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Slice of life, A brief photography trip to Porto Cristo

Slice of life, A brief photography trip to Porto Cristo

 

Last Day Porto Cristo is an image I captured on a brief photography trip while in Majorca one October.
It was the last day of the holiday season for the island and most of the tourist areas were already closed up ready for the winter which is always slightly depressing to see.

I had decided to take a quick photography trip 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.

A short while elapsed 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.

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Photo Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

Photo Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

As well as being an advertising photographer I also offer high-end photo retouching services.

This means even when not working on an assignment I will often challenge to myself that even on a family holiday I return with at least one killer image that represents the place and my experience of it.
There was a time in my younger years where I would never relax when away and I’d be running around every day at dawn and dusk shooting like a man possessed.
Over the years my way of working has changed (to the relief of the wife) and I often feel the need of a more challenging and unique way of creating that requires a little more of a planned approach.

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This image (well some of it) was shot on the Costa Del Sol in Spain during one such family holiday. I had been out with my camera a few times during the week but mainly scouting for inspiration for the killer image.
Was struck me about the area was the amount of people out at both morning and night walking their dogs, running, cycling or on rollerblades simply enjoying the beautiful coast and its climate.
The coast was dotted with these striking looking lifeguard towers and clusters of exotic looking Palm trees along the beach that provided shade and a perch for the large colony of Parakeets.
Inspiration was gained and I decided I would venture out at daybreak later that week and capture some of these elements and create the image below titled Contentment.
The model is my youngest and cheapest child to bribe for a shoot Ava with my neighbours very photogenic dog Barney who were both captured upon my return home.

Wooden Horse & Treacherous Tides

Wooden Horse & Treacherous Tides

 

The Bristol Channel can be a treacherous place.
For starters it has the second-highest tidal range in the world, the first is the Bay of Fundy in Canada.
So if that does not catch you out then there is the mud to contend with which claims many a tourist’s cars during the summer months.

I’ve lived along this coast for a large part of my life so I know to give it a lot of respect.
So it was partly this that intrigued me about the Mud Horse Fishermen who go onto the dangerous mudflats to retrieve fish from their nets.

They can only do this as they know the area and tides very well and also have their sledges known as Wooden Horses that keep them from sinking waist deep or more into the concrete like mud.
I had 20 years previous captured an environmental portrait of another of the fishermen but now only 2 survive and I decided to call Adrian Sellick to see if I might be able to capture him for my project Life In A Somerset Landscape
A time was arranged and I met up with Adrian a week later and also his father Brendan who was busy mending nets just a stone’s throw from the beach.

To my amazement, Adrian said he would drive us part of the mile or so out to where his Horse was anchored in his small 4×4 and I have to say I was pretty nervous about that after seeing so many vehicles devoured!
Thankfully I had nothing to worry about and with Adrian’s advise I managed to avoid stepping on the wrong type of mud and being swallowed up and got the shots I wanted before the tide turned.
The final image shows Adrian with his Wooden Horse with Hinkley Point Power Station in the background.

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Wallpaper Photo…Art?

I’ve been selling my images as prints via a few small galleries for 20 odd years.In all that time I’ve never had an image reproduced as big as the one shown here. I was asked if I could supply the image titled “Wooden Walkway” by by neice who wanted to decorate her new home with it.

The image has sold many times both here and in the U.S.A and is probably my best selling image and I doubt it will ever be reproduced quite as large anytime soon.

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Cityscape Image Eiffel Tower Nightscape

Cityscape Image Eiffel Tower Nightscape

This famous cityscape was captured while visiting Paris for a meeting with an Advertising Agency.
I decided to stay on and an extra couple of days to capture the city including the iconic Parisian landmark the Eiffel Tower.

With a slight miscalculation to setting my alarm, I found myself walking the streets of Paris an hour before dawn.
This actually worked out well as it meant I could take my time choosing my locations and was blessed with some beautifully lit images of the city at night.

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Pre-dawn Eiffel Tower Paris.

 

“July” Snapshot Of An English Summers Day

I was asked to do some teaching the other day which I rarely do much of these days and I was explaining how important it is to learn the fundamentals of photography.

I also very quickly added that once you have learnt them that really anything goes ..if something works for the intention of the image you are creating then it works end of the story.

This kind of applies to this image as I rarely would ever create any serious imagery in the middle of the day especially in the height of summer.

The sunlight (if we have any) is harsh, contrast and for the most part pretty uninteresting and if shooting landscapes everything tends to be a little too green with little colour contrast between anything.

Having said that I’ve always maintained there is no bad light it just depends on what you are trying to achieve in the image.

I had the idea of creating a cow image for a while and for me they remind me of Summer with yes you guessed its green fields and deep Mediterranean blue skies.

Apart from having to be careful with the vast contrast inherent in the scene it all went together well with an appropriate Somerset landmark of Burrow Hill in the distance.

 

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4 Hours In Amsterdam, Inspired To Capture

The majority of the work I create these days tends to be pre-planned to a brief or an idea I’m inspired to create usually from several images composited in post.
Now and again though it’s great to just grab the camera and just explore and capture whatever I come across.
This often occurs when travelling to new places and I find inspiration is in overdrive to go and creative images that represent the place I’m experiencing.
While in Holland last week I had a few hours before flying home to go and explore Amsterdam.
There are in my opinion a couple of possible downfalls to arriving at either a well-known location or having limited time somewhere.

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If I’m visiting somewhere like Venice or Rome avoiding the well known often copied postcard locations and coming up with something fresh and in my own style is always one of my main objectives.
If time is limited at a location like in the shots here of Amsterdam then I’ll often find great locations only to feel that there would be an even better shot if only I could be there longer to wait for the light or weather to change, I suppose it’s a case of always wanting that little bit more perfection.
Over the years I have had to accept you are there at that moment and creating something unique from what you have in front of you and the other option is to simply just walk on by.

Here are a couple of images that I captured during my brief time in Amsterdam, the one below is a composite from two separate images captured a short distance from each other and composited together to create the final image.

 

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Summer In Amsterdam

Recovery

It’s been a bit of a tough year both personally and for the area I live and love that is still recovering from the recent floods.
This week I took a break from a hefty amount of marketing to do some walking and take some therapeutic snaps while I was at it.
Pointing my camera without any plans to what I wanted to specifically capture is not something I do a lot of these days so it was a bit like yoga for the creative muscles to just follow my nose.
I decided to head a few miles from the Studio to the edge of the Somerset Levels at Hambridge where just a few months earlier was several feet underwater and the road totally unpassable at least by car.

I’m glad to say I found a drastic change to the area since my last visit and everything appears to be returning to some kind of normality.
That is not to say that the signs of the devastation where not evident in fact I came a cross everything from flattened rotting withy trees to dead Deer (although that was probably due to a car than the flooding).
Although many fields still looked saturated with water and mud a few did have some signs of growth in them along with hedges blooming with Blackthorn