Nick Kent Photography: Blog en-us (C) Nick Kent Photography [email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:00:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:00:00 GMT Nick Kent Photography: Blog 80 120 Holly Bullar

I took this photo about three and a half years ago, July 20th 2012 at only the second wedding I'd ever shot. It's one of countless images from that day that are still in my portfolio, and still get most of the positive comments from people. This image in particular is still the one on the back of my business card, the photo that has always made me feel like I was putting my best foot forward, showing potential wedding clients what could be possible on their special day, to help earn their trust and build their confidence in me.


So yeah, the image turned out great, technically I couldn’t have hoped for more, and I’ve taken many similar since, but the key to why this image grabs everyone’s attention over others is the couple, Holly and Martyn Bullar. I hear “that’s the photo we love”…. “they look amazing”, “She’s stunning”, “the Bride looks incredible” and many other words along that line every time I turn to the page of my portfolio with this photo on it. Holly had so many ideas on the day, set ups she wanted to try and we had such an amazing time fooling around and being creative. As serious as they look in this image, there are countless others where they’re pulling silly face’s to the camera, or just laughing their heads off.

I’ve known Holly and Martyn since school and they were one of the first couples to put their trust in me to photograph their wedding, and they didn’t have to. I’d only really shot one wedding before theirs, which went well, but I had very little in the way of portfolio to prove to them I could do the job without fail, because if there’s one person you want to be on point and to not mess up, it’s your Wedding Photographer, no second chances in the Church. 26 weddings later, I’m happy to say photographing weddings is a huge side of my job which I enjoy immensely, as well as helps me survive financially on a tough self employed path, and I only have to hand potential clients my business card with this image of Holly and Martyn on the back to make them take notice and want to learn more.


I was informed Thursday evening of the tragic news that Holly had passed away. My thoughts are with Martyn, and with both their families and friends at this terrible time. Holly was always the life of the party, so full of energy and her positive attitude was pasted on to anyone she came in contact with. It was always great bumping into the two of them as guests at their friends weddings I was photographing, and we always took fun shots and had a laugh remembering their wedding day. 

I feel so lucky to have known her, shared some fun times and I owe her so much for trusting me back in 2012 to photograph her wedding day. If Holly and Martyn hadn’t have given me that opportunity, making wedding photography part of my profession would have taken far, far longer, if it would have happened at all, and I’m eternally grateful to them both. The images we captured that day, from Holly’s hair and make up in the morning, all the way through to the evening reception, including one of the most amazing first dance routines I’ve ever experienced (Holly being an incredible Ballroom Dancer), all hold a special place in my heart and head, and touch everyone I share them with.

Holly, you will be sorely missed, it was a privilege and and honour to photograph your special day, and meant even more to have you as a friend. Thank you.



[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Perfect Couple Wedding Wedding Photography Sun, 21 Feb 2016 12:31:43 GMT
Danny Gruff ONTAW Videos The At the beginning of 2015 a good friend of mine, Musician Danny Gruff set himself the challenge of writing, recording and releasing one new song every week for a whole year. Not only that but record a video for each one and post blogs about them, which I'm sure you'll agree is a mammoth task, 52 songs in one year. Well last week he achieved his goal and I've gotta say he released song epic tunes so well done to him. 

Over the past year I've been involved in a few of Danny's releases, either when he's asked me to play some Bass, sing some backing vocals here and there or some weeks we'd collaborate on a music video. This is always a lot of fun and would love being asked, particularly if I loved the tune involved. Below are the three videos I fully shot and edited for him over the past year with a few details about each shoot.  

The first video I helped Danny with was back in week 7 of 2015 which I believe was February time. Danny wrote a really beautiful sing about his Grandparents and asked me to help him set up a couple of cameras to shoot it. As we were setting up I asked Danny if I could fully shoot and edit the video because I really loved the song, he said yes and we shot this video in just two takes with a couple of lights. It's a very simple video which doesn't detract from the lyrics and I'm glad I could be a part of it. 

Although I had cameos in several of Danny's other videos through the year, it wasn't until January 2016 that I fully shot and edited another one for him. At the beginning of his Challenge Danny posted a video online telling his follows that at some point over the next year he would probably shoot a video of his walking through a park, because that's what Singer Songwriters do...., well he waited until week 50 to do that which is pretty good going. Of course he couldn't do this himself so asked me if I'd help out. Now filming someone walking through a park sounds simple right? You'd think it is, but when you have to walk backwards for over 3 minutes trying to hold a camera steady, while focusing and walking to the pulse of the track in question, you'll be surprised how knackering and tough it is.

My main worry was camera shake, and I'm gonna hold my hands up and say, yeah it's not the best, it's pretty shaky. This was a no budget video so a steady cam rig wasn't an option, neither was correcting the shake using after effects because the lens flares would have been bouncing all over the shot anyway and would have effected the resolution. I tried constructing a homemade steady cam contraption, mounting the camera on a tripod which I them suspended around my neck using bungee cords, hoping these would act as shock absorbers keeping the camera a little smoother. This worked to a point, until about half way through the song where I couldn't keep up with Danny's walking pace and would have to run backwards to catch up. We hoped to shoot it in one take, but it proved to hard on my legs and neck with the weight of the rig hanging from my head.

Anyway, after I nearly had a heart attack filming this it came out ok. A little rough around the edges but what ever, It's a cool tune.   

For week 51, with the end in sight, Danny asked myself and Dave Giles to help write a song about writers block. We had a little fun with the video re-enacting the writing session with myself playing a Barman....why not? We tried to get the whole thing in one take using three cameras and pretty much nailed...honest. The explosive, fire breathing entry I made wasn't planned at all. When I came to edit the video I tried a couple of things, messing around with fire effects and showed Danny for a laugh, who ended up liking them.... So I elaborated on them, adding flares and adjusting lighting, boosting exposures and adding burning embers to Danny's hair after I'd set his head on fire. It's extremely stupid and I'm not gonna sit here and say it's super realistic but it's fun to watch and was fun to make. 
You can download any of Danny's songs through his band camp page and view all the videos on this You Tube channel.

To view more of the videos I've shot follow this link and if you have any questions at all please email me at via my contact page. I hope you enjoy this video, keep an eye out in the near future for more video related blogs.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) #ONTAW Danny Gruff Music Video Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography One New Tune A Week Photography Promotional Video Videography Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:53:14 GMT
Wedding Photography - The Wedding Cake Let's face it, the moment we walk into the reception at a wedding, we're all excited, or at the very least intrigued to see the centre piece of a display, the Wedding Cake. Even if we've seen a hundred of them, a beautiful cake never fails to impress, and wow us with amazing attention to detail and artistic skill. They're always unique, something always set's them apart from the last one, helped by the input of the couple, with their personalities and individual tastes clear to see. 

Cakes which may look similar may have a different filling, Victoria Sponge, Fruit, Chocolate, Red Velvet or a wonderful mixture of them all with many tiers or even a Cup Cake Tower for the ease of consumption by guests after an evening Hog Roast. Sometimes the cake might not be an actual cake at all. I've seen many a Cheese Cake and 'Cheese' cakes... a completely different take, but equally stunning version on the classic which has become popular, satisfying guests with less of a sweet tooth.

The time and effort put into the wedding cake is always plain to see and the more beautiful it is the more time I spend trying to show it off in the photographs, covering all the angles I can, capturing all the details before it's cut and the perfection is gone forever.... a shame, but a cake is for eating! 

I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite wedding cake images from the last 3 years. It was tough making a short list... I haven't seen a bad cake, they've all been perfect for the event and personalities of the couples, so these are shots which came out partically well, as well as displaying the wonderful variety I've come across.

For more information on my wedding services follow this link and if you have any questions at all please email me at via my contact page. I hope you enjoy my favourite Wedding Cake shots, keep an eye out in the near future for more wedding related blogs.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Cake Cake Decorating Cheese Cake Cup Cakes Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Red Velvet Red Velvet Cakes Wedding Cake Wedding Cakes Wedding Cheese Cake Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Wedding Reception Weddings Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:12:31 GMT
Leftennant - Camden Barfly, Oct 22nd 2015 Last night I took a trip to the Barfly in Camden to witness the debut performance from the band Leftennant, a Progressive Blues Rock band made up of some of the most talented musicians I have the pleasure of knowing... so I've been looking forward to hearing the results for a while. Leftennant, or 'LefTennant' consists of Gavin Condor on Vocals, Scott McKeon on Guitar, Oscar Golding on Bass and Daniel Bingham behind the Drums. I'm a Photographer, not a music writer but I thought I'd give them a little review to go along with my shots of the night which you can find below....
Review - FILTHY!

To view my full gallery from the show click here - and you can find out more about Leftennant and listen to a sample of their EP over at as well as on their Facebook page.

Enjoy the filthiness, a have a good wash afterwards. Nick.

Oscar GoldingOscar Golding - Bass

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Barfly Camden Barfly Daniel Bingham Gavin Condor Leftennant Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Oscar Golding Photography Scott McKeon The Barfly Fri, 23 Oct 2015 19:22:13 GMT
Oompah Band - Leake Street Tunnel Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band As we're now in October, there's a good chance you may be attending an Oktoberfest event somewhere, sinking those steins and scoffing bratwürst! Well a few months ago I got to photograph one of the bands who may end up entertaining you at such an event...

Back in July (where did the Summer go??) I was asked to photograph the 'Oompah Band' consisting of Geoff Moore, Karen O'Brien, Tony Howard, Sophia-Marie Smith and Haydn Leech, a London based band who travel all over the world entertaining at such Oktoberfest style events and venues. They were in need of new promo and website images and wanted colourful shots as well as something different from the standard setting such an act would normally be seen in, a pub or a stage, so suggested the Leake Street Tunnel under Waterloo Station. A tunnel famous for it's graffiti artwork and galleries.

We were very lucky photograph on a day when artist Mark Eley of the fashion and design company 'Eley Kishimoto' was literally finishing off his latest flash work on the floor of the tunnel for a 'Vans X EX Launch' in one of the galleries (which you can see in the images to the left and below). This was an amazing sight, great luck we rocked up that day, and it really added an extra element and dimension to some of the images. Really nice guy as well and had no problem with us using his new piece in the photos.

We did a number of different set ups trying to use all corners of the tunnel as well as using Speedlites and natural light to create some fun looks. As the tunnel is open to the public and is used as a short cut by many commuters, we did have some fun timing shots between the cyclists and walkers who would come steaming through our set up throughout the day... So I thought I would just take their photo as well, hoping they wouldn't fall of their bikes after being blinded by my Speedlites I had set up. (one kid did get caught by surprise and knocked over my flash stand... my bad, lesson learned there)

As well as using the colourful and busy backgrounds of the tunnel, the band also wanted some individual photos shot against a white background. We were able to get these shots as well using a portable pop up white background I'd brought with me.... very handy, no second location needed.

All in all it was a fun shoot with a great bunch of people and we got some fun and interesting images. Be sure to go find out more about Oompah Band, you can find information on their Facebook page as well as their website

Have a great day, take care. Nick.

Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band

Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band
Oompah BandOompah Band

Oompah BandOompah Band Oompah BandOompah Band

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Eley Kishimoto Flash Art Leake Street Leake Street Tunnel London Mark Eley Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography October Oktoberfest Oompah Oompah Band Photography Station Tunnel" Waterloo Waterloo Tunnel Sun, 18 Oct 2015 10:56:25 GMT
Tom Dibb - Tamesis Dock, Oct 4th 2015 The blog is back! It's been a while I know but I thought I'd let you know about a friend of mine who's attempting something amazing and incredibly difficult.

Last night I attended a show at Tamesis Dock, an awesome floating bar on the South bank of the River Thames. If you're in London and you've not tried it out I highly recommend it. This cool venue played host to a show named  'Farewell Pickle', a fund raising event put on by singer/songwriter Tom Dibb.

So what was this fundraiser in aid of? Well, 'Farewell Pickle' refers to Tom's 1989 VW T25 Camper Van 'Pickle' that Tom lives in, and plays shows out of, and it's a farewell because very soon Tom will be starting an epic journey, driving Pickle all the way to Melbourne, Australia.

Yeah, you read that correctly, Tom plans to make the seventeen and a half thousand mile trip while playing shows, hosting camper cook ups and generally bringing his music and personality to a whole new audience along the way. He'll be blogging, vlogging and sharing his experience online for us all to follow.

I'm sure you'll agree, a very ambitious plan but also an inspiring one, putting that much faith in your music and willing to leave on a pretty unpredictable journey. In a world where music has moved online and artists often have to film covers other people's tunes to get attention, Tom is going completely the other way, taking to the road to play to people in the flesh, to make real connections. Ok, artists play live to people all the time while touring, but most artists know who they'll be playing to in pretty familiar surroundings with friends around, and those audiences know those artists and have bought a ticket. Tom will sharing his music with new people, who weren't expecting to discover a new Singer/Songwriter when they woke up that morning, from a country with a completely different language, not only that, he's doing it by himself, leaving his friends and family behind.... This man has balls.  

The show last night was one of his last shows before hitting the road, and other performers on the night were Danny Gruff (who you may know from various posts I've made) and The Dodo Bones. The room was full of great people, friends old and new and the vibe of this night was pretty special.

Below is a video I shot for Tom to help promote his trip and let you know how you can get involved. I've also added a few fun shots from the show, but you can view all my images from the night in my gallery by clicking here - Tom Dibb - Tamesis Dock. You can find out more about Tom, his music and how you can help on his website as well as his Facebook page.

Enjoy following Tom and have a great day. Nick.

Oscar GoldingOscar Golding - Bass

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) A Pickle Down Under Danny Gruff Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Tamesis Dock Tamesis Dock Show The Dodo Bones Tom Dibb Music tom Dibb Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:28:44 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 14 - Shot of the Fortnight When I first started this 'shot of the week' it was to get me out shooting things I wouldn't normally think about photographing, and think about my work in a different way, and I'm very pleased to say that it's worked and I'm very grateful to everyone who's suggested a task and made the effort. Over the last 14 weeks I've had fun coming up with ideas and trying new things, but I'm going to be honest when I say, over the last month as my weekly routine has got busier, I'm find less and less time to truly put my mind to the challenges and deliver the best results, and this needed to change.

To give you and idea of my week, I spend the majority of the week running around London shooting property for a number of estate agents to market their flats and houses, it's a great way for a photographer to have steady daily work and it's a lot of fun. Put this together with the other projects I do like promo photography for bands/artists, wedding photography, videography etc as well as Whiskey and Things, you'll understand why I'll say that I do burn the candle at more ends then I think is scientifically possible sometimes. I want to get back to putting more time and effort into the concepts put forward by the viewers of the show and have therefore made it every two weeks. Now I can plan cooler shoots over those extra seven days and show you some cooler images... so keep those challenges coming in!

Now, Scott at Poison Productions asked me to photograph 'two sides of the same coin, so I got to work. I thought about having the coin flipping and pasting multiple exposures together to show both sides, but this idea didn't really excite me. So I thought about using a mirror to achieve it, but this idea needed to be 'sexed up' a bit, I thought about using a Laser (a tool I have for my property work drawing floor plans) to make the concept a little more interesting. I've wanted to do some light painting for a while and this ended up being a lot of fun.

To create the image above I placed the coin on a glass topped table which I backed onto a mirror and positioned the camera at a slight angle so the reflection was in sight behind. Before turning off the lights I focused on the two pound coin at an aperture of f11 in an attempt to have the reflected side of the coin a little more visible then if I shot at say f5.6 or lower. Once I turned off the lights it was just a case of trial, error and experimentation really with shutter times and waving the laser about to make shapes, much like we used to as kids to burn words on our retinas with sparklers on bonfire night. I tried squares and zigzags but in the end the clean circles around the coin looked really nice, almost like rings around saturn. Not once did I touch the coin on this exposure, so it simply gets illuminated by the reflected light off the glass surface of the table.

I shot this with a 50mm set at f11. with the ISO at 100 and a whopping 15 second shutter time, allowing plenty of light to bounce up onto the coin as well as give me enough rotations of the laser to produce a pretty smooth circle. I played with the colour a little, the red laser was very intense, so I brought some of the highlights down and made it shocking pink to really pop out against the jet black of the room. So there you go, two sides of the same coin. 

Check back in two weeks to see a shot that 'reminds me of home', thanks to a challenge from 'ZoeMakesVideos'. Thanks again for reading and I hope you enjoyed this weeks episode of Whiskey and Things, and be sure to subscribe!


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Whiskey and Things coin laser long exposure mirror queen Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:00:35 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 12 - Shot of the Week So when my old friend and all round legend Ron McIntyre from Felony Records over in the USA challenged me to photograph a modern interpretation of my oldest memory as part of the 'Whiskey and Things Shot of the Week' feature, there were a few that popped into my head. They were all from the first house I lived in, in Bracknell where we lived until I was about 3 years old I think, back in 1985. Trapping my thumb in the garage door was one, and soiling my He-Man PJ's was another but I wasn't going to attempt to recreate that day.

The one I went for may not have been my earliest but it seemed to be one that stuck with me the longest over the years. It was a Summers day and as with all sunny days the ice cream van was doing his rounds in our neighbourhood so my Dad had bought us both 99 flakes... called 99 flakes for a reason back then I think, because you'd get a penny change from a quid, but please correct me if I'm wrong. Back then my Dad had a blue Ford Cortina which was parked on our driveway, so when he's bought the ice creams he sat me on the boot of his car which was flat, like a bench, not curvy like cars are today... and new proceeded to lick away.

Now as many of my family would back me up on, I was some what of a clumsy child, well, losing three teeth running for a bus recently may suggest I still am, but back then I would go through the knees of a pair of trousers in a matter of hours, so a light and airy whipped dairy product on a stale wafer cone was a risky challenge at best. Within a minute or so the inevitable happened and I dropped the whole cone on the floor... and yes, I'm pretty sure I turned on the waterworks, I was 2 or 3 years old.

So my Dad being awesome and thoughtful as he was and still is, immediately gave me his and shouted to my Mum to see if we had any regular 'soft (bloody hard) scoop' that he could make himself another one with.... there wasn't any. Now this my sound like a pretty uneventful afternoon to many, but that was the start of many, many years of childhood guilt for me. As soon as my Dad gave up his cone for me and had to go without, I felt this horrible feeling that I hadn't felt before, guilt, and I felt that guilt for years and years to come because of this incident, because he'd gone without because of me. It's silly little things like this that stick with us as we're growing up and help form the kind of personalities we'll be in later life. I admit, now guilt comes from far more serious things than an ice cream, but you can read those stories in my autobiography in a few years.

So this image I captured in London while out with my parents on Mothers Day. No 99 flakes around that day so I had to buy some stupidly expensive ice cream from a fancy shop in Covent Garden... £3.50 each for a small cone of vanilla, insane. Anyway it's a simple shot recreating the moment I dropped my ice cream on the floor by my Father's feet and watched it melt and run away along with my tears. Taken with a 50mm lens at about f1.4 I think, nice shallow depth of field and a high contrast, grainy, aged film look to it.

Hope you like it, another one coming your way next week from a challenge to photograph 'both sides of the same coin', be sure to watch the latest episode of 'Whiskey and Things' as well to find out if I've chosen your challenge next week. Thanks for reading.


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) 99 99 flake Dave Giles Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Whiskey and Things cortina ford gilt happiness ice cream Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:59:34 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 11 - Shot of the Week Yes, that is a photo of the sky. Let me explain.

I was set the task this week of photographing my idea of happiness which is a pretty big ask to capture in a single image. Just off the top of my head I can think of many things that make me happy, running around in the park playing Rugby with my Nephew, drinking a cold pear cider while sitting in an English country pub garden with my best mates catching up, seeing my Dad laugh at episode of Only Fools and Horses that he's seen a million times before... can I sum all that up and a lot more in one picture? I don't think so. Happiness is different for everyone, those thoughts make me smile and I enjoy those times when they happen, but do they all add up to happiness or is it something more that can be cancelled out by negative things happening in life?

Don't worry, I'm not going to go off on one trying to figure out the 'meaning' of happiness so I'll explain how I came to the image of the beautiful blue sky. When I was first set this challenge for the 'Whiskey and Things' - Shot of The Week by 'RachOnToast' I started thinking about what happiness was and when I was most happy, and as I explained above, it's tough to narrow down, but what I did realise, is that many moments when I'm remembering the good times, happy moments in my life, when I realise how lucky I am, I find myself looking up.

We spend our whole lives looking down at things, right now I'm looking down at my keyboard as I type, or I'm looking down at my phone, or I'm looking DOWN at the screen on my camera to make sure something's in focus, or looking DOWN at where I'm walking so I don't tread in any dog turds in the street... and that's just a few minutes of my day, and I'm sure it's that same for most people. When it's a nice sunny day and I'm not rushed off my feet looking down doing at things then I find myself looking up, taking a deep breath and thinking, everything is pretty sweet for me right now, life is good, and I reflect a bit on why that is and be totally aware that it may change at any second.  

I remember once walking down Sunset Strip in LA and few years back listening to Frank Turner on my iPod after seeing a show at The Roxy, happy that I was in an awesome place doing something I loved, and what was I doing when I was thinking this?... looking up, no joke. A few weeks ago I was working in London on a warm sunny day and had an hour to kill so decided to walk through Hyde Park, and I remember again looking up, getting the sun on my face and thinking about the things that were going right and why I was happy. Try it, stop looking down so much, look up when you get the chance and think about why things are good right now, and if you can't think of anything, then it'll probably help you work out how to change things.

So yeah, it's a photo of the sky this week, but hey, I love clouds, they're pretty, ever morphing and I can look at them for hours. Also in this shot is a plane heading West which is where so many of my happiest memories were made from my touring days in my 20's, playing music around North America and making some life long buddies to add to the amazing friends and family I already had here in the UK. Happiness in one image... the above is often what I'm looking at when I'm experiencing it. Thanks for reading.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles London Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Whiskey and Things clouds down happiness happy sky up Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:15:26 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 10 - Shot of the Week

Photograph something from 'olden times' was the challenge set by Rebecca Humphreys, a viewer of my YouTube show 'Whiskey and Things' last week, and as you can expect, this is one that sent my mind racing. The possibilities for this brief are endless, I mean I have pretty much any moment or style from history to pull from and get inspired by.

The first thing that sprang to mind when I though of olden times with old photos on the walls of pubs (read into that what you want) of the local streets, with perhaps trams or horse and carts. Images of simpler times before the street became a carbon copy of every other main street in the UK. I thought about how I could recreate that and came to the conclusion that it was going to be tricky in the time frame I had.

I grew up in Kent, in a small town called Biggin Hill which during World War 2 was a major RAF base. Today the base is inactive but it displays life size fibre glass models of a Hurricane and a Spitfire out the front which you can walk around. I thought it might be cool to get up close to them and capture those in some way and make it look lie it's flying. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get back to Kent this weekend, but it got me thinking and I really want to look into that idea in the future, but for now had to think on. 

The idea for the image you see on the left actually came from a simple conversation with my good friend Oscar when shock horror, we couldn't find anything decent to watch on TV while we were eating lunch. We did something crazy, we turned the TV off... now this sounds silly I know, but sadly in the age we live in, not having the TV on when eating a meal is pretty rare, which is sad. This got us thinking about things we used to do when we were younger as well as items we used to own and how much things have changed in a relatively short amount of time, at least it feels that way. We both had our phones on us and they got us thinking about how much freedom they've given us in terms of being able to communicate pretty much anywhere in the world and be able to access information at a moments notice. When I was a kid (put your violins away) we had one phone on our house and it was in the hallway, so everyone could hear it and use it, and our friends and family could only get hold of us when we were home... that sounds crazy now. What's also funny about that is, earlier on in this paragraph I mentioned that smart phones have given us freedom, but now, to be honest I sometimes find the times when I've forgotten or lost my phone the most free... no one can get hold of me, and I'm not constantly reaching for my phone for no reason, just to check Facebook or some other app, and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Anyway, enough of the ranting, bottom line is, I thought it might make a pretty fun idea to show the differences of today and 20 years ago in an image. I bought a phone with a cord (a bargain at £4.28) and asked my friend Dani to help me out with the photograph. The thing with having one phone in the house which is on a cord, if you wanted any privacy at all you had to stretch the cord up the stairs and sit on the landing... standard, so I thought I would be cool to have Dani sitting there taking a call while a 'modern Dani' walks up with a modern phone, which she could easily take outside and anywhere she wants to go, completely free from the ball and chain of the corded phone. Of course another thing the smart phone does is play music so I threw in the 80's equivalent, a cassette (which took me an age to find in a shop) which had been unwound, a horrible event if it happened to your favourite album, so I handed Dani a pencil to see if she could work out how to rewind it... something we all had to learn.

In order to have two Dani's in this image I had to do a composite, which is actually pretty simple. I put the camera on a tripod and instead of using flashguns to light the shot I just used a couple of soft boxes so I could see any shadows which might later annoy me and keep each shot consistent, this would make it easier later to stitch them together. Once I had the shots I wanted, it was then just a task of importing them into photoshop and layering one on top of the other, and paint the top one out using a layer mask to reveal the image underneath, making sure I didn't cut off any important detail from an image image the unwound tape. I colour corrected each layer separately to give them a different look, the left hand side got a modern quite unedited look and the `olden times' on the right got an aged, grainy more worn out look. And that's pretty much it, simple pic but one which might bring back some memories from a few people. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out this weeks 'Whiskey and Things' to see what I'll be delivering next week.

Have a great week.


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) 80's 90's Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Stairs cassette cassette and pencil iPhone iPod olden times retro time jump Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Wedding Photography - The Bridal Shoe Shot Over the last couple of years since I decided I was going to branch out into Wedding photography, I've been lucky enough to capture some beautiful occasions and work with some wonderful couples who helped make what can be a stressful experience, a joyful and rewarding one. I didn't want to move into this highly competitive field until I knew I had the knowledge, experience and equipment to be able to deliver the standard of photography and service I would expect and see from other wedding photographers I've researched.

Over the next few weeks i'm going to be posting some blogs about my wedding experiences and explaining how I produced some of my favourite work. I thought I'd start off though with showcasing a particularly challenging but surprisingly rewarding task from the bride preparation time of a day.... The shoe shot.

I do love being invited to photograph the morning preparations as it's a nice relaxed way to start such an important, high pressure day, and get warmed up for the big event later on. It's also a great opportunity to get to know the bridal party, including learning the names and faces of bridesmaids, parents and also paige boys and flower girls who might also need to get used to the 'strange man' pointing a camera them.

The shoe shot has proved to be one of the more challenging and often most artistic shots of the day. As well as the shoes I also like to get some shots of any other accessories, which can include garters, jewellery, items old, borrowed and blue as well as ofcourse the wedding dress itself. The challenging part of getting a nice shot of the shoes, as well as other accessories is the fact that the venue is often someone's house I haven't seen before which sometimes can be tricky regarding space and staying out of the way of everyone getting ready. This can also mean that finding a tidy spot of the house (in the nicest possible way) during what can be a manic time can be tricky. This is usually more of an issue when the wedding dress is concerned because I need to hang it somewhere nice but also out of harms way, this is something I'll be covering in a blog in the future.

Included in this blog are four of my favourite shoe shots I captured last year with varying amounts of creativity and difficulty. The main photo above was interesting because the bride asked me if I could include a six pence piece which her grandfather had given to her to put in her shoe for luck. After some playing around with concepts I decided to try and balance one of the heels on the coin, and I'm not going to lie, this shot was not my first attempt, it took a while to get right but it's a cool picture that I think was totally worth the effort.

The three shots below demonstrate how the venue or items of furniture can influence an image. The shot on the left was taken in a large hotel room which had a wonderful glass topped table which I used to get a wonderful reflection of the beautiful red shoes which really pop out in front of the wedding dress hanging from a four poster bed in the background. The other two were shot in clients houses where space was more of an issue, so I opted for using some stairs which gave the image some nice depth, and a furry rug which was being hit by a wonderful beam of sunlight, allowing me to show off the shimmer of the shoes, together giving the image a luxurious look.

For more information on my wedding services follow this link and if you have any questions at all please email me at via my contact page. I hope you've enjoyed my favourite shoe shots, keep an eye out in the near future for more wedding related blogs.

Have a great day. Nick.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography bridal bridal photography bridal preparation bridal shoes bride brides shoes wedding wedding photography weddings Fri, 14 Mar 2014 18:59:33 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 9 - Shot of the Week So we're on to week nine of my Shot of the week challenges from my webshow 'Whiskey and Things' which I present with Dave Giles. This week our viewer Simone Cullen set me the task of photographing 'something open and something closed'... simple enough you might think, but like I'm finding most weeks, it can be tricky to get something a bit different and sometimes sends me to places I might not normally go and think about shooting in different ways, which this week lead me to the result you see below.... Looks a little strange I know, but let me explain. 
After resisting the urge to photograph some obvious Daffodils in my local park, some open and some closed, my first port of call was in Camden on the beautifully warm Sunday we just had, where I was on the look out for 'open minded people'. This quickly turned into me just enjoying the atmosphere and buying an awesome BBQ Brisket Sandwich from a stall and a frosty pint while I thought about my options. Something that I thought I'd cover my back with was getting a shot of the locks, one open and one closed, and sure enough as soon as I'd finished my Amstel a boat came alone and allowed me to get the shot you see below. It's a nice image which summed up the lovely day but a bit on the nose for my liking so I kept looking.

I wanted to explore my 'open minded people' route so went looking for some free spirits, hopefully with something closed, or someone closed minded in the same shot. It was harder than I thought, lots of open minded people but getting something closed was the tough part. The best I could do in Camden was this shot on the left of a girl dressed in purple with the closed lock behind her, again, it's a nice picture but not what I was looking for.

I'd received a text from a friend asking me to join him and a few other in Richmond for some drinks by the river, so I made my journey over hoping something would catch my eye on the way. Exciting as London transport is, the best attempt on that journey was of an open tube train with a closed circuit TV camera pointed at it. It did fit the brief but hardly a heart stopper. The search continued.

I had a couple of days left to get me picture so I started thinking about the brief in other ways. One thing I thought about was opportunities, some open up for people and some close just as quickly. I started thinking about who this might apply to and homeless people came to mind who may have had opportunities close around them. I thought if I could photograph a less fortunate individual on the street or near a busy shopping district, it would work well with the surrounding of open opportunities and spending.... 

This didn't end up happening unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, because I could't find one in the short time I had, but what I did find which got me thinking was a set of revolving doors at the front entrance of Selfridges on Oxford Street. We all love them, but I started thinking... are they open or closed? It struck me that they're kind of both.... they're open, and closed at the same time. Not just a hat rack my friends!

I decided to try and capture the motion of these doors and the action they go through on a daily basis by photographing 
the people coming through them along with their movement. I thought I could recreate the same vibe from an image I shot last year in Battersea park of the Japanese Peace Pagoda (pictured below) producing a composite image of several shots with the camera positioned on a tripod. The image you see at the top of the page is made up of about eight images which I combined together using photoshop, where I would layer each on top of each other, and then using a layer mask, paint in the individual I wanted leaving the background the same. I used a 17-40mm f4L lens set at 17mm and f11 which gave me a longer shutter time in order to get some blur on my subjects. A few of the people I decided to make look a little strange changing their layer to the 'difference' option, giving them an inverted and ghostly appearance... just a bit of fun which makes you look closer.

I'll admit, when you first look at this lmage, you do think, 'what the hell is that', but this technique is something I really enjoy doing, it's like painting with people movements and it can create some nice effects and images. I do think it worked better with the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park, but lesson learnt and I did have a lot more time to get that particular image. I did enjoy piecing this image together even if it might not be everyones cup of tea.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles London Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Selfridges Whiskey and Things entrance long exposure revolving revolving doors Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:53:01 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 8 - Shot of the Week

Now, we all have off days, and one of my rules when I started this blog was to be completely honest about my work and the processes involved whether good or bad, and this image will be going in my 'could have been better file', I'm not going to lie. Nothing to do with my subjects, but lack of preparation due to a busy week and one of the busiest days of the year so far.

My challenge for episode seven's shot of the week on 'Whiskey and Things' came from 'FiftyShadesOfDrama' which was to photograph my co-host and friend Dave Giles doing something stupid in front of a girl. Now, we'd both had busy weeks and I knew I was only seeing Dave on Monday (after editing some property work in the morning) to record episode 8 of Whiskey and Things, as well as have a photo shoot for his next EP cover, which also turned last minute into a shoot for a promo music video for one of the songs off that EP, which I also had to record Bass for.... I hope you're getting the impression of how busy this day became. I thought I'd be able to get my shot of him being stupid in front of our wonderful make up artist Emma during the day while we were doing the shoot, where Dave was dressed rather foolishly, but then we decided to keep the theme for the EP cover secret until it's release, so shooting of the challenge had to wait until later on in the day... much later. 

With Dave flying to Australia for a three week tour the next morning, we had to shoot something by the end of the day and we were running out of time, daylight and heat (it was freezing and dave doesn't like to wear shoes... I know right!?) So my ideas to do something outside like `running with scissors', `crossing the road on a red man' where out of the question so we started shooting some things inside which to be honest were pretty `lowbrow' and for maybe the first time ever, I allowed Dave to delete the RAW files from my camera, never to be seen again... well maybe except one.

After a long day with options running out we thought it was time to get some pizza in which gave me the idea for what you see above, implying that Dave may have been a little naughty with the pizza box and a pair of scissors, which can be considered stupid because you should never risk melted cheese near your `gentleman's agreements'.... That's not coming from experience, just common sense. I wish I could have implied Dave's nudity a little more but I'd seen a little too much of that already for one day.... and that's a story for another time. Emma is looking suitable shocked by the contents of the pizza box and I hope her expression implies that there may be an extra ingredient on her pizza she didn't order.... especially as she's a vegetarian. 

If you're at all interestested, this was image was shot with a 24-70mm f2.8L @ f2.8 with some soft boxes for illumination which were already set up for filming... nice and simple.

So, I'll admit, not my best work, but I'm glad I delivered something and didn't miss my deadline, sometimes you just have to shoot something and hope you can polish it up later. Please keep your challenges coming in and I promise next week's photo will be more classy, arty and technically interesting. Be sure to tune in to Episode 8 of Whiskey and Things to find out what I'll be photographing next week. Thanks and have a great week! Nick.


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Whiskey and Things cheeky extra sausage nude pizza shocking stupid stupidity Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:03:48 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 7 - Shot of the Week

I'm really enjoying my weekly photo assignments being set by the viewers of my web show 'Whiskey and Things' which I host  with my good friend Dave Giles. They're getting me out shooting and making me think about my photography in new and exciting ways, and I'm looking forward to all the suggestions in the coming weeks.

My challenge this week came from our viewer Rosie who asked me to photograph 'The brightest thing I could find' which I accepted because I loved the freedom it allowed me to come up with something a little different. My first thoughts did fly straight to bright lights or something to do with the Sun and interesting ways I could capture bright objects. Then my mind wandered towards the idea of some street photography, shooting bright, bold and loud characters around London, and these were all ideas I had every intention to attempt later in the week, but as with a lot of photography, the perfect shot turned up without me even planning it.

My co-host Dave Giles had recently become an uncle for the first time and his Brother Stephen and Sister in law Emma were nice enough to ask me to take some photos of their new baby, 3 week old James. I jumped at the chance and went about the shoot as I normally would, not even thinking that I was going to get my shot of the week from it. I took a few hundred photos on the day with a variety of different setups but one shot I wanted to nail was the 'cute feet' pose with parent's hands forming a heart shape around them. I'd seen an example of this kind of thing in my research and it was something I really wanted to try and put my own spin on.

After the shoot when I was back home editing, this shot was one of the first I worked on because I was pretty excited about how it was going to turn out. Using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop I converted the image to black and white, but also produced a layer of pinkish tones on a separate layer which I masked out at the edges to emphasise 
the heart shape, and make it stand out from the rest of the picture. It worked really well and I wondered how I could make this my shot of the week, and then I hit me that with the baby's feet, and the heart shape formed by his parents hands, it really struck my as an image of a bright future to come for the three of them, and there it was, the brightest thing I found that week. All together now.... awwwww!

While you all empty your sick buckets, I'll let you know that lighting wise this shot was pretty simple. It was shot in a conservatory on a nice sunny day so I was using mainly natural light, but with a wireless flash set up to illuminate a white back drop I had set up for some other images, this helped make the area within the heart a little bright than the outside. I did exaggerate this a little in post using vignette and I think it works nicely. I used my 50mm f1.2L lens set at f2.8 for a nice shallow depth of field and had the camera set to ISO 100 at 125th of a second. It's a simple shot which would have worked without the pink, but I thought it made a nice change.

Thanks for reading this weeks blog, I hope you found useful and entertaining in some way. I'd like to thank Stephen, Emma and of course, baby James for giving me the chance to get this shot as well as many others. Be sure to view episode 7 of 'Whiskey and Things' to find out what I'll be photographing next week, and be sure to leave your challenge suggestions in the comment section.

Thanks again. Nick.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Baby Baby Photography Dave Giles Family Heart Love New Born New Born Photography Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Photography Photography" Whiskey and Things Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:18:01 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 6 - Shot of the Week

Quite a simple one this week for my 'Whiskey and Things - Shot of the Week' challenge which came from our viewer Mark, who asked me to photograph a Pigeon doing something touristy. An easy task you might think, but it seems it's not as easy as it sounds. I had an extra busy week and was only able to go searching for my Pigeon on one day, which of course was the day with the worst weather, roll on Summer. Since feeding these birds was outlawed, their numbers have dropped, and when it's raining they're very hard to find anywhere near any kind of landmark which could allow me to call it a tourist. After a while looking and walking a bunch I found these two guys perched on a traffic light on Oxford Street. Thankfully they stuck around for a few sequences of the lights which meant I was able to time my shot to have the amber light illuminated behind our star in the foreground.

As calling these Pigeons 'touristy' was a bit of a long shot I decided to make the image a little comedic and add an 'I love London' bag and an umbrella to the subjects, making out that they're typical visitors to our capital city, shopping and sheltering from the rain, pretty standard really. As the rain had stopped for a brief moment when I took this, I also added fake rain with Photoshop for extra authenticity.  

Lens wise this week I went for my longest focal length so I could keep my distance which is an 85mm f1.2L which I had set at f2.8, ISO 250 at 250th of a second. Quite a standard shot polished up with some cheats, and why not. Log on next week for my version of 'The brightest thing I've ever seen'! Thanks.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles London Nature Nature Photography Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography No left Turn Oxford Street Photograph Photography Pigeons Tourist Traffic Lights Whiskey and Things Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 5 - Shot of The Week

So my latest 'Whiskey and Things - Shot of the Week' challenge came in the form of a poem, which was a nice change and also allowed my extra room for interpretation. Chris, a regular viewer wrote; 

The last challenge I raised was cruelly refused,
The Cup of Tea was never infused,
So here is a new one you should not decline,
For this is a Challenge wonderfully fine.

Here then the challenge, a relevant theme,
A little more risky than it may first seem,
For arrests have been made of players before,
Who gave it a go, for breaking the law.

An ancient game, one for the feet,
HopSCOTCH surely cannot defeat,
Dave and Nick, but chalkers beware,
The plodders may do much more than stare.

So, a game of Hopscotch is the subject, but who would be playing? Would the police, or plodders be involved? that could be fun. I know it had to involve the player holding a glass of Scotch Whiskey, that had to be done and why not include the bottle (even if I ended up using apple juice to save money and Whiskey, I'm not that silly.)

I wanted to do 
something a little more technically challenging this week, as the last couple of weeks have been pretty standard point and shoot images using a wide angle lens, which was perfect for those subjects, but I felt like having a little more fun. As Hopscotch involves the player jumping and a lot of movement, I could go one of two ways, capture a frozen moment in time, crisp as if I've paused time itself, or have fun with some longer shutter times capturing blur. My first attempt what the latter. 

My 'Hopper' for my first attempt was my good friend and co-host Mr Dave Giles so we got our chalk out and started drawing. I was trying to use a long shutter time to capture the blur of Dave's hopping and then using off-camera flash, illuminate him at one end capturing a more defined 'Dave'. I wanted to shoot this at night, so the low light levels could allow me to have the shutter open longer without over exposing the shot. I had a couple of test shots at this, but before I could start tweaking settings and actually get close to a photo that I could be proud of, the heavens opened and stopped shooting (as you might have seen on this weeks episode), washing away our Hopscotch and making a barefoot Mr Giles extremely cold. Shoot over. 

This shoot needed rethinking. I really wanted to capture the 'Whiskey' flying out of the glass as my subject hopped, and that was going to be hard using the technique I tried with Dave, so I decided to go with the 'freezing a moment in time' option rather than a ghostly blur, as I was running out of time and the weather was being as unpredictable as ever. This being the case, I also decided to shoot without drawing the Hopscotch, and Photoshop it in afterwards, removing the risk off spending hours drawing one only for it to be destroyed again, but adding crushed pieces of chalked to the pavement would help the realism of the 'cheat'.

On Monday as soon as I saw a gap in the clouds I asked my buddy Oscar to help me out as 'Hopper number 2' and he came up with the genius idea of wearing a 'Kermit the Frog Onesie' (Yes, a housemate of ours has one, and no, it's a guy, naming no-one, although wasn't the guy on the tube with the Ducks a couple of weeks ago a gentleman for helping me out!)… anyway, having Kermit the Frog 'Hopping' was perfect. 

This attempt I was going to shoot in daylight, again using two off-camera strobe flashes triggered by infa-red as well as a polarising filter so I could control the exposure of the sky easier as I wanted it to pop nice and blue behind the greens of Kermit and the nice reds of the brick wall I'd decided to shoot against. After some experimenting with flash settings and aperture, we had our set up, all that was needed now was a perfect hop from Oscar, getting as high as he could and flinging the 'whiskey' out the glass at just the right time. We had some great efforts but it was when we down to our last glass,  Oscar proved that white men can jump, leaping into the air and flinging his fluid perfectly to give you the image you see at the top of this page. Love it!

The lens I used for this was my 24-70mm 2.8L all the way out at 24mm, set at f7.1 to get a nice crisp focus and I had the camera at
ISO 320 with a 200th sec shutter speed which is the fastest the Canon 5Dmk2 allows when using flash. I used two off-camera flash guns on stands both with flash benders. 

So this shot was a little bit more if a challenge than past weeks but I think this shot is one of my favourites so far. Keep your suggestions coming in, I love hearing them and they really make me think about my photography, which is one of the reasons I started this in the first place. Thank you so much. Catch more about our failed attempt on this weeks 'Whiskey and Things' as well as hearing what I've decided to shoot for next week.

I hope you like this shot Chris, thanks for the challenge, as you can see from this final image, Oscar enjoyed it very much.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles Hopscotch Johnnie Walker Johnnie Walker Black Label Kermit Kermit the Frog London Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Oscar Golding Scotch Strobe Flash Whiskey and Things Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:17:03 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 4 - Shot of the Week So during the third episode of my web series 'Whiskey and Things' with Dave Giles and myself, I was set the challenged by a viewer to photograph 'a million of something', and I have to say it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. My first thoughts were the obvious ones, grains of sand, stars in the sky, cells in a hand etc, but I didn't want to go down that microscopic route so I started looking in different areas. I started researching London's bridges to find out how many rivets or light bulbs they had been constructed with, but no joy, no number with more than four or five zeros. I tried to find out how many gallons of water rush through the Thames Barrier every second in the hope that I might come up with my 'Magic Million', but I couldn't find the facts to back it up. Then I remembered an episode of BBC's Top Gear I had watched a while back which mentioned that that the Bugatti Veyron was worth a cool million quid to manufacture, but they sold it for around £750 grand at the time making a loss on every one. A million…. pounds, in car form, that was good enough for me.

So, where to find an Veyron? Well I'm not really going to find one in Shepherd's Bush so I had to look further afield. As a freelance photographer, I'm lucky enough to be able to do a wide range of jobs, one of which is shooting property around Mayfair. Now, as much as you might like to think that Bugatti's are parked up outside every Tesco Express in that part of town, sadly that's not the case, but I know I'd seen one before in a show room on Berkeley Square, so I decided I was going to try my luck by just walking in off the street and asking to photograph their 1.8 Million Euro Hyper Car. The showroom in question was Jack Barclay, a Bentley dealership and I payed them a visit on a day when I was shooting property jobs which I always like to wear a suit for (thought it would help my cause). I entered the dealership and explained to the nice lady on the front desk about our show and my challenge and she wonderful enough to give me full freedom to photograph the car. My Dad always told me, 'You don't ask, you don't get', and that was very true in this case, so thank you to Jack Barclay Bentley for allowing me such wonderful access.

I shot the car using a tripod just so I could keep the ISO low meaning a longer shutter time. I got nice and low on the main shot making the car look grand and it also helped show the wheels off nicely. The angle I captured the Veyron at meant I got a nice reflection of the street outside on the bonnet meaning it almost looks mirrored, such was the incredible shine of the paint job, which I loved because you could see the awesome Carbon Fibre through the lacquer. Lens wise, because it was a tight space and I wanted to get quite close, I went for the 17-40mm f4L again (I'll use a different lens next week I promise). My settings for the main shot were ISO 100 at f7.1 (I wanted all the car in focus) with a shutter time of 0.4 seconds and the lens wide open at 19mm. I didn't alter much in post, but I did have the varied white balance to work with, because of the strong warm/yellow lights of the show room and the cool/blue light of the street outside the window, there was a distinct difference so I tried to mix them up a bit and have some fun playing with some filters to even up the image. I'm pleased with this shot, but I would be great to shoot it outside the showroom on the open road. One day. 

To find out what I've been challenged to photograph next week, be sure to watch the latest episode of 'Whiskey and Things'.(It's quite a long), it's gonna be a fun one which I'm gonna need some help on with some buddies, so be sure to log on next week to find out how I got on. Thanks for reading. Nick.


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Bugatti Bugatti Veyron Dave Giles Jack Barclay" London Mayfair Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Veyron Whiskey and Things long exposure Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:13:35 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 3 - Shot of the Week So, already it's time for my second 'Shot of The week' from my web series 'Whiskey and Things' which I host with my friend Dave Giles. Each week we ask our viewers to challenge me to take a photograph by suggesting a theme or brief that I have to work with. The first week I challenged myself to shot a London landmark incorporating the light streams of passing vehicles which you can view and read about in my previous blog. This week I was challenged to photograph 'Three ducks minding their own business', which was a great brief which was broad enough to have some fun with.

My first thought of course, living in West London was to head to Richmond Park which is somewhere I've shot a lot before and I know there's a lot of great wildlife there, but once again, the great British weather was going to make that a misery, and let's face it, as much as ducks can be fun to shoot…. It's what everyone was expecting, so I thought I'd do something a little different.

The brief was 'Three ducks minding their own business' so I started of thinking of places or situations were people have to mind their own business or they're considered rude. Some ideas were sitting next to a couple kissing and not watching, or seeing someones open diary and not reading it, then it crossed my mind that one place where even making eye contact can be considered 'creepy' (unfortunately) is the London Underground…. and what's the most annoying thing you can do on the Underground? That's right, read the paper over someone's shoulder…. The horror of it. So I thought it would be cool to have three ducks clearing minding their own business playing a crossword and one duck committing the offence.

Of course, taking this shot with live ducks would have been impossible (and dangerous if Swans get involved… they hate giving up their seats.) so the only way I could make it work was to superimpose the ducks in the tube train, pretty tricky perspective wise, or simpler (and more comedic) was to use cute toy ducks and have more freedom to arrange them in an interesting way…. which is what I decided to run with.

My buddy 'Pinchy' helped me out with this pic which turned out to be fun to shoot, especially as we had a family with small children sitting opposite us laughing at two dudes playing with rubber ducks. Technically it was a pretty simple shot with the 17-40mm f4L again, set all the way out at 17mm with an aperture of f4.5, and even though I was purposely shooting on a train that was above ground for more natural light, it was a gloomy day (of course) so I had to bump up the ISO to 4000 so I could avoid using flash and still keep a rapid shutter speed of 1/250th of a second to get a sharp image.

Lightroom work was also pretty simple, all I did really was straighten the image and desaturate the colour a little, except for the yellows which I boosted a little to help the ducks pop out of the shot a bit more. Some people might have made the whole image black and white leaving the yellow ducks, but I've never been a fan of that…. a little too 'Ikea' for me. 

So there you go, Thanks for reading this instalment of my blog, I hope it was educational and entertaining in some way. If you've already watched episode 3 of 'Whiskey and Things' you'll know that this week I'll be photographing 'a million of something', so log on next week to find out how I get on with that one. 

Thanks again. Nick.

[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Dave Giles District Line London London Underground Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Rubber Ducks Whiskey and Things Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Whiskey and Things Episode 2 - Shot of the Week Trafalgar Square, London.Trafalgar Square, London. On Wednesday January 15th 2014, together with a good friend of mine, launched a web series on You Tube. Dave GIles and I started 'Whiskey and Things' for a few reasons: to help promote our upcoming work, to engage with our followers on a new, more personal level and thirdly, which was my main motivation, to better ourselves and stride forward into the new year learning and using new skills. Video editing and shooting is an area that I've always wanted to move into, and thanks now to the Adobe Creative Cloud, I was able to justify purchasing the necessary software….. I just needed to learn how to use it, and what better way than to start a show with one of my best friends, where I have a deadline every week, and failure would mean letting down him, myself and our followers. Nothing like jumping into the deep end for a nice steep learning curve.

I decided I would ask viewers to challenge me to take a photograph each week, based on a imaginative brief, to maybe challenge me to shoot things I wouldn't normally think of. The first shot of the week was actually a challenge I set myself, which was a simple night shot of a London landmark. What a better way to start the year than getting a nice shot of my home city, and I hadn't done any long exposure night shooting in the Capital for a while and it was always something I really enjoyed. I set myself the task of using the moving cars more than I had in the past, to create beautiful light streams.

The weather on the night I decided to shoot on was touch and go but I made the trip out starting in Piccadilly Circus. I'd shot there before and got a shot I'm very proud of which you can see in my London Landmarks gallery, but it was back when the old style 'Sanyo' sign was still up, so I thought I might try to update my gallery with a fresh pic. As with a lot of views in London, scaffolding caused me to knock that idea on the head and move on. After a scout around I ended up in Trafalgar Square, and the heavens decided to open, in style… wonderful.

With no umbrella and no hat, I had to get my shot as quick as I could. I was shooting with a Canon 5Dmk2 which is pretty water resistant, but I didn't really want to test this out to much. I decided to go with a 17-40mm f4L lens to get the widest shot I could, either to fit in the height of Nelson's column, or the entire width of the roundabout I'd set up camp next to. After a few test shots I committed to taking a portrait shot of Nelson's Column.

This was going to be a long exposure so I was using a tripod and set the timer for 2 seconds to avoid and camera shake from me pressing the shutter…. sounds very cautious I know but even the smallest shake will create a softness in the image. I went down to 100 ISO to help keep the exposure long and set the aperture to f10, which also helped me have a longer shutter time as well as give me a nice long depth of field to keep everything in the shot nice and sharp.

After a few shots I had learnt the sequence of the traffic lights and knew the best time to open the shutter to get the most movement without the cars stopping in front of me, spoiling the nice smooth motion streams I was trying to create. I shot 10 frames in all, settling for a 10 second shutter speed, the last attempt being the one I decided on which you can see above. I managed to time it perfectly so the traffic lights in front of me were green just at the right time to let a bus drive all the way around the roundabout uninterrupted for the whole 10 seconds, giving me long, continuous streams. You can in fact see the bus on the right hand side of the image in the distance, very lucky to get this, but I'm glad I did.

I didn't do an awful lot in Adobe Lightroom to alter the image, just simple white balance tweaks and a blue filter over the top half of the image to make the sky a little richer. I also straightened the image and fixed the vertical distortion caused by using such a wide angle lens, which was at 27mm when I got this image. On the right is the original image with the orange tinge we all know and love, I believe giving this a cooler, blue tint is far more pleasing on the eye. There were a few nice shots from this very short shoot which I've included below, but I feel that the long light streams giving a 'merry go round'/carnival feel was a clear stand out for me. You can find this image in my 'London Landmarks' gallery.

What do you think? Did I make the right choice? Which one is your favourite? Please leave your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading, look out next week for a image of 'Three ducks minding their own business'…. Wish me luck!



[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) London Nelson's Column Nick Kent Nick Kent Photography Trafagar Square long exposure night photography Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:11:50 GMT
The Struts - Camden Monarch, Dec 4th 2013

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to travel around the UK with Dave Giles, Bribry and Danny Gruff on the Upload Live 'Insert Your Own Punchline Tour', taking photographs, shooting video and generally helping out. I came away from the tour with some great memories, one of which being the pre-show warm ups when the guys would stick on their favourite tunes to entertain the VIPs and get pumped up for the show.. Bribry's choice every night caught everyones ear, a song called 'It could have been me'... by The Struts. 

As soon as the tour was over I made an effort to look these guys up and saw they had a show soon at The Monarch in Camden, so dropped them a message asking if it was cool to shoot the show. I wanted to see if these guys were as good as they sound on record, and especially if frontman Luke Spiller could deliver his impressive vocal range for a full set.. I'm very happy to say that he hit every note, all night, and sounded incredible. 

A great voice grabs peoples attention, but it takes a great collective band to keep a room full of punters dancing and catchy tunes to stick in your head long after your ears stop ringing, and with Gethin Davies (Drums), Jed Elliott (Bass) and Addo Slack (Guitar) there was no danger of anyone wanting to slip out and catch the early train. Well structured set, tight as, and entertaining from start to finish.

The guys were putting on the show to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and selling roses to the crowd as they walked in the venue for a pound each, most of which ended up on the stage (at least in petal form) by the end of their self labeled set of 'Glamourous Indie Rock'.

To photograph they were a joy, each 'Strut' keeping me on my toes through out the set. Out of the four lenses I had with me I only used the 50mm which I actually shot at f1.2 seeing as they weren't the brightest stage lights in the world, and the 17-40mm f4 with help of a little flash. To their credit the band didn't mind me getting up close and personal a few times with the wide angle all the way out at 17mm, which meant I was able to get some shots that I felt really captured the intimacy of the show. I tried to get the shot and get out of the way as soon as I could, no one likes getting a few flashes to the face when they're performing, but it meant I was able to get shots like the one you see at the top of this page. A great image of Luke pointing right down the camera.. Love it. That's going straight in the Live Music Portfolio.

I do wish I had cracked out the 85mm to get a closer shot of Gethin on the drums, but I'd read that the rose's were going to end up on stage at the end of the show, so wanted to make sure I had the wide angle to catch the moment, and the 85mm would have been far to close to shot any of the other guys, seeing as the bar was packed, I guess I'll have to get that in the new year at their next show.

In all an amazing show which I know a few of my mates (Dave Giles and Bribry) wish they could have attended.. well, they'll have to wait until Feb 6th when they'll be playing seconds up the road from The Monarch at The Barfly. Be sure to log onto for info on tickets and to also check out their video for 'It could have been me'. 

To view my full gallery from the night click here - The Struts, The Monarch, Camden - Dec 4th 2013


[email protected] (Nick Kent Photography) Camden Live Monarch Music Nick Kent Photography Teenage Cancer Trust The Struts Fri, 06 Dec 2013 08:38:43 GMT