31 January 2011


Family Party has finally taken place - what a fabulous night - so lovely to see everyone. a room full of more than 120 people and I was related to every single one of them. Now I can knuckle down to some serious work. I have far too many distractions.

Firstly to get the Fuji Film images shot as the camera and lighting kit needs to be back today.

Just picked up film - the images are looking good. I am pleased with them. Here's a selection:
Frosty Field - Feb 2011

Frosty Logs - Feb 2011
There is something very interesting going on in the foreground of these images and perhaps I will explore that and look at surfaces and touch.

Opel Sunset - Feb 2011
This has a 'pulp fiction' vibe to it and I might have a play around with this to see if I can crop out the fence post. Might be quite interesting.

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27 January 2011


"Doubting leads to enquiring.
Enquiring leads to the truth".
Peter Abelard, 1130

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26 January 2011

Rut Blees Luxemburg

Rut showed her work and spoke so passionately about it that you cannot help but to love it and her.
Steph has her bloc party album signed
An inspiring talk and so many interesting and exciting ideas. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Here are my notes:

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25 January 2011


"I would like to see photography make 
people despise painting until 
something else will make photography 
Marcel Duchamp
Letter to Alfred Stieglitz
22 May 1922

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24 January 2011


"Some of the greatest innovations 
and developments in 
the world often 
happen at the intersection 
of two fields".
Heather Knight 

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23 January 2011

Plan C

The weather was against me for my shoot this morning. Whilst I was reading the Sunday papers I had an idea for a Plan C for this competition. And it is one which I can accomplish in the studio.

It will be called 'Middle of a Dream' and I will need a model with striking features. More to follow.

Update: this was more difficult than I thought it would be and I need to ask for some advice before tackling it. This was my first attempt - which I do not like:

This was an experiment to see if the angle was going to work and how I would capture all of the face but from the viewpoint of the top of the head. This is not working how I want it to. Need help with this.
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21 January 2011

Test Shots - indoors

Had a practice using the DSLR for the indoor images to see if they were going to work. I ran out of afternoon sun - so will set it all up tomorrow using the early morning sun. But think these will work with more tweaking and patience.
Bit of time and a little photoshop - I like the results:

I need to make sure the swatches of colours are positioned correctly and that the light is behind the stick man so that no detail is visible. It must be a shillouette. With more sunlight there will be more bokeh - which is what I am after for this image.

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Test Shots - outdoors

Thankfully another frosty morning this morning so I loaded the 120 film into the Bronica and picked up the DSLR and went out before the sun got too high and started to melt the frost.

Here's a flavour of the images I took:

Must sort out the sensor on the Canon as there are blobs visible on the sensor when the aperture is smaller. There is a place in Stoke which I shall contact.

Will look forward to seeing the film when it is developed.

Plan to set up home studio over weekend to try another idea for this competition - watch this space.

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19 January 2011

Julian Germain

This was a fantastic talk from a man with  some fantastic projects to talk about. Here are my notes - but starting with an image of the speaker... 

The pre-talk work out


I will add thoughts and comments to this because I thoroughly enjoyed this talk and have many comparisons to make and points to make to move my work forward.

Thoroughly enjoyed this talk - just wish the seats were more comfortable.

Update: There is an ongoing discussion about whether photographers take photographs or make them - Julian summed it up and clarified my thoughts. I am in charge, these are my ideas, I have, therefore, made them. I like the moniker of being a maker of images - that sits well with me.

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18 January 2011

JFK re-creation

With time booked in the studio I decided to recreate the lighting that Richard Avedon had used in this image of JFK and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy in January 1961.

Jackie O and JFK, 3rd January 1961

Slightly puzzled about how to ensure I got the grey background. White is easy to achieve as is a very dark background, but grey is slightly more tricky. After a little research I realised that the subject has to be a long way in front of the white background in order that it becomes grey in this manner. After finding out what lighting Avedon had used I got my models and went to try this out.

The resulting image I am very pleased with.

Sarah and Chris, 2011 

Special thanks go to Sarah and Chris for their patience.

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14 January 2011

Lovely lunch, lovely sculpture

Had an extremely pleasant lunch with an extremely pleasant person at The Meynall in Hoar Cross on the recommendation of Sarah Smith which was extremely pleasant.
I fell in love with this sculpture in the window:

Also loved the old road sign with the Staffordshire knot sitting on top of it. They don't make signs like this anymore:

Fantastic afternoon in the company of a good friend.

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Think the roads are busy?

When M1 was opened there were 2.8 million car owners in Britian. Now there are 28 million.

Secret life of the motorway - BBC4

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12 January 2011

How many?

I heard on the radio this morning that by 2050 there will be 9billion people living on planet earth. By 2075 there will be 9.5billion. 

How can there be this many people? It is unbelieveable.

I am doing my bit by adding no more people and not having children, as are a number of my friends. How will the earth survive/support that many people? People are already considering engineering solutions to this massive problem to make sure there is enough food and food that is not being wasted; there is enough clean water; there is enough space and shelter and there is enough energy. They believe that current technologies can ensure that we can support 9billion people - but this scares me and I am grateful that I will not be around to see this happen.

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07 January 2011

The Brief - Sen5es

Fujifilm competition brief is:
Capture what senses means to you, how do you see things? What alters your perception? Although photography is a visual medium - how does smell feel? What does noise look like?
Any of the five physical processes by which stimuli are received:
Sight - Hearing - Smell - Taste - Touch.

Deadline is:
28th February 2011.

Shooting on Fujifilm is mandatory however images need to be sent as jpegs to be judged and no wider than 500 pixels.

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The Brief - D&AD

The D&AD competition brief is:
"Capture the essence, energy and varied perspectives of humanity in a series of photographs that are sympathetic to Bloombergs new corporate identity".

Judges are:
Terry Jones, editor in chief, i-D magazine
Dimitri Daniloff, photographer
Michael Schnabel, photographer
Julia Fullerton-Batten, photographer
Martin Brent, photographer
Simon Morris, head of art at Delaney Lund Knox Warren

Deadline is:
31st January 2011
(or 4th March - need to find out which it is)

Between 4 and 8 images uploaded to the website by the deadline. Can use digital camera.

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Here we go...

... two three four
Good start to the New Year. Thankfully I feel better and am all ready and raring to go. The work I handed in on 15th December has been reviewed and I will be receiving feedback next week. I am looking forward to that as I need to know if I am hitting all the right buttons or not. I am a sixth of the way through the course and if this work is not correct then I can put it right for the remaining five sixths. I know my blog has been read so I am really interested in having a conversation about its content and whether it is truly 'reflective'.

Have two competitions to enter with deadlines of end of January or February or early March - it is not clear. One for Fuji Film and the other for D&AD in connection with Bloomberg. Lots to read up on these.

Spent an hour or two in the afternoon navel gazing which was a very worthwhile exercise. Thinking through what my photography practice is, what inspires me, what I like to watch, visit, read and listen to. This all helped me understand what it is that I feel most comfortable with and what I enjoy. This also gave me ideas for the competitions.

After a talk about ideas, current work, the competition organisers and possible outcomes I had 40 mins out with a camera, before it got dark, to take some images to see where my thinking was going with the competitions.

I liked the whimsy of some the images I looked at this afternoon in connection with the FujiFilm competition. This is the image I captured with the low winter sun setting which I feel had that feeling of warmth and whimsy that I was after:

10th January 2011

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