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Meet the new Mayor

Posted by
Curly (South Shields, United Kingdom) on 18 May 2011 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

I was delighted to be invited to South Shields Town Hall yesterday to take pictures of our newly installed Mayor Cllr. Jim Sewell and his wife Rosemary, the Mayoress. Fuller story here.

Although there was an official photographer for the occasion, the new Mayor wanted me to find some more relaxed shots of himself and members of his family that they could look back on in later years.

Because South Shields Town Hall is such a majestic building (both inside and out) I had a pre-conceived idea of what I wanted to do that would also show off the workmanship of this grand public building. So I decided to do HDR and mask in the people, yes I know, a bit of a challenge! After a couple of hours processing last night I decided to leave the others for a couple of days.

So, this one is the normal HDR that I do in my usual fashion, for the interior of the Mayor's Parlour (the oak and leather are nowhere near as dark or as warm as I have made them in these) and I used the 0EV frame to mask in the people, thus preserving their human qualities.

Finally I gave it a tiny tweak in Lucis Arts, I'm looking for something that might look great printed on canvass.

I might NOT be able to be around quite so much over the next couple of weeks, I have a lot going on here, but don't worry I've got a lot of material ready to show and some of it excites me, so don't wander off, I'll look forward to your comments and will soon be back to see your work too.

PENTAX K100D 1/45 second F/6.7 ISO 3200 18 mm

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Even though I may not be able to visit or respond daily, I always welcome your comments or critiques.
You can also follow me on Twitter @Curly15 and Instagram @southshieldscurly

Read my views in Curly's Corner Shop, to find out a little more about my home town South Shields.

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Kenny from Eastsound, United States

Very nice work here, Curly. This is what I might imagine a British town hall to look like.

18 May 2011 5:59am

PascalXLD from Rennes, France

Superbe ambiance

Bonne journée

18 May 2011 6:18am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

A triumph in processing, Curly! Not only that, but you retain the human qualities of the mayor and his wife. The oak and leather looks superb. Glowing with tradition and thus perfect for these surrounds.

18 May 2011 7:14am

PATRICK from miramas, France

just 5****

18 May 2011 8:22am

Zora Zoé Schmidt from Greifswald, Germany

Excellent portraits, Curly - very warm and full of atmosphere. I love the mahogany tone, it makes the scenery very soft and friendly :-) Wonderful detail!

18 May 2011 8:35am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

you have captured/created a great mood here Curly. I wonder what the mayoress is looking at :)

18 May 2011 9:31am

Laurette from South Africa

A lovely warm atmosphere and well captured.

18 May 2011 10:36am

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

such a wonderful image - the tones are exquisite.
(the man in the back, with his hand behind his back, is an interesting looking fellow - for some reason, I keep getting drawn back to him ... what did he have behind his back, almost looks ganster-like, I think you could do a whole photoshoot on him alone ...)

18 May 2011 10:39am

Dokmateo from madird, Spain

Congratulation to the new Mayor and to you as well for being invited (chosen) to take their photos,such a privilege on that occasion. And you done it wel...great shot!

18 May 2011 10:46am

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Beautiful surrounding...Great event & opportunity...

18 May 2011 10:46am

J.R. from Ginowan, Japan

Mayoress? New word for me. I thought the mayor worked or played around the office or golf links and his wife stayed home and cooked or perhaps had a few socials, shows how much I know.

18 May 2011 11:10am

Gregory from Zurich, Switzerland

You have some crazy skills, C!

18 May 2011 11:12am

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Wonderful processing ... the people jump right out at you! The comments are good too ... a gangster in their midst? A Mayoress? ;D

18 May 2011 11:24am

Zorilla from H, T & E, United Kingdom

The mayor has enforcers?

18 May 2011 11:34am

Zorilla from H, T & E, United Kingdom

He looks like the kind of mayor who can afford to leave his milk on the doorstep of the mansion house.

18 May 2011 11:45am

JCJ from Troyes, France

very well managed, a good shot.

18 May 2011 12:12pm

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Apologies Curly - the tones are warm but the expressions aren't. They look like you've just nicked the last custard cream! I salute your processing abilities/stamina though feel the basic arrangement here is lacking. For whatever reason these four people don't seem particularly comfortable sharing the same room, an impression not helped by the gaps between them and the distracted look of the lady.

Whilst I appreciate the technical effort these aspects leave me feeling uncomfortable as the viewer. Some of the other shots on your blog look like they have better potential for this treatment, so I look forward to more.

18 May 2011 12:23pm

@digitalCG: You are dead right Peter, every single one of them is outside of their comfort zone here, it is a totally new environment for them fraught with unusual expectations, there is very much a sharp "edgy" feel to this scene. That's what I find most fascinating and satisfying about it.

CheekyMummy from Prescott, United States

Now That's a good looking group! I don't understand half of the things you did, Curly, but I will someday. I will sorely miss your comments, but hope you have a beautiful few weeks and look forward to your future comments. This is a beautiful picture, by the way.

18 May 2011 12:23pm

Tomek from Poznań, Poland

Very nicely captured scene. If you use Lucis did it very subtly and the result is delicious.

18 May 2011 12:29pm

@Tomek: Just enough to add a little smoothness to the textures Tomek.

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Curly, that was such an honor! The warm rich tones of the room provide the perfect backdrop. Very nice portrait!

18 May 2011 12:49pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A singular honour to be chosen to do this shoot Curly! Your pp treatment really emphasizes the rich tones of the leather and wood. Unfortunately, I think the Mayor's indigestion seems to have been acting up! ;-))

18 May 2011 12:55pm

Nilla´s photo shoots from Östergötland, Sweden

Excellent job with this photo. If the mayor is not satisfied, then there is something wrong with him ...:)
What a worthy task you've got! . Congratulations!

18 May 2011 1:14pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Congratulations to both you and the new Mayor. This is a great photo.

18 May 2011 1:22pm

yiannis krikis from thessaloniki, Greece

excellent work with the lights and the composition - very nice scenery

18 May 2011 1:29pm

Ian Bramham from Manchester, United Kingdom

the blending between the HDR of the building and the people has worked incredibly well Curly!

18 May 2011 1:44pm

@Ian Bramham: I thought it was worth the try Ian, if you don't experiment now and then.......... well part of the idea was NOT to create comic looking characters, HDR can do some strange things to faces!

Oleg from Podolsk, Russian Federation

I congratulate you, Curly! With Serious photo-session and with excellent result!

18 May 2011 2:02pm

Gérard Beullac from Paris, France

Big challenge very well managed!

18 May 2011 2:26pm

delkoo from marguerittes, France

great compo, the position of the two men gives a real depth to the image.
warm tones works well too.

18 May 2011 2:35pm

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Ah, if you were going for edgy then you totally nailed it! Great that you had the stones to do that when the rest of us would be looking at doing something more traditional - not that we'd have had the honour! Thanks for clearing that up :)

18 May 2011 2:45pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Superb composition ... Each person placed on your site ... A regal picture perfect setting full of warmth! Best regards, Adela

18 May 2011 2:48pm

Kavita from Paramaribo, Suriname

nice photo. With this I mean, great composition and lightening.

18 May 2011 2:54pm

Jason Politte from Conway, AR, United States

That's a lot of work, but it seems the end result was worth it. You blended all this together beautifully and turned out an excellent shot.

18 May 2011 3:02pm

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Where's the guy at the backs large dog gone, his hand looks like it should be on something.
Great shot of a new beginning, they do look a bit unsure.
Nice office and treatment.

18 May 2011 3:22pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

A beautiful, rich and warm result. Good luck to your new mayor!

18 May 2011 3:29pm

Lara from Vienna, Austria

wonderful: the composition, the colours, everything!

18 May 2011 3:31pm

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

this is great artwork here Curly - and I know the trouble about masking in the 0EV frame in an HDR.

18 May 2011 5:02pm

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Fantastique compo et image, superbe quelle scène quelle gestion des lumières, grandiose compo

18 May 2011 5:40pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Such sumptuous surroundings for the mayor. I think you did a fabulous job on this shot. The Mayor and Mayoress should enjoy this photo now and years from now.

18 May 2011 5:42pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Great "official" portrait. Something to be proud of.

18 May 2011 5:47pm

Raul from Elmhurst, New York, United States

Fantastic portrait Curly!!!

18 May 2011 5:56pm

dean musgrove from Simi Valley, United States

I rather enjoy the dynamic between the subjects. The good ole boys are adjusting to their new environment, as the wife is already looking ahead to what influence she will surely wield.

18 May 2011 6:23pm

franz from Baden, Austria

very creative and highly effective manipulation, but his honour looks exhausted already ... ;-))

18 May 2011 7:29pm

Monterey John from Hollister, CA, United States

Cool shot, and the light is perfect.

18 May 2011 7:32pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

I agree with Peter (digitalCG)...it's a triumph of imagination and processing but their posing might have relaxed after the freebies of the mayors parlour as opposed to before!

18 May 2011 7:55pm

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Just realised that the guy at the back is stroking the chair!

18 May 2011 8:01pm

STEED from D, France

Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent picture ....

18 May 2011 8:28pm

Zus from Osaka, Japan

Great portrait!! Congratulations on being invited and succeeding on processing this photo, Curly.

18 May 2011 9:40pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

What beautiful warm oak and leather that you've revealed in your processing! And great masking of the people to maintain the realistic look. And kudos to the Mayor for being so cordial and welcoming!

18 May 2011 11:42pm

flyingwind风飞扬 from Bridgetown, Barbados

Nice warmthThere might be something else more interesting attracting the lady!

19 May 2011 2:27am

Stephen Phillips from San Francisco, United States

Such a wonderful treat for you and us! Thanks for sharing your blog link - a festive day and celebration. I'm hoping we'll be seeing much more, Curly.

19 May 2011 3:11am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

Great processing, but he does look nervous as a kitten!

19 May 2011 5:53pm

Skyriani from Nelson, New Zealand

This has a kind of cinema feel to it Curly. It's the red! I like it.

20 May 2011 9:06am

@Skyriani: Kind of "film noir"?

Skyriani from Nelson, New Zealand

My favourite of the series!

20 May 2011 9:07am

The Dark Dude from Maestoso, United Kingdom

hey dude
man, this has a kinda surreal quality to it
much as the mayor dude and his lady dudette fit in perfectly with the chester style couch, the other dudes clothes are doin some weird stuff with the background
man, im lookin at this like im on that ole brown acid duder
its great

20 May 2011 8:36pm

Anne from 新加坡, Singapore

Great series, very good job well done, Curly. Congratulations!

21 May 2011 11:25am

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Lovely work...and good luck to the mayor........

23 May 2011 4:22am

Digital Sojourn from Lake, United States

As you have so often commented on my images, I thought I would take the time to do likewise. First, the arrangement of the people in this photo is quite good I think. There is a cinematic feel to the shot--like an ad for a good drama. However, the white spot on the table is distracting. I would have cropped it or darkened it. Maybe you see it as a counterpoint, but the image would be better without it, in my not so humble opinion.

4 Jun 2011 2:37am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Ah yes, the paper coaster, I had thought about it then decided to leave it alone. I do see your point though.

4 Jun 2011 11:23am

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8 Feb 2013 1:07pm

Reza TOLOUIE from Tehran, Iran

tres belle photo

4 Dec 2013 5:50pm

1/45 second
ISO 3200
18 mm