Posted on January 29, 2012
I’m going to be working with two very talented young musicians, Adam Jones and Geoff Tinkler, over the next couple of weeks. I had a brace of location shots planned for our first session, but biblical rain put pay to those plans. I think I actually saw Noahs Arc going past the studio at one point. We ended-up just doing some informal, naturally lit portrait shots. I think these chaps will go far on looks alone…you heard it here first.
Shot on a Canon EOS 5D MK2 with 50mm 1.4 @f2, ISO 400. Converted to mono using Nik Software Silver Efex Pro. Click on the image to enlarge.
Posted on January 29, 2012
I’ve taken a lot of photos of Simon Campbell, a LOT, but this is my favourite, thus far. Taken on a borrowed Mamiya RZ67 using Kodak T-Max 400 film. My questionable exposure on the day has produced a nice contrasty image, which I often strive for, but only ever seem to produce accidentally.
Posted on January 20, 2012
The photos below were all taken with one roll of film between 1pm on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of January 2012 between Paris and Bergerac, France. I used a cheap Nikon TW20 compact from the late 80′s (still brand new, still sealed in the box after 20+ years) and one roll of Kodak Portra 160. All the images are totally unaltered (even the one above of the pampas grass that looks like a negative)
I know I keep banging-on about it, but you really don’t need a £1600 camera to enjoy photography, or for others to enjoy your photography. The Nikon cost me £20, £3.90 for the film and £7.75 to have the film developed and scanned to a standard more than adequate for web use.
Posted on January 19, 2012
I haven’t used a 35mm camera for a while, when I’m shooting film I shoot medium format. A couple of weeks ago I borrowed a Nikon FM3a camera, it’s a beautiful piece of kit. I only managed to shoot a couple of rolls before I had to give the camera back to Simon Campbell, the new and rightful owner (Simon has just been sucked into the addictive world of film photography)
Posted on January 8, 2012
Have you ever sat and watched someone selecting songs on a jukebox? I often wonder if the person is choosing the songs that they actually like, or are they choosing the songs that they want everyone else in the bar to think they like? I see it at parties too, there’s always the self-designated iPod DJ who sits in the same place all night, frightened to leave his 16 gigabytes of music unattended in case someone finds, amongst the cool Little Dragon and Black Sabbath, that Steps album or the Justin Bieber podcasts.
I’m never allowed to plug my MP3 player in at parties because I do have a VERY eclectic taste in music which includes anything from Dolly Parton to The Rolling Stones, Take-That to ZZ Top and Status Quo to Cee lo Green. I’ll even confess to a bit of Rihanna. I have three play lists in my iPod, their various uses are self explanatory – ‘Dossing’, ‘Run Fatty Run’ and ‘Road Trip’. I don’t need a forth playlist titled ‘Music to make me look cool and clever’.
Music is no less of a consumer product than a loaf of bread or a tin of beans. But wouldn’t it be great if more people could be open and honest about what they REALLY like and say “Hey, I prefer that cheap, mass produced sliced white, it makes lovely toast” or, better still “I don’t actually like tinned baked beans”.
It’s no different in photography – people are frightened to make, let alone display the images that they enjoy looking at and end-up producing mediocre chocolate box crowd-pleasers instead of pieces of art. I’m not for one minute trying to say that the image below is a work of art, but if a thousand people looked at it and only one person loved it, then I’d be happy.
You’re paying the piper, so if you want a bit of Daniel O’Donnell – crack-on!
Posted on January 5, 2012
I’m off to France tonight, land of cheese and wine, I’m meeting with a photo agency in Bordeaux, South West France, to put a couple of project ideas forward. They’re buying lunch, so I assume they’re interested. After the meeting I’m going to sleep for a week, when I’m not sleeping, I’m going to be taking photos. On the road from Bergerac to Perigueux there’s a chap who stands in his garden all day, half naked, I’d like to photograph him. There’s dozens of people I want to photograph. I think my Dad wants to teach me how to play golf too, he had no luck with teaching me to drive 25 years ago, so it should be interesting…
I’m not taking any digital equipment with me, just a selection of film cameras – Mamiya 7II, Holga GCFN and a Nikon TW20 compact. If I don’t have digital, I can’t use it…
Posted on January 1, 2012
Something happened to me last year that has never happened in all the 25 years I’ve been taking photos, and it didn’t just happen once. In 2011 I was asked, three times, to remove portraits that I’d taken from public view.
The first two photos were of two different people, but taken on the same day, in the same place, striking almost exactly the same pose. One was of my very close friend, Simon Campbell, it was pretty unflattering, to be honest, and has now become known as ‘The water buffalo shot’. The other person, who shall remain nameless, wasn’t happy with the image, which I loved. It always hits me as a bit of a side-swipe when someone doesn’t like a portrait that I thought so beautiful. I have photographed both people often, before and since.
The third occasion was a photograph of BBC Radio presenter, Andy Kershaw. I’d contacted Andy to ask if I could get a portrait of him before he permanently left his home on the Isle of Man, he kindly agreed and gave up 30 minutes of his precious time, he even supplied us with fresh coffee. I won’t bore you with the finer details, but Mr Kershaw was less than impressed with the final portrait. I posted the image on the internet and it received a lot of positive comments, however, a remark about Andy’s personal life was made and the shit hit the fan, lots of shit, big fan. Simon Campbell, as my agent, got the first wave of vitriol during a 20 minute telephone conversation, the buck was then handed to me. I went to see Andy at his home and sat through a harrowing 10 minute tongue-lashing after which I sincerely apologised. Andy had said, in his words, that I’d made him “look like a down and out…”. To my amazement, Andy agreed to a re-shoot, we then sat and had a glass of ginger beer. I’m still not sure if it was the photo that Andy didn’t like, or the comments about his past life? I’m not convinced that I’ll ever photograph Andy Kershaw again.
When we look in the mirror we don’t see what everyone else sees, we don’t see that bald patch or the saggy knees, the bingo wings or the muffin-top. We look in the mirror every day and don’t notice ourselves getting older…
These are six of my favourite portraits. Seven beautiful people, as they are.