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Showing posts from March, 2020

What to do now? LOCKDOWN Week 1

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Well....that's the end of week one under "lockdown conditions". The kids are relatively happy, having the luxury of being insulated from the tough realities of the economic drought. Home schooling however, is proving to be a tale of two children with entirely different outlooks.


Our Sparkles has about 4 hours worth of formal secondary school project work and testing in all subjects on a daily basis via the Google Classroom portal. She checks in with her form tutor at 8.30am, and gets on happily with all the set activities, invoking an inner motivation beyond her years. Breaks involving messing about in the garden, and lunch keep things manageable, much like a normal school day. When it's completed, she does what most kids do - logs onto some sort of video game with her pals, Facetimes others, and keeps in touch with various friends and peers via WhatsApp group chats.

Our Chuckles, on the other hand is finding the process completely bewildering. His psyche demands that …

Like a Pheonix from the Ashes

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Well, here I am again. My old blog hosted on the Wordpress platform was laid to rest about a year ago, as it was costing a fortune in hosting and domain name costs for nothing in return. It was a bit of an outlet, and created a stir occasionally among it's 2 regular viewers, but mainly it acted a s a conduit for thousands of spammers to post bizarre comments comprising of strings of gibberish, which was some form of recognised means to attract web-visitors and search engine inclusion. I digress.

Blogging is a form of creative writing exclusive to those people who have fuck all else to do on a daily basis - the long term unemployed (Doleys), the under-employed (creatives), retired folk with computers (Boomers), and people with huge egos (wankers). You can have a guess at which one I was.

Today, I ceased trading for the first time in my 15 year photographic career due to government restrictions placed upon businesses in an attempt to fight the uncontrolled spread of the horrible Covid…

Downsides of a studio

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Wow, am I glad that I don’t have the hassle of a studio space anymore. My old place in a converted clothing factory in a Heaton trading estate was probably the most unglamorous working space in the history of the world. 
If you watch “America’s Next Top Model” and all that old rubbish, you’ll see fashion guys at the top of their game. I’ve visited many studios in my time, and they’ve ranged from huge converted churches in Byker, to a 3 storey Shoreditch pad with a special glass floor – that was for the ultra-amazing Tim Flach, who shoots incredible images of animals with gigantic production values, worldwide. They’ve all been spaces that were pretty comfortable to be in, with nice toilets, heating, leather sofas and the like.
My grand-a-month cardboard box had no such luxuries. It had no decent natural light, no windows, no ventilation, no heating, shared toilet facilities, and the people who shared it were several wanabee-death metal bands. When I did overnight product shoots, the wall…

What's in my bag?

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So what do I have in my bag on a basic shoot? It depends on the complexity and budget associated with the particular shoot, but for an average £500K property, here is a list of everything that I carry to make sure the job gets done: Here's a picture of the general stuff laid out on my dining room table:




Nikon D4 Pro SLR - with XQD and CF Cards
Nikon D3 Pro SLR as backup
Nikon D800 with Lockport adaptor for elevated work
Nikon 14-24mm f2,8 Lens
Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 Lens
Nikon 24mm PC-E tilt shift lens
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 lens
5 Fully charged Godox AD200 flash units
3 Nikon SB80 DX flash guns 
2 mini soft boxes, & 3 mini-grids for the flash heads.
Manfrotto 055 ProB Carbon Fibre Tripod fitted with a Manfrotto Pro Geared Tripod Head.
Manfrotto ultra-light monopod with flash holder fitted.
2 x 3m light stands fitted with Flashgun and brolly holders plus 1 x 1m mini light stand.
2 white, translucent shoot-thru brollies.
3 x Pocket Wizard radio flash triggers and spare sync cables.
2 x Gorillapod Pro…