Adam Rowney

Test Shoot – Colleen Deary

With mixed feelings, the studio I work at is relocating out of the city. I have been shooting there for 3 years now, on a mix of commercial fashion and creative advertising, so it was a shame to hear the studio was coming to an end. But with every end comes a new beginning, a different path to learn new skills and to push myself creatively. I felt too many ideas were being recycled, so maybe this will help give a fresh perspective on the industry, and open new doors that will lead to better work.

This is the first time I have worked with Colleen, so it was great to work with someone fresh and exciting. I usually like a more subtle look to the angles and expressions used, but I loved the mix of ideas that Colleen brought with her. I’ve known Olivia for a few years, but only worked with her for the first time recently. We kept the styling simple, with soft lighting created with two umbrellas and two flashguns.

Model – Colleen Deary
Hair + Makeup – Olivia Jenkins

Test Shoot – Jessica Morfey

Probably my biggest frustration on set is how the hair looks in camera. I imagine if you ask any retoucher the most difficult aspect of a shoot, it would be rescuing badly styled hair. Fortunately I had Olivia on set, jumping in and out between shots making sure everything was perfect. I shoot a lot of commercial fashion, and a good Hair & Makeup Artist knows when to jump in and adjust; it can make such a difference to the images. In fact the whole team needs to be in tune with each other, or the resulting images just don’t have that certain quality. Needless to say, it affects numbers. Clients want results, and finding that balance between shooting quickly and efficiently, and shooting strong work, can be difficult to achieve. A good team makes that happen.

Model – Jessica Morfey
Hair + Makeup – Olivia Jenkins

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Scotland & The First Ascent

 

For the last two years Ella and I have been regularly hiking together. Mostly in the UK, mostly on flat terrain. It wasn’t until hiking out to the Northern Black Forest of Germany, and to Snowdonia in Wales that we started to get a taste for higher ground. In April 2016 we spent 2 weeks hiking in Germany, and while in Baden-Baden, we took a cable car up Mount Merkur. It was at the top looking down on the clouds below that really inspired me.

Initially we hinted to each other the possibilities of exploring Scotland together, with Glen Coe and the Isle of Skye both being top of our list. The draw for something exciting and new quickly pushed possibility to planning, and it was around that time that a sea to summit concept started to unfold in our minds. A mountains height is measured directly against a hypothetical sea level directly below. Yet most mountains are climbed from the beginning of a car park, hiking trail, or base camp, and this takes away from the actual height. So we planned a route that would take us from the shoreline, at the literal sea level, to the mountain and up. From there the route would take us back down again to the sea. With that in mind, we chose our route, booked where we were staying, made our driving playlists, and set off!

Castle Stalker, probably one of the most photogenic castles in Scotland, taken from above using Howl, my faithful drone. Castle Stalker was one of the first castles we came across before arriving at Glen Coe.

5 minutes after this was taken, I locked the keys in the boot. This might have been the last smile I saw on Ella’s face until until roadside services broke into the car for us!

This was taken on the Isle of Skye. From this vantage point, the winds were blowing at ±40mph. It really felt like you were going to be blown over the edge. We had to pin some of our equipment down before taking any photographs. The sound was incredible, and it made you feel alive!

It seems calm in these shots, but we were 504m up, the weather was turning, and it was quickly getting dark. Half way down, it started raining heavily, and the winds were still about 20-30mph at the bottom of the ridge.

After Skye, we made our way back to Glen Coe, where our final plans were to climb the Pap of Glen Coe. This was our sea to summit. This shot was taken about 200m up, just as the elevation started to increase. At 550m the terrain changed from fern covered wilderness to a steep and rocky dome. This was where it got trickier and we had to scramble quite a bit to the top. The rocks were slippery from the rain, and there was no easy way down.

Every 30-45 minutes we stopped for short break, to have some water, fruit and nuts, and most importantly, Kendal Mint Cake. After 4 hours and 742 metres up, exhausted and elated, we made it to the top. The views up here were incredible!

The weather started to turn pretty quickly, so we didn’t have much time at the summit. It started to rain about 10minutes after we got to the top. Sadly it was too windy to fly the drone.

By the time we made it back down, the weather had changed so much. Definitely not drone weather.

On the way back to home we stopped off to take photos, and I took this shot with my drone. It was raining, so I couldn’t keep her in the air too long. This was where I had locked the keys in the boot previously. A beautiful place to get locked out of the car!

Black & White – 27/11/16

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Not the first time I have photographed Thais, but definitely a step in a completely different direction. We had originally wanted our first shoot to have a similar black & white feel to this shoot, but we ended up changing direction, so it was nice to finally get that dark aesthetic shot with Thais.

I love shooting against gunmetal grey backgrounds for black & white photography, although it’s probably worth pointing out that any dark colour will obviously convert to a strong and striking black & white. A good example is from this shoot, which was done against a purple colorama. Flashguns and umbrellas were used for this, giving that harsher edge to the definition on the body. I kept the skin retouching quite minimal, and the background was retouched to keep the subtle transition of the light as smooth as possible.

Model – Thais Hilgenberg

Scouting Out Snowdonia

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Towards the end of July and during the beginning of August, Ella and I spent a few days traveling around Wales, scouting out the countryside, and shooting in some of the beautiful locations in and around Snowdonia. We knew it would be beautiful there, and during many of the days it was covered in mist, which just added to the grandeur of the area. So much so that we plan to revisit Snowdonia in the near future, with the possibility of climbing Mount Snowdon if the weather is right.

We camped in a tent when we were there, and we learnt two things. First, it was a lot colder than planned, so we spent the evening on the lake shore with a fire burning. In the night we snuffled up together hiding under the blankets to keep us warm. And second, the mist in the morning really was something special. Unzipping the tent and poking our heads out in the morning was a beautiful way to wake up.

To keep my travel pack as light as possible, I took my trusty little Canon G5x that I first took to Germany with me. It has become my go to camera when hiking. I need to keep the weight down, as my backpack is usually quite heavy due to the Drone I often travel with. While she is a heavy little beasty, she offers incredible footage taken from the air, so I am going to start using her more and more in the coming months.

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