Sunday, 9 November 2008

A Leopard comes in from the Cold.....

It was after my experiences in Kosovo that I decided to try something other than photojournalism

I embarked on a new project with more than a little help from my now producer Clare

To photograph the UK's most unusual Guinness world record holders

High on the list was Tom Leopard, who was the most tattooed man in the world, with close to 100 percent of his body covered in Tattoos

He lived on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

During our research we had heard all sorts of unlikely stories of how Tom lives

We set out from Kyleakin in a small boat with rather too much camera equipment (less really is more my friends...)

As we landed on the beach close to where he lived he greeted us warmly

Contrary to appearance I found him to be one of the most kind gentle and lovely human beings I have ever met

Eccentric? Yes

But I say 'Vive le difference'

We spent all day with him in his tiny and humble dwelling, made from little more than rocks.

With no running water or electricity

Tom used all his experiences from his life in the Navy to keep everything clean, tidy, and in order

He had a great philosophy, living very much in tune with nature and did not believe in killing anything, even fish

As we sat talking to him otters popped their heads above the water to give us the once over

It was a very,very special day.

The BBC reported last week that the cold isolated life has become too much for him now he is in his mid 70's

He has moved into an one bedroom house, you can read the story here

The shot was taken very simply with one light (on the left handside), a Norman 400b in a Chimera medium soft box.

I just waited until the light began to fall and I could balance the flash with the ambient light, and then underexpose the the background by approx 1 stop

6 comments: said...

I'm visiting from strobist way. Nice blog and cool photos. I've seen the Phase One cameras at work before but no blogging photographers using them. Bookmark!

Fred Combaneyre said...

Photojournalism is about telling stories, but even though this project is not pure photojournalism, this project do tells stories. Stories of different and exceptional people living differents lives. And as this, these are very interesting !

Great to see that David posted about you !
Cheers Fred

Bob Crowe said...

Hi, Drew. I met you in 2005 at the Maine Workshops when I was in Sean Kernan's class and have enjoyed your work ever since. Saw the post on Strobist today about your blog and will visit often. I'm just a happy amateur with a couple of photoblogs about St. Louis, where I live.

Looking forward to your future posts.

Drew Gardner said...

Thank you Guys

Loads of tips an adventures to come!



JB-Fotodesign said...

if i don't know who take this pic, i think it's a pic from joe mcnally

nice job

Drew Gardner said...

Thank you

A compliment indeed