Welcome to this weeks blog post and welcome to all my new subscribers! This weeks post will be looking at a campaign I shot for Spitfire Audio in Snowdonia, Wales. Orchestral Swarm is a music sample library very much inspired by the dynamism of water. The sounds Spitfire have recorded for this library mimic this by providing samples that evolve and mature when played, giving the composer completely unique textures with each note. This library was created exclusively in collaboration with Bleeding Fingers, and is featured in Blue Planet ii and Hans Zimmer/Radiohead’s collaboration “(ocean) bloom”.
This was another amazing chance to explore the relationship between photography and music. My brief was to capture the feeling of movement and the ever changing shapes that water creates. I wanted to try and communicate the emotion and textures in the demo music I had been given as reference in my photography. For this my team and I headed to Wales at the end of September last year to shoot Snowdonia's diverse landscapes, rivers, streams and lakes.
Below is a piece composed by good friend Oliver Patrice Weder that served as the main inspiration for the project.
I grew up with a passion to paint, I am very lucky to have a talented Mother who is a painter so I spent most of my childhood learning from her how to create. I went on to study Fine Art Painting at Norwich Art School before I started taking pictures. German artist Gerhard Richter has played a massive part in the inspiration on my practice. His way of working has always interested me, creating paintings that resemble photography. Richter's painting was my main inspiration that I took with me to Wales for this project. I was also referencing my photographic series Pro-ject where I have played with long exposures for the same kind of effect. I wanted to capture painterly like abstract images by using long exposures, looking for parts of the rivers or streams that the water was rolling over rocks or where the under currents where changing giving the water shape and energy.
I hired in a Canon Extender EF1.4x III to use with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens so I could get really close to the details I found. I'm not going to lie, Canon's 1.4 Mkiii Extender is rubbish! For this shoot as I was working with long exposures with nothing sharp in my frame so it worked great but having tried to shoot some landscape images with the extender on it really shocked me how soft my images where coming out, even working on a tripod. Defiantly wouldn't recommend buying one if you're looking to go super long. I'd save up and get Canon's EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS Mark II USM lens that lens is great.
The abstract type images I'd captured all felt quite aggressive with the momentum of the water filling the frame. This library of music also has a calmer collection of sounds that I wanted to depict in some way. The team and I headed to the coast at Porthmadog where we were greeted with an incredible sunset. I found these beautiful textures in the sand as the tide was retracting which have an almost metallic quality with this combination of colour and pattern. We'd been in Snowdonia for 4 days and we'd had pretty bad weather all week, hiking and following streams for miles so this evening was an unexpected surprise.
This project was a special one, I feel very honoured to have had the chance to work on a project that was used by Hans Zimmer and Radiohead on the score for Blue Planet ii. Here's the trailer (if you haven't seen it!!?) where the sounds from this product where used to create the soundtrack. To find out more about the project take a look here.
Here's some behind the scenes shots I captured when out with the film crew.
Thanks for tuning into this weeks blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading about this project. If you would like to follow my work please SUBSCRIBE to my blog to receive weekly posts (something to read on the tube) comment, Tweet, like, share would be much appreciated as it keeps me posting.
Next week I like to talk about my personal project 'Acid Priest', which Huck magazine ran an editorial on a few years back.
Until then... bye for now,