Summer Of 92, Venice Beach

I captured this image way back in the summer of 1992. I was enjoying the last few days of my summer touring the USA and ended it at Venice Beach in California.I spotted this lifeguard called Trec patrolling on his tower on the beach and politely asked if I may take his portrait. During the shoot and the usual exchange of polite conversation Trec with some pride told me he was 36 years old which as you can see from the image was a big surprise.

 


Feeling Festive In Venice.

I captured this image on a very memorable sunny but cold weekend in Venice in 2004. It was a few days before Christmas and the majority of Venice was dressed ready for the festivities with lights & decorations. As dusk approached the whole place transformed into an adults Christmas grotto which was an incredible sight. This was my first time on a trip with my digital camera gear and so I was eager to explore and test its capabilities, especially handheld in very low light. This off the cuff image shows a Gondolier waiting at end of the day on one of the many small rustic bridges that Venice is abundant with. Technically this isn’t perfect, but I do love the ambience that it captures at that magical time of day which is actually neither truely day or night but as I like to call it the edge of darkness.

 


Simply Up Close

Most of the images I create tend to be fairly wide vistas with people (life) within them.
Occasionally however I come across someone who demands to be captured very simply up close with minimal fuss as with this gentleman.
It was while in Turkey that I came across this charasmatic chap attending toilets and just had to capture him.
As with all these type of shots I seek out open shade to provide flattering even light and drop everything but the eyes from focus.

Turkey May 2013


Edge Of Darkness On The White Isle

Im sat here watching a re run of Kevin and Perry Go Large and it got me thinking of my trip to the white isle of Ibiza a few years ago.
This image was captured during the very last moments of daylight (or as I call the edge of darkness)
on a beautiful October day.
The fading daylight balanced with the welcoming interior warmth of the little cafe on the beach and sums up the tranquility of the place perfectly as I experienced it.

Print-Europe-Beach Cafe Ibiza


Creating The Last Harvest

This image was the first I produced in my project Life In A Somerset Landscape.
It was inspired by fascination with Maize fields and I wanted to create an image set around one.
I decided rather that capture a person within the scene I would approach local bird sanctuary Sharandy’s Bird Of Prey who had a lovely barn owl called Breeze who they kindly allowed me to Photograph.
All composite image throw up surprises and this one was no different. It wasn’t shooting the Owl or masking the fine details of the Maize heads although this was a challenge and I had to combine several techniques to solve it.
No the main issue was finding a rustic looking fence which living where I do I did not anticipate for one minute having a problem finding.In the end I found a fairly new fence and had to age it in post production and add extra foliage to create the vision I had for it.
The final image came together well complete with Glastonbury Tor and mist that can often be found on the Somerset Levels around September time.

Waiting For The Harvest Images For Comping

Behind The Scenes Video


Simplicity, Belly Dancing On A Boat

In my opinion what you leave out an image is as important as what you choose to show…the simpler the better.
Some images I create can be quite complex, in some cases consisting many many dozens of individual files to create the final picture. Even when this is the case I’m still always looking for the final image to look simple and uncluttered as possible.
With some images however we are lucky that everything unfolds itself on a plate for you as in this image shot on a boat off the Turkish coast.
This chap (note the facial hair) and a member of the crew decided to dress in a Bellydancing outfit and give everyone an impressive show from the back of the boat.
I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of the headdress and the beautiful diffused light softened by the boats canopy which sheilded the harsh unflattering summer sun and wrapped him in a glow of white.
To simplify things further I chose to drop everything out of focus except his rather striking eyes to create the final image below.

 

Turkey May 2013


Slice Of Life, The Last Day At Porto Cristo

Last Day Porto Cristo is an image I captured while in Majorca one October.
It was the last day of the holiday season for the island and most of the tourist areas where already closed up ready for the winter which is always slightly depressing to see.
I had decided to visit the small coastal town of Porto Cristo to try and capture some “local life” at the town’s beautiful small beach in the late October light.
It did not take me long to work out my viewpoint which included the amazing cliffs and houses that reminded me more of the Italian or French Riviera than of Spain.
I didn’t have to wait too long when my slice of local life came in the form of a small fishing boat which left the rustic jetty to venture out to open sea and my image was complete.


An Afternoon In Amsterdam

While on assignment in Rotterdam Holland last year I had a day spare to explore and take in the sights of Amsterdam.
Only having less than a day mean’t priortising what to take in so I decided to explore the old part of town along the canals and take a boat trip before heading to the airport and home.
Even though I knew Amsterdam was renowned for it bicycles (amongst other things) it was still a sight to see so many being ridden or parked up up on every corner.

This image is a composite using images captured just a few feet from each other.Shooting this way allowed me to create a cleaner more uncluttered composition will a slightly more compressed look which suits my vision.


Juicing Oranges In The Shade

This wonderful smile belonged to a man I stumbled upon in the intence summer heat of Side (pronounced Ceday) in Turkey.
I was in Side in 2001 for my honeymoon but of course if you are a location photographer then honeymoon or not the camera gear has to come along !
It was mid afternoon and still exremely hot when we went for a walk and I remember seeing a crowd of people ahead on the shaded road.As we approached it soon came apparent that a crowd had gathered to quench their thrist with fresh orange juice this guy was selling from his mobile cart.
I have to say I dont think I have ever seen a man with such striking blue eyes that seemed to compliment his shirt perfectly.Then there was his amazing smile and almost perfect white teeth which in a country where so many men smoke is probably not a common site.
After buying some juice I gestured if I may take his picture and he happily without stopping his work obliged with a smile.

This image would have been a disater if not for the open shade of the trees which although cast a slight green but correctable cast on him softened the harsh summer light enough to avoid distracting contrasy light to take attention away  from his wonderful expression.

This was also the days before digital at least for me so there where no checking histograms or image previews I had to rely on knowing my films characteristics (contrast range,latitude etc) and my experience metering and interpreting the readings…phew what a lot we had to contend with !

ContMark-0025


Keeping The Ambience, Dark Art Of Weaving The Withy

While on a shoot capturing some images for my personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape” at Withy growers P.H Coates I came across this very dark but atmospheric room.
In it three guys where busy working in the dim light and plenty of banter was being exchanged in their strong Somerset accents especially when I was introduced to them followed by the words photographing you where mentioned!

It wasn’t a Landscape… but the room had a rustic historic charm and bags of atmosphere and I could vision the final image complete with Matthew Godfrey one of the guys who skillfully weaved wicker fences in the room.
The image was going to be a tricky one to attempt to capture in one frame due to the dim light and the fact there where elements I wanted to be visible to help tell the story without over lighting and killing the whole ambience of the place.
It’s one of those moments when seeing the final image and having an extensive knowledge of post production techniques allowed me to harvest all the images I would need then combine them in post without a huge amount of system time.

iPhone 5