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Alien by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A slight detour from the vehicular photography, this time someone asked me to make some shots with their figurine from the Alien movies. The figurine was around 25cm.I quickly constructed a spaceship 'corridor' by taping some black drinking straws together and then gluing the tape to some cardboard. The rest was smoke and light, and a glycerin and water mix sprayed onto the alien for additional shine and saliva. The results in-camera were actually good enough that I (fortunately) didn't... 
have to do a lot of additional editing or processing. I shot with tungsten white balance to give the bluish tinge reminiscent of the movies, and in post I removed any obvious joints in the model and added some saliva strands to the teeth (using a pic of dripping honey!). Some of the images were desaturated to give them a colder and more remote feel. I don't think the last few images of the whole figure on the rock (actually a doorstop) or the close-ups were completely convincing but anyway. I'm happy (and so is the client) with the corridor shots. You can almost hear the hissing...Video with music can be seen here.

American Muscle by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Another scale model commission, this time from a collector who wanted me to create some posters of some of his collection. I selected the models that I felt were the most photogenic, namely the primary coloured muscle cars plus a couple of others, all 1/18 scale. Since most collectors of the real versions spend a lot of time tinkering in the garage I decided to build a scale garage to put them inside and photograph. Basically a few sheets of cardboard sprayed with concrete texture paint... 
with a window cut out of one of them. A few items of paraphernalia, such as springs from clothes pegs and a black drinking straw doubled as suspension springs and an exhaust pipe respectively. A vaping device and a small lamp outside the window created the musty, smokey atmosphere that I wanted, giving the cars presence, vintage and mystery. The client also wanted some action shots (naturally) but with the strict caveat to not cause any damage to these precious collectibles. Thus the hardest part of the set-ups was ensuring that the models remained in mint condition before and after the shoot. They did. Black bars were added to the top and bottom of the images to give them a 'cinematic' look. Once again, success was all about finding the right angles and lighting, along with a few practical effects.  

Banger Racing 2018 by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Possibly not as thrilling as last year's racing but we nevertheless had a great time in the company of our friends Nat, Rob and young Harry at this annual event in Powys. The stubborn rain slowed the pace somewhat, clogging the track and no doubt many wheels, but the determined drivers battled through the resistance to send mud flying and smoke billowing in every direction. In any case, I could barely hold my camera steady laughing so much at the commentary offered by a hilarious duo blaring over the field through the ubiquitous speakers. They clearly enjoyed their drink and it was worth attending just to listen to them. Good weekend, good fun.

The Race by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Less of an epic drama and more of a random assortment the client gave me three of his small Formula One models to photograph. Luckily he didn't give me a deadline and wasn't concerned about showing a surrounding environment, which fortunately meant I didn't have to construct a winding track, spectator stands or advertisement banners. In fact, as the models were detailed he was more interested in close up and dynamic shots, which is indeed what I returned to him.Formula One racing is a little... 
too boring for me to ever watch so I tried to find interesting angles and add a little drama with some smoke and light. The small models, around 10cm each, had enough details to allow some macro shots in addition to wide angle and zoom shots. Now I'm wondering what I could shoot if I could get near the real thing...Being Alpha Whiskey there naturally had to be at least one obligatory collision/crash shot and for this I used the birthday cake sparkler. Shooting models this way allows one to get into angles and positions that might not be practical on a real scale, for example the worm's eye view in front of the oncoming cars. The video montage of this shoot (with music) can be seen here. Anyway, job done, another client happy; on to the next one... 

The Chase by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Another scale model commission turned into a project, this one an epic action extravaganza of 43 images, of which 25 are chosen to be presented here. The client wanted bespoke posters for her son's bedroom, giving me the briefest of briefs, namely a chase involving police cars. Naturally. These were all shot with 1/36 die cast scale models using as much practical effects and props as possible, such as the road and grass and some of the smoke. Editing filled in the rest, including the... 
backgrounds and debris. Not all the images are convincing, of course, but they all collaborate to tell the story, the full version of which can be seen on video here.  Once again, despite the outward appearance of merely playing with toys, this was an exercise in composition and framing, finding the right angles to make the images as dynamic as possible. The photography didn't take too long but the editing took a while, with some images requiring upwards of 25 layers. This time was obviously factored into my fee.  Anyway, I hope you get a flavour of the action below. There aren't many people shooting this kind of action with die cast models so hopefully this brings you something fairly original. 

Stately Home Interiors by Alpha Whiskey Photography

A somewhat intriguing departure from the small clique of scale model clients or those wanting help with their travel photos, interior photography adds to the ever eclectic mix that I am grateful to enjoy.This post won't presume to offer any instruction but merely a flotilla of ideas using examples below from a number of stately homes and historical properties. 

RIAT 2018 by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Another year, another visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, this time in the company of friends. Much the same aircraft and displays as last year so we didn't stay for the full show and perhaps the limited variety of this set reflects my indifference. Still, the incredible pilots put on a good show despite the oppressive heat under the searing sunshine. Blinding rays pierced through the rings of undulating vapour trails as the deafening afterburners roared through the sky. These... 
machines could undoubtedly find a missile lock far more easily than our cameras could a focus lock, our rattling shutters presumably no match for the cannons on the underbellies of these aerial knights. As they careened past in all directions it proved a trifle difficult to keep up but the show was efficiently organised and we enjoyed what we saw. A worthy distraction.

RAF Centenary Flypast by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Not the greatest images in the world but great to see the planes over the Mall as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Royal Air Force. Forget Top Gun, these guys know how to do it and make it look good. Some were on display at Horseguard's Parade. Happy 100th Birthday RAF. 

Postcards From Belgrade by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a pleasant if unspectacular city, whose friendly and laid-back atmosphere belie the fact that the country was at war a mere quarter century ago. The city is modern and developed, with a plethora of beautiful churches, the most dominant being the Saint Sava Temple with an as yet unfinished interior.  The outwardly unassuming Alexander Nevsky Cathedral probably has the most beautiful and colourful interior, while the Ruziça Church on Kalemegdan has... 
chandeliers made from bullets and swords. The city's history is exemplified at Kalemegdan, a large ascending park at the top of the old city whose summit hosts the Belgrade Fortress. The open military museum here allows one to walk amongst divisions of tanks and rocket launchers while marvelling at the huge dinosaurs in the Jurassic kids park nearby. The Victor Monument overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers provides a classic sunset venue. The long city streets are replete with bountiful shops and eateries, Skadarska being a popular evening destination with its cobbled streets and live music. Lots of museums too, we only had time to enjoy the impressive art collection, including many by Yugoslavian artists, at the National Museum. We thank the friendly and helpful inhabitants of Belgrade and their tasty food; it made our short visit enjoyable despite the oppressive heat. 

Classic Cars In The Park 2018 by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Some real cars this time rather than the models. Another year, another display of pretty much the same old wheels and another challenge to shoot them from interesting angles. Thus, a lot of low shots with a wide-angle lens looking up to capture their imposition and scale, and processed with a slightly vintage look in keeping with their ages. The Corvette Stingray is a personal favourite of mine, hence the cover photo; they simply don't design them like that any more. Logos, wheels and even the exhausts underneath the vehicles were all fair game. And then it got a little too hot for comfort so I packed up and left.I used a variety of lenses, all of which had a polariser to cut out reflections, except the 45mm. 

Introducing SlickPic's Exhibit

Your Portfolio

The Portfolio is the place to showcase your very best photos. Think of it as the collage of the best pictures you've taken. It's separate from your Albums and you can choose whether to make it visible.

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As always, the privacy of your photos and videos is in your control. Because SlickPic offers both private and public photo sharing, you can host all your photos privately and choose to submit only your best photos to your public Portfolio.

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The Exhibit allows you to showcase and promote your best work like never before, offering greater visibility and recognition. SlickPic's team of curators looks through all photos in public Portfolios and adds the photos they love to be displayed in the Exhibit.

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