Maternity by Michael Ryan

Recently, thanks to my wife's support, I have been engaging in some maternity photography which is a big change from my corporate work. As we have one room in our apartment with floor to ceiling windows I decided to use it as a daylight studio.

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Jellyfish by Michael Ryan

I love jellyfish, at a distance of course. But they are magnificently graceful creatures in the water. Although most of my experience growing up was seeing them washed up on the beach. Shanghai aquarium has several enormous tanks of jellyfish so I took a long awaited trip there recently to shoot them in close quarters.

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Carmina Burana part two: Costumes by Michael Ryan

Costume photography for the opera Carmina Burana. As the kids were training hard for the opera I had only one hour to do all the costume photography so it was a manic one hour of photography in the make shift studio in the school’s theatre. I wish I had more time to light each composition perfectly but that’s the job for a commercial photographer. The amazing costumes only consisted of 15 different fabrics which were dyes and treated by the costume designer Ruth Pulgram to produce a fantastic range.

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Carmin Burana part one: Training by Michael Ryan

Every now and then you get a shoot that is the chance of a lifetime. I was recently hired to photograph 160 high school students perform the opera Carmina Burana on stage. The organisation Harmony Shanghai brings together kids from different cultures, German, French, American and of course Chinese to name a few, living in Shanghai though the experience of training from rank beginners to performing a full one hour dance on stage in front of a large live audience accompanied but a full processional orchestra and choir.

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Grand Poly Theatre Shanghai by Michael Ryan

I literally had a 'few' minutes to take some shots of the Grand Poly Theatre Shanghai, designed by the great Japanese architect Tadao Ando, while I was there for a recce of the stage for an upcoming performance of Carmina Burana I was shooting. These were shot on my 42 megapixel full frame camera and my iPhone. I had been following 150 high school students who are training to perform on stage in front of a live audience with a full orchestra and choir. I will be posting some blog entries from that journey shortly after this.

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Flying Dragons by Michael Ryan

Who doesn't love dragonflies? Beautiful creatures found all over the world. I remember them from summers in Ireland and they're in every park and near every lake in China too. An assistant I had once told me when she was a kid herself and her friend decided to make necklaces out of dragonflies so they caught them and stitched them together. But they were still alive and when she put the necklace on they bit her all around her neck. Kids!

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Aurora Assignment by Michael Ryan

Early in the morning the sun shines through our living room window, diffused though the blinds, to provide a beautiful soft, warm light. It's a great opportunity to take shots of my daughter playing around or feeding herself (and the dog and the floor) in her nappy while she waits to be brought to the creche. Over the summer I have taken quite a few snaps and caught her at her best and most off guard moments. Here are a few of those moments. 

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Fribourg Switzerland by Michael Ryan

It's not often I get to fly somewhere as picturesque as Fribourg in Switzerland. I went there to shoot for a client , Contrinex, that I had shot a few locations of their offices in China. They liked the images so flew me to their headquarters to shoot a few days there. I had a bit of free time and with late sunsets I was able to get a few shots. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, to be in a small town in the mountains. I had a great time shooting for the client. And I was able to drink the tap water, straight from the Alps. You've no idea what an incredible freedom that is until you lose it. Every time I visit a scene like this in a historic European city I feel like I'm in a Miyazaki anime. It was a breath of fresh air both figuratively and literally.

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Beetlemania by Michael Ryan

After my shoot with the cicadas I was looking to shoot more of Shanghai's miniature wildlife. One of my other favourite bugs are dragonflies which you can find everywhere in Shanghai's parks. While I was searching online as to how to get some, as I didn't really want to capture and kill the ones in the park myself, I found an extraordinary amount of insects available. Some that looked positively prehistoric and some fascinating looking beetles, which are also amongst my favourite bugs.

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Three Short Novels by Chekhov by Michael Ryan

My photo Clockwork Eyes, which won a gold medal from the Royal Photographic Society, is featured on the cover of a short novel collection by Anton Chekhov published by Modernista, an independent publisher in Stockholm, Sweden. A beautiful edition that I'm proud to have on my bookshelf, especially as the model is my wife Lola.

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Barber Shop Portraits by Michael Ryan

I shot a series of 120 portraits of Doc Gutherie's customers over the course of two days as they came in for haircuts and shaves to show the diversity of the customers. Here is a few of the portraits. You can also visit the website at www.docgutheries.com especially if you want a great haircut or a close shave.

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