Posted on December 29, 2011
Yes, I have a few regrets, but I tend not to dwell on them,I do have two though that I simply can’t shake…
The first one is leaving my camera bag in a hire car in an unsecured car park by the Dordogne River while I went kayaking. The bag contained a Nikon F100 with 50mm lens and a Leica M6 ttl with 35mm lens. By the time I’d returned, two hours later, the door lock had been forced and £4000 of equipment had vanished, whisked off into the French countryside. With the insurance money I bought another brace of Leicas and a couple of lenses. In 2004 I sold all my 35mm gear soon after I bought my first digital SLR. That was my second regret.
I’m thinking that 2012 might be the year I complete the full circle and sell most of my digital gear and return to using film for the majority of my work, go back to making images instead of just taking photos.
The shot below was the last photograph I took before I sold my 35mm gear and went digital…
Posted on December 26, 2011
At the end of October 2010 I went to Amsterdam to photograph Davy Knowles playing in front of 6,000 people in the Heineken Arena. It was a very difficult time for me as my brother had died two weeks before and I was leaving Holland 48 hours after the gig to attend his funeral in Birmingham. The day after the gig, me, Davy and the tour manager, Lenny, travelled by train to The Hague to stay with Lenny’s sister and family. I took a load more digital photos of Davy in various places around The Hague, none of which I really liked, I just didn’t have photography in me that weekend. I don’t think Davy, or anyone else liked them either, to be honest.The next day we all went our separate ways, Davy back to Chicago, Lenny home to the Isle of Man and me to the West Midlands to say goodbye to my big brother.
During that weekend I also took a few grainy black and white images, 36 to be exact, on a 35mm film camera. I packaged the film up and sent it to a lab in England from my Dutch hotel, the envelope of negatives was waiting for me when I arrived home, broken.
I could never really look at the digital images, there’s 1000+ live shots of Davy Knowles, Joe Satriani and Sonny Landreth sat in a folder on my hard drive waiting to be edited. I didn’t even open the envelope of negatives, let alone scan them. I finally had a look a few days ago.
I think the way I was feeling is kind of reflected in everyone else…
Posted on December 13, 2011
This was my third attempt at photographing The Charlatans frontman, Tim Burgess. Personally, I think it was worth the wait, because I got exactly what I wanted. I took the shot outside Euston Station in London, the entire shoot took about 10 minutes and then Tim went off to buy a charger for his mobile phone.
Shot on a Mamiya 7II, 150mm and Kodak Tri-X film.
Posted on December 10, 2011
The portraits that I’m doing at the moment are simply a recording of that person, I don’t pretend they are anything else. When I talk to someone I don’t do it from on top of a step ladder, or sitting on the ground looking up at them and I don’t stand 50 feet away and converse using a pair of binoculars and a megaphone. When I talk to someone I stand face to face and look them in the eyes. And this is how I like to compose my portraits – with the subject in the middle of the frame. This simplistic approach to composition does irritate people though…
The rule of thirds, or the golden section, was first written down as a guide for painters in the late 1700′s, probably around the same time that the law against whistling on a Sunday came in, so I tend to ignore it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
When I look at something interesting, I look at it head-on, not out of the corner of my eye.
All images made using a Mamiya 7II, 80mm and Fuji Pro 400H film
Posted on December 6, 2011
Sometimes you have to admit that the masterpiece you saw in your viewfinder just hasn’t worked. With digital it’s easy, you just send the offending image to the trash and all is forgotten. Not so easy with film though. That shot is there, nestled in with all the other shots on that sheet of negatives, reminding you of your folly…
Posted on December 4, 2011
I hear it a lot, about my work and other people’s – “But it’s just a picture of a person…anyone could do that”. Yes, anyone could, but not everyone does.
The picture below is just a photo of a bundle of cables. Hundreds of people have walked past it, but I’ve never seen it photographed.
Posted on December 3, 2011
All images taken on a Mamiya 7II, 80mm lens and Kodak Portra 400 film.
I got my first batch of film back from www.peak-imaging.com today, 5 rolls of Kodak Portra 400. For a 400 ISO film, the sharpness and low grain is fantastic. Peak have done an amazing job with the developing and scanning too, and at £15 a roll to develop and scan to disc (25mb files) it’s pretty good value. I certainly won’t be bothering to scan my own negs from now on.
This is the kind of photography I love – the photographs I take because I like them. These images are as they came out of the camera. No editing, cropping or post production of any kind.