Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Portrait: Tribal dancer, Rwanda

Dominique Rwarekeyaho a former poacher who's now working in the tourism industry doing traditional tribal dancing up on the northern border of Rwanda.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tearsheet - Rwanda Bicycles

My pictures in a feature I shot in Rwanda for HUCK magazine a few months back. The rest of the images from the project can be seen on my website HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rosa, Guatemala

Rosa, Imperial Limon, Guatemala

Tearsheet - Chris Tarrant

Cover that I shot of Chris Tarrant at the beginning of this year. Another spread and image from the shoot below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Portrait - Primate tracker, Rwanda

Emilien Havwgimana, 25, a primate tracker in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda.

Before becoming a tracker he used to be a porter carrying tourists bags, he was offered the job of tracker because of his hard work and enthusiasm. This photograph was taken during his first year in the role.

Tearsheet - Martin Dalby, CEO Center Parcs

Tearsheet from a job I had up in Nottingham back in March. A 3+ hour drive up for 30 mins of shooting and then 3+ hour drive back! Luckily I had Tony with me helping out, otherwise the drive would have been very dull. The Center Parcs treehouses are pretty luxurious, with hot tubs and fancy open plan interiors. However I still think I'd prefer to stay in Nick Weston's version. (More on Nick's latest project here)

Here's another below using a bit of lighting

Monday, May 16, 2011

Portrait: Genocide orphan, Rwanda

Sophie Gahongayire, 26, a worker in a paper factory, Kigali, Rwanda.

Both Sophie's parents were killed during the 1994 genocide when she was 9 years old. Her brother became a soldier, forcing her to become the head of the family. She has worked in the paper factory for a number of years, making fresh sheets of paper from recycled ones. The paper is then turned into greetings cards and sold around the world.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fun and Frolics in Guatemala

I got back from my assignment in Guatemala at the beginning of the week and I've now got my head buried in checking notes, captioning and general post production work whilst trying to stave off the jet lag. It was quite an eventful week, especially last Tuesday evening.

We'd spent the day trekking through the jungle and had taken canoes to get to the village of Icbolay where ActionAid run a child sponsorship programme. The name Icbolay comes from the maya-kekchi name (the local dialect) for the "yellow mouth" serpent (Nauyaca). Never a good sign in my experience.
 Apparently though we didn't need to worry too much as they were rarely seen. Good job, I thought, as we hadn't brought any anti-venom. Within about half an hour though had our first sighting and we'd have another before the trek was through, this time on the river bank as we silently glided past in our canoe. Fortunately on both occasions guides had forged ahead of us and both snakes were dead. The local reaction to and excitement at seeing them however, made me realise that they weren't a common sight. On the way back I posed for a quick picture with one. The rest of the day passed without event, that is until later that evening.
 We were staying in a local ranch style motel on the edge of the forest. The only other guests were some local guys, rocking the cowboy look, with big old pick-up trucks and a tendency to stay in their rooms, shutters down, TVs blaring. It all seemed a bit Cohen brothers 'No country for Old Men'. After finishing dinner at the bar I realised I was falling alseep in my chair and not wanting to appear rude to my colleagues, made my excuses and headed for bed. It'd been a long tiring day trekking in very humid conditions so I opted to have a quick wash in the shower before bed. Having done so I wandered back into my room and reached for the hand towel hanging on the back of my chair. As I dried my hands however I felt a sharp pain in my finger and looking down I saw in dismay the evil looking tail of this little critter disappear into the folds of the towel.
Naturally, not knowing the slightest thing about scorpions I was a little bit concerned...actually lets be realistic, I screamed out loud like a small child. I had no idea how venomous or not the creature was. I managed to remain compos mentis enough to put back on my trousers and boots before running back through the compound down towards the bar where I hoped my colleagues were still going to be. Luckily they were still sat at their table working. The assistant camera woman Nike was quick to translate the situation in Spanish to the barman. Next thing I know he's picked up a shotgun and a searchlight and is running out the door. I remember thinking that this was slightly over zealous at the time, it wasn't until later that I realised what was going on. As I had headed back to bar in a panic I'd spotted a guy running in the other direction - turns out he was an intruder and the Guatemalans a few doors down from me apparently ran out of their rooms in their 'wife-beaters' and cowboy boots toting pump action shotguns trying to chase him down. At the time though it felt like a small matter even as the gunshots blasted away in the background. My colleagues quickly roused the drivers from their slumber and we headed into town to find a doctor. Luckily for me we managed to wake one up and I got treated. Paul the cameraman shot a little vid on his handy-cam and I've put some frame grabs below.
 Generally the reputation of the scorpion is worse than the reality - very few scorpions species are deadly, certainly there are few if any in Guatemala. Of course I wasn't to know that, but the sting is seen almost as the equivalent of being stung by a bee or wasp....which in a way is a little bit disappointing! However I'm glad I was with who I was with; Tara, Paul and Nike were all incredibly composed and managed the situation better than I could have possibly hoped for had I been on my own.

Lesson learnt? Always shake out the towels....