Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Exciting Adventure In Downtown Kingston

Michael is a New York based photojournalist and videographer, specializing in travel, documentary and corporate photography. His photos tell powerful stories of people, illustrate vibrant experiences of places and capture the moments that define life.
He has covered assignments ranging from NASCAR in the Midwest to a murder investigation in Panama. Other projects have taken him to Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Key West, Jamaica and Chile.
I was introduced to Michael through Nichole Allen because we all shared that similar bond of photography. Michael's experiences over the many years of doing photography has provided him a wealth of knowledge that he was more than willing to impart to the rest of us, so through Michael we hatched an Idea to group up and shoot anything of interest for a day. The original plan was to go to the parish of Portland but constraints in his time only allowed us to hang out for one evening so it was decided that downtown would be the place to go, hence the images in this post. 

Michael's trip to Jamaica was mainly to be the photographer for a friends wedding and he brought an arsenal of gears, but the camera I will be mentioning is the one used to shoot his images on our adventure downtown, the Leica M9 an amazing camera for an amazing photographer. 

Nichole Allen

Nichole is one of the most talented creative director I know who works at Waterworks advertising. Her artistic talent ranges from design and layout to concept development, direction and photography. Her love for photography cannot be questioned as over the years she has owned her craft by practicing various photographic style and equipping herself with quality gears, It still surprises  me that Nicole has more photo gear and lenses than I do and I'm a full time photographer. 

Her images were captured with the Fujifilm X100 a nimble and powerful camera. Try to see the story she presents especially in the image directly below with Scotiabank, I find it quite paradoxical and it gives you a glimpse into to the mind of this brilliant woman. 

Marvin Bartley

My images were shot with my canon t3i. Its So exciting that we all saw the same subjects in our own special way and thats one of the beauty of photography that makes me love it so much. We went down the same streets at the same time but the results were quite different.  

Chevonese is familiar to most of you who are in tune with my blog because shes been my model on multiple occassions. Her entusiasm for photography is one to be envied, her interest on the adventure Downtown reminded me of that pure and unbridled excitement that I had when I just started. She took loads of images not always caring about the technical components (an hinderance to experimentation), which worked in a very interesting way for her. Chevonese for me was able to take images that encouraged the viewers to step into her journey, this is somewhat expected because she's a writer. The best part of all of this was that her images were captured with a point and shoot camera, the Sony DSC-WX9.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to get your models to loosen up for some fun photos

How do I get everyone to loosen up and just have fun for the camera? 

Well, for me, it is as simple as starting with myself; because if you notice I'm a part of the craze. I strongly believe that a photographer's energy affects the outcome of his or her images. What you give to your models is what you get. If you want fun photos then just have fun yourself while doing the shoot. 

I took it a bit further and became one of the models which made it much easier for my friends to loosen up. That may not be your thing, but it doesn't hurt to loosen up and be crazy behind the camera. 

Also try doing these kind of photos with your friends first, as I did. Your friends are more likely to act or be crazy for you. 

Hope you like. 

Crazy Models:  In order of appearance
Chevonese Fender
Zjadaine Barnes
(Yours Truly) Marvin Bartley
Samantha Sergeant
KerryAnn Fender

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Planking For Really Fun Photos


Don't know what that is? Just google it.

When I first heard about this idle craze, I knew I had to be a part of it.  So today I helped to organized possibly one of the biggest group planks in Jamaica!  I was on a commercial shoot with Mike Robinson from M Squared creative studio, who is a member of the Planking Society. Yes, there's an actual organization dedicated to this.

Mike mentioned his love for planking, and I've always wanted to try but got too busy. But leave it to Mike to find opportunity on our tight schedule.

Of course It had to be done bigger and so the suggestion was made that instead of doing the usual one man-one woman plank, to do a mass plank.  We got everyone involved from the Makeup artist to photo assist, producer, talent, art dept and client.  Turns out they were just as excited as Mike and I were.

And we took Planking to the streets!

Check it out!  One of the actual photos you are viewing made it to Planking Society.

And this is a cool way to make photography fun.  Enjoy the photos guys.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shooting for the heck of it!

So, recently I thought about the references I used to develop my knowledge and ability as a photographer, and there was this constant thought about why they are as good as they are. The most obvious answer is that these artists are all very talented and most dictionaries define talent as an innate ability, aptitude, or faculty to do. Nevertheless after that thought soaked in I realized that there are a lot of talented people around us, but very few are successful. So why is it that your innate ability to be good at something does not secure success? The answer boils down to constant practice. If you want to be a surgeon, pilot, engineer etc then you, without fail, must practice and it is no different if you want to be a photographer.

'Practice without fail'

It is said by so many that you are defined by what you do and its obvious why that is so, if you are a photographer then you should take photographs, edit and research in order to  develop your work beyond the stage it already is. 

Below are works from four of the artist that I reference for my work:

From left to right 
Hieronymus Bosch, Joel Peter Witkin, miles Aldridge and Matthew Barney.
There  works are pretty visually compelling and loaded with content. I think that this may be beneficial to some readers, so feel free to to research there works and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

In order for me to develop my photography I have begun a process off shooting every week for a publication or just for print.  These shoots are unrelated to the monitory part of my Marvin Bartley Photography, and is in a bid to develop new lighting tricks, concepts, and so on. Just me shooting for the heck of it. 

Below are images done while just test shooting two friends of mine, Sam and Sam. 
Sam the Teacher and Sam the Makeup Artist. I think they did pretty well. 

What do you think? 


     Makeup and Styling: Dexter Pottinger
     Model: Samantha Newby

       Makeup & Model:  Samantha Sergeant

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Cell Phone Photography

Hi Everyone

I know it's been a while since I posted anything. Nevertheless, I'm back!

This post is a follow up to the last on a shoot with an iPhone. I wanted to do a photoshoot to test the idea that a camera is as good as its user, by using a cell phone camera. I thought about using the iPhone 4, but that would be easy advantage since the phone boasts having one of the best cameras for a mobile device. So I decided to go with the HTC HD2 mobile phone instead.

I also scaled down to one light source with a soft box just to keep the setup as basic and easy to do for most peeps. The next step was to get my models. Just as easy as it was to get a camera (cell phone cam) from my friend Camilla, it was just the same to get my models. The aim of the game was to keep it simple.

I asked Chevonese and Dexter who happened to be around to just let me shoot them with the cellphone cam, with no makeup or styling; just plain old clothes.

So, equipped with my camera, my models, and my one light, I got cracking.

In case you are willing to try using your phone or a cheap cam to do a shoot you need to know some of the dufficulties you will face and how to correct these problems.

Images tend to be blurry and or soft:
Secure your phone to a tripod by tape or velcro. This doesn't elliminate motion blurr from moving subjects so have your model be as still as possible. Also, be prepared to do some post process sharpening

Colours and tone may be inconsistent: 
Be prepared to do some editing to colour correct the images, if that matters to you. In relation to the images below I desaturated them a bit to gain more controll over the inconsistent colours I got from the camera.

Images may be noisy (grainy photograph) and suffer from chromatic abberation (the green and purple lines in the edge of subjects):
Post processing may help to lessen this problem, and for some people this may not be a problem at all. Lessen the colour in the image and add some blur in photoshop or whatever editing software you use.

Below are the images I did with the HTC HD2 hope you find them exciting and inspiring to go create your own images with the best camera you have, i.e, the one that's with you (Chase Jarvis).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The iPhone Fashion Shoot

Hi guys

I stumbled across this video on youtube by FStoppers and it's about a fashion photoshoot with an iPhone. Now, you know how in the past and even now in some areas of the photo comunity it's taught that your gear has a lot to do with your  photo; and often times I'm asked the uninformed question about which camera is best. This video is a classic case that none of these things matter. It's all about your ability to use what's accessible to you and making it count.  So even a device as simple as an iPhone or in my case, an old olympus camera can create beautiful images.

In the video, the photographer made a rather funny remark about using any old olympus camera to shoot with, and naturally I laughed, knowing full well my first fashion publication, with Yendi Phillips, came from an Olympus e500--the first digital slr I ever owned. 

The shoot was produced in 2007 by then Chief Editor, Chevonese Fender for Collage--a magazine for the Art College(Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) I attended.  Yendi, who was Miss Jamaica World that same year, did such a fabulous job that the story was run again months later in Ocean Style Magazine.  Apart from styling and make-up by Dexter Pottinger, Yendi rocked the shoot and for the record, so did my lil ol' Olympus.  

Tell me what you think of the images and the very interesting video by FStoppers .

Again guys its not about your equipment, it's about the creativity and use of what's available to you.

I've given myself the challenge of attempting what the photographer in the video did and actually do a fashion shoot with an iPhone.  Who knows, maybe I can even get it published.  I'll let you know how things turn out in a couple of weeks!  Any concept for a fashion shoot with an iPhone anyone?

Publication done with my Olympus e500 back in 2007 *_^

Makeup and Styling: Dexter Pottinger
Model: Yendi Phillips (2010 Miss Universe Runner-up) 
Story and Art Direction: Chevonese Fender

Hope you like the post and please leave your comments and become a Follower by clicking on "Follow"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

After thoughts

These images were the result of a test shoot with me and one of my favourite makeup artist, Dionne Law.  Ever so often there's a break in the norm of planning for a shoot, down to the colour of the blush and the direction of the light.  Happily though,  this shoot was not one of those days. It was mainly a bid to shoot for the heck of it.  Not wanting to control the outcome entirely, this shoot was pretty much on the spot spontaneity.  

This was also one of the projects that I enjoyed retouching. To my fellow photographers if you are not using a Wacom Tablet, please start! There's nothing like it for retouching your images.
Enjoy the images and as usual your comments are welcome.

Makeup: Dionne Law 
Models: Kadyan Salmon & Candice McCalla