Monthly Archives: April 2011

Royal celebrations

There are many, but there could have been more.

I had great trouble cutting this one down. The extraordinary variety of opportunities was truly great and to have been expected. No shots of the Royals, only the spectators.

I wanted to pay particular attention to the characters present, but with a greater focus on the scene rather than the individual. I am quite a fan of Jeff Wall and his images of – not necessarily ominous – but definitely unusual groupings of people. The photos have a depth of detail and context often missed through a tighter viewfinder. That said, they must been seen as large prints – web-sized does not do them justice.

Perhaps more on the lines of ‘Where’s Wally?’.

Welcome to the Royal Wedding and the international crowd
















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Earlier this month I spent one summery day with the guys at Banda. They’re a property development agency based in the expensive part of London – not that anywhere is free from forceful expense here.

I was there to shoot seven ‘loose’ portraits, a number of miscellaneous shots, and a fair few properties dotted about the area. It was great fun for me and since I was kindly driven about and the sun was more than shining, I found it all rather relaxing. It appeared to me more like a day – or at least a long afternoon – of lesser-paced landscape photography.

A good day at the office

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Daydreaming with…St Michael’s

‘Daydreaming with…’ is a concept in motion fronted by UNKLE’s James Lavelle. Last year, he and his band of artists exhibited a body of work that set-about developing the ways we experience ‘art’. Conveying music through imagery, both still and moving, is not new, but the modern interpretations of UNKLE’s compositions are truly astounding and particularly interesting.

This year James and his team have decided to abandon the clean-cut walls and polished glass of a gallery, in favour of a dusty but rather impressive church. St Michael’s is  found off Camden road, and earlier this week endured some really quite severe alterations.

Fire, alcohol, and a few misplaced words seem all too incongruous in such a setting, but it did happen and it wasn’t too bad.

Welcome to my PR bonanza

Doug Foster's 'Heretics' Gate'

Jonathan Glazer's 'Red Clay'

No doubt a stressed James Lavelle

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Bamm London


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Welcome again to the supper club.

This weekend Edward and Xenia, Amelia and I, fed and watered 18 guests. It was a mammoth task and the atmosphere in the kitchen was tangible. That said, we got them fed, we got them watered and no one complained – be them too polite or not!

A fusion of Aztec and Mexican cuisine was the order of the soiree. It was exciting, fresh and full of oomph.

The names of dishes will be up shortly*

If interested and think you’d like to join us one evening, do click here.


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Xenia’s column

Xenia is a food stylist. She freelances and works for a plethora of publications.

Not long ago, she asked if I would shoot some pizzas she had made for her column in the Daily Mail. I didn’t say no, put it that way.

They are simple shots but that certainly betrays the intense concentration and attention to detail required – by both involved. All images were tightly cropped about the actual base before being used in print.

Standard pizza base

     Chorizo and pepper
     Anchovy and sun-dried tomato
     Courgette and ham
     Rocket and ricotta

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The Barking billboards and photoconceptualism

Never have I been offered such a fantastic opportunity.

But before I begin, I must thank all those who helped. Without your willingness to sacrifice time and expend energy on my behalf, this wouldn’t have worked as well as it did. Many thanks to you all.

In March, I was asked to shoot three billboard images for Barking and Dagenham council. Working in collaboration with Muf architecture, I set about the project with zeal and zest. I had no idea what lay ahead; an extraordinary amount of stress, deliberation and some serious learning curves with gradients to suit.

How brilliant it all was!

Katherine, the lovely artist partner at Muf architecture, met me two weeks before the agreed shoot day. We talked concepts, wishes and hopes. Articulating the concept photographically and producing the project were my responsibilities. These were new duties and ones I had to learn on-the-go. I felt much like a long distance runner learning to sprint short distances – unable to regulate my breathing.

The architects had already redesigned and supervised the construction of an arboretum in Barking town square; there sat also a mock ruin designed by Muf. My job was to provide images for the billboards leading up to the space. The regenerated area sits rather incongruously, set within a stretch of concrete jungle and drab high streets. What it does, however, is set the tone for a newer, remodelled Barking. Whether this is an achievable challenge, I am not to pass judgement. It is, though, with the best intentions, a great project in a once great area of London. Back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Barking was one of the largest fishing ports in England.

The images themselves. Jeff Wall was to be the main photographic inspiration. In 1970s Vancouver, Wall amongst others, pioneered photoconceptualism. He meticulously reconstructed scenes he had witnessed in his day-to-day ramblings, and other images he had imagined initially as concepts. It’s all rather new to me, but immensely exciting and has definitely enhanced my photographic perspectives.

The aim was to use a dystopian bass note, add some optimism and then throw in three pre/post-apocalyptic scenarios for the actors to follow. I wanted the contrived scenes to appear as ‘natural’ as possible. I hoped that I could articulate the scenarios coherently so that the actors could then self-generate the scenes with little guidance and interference – it had to be fluid.

All the actors were tremendous and I was truly impressed by their ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude.

Community, duty, care and re-engagement with the local area were the buzzwords we worked with.

Below are some locations I scouted leading up the shoot. I acted upon Katherine’s advice, and headed up to Hampstead Heath.

We used this backdrop

The Scenarios

The two chosen images, to be split across three billboards

In situ

I appreciate that all that has been written and conveyed may not be all that coherent!

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