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Friday, 31 August 2012

FASHION videos.

In the last five years, Americans' use of internet video sites like YouTube and Vimeo has shot up from 33 to 71 percent, according to sources like Mashable. Unsurprisingly, major brands and even smaller indie labels have taken to the Web, producing edgy, artsy, or outright humorous videos to accompany their collections.

Not only does a video format allow brands to align themselves with buzz-worthy directors, animators or musicians, but it helps to establish a moving, speaking brand identity. For example, Mulberry's enchanting animated short by Serge Teulon offers a sense of cheekiness and whimsy that would be near impossible to communicate in a still campaign. So as time passes more active and interactive media is required to engage the www. viewer.

If that brand is doing it so are we.

Video also gives brands a chance to experiment with elaborate, cinematic plot lines. Miu Miu's ladylike fall collection, for example, could easily be understood as a love letter to glamorous, 1940's starlets. But set aboard director Lucrecia Martel's eerie, post-apocalyptic yacht, the collection takes on a new complexity.

On the flip-side, there's nothing like an unapologetic dance video to really get customers in the swing of the season. Prada's playful Spring '11 video, featuring Arizona Muse dancing to Ratatat's "Mirando," was the perfect accompaniment to the tropical fruit prints and explosive, island color palette.

So there you have it, FASHION videos.

Get it, Got it.

Photography Business The financials.

To maintain your photography as a successful business it is important to keep control of the financials.  

Coming from a finance background you would think I would be better than most when it came to keeping the financials side in check.

As I look back at my early years it was like this skill set was very much switched off, I have said before don't buy too much stuff, Less is more.

If I can offer some advice keep track of the costs and the detail, all those trips you make, meetings and associated expenses that will over time mount up.

Why are you incurring them?

Financial control and reporting should direct you to ask why are you incurring this expense type, is it rechargeable and importantly built into your pricing?

Financial control, reporting and making commercial decisions is an area I worked on for a number of niche company's. We produced weekly Profit and Loss reports, for those who wanted it, information drilling down to the detail.

To help me keep everything in order rather than keeping a written journal or diary, that in all honest could get lost at some stage I use my iphone and a dedicated email account, sending messages from one to the other as I incure the expenditure. Don't loose track of what is costing and the amount of time you spend on x y and z.

Weekly P and L may seem a bit too frequent for some, however I suggest keep on top of the detail, know what is working and what isn't.

Hope this post was useful, keep focused.

A photographers life.

Below is something I saw yesterday, and thought to share.

The reality is so true, the perception is often far removed from the actual, you know we just turn up press a button a few times job done, yeah right.


1. We take pictures and
2. Have fun

1. Meetings, networking, marketing

2. Social media and blogging
3. Studying and learning new techniques
4. Editing photos, production and other computer tasks
5. Taking pictures

If your starting out on this exciting adventure...  good luck, it's simple yet complex.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

FASHION The Stylish Side of China

BEIJING — Zena Hao, a 24-year-old publicist, avid follower of fashion trends and proud owner of four Prada handbags, has a new passion: fashion magazines. She carries home hefty copies of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and studies the pictures for inspiration.

Fashion labels are pouring money into magazines across mainland China.

Late last year, Cosmopolitan editors in China started splitting its monthly issue into two magazines because it was too thick to print. Elle now publishes twice a month because issues had grown to 700 pages. Vogue added four more issues each year to keep up with advertising demand. Hearst is even designing plastic and cloth bags for women to easily carry these heavy magazines home.

“We never take anything for granted. But so far this year, we look like we’re having a pretty good year of growth,” said Duncan Edwards, president and chief executive of Hearst Magazines International, which has agreements to have 22 magazines, including Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, published here. “There is an enormous hunger for information about luxury, and there aren’t many other places you can get that information than in fashion magazines.”

Many Chinese women will spend far more of their income than their Western counterparts on these magazines and the products featured inside them. According to a 2011 study conducted by Bain & Company, mainland China ranked sixth in the world for spending on luxury goods ranked by country. In 2010, it was a $17.7 billion market. Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci remain the most desired luxury brands.

For example, both Vogue and Cosmopolitan cost about $3.15, which is significant when the average monthly individual income in Beijing is about $733. Mr. Edwards added that it was fairly common to find Chinese women who earn $15,000 a year spending $2,000 on one luxury item.

“We’re going through this wonderful period where huge numbers of women are coming out of poverty into the middle class and beyond,” Mr. Edwards said. “Many of these women are choosing to spend on luxury goods.”

Lena Yang, general manager of Hearst Magazines China, who oversees nine publications including Elle and Marie Claire, says that the typical reader of Hearst Magazines in China is a 29.5-year-old woman who is more likely to be single than married. She has an average income of about $1,431 a month and spends $938 a season on luxury watches, $982 on handbags and shoes and $1,066 on clothes.

Ms. Yang says these women often live at home and turn to their parents and grandparents to pay for them. The study also showed that many readers in their 20s saved little.“Most of them, they are a single child,” Ms. Yang said. “That means they don’t have to pay for their rent. So all of that goes to pocket money. They have the parents support them and the grandparents. They actually have six persons to support them.”

That’s why so many different advertisers want to appear in these magazines. Next to Gucci and Prada in the pages of women’s magazines sit some of these homegrown brands, with names virtually unknown outside China, like Ochirly, Marisfrolg, EIN and Mo and Co.

Bob Gutwillig, who introduced Elle to China in 1988, said that in the early days, the Chinese government was so involved in the magazine that it had an employee from the Communist Party assigned to sit in the editorial room. But Mr. Gutwillig said that Elle was largely spared the censorship challenges other types of news organizations faced because the official was less concerned with images in fashion magazines than what appears in traditional news outlets.

Of course, the publishers recognize that this market could evaporate as the Chinese economy slows. They’re especially vulnerable because the magazine industry gets a much smaller overall percentage of advertising than other media, like television, Mr. Edwards said. But for now, as long as their stories of movie stars and fashion trends steer clear of censors, the magazine industry is enjoying the profits.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mr. Universe Competitor Lukas Gabris, trains legs.

Mr. Universe Competitor Lukas Gabris, "Training legs" was the first in a series of video's as he prepared for the 2011 competition.

In advance of any shooting we looked at the location and discussed the type of content, the look and feel of the videos, how they would work together as a series.

Lukas wanted to show his training as it is, hard, punishing, taking himself to his absolute limits.

Lukas is a big guy, weighing in at over 120kg off season this workout video shows his first session with new trainer John Hodgson a high experienced bodybuilder who was a competitor at the My Olympia the same competition that Arnold Schwarzenegger won on seven occasions.

How we shot this series: the light in the gym was good, large windows and high ceilings plenty of space for it to bounce. We shot all the videos at similar times, the camera setup being pretty much the same for all the video's.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

High ISO shooting with Canon 5D mk2, on the limits.

It's not often I am hovering on the comfortable limits with a Canon 5D mk2, at the weekend I was in real mixed low light soup.

Ambient light trickled into the scene carrying with it a red gel effect, mixed with this delight was a tungsten and a flash combo as required, yep this was a real yummy mix.

To capture the ambient dragging the shutter was order of the day. Shutter speeds on this occasion were as low as I generally go with a few shots at 1/4 sec and 1/6 sec hand held, burst shooting was the most sensible option as the miss rate did have the potential to be quite high.

Nothing is a given, and at times even experienced photographers will get thrown for a few frames, light can play some crazy tricks on you.

What the eye see's and the camera produces isn't always similar.

Using the high ISO setting camera side the recycle rate on the small flash was pretty much instant, the Canon 580EX II flash was not having to work too hard as I was shooting a wide aperture high ISO combo.

Protecting the delicate ambient that came from various sources was important, over powering this with flash produces images for me that are less interesting, so proximity to the subject was important.

Back to this low light soup shoot, knowing the best places to work were key to keeping control on the main subject, in terms of exposure and colour casts.

The battery's used in the Canon flash for this job were rechargeable Duracell, they haven't let me down on a shoot yet.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My HD DSLR Video workshops visit Dublin and Glasgow.

During September my HD DSLR video workshop series visits Belfast and Glasgow.

My courses are designed to be highly hands on, every student gets to pick up a camera and shoot video on each day of the workshops.

There is focus on lighting, using my experience, knowledge, and tricks to achieve professional and artistic lighting. I show the most economic, and alternative ways to create beautiful lighting without the need to use expensive film lighting.

On the final day of the workshops we shoot a commercially viable product, either a commercial for a small business or a music video for an up and coming musician or band. We can all take part in shooting this final project side by side.

Each of the days will revolve around a different aspect of the cinematographic process for which both the technical and creative sides of using these new digital tools will be explored.

Students can expect to learn how to use the basic and advanced functions of the camera, lighting, shooting, and the film making process from concept to creation.

Belfast 6th/ 7th September
Glasgow 17/ 18th September

If you wish to book in there are still  a few places left, drop me an email for more information.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Video Projects :: Chevron Racing Team, engaging the viewer

The video above was made at the Silverstone racing circuit, regarded by many as the home of British Motorsport, this short video features the Chevron Racing Team.

Anthony Reid former Le Mans star and BTCC driver comes in for the regulation one hour pit stop when Jordan Witt takes charge of the car for the final hour of racing.

You will see Anthony and Jordan exchanging information, vital for the final charge.

Unlike F1 it is a regulation in British GT racing that the driver must be out of the car before any re-fueling can take place.

The Capture process
Understanding the sequence of events dictates the flow of recording, best positioning to move from one area of action to another.

My positioning is critical to work safely in an environment that clearly states "Motorsport can be dangerous."

Keeping the viewer engaged means flowing with the action rather than working from a fixed position. Adjusting the viewing to draw the person watching in or when setting a new scene.

The video was shot in one sequence, keeping down the need for editing later, this is always my preferred way of working. A second camera mounted up high giving a birds eye view could of offered an alternative view to switch into for a few frames.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Barn Find Rolls-Royce Phantom III Mulliner Sports Limousine 1937.

Image Rolls-Royce Phantom III Mulliner Sports Limousine 1937 by Jason Harry

Image Rolls-Royce Phantom III Mulliner Sports Limousine 1937 by Jason Harry

The owner of this car had stored it behind a partition at his business premises, kept away from public eye for over 20 years.

Finally being discovered and offered for sale this car was a hidden gem, often referred to in the motoring world as a barn find.

This car was the official Mulliner display car at Earls Court (England) Motor Show with its history being documented extensively.

During the sales process a writer of a Mulliner book living in Australia made contact offering additional information about the car.

Regarded as the most complex Rolls-Royce ever, the V-12-powered Phantom III was an extraordinary engineering achievement, and it continues to be regarded as one of the finest automobile designs of the 1930s. Code-named “Spectre” during development.

The Phantom III debuted at the 1935 Olympia Motor Show and garnered immediate acclaim as the world’s most technically advanced series-produced automobile chassis. Its state-of-the-art, overhead-valve V-12 engine featured a one-piece aluminum alloy crankcase and cylinder block, aluminum cylinder heads and cast-iron wet cylinder liners.

Proper research is essential when selling an item like this, the final sale price selling on the www. was way in excess of any previous offer, the car was photographed in its original location as it had not moved for some time.

The car was offered for sale worldwide, finding a new owner in weeks, barn finds like this don't happen every day.

Photographing this car.
Studio lights cross light, capturing the main features of the car to help buyers see what they were buying, detail detail detail, working space was limited. 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Jess Bell 'Dandelion' [Download Free MP3]

Jess Bell by Jason Harry

Image Jessica Bell by Jason Harry

It took me less than 20 seconds to realize that Jess Bell has a voice to remember. Just listen to her quivering, delicate delivery on "Dandelion" to understand that the emerging British singer/songwriter (and sometimes actress) brings forth a very compelling new brew of pop that is dominated by her one-of-a-kind vocals. Driven by gentle guitar licks and brooding synths chords, "Dandelion" tells Bell's personal experiences about unrequited love in not-so subtle terms. "So tell me you love me or stand up and leave me if I'm second best," she sings.

In an email, Bell explains that the theme of "Dandelion" refers to some of her past relationships. It's about those moments of "he loves me, he loves me not" that inspired the song. She explains, "As a little girl I loved wishing on a dandelion in the hope that the wish would be granted. I'm a spiritual person and I still wish on stars, but it has to be the first one you see and not any other."

When it comes to songwriting, Bell has been inspired by artists ranging from Nelly Furtado to Blondie, and from The Ronettes to early Madonna. "More recently Frank Ocean has been a huge inspiration to me," Bell adds. "I love his creativity, lyrics and beats." She also mentions Judy Garland as an inspiration, which may explain her animated stage show. "I grew up watching musicals such as 'Wizard Of Oz' with my grandad and loved impersonating Judy Garland," she smiles.

But if Bell has to boil it down to one single sentiment that inspires her music and songwriting, it is simply honesty. There's no complicated formula of ingredients nor does she tries to imitate others. Her only goal is to make honest music. "I just do my thing, If people like it then that makes me smile," she explains. (Follow Jess Bell on Twitter for updates.)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The danger of setting your own expectations

The danger of setting your own expectations is something that affected me in one of my first shoots.

I had in my mind the kind of shots I was hoping to make, and wouldn't let it go.. Well, I never saw anything like the shot I wanted to make. That’s the danger of setting expectations — you go thinking you’re going to get a particular type of shot, but then the reality of where you wind up sets in you’re disappointed with your shots, (which I was), and it’s not anyone's fault.

It would of been wiser to have gone more open minded to whatever came my way, instead of standing there saying “This isn’t what I was really looking for. It must be somewhere else here.”

Be prepared YES for sure, fulfill the brief, apart from that go with the flow, review where you need to head for contrast between the frames and alternatives to the great shot your loving now, but will you love it next week, next month. Give yourself or the client alternatives.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Manchester Riots 2011 :: One Year on.

Manchester Riots 2011 :: One Year on, this seems like yesterday the climax of the events that first strangled the capital city London then moved to a few other major UK cities.

Below is my video made using my stills and video footage taken just after the peak of Manchester's  riots.

Living in the city centre this is where all the major rioting was to take place, only a few minutes walk from my apartment, it was a big decision deciding to venture into as the rioting developed and manifested in and around where I lived, my home.

Towards the end of that night a large group of rioters attacked and looted shops within my apartment block. They destroyed more than they took, somewhat mindless.

The situation I was in at times was scary, risky, documenting the haunting period just after the peak, The Aftermath.

The Setup
Canon 5D MK2 stripped down, battery grip off to keep the size of the camera down, 24-70 2.8L lens, no flash available light, all high ISO.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

London 2012 :: Fantastic and exceptional.

Where do you start with London 2012, Team GB, London and everyone involved has been fantastic.

Anything good starts with simple beginnings, the determination dedication and humble attitudes of the athletes is inspiring.

Early and late training sessions, gut wrenching workouts all ingredients and part of the journey for any athlete chasing their dream, destiny.

Mediocracy in UK sport appears to be finally gone replaced with world class structures and funding to allow those individuals with ability to properly develop their talent and take it to the world stage.

I do hope our government properly fund grass roots sport for all, playing fields and at school after all this is where the first flickers of sporting achievements and interest begin.

Well done Team GB, to those young people watching and thinking I want to be one day competing commit to it and good luck.

The Olympics never end they just keep on rolling, time to push on and keep growing.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Capital Radio's Breakfast Team Rob, Rachel and Wingman

Before London's Capital Radio brand was rolled out by parent company Global Radio I did a photoshoot for Galaxy with Rob Rachel and Wingman who were the Manchester's breakfast show team.

Galaxy 102 Morning presenters Rob Rachel and Wingman by Jason Harry

At the time we did our shoot the morning team had a few changes and Galaxy needed new images for promoting their show on the website.

The Galaxy 102 shoot brief

1. Produce images that would work with a the then current site theme (brick background) and
2. produce similar images using a white background for a planned site revamp.

This shoot was a blast, too many shots we made in the session ended up more like the one below.

Galaxy 102 Morning presenters Rob Rachel and Wingman by Jason Harry

In the studio we worked with the studio's Profoto setup, the outside location I went with the small Canon strobe, this made the top shot.

The benefit of opting in this instance to use the the Canon Speedlite as the lighting system is it's light weight and quick setup time.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Nicola Adams boxes her way to gold

Nicola Adams wins boxing gold.

So History is made, the first ever gold medal in Olympic women's boxing has been won by Team GB's Nicola Adams.

A fantastic fight from the 29-year-old saw her dominate the ring, beating China's Cancan Ren 16-7, and at one point knocking her opponent to the floor.

This is a historic medal to win, as this is the first time that women's boxing has ever been included in the Olympics.

Nothing stands still, girl power.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Dr. Martens Manchester Launch Party

Dr Martens Manchester Launch Party by Jason Harry

Legendary British footwear brand Dr. Martens has arrived in Manchester, with the opening of its newest store in the centre of Market Street.

The brand celebrated the anticipated opening with an in-store launch party on Wednesday (1 August), attended by Manchester’s style setters, industry players, media and local music figures including Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Pete Jobson from I Am Kloot, The Whip, Kid British, The MINX and The Pins. Partygoers were treated to a performance by Deadbeat Echoes and a set by XFM presenter and DJ Clint Boon, with drinks supplied by the Hornbeam Brewery.

Ardwick-born artist Mark Kennedy, known for his iconic Manchester artwork such as the famous Afflecks Palace mosaic, unveiled his new piece for the store. Featuring the likes of Karl Marx, David Lloyd-George, Morrissey, George Best and Agyness Deyn, the piece celebrates iconic local figures from history to modern day – all shaped in a pair of classic Dr. Martens boots (even the soles are a reference to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasure Album).

Dr Martens Manchester Launch Party by Jason Harry

Best wishes to Dr. Martens in Manchester, great event, great brand.

Dr. Martens Site http://www.drmartens.com/

Saturday, 4 August 2012


Photographed the band at an event this week, really cool girls.

Below is their track ELEVENTH HOUR Listen, Like, Share


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Being great in front of the camera 101

Being great in front of the camera is easier than you think.

The biggest deal is not to try too hard, be comfortable. This applies to making pictures too.

For the person in front of the camera think like an actor get in character, mood, or just be yourself. Young people don't think like this which is worth noting, they like distraction short attention span and all that.

The first few minutes of any shoot I am thinking how is this going to pan out, most of the time there is some kind of settling for both sides. 

This applies to both private and commercial shoots, as a photographer I am thinking oh here we are again, have a strategy to change the mood and tempo to get through this part and productive.

Being great in front of the camera 101 don't try too hard, know what you are trying to achieve, work well together.