The camera loves ya, baby

Obviously Ryan Stark, being the global celebrity and media sweetheart that he is, can hire an internationally famous, award-winning ex-paparazzo-turned-artiste to create a few tasteful images. However, as Ryan’s somewhat more, er, real alter-ego, finances didn’t run to that.

But help was to hand. My daughter Emma, dusted off her Nikon and Fine Art Degree, specialising in photography I might add, and together we set about creating a few moody crime writer images for my website and social media.

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The chosen location was the Bonded Warehouse, just outside Stourbridge. A former industrial site, it has a plethora of old and derelict buildings which provided an atmosphere. The weather was overcast and there was a danger that we would have to seek an indoor location but fortunately the rain held off and there were even some rays of autumnal sunshine. Once we had cleared away the litter, empty lager cans and spent needles, and found the least irreverent graffiti to stand against, we set about making Ryan Stark look just a little bit moody. Also a little embarrassed as people walking their dogs looked on with some amusement.

Post production was a matter of looking at white levels and brightness/ contrast, along with a little judicious scaling and cropping. As I have an iMac and an extremely tight wallet, I used GIMP to manipulate the images. This is a fantastic application, if a little cumbersome, and I use it for all the images for my books and this website. Also, for the purposes of the website, they have been reduced in size by lowering the resolution.

Bear in mind I am no David Gandy (no, no idea who he is) and it is impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, I think Emma did a pretty good job.

Why not check out Emma’s Flickr page. Worth a look I assure you. If you are in the Midlands and require an excellent photographer with an eye to the posed and the informal, contact her through the site or through me.

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Emma Shaw

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