I must admit ‘Conflict, Time, Photography‘ at the Tate Modern was not what I had expected. Before attending the exhibition I had not heard anything about it, all I knew was that the Tate had curated an exhibition of conflict photography. I expected it to be brimming with iconic war photography like Nick Ut’s The Terror of War (commonly referred to as Napalm Girl). But apart from Roger Fenton’s The Valley of the Shadow of Death and Don McCullin’s shell-shocked US marine it was all pretty new to me.
At the start of the year Flickr asked me to write a guest post for their blog showcasing seven images from my Flickr favourites. It was quite a difficult task as I’ve over 10,000 Flickr favourites (you can see a random selection from my favourites in this post). I did not look though them all as I only had to scratch the surface to find some great images to write about. I chose my seven not because they where better than the rest, I chose them because they’re a diverse set of images most of which told a story.
This Saturday I’ll be appearing on CBBC’s new art show ‘Art Ninja‘. Art Ninja follows the artistic adventures of Ricky AKA the Art Ninja. In the episode I appear in Ricky comes to Brighton and enlists the help of some local kids and me to help him make a seaside themed photographic montage. The episode will air at 8:25AM this Saturday (7th February) on CBBC and will be on the iPlayer shortly after.
The Art Ninja and his helpers showing their ninja skills
I was interviewed by Viva Brighton for their January Edition. It’s first the of a new series of interviews / project highlights which is a collaboration between MiniClick and Viva Brighton. Each month MiniClick will source a Brighton based photo project to be featured in the magazine and Viva will interview the photographer. MiniClick organises free photography talks / events in Brighton and further afield.
Brighton Swimming club photos in Viva Brighton. See more swimming photos on my website here.
The latest exhibition at Media Space packs more Iconic photographic prints into one room than you’ve probably ever seen in your lifetime. As soon as you walk in you can’t help but notice one of the most iconic photographs of all time: Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’. I’ve seen the ‘Afghan Girl’ image many times but this is the first time I’ve seen a print and it’s absolutely gorgeous, hanging next to it was Yousuf Karsh’s 1947 iconic portrait of Winston Churchill.
As soon as walk into Drawn By Light you will see Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’ and Yousuf and Karsh’s portrait of Winston Churchill side by side
If I am in Brighton on Christmas day I will always try to document the Brighton Christmas day swim. Brighton beach was meant to be closed to swimmers on Christmas day 2014 and the Christmas Brighton day swim canceled. In 2012 and 2011 the council / sea front office took the decision to close the beach because of bad weather to prevent people from swimming, no one tried enter the water in those years. In 2014 the decision was taken to close the beach two weeks before Christmas day. It turned out that Christmas 2014 was sunny and the sea was flat so a small group of people went swimming despite the beach closure.
I’ve been shooting Christmas day swims since 2005. You can see a selection of images for previous swims in my portfolio here.
The Lomography Petzval lens is a relatively new lens inspired by the past but designed to work with modern Nikon and Canon Digital SLRs. It’s totally manual and the images it produces have a dream like quality to them which is down to the super shallow depth of field and circular bokeh (blurring). Anything in the centre of frame will be highlighted by the circular bokeh and blurring patten. The lens is the equivalent of an 85mm on a full frame camera (like any Canon 5D) and its maximum aperture is f/2.2.
Portrait shot in Dark cafe on 100 ISO and 20th sec
When the Aperture is at it’s widest it can be a little tricky to get pin sharp focus
The roots of this new lens lies in the original Petzval lens designed by Joseph Petzval in 1840, and although Lomography’s Petzval is technically a little different from the original, they’ve definitely nailed the 1840’s aesthetic. In August 2013 Lomography ran a successful Kickstater campaign to fund the manufacturing of a new version of the Petzval, they smashed their $100,000 funding goal 13 times over. After the Kickstarter backers receive their lenses Lomography are selling them to anyone who wants one.
Lomographic Petzval mounted on a Canon Eos 5d Mrk-iii. Can also be used with Nikon DSLRs. There are also adaptors available for NEX, FX and M4/3 mount cameras which means you can use the New Petzval on even more cameras, including the Sony A7, Olympus OM-D and Fuji X-Pro 1 and many more.
I have to admit I’ve a soft spot for Flickr as I’ve been an avid user for a long time, in fact I signed up 10 years ago this month when it was only eight months old. Although my usage is not what it once was, I’ve made a lot of good friends through the Flickr community and it’s helped my photographic career. A nice little titbit that you might not know: Flickr was spun out of the online Game Neverending’s photo sharing feature. At the time consumer digital photography was really in its infancy and photo editing was not as easy as it now (Lightroom was still three years away). This meant the majority of content on Flickr was unedited digital images which could look a little flat colour wise, this meant that my highly saturated film photos really jumped out from their digital counterparts.
London Millennium Bridge one of early images I uploaded to Flickr