An update

I thought I’d write an update to explain my limited communication of late.  I have had to have some surgery and so have taken time out in order to do so.  I’m on the mend now and so working on some projects as I recover.

I am having to take a few more weeks out before I can start working for my wonderful clients, but I am able to take bookings for late February on if you’d like to get in before I’m booked.

In the meantime I’d like to say a big thank you to the NHS for looking after me so superbly.  We are incredibly fortunate in the UK to have a health care system with such dedicated and caring staff.



This evening we went to a networking event locally.  I always enjoy these events, getting to know new people and if we are honest taking the time to promote ourselves.  However, these events aren’t all just about the hard nosed business side of things (or at least the one I like most aren’t).  This event was not only about local businesses supporting each other, but it also supports a superb charity local to where we are based, Yateley Industries, who support adults with disabilities giving them independence, employment and support.  I know a few of the residents and can appreciate how well they are supported.

So, it’s really not all about money, new deals and promotion, there are many opportunities to make new connections while doing good.  Surely if all business was like this we’d make a better world?



A little update

With the summer here and the impending arrival of a new member of the Clarke family due any day we’ve still been busy.  We’ve had the pleasure of working with some great families recently and have taken on some new commercial clients too.  Lots of our work comes from recommendation which means a lot.

We’ve also been working with some new suppliers looking at creative options, including bringing a new canvas supplier in who have created some great work, but are also nice and local – something we try and do with all our work.  Not only is it really important to us to support other local businesses, but it also means you can build a relationship with the supplier which can only be a positive.

We’ve also been looking at other print options with a new printable wallpaper being part of what we can offer.  This stuff is amazing and offers some great creative options.  When we have client we can share the final product of we will share.

composite, photography

Composite Images

I recently posted a photograph in response to a request to make a young lad a wizard.  This simple composite seems like a good image to demonstrate how to create such an image.  This isn’t a full tutorial, but gives you an idea of where to start.

The first thing you need to do is to plan a little.  I knew what I was after and so at the end of a studio session we took this simple shot.  We aren’t worried about the background lighting here.  We want to light the model so there is light between his hands spilling on his face, (from a light positioned below) and what will be light from a window, so on the left as we look.

The basic studio shot.  Here we aren't worried about the background light, just the direction of the light source to match that in the final composite

The basic studio shot. Here we aren’t worried about the background light, just the direction of the light source to match that in the final composite

Here we'e taken the image from the background with simple masking.

Here we’e taken the image from the background with simple masking.

We’ve used masking to cut the model from the background and then carried out some sharpening and simple adjustments, knowing it will be a black and white final image.

Here's the internal for where we want to place the wizard.  It's the wrong way round....

Here’s the internal for where we want to place the wizard. It’s the wrong way round….

This factory shot gives us the look we want, but the light source in the wrong side, so we simply flip it.

Here's our shot of the moon, background deleted

Here’s our shot of the moon, background deleted

Here’s the moon.  When popped in to the image it’s a little too sharp, so we soften it a little.

And this is our final image

And this is our final image

The final image is a composite of the parts above.   This is created in Photoshop, using layers (alway use layers!).

The final image is moody, better for the black and white treatment, and made for one very happy model!



This morning I had the pleasure of visiting a family at their home to take family portraits.  We had planned to be there this afternoon, but with the weather front moving in we moved things forward.

I love spending time with people, it’s part of the joy of photography and this morning was an absolute highlight on that front.  The family were incredibly fun and it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with them.  The home setting always seems to produce a more relaxed feel and for a good experience for all.

It was clear to see that their was a lot of love and friendship in the group and that I was asked to join them to capture some of that in imagery is part of the pleasure of my work, but also it is part what makes a photograph far more than an object.  It is not simply a memory captured or a print, but more.  If you’re interested in more on what a ‘photograph’ is, then have a look at the blog on my documentary site http://www.mark-clarke.com

Now, off to edit…..


This evening….

we are off to Farnborough Rugby Club to cover their Colts’ award dinner. For those who know me personally, outside of my family and photography my biggest passion is rugby. While my playing days are well behind me, the sport is not. This evening we will be covering the event itself and also arranging formal photos for the players.  It’s always a privilege to spend time with the young sportsman. Their commitment and hard work, combined with their sense of humour is something enjoyable to be around. It’s also the way we like to approach our work. We wish all those attending well.


Our Blog

We’ve been blogging for a while on our sister site – http://www.mark-clarke.com but we also want to keep you up to date with our commercial work, what we are doing, what’s interesting us and maybe even a hint or tip or two!

We’d love you to follow us and if there’s anything you’d like covered, let us know.

The next couple of weeks are busy for us.  We are covering a formal dinner tomorrow and on Saturday we are off to a private address to do a family portrait session as a Fathers’ Day gift.

Next week brings a variety of work including Gig on the Green – a great charity fund raiser in Yateley, Hampshire.

Thanks for reading, until next time….