Architectural Photography Shoot With OAO Design by Alex Metcalfe

My ode to René Magritte’s ‘The Son of Man.’

I recently finished my first commercial gig with OAO Design on their extension project in West Ealing, London.

Man, what a day. I hadn’t realised how tiring an all-day shoot could be.

We arrived early in the morning to prepare for the shoot and make the most of the available light.

The specifics of the shoot had been left to myself, but there were certain key features my client wanted to highlight in the design. Preparation was key, and I found it immensely helpful having picked OAO’s brains prior to the shoot to understand how the design had come to be and to align my own ideas with their vision.

They told me:

“The client loves cooking, so the main requirement was for a garden kitchen. A space which integrated the garden into the home and allowed the growth of produce to be harvested for cooking. 

For this, we imagined a Victorian style orangery, where the architectural form came from a modern contemporary take on the same principle. A light and bright top lit space which could allow for small trees and plants to grown within. 

We always had this relationship with nature in mind which is very evident in the framed views and materiality. From the moment you enter, the sky and the garden can be seen and that interaction begins.”

As I shot around the extension I learnt how to best make of use the light as it danced and twisted around the room. I had hoped to shoot the majority of the interior during the day to avoid the harsh midday sun, but as a skylight runs the length of the extension this proved difficult forcing me to shoot between the clouds scudding the sky.

With this being a living space I wanted to show interaction with the environment; be it the cats playing or a family member pausing to get a drink These extraneous elements really add flavour to an otherwise stationary scene.

There were several shots I had to re-take having caught myself or the client in a reflection. These could have been removed later in Photoshop, but I’m a big proponent of trying to capture an image as I want it in camera with only minimal editing required.

One joy I’ve found in this type of photography is I could really take my time with composition, making the best use of leading lines, symmetry and angles. A real change from adventure travel!

Overall, this was a steep learning curve for myself and OAO, but a thoroughly enjoyable day.

If you’ve got any thoughts or ideas let me know in the comments below. Until then.

Stay classy,

Alex

Want more? You know you do. Click here to see the rest of the shoot.

You can see more of OAO’s beautiful and minimalist designs on instagram.

On the Wing by Alex Metcalfe

Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird. La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

I finally made it back fro Costa Rica. Wow, what a country! There was wildlife everywhere. 

During in a brief pause between heavy showers I finally managed to snap this little guy in mid take off as he paused whizzing between flowers. Even at rest I saw his little chest heaving up and down. It’s no wonder he was tired, hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 3000 times a minute as they visit up to 1000 flowers in a day on loops.

I'll be posting more Costa Rica shots in the next few weeks so stay tuned!
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Shot on OM-D E-M5 II + 40-150 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
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La Fortuna de San Carlos Waterfall, Costa Rica

Wanderlust Active Travel Photographer of the Year by Alex Metcalfe

Well, turns out my photos aren’t so bad. If you hadn’t heard, I’ve pretty stoked to say last month I won the Active Category in the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year awards at the Destinations Holiday and Travel Show with my shot of two mountaineers caught in a blizzard in the Cairngorms, Scotland.

There were some other fantastic entries and I recommend you check out the other winners here.

Travel and Destinations Roadshow, The Olympia, London. February 2018.

Of Bums & Billionaires by Alex Metcalfe

The Homeless Musician

Lars, a homeless Lithuanian migrant, plays the recorder for people on Oxford Street, but no one wants to listen. To be honest, he isn’t very good. There are a few pennies, cents and other pieces of shrapnel in his plastic fruit punnet. But, the performance is a ruse. He likes to people watch.

“London is a city of bums and billionaires,” he told me as we sat with our backs to the cold concrete of Oxford Street.

“She doesn’t take kindly to homeless, especially in winter.”

Being a bit of a bum himself he moves around the city a lot, he has his favourite spots; Parliament Square, Trafalgar, by the lock in Camden.

The problem is he says, “I just can’t settle down.”

London, England. September 2015