Laura Rainsford

Guardian Camera Club Review

Posted in Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on June 6, 2010

A portfolio of six of my photographs has been reviewed by a Guardian picture editor and are featured on the Guardian Camera club website!

Check out the review at  http://gu.com/p/2gen3 

The Joys of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Posted in Africa, Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Photography, Portfolio, Portrait, Potrait, Rankin, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on February 25, 2010

I recently got Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and it’s fantastic!

I’m in utter love with this program. It affords me huge freedom and ease to edit my pictures, with the kind of functions I’ve always dreamed of.

I’ve edited this picture I took of a happy chap in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this summer, from a somewhat flawed, colour shot to a very clean black and white one. I played around a lot with a combination of exposure, darks, highlights, noise, camera correction and so on. I really love the exaggeration of highlights on the forehead.

What I love about Lightroom so far (I got it last night) is the endless ability to make very substantive changes to a picture without compromising quality. I love the ability to adjust the black of a shot, to reduce noise and increase detail. I have so far found it incredibly fast, and without the long waits when developing in traditional Photoshop that we’re become accustomed to. Will post more results of my experiments with Lightroom soon….

Rankin. Cheka Kidogo (‘Laugh a little’).

Posted in Africa, Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Oxfam, Photography, Portrait, Rankin by Laura Rainsford on January 13, 2010

Portrait and fashion photographer Rankin visited the DRC in 2008 to capture the faces and smiles of refugee camps in the country. The resulting exhibition “Cheka Kidogo”, Swahili for “laugh a little”, also now an Oxfam calendar, comprises of beautiful, wonderfully heart-felt portraits.

Here are some of my personal favourites….

 

“Cheka Kidogo”, for me, is portrait photography at its very best.

Beautifully simple portraits (ie. Rankins trademark white backdrop) with bags of character crucially aimed at raising awareness of an important appeal. I think what is so striking about these portraits, Jasmine, a young girl, Tumanini, a tailor, is that they defy the style, the feeling of traditional photography of war and disaster victims.

The people in these photographs really shine through as individuals, with humour and warmth.

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Photo Essay, Faces of Kinshasa.

Posted in Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Photography, Portrait, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on December 24, 2009

My favourite thing to photograph are faces. I like people. Often I think its people who make the picture.

A famous photographer once said, he found faces the most interesting thing to photograph, because for him, the human eyes are like lakes and the nose and contours of the faces like roaming hills.  

I love to photograph faces because their so alive, they express something pure, something of the truth of the subject. The creases of our faces give us up.  

Here are some of my favourite faces from my recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo with non-profit Menelik Education.

DRC Shots Made into Menelik Postcards.

Posted in DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on December 24, 2009

I am very proud to say that three of my photographs from a recent trip to the Democractic Republic of Congo with non-profit Menelik Education have been made into postcards! Here are the choosen photographs.

Tiny Bon Bon stands amongst the shadows of a classroom in the Lembo-Menelik International Academy

Three young girls fascinated by the camera stare across a desk of the Lembo-Menelik International Academy

The streets of Kinshasa, as seen through the window of a Congolese taxi

Sifa.

Posted in Africa, Congo, DRC, Photography, Portrait, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on December 23, 2009

I met Sifa in the DRC this summer, of the numberous I took of my friend, I really think this portrait manages to capture a little of her very kind, warm and friendly nature. Sifa, 18, has recently finished her baccalaureate and this october, with the continued support of Menelik Education, started a degree in International Relations at the protestant University of Kinshasa.  She lives in and amongst the lively village-like bustle of Mama Jacquis compound, a safe haven for many, with her mother and younger brother Patrice.

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Birmingham Lions American Football.

These are some of my photographs from a recent American Football match at The University of Birmingham, between the victorious Birmingham Lions and the Loughborough Aces.

Acorns Road Race 2009, University of Birmingham.

On Sunday myself and some of the Redbrick team were on the University of Birmingham campus reporting on the 13th annual road race and family fun run in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust.

For coverage of the event and for all of mine and Tom Flathers pictures please visit www.redbrickonline.co.uk/live/upcoming-acorns-fun-run/

Here are some of my photographs from the day.

The starting line.

The starting line.

Early morning shadows.

Early morning shadows.

Competitor's waitng to start

Competitor's waitng to start.

The clock tower

The clock tower.

Stewards preparing for the day.

Stewards preparing for the day.

A smiley competitor.

A smiley competitor.

Staying warm in his plastic bag.

Staying warm in his plastic bag.

Ready to race.

Ready to race.

All the proceeds from the event went to Acorns Children's Hospice.

All the proceeds from the event went to Acorns Children's Hospice.

Runners of all ages took part.

Runners of all ages took part.

Shadows cast by competitors undertaking the 5k road race.

Shadows cast by competitors undertaking the 5k road race.

Powering through.

Powering through.

Runners on the home straight.

Runners on the home straight.

A University of Birmingham student.

A University of Birmingham student.

Start of family fun run.

The start of the family 2k fun run.

A father and daughter team.

A father and daughter team.

A happy runner finishes her race.

A happy runner finishes her race.

Each competitor received a medal.

Each competitor received a medal.

After the race everyone had a well deserved drink.

After the race everyone had a well deserved drink.

Transport love.

Posted in Candid Portrait, Transport by Laura Rainsford on October 11, 2009

This first shot was taken at Moor Street station on Saturday while I was out and about in Birmingham taking photographs for Redbrick, the University of Birminghams’ student newspaper. I seem to have a growing love for transport photography, I really like the look and feel of how a lot of train stations, in particular, photograph, and undoubtedly I also really enjoy taking candid portraits of passengers, here are some of my transport related photographs from the last year.

Moor Street, Birmingham, 2009.

Moor Street, Birmingham, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Berlin, 2009.

Kids Adventure, Volunteering Fair, University of Birmingham.

Posted in Kids Adventure, University of Birmingham, Volunteering by Laura Rainsford on September 25, 2009

Kids Adventure is a student-led project at the Univeristy of Birmingham (UK), which offers children from difficult backgrounds weeks of fun, love and attention.

This summer I spent two fantastic, piggyback filled weeks on Kids Adventure where our kids got the chance to do everything from rock climbing and swimming, to making pizza and going to a theme park. The impact a week spent on Kids Adventure can have upon a childs self-esteem and confidence is staggering.

Here are some of my photographs of the smiles from the Kids Adventure stall at this years volunteering fair.

Rach and John.

Rach and John.

Rach.

Rach.

Tigger Love.

Tigger Love.

Rach, Sasha and Rosie.

Rach, Sasha and Rosie.

Proud.

Proud.

John.

John.

Mr Sheen on the bubbles.

Mr Sheen on the bubbles.

Wide eyes.

Wide eyes.

Rosie.

Rosie.

Kids Adventure!.

Kids Adventure!.

A happy Rach.

A happy Rach.

Smile.

Smile.

 Rosie.

Rosie.

John.

John.