Friday, October 29, 2010

Recent Tearsheet: Sean Holmes, Time Out

Sean Holmes, Theatre Director at the Lyric Hammersmith. I think he was genuinely lost in thought in this photo being that it was a few days before the show was due to open they'd had major drama on set with part of it falling off the stage! The morning I went to take the photo was the morning it had been discovered. Considering all that was going on, he was very pleasant to work with.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


All together now...'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....'

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geek Calender 2010-2011 - Libel Reform

A few months ago I got asked by a friend of mine if I'd like to be involved in a charity calendar that was aimed at raising money for Libel Reform in the UK. I was working alongside a photographer from the Wellcome Trust, Ben Gilbert, and between us we photographed 18 ‘geeks’ for the calendar – all well known personalities within their various fields.
It went surprisingly well considering there was no budget to work with and most people on the team were having to fit this around their day jobs. However they all did a great job and the calendar was officially released last week, receiving coverage both on the Guardian and Telegraph websites along with a lot of general interest and a huge turnout at their launch party.

The geeks I was tasked with photographing were an interesting and varied bunch. The tech guru Dr. Aleks Krotoski started things off for me with a shoot at the Guardian multimedia offices. She was great fun to work with, but it was rather odd at the same time because I remember having a little crush on her when she presented ‘Bits’ on Channel 4 in the late 90’s. Anyway she humoured my photographic demands and was great to work with. Next came Brian Cox and Gia Milinovich - we arrived in the middle of them moving house and having to look after their little one, so the picture actually nicely reflected how chaotic it felt. The cat is actually staring intently at softbox probably wondering what the hell it is. We managed to stink out their kitchen with burn toast. They were shortly followed by the comedian Chris Addison – whom we photographed at the Wellcome Trust building, in the green room (props were mostly his own…). Again great fun to work with – and game for playing up for the picture, whilst also bringing out fantastically geeky facts throughout the shoot. Thirdly I worked with sex therapist Dr Petra Boynton whom we photographed at the Crossbones cemetery site in Southwark, South London. This was a fascinating part of London somewhat unknown – it’s basically an unconsecrated graveyard dating back to medieval times and mainly filled with the bones of prostitutes who worked in the Bankside’s legalized brothels or ‘stews’ (read more here). Dr Petra’s sensitive work with women in a similar field today made it a relevant backdrop. However diving out of the way of cars every five minutes made it quite tiring. Last but not least I had the pleasure of photographing Jonathan Ross at his home in North London – believe or not this is his office and it contains a rather crazy collection of comic book paraphernalia. Some members of the team had a hard time not getting too overexcited by some of this – sadly a lot of it was lost on me – his camera collection however wasn’t, and I did get a little bit jealous. He was a consummate professional to work with and generous with his time and energy – plus he had us all in fits of laughter throughout.This is the finished calendar below and I urge anyone interested in science, media and the like to pledge their support and buy a copy - it's a thing of beauty; put together Cosima Dinkel a great graphic designer. Libel Reform is very worthy cause and something that will have profound effects on this country in the future - you can read more about it all here. If you’re interested in seeing more behind the scenes from the shoot then check out the images on flickr here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On the high seas...

I was very lucky to get the chance recently to be part of a crew sailing a 72ft Challenger Yacht - we were on board for a few days and took the boat across to France and the Channel Islands. There was a magic moment when I was helming the boat off the French coast when a school of dolphins joined us off the port side - obviously I couldn't take a photo as I had to keep both hands on the wheel! I took my Rollei (the black and white shots) and digital but it was hard finding time to grab the camera and bring them up on deck. Anyway above's a little montage I made.

Recent Tearsheet: Design Principles

Recently had this portrait used in a book called Basics Creative Photography: Design Principles published by AVA all good bookshops now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Toy: Polaroid 600SE

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will know that I have an unhealthy penchant for old cameras, especially ones of an instant nature. I’ve been longing after a particular camera, the Polaroid 600SE, for quite awhile and I recently lucky enough to pick one up online. I partly blame James Bowden for reigniting this idea with his great polaroid snaps that appear on the blog every now and then
However it was first triggered when I had my portrait taken by this chap in Damascus. I sadly haven’t got the Polaroid anymore more but I remember which had a lens cap with quarter removed this allowing him to take 4 separate images on one sheet – it gave a nice if slightly kitsch Martin Parr-esque portrait. Apart from one old packet of Polaroid I’ve only really had a chance to test it with Fuji’s own instant pack film. If anyone knows where’s a good place to pick them up the old film I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime respect to see some pics being posted it.

Tearsheets - Guardian

Had two spreads in the Guardian over the weekend - both on UK travel; one being in Kent (above) the other in Lincoln (top). I was pleased how they came out especially as the Kent story involved walking for many miles in driving rain and coastal winds! Lincoln was certainly more fun in that respect - we lucked out with the weather. I'll post some more images from that commission soon. Here's two quick diptychs from Lincoln

Friday, October 08, 2010

Squiffy legs

Shot whilst having coffee in one of my favourite cafe's the other day. Contax T2, Fuji Neopan 400

Behind the Scenes: Jonathan Ross

An image from a few weeks ago taken after a shoot with Jonathan Ross. The picture I was taking was all part of a project that will be revealed in a few weeks. Jonathan was kind enough to let us shoot in his house - which owing the type of character he is, was certainly interesting; he has insane collections of all sorts of comics, gizmos and gadgets and probably more cameras than me (believe it or not!). He made us feel incredibly welcome and his humour made the whole shoot great fun. Cheers to Andrew (on the left above) for helping out too. Watch this space for images from that day.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Portraits from yesteryear

These are some images from the archive. I'm currently preparing for a talk that I'll be giving tomorrow night in the city to a photographic society and whilst looking for some images from the beginning of my photographic journey, I discovered these two portraits. These were shot on an old Chinon SLR that I bought off a teacher at school. Not sure what the film was as these are scans of prints...and the negs are in a garage somewhere! The one of the left is an ex-girlfriend and the one to right is a waiter on a cigarette break at restaurant where I used to wash pots as a teenager.