Lynched…

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I have recently started working on a new photography project. ‘Lynched’ is a project inspired by the work and quirkiness of the brilliant David Lynch and will be live on my website soon.

Lynch has been one of my favourite directors/artist/photographer for years. I adore how he celebrates the horror and the quirks of the ordinary and manages to make statements out of silence.

I started shooting this project last month and so far it includes portraits and images of friends, family and models. I’m loving exploring the themes of the work…

The Guardian in the UK once described Lynch as “the most important filmmaker of the current era”. I think it’s difficult to disagree with that and he’s certainly the most important to me.

New Artwork & Digital Prints.

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‘Classic Cola’

The above print is something I worked on last weekend. I had it professionally retouched and I’m really pleased with it…

Today I’v also (finally!) opened an online store selling digital prints of my images. There’s only one on there so far but I promise I’ll be adding more soon…

If you’d like to check out the print(s) please visit my Etsy store by clicking here.

Video Killed the Radio Star… Will Netflix Kill the Cinema Star?

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It was 1980 and The Buggles burst into a verse of “Video killed the radio star”. It sounded like a warning, a premonition and a war cry all in one. Just one year later MTV launched and it would go onto become a phenomenon and video did indeed kill the radio star… Of course radio was still around and still relevant for that matter, it was just no longer necessary for an artist or band to “make it”. They had other outputs, other ways. The “look” and appearance of a band had never been more important. Flamboyancy took over. Whilst commercial radio continues to exist to this day, I would think a band or artist are more likely to be discovered on a podcast, or a Spotify playlist as far as audible measures are concerned. Of course the music video is possibly more important than ever with the runaway, commercial success of YouTube.

When I saw that the original Netflix film ‘Rome’ had been Oscar nominated it made me ask if the age of cinema is coming to an end. Perhaps with escalating prices, Hollywood embarrassments and scandals along with streaming service providers offering genuine content, it can now be said that streaming is going to kill the movie star. You have to believe people in Hollywood can see it themselves. There has recently been a host of what would be considered Hollywood golden A stars signing up to do movies and tv series on streaming services. What if this is their curve point? They tried 3D to make the cinema experience more interactive but in reality, it only had limited success – if you need glasses to watch a movie – try putting your specs, over your specs. Or maybe you could pay thirty bucks for you and your partner to sit in a room next to the annoying person who needs a toilet break every three minutes in between eating his nachos, checking his phone and talking to his partner… It’s not going to be an easy task for them is it? Can the Hollywood elite turn it around, when the tide seems to be ever changing against them?

£10 a month for Netflix is great value for money and the content is constantly updating and changing. It is actually their original content that has always been invaluable to gaining me as a customer (or consumer). In the last decade or so, I can’t help but think the movie industry has had ample chances to turn it around, but have largely failed every time. Similar plots, the same old tired actors been cast as the same old, tired characters. Sequel after sequel after sequel with little or no emphasis placed on either young film makers or female writers/directors?

Surely it stands to reason that the next and future generations of filmmakers don’t have a cinema release within their dreams, but a Netlfix release?

 

MiNT TL70

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This past Christmas my wife bought me the MiNT Camera TL70 – a twin lens reflex camera that shoots on Fujifilm Instax Mini film. It’s a beautiful looking camera, modelled and designed on the vintage twin lens camera systems.

The camera, has a aperture range of f5.6 to f.22 and boasts a shutter speed range of of 1/500 – 1 second in Automatic mode and up to 10 seconds in Bulb mode.

Since having the camera I’ve mostly shot fashion shoots with my wife as well as snapshots whilst out walking, as I’ve not yet felt confident enough to use the camera in a pro shoot. In fact, after shooting approximately 8 rolls of film, I think it’s only now that I’m getting used to the cameras capabilities and limits – both of which, there are many.

I absolutely adore this camera but it definitely has its quirks. Focusing, can at times be difficult, but if you get the focus right, with enough light, the f5.6 aperture can look incredible. In fact I would definitely suggest it has been worth the perseverance.

I have long loved Polaroid film and instant photography in general – I think it’s about having something physical and present in your hand as soon as the shutter is released. Watching the image appear – just like I did in a darkroom all those years ago, has never lost it’s magic for me. It’s one of those things that can remind you of why you fell in love with photography in the first place. I think personally for me recently Polaroid film has just outpriced itself somewhat – I still love the square format but at almost £20 for 8 exposures, I find it hard to compete with the Instax at £15 for twenty – and sometimes cheaper.

My portraits have definitely got better, the more I have come to understand the camera. Just below is one of the very first portraits I took with the Fujifilm black and white Instax film, and to the right of it is one of the latest images I have taken – both on the sytems f5.6 aperture.

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There’s a definite “mood” to the portraits it takes which I really like.

In a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket – the MiNT is a definite conversation starter. I’ve been asked about the camera on several occasions whilst out shooting. Good or bad (good in my case) it’s probably about as “hipster” as it gets!

If you’re someone who likes to shoot Instax film, ‘d definitely recommend this camera. Quirks and all – it is just so much fun to use for portraiture and still life.

You can follow my adventures with my mint on my specific Instagram page here.

*****

 

The Jack of all trades…

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“What do you shoot?” If you’re a photographer how often have you been asked that question? Or even the dreaded one; “What sort of a photographer are you?” I’m never sure how to answer it –  Umm… the best one I can be?

We’re guilty of it too. We constantly try and put fellow professionals into boxes, genres and categories. “Oh, she’s an art photographer”or “he’s a wildlife photographer” and so on. I’s taken me almost 15 years in the industry and getting to the grand old age of 38 to realise we can be all things, without the need for explanation. The things I shoot tend to be very varied. I guess most of my living has come from “art” photography, but my first nationally published book would be considered more landscape photography than art photography.

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You see, fashion, art and travel are the genres that interest me, so of course that’s what I want to shoot, that’s what I want to share. I no longer buy into the ideology of having a style or genre. Why limit myself? Fuck it! I might head off to work on a Monday morning to shoot a model for a portfolio or an advertising camapaign and I might be in Berlin the week after shooting travel images. I want to shoot the things I love to shoot. No boundaries, no questions.  So as I roar into my forties (hey, it’s only a year and a bit away) I have dedicated myself to shooting what I want, when I want.

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So maybe the next time someone asks me “What do you shoot?” I can simply reply with “Anything I want to”.

Shoot what you love…

Shoot what you love… That’s what they tell you. Someone told me it when I first started shooting. I’m not sure who told me that, maybe it was one of my lecturers, maybe someone else. Come to think of it, maybe I just read it somewhere. I’m really not sure, but that’s not the point…

In my day to day life, throughout the years I have worked with hundreds of models and actors etc, capturing their portrait. But as much as I have enjoyed every single shoot, my very favourite person to photograph is my wife Emma. I think a lot of it is because, obviously, I now her so well. I already have a connection with and I already know what will work really well and what might not work so well. I think comfort comes into play here too. I’m comfortable enough to ask Emma to do anything for a shoot and she’s comfortable enough with me to do it. It instantly knocks down boundaries. She has seen, and lived with my frustration first hand when I haven’t quite got the “the shot”. She understands how much it plays on my mind, how much it bothers me. That’s why I think she’s always patient with me while I’m shooting her. She understands I have a vision for the aesthetic of the shot, and she’ll work tirelessly to make sure we achieve it.

I bet if I had to pick the favourite 50 portraits I’ve ever taken, at least half (and probably more) would be of Emma. She has soaked herself in fake blood, hung around town centres at 2.00am, got drunk and even pretended to murder me, all for the sake of my photography. The most recent shots I took of her, are the ones above – taken on a rare sunny afternoon. The ‘Model’ t shirt is really apt, as I’m pretty sure she’s probably been photographed a lot more than a lot of professional models.

I already can’t wait for our next shoot…