Marty’s Photo Blog

Street Photography, Love and Kindness in Niagara Falls

Street Photography, Love and Kindness in Niagara Falls

Street Photography, Love and Kindness in Niagara Falls

Love, Love, Love

Our niece is visiting for a few days.  With her 13 and 14 year old kids.  They are doing all the touristy stuff.

We took them down to Table Rock - that’s the spot where the Falls actually fall.  Lots and lots of people.  They were doing the ‘Under the Falls’ thing (Journey Behind the Falls).  We sat on the rocks by the garden there and watched people for an hour or two.

I had a long lens on my camera and started taking photos.  I had taken one shot of a couple kissing and hugging early on.  As a result, as I was shooting I noticed the love and kindness, the caring pretty much everyone there had for each other.

Almost all of these photos are taken from one spot.

It really hit me, though, when I was editing the photos, just how much love there is out there.  I posted these photos on Facebook and Instagram and the response was/is wonderful.

I’m hoping that at some point at least one or two of the folks photographed get to see these images. So, if you come across these and recognize anyone, please let them know.

And I hope these photos help you see the world as loving and kind as I do.

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George Hurrell Inspired Portraits

George Hurrell Inspired Portraits

George Hurrell Hollywood Style Photos

George Hurrell worked for MGM in the 1930s and 40s and photographed pretty much every star of that time. 

Joan Crawford and Humphrey Bogart & Marlene Dietrich, Veronica Lake, Robert Taylor, Douglas Fairbanks, Greta Garbo, James Cagney, Hedy Lamar, Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), amongst dozens of others. 

HIs photographic style has inspired hundreds if not thousands of photographers since then.

Editing a George Hurrell Negative

People often complain about the fact that software editing is over used.  Unaware that the negatives of that day and age were worked on for hours before the photos were printed.  Hurrell shot with 8x10 film plate cameras.  Even sometimes used an 11x14.  These negatives are huge by comparison to the negatives used through the 90s - up until the advent of the digital camera.  Along with the large lenses used they would let a huge amount of light in. 

So, with the large negative, it was easy to see blemishes.  Back in the day the studios would have a team working with the negatives for hours to get the results in print that were desired.  I remember some of the books I used to peruse.  There were before and after photos of, I think it was Marlene Dietrich.  One, printed before the negative was cleaned up - you could see what her skin was really like. And the next print was done after the ‘editing’ of the negative.  Quite a difference.

So, below, I'm channeling my George Hurrell.  These photos were taken in the 1990s of a friend.  One light set up. The black and white photos were shot with Ilford film, likely 400 ISO.  And the colour, I have no idea.  I recently scanned a bunch but failed to note the type of colour film before throwing it out.  My only regret is that I didn't take more photos at the time with her.  Maybe at some point I'll get to do more photos with her. 

Lighting Techniques

Hurrell's and some other well known Hollywood photographers used some interesting lighting techniques.  Often one can discern from the photo what direction lights are coming from and how many lights, etc.  Much more difficult with many of these as you have other variables.  One, being the cameras used, and the other being the extensive editing on the negatives. My advice to someone trying to emulate this type of glamour portrait, is to practice.  Try different lighting set ups until you get one or three that that you really like, that communicates in a way you desire.   

You read more about George Hurrell and see much of his work here!

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Old Hollywood Style Portraits

Old Hollywood Style Portraits

Portraits with Hannah

These photos were taken New Years Day 1999.
Billy, another photographer and I had been shooting and processing our photos in a darkroom for some time and we were both at a party the night before.
Hannah was attending the event as well.
We approached her, asking if she would allow us to shoot her the next day at our studio.
We thought she had marvellous bone structure and would make for some great photos.

She showed up on time the next day on time and everything.
I told her what I needed as preparation, some simple makeup.
She told me that she’d never used make up!
Although she did have lot of bits and pieces of things that her friends kept giving her.
I’d had been studying some Kevin Aucoin books about the subject and although I’d never attempted it myself decided
I would try some of the techniques out that I’d learned.  

Hannah had enough of these stashed away in her small purse allowing me to go to work.
It was fairly minimal, some eye makeup and blush, but it worked well for what we were shooting. 

The portrait with the hands against the face is another tribute to the Hollywood photographers of the 1940s such as George Hurrell.

Old Negatives

The negatives have been in storage since that time and I scanned them in a couple of weeks ago.   Pretty messed up.
A lot of work in Lightroom fixing up the photos that you see here. 

Lighting and Film

I don’t remember but likely two lights and possibly a reflector.
I think Billy and I shot a roll of film each.
I would have shot these on an old Nikon FE camera with a marvellous Nikkor 105 mm lens.
Great lens for portraits.
Pretty sure the film was Ilford 400 ISO.

Please Contact me for availability.  I'm in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
More photos at the main website: Martin Glyn Jones Photography

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Photographing Nudes

Photographing Nudes

Photographing the Nude

One the last few years I’ve come across a lot of superbly photographed nudes through Instagram, Pinterest, 500px and some other venues.
There are some really great photographers out there. 

Growing up and as I started creating with photography, if I wanted to find decent inspiration, I had to look in bookstores and magazines.
There were many, good and bad, but two fantastic artists come to mind that had wonderfully artistic eye

Robert Farber


Steve Hanks

Robert Farber was and still is amazing.
I have a book of his from 1991 (I purchased around that time) subtitled ’20 years of Farber Nudes’ or something like that.
So, he has been doing this for a while.
Real art, not just naked bodies.  Definitely someone to emulate.

Steve Hanks, who passed away in 2015, was a renowned watercolour artist.
I poured over his early nudes and have in the past tried to emulate some of his work.
He painted a lot of other material besides nudes, all of it otherworldly. 

The majority, well, all of the women that I’ve photographed nude have been friends or acquaintances.
At great embarrassment to other friends and relatives,
I used to ask just about everyone I met, the ladies, if they would be willing to pose for some nude art.
I got a lot of ‘no thank you’ but persevered. 

The photos I’m showing here, I’m adding a couple of edits, three of each using Lightroom and Photoshop. 

I was never interested in just shooting a naked body, I was as much interested in what shadows could hide and make mysterious as to what was in the light. 

I know many photographers have very exact ideas of what they want as a product when shooting nudes.
Not so much me.
I often will take an idea from a painting or another artist to start.
But from there I will bend the light and form into different patterns.
A lot of what I shoot doesn’t always work.
But as they say, Babe Ruth swung out more than anyone else.
And that is likely why he got more home runs than anyone. 

Working with Models

The most important thing I have found working with models is being respectful.
Make sure they are comfortable with whatever you are asking them to do.
Tell them what you are doing and why, with lights etc.  Even if it is ‘Let’s try this…”. 

Reassure and validate your model. Be calm.  Be as confident as you can.
Serve your model tea, water or wine.  (But only a little of the last.)
Have a cloak for them to wear and place for them to change. 

And try and make it fun.

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Recent Boudoir Photoshoot at TellTale Studios, St. Catherines

Recent Boudoir Photoshoot at TellTale Studios, St. Catherines

Boudoir Photography - Niagara Region, Ontario

These images are from a recent boudoir photoshoot I did in St Catherines, Ontario.

These were for a client that wanted to keep them private.
I asked if I could post these painterly images and she said yes. 

She had never done anything like this before; a friend suggested it might be fun to do.
Something different.

We used a new studio in St. Catherines (Ontario) called Tell Tale Studios.  

It’s run by McKenzie Katsmar.  Very helpful young gentleman.
He is also a photographer so knows what is needed. 

The studio itself is perfect.  Great soft window light.
Ceilings, I think, are at least 14 feet high.  Hardwood floor.
Enough props and room to get lots of different angles and backgrounds. Very reasonable rates. 

The photos were edited with Lightroom then Photoshop.
Using Photoshop AI and various brushes and other tools.
(I’m learning.)

The model was an acquaintance and had seen my portfolio.
I asked her to bring a friend which she did.
This is always a good idea - for both parties.
Though, if you are a male photographer and you are photographing a female,
I generally suggest a female model not bring a boyfriend or husband.
Creates an uncomfortable vibe.
Moms are not the best either as they try and run the show. 

A girlfriend or female sibling is always best.
They can sit and read or some such.
Or occasionally help  hold a reflector! 🙂

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