With my dad in Soho, London. He talks a lot, and manages not to be boring. Rare, I like that. Another thing I like is that if I have my camera he doesn’t mind me taking a picture. And another. …and another. This is also rare. I photographed him in some winter sun, near the corner of Greek Street and Bateman St. The low afternoon sun was glorious, and a reflection from a window picked him out against the background.
My best of the year so far.
I regularly come back to this thought: Do I have the courage to get a T-shirt printed with “I want to take your photo” and stand in a place like that all afternoon gathering any willing people, no charge – just for fun? Not yet.
London people are often very reserved. They can treat you like you’ve popped out of a spaceship just for making eye contact. But this is a good area at this time of year for a mix of really interesting people, for light and for capture. …Maybe one day I will get that T-shirt.
I captured this photo of my friends son Billy on the bus, we were on our way to see the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. While he was daydreaming out of the window of the newer Routemaster buses in London’s Regent Street. It was taken on my phone – but it was such a nice shot with his reflection in the window I had to make do with what I had.
For the record we thought Star Wars was great. I have seen some mixed reviews for it – particularly people criticising the movie for being a ‘remake’. I think this is a bit unfair. First of all its stripped back and is a simple story – much like Star Wars, the effects are great – it has heart and is beautifully produced. Secondly It delivered what Star Wars needs to deliver. Its a certain type of movie and it hits the mark, if you’ve seen any of the previous movies it meets expectations. Well thats my opinion and i’m sticking to it! (Billy liked it too – well, apart from the twist on the bridge – but no spoilers!)
These were taken at my friends wedding, I have been interested in this technique lately, it creates an emotional warmth, and is really easy to do in the evening, or winter and spring months when the sun is out and hangs low in the sky. And while I’m not yet in a position to totally control the results its beginning to work.
Essentially, with the sun in front of you, spot meter your subjects face. If the sun is directly behind the subject, (as in the header image), you get that hazy result, and in the image below I placed the subject in the shadow of the tree, with the sun slightly to the right to give them more definition.
Needs some more work – but i’ll find a willing London victim and post some more here when I do.
Passing Spotted Lake on the way to Osoyoos, I had heard it was unusual; a mineral rich alkali lake and a sacred First Nation site. Waters that been used for healing. On the first pass through, the sun had already gone down, the light was unkind – offering only a little definition, the lake also had one viewpoint from the highway, which was a shame, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to enter the site, beyond the gate, seeing as it was sacred.
Visiting a couple of days later everything had transformed, it was obvious the spots on the lake were mineral rich and ‘lakes within the lake’, if you see what I mean. The low sun picked everything up, and it was worth capturing, even with the lens flare as it appears above. After a dry summer most of the water in the lake had evaporated leaving the moon like surface you see here. In addition the gate was open, I could see figures on the lake setting something (that looked) scientific up. Although this didn’t grant me access, it did offer a sense of scale, looking at the figures on the lake I realised it was actually huge.
I booked a trip to Canada – where I am writing from now. Looking for the most reasonable air-fare, the runaway winner was Icelandair, who run seasonal flights ending in October, If theres a transfer in Rejkyavik they offer a free stopover of up to seven nights. I have a good friend who sadly is about to return to Australia – but wanted to see as much of Europe as she could, so – and off I went with companion in tow.
I didn’t really book enough time (2 days) to go and see a lot and we spent a lot of time in Reykjavik before driving out to the area southwest of the country around Hafnarfjordur.
I’m drawn to this kind of place, I enjoy the bleakness, (for proof see my last post on Dungeness), it also has a rich otherworldly or alien quality and feels rich and mysterious.
We were heading towards the famous Blue Lagoon, for a late afternoon dip in the thermal waters and the weather was miserable. I posted on Facebook that it made the west coast of Ireland look like Barbados, I was only half joking. The afternoon before the Blue Lagoon consisted of parking, going for a long walk, getting soaked in seconds, returning to the car and hiding in a cave.
The Blue Lagoon is amazing, I didn’t take a camera or even a phone, I had made that time to hang out and relax, there’s something about taking photos that can get in the way of experince sometimes. Ironically it was the only time the sun came out that day (briefly), when we were in the water and it didn’t matter.
Having said all this, i think i need to be clear, I loved every minute of it. I have eight hours on my way back – If i can wriggle out of the airport I’ll go back and find something else to shoot.
I took a photo excursion with colleague and friend Eleonora down to Dungeness. It’s a beautiful place on the Kent Coast, but beautiful in a very eerie way. It feels very elemental – still, until we approached the sea, which growled below us on a steep shelf from the shingle beach.
It’s famous for a few things; there are two lighthouses, Dungeness crab, the artist/film maker Derek Jarman Lived there, there’s a huge nuclear power station right on the beach, it has a couple of abandoned villages, acoustic mirrors and is home to a range of species that don’t exist anywhere else in the UK.
Years ago I went there after breaking up with someone I had been with for a long time. It was an emotional time, and the environment was somehow apt to my situation. It felt really unreal. So, understandably, I was both curious and, to be honest, a little apprehensive of how It would feel to revisit. I can tell you it still feels really unreal as a place. Like it’s at the edge of the world, and it’s full of ghosts – it’s good to face your ghosts.
Another Koko shoot. I have a real fondness for Rock and Roll. You know, the real thing, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, the one that knows its past and isn’t a cheesy pastiche.
J D McPherson, singer-songwriter and guitarist from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is awesome. If you’re curious, or know but want want a reminder, perhaps just want to see him in action look at JD Mc – North Side Girl. My friend who got me the pass tells me he used to be an art teacher and made it later in his life, his first album was released in 2010 – when he was 33. I admire this – and the fact that he’s clearly deep in the tradition of american music – which is more apparent at the gig than the video I’ve attached.
Its cool but not achingly so, It just makes you feel good.
Actually from a long time ago now, this picture my my personal best from a shoot for an educational charity for music – doing work in a sound booth in East London. Its not actually the kind of shot they’d go for but for me it really works.
Even though I haven’t been posting here enough lately it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy or thinking about photography. Despite realising that Graphics is my career (and incidentally, being happy about that, my MA I has opened a new reasoning for project work which has further revealed and refreshed design work) I have made headway – especially with music – which you may have seen – and will see more of shortly.
A lot’s been going on, take a recent trip to Wales over the bank holiday. It’s funny how things work out – two photographers with a history of street/event work and portraiture trying landscape photography out. We were in new territory and one which meant I could dust off my old 17-40L lens – which is incredible, and hasn’t been used with any conviction since 2011.
We stayed in Dolgellau, southern Snowdonia, and drove around over the weekend. Despite seeing facebook posts of friends in the Snowdon area being rained upon with biblical vigour we enjoyed sunshine throughout. The Welsh countryside IS beautiful – more spectacular than I expected. We are inexperienced at this type of photography – I would claim just two good shots. I find photography like fishing. Sometimes it opens up to you offering a huge catch and sometimes you get stuck with an old boot.
The shot below was the one. The One. Best of the trip. Pleased to share it with you all.
There’s things I return to again and again. I dont really know what it is that compels me to stand on a street and take these photos. But i do enjoy it. I find it’s meditative, gives me a sense of play – and its like spending quality time with yourself – which is always great and sometimes not as easy as you think!
I bought a new Fuji camera – different to my staple of Canon equipment – I like it, but i’m breaking it in. So I’m not the master of it yet.
So the Barbican is one of those places, going back to this being a sense of play (like a sketchbook). But i also know I take the same kind of shot again and again. And at the moment I’m asking myself “what is it i’m trying to say?”
Dynamic light comes with the season. I keep saying it and it keeps being true. Here I am back in my favourite Vancouver Coffee house, the weather keeps saying we’re going to experience apocalyptic rain – well it hasn’t happened yet – which is great.