In between my weddings I managed to squeeze in a short break to visit my good friends Dorota and Michal in Warsaw, who are also known as Whitesmoke
There is some amazing photography coming out of Poland and these 2 are at the cutting edge. The style is different to what we see here in the UK and USA – a bit more grittier, more real life, not as fluffed up.
Although I do like some fluffy photography (I’m a romantic at heart !) its good to see alternatives.
These were all shot on the D700 with one lens, the 50mm. I would have liked wider at times particularly when I was shooting the demo but when traveling I like to be as light as possible. Besides its good to practise with one lens and makes you work and look more.
Warsaw is an interesting city and not as bad as I was lead to believe. Lots of interesting buildings and architecture (some of the Soviet stuff was interesting in particular the Cultural Palace) as well as excellent restaurants and bars. And of course friendly, welcoming people. I couldn’t have had a better welcome, so thanks again Dorota and Michal and hope to see you in London next !
Here are some favourites from an engagement portrait session in Windsor, Berkshire. This was of Anna and Kong and I’ll be doing their wedding photography at The Olde Bell in Hurley later this month. These are always fun and relaxed to do especially at a favourite location. As Anna and Kong both live in Windsor and the fact I attended a trade show there on the same day, this was an ideal location.
In fact the plan on their wedding day is to go for a short stroll around Windsor straight after the ceremony at The Guild Hall. This will be great fun and I’m sure the tourists will be snapping away like mad. So in a way this engagement shoot was like a warm up, rehearsal minus the white dress and suits of course. Below are some more favourites so please feel free to add any comments.
Anyone who is seriously into photography and portraiture in particular must visit the Irving Penn exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar square. I paid a visit yesterday with my colleagues from The Britpack and was not disappointed.
Penn has to be one of my favourite portrait photographers and has been a huge influence on me in the way he creates such graphic compositions (the Marlene Dietrich portrait springs to mind) and the strong use of directional light.Unlike many portrait photographers he did not necessarily have to flatter the subject which he quite often broad lit and shot from a low angle with a wide lens. A perfect recipe to make you look 3 stone heavier ! Anyhow the techniques and presentation he used are still very much relevant 40, 50 years on, even more so in an age of endemic digital mediocrity and gimmickry.
On my way home I noticed a busker under Waterloo Bridge and I took a few shots which are in some way, a nice reminder of what I had just seen.
Last month I posted some images I had taken in London with a really neat i phone application called hipstamatic. I really love shooting with this and the retro look it produces. So I thought I’d post a few more here which I’ve taken recently close to where I live. These were also taken on my new 3G s phone which has a better camera that produces bigger files and therefore better quality prints.
I’m often asked which photographers have had the biggest influence on the way I shoot and my answer is always Cartier Bresson, Doisneau and Erwitt. So whenever possible I try to work in a similar style. Not only is this an enjoyable challenge but to stay top of my game it is essential to practice timing, anticipation and finding interesting images in the most unlikely situations. In other words – learning how to see.
Here are some images taken on a recent business trip to Bologna in Italy. I love everything about Italy, it has to be my favourite country. With Christmas in the air and some unexpected snow showers the mood and atmosphere of the place gave me plenty of interesting opportunities. Below are some favourites. Most were taken on the Lumix G1 with a the Summilux 25mm 1.4. For the wider work I used the Lumix 20mm, 1.7 pancake lens. These were essential because of the low light.
Very few are aware that the town of Reading hosted approximately 900 prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars between 1807-1809. About two thirds were from Denmark and were ‘fortunate’ to be held in Reading with a fair amount of freedom. The alternative was usually a rotting prison ship. During this time they integrated seemlessly into Reading life and became quite popular. They were often referred to as The Gentlemen Danes.
One of these prisoners was Laurenthes Braag whose memorial stone at Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin can be seen above. This was spotted some years ago by my friend and local historian John Nixon. It was in a bad shape then but was restored to its former glory by Michael Eastham and Joscelyn Schmidt. Yesterday saw the official unveiling of the memorial. This was well attended by local historians and special guests as well as Reading Civic Society, The Mayor of Reading, Per Bjerg (Museum Curator, Fano), Captain Niels Erik Sorensen (Danish Defence Attache) and Lars Flyvholm (MD of Bang and Olufsen UK – who sponsored the event)
Below are some of my favourite shots. If you attended the event and would like copies of the complete set (114 in total) please e mail me with your postal address. Please feel free to add any comments below.
For photographers – All images shot with on Lumix G1. Lenses – Lumix 20mm 1.7 (pancake lens) and Leica Summilux 25mm 1.4. This is a great camera I love using. Very small and discreet with excellent metering and AF which locks quickly and doesn’t ‘hunt’ in low light like my Canon 5D tends to. It is however quite noisy in the shadows at 1600 compared to my Canons. Not so much a problem for me as I often add grain to my images afterwards to give a film look.
A few years back I posted some images from my trip to Auschwitz. Since then I have changed to a new blog and the images became lost in Cyberspace. Quite a few people have asked about them so I have decided to post some here again.
These were taken in November 2007 and as you can see it was bitterly cold with a thin covering of snow which added to the bleakness of the place. It is an eerily silent place where people say the birds don’t sing. This is particularly true on the edge of the forest where the gas chambers were.
These were all shot on the Canon 5d with the 35m, 1.4 lens. Not only is this my favourite story telling lens but it was absolutely necessary for the low light.