This Blog Has Moved

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Miss England 2009

Miss England 2009
Originally uploaded by

Here's a quick post to let you know that I have posted a selection of images from the Miss England 2009 contest. You can find a small edit on my Flickr page and also a much larger edit with opportunities to buy prints and downloads for publishing on my Photoshelter page.

It was an interesting job lasting two days; a day of rehearsals followed by another morning of rehearsals and the evening's competition. Surprisingly tiring though. I shot the rehearsals with a couple of Canon 5D MkII bodies, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 35mm f1.4L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2. When the contest began I added a Canon 1D MkIII and a 70-200mm f2.8L lens. All the spare lenses were carried in a ThinkTank Photo Skins pouch set attached to a Belly Dancer harness. Made the job so much easier!

The hardest thing was to get natural shots of the contestants when they were off stage. They have been taught to be so aware of the camera that they would immediately pose. After a while though, as they became bored, it became easier and I managed a few nice candid moments.

The 5D MkII surprised again; the light backstage was so dim, that I thought even with my f1.2 and f1.4 lenses I was going to struggle; as you can see, the camera helped me make some rather nice images. Amazing.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

From the Upper Deck

253 to Euston
Every once in a while I come across a project or a set of pictures that stops me in my tracks. This is one of those instances. I first became aware of Przemek Wajerowicz images through Twitter; he started following me and after looking through his posts, I followed him back. He has a great blog with new pictures every day.

9 to Aldwych
Its a genius idea, and as with all genius ideas, its so simple. He photographs from the upper deck of the buses in London. Its such a great idea, and even more so, a great set of photographs. His eye is for the obscure and quirky; I definitely recommend you have a look through his work; do pay close attention though as there's usually something very subtle going on within the frame too.

36 to New Cross
When I asked him to send me a short biography, all he had to say was "I am just an ordinary guy who takes photos". Well, they are superb! In the 'about' section of his web site he describes this work as "Only a sketch pad of ongoing photography project. All photos were taken with 50mm lens".

If the Mayor of London's office had any sense, they would approach him immediately to exhibit his work and also start using his beautiful imagery to promote the bus service (Come on Boris!).

I'd go even as far as saying that Przemek is like a modern day Henri Cartier-Bresson on the busses.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

PPY Private View

PPY, the Press Photographer's Year had its prize giving and private view on July 13th. In its fourth year it brought together the best in press photography and photojournalism from the UK, and photographers working internationally for UK publications.

Winner of Photograph of the Year, Rosie Hallam

Co-founder of the awards, Tim Bishop

Leon Neal receives his award in the portrait category
from Canon's Matt Beard

Its an absolutely superb exhibition, based in the Lyttelton Foyer of the National Theatre on the Southbank. The exhibition's on 'till Monday, 31st August 2009. I can't recommend this exhibition enough; its stunning.

PS - If you see a picture of Barack Obama whilst there, I'm proud to say, its mine!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

42 Seconds Of Brilliance

The is stunning. A 42 second long short film (guess we might need to call this an ultra short?) called "Last Day Dream" by Chris Milk. Absolutely stunning. This is truly an education in how to edit and be to the point with your story.

Last Day Dream [HD] from Chris Milk on Vimeo.

"Last Day Dream"
a man watches his life pass before him

Quicktime version

Produced for the 42 Second Dream Film Festival
Beijing China 2009

Written and Directed by Chris Milk
Produced by Samantha Storr
Associate Producer Brad O'Connor
Music Chris Milk
Photography Chris Milk
Editor Livio Sanchez
Production Designer Matthew Holt
Wardrobe Stylist Lydia Paddon
Makeup & Wardrobe Molly Paddon
Production Assistance Jason Baum
Production Assistance Clint Caluory
Telecine Dave Hussey
Sound Design Eddie Kim

Shot entirely on Lensbaby Lenses and Canon 5D Mark II SLR Camera

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A Life Alone

I just came across this amazingly sensitive and very touching multimedia piece by Maisie Crow, the winner of the Ian Parry Scholarship. Its called "A Life Alone". Its well worth watching.

A Life Alone from Soul of Athens on Vimeo.

For 63 years, Tom Rose and his wife, Mary, built a life together on his family farm on Canaanville Road. Then last year Mary passed away, leaving Tom to face the future alone, surrounded by a lifetime of memories.

Maisie Crow: Photography, Videography and Production
Jenn Poggi: Senior Producer

Friday, 3 July 2009

The Press Photographer's Year Winners Announced

PPY (Press Photographer's Year) have announced this years winners.

A big congratulation to all the authors of the chosen works and specially to the author of the Photograph of the Year, the biggest accolade given in the competition, Rosie Hallam.

I'm happy to say that one of my images, a shot of Barack Obama, has made it into the "Selected" photographs (its number 108 in the slideshow).

A big congratulations also to the winner of the Multimedia section, Abbie Trayler-Smith, who's audio slideshow can be viewed below:

Still Human Still Here; Refused asylum seekers in the UK. from Anna Stevens on Vimeo.

The exhibition opens at the National Theatre's Lyttleton Foyer on July 4 and will continue until August 31st.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Chase Jarvis & The Consequences Of Creativity

Chase Jarvis CURRENT: The Consequences of Creativity from Chase Jarvis on Vimeo.

An interesting presentation by friend and colleague Chase Jarvis from a talk he gave to the Art Director's Club of Denver. Although Chase's work is more commercial based stuff, his energy, enthusiasm and novel approach to his projects make this video a must see.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

MacBook Pro: Cool As A Cucumber!

Let me paint you a picture; I'm in London and we've got a heat wave on! Its been in the high twenties and low thirties (in centigrade that is!) and I'm stuck indoors working on several projects. I'm editing a huge portrait project in Aperture on my Mac Pro, doing office stuff, accounts, countless emails, Twitter and getting a presentation together in Keynote on my iMac and also in need of scanning in many rolls of 35mm and 120 roll film.
I decided to hook up my MacBook Pro to my Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED for this task, and let it scan away whilst I concentrated on working on the other two machines. Like a maniac, I've been sliding my office chair between these three machines for the third day now!

I've always used laptops out in the field to edit and file photos from assignments. I've never had a laptop work intensively for anything more than a few hours at a time; until now. I've been working away from around 10am to around 2am the following morning for three days solid. I'm just stunned that the MacBook Pro has been absolutely stable without even a sign of a hiccup. Its been scanning 220Mb images, some of which have had a lot of processing done (due to scanning settings like shadow and highlight adjustment). I'm just stunned that in this heat (alas, I don't have air conditioning), working solidly all day and evening long, doing intensive work, my little MacBook Pro's just got on with it, without the slightest tantrum. I expect this from the Mac Pro and the iMac, but from a laptop? Amazing!