Friday, 29 May 2009

Perfect ending to the week

Ok,the sun is shinning in the UK but what has put an even bigger smile on face in this delightful gallery in the New York Times

On tuesday they ran a story about how a group of enthusiasts are trying to resurrect the Polaroid factory, they requested readers send in their own Polaroids.

The result is fantastic

Here are 3 which leaped off the page at me, go and choose your own from the site?

Exciting news as though I love digital I did mourn the loss of THE instant photographic medium which was with us through the second half of the 20th century

It was finicky mad stuff, faded but oh so BEAUTIFUL

I dearly hope the guys trying to bring instant film back to life do succeed

I have one request fro them though.

Please restart production of type 55, a unique Polaroid which gives you a print AND a beautiful black and white negative

Beauty in heritage go hand in hand with type 55, it was developed with the help of Ansell Adams

My good friend Lucinda Marland has shot two series on it, including the 'Lebensborn' project

A stunning powerful image which I don't think would have had the same resonance if it were shot in any other way.

Monday, 25 May 2009

'Quite Possibly The Best Two Days of Photography and Learning Ever'

Well I'm not quite sure about that guys! But you get the picture, it does sound VERY interesting!

The Flash Centre are having a two day course of Photo Festivities at Studely Castle near Birmingham

An interesting line up of experts including Bjorn Thomassen whom has taught me SO much.Big name in wedding photography Mike Larson....all this and surfing too. Peter Geller owner of California Sunbounce, winner of the World Press Photo, a man with a burning passion for photography (great bloke too!). Hopefully Jim Marks and Richard Jobson, movie director too.

Others too just check out the Flash Centre link

I would be going to this show even if I had not been invited.(I'm set to be there on the 3rd and for a little time on the morning of the 4th)

As it represents significantly GREAT value in these challenging times

One of the best things about events like this is to just hang out with other photographers at the bar, sharing ideas and techniques

Check it out

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Personal work-Worth it

Last week was another busy week

I had the pleasure of photographing the talented and very lovely Kate Humble, presenter of the BBC TV 'Spring Watch' for the cover of the BBC 'Radio Times'

This was a commission of course, but how did it come about?

It was all down to 'The Forest' series which as some of you maybe aware is a personal project that I have been working on for the last couple of years.

I have shot this series for the love of it, nothing more.

As I have followed my heart though, people HAVE noticed

I had a near miss in Spain for a major advertising job, based on 'The Forest' and now of course the BBC.

It is easy to think when one is in the middle of an ambitious project to wonder 'is it all worth it?'

The answer is an empathic YES of course but those demons do surface from time to time

The BBC asked me to shoot Kate in a bluebell wood in Wales, and instead of much grinding of teeth I knew just how to do it, as I had done it before.

The Owl was flying to kate, the fox was there but the owl hated it so we had to shoot it in separate frames and comp the fox in afterwards, keeping the same lighting set up

One Elinchrom Ranger in a medium Chimera soft box for Kate, One Ranger(with a honeycomb) for Kate/fox/owl as a backlight, the smoke machine in the background lit with a Ranger and the sun of course.

A very similar set up to the waterbuffalo

It was shot on my Phase One P45+ 400th sec at F5 on a 50mm lens

This 'following your heart' thing does seem to pay off......

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


5 years ago I embarked on an interesting project

'The Descendants'

Where I recreate paintings or photographs of the famous historical figures using their direct descendant

Starting with the direct descendants of William Wordsworth (poet), Charles Dickens( Author), Isambard Kingdom Brunel (engineer),Robert Falcon Scott (Arctic explorer)

The first series of portraits were going to be a one off, but it has blossomed into a project which has a life of its own.

I shot another 4 last week, which brings the total to 20.

This month my recreation of the famous Geronimo Portrait was used in 'National Geographic'. A lifetimes ambition achieved

I shot the image last year in New Mexico. Sourcing clothing and props from LA, a rifle of the type that Geronimo used(we did quite well but ended up with the cavalry edition which has a shorter barrel)

All that I needed to do was drive in a convertible Ford Mustang Shelby (Hertz do hire them!) from LA to New Mexico, I mention this as its all part of the adventure and one of the reasons why I became a photographer.

It was the trip of a lifetime, and it will be a longtime before the memory fades of a snow dusted New Mexico desert with the soundtrack of a tuned V8 playing, sitting in my London studio I can still feel the icy desert wind in my face. Life is beautiful

When we were close to the location we started to look for a barrel cactus, I thought would be easy but we had to visit several garden centers before we found one big enough.

We then met the charming Robert Geronimo and shot the image outside his parents house which provided the perfect backdrop.

Shot on a Phase One P45 + with a 120mm lens, using available light.

Just over one year on and it appeared in National Geographic, along with two other recreations of Oliver Cromwell and Charles Dickens.

You can see a short video of the Oliver Cromwell photo shoot here

To say I'm pleased is an understatement

None of this would be possible without my BRILLIANT producer Clare.

The descendants project is totally self funded, following your heart carries great risks but can reap considerable rewards

* My blogging has been a sparse of late, I have been SO busy, normal service has been resumed