“The Importance of Being Earnest”

Pre-publicity shoot at The Rose Theatre in Kingston for Stephen Unwins’ new production of The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Jane Asher.

Objective: To create an eye-catching image of Jane’s potrayal of the indomitable Lady Bracknell, that brings out the full depth of the character.

Equipment: 8′ x 6′ Lastolite Hi-Lite 4x BX500 Ri Elinchrom heads Soft boxes Nikon D700 NK Remote software from Breeze Systems

Jane is a very beautiful woman but she is now in her sixties, so soft frontal lighting was the order of the day. In view of the overhang of the hat I also chose to light from a much lower angle than I would normally, which was also more flattering to her skin tones. At this early stage Jane did not know the script,so we had to dispense with the usual run through of lines and concentrate on delivering the expression we wanted by reaction alone. After a few attempts at working full length I moved in closer, which greatly increased the eye contact between us. We tried various angles, but settled on Jane starting with her back to me, then turning suddenly to camera to introduce some spontaneous action. Shooting tethered allowed the marketing and styling team to watch the results on a screen behind me and it very soon became clear we were getting the results we wanted. We shot 130 frames which were wittled down to a selection of five before the final choice was made. The RAW file required very little work beyond a slight level and curve adjustment and a small amount of highlight recovery for the fine detail on the collar lace. The final image and the finished poster are shown below.


Terminal Velocity (or sows ears and silk purses….)

The last Monday in March found us on site at the new Portsmouth Cruise Terminal, booked to shoot some glossy interiors and exteriors of the new building which was opening it’s doors on April 1st. Now the date alone should have been an omen – the weather was dull and grey and as we entered the terminal it was painfully apparent it was still very much a “work in progress”. As we were walked around by the port manager, our client started looking a little distressed and started asking if there was anything at all we could possibly make from the mess ! It was obvious overall shots of the interior were out of the question so we resorted to creating “teaser” shots to get the feel across.
Outside areas were a little easier, but in all cases I had to do several hours subtle retouching to supply a selection of viable, professional-quality images.
The client was delighted and our final pictures got good exposure in the both the regional and specialist press.

Below are some “befores” and “afters” to show what we had to do . .