Jack Of Clubs


Todays Post is just a quick update and showcase of a set of images I did recently for musician Adair Murray, better known by his stage name Jack Of Clubs.

The idea for the series of images was a mix of 80’s flamboyance, with an Industrial tone and elements of Nature. A tall order.

Our initial plan was to use the abandoned St. Peters Seminary in Cardoss. Focus on the strong lines and structure of the building and build the image on it’s drab, grey palette.

The Seminary is a popular building for derelict enthusiasts to visit and take pictures, so it shouldn’t have been to difficult to gain access too. Unfortunately on this occasion part of the roof had recently collapsed, exposing the asbestos insulation, so it just wouldn’t have been safe to approach.

But like any shoot, being able to adapt is key. It’s just not acceptable to pack your bags and say “ forget it”. Especially when the client, myself and the make-up artist had to travel upwards of 20 miles and trek half an hour uphill with our gear.

So we scouted about and found another, smaller derelict building nearby. I’m not really sure what that says about the local economy in Cardross, but it was handy for us.

We set about setting up for the shot and just as we got ready, in the tradition of Scottish weather it began to rain. Now being a photographer in Scotland their are two items I always have in my bag that are more important than specialist lenses, lights or even the camera. Bin bags and Duct tape.

With these two items you can pretty much deal with any situation the Scottish weather throws at you, within reason. So I bagged and taped up the lights and battery and got to shooting.

To keep the images simple and elegant, they are lit from a single light source. 3/4 from camera right. For the shots of Adair in front of the bars a reflector with a 40º honeycomb grid was used, which gives a pleasing strong shadow and brings out crisp detail in the subjects face.

The images of Adair behind the bars used a small soft-box positioned camera right about 10 feet high pointing down top give an almost unlit, very natural light feel. The reason for for using a soft-box in these shots is that with the reflector and grid, the shadows from the bars would have been too defined and very distracting. Another way to get around this would been to have the lights on the other side of the bars with Adair, but again this would have read as false to the viewer, with unnatural directed light coming from an unknown source.

The depth in the image is created by using an 85mm lens with a ND8 Neutral density to keep the lens wide open. The 85mm on an SLR gives the same compression and depth as the human eye, again adding to the natural feel.

Thanks again for reading.

For any questions about this or any of my work, please don’t hesitate to get inn touch. I don’t give equipment or shooting specs out when i post, because it doesn’t mean anything out with the context of the shoot, but if anyone really wants to know, I am happy to oblige on occasion.

Client/Model – Adair Murray

Make-Up – Debbie Montgomery of Sparklefizz Artistry


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