Sunday, 30 January 2011

A place for everything........

Mikes Dad is an amazing woodcarver and he asked me to photograph some of his carvings today to submit to a magazine.... this meant that I had the perfect excuse to have a nosy around his workshop while I had my camera! It is the most fantastic place, so tidy, so organised and I am so jealous.... both of his neatness but also of his creativity, he keeps pieces of wood and then finally finds a use for it.... nothing is wasted, he even found me a tiny wooden wedge today to prop something up, anyone else would have been satisfied with a price of rolled up paper but he is meticulous. So I thought I would share some glimpses of what I saw today.... he could not understand why I wanted to take photographs of the details of the workshop, but to me those details tell such a story of the place and also of the person.

I hope that you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking them

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Photo Camp and walkabouts

 Morning everyone.... I cannot quite believe that January is flying by so fast! Photo Camp is just over a week away and plans are coming together nicely. The idea for the Photo Camp developed fromn the Walkabouts that I ran last year which just got bigger and better as the year went along, it was amazing to see the networking that went on, the sharing of skills, equipment and information and the ongoing collaborations long after the cake has been eaten and the images have  been edited.

One of the best and most unexpected impacts of organising the Photo Camp has been watching all the delegates chatting together on Facebook, the willingness to share knowledge and experience has overwhelmed me and most of them have not even met yet! This reminds me a little of my last Blog post about the White House Photographer Pete Souza who felt that one of the main qualities he needed for the job was the ability to gain the trust of the people he worked with.... all the girls who are chatting to each other have shown a huge amount of trust.... they are sharing business information, technical information, resources and so much more and expect nothing in return, its fantastic!!

I will be running Walkabouts again this year.... I know that after the lengthy discussions on Facebook that people have very different ideas about how they should be organised, what they should pay etc.... and I have to admit that for a moment I was getting a little stressed about the whole thing and was going to throw in the towel but then I looked back at the photographs...... and plans started buzzing around my head again!

Sorry for the ramblings this morning! I think I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been part of the Walkabouts, and and huge Thank You to the Photo Camp delegates who have demonstrated the true value of net working.... I cannot wait to meet you all!!!!!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Barack Obama

I would love to think that the title of this post related to me taking photographs of Barack Obama........ but its not! I watched a fascinating documentary this week about Pete Souza who is the official photographer to the White House. The programme looked at the role of the official photographer and also looked at the relationship between Pete Souza and the Obama family. It was really interesting to see how Pete works, how he has to be tactful, intuitive, able to react to ever changing situations and the main skill he showed was his ability to gain the trust of the Obama family so that he was able to capture the most intimate moments and tell the most amazing stories with his images. President Obama was interviewed and he admitted that the constant media scrutiny was one of the most difficult parts of his job and so having a photographer who he could trust, who could blend into the background but always capture the moment made life so much easier for him. One of the main functions of the White House Photographer is to develop and maintain a full archive of the Obama admisnistration as a piece of living history.... no pressure then!!!!

If you get the chance to watch this programme I urge you to do so.... as a photographer it made me think about the job that I do and how we are all trying to capture a little moment in time.... our children as they grow up... a family get together, a Wedding , or just a lovely walk in the park on a sunny day. It made me realise that trust is such an imprtant part of what we do.... we are trusted with special occasions, but mainly I feel that we are trusted to make the people we photograph feel incredibly special and beautiful so that the images become part of their family archive , to be treasured..... no pressure then!!!!

The Presidents Photographer  Here is the link to the National Geographic site for further information

Friday, 14 January 2011

A Yorkshire wierdo in London!

Just before Christmas I saw an advert for a workshop that I just could not miss.....  John Denton Photography was holding a Photography seminar in a disused Underground station in London.... inspired by the film   American Werewolf in London.... there is a classic scene of a man getting off the underground....alone....and hearing the growl of the werewolf , perfect location for a fashion shoot!!

The course started at a hotel with an overview of the day and an intrroduction to Johns work.... and his humour.... I realised that this was going to be anything but boring. So we all jumped on the waiting coach and headed down to the Embankment with Vivienne our amazing model for the day. John introduced us to off camera flash and using light to enhance our images.

We then headed down to Aldwych Station... this was closed in 1994 but is now used regularly for filming and photography, Prodigys video for 'Firestarter' was filmed her, as was the film 'Creep' and parts of 'V for Vendetta. We had access for just 2 hours as it is thought the the hire price is approximatly £1500/hour!

The main ticket area has been maintained and is really beautiful
The rest of the workshop was held in the old tunnels.... very very spooky and on part of the track. It was a long made my brain hurt trying to take everything in but it was fantastic. I got the chance to work with Viv who is a fabulous model and John who is one of the best Photography tutors I have met, patient, willing to share his expertise, creative....I could go on! I know that going on courses like this means that there are 20 or so photographers all trying to get the best shot and all coming out with very similar images. I also know that the images I got were with the help of John, Viv, and the amazing location but what I hope I have achieved is a willingness and confidence to try new techniques, an opportunity to look at the way I process and compose my images and the chance to spend time in a location  that few people get access to.
 I have really tried to make these images 'my own' by using different angles, processing techniques etc

In the lift
Add caption
John in action!
Sorry for the very long blog post and there are far too many images I know but I loved it..... can you tell ???
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