photography blog

If you would like me to photograph your event, your team, your town, or anything else; please do get in touch.

You can find further examples of my work on my gallery page, Flickr and Instagram.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Roll 15 & 16 / 52 Rolls of Film (Rolleicord, Kodak Portar 160).

Bailey's Stardust

I visited the much publicised Bailey exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery last week.

To me, a good portrait should reveal a glimmer of recognition that helps us understand a little bit more about the sitter; to provide an insight into what makes them tick.

However, I felt that Bailey only did this on occasion. To me, many of the sitters were presenting their public persona. Performing to the camera and confirming what we already knew about them.

I contrast his approach with Jane Bown. She is not as well known (she has photographed for The Observer for the last few decades); but to me, she captures her famous subjects in a far more naturalistic and revealing way.

Or, portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who showed the context of each sitter. He rarely did a head shot but more often placed the sitter against  background which helped not only with the composition; but with revealing something about them.

It is of course, a matter of taste. I prefer those photographers who use natural light and a natural setting to those who use the studio to achieve the light, position and background just as they want them.

When it comes to portraiture, a natural approach helps create a more intimate setting than the artifice of a photographic studio.

Find out more:

A recent (and illuminating) profile on Jane Bown in The Observer.

An insightful article on Henri Cartier-Bresson's portraits.

Bailey at the National Portrait Gallery

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

A bumper month!

I seem to be having bumper month with photo sales! In addition to the four sales at the annual Bradford on Avon Photography Group exhibition, I have just sold my third photo in the last month at Sebastien's Bistro in the centre of town.

Here is the lucky fellow who has found a new home:

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Wiltshire Music Centre

The Bradford on Avon Photography Group photograph a dozen concerts through the year for Wiltshire Music Centre. In return, they support our annual exhibition.

The conditions are difficult as it is of the utmost importance that we photographers do not disturb either the performers or the audience. No flash is allowed, we can only photograph from the edge of the auditorium and we must be as quiet as possible.

We are challenged to overcome a combination of low light, restricted angles, distance and a need for fast shutter speeds

Last night I photographed the excellent Norma Winstone, Nikki Iles and Printmakers concert. Here are a couple of the images I liked best.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Roll 17 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Lomography 800asa film)

This is the first time I have used Lomography 800asa film. Given that you can buy three rolls for the same price as one roll of Kodak Portra, I was keen to see how it worked. It may not be quite as good, there seems to be a green tinge to it, but I am still happy with it.

This roll was taken inside Southwell Minster in my home county of Nottinghamshire over Easter.

Roll 14 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica iig, Elite Chrome)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Roll 13 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica iiig, Kodak Elite Chrome)

Roll 14 includes photos taken a bit closer to home. A sunny day strolling around Bath armed with a Leica iiig, built in the late 1950's and still working beautifully.

It is fully mechanical. No light meter (but thankfully my modern iPhone has a very good light meter) and there are two view finders. One you use to focus, the other you use to compose the photograph. So trying to take quick snapshot is very difficult unless you are completely in tune with the changing light and the changing scenes around you.

The click of the shutter on an old Leica is the best sound in photography.

As Henri Cartier-Bressons once said:

"Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing a pistol, like an hour on the analyst's couch."


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