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Showing posts from December, 2015

Year End 2015

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It’s that time of year again. The Christmas chaos is over, and it’s time to take stock of the year & look forward to survival in 2016. This has been the most challenging year since I started out as a freelancer back in 2006. This time last year, I had the daunting task of essentially starting from scratch after shutting the studio, saying farewell to a big client which supplied the vast majority of my work, and trying to cut my enormous costs which had built up in the course of running a fashion product business. It’s not been easy, and I’m heading towards running a hefty financial loss for the first time in my career due to having a gigantic tax bill to pay – courtesy of a good previous financial year’s results, an accountants error in my previous 2 tax returns, and the system of “on account” payments, which force self employed people to pay half of next-years expected bill up front (based on the previous years finances). To put it into perspective, my January tax bill is more th…

Painting with light

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The early sunsets of winter are a hindrance to my workflow, as they put a block on the long days that I’m used to putting in in order to earn a crust, but there are positives as well – I can stick the coal fire on earlier, get comfortable, and lock the world out. There’s also the opportunity to go outside and experiment with stuff just for fun. Shooting the night sky is something I’ve never gotten into, but light painting is.
I use flash painting to light interiors, and it’s an essential part of my twilight exterior workflow (actually, that is a good part of winter – being able to shoot them 6 hours earlier). The other things I’ve had a bash at are lightning shots, and light trails. Both disciplines are easy if you get prepared, and do a bit of experimentation. The shot below was shot in the woods near my house. I set up the camera on a strong tripod, set the focus manually, and set the timer. Exposure was 30 seconds at f22. I had a flashgun, and pointed the back of it towards the came…

Death By Food

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My property shoots are legendary (in my mind anyway), but I also receive commissions to shoot stuff due to my long history of shooting fashion products. Lighting products is a gigantic subject that I’ve studied and practiced over the years, and I’m pretty adept, but nowhere near the level of the masters of the genre – guys like Jonathan Beer, who I’ve spent some seminar time with, shooting shiny stuff like toasters. Genius, absolutely genius. Anyway, I’ve shot a fair bit of food for various clients, and this was a particularly challenging one, as it consisted of lots of carb-rich dishes that would finish off my Type 2-Diabetic old bones in a matter of minutes.
The Running Fox is an extremely successful cafe in the village of Felton. It has a reputation for excellent produce, a warm welcome, and huge portions. It has become a victim of its own success – being one of the few cafes which you need to book ahead in order to get a table. The owner Kris Blackburn is the force behind the busin…

Shooting The Enemy

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This is a bit of a blast from the past, but I was reminded of my impromptu shoot with the band The Enemy upon hearing of some geezer putting Public Enemy in the back of his Ford Focus when they got stranded in some godforsaken part of Sheffield after browsing a record store.
Whilst doing a stint shooting gear for Barbour a few years ago, I got a call asking if I would pop round to the factory to do some PR shots. Always looking for some distraction from the repetitive task of photographing shirts, I gladly and dutifully obliged. I found an entourage of managers, a burly Irish security dude, and The Enemy. They’d been playing in town the night before, and had been invited to the factory to see the production, and to shop for gear (to be seen in public with obviously).


I was struck with how down to earth the lads were – including the security guy. Inbetween stops, we’d talk about Coventry, and the music scene there. They were pals with Neville out of The Specials, and it was all good crai…