Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Tattoos, discos, and quite a bit of over-exposure

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Portrait of myself, aged 19 (the disco on the right)

Once in a time long long ago I was a bit younger than I am today and I went and got ‘disco’ tattooed on the side of my torso with a friend of mine. Oooops!

East London’s finest tattoo artist Mr Henry Hate was the man we chose for the job way back in about 2005 and I thought I would go back to his shop ‘Prick’ for my recent portrait assignment. He agreed which was very nice of him. Check out his website here if you want to see some seriously fantastic examples of his work (they are examples of fantastically ‘disco-less’ tattooing I may hasten to add).

ANYWAY. I have to say I had one issue with this shoot and that was over lighting. Not being incredibly experienced in controlling light with portraits, I did find it quite a lot to think about when I’m also trying to maintain a comfortable, flowing conversation with my subject and direct them at the same time. I did get better over the course of the portrait assignment; in all I shot 5 people, and in practicing I gained more experience, but I’m definitely going out to do more portrait sessions so I can really get some real control over this powerful mode of photography. I can see it being real fun once I’ve got all of the technical considerations well and truly under my belt.

As I had decided not to spend a bomb on a off camera flash set up just as yet, I went for the good old natural light with Mr Henry Hate. Unfortunately for this session in my not particularly thinking state I think I made a bit of a rookie error by placing Henry in the middle of some very strong midday sunlight with white paper all around him and didn’t compensate for it properly; in the process I managed to produce a lot of over exposed photos that I’m definitely not putting up! = DOH DOH DOH.

I started to think a bit more sensibly towards the end of the shoot and dealt with the strong sunlight a lot better and cranked out some acceptable shots.

All in all it was not a great start to my portrait assignment but I do think I managed to get some decent headshots, one of which is below:

 

Henry Hate, owner of 'Prick' tattoos in London

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Written by Max Colson

March 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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