Adam Rowney

Cats & Canals – A Trip To Amsterdam

Trams and trains, bicycles and walks. To museums and galleries, alongside canals, bars, and cafes. So many different beers to try, so many portions of chips to go with it. Amsterdam was gorgeous, really beautiful, and sometimes vastly different from street to street. It was my first trip to the Netherlands, which is odd considering I have traveled all over the world, but never to this beautiful country that’s practically on my doorstep.

As usual I took my trusty little Canon G5x. She doesn’t have the quality of a DSLR, but I like to keep mobile, and focus more on exploring. I find having to carry around and look after a large DSLR to be quite limiting at times. Sadly I had to leave Howl my drone at home, as drone laws in The Netherlands are quite tight.

We spent a vast majority of our time there walking around the cute little streets, checking out as many bars as possible, and trying different beers in each and every one. Every little place had it’s quirks, and we tried to stick with highly recommended places, or places that had an interesting vibe.

Cycling around the canals was really great fun, and for anyone visiting the city, I would definitely recommend it. The bikes are big, but they are surprisingly fast, and super comfortable. It also made going from place to place so much faster, and allowed us to explore areas we would have otherwise missed!

We weren’t so keen on going to the heart of the city, as it was quite touristy, but there were a few bars there we checked out, and of course the famous sex museum, which was surprisingly a lot larger than we thought, and was one of the best places we visited!

The sex museum is one of the more famous museums in Amsterdam, but Ella surprised me with a cat museum! An actual museum dedicated to cats within art! This made me so happy. It was full of interesting stories and gorgeous pieces of artwork collected over the years. Definitely one of my favourite places from the trip.

Not only is this adorably cute, but the painting style is gorgeous!

One of the best pieces in the museum. Catpocalypse!! It’s not every day you see a wizard trying to save the town from a giant cat-beast.

Most of the canals in Amsterdam were a lot closer together, so this was the closest thing we came to open water. The whole city was full of gorgeous apartments like this, with cute little bars all along the waterfronts.

A quick selfie amongst the tulips.

They look almost like glass, they were all so perfect.

I feel like it would be fun to climb one of these, but that might be just me.

A windswept Ella on a tulip farm. We had to hop the fence and jump across ad itch to get to this, but it was totally worth it!

Snuffling on a bar roof terrace, overlooking the barges in the canal.

Vaarwel Amsterdam xx

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


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


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