Category Archives: Projects

Project – Porthcawl Elvis Festival 2017

I travelled to Porthcawl with my partner at the weekend to catch up with a long-time-no-see University friend and to take some photographs of the annual Elvis Festival. It was pretty much all I’d hoped it would be – both the catch up and the plethora of photographic opportunities! I attempted a number of street photography type images…

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We also indulged ourselves and attended the ‘Best Elvis’ Impersonator competition at the Grand Pavilion. This was genuine treat as many of the entrants were hugely talented and clearly took the business of being crowned ‘King Elvis’, very seriously.

One of my favourite images was this ‘Waiting in the Wings’ shot.. I thought it encapsulated a bit of the unglamorous back stage reality as well as catching the competitor’s pre performance pensive mood….

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For some of the competition images I tried to capture the possibility that Elvis was in fact still breathing and walking among us (note I hadn’t been drinking by this point!) … by shielding the competitors’ faces or showing just elements of the costume etc…

Some shots seemed to work because of the artificial lighting created the right atmosphere…

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If I could only make a living out of documenting these types of events, I would not look back. It made me wonder how much my photography to improve to make this current pipe dream a reality…

Project – End of summer

Having a few days off work meant time to meander around Norfolk… Nothing encapsulated the end of summer for me than this photograph I took of a corpse-like human form washed up on Aldburgh beach…

I sat and watched he/she/it for a while and my mysterious form didn’t stir… it conjured up ideas in my mind as to what they were thinking about; were they listening to the noise of the ocean as music, were they just uncertain whether factor 30 was enough and decided you couldn’t beat solid fabric for suntan protection…

Had I spent longer photographing my subject (and I should have done although bizarrely I felt conspicuous – unlike my subject), I would have extended the composition out further to the left. My beached body echoed the downward slope of the groynes as well as the slope of the pebbles as they fell down to the shore edge.  Out of all the images I took this summer, this was probably my favourite. Goodbye summer …

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Project – Notting Hill again

I am magnetically attracted to this event; my 4th Notting Hill. It is undoubtedly the colour, the noise, the bands of policeman looking faintly worried and yabbering into walkie-talkies, the downright determined and universally agreed intention to party, that suckers me in to tackle the crowds and the ridiculous one way walking zones around the outskirts of the carnival…..  and fundamentally, the sheer anticipation that you never quite know what’s going to happen, good or bad! I didn’t stay too long this year (heat!):-

Carnival butterfly…

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Synchronised fuzz…

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Happy to be there…

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Not so sure…

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Carnival selfies…

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The colour green, in memory of Grenfell…

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More beautiful manes…

Amazing contraptions…

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Project – Westland Place Studios course

My partner purchased a photography ‘experience’ at Westland Place Studios in London, for my birthday this year. It comprised a few hours tuition and a few hours wandering around Shoreditch. I love this part of London at the best of times but having added confidence of roaming as a hoard, gave me the chance to extend my photographic comfort zone a little. The following images were taken on the day:-

Taking your giant inflatable flamingoes for a walk…

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Oblivious to art….

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Bottles, skylights, twinkly lights, patterns… always look up in restaurants!

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An architectural mosaic through the ages…

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Interesting day ….

Project – Anyone for sports photography?

It’s not everyday a friend asks you to go to Wimbledon with her because she had won tickets in the ballot for Centre court. There are some questions just too blindingly easy to answer!  I took my camera gear with me to capture some of the greats (we saw Murray and Nadal) but also to find out how easy it was to try and put my own spin (excuse the pun) on sports images:-

Late afternoon and evening, I found myself concentrating on the shadows on court:-

And then as the matches wore on I was also looking at the enormous single entity facing us – the crowd on the other side of the court. The synchronised head movements looking from left to right and then back again, the hats, the fanning of the faces, the occasional rummaging around in bags for fuel and drink, and the row of torpedo like array of camera lenses lined up to the base of my viewpoint. A single female professional photographer in the ‘pit’ by the edge of the court, caught my eye in her standout yellow hat (and I wondered if it put the players off at all!):-

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Project – Gig shots – Tom Jones

We got tickets for ‘Sir Tom’ playing at Holkham Hall in Norfolk in July, at not knowing what to expect. At 77 he is somewhat of a walking legend with a voice that hasn’t diminished through age..  We were not disappointed. We were set quite far into the crowds in the open air field, back but my new 70-300mm lens was on test and I wanted to see how easy it would be to take images of an icon performing on a predominantly artificially lit stage. I was pleased with the results and despite being told to ‘put it away’ (I assumed the camera), I managed to get the following images:-

 

Project – Neon – Tacky or rather Beautiful?

  • BeGod’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow is an amazing venue where you can be bathed in neon lights from a multitude of crafted signs. Most images were taken boosting ISO up to about 640 and using shutter speeds of 1/160 to 1/200 of a second. :-

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I think my personal favourite creation which resonated with me the most was this one:-

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There was great scope also for some light trails and zoom bursts too:-

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The owner Chris Bracey died in 2014 but the manager/designer ‘Gothic John’ roamed the site when we visited; a very cool individual, reminiscent of a tall Samuel L Jackson but minus the beret, instead donning a military style suit and hat. I am annoyed with myself for not asking him for a portrait. There is a picture of him below on the right:-

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I think my overall reflection from this, is that taking images of beautiful things may be less meaningful, trite, easy and to some bland, but sometimes I think indulging yourself and enjoying capturing those objects, whatever they are to you, is what photography is all about.