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Storytelling In Somerset

Storytelling In Somerset

In early August I posted out on social media that I was looking for people to capture lifestyle portraits of for my project Life In A Somerset Landscape.

The response was impressive and I found myself having a difficult time responding to everyone that reached out but Im glad to say I did out of simple courtesy.
In August shortly after my social media appeal, I captured Melanie Deegan but since then It’s been a slow burner arranging shoots in between what has been a very busy summer with assignments.

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Inspiring Riding, Combining Passions For Creative Blocks

It’s been a busy 5 – 6 weeks putting the final touches to a worldwide campaign for one of my London based clients.Now I have some spare time to work on ideas for some personal projects. Sometimes, however, we all can get stuck in a creative rut and I’ve learned over the years you can’t force things you have to just gently roll with it and kick start creative juices.

 

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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 !

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Asur At Dawn, Aegean Coast Turkey

This image was captured during one of my many trips to Turkey.
I set out just after dawn to walk along the beach to explore and capture anything that took my fancy in the glourious if not a little harsh morning light.
I had only walked for less than 5 minutes when I noticed this gentleman who I later discovered was called Asur sat smoking a cigarette enjoying the beautiful morning over Gumbet bay.
After a few nods to each other I decided to approach him to ask if I may take his picture.
He spoke no english and my limited Turkish was not any good but we got by and I positioned him with an iconic Gulet in the background.
He must have enjoyed his 5 mins of fame as he insisted I take more images of him on the balcony of the hotel beach bar he worked for !
I returned a year later with some prints but never saw him again.

Glamour Girls, Bike Show Poster

Several years ago I had the enviable position of being on a retainer for Trader Media Group.
At the beginning my main contract was photographing prestigious & sports cars for the cover of Trader Media’s Top Marques publication.
With a good creative relationship and understanding of what was required for Trader I was soon asked to take on other projects including photographing some glamourous images of young ladies for Bike Trader Magazine.
Most of the brief required studio shots of the girls for various posters,magazine cover and give away’s.
For this image which was to be a poster give away I suggested we move out of the comfort of the studio and it’s clinical white cove and try something above and beyond the brief.
Fortunately the creative director and I had worked together for nearly a year or more by now so trusted me.In fact I think he had got used to me pushing the brief a little and was one of the reasons the relationship worked so well.
I dont mind the studio but working on location just can’t be beaten for me although being winter I’m not sure the girls would not have agreed !

George The Greek Of Kos Castle

My wife and I purchased a holiday home in Turkey 8 years ago and so I have traveled to the Bodrum area of Turkey a fair bit.
On one such “Working Trip” (as I tell my wife) myself with several of my friends popped across to the beautiful Greek island of Kos for the day.It was during a tour around the Castle that I was drawn to this delightful man called George who was offering his services as a tour guide.
I knew straight away I had to photograph him so I sat out of the blistering May heat on a marble bench with him and struck up a conversation.
I mentioned we where over from Turkey where I had a home and he got slightly animated telling me why you should not trust the Turks !
It’s no secret there is a lot historic bad blood between the Greeks & the Turks and being in his 80’s he had obviously see a lot of it.
We continued to chat before my friends caught me up, so I captured his portrait and we said our goodbye’s.
I adore meeting,chatting and photographing people like George after all they have been there seen it and done it all.
If you ever find yourself on Kos keep an eye out for George although I suspect he might no longer be with us.

 

 

The 1943 Harley & DDay Despatch Rider

Inspired by some very old musty prints and tales from my Mum and Dad about living and working through WW2 I set out to shoot some images that represented that era.
Through some research I managed to find a guy called Manny who had collection of WW2 memorbillia (and that’s a huge understatement !) who was also located not far from me.
As expected he was very passionate about the era and travelled to many of the reenactments both here and abroad during the summer months.
During our chat he mention the authentic 750cc 1943 Harley Davidson he had and a U.S infantryman’s uniform as worn in the DDay invasion.
At that point the image came together, how about we create a story where a U.S Army Despatch Rider from headquarters company is delivering messages to and from various units.
The setting would be a forest in northern France and so my next job was to find the location and arrange the logistics of getting Manny and his bike there.
Manny was a dream to work with bringing authentic maps,rifles,etc giving us plenty of options for many variations I may want to try.
My work is about quiet moments so I worked around the idea of the rider taking a rest from his dangerous assignment.

 

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