Posted on June 30, 2012
I took these shots in France a couple of weeks ago. My friend, Rich Plumley, and I flew down, I had some shots to get in Bergerac and had arranged a meeting with a photo agency in Paris, so we decided to drive the 1000 miles back to the Isle of Man, via the capital. Things didn’t go quite to plan…
I’d organised to meet in a cafe near the Eiffel Tower at 5pm, by 4pm we were still 70 miles East of Paris. East, I know, we should have been South, but French sign posting isn’t great…OK, we got lost.
We finally hit the Périphérique, Paris’ infamous ring road, at 7pm. I phoned and cancelled the meeting and we continued our drive North toward the Channel Tunnel.
All the images were made on a Mamiya 645 Pro tl and 55mm lens. Film is Kodak Portra 160. I got the 55mm for a real bargain, it arrived the day before I left to go to France, it’s a fantastic lens. The 645 has now replaced 35mm as my ‘snap-shot’ format.
I love photography and I love road trips, the two were meant for each other. I think they should get married.
Posted on June 27, 2012
The images here were all taken between the 29th December 2007 and the 20th December 2008 – one year of band photography on the Isle of Man.
In late 2007, after a long break from photography, I decided it was time to jump on the digital band-wagon. I’d never used digital before, not really had much experience with flash and had no idea what I was going to photograph. It was the drag-end of 2007 when I took my camera to The Creek Inn for the first time and photographed my first band, Sparkle Motion. I spent the next 18 months photographing bands, mostly in Douglas, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
During that 18 months I made a lot of friends and maybe one or two….I won’t say enemies. I had an ‘individual’ approach to live music photography which involved, a lot of the time, actually getting on the stage, next to the musicians. I mean within inches. It wasn’t popular with everyone…
Those 18 months were a springboard to greater things – people I met, contacts I made and photos I gave away for free, it all helped. I took literally thousands of photos, these are a few of my favourites.
I haven’t really done any live music stuff for about 3 years now, but I still have all the friends I made.
Posted on June 25, 2012
In a little over 2 months, on September 5th, I’ll be flying 3500 to Yellowknife in the North West Territories of Canada to shoot a 3 week photo-essay with writer Trevor Gibbs. I’d originally asked Trevor to manage a different project I was thinking about, based around the South West States of America, however, shortly after Trevor came on board we decided that we might as well make it a joint venture. After a couple of weeks researching the S/W States idea we came to the conclusion that America wasn’t for us, for now…
So, why choose Yellowknife? Well, I’ve always been interested in visiting and photographing the people who live a bit ‘out of the way’. We discussed Mongolia, toyed with Patagonia and flirted briefly with Kamchatka, a desolated peninsula of land in the far North East of Russia, but my interest always headed back to the Canadian Arctic. This is the part of the world that interests me the most, anywhere north of 60 degrees latitude – Alaska,Northern Canada,Iceland,Greenland,Northern Russia and Siberia…the cold bits, the desolate bits.
Yellowknife itself isn’t actually in the Arctic, it sits on the shores of The Great Slave Lake, about 250 south of the Arctic circle.I’m not sure how we’re covering that last 250 miles, I’m still trying to find-out if there’s any drivable roads? Trevor’s probably arranged to have us flown there on the back of a dragon, knowing his organisational skills.
This project differs slightly to our last collaboration, which documented the lives of the people affected and involved in the Solway Harvester fishing trawler tragedy. In that project Trevor’s words were captions for my images and my images were illustrations to his text, the two supported each other. In this project my photos and Trevor’s words will work together, but will also stand on their own as individual entities. I’m going to Canada to take photos, but I’m also going to be shooting video for a short documentary, writing my own words for various blogs and magazine articles and my own daily log which I hope to publish on our return.
I’m shooting the project on film, which to be honest, has proved to be a bit of a logistical nightmare! After 3 weeks I’ll have 130 exposed rolls of Fuji Pro 400H and Kodak Ektar 100 to get back to the UK for developing. I’ve bought the film from the US, mainly because it’s half the price than Canada, and had it shipped to Yellowknife. I’m going to risk the two x-ray passes and bring the film back to the UK and have it developed at Peak Imaging in Sheffield. I could have the developing done in Calgary, but would you trust such an important project to a company you’d never used before? Me neither.
A lot of people ask me, with some amazement, why I’m shooting film, would it not be easier to shoot digital? Yes, it probably would, but I prefer film.
Hardware – my two primary cameras will be the Mamiya 7II (6×7 cm) and Mamiya 645 pro TL (6×4.5 cm) I’ll also be shooting film on a Holga 6x6cm. I’m taking a Canon 5D MK2, mainly to shoot video, but I’ll probably shoot stills on that too. And of course there’s the iPhone 4s for stills and video.
So, I’m pretty much ready to roll, I think?
Posted on June 17, 2012
Most of the shots below were taken out of the window of my van whilst driving up through France and around Paris. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with iPhone photography and the thousands of apps that have sprung up – I’m a film snob, so I want to hate this type of photography, but I do like the results! I made these shots with the very popular Hipstamatic app, I do the ‘shake to randomise’ thing which makes you look like you’re having a fit after every shot. I’d like to do this type of photography with a film camera, but it would work-out VERY expensive!
By the way, taking photos whilst driving is illegal, even in France…