot to create the lighting effect The set above were shot on Tri-x and then manipulated in Photoshop

In todays incredibly rich visual world, we are bombarded by images every second of the day it seems - it can become rather diicult to see through the noise that all this visual imagery makes. Inspiration can come from all sorts of things and sources. The image on the right was created in response to looking at the work of Man Ray, whose solarisation techniques I have employed myself in work, created in the darkroom, and the work of another artist/sculptor Naum Gabo.

INSPIR AT IO It was the use of lines and stark lighting that intrigued me . The original image of the model had been used in an editorial some time ago but on revisiting it and with some images recently shot of light and shadows from some blinds. I combined them together and with some careful manipulation created a series of quite diferent interpretations on this theme. Often experimenting with several options at once allows some freedom of development. It is diicult to hit it right irst time and sometimes you need to step back and allow it to live for a while. Returning to it after a break can reveal instantly what needs to be done.






what does it say Images convey ideas, notions, and suggestions about something sometimes more ethereal. Importantly the image maker needs to ind a suitable angle, how do I want this to look? what is the premise of the image? This short ilm by Adam Winnot required a very subtle approach. It was about the idea of surveillance, and the idea came from a comedy sketch by Mickie Flanagan, which was about being caught peeping from behind curtains but this was translated into something more dark. The almost blank, impassive look on the models face contrasting with the dark background and the drapes of the softer material on the right, and combined with the close up created the right atmosphere that sat well with the title, The Watcher.


model Jay


One of the key moments in putting something like this together is how much information is needed. I decided that it should be rather more on the visual side of things - it needed to celebrate the enjoyment of all those things we use ever y day in the creative world, t h i n g s s u c h a s t o n e , s h a p e , f o r m , c o l o u r, texture, composition and many more which are part of visual language - it is this vocabular y and arrangement of the various elements that allow us to create our own interpretation or voice on a given subject. Just as the musician will arrange a flurry of notes or a quiet passage in a piece of m u s i c , c h a n g e s t h e m o o d , p o w e r, i m p a c t of the piece so designers, architects, photographers etc. all use the same p r i n c i p l e s t o c r e a t e t h e i r o w n ‘ m i x ’. Yo u are in control of the technical aspects of making the image, you decide how it is, what sort of lighting, what font, what the image does and so much more. The entire process is about decision making from the way you frame the image i n t h e v i e w f i n d e r, a n d t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n o f the space and elements, right down to the final product.

EQUIPMENT USED : Nikon F photomic, Nikon F3-HP, Nikon F4, NIKON F5, Canon 20D, Nikon D200, Nikon D300S, Nikon D5500 Nikkor lenses from 24mm to 300mm f2.8 Hasselblad 500cm, 150mm sonnar, 250m sonnar Elinchrom flash equipment Kodak TRI-X, Ektachrome EPR, EPD, Fuji RDP Ilford Papers, Fuji papers Apple iMac, Epson scanners, Canon printers, LaCie Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator


a special thank you to models, make up artists, hair stylists and stylists for their contributions to the making of many of the images, without whom these images would not be complete or possible.

My background: I have over 35 years exper ience working in photography and graphic design areas from fashion editorial and advertisng through to illustration and graphic design, for a wide range of clients such as M a r k s a n d S p e n c e r, A S D A , D u P o n t , C a n o n , H o u s e o f Fr a s e r, N e w Yo r k S t o c k Exchange , Time Out, The Home Of fice, IPC magaz ines, GE Fabbr i, National m a g a z i n e s , T N S , S O M a r c h i t e c t s , AT L , a n d m a n y m o r e . . . . . . . . I have also been involved in education at a variety of levels from A level to degree. Most importantly is the desire to continue making images and exploring image making in a variety of different forms. ADRIAN BRADBURY - EDITOR

more to come in issue 2



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