The Journey Home, London – November 2013
I filter what I post to this blog by only including photos that evoke a strong reaction in me – and sometimes these shots happen in the most unexpected of places, like sitting on a commuter train on the way home after a long day out. Harsh, artificial lighting, the motion of the train and the close proximity of so many other people going about their daily routine – these may not be the ideal elements for a good portrait, but that’s what I love about photography; you can be in the most unlikely of situations and still capture something that speaks to you.
Of course the fact that I see so much in this photo is highly subjective because I know the subjects so well (they are my sons, after all). I wonder what others see…
Nikon D7000 – 1/15 sec at f/5.0, ISO 400 – 15mm (10-20mm f/4-5.6)
Big Ben, London – November 2013
I’m always looking for different takes on subjects, and realised as I wandered past Big Ben yesterday that I hadn’t really looked at it from this angle before – probably because to see it from here you have to stand in the middle of a very busy road! I grabbed the shot as the lights changed and hoards of people crossed the street. I like this view because there is no other clutter to detract from the two main elements in the shot.
Nikon D7000 – 1/13 sec at f/5.3, ISO 400 – 18mm (10-20mm f/4-5.6)
Big Hand, London – November 2013
I was shooting for a silhouette with this shot, but once I saw it on-screen I liked the detail in the foreground, so I upped the levels in the shadows a little and played around with the split toning function in Lightroom until I got the look I wanted. I like that the foreground figure, with the rigid looking cloth folds in his top and the fact that he is standing on a plinth, looks almost like a statue – quite fitting for his position in front of Buckingham Palace.
Nikon D7000 – 1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4-5.6)
Vancouver Commuter, Canada – March 2013
I was out and about shooting around Vancouver city centre on a cold, grey Thursday morning when this guy shot past me on his unicycle. It was still pretty early, so I can only assume that he was commuting to work! I like the way the trees form a natural frame and give the shot more depth – I think that’s what makes it work for me.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/400 sec at f/1.2, ISO 100 – 50mm (EF50mm f/1.2L)
Crossroads Of The World, LA – March 2013
The ‘Crossroads Of The World’ on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. There are some great old buildings around this area, harking back to the glamorous heyday of Hollywood. This development, which was built in 1936, was once a busy shopping centre – in fact, it has been claimed that it was the first outdoor shopping mall in America – and its frontage with its spinning globe has become a Hollywood icon. Today the stores are gone, and the bungalows around the central building – built to look like an ocean liner – are inhabited by producers, script writers, casting agencies and the like.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/20 sec at f/16, ISO 320 – 16mm (EF16-35mm f/2.8L)
Light, Périgueux France – August 13
This shot was taken in Périgueux Cathedral. Périgueux is a beautiful old town in the Dordogne in south western France, and the cathedral is striking, with domed roofs and a rather phallic tower (or is it just me? Pic below). I’ve been inside the cathedral many times before, but on this particular morning the sun was shining quite intensely through one of the stained glass windows, throwing a beautifully hued light across the nave. It was a tricky shot to expose for, and a relatively long hand-held exposure, but I was pleased to capture at least some of the beauty of the light.
Nikon D7000 – 1/4 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100 – 13mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Japanese Kitchen, Camden Market – March 2013
A stop for gyoza and green tea on a bitterly cold day at Camden Market in North London. I particularly liked the muted colours and the shiny stainless steel in the kitchen – and the gyoza were great.
Nikon D7000 – 1/125 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
Red Coat, London – November 2013
A shopper at the Christmas market in Covent Garden. Her stillness and her vibrant red coat made her stand out in the crowd, and she feels like an oasis of calm and concentration in the midst of the busy scene. The warm lighting from the stall illuminated her perfectly.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400 – 35mm (EF16-35mm f/2.8L)
Dog walking, LA – March 2013
A girl and her pooch going for a Sunday morning walk in LA. I like that both she and the dog were looking straight at me as I took the shot (with similar looks on their faces), and the splash of colour on her sock, which stands out against the muted colours of the rest of the shot.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/3200 sec at f/2, ISO 100 – 50mm (EF50mm f/1.2L)
Saint-Martial-Viveyrol, France – August 13
An evening spent outdoors with a trusty old tripod and my ISO and shutter speeds pushed to the max. The Perseid meteor shower was delivering even more spectacular night skies than normal over Saint-Martial-Viveyrol, deep in the French countryside and miles away from city lights and other noise pollution. I was outside shooting until 2am, and the shot above is my favourite, with the old farmhouse in the foreground. Although I saw lots of meteors that evening, I only caught one on camera – the first of the images below.
Nikon D7000 – 30 secs at f/4, ISO 5000 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Nikon D7000 – 30 secs at f/4, ISO 5000 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6) – the meteor is visible with a green tail
Nikon D7000 – 30 secs at f/4, ISO 2500 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Nikon D7000 – 30 secs at f/4, ISO 4000 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6) – those lines are aircraft cutting across the sky
Arles, France – August 13
An alleyway leading to the Roman amphitheatre in the beautiful city of Arles in the south of France. The quality of the light in this area is amazing – all of the shots I took around here have the same warm quality, but especially in Arles and Avignon, with the sun reflected and softened by the ancient stone walls. This shot was taken in the middle of the day, when the sun is sometimes too harsh to capture good photos, and still the shot has that rich colour and soft light that makes me want to look at it on a cold grey October morning in London.
Nikon D7000 – 1/100 sec at f/9, ISO 100 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Deckchair, Polesden Lacey – May 2013
Sebbie reading all about the history of Polesden Lacey, the country estate of Edwardian society hostess and friend of the Royal family, Mrs Greville, on a beautiful spring day in May. The little details in the picture – the concentration on the leaflet, the grassy knees, the bright red shoes – they tell you a lot about Seb’s personality.
Nikon D7000 – 1/2000 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100 – 50mm (50mm f/1.8)
Mont Saint-Michel, France – August 13
The stunning, romantic splendour of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. An incredibly photogenic subject, the biggest issue in capturing the serene beauty of the place was finding a vantage point that avoided the masses of visitors (I visited during the first weekend in August – a notoriously busy time for vacations in France). Overall I was happy with this shot – though I would have chosen a different lens if I had my time over again. Hopefully it goes someway towards capturing the majesty and mystery of this very special place.
Nikon D7000 – 1/800 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100 – 55mm (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6)
Portrait of Karin, Verteillac, August 2013
A portrait of artist Karin Weber (who also happens to be my mother-in-law). Karin lives in Saint Martial Viveyrol near Verteillac, in the Dordogne in France, and she creates wonderful indoor and outdoor sculptures, as well as evocative oil-paintings, many inspired by the beautiful towns and countryside around her home. This headshot was taken for her promotional materials and website. I’d been shooting on my Nikon D7000 with a 35mm prime lens, and decided to switch to my trusty old 50mm prime as I know it produces a nice bokeh effect. Karin did a great job of maintaining her fantastic smile though out!
D7000 – 1/320 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100 – 50mm (50mm f/1.8)
Kitten, August 2013
My sister’s cat Tabby recently had a litter of four kittens who are now at the age where they get into everything! I was taking some photos for her as they are now 8 weeks old and ready to find new homes. Here’s my favourite – who wouldn’t want him?
Nikon D7000 – 1/800 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100 – 35 mm (35mm f/1.8)
Mapua Wharf, NZ – December 2012
Boxing Day in the sun at Mapua Wharf near Nelson – and a bit of diving into the sea from the wharf. I could tell straight away that this shot would look great in B&W, with the heavy shadows of the midday sun and the grain of the wood. A tiny bit of clean-up in Photoshop to remove a lens flare, and I was happy with it.
Nikon D7000 – 1/12 sec at f/13, ISO 100 – 18mm (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6)
Little Angel 2, Auckland NZ – January 2013
Taken in Auckland, where a homeless charity was asking you to ‘be an angel’ and donate at Christmas with a guerrilla campaign around the city. Seb’s angelic expression was just perfect for this shot.
Nikon D7000 – 1/80 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Rabbit Island, NZ – December 2012
A windy day on the beach watching kite surfers as the cloud rolls in. Dramatic skies and clear reflections made for some great shooting conditions.
Nikon D7000 – 1/500 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
Little Angel, Auckland NZ – January 2013
Taken in Auckland, where a homeless charity was asking you to ‘be an angel’ and donate at Christmas with a guerrilla campaign around the city. The colours that Josh was wearing and the texture of the wall works together with the unexpected addition of the wings to make for an arresting shot.
Nikon D7000 – 1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100 – 19mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Sunset, Queenstown NZ – December 2012
The beginnings of a beautiful sunset over Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown in New Zealand. The town almost seems to have been specifically situated to capture the best angle of the sun setting as it disappears behind the mountains at the far end of the lake.
Nikon D7000 – 1/400 sec at f/8, ISO 100 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Lara – January 2013
My beautiful wife Lara on her birthday – a cold and frosty day at Claremont Landscape Gardens in Esher, close to where we live. Nice natural diffuse lighting with no direct sunlight – quite a difference after spending the last month in the New Zealand summer.
Nikon D7000 – 1/400 sec at f/1.8, ISO 100 – 50mm (50mm f/1.8)
Beckett – January 2013
My fantastic little nephew Beckett, having had his face painted at Nelson Jazz Festival in New Zealand, New Year’s Day 2013. It was a little cloudy, and the light was great for portraits – very diffuse. I painted out a distracting guy-rope in the background, but apart from that the image is as it was captured in camera.
Nikon D7000 – 1/60 sec at f/5, ISO 200 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
Early Morning view of Mount Cook over Lake Matheson, NZ – December 2012
An early morning shot of Mount Cook over Lake Matheson on the West Coast of New Zealand. The lake is a short drive from the town at Fox Glacier, and waking up to brilliant sunshine after a couple of days of grey skies, I packed up my gear and headed straight down to the lake to get some shots before breakfast. My reward for getting up early was a completely deserted lakeside walk and unspoilt views of the mountains over (and in) the crystal clear lake.
Nikon D7000 – 1/320 sec at f/13, ISO 100 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Frosty Sunday Morning – December 2012
A beautiful clear frosty Sunday morning walk in early December and lots of opportunities for a keen photographer. The steam from the horses in the sunlight, the hard frost on the grass and branches, the long shadows because of the angle of the sun – perfect.
Nikon D7000 – 1/320 sec at f/5.6 ISO 100 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4-5.6)
Rock-ola, LA – August 2012
Taken whilst waiting for breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In in Hollywood on a Sunday morning. No post work has been done on the colours – this is how I captured the scene in camera (I love the 5D!).
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/50 sec at f/2.8, ISO 200 – 16mm (EF16-35mm f/2.8)
Owl hat – November 2012
Seb in his owl hat, on a recent walk. I like the exposure and the colours and the rendering of his skin tones in this picture – and of course his cute dimples!
Nikon D7000 – 1/30 sec at f/5, ISO 100 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
Five-Bar Gate, Polesden Lacey – November 2012
This was quite a tricky scene to capture. The foreground was heavily in shadow and the sun shining into the field was very bright. I’d seen the dog bounding across the field from some distance, so I had time to set the camera, fire off some shots, then adjust the settings before the dog got to me.
Nikon D7000 – 1/400 sec at f/3.2, ISO 100 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
Graveyard – November 2012
This shot of a rather forlorn looking figure in the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, the church in which Shakespeare is buried, was taken on a beautiful and bright November day. The trees filtered the bright autumn sunlight, creating an interesting dappled effect across the graves. A bit of judicious cropping gave me the image I was after.
Nikon D7000 – 1/50 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100 – 35mm (35mm f/1.8)
View From The Top, Box Hill – November 2012
The view from the top – what a fantastic place to be, standing there on top of the hill with your brother, able to see for miles in all directions. We had a dramatic November sky with the sun bursting through the clouds, and wood smoke rolling across the valley below us. Perfect.
Nikon D7000 – 1/320 sec at f/9, ISO 100 – 10mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Hunting, Box Hill – November 2012
Box Hill is a wonderful place with amazing views and fantastic woodland walks. Josh had found a shot he wanted me to take, which I did, but before doing so I got an even better shot of him surveying the landscape. His pose reminds me of a scout in a western, or a hunter tracking his prey. The angle of the sun and the wood smoke drifting over the field help to make this a really satisfying image.
Nikon D7000 – 1/25 sec at f/22, ISO 100 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Green Pool, Ockham – October 2012
It was a very overcast day, and we’d been walking across the heath near Ockham. As we were heading back, the sun broke briefly through the clouds, and I knew I had to try and grab the shot. I shot off about eight images, bracketing the exposure to try and capture the dramatic sky whilst exposing for the foreground – and this shot best caught the scene I wanted.
Nikon D7000 – 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 200 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Tall Tree, Ockham – October 2012
We came across this tree while tramping across the heath near Ockham. The forest is cleared periodically to maintain the heathland and the animals living there, and this tall tree was standing alone. I really like that you can see my wife and son on the right of the tree, looking up at it – its only when you notice them that you see how big the tree is!
Nikon D7000 – 1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200 – 20mm (10-20mm f/4.0-5.6)
Olympic Park, London – August 2012
The Olympic Park in East London has a number of amazing structures – not least the Velodrome and the stadium itself. This shot captures one edge of the Aquatic Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid, with the stadium in the background. It was a typical wild and wet August day in London, but the dramatic clouds and muted lighting helped add interest to the images I shot that day.
Nikon D3100 – 1/160 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100 – 18mm (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6)
The Shard, London – August 2012
The Shard is an iconic and much photographed new building in London which now dominates the skyline. I wanted to find a different view of it, and liked the geometry and perspective of this shot, looking down More London Place.
Nikon D3100 – 1/125 sec at f/9, ISO 200 – 18mm (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6)
Men’s Olympic Time Trial, Surrey, August 2012
Alexandr Vinokurov riding for Kazakhstan comes flying through Weston Green. Time trials are great for spectators (and photographers) as you get one cyclist coming through every 30 seconds. I shot each one as they came through, varying my technique each time. This shot was pretty successful. It was quite dark under the trees where I was positioned, so I had to push the ISO up a little to get a half decent shutter speed. I think I fired the flash for this shot also, and Vinokurov was wearing a very shiny kit – and the shot came together quite nicely
Nikon D3100 – 1/200 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600 – 55 mm (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6)
View from Griffith Observatory, LA – August 2012
I took this shot from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles very early on a Sunday morning before the crowds arrived – the only others up there were hikers and hardy cyclists. I love the design of the viewing machines, and wanted to ensure that the detail of the foreground was clear whilst also capturing the amazing view over downtown LA.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 100 – 35mm (EF16-35mm f/2.8)
Cousins, Sutton Coldfield, August 2012
It is a very rare occurrence to see these four standing still and looking in the right direction without at least one of them pulling a silly face (as you can see from the second shot below!). Consequently, this picture is a very rare and treasured thing! I think it captures all those fantastic things about being a kid – excitement, energy, camaraderie, fun, adventure….and possibilities.
Canon 5D – 1/40 sec at f/1.8, ISO 200 – 50 mm (50 mm f/1.2)
Shinjuku Golden Gai – September 2011
Golden Gai is the collective name for six narrow alleyways in Shinjuku, and is famous for its tiny bars and nightlife – there are over 200 bars in these little alleys, and many of them only have three or four seats for regular patrons. Each bar has a theme – anything from jazz to art to horse racing. It was dark when I took this shot, and I didn’t have a tripod with me, so it was all down to a deep breath and ‘click’. The D100 handled the low light pretty well for an older camera, and the shot just needed a bit of tweaking in post to get it as I wanted it.
Nikon D100 – 1/20 sec at f/4.0, ISO 400 – 35mm (AF35-80mm f/4-22)
Team GB Men’s Road Cycling Team, Hampton Court, July 2012
Fresh from the success of the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins leads out Team GB in the Olympics Men’s Road Race. It was really busy at the side of the road, with the crowd jostling to get a good view, and the sky was quite overcast as they came through at an amazingly high speed, so I had to dial up the ISO to get a fast shutter speed. I was pleased to get three (nearly four) members of Team GB in the shot, and Andre Greipel behind them.
Nikon D3100 – 1/1000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400 – 55 mm (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6)
Waiting for the cyclists, Hampton Court, July 2012
A shot of my family waiting for the Olympics Men’s Road Race to come through. I like the composition of this shot, and the way everyone is looking at the camera but with their heads at different angles. The B&W treatment really brought this shot to life, with lots of contrast and a nice crisp feel full of detail.
Nikon D3100 – 1/1250 sec at f/5.0, ISO 400 – 28 mm (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6)
23 Street Station, New York – May 2012
Yes – I know. It’s a subway sign in New York. Everyone who goes to NYC probably shoots at least one subway sign. But I really like this image for the colour, and the textures of the peeling paint. And subway signage itself, when it’s done well like in New York, London and Tokyo, can be such a great example of really iconic design. Hmm, maybe there’s a theme to be explored here.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/200 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100 – 50mm (EF50mm f/1.8 II)
Seb at home, May 2012
This shot was taken on a bright sunny day in natural light at home. Seb is a great model, and very patient with his dad – especially when he starts messing around with his camera. With such a shallow depth of field, the focus (or lack of) on different parts of the face can sometimes be distracting, but I was really pleased with the way this image came out.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/200 sec at f/1.8, ISO 200 – 50 mm (EF50mm f/1.8 II)
Ghillie Suits, July 2012
Taken at a children’s Nerf gun party. The kids got to dress up in ghillie suits and hide in the long grass, then see if their friends could find them. Which meant that the parents could sit around the campfire and have some time off. What a great idea! This shot is of Josh and Seb (I think!) just before they disappeared…
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/6000 sec at f/1.2, ISO 400 – 50 mm (EF50mm f/1.2L USM)
Sam in Twickenham, July 2012
Sam is a pretty cool kid, and one of Josh and Seb’s best friends. He does modelling and commercials work, and he definitely knows what to do in front of the camera. While the rest of the kids were jumping off the wall and really hamming it up, Sam played it straight. I love this photo of him – too cool for school.
Nikon D3100 – 1/500 sec at f/5.3, ISO 200 – 48 mm (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6)
Squeaky, July 2012
Squeaky in his natural habitat – the back garden. He’s getting on a bit now – 13 years old – and tends to sleep a lot. Which makes him easier to shoot than when he was a kitten!
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/1000 sec at f/1.2, ISO 100 – 50 mm (EF50mm f/1.2 USM)
Imperial Palace Gardens – September 2011
I took this photo in the gardens of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo – an oasis of calm in the middle of the city. Japan was in the middle of an unseasonably hot September, and it was wonderfully cool in the shade of the trees.
Nikon D100 – 1/60 sec at f/4.2, ISO 400 – 40mm (AF35-80mm f/4-22)
Seb in Camo, near Woking, July 2012
This shot was taken at a friend’s birthday party. A kind of junior version of paint-balling, the kids got to dress up in ghillie suits and take each other out with Nerf guns. Great fun! I love the expression on Seb’s face in this photo – it really sums up his personality.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/125 sec at f/5, ISO 100 – 50 mm (EF50mm f/1.2L USM)
Saturday morning in Ginza – September 2011
On Saturday mornings in Ginza they close the main shopping thoroughfare to traffic – if you get there early enough, its a photographer’s (and shopper’s) dream. I like the angles in this shot – the pedestrian crossings and road markings, perpendicular to the buildings on either side.
Nikon D100 – 1/640 sec at f/13, ISO 400 – 35mm (AF35-80mm f/4-22)
View from the Empire State Building, New York – May 2012
I took this shot from the top of the Empire State Building on a recent business trip to New York. It was fun shooting Manhattan from this vantage point, but ultimately the images I captured all felt a bit familiar – I guess the view is so iconic, and so reproduced, you’ve pretty much seen the city from up there, even if you’ve never physically been up there yourself. So I started trying to capture something different – shooting straight down with my camera hanging over the edge (with a nervy but tight grip on the camera!), experimenting with shooting with a view to reproducing a tilt-shift type effect afterwards, etc.
Ultimately, the shot I liked the most was this one. The thing that struck me about it was that there was so much colour to be found amongst the grey buildings – and not just in the yellow cabs. I started pushing the colours, really saturating the image, and suddenly these hidden colours began to appear in the shot, transforming what was a uniform grey scene into a vibrant cacophony of hues. Yellow water towers popped out of rooftops, facades of buildings took on a new feel, and the city came alive with colour.
Canon 5D Mark II – 1/400 sec at f/8, ISO 100 – 50mm (EF50mm f/1.8 II)
Deer in Nara Koen, Japan – September 2011
I saw the opportunity for this shot from someway up the path, but had to grab it very quickly as there were a couple of tourists right behind me who were just about to walk into the shot. Everything from the lighting, to the natural composition, to the position of the deer felt perfect, so I grabbed the shot – and as soon as I looked at the preview on the camera, I knew I’d captured the image I wanted.
Nikon D100 – 1/100 sec at f/5.0, ISO 400 – 35mm (AF35-80mm f/4-22)