Posted on March 4, 2014
So, I have an exhibition opening in just over two weeks, twenty-two images that until March 20th will have only been seen by me. In my head, six months ago, everything was going to be finished by now – shot, printed and framed. But as usual, it hasn’t quite worked-out like that. The deadline for finishing the shots came and went last Friday…I still have another six people to photograph, the last one isn’t until Friday 14th…less then a week before the opening night, and it’s not even like I’m photographing someone just down the road, I’m flying to Liverpool for the day from the Isle of Man, but the lady in Liverpool was kind of the spark for the whole project, so she has to be included.
The images here are people who I’ve shot over the course of the project, but not photographs which are to be included in the exhibition, which has frustrated me because I feel I’ve been publishing ‘second best’…but they aren’t, of course, they’re just different. To be honest, if I hadn’t been publishing these ‘outtakes’ over the last few weeks, I wouldn’t have posted anything, because I haven’t shot anything else!
The images here were made using – top – Sigma DP1 Merrill, middle – Sigma DP2 Merrill, bottom – Nikon D800E/35mm 1.4G AF-S
Posted on February 22, 2014
Go back back in time about 14 years, back to when cameras were first added to mobile phones – they were as much use as a chocolate barbecue. Now go even further back, say 20 years, to when nobody really used mobile phones – if you whipped an iPhone or a Nokia 1020 out of your pocket in public you’d be burned at the stake. The idea of these communication devices that included high quality cameras, something called ‘The Internet’ and ‘Apps’, video games, cinema, tv, radio…it was all science fiction. Witchcraft!
Now here we are in 2014, driving around in nuclear powered hover cars and living in cities under the sea…oh, hold-on, that hasn’t happen yet…but we do have a mobile phone that produces 41 mp/50 mb images – that’ll do me for now.
Posted on February 12, 2014
I’d say I’m about halfway through shooting the portraits for my exhibition at the end of March…writing that has made me reach for my organiser, only to realise that’s less than five weeks away. Perhaps I will have some wine tonight after all.
The weather has been a massive problem over the last few weeks, or actually since I started the project, and that is something I hadn’t really factored in. I’m trying to shoot everything using natural light, not just outdoors, but indoors too, using windows as light sources and walls as reflectors. But natural light is something that’s been lacking here on the Isle of Man for quite some time, there are younger children that run back into their houses, terrified, when the sun comes out…
This week I had my good friend, Ben, in my ‘daylight studio’ (or ‘back lane’ if you want to be more accurate). Ben will do anything, and I do mean anything, I ask him to for a photo, he’d even strip naked in public…in fact he has stripped naked in public for me to photograph him. For the image above we used flour, but I’d experimented with it beforehand and it didn’t stick to the skin the way I wanted, so we coated him in baby oil first. This is one of the shots, my second favourite, I’m saving number one for the show.
Also this week, I swapped my iPhone 4s for a Nokia Lumia 1020, a move that has caused some negative disturbance amongst some of my Apple friends. This is the camera phone I’ve been waiting for, and I think the results speak for themselves..
Posted on February 11, 2014
I’ve been using the Sigma DP1 Merrill for a few weeks now, and after my initial thoughts of, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?!’, I can now confirm that this is a camera I now could not live without. I turned-up to shoot a commercial job a while back, on arrival I took the DP1 out and started to set-up, the client actually said, “What the f**k is that?!…you did bring a proper camera as well, didn’t you?”, I told him it was a “proper camera”, he was unconvinced, until he saw the results.
I’m not sure if its the way the DP1 sensor captures in three colour layers, but it’s black and white conversion is excellent, combined with VSCO software it’s superb.
Posted on February 6, 2014
A while ago I read an article about how talent alone wasn’t enough to guarantee success in the music industry. To make it big, an artist also needs a whole bag of tricks which include charisma, drive, stage presence and the ability to be in the right place at the right time. Well, singer/songwriter, Matt Creer, has all of the above. I don’t do music reviews, I don’t know enough to sound even remotely knowledgeable, but I’ve heard Matt, seen him live, and he’s good, very good. What I do know is that he looks good and he looks comfortable on stage, like he was born to be there. He also looks fantastic in front of the camera.
I did these promo’ shots with Matt this week, it was an uncomplicated and enjoyable shoot, we got everything we wanted in less than an hour…which is good, because the temperature was down to about 3 degrees! Matt turned-up wearing a down jacket and a wooly hat, but as soon as they came off he looked as though we could be in California – total professional!
Former student of the Royal College of Music, London, Matt Creer has established himself as an exciting voice on the UK music scene. The Manx singer songwriter is steadily gaining supporters all over the world and recently attracted the attention of the American TV and film industry. His finger style guitar and rich vocal harmonies are reminiscent of artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and The Civil Wars. His first album “Lanterns” (2011) was a self-produced, self released record. The title track has become a firm favourite with all who hear Matt’s music and enjoys frequent radio play. Matt’s EP “Islands” (2013) has been received with even greater enthusiasm. In November 2013 his song “Don’t Let Me Go” which was co-written and performed with singer Katherine Crowe, reached number 5 in the UK iTunes Singer Songwriter Chart. Matt’s eagerly anticipated second full length album will be available later this year.
A regular performer in the UK and further afield, Matt has performed with respected artists such as Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics), Beverly Craven, Chris T-T, Garrison Starr (LA), Bess Rogers (NYC), Alex Berger (NYC) Richard Walters, O’Hooley and Tidow and Jess Morgan (UK). He has also completed two solo headline tours of the UK and is one of a growing number of independent artists pioneering the UK house concert movement.
Posted on February 2, 2014
Posted on January 31, 2014
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with Impossible Project instant film, I’ve shot a few boxes of the new colour version, and I have to say it was love at first sight. The whole look, the weird hues and colour casts are everything I’d expected. I’ve ordered a few more boxes of the colour version – we’re going steady.
Now then, the black and white type…I’m not so sure, I certainly didn’t rush out and buy an engagement ring the second the first photograph developed. This stuff is £18 a box, that’s £2.25 a shot! For that price I’m afraid I expect something a little less ‘unpredictable’…but the tones are very pleasing, we have deep shadows and creamy highlights. I like the look, but what’s with the dark blur around the edge, it looks almost artificial.
Will I buy more of the black and white version? Probably, however I’d like to try it in a camera with better manual controls, or at least a model that I can turn off the flash (The 600AF that I’m using would fire the flash even if you were actually standing on the surface of the sun). Impossible Project, if you do happen to read this – £18 for 8 pictures is a piss-take, please try to substantially reduce the cost, because I really like this film…or at least I think I will.
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For the benefit of a couple of people who think these aren’t actually real instant images, I have added a photo of my pet Cocker Spaniel, Leica, and said Polaroids.
Posted on January 14, 2014
My experiments with the Sigma DP1 Merrill continue, it’s been a steep learning curve, but I love this camera. I’m basically using it in the same way I’d use a medium format film camera – everything shot on a tripod, all manual control, and most importantly, thinking about every shot very carefully.
Something Sigma really might want to look at and fix in a firmware update for this camera is the white-balance – it’s terrible. The auto WB settings are next to useless and the manual WB gives a very warm cast which can be adjusted in post, but I like to get everything right in camera.
All images were edited using the amazing VSCO Film presets in Lightroom 5 – a perfect camera/software combination.
Posted on December 22, 2013
When I get a new camera, no matter how complicated it looks, I never read the instruction manual. Ever. If I did read them, then I would have discovered, months ago, that my Fuji X-Pro1 has a double exposure feature. I stumbled upon a few days ago, purely by accident, whilst looking for something completely different. So I’ve been playing with it.
All images were processed using the amazing VSCO film software.