Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Congratulations Team GB

What a few days of action in the Rio velodrome. But where the medals were really won was back at base with all those hours of hard training. Many hours were spent at the home of British Cycling, namely the Manchester velodrome. I had the privilege of photographing the sprint squad, including Jason Kenny, Callum Skinner, Becky James, Katy Marchant and Phil Hindes who were supporting the Help for Heroes charity. And to watch Jason Kenny full bore behind a motorbike was a sight to behold.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Shoe time

You can approach product photography in a couple of different ways. Make an arty, visually appealing picture or keep it strictly factual and let the product speak for itself. I’ve demonstrated both methods in these photographs of shoes and, as always, the lighting is critical whichever treatment you choose. The two pack shots against the white backgrounds are evenly lit with the shoes simply placed to reveal their details, while for the other two I used complementary backgrounds and composed and lit the shots carefully to build them into creative images. 



Monday, 7 July 2014

Vive le Yorkshire

It's not often that you can nip out of Manchester to watch the greatest race in the world pass by. Massive crowds watched Yorkshire kick off the Tour de France this weekend. Here Blel Kidri of team AG2R Mondiale leads the race as he reaches the summit of Sunday’s biggest climb, Holme Moss. The crowds were amazing, 60,000 people on Holme Moss alone by all accounts.

Le Gendarmerie on British roads

A hero of mine Frenchman Tommy Voeckler

And the day before at the start in Leeds, Cav no more but va va Froome!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Lady in Red

I enjoy the challenge of arriving at a new location and seeking out the best setting for my subject. It didn’t take long this time: the moment Patricia Masters of Westgate CVs opened the door to her rich red hallway I knew where to shoot the business portraits she’d commissioned. I placed my lighting strategically to build some intrigue and create a sense of recession through the arches. And the other week the Northwest British Institute of Professional Photography Awards confirmed that my hallway hunch was right when, in the Environmental Portraiture category, my lady in red won me a gold.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Hero Ride

As a self confessed cycloholic (is that a word?) I had a dream assignment this week at the Manchester Velodrome. I was asked to photograph the launch of Hero Ride on behalf of Help for Heroes. Centre stage were Jon-Allan Butterworth, triple silver medalist at London 2012 Paralympics and Afghanistan war veteran Nathan Cumberland along with other members of Team GB cycling squad.

Why not join the ride. If you fancy Manchester to London it's only 230 miles! You've got 5 days though...

Jon-Allan in action
 And again, I know it's blurred but he was motoring. It's now art!
Is that banking steep...
  Nathan and Jon-Allan next to statue of another cycling legend Reg Harris.
Yes, they train behind a motorbike
And a real treat, Jason Kenny, triple olympic gold medalist and double world champion at full bore in training. Can he move!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Happy Christmas

A photographer friend of mine told me about the work of Kevin Best, described as one of the top 12 photographers on Flickr. Take a look, it's worth it. He specialises in sumptuous still lifes in the style of the Old Masters. There's a certain richness and quality to his work, so I was intrigued as to how he'd achieved it. He uses medium format, Pentax I think, but he also knows a lot about lighting which is ultimately what counts.

It gave me an idea for a Christmas still life of my own and I thought I'd investigate the relative qualities of a dslr versus medium format to assess just how much advantage it gives and it's significant.

so here's the first shot on a Canon 5D Mark II

and the next on a Hasselblad H3D-39

The medium format shot is much more colour accurate, has a wider dynamic range - one of the principal advantages of this large sensor, and a beautiful tonal range. The web browser doesn't do it justice but look at the candle and the fir cones. There's more tones and shadow detail evident, plus it handles the highlights so much better.

Capturing the smoke was fun, fortunately I got the better effect on the higher quality shot.

Have a great Christmas!

Ode to Michael Kenna

I took the opportunity recently to visit an exhibition by one of my photographic heroes, Michael Kenna. It was held at The Brindley in Runcorn, near his home town of Widnes. I've admired his work for a long time - it's landscape based, characterised by an abstract simplicity devoid of people so no sense of scale is easily imparted. His work is often minimalist with a very small range of tones. He predominately shoots in black and white, often in the square format, a format I particularly like.

I know you shouldn't photograph other people's work but I do so here to explain a photo I took myself in a Kenna style. I hope he doesn't mind!

One of his major projects has been the photography of Ratcliffe Power Station concentrating on the impressive cooling towers. Whilst going round the exhibition I noticed the light on the distant cooling towers at Fiddler's Ferry and as it had just stopped raining the window was covered in an attractive pattern of rain drops. So I combined the two elements to make my own composition as my ode to Michael Kenna.