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Photo London 2017

Photo London 2017

Just back from a visit to Photo London (18th -21st May 2017) – this is a major international Photo Fair being held for the third year at Somerset House. Having attended the event last year,  we decided to book again to visit this year’s fair.

The Photo London guide stated:  ‘Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.’

There were as many galleries as last year, with some showing the work of emerging artists and others with new images by some of the big names in the field. I was particularly impressed with the black and white portraits taken by  Yousuf Karsh . Certainly a highlight for me.

It was also good to see some prints of the work of Saul Leiter, certainly better than any of the images I have seen published in the books on his work.

David Hurn’s exhibition of images that he had obtained by swapping photographs with other photographers of his generation was another highlight too. The exhibition showed which images he had swooped alongside the image he obtained in return.

Photo London also had a program of talks and symposia each day which were curated by William A. Ewing, writer and a distinguished curator. Having missed out on last years talks, we booked early to listen to David Hurn in conversation with Martin Parr. This was certainly an informative and fun discussion, with David sharing stories of his early years in London.

As the Photo London Fair didn’t open until 12:00, we decided to make use of the morning and also visited the Courtauld Gallery which is right next to Somerset House. The first three images below are of the great Staircase that is a feature of this gallery.

A selection of images from the days visits:

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Dragon boat racing

A chance to shoot some Dragon boat racing on the river Aire in Saltaire was too good to miss.

The event held at Roberts Park a World Heritage Site where the River Aire runs along the side of the park and gives a great vantage point to watch and photograph the close Dragon boat racing.

The Dragon boat racing event was billed as a team building event and the idea was that each team member would do there best to raise £50 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2017 Charity: YoungMinds 

As well as the boat racing there was a large number of landside attractions from stalls, food, bars and entertainment to live music and just so much more in a stunning spectacular, picturesque venue. It gave some good photographic opportunites:

So here are a few images from this years Dragon Boat racing event.

Dragon Boat racing dragon boat head
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Dragon Boat racing
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Having taken a few classic Dragon boat racing shots, I decided that the colours in the scene might provide something different and colourful absrtact images.

I set a challenge and started to use a slow shutter speed and then added on camera flash set to second curtain sync.

Playing with different slow shutter speeds gave a set of interesting and sometimes abstract images which I really liked.

As you can see below:

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Madame Bink 2017 shoot (NSFW)

I have worked with Madame Bink a number of times over the years that I have been shooting models and I have always come away with some great images.

When working with Ivory Flame in January of this year she mentioned that Madame Bink (Bink) was working again, so I took the oppoutunity to set up another shoot with her.

Now the last time we shot together was at the first Walters Warbrode event which was a fashion theme shoot. It was therefore good to get to work with her again specifically in the art nude genre, although we did do some edgy fashion images too.

The sets I wanted to shoot were simple in terms of lighting. These sets were lit with a single studio strobe fitted with a rectanglar soft box. The softbox was also fitted with an egg crate grid to control the light spill, which gives good light and shadow areas on the body.

I chose to use some simple props – two wooden garden chairs and a small wooden table stool. There is a simple white hat with a black band that we added for a few of these shots. So really simple but make strong images I feel.

All that was then needed was the model to make strong Artistic Nude shapes and work into the light.

The results can be seem in the images below. Binky’s strong poses in this light setup stand out and this is one of the reasons I have always liked working with her.

Artistic Nude Images

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First Studio shoot of 2017

So here are a few images from my first studio shoot of 2017, featuring the model Ivory Flame. Now I have worked with Holly many times over the last few years and alway enjoy working with her as we alway seem to make great images. So when she contacted my in December of last year to say she was going to be in the Lakes, I decided it was about time that I worked with her again. I had some new ideas to work with and had a new jacket to shoot, so this seemed to de a good opportunity to try working with the ideas and the new jacket too. So following a few mails we agreed a convient date for working together which gave me my first studio shoot of 2017.

Here are a few of the images from our first set just using studio window light:

red haired beauty
Red hair beauty.
holly in the natural light
Holly in the natural light

Moving on to the new Military style jacket:

red hair whtie jacket
Red hair whtie jacket
Military style biker jacket
White Jacket I

Followed by some natural light Artistic Nude images:

soft light nude
Soft light nude

Another set was using Holly lovely Corset to do a tribute to Horst and his great black and white image of a designer Corset.

corset I
Corset I
corset II
Corset II
holding the laces
Holding the laces
lacing details
Lacing details

The final set form this first studio session of 2017 was using the edge of a sofa and some good patterned tights, with Holly making some great shapes in the light.

arching shapes
Arching shapes

So thanks to Holly of a good start to 2017

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2016 a year in review

I can’t really believe that we are at the end of another year, and again I have had a good year photographically so here is some of the highlights from my 2016.

Having a studio has been a real boon and I have worked with a number of new models there this year. We’ve created some great images, and also had good fun playing with different light approaches.

New models have included Amber M, Em Theresa, Katie Green and finally Nicky Philips. Also Marmalade – but not at my studio as we worked on location in the Pit in Nottingham. The other creative I had the pleasure to work with during the year was the Make Up Artist (MUA) Monica Montalvo. We created some pleasing beauty images working with the model Amber Tutton.

New Models images:

I also worked again with Anita De Bauch, Elle Beth, Fredau H, Carla Monoco, and Amber Tutton. it is always good to work with models that you have worked with before, its a bit more relaxing as you know what they can do.

More models:

I have also supported Walters Wardrobe (Jen Brook) and her couture themed shoots at some great locations. These have included Allerton Castle and the vast stately home at Wentworth Woodhouse plus some other great locations too. The Wardrobe team included the MUAs Olivia Morewood and Abigail Pulleyn, with Jen doing the styling, sourcing outfits from the likes of Designer Sharon Bowen- Dryden.

Walters Wardrobe images:

This year I have also started a number of projects which I will feature early next year on this site. The main one has been “Reflected Leeds” which is about creating images of Leeds but using reflections.

I have also had a few trips to various different parts of the country to give talks on my work. These have included a visit to Smethwich photographic society and Bristol photographic society. Both are very prestigous societies so I was pleased to have been invited to present my work. Earlier in the year I attended the Arena Photographers weekend in Bournemouth, showing some of my “Perfecting the art of ” series of images on the Photo walk on the Saturday. These were well received by the delegates at the weekend.

The FIAP distinctions trail had been progressing, I received my EFIAP gold in June of this year, which was pleasing, however I have scaled back the number of exhibition I have been entering, only entering the ones that have good exhibition catalogues. I have managed to maintain a high rate of acceptances and have managed to pick up a few awards as well. I now need to get on with submitting my application for the EFIAP/ platiumn award.

A couple of visits to Spain were fruitful in terms of photography with some more interesting bull running images and other image opportunites. A visit to Glasgow in late October also produced some good images of the city architecture.

Other images from the year:

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Fuji XT-2 first images

My Fuji XT-2 arrived a week or so ago and I really need to get out and try it out.

So when an opportunity came along for a trip up to the Yorkshire Dales with my good friend Adrian of McFade photography I decided it was a good opportunity to take it out for its first airing.

We planned the day as a trip up to visit some iconic landscape areas in the Yorkshire Dales above Settle and then headed over towards Ribblehead. I had been wanting to go back to get some more images from around Ribblehead and impressive viaduct, in that location.

The day started out as a dry one,  but then we had rain showers and then sunshine throughout the afternoon, which I hoped might give some interesting skies but perhaps not always the best way to try out your new camera.

However it was only showers so a quick cover up  with a shower cap when it was raining at its most persistent worked well to keep the Fuji XT-2 and its lens  dry.

So here are some of the images from my new Fuji XT-2

water the colour of Peat III
Water the colour of Peat III
water the colour of Peat I
Water the colour of Peat I
water level indicator
Water level indicator
water the colour of Peat II
Water the colour of Peat II

Using a slow shutter speed for these really help to bring out the water movement and peaty colours.

A short drive and a longer walk downhill to a well hidden water fall was worth the walk despite the walk back been in the rain.

a single fern I
A single fern
the start of autumn
The start of autumn

Driving across to ribblehead gave a few opportunites to stop and get some images with the dry stone walls. Using the new Acros film simulation on the XT-2.

to-the-white-house
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -60m,1/60s @ f4.0
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -100m,1/60s @ f4.5
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -100m,1/60s @ f4.5
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -100m1/60s @ f2.8
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -100m1/60s @ f2.8
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -50m1/30s @ f3.2
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -50m1/30s @ f3.2

Finally a few images towards the viaduct and across towards Ingleborough with it low clouds as a hat.

view-toward-the-viaduct
Fuji XT-2, Touit 12mm
0.5s @ f 20.0
dry-stone-walls-line
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -50m1/60s @ f8.0
ingleborough-in-the-rain
Fuji XT-2, Fuji XF 50-140 -50m1/60s @ f8.0
in the clouds
Fuji XT-2, Fuji 18mm f2.0

So what were my first impressions on using the new XT-2 ?

There were some really good improvements in the new version especially the increased number of focused points and the little joy stick which enabled you to quickly move the focus point to were you need it. Fuji seem to have listened to there users and made some good improvement in the focusing and easy of which you can move that around, the new film mode is also a gives a good feel to the images too.

I now need to try it out in the studio next.

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Walters Wardrobe at Wentworth House

The Venue.

Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house in the village of Wentworth, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire. With some 300 plus rooms it is the largest private house in the United Kingdom. It has also featured in a number of films and TV programs including Mr Turner (2014), and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015).

The event:

And for one weekend It was also became one of the location for a Walters Wardrobe event run by Jen Brook. What a really impressive location for a fashion shoot, its was too. With some truly great locations and large rooms to shoot in, together with the large windows which were providing some wonderful natural light to work with. Together with the designer outfits that Jen sourced and brought together for the event.

The crew:

This Walters Wardrobe event featured the following models Carla Monoco, Mel Tougue, and Kerry Ann. Now I have worked with both Carla and Mel before so it was good to also to meet and get to work with Kerry Ann. The MUAs artists were  Abigail Pulleyn, and Livvy Morewood,  who both did a great job with the MU for the models. Giving them the distinctive look to match the outfits for this event.

The styling:

Jen had sourced the dresses by Joanne Flemming Design and Headpieces by HF Couture Bridal & Millinery Designer Accessories. For this Walter wardrobe event there was also two dancer in attendance Rachel Gittins, and Rocky Serg Widdowson. Both who worked hard to show some great dance moves and poses in the large ballroom area at the location.

high kicks and statues
Floors patterns and spins
Making an entrance
kelly ann I
kelly ann II
mel t
carla m on the stairs
carla m III

Thanks to Jen and the Walters Wardrobe team for another opportunitie to work in a great location with some great models. dancers and designer outfits too.


EFIAP Gold

FIAP Distinctions for Photographic Merit

I’m delighted to have received notification this week that my application for the EFIAP Gold (EFIAP/g) award has been successful.

I have been entering International photographic salons run under the auspice FIAP for the last 6 years. Over that period, I have had success with gaining acceptances of my images in these salons around the world. I have also  managed to pick up a number of awards too.  These salons have provided me with an outlet for my work to be seen and shown internationally.

As I have pursued the FIAP salons trail I have seen inspiring work; I have met a number of good photographers; and made some new friends. I’ve been lucky to have travelled internationally as both an award winner and also as a judge.

 EFIAP/g: Excellence FIAP Gold

So a year on from achieving my EFIAP Sliver (EFIAP/s), I have achieved the Gold award. This makes it my fifth FIAP distinction in consecutive years, which I feel is a good achievement.

As with my other blog posts about the FIAP distinction trail,  EFIAP2013 and EFIAP/b 2014), EFIAP/s 2015, I will share some of the award winning images that were part of my successful EFIAP Gold application.

In my post about achieving my EFIAP Silver, I noted with some regret that FIAP in their wisdom had made major changes to these awards requirements for the following year, which made me question the rationale of continuing to enter international salons.

However later in the year at the FIAP conference, the changes introduced to all the requirements of the awards were revised again. On reviewing the changes, it made me decide to put in my application for EFIAP Gold as I had the required number of acceptances. I applied in December 2015 and was successful.

Below are the award winning images from my EFIAP Gold:

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Photo London

Photo London 2016

Photo London from the 19th -22nd May 2016 – held for the second year at Somerset house London. We had spotted the event  a couple of months ago and booked some tickets.  I wanted to see what it would had to offer. As a trip to visit Paris Photo was an option for a visit later in the year.

The guide stated: that they had brought together 80 of the world’s leading photographic galleries for this year’s fair. Galleries from around the world including countries like Ag Galerie | Tehran. Ayyam Gallery | Dubai – BeirutBILDHALLE | Kilchberg / ZurichCAMERA WORK | Berlinamana (amanasalto / IMA gallery) | Tokyo. So this was going to be an eclectic mix of images

Photo London also had a program of talks and symposia each day which were curated by William A. Ewing, writer and a distinguished curator. There were a number of talks I would have liked to have gone too listen too. These included: Nick Knight, Martin Parr, and Lois Greenfield. Unfortunately they were all sold out. Well before we had booked our tickets, so perhaps need to book earlier next year.

As the Photo London fair didn’t open until 12:30. We decided to use the morning and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum V&A. To view the photography exhibition that was getting 5 stars reviews in the various London guides.

Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century

The advertising for the exhibition states the following:

Paul Strand was one of the greatest and most influential photographers of the 20th century. Whose images have defined the way fine art and documentary photography is understood and practiced today.

It was certainly well curated, and his early images were often taken from a high vantage point looking down into the city. His street images initially were often shot without the subject knowing that they were in the picture. But this changed in later years as he often discussed with the subject what he want to get from the image. He certainly travelled a lot and his actual cameras are on display. Which was good to see what he was working with. I would certainly agree with the 5 star reviews of this exhibition.

The court yard was also worth a visit as a canopy designed to mimic the microscopic structure of the forewing shells of flying beetles has been constructed by a robotic arm using a carbon and glass fibre spun by the arms program, the Elytra Filament Pavilion forms a waterproof shelter in the courtyard. This is part of the exhibitions and events focused on the “unsung role” of engineering in society.

A selection of images from the days visits

Photo London thoughts:

So this was an opportunity to see lots of different people’s work in one location and also see how the medium was being used by many different types of photographers. While you might not like the results it was good to see the range and depth of the different approach to image making in the different forms in each of the galleries.

I enjoyed visiting all the different galleries and it does take a long time to get around then all – you need lots of breaks too. Fortunately the layout of the event made it easy to get around and view the work without lots of other visitors being an issue. It was great to see images from the some of the great photographers of the past, the likes of Horst, Bob Carlos Clarke, and Norman Parkinson as well as images from today image makers like Andreas H. Bitesnich and Nick Brandt Each gallery has something different to view. For the Horst (Mainbocher Corset, 1939) image that I love you needed around 8500 euro to buy one of the prints. However it was amazing to get up close and see the details and shadow tones in the image which was taken in 1939 on a plate camera.

Photo London also had some specific artists with a room dedicated to their work these included Don McCullan (a range of his work, presented in association with Hamiltons Gallery.)  This exhibition included a wide range of his works. A dark moody room for his images worked well.

Craigie Horsfield’s work was also on display in a separate exhibition, which featured 12 of his large scale portrait images. Horsfield is known for his intimate style and sensitive employment of diverse printing techniques, and it was certainly worth visiting.

However for me the best exhibition was the work of Sergey Chilikov, the exhibition was entitled  Photoprovocations

The exhibition info stated the following:

Sergey Chilikov is one of the most outstanding practitioners of the ‘new’ photography which emerged in the USSR in the 1970s. This specially-commissioned exhibition, curated by the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, brings this important artist to the fore.

Closely linked to the Sots Art (Soviet Pop Art) movement, Chilikov’s work is a subversive response to the strict Brezhnev era of the USSR. Away from the oppression of public society and in the privacy of domestic situations, people were free to behave as they wished. Chilikov turned his lens upon his subjects in this liberated state. His work offers a glimpse into a fascinating past counter-culture that has striking resonance to our societies today.

It certainly did and was as I had said above was the best exhibition of Photo London. Overall and good day visiting both the V&A and also Photo London.


Allerton Castle with Walters Wardrobe A-team

Allerton Castle described as England’s grandest and most elegant gothic revival stately home and a venue for weddings, is a location that is quite close to me and it’s an amazing location both inside and out, and when Jen Brook posted a Walters wardrobe event at this location I had to put my name down for a place.

The following models were in attendance Angela Hudson, Arielle Jammy Fox, Alexa Taylor, Antia De Bauch, (hence the Walters Wardrobe A- team). With MUAs Abigail Pulleyn, and Livvy Morewood. Styling was provided by Jen Brook using dresses by Joanne Flemming Design and Headpieces by HF Couture Bridal & Millinery Designer Accessories

I have worked with both Angela Hudson and Anita De Bauch before but not the other two so it was good to get to work with two new models (to me) and also to work with Angela and Anita again as they are both great to work with. Jen had done a great job with the styling with each models outfit working well with the rooms that we worked with them in.

I shot mainly with the rooms’ natural light and my Fuji X-T1 which I found great to see what the exposure would look like on the display screen and then compose the shot. I did use flash in a couple of the rooms just to lift the models a bit out of the scene.

So here are a few of the images from the shoot wifi’d from the camera to the pc so no post editing :

So thanks to Jen and all the team for a great day at this location.

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