It's the end of the week and we've all got smiles on our faces. This is a personal favorite portrait of mine from an assignment photographing the Dalai Lama, one of the jolliest men I've ever met. This was his right hand man (unfortunately I never got his name) but he was a larger than life personality. Although we could not speak the same language, we laughed and joked with each other as I snapped off a few frames. Shooting in black and white often draws the eye away from the distraction of color and really focuses us on the subject and expression - in this case unparelled joy! Have a good weekend everyone.
Sometimes perfect exposure doesn't always mean getting the shot that you're after. For example, in this fine-art photograph I wanted to give this stretch of Manhattan Beach an ethereal appearance and therefore chose to use my histograms to over-expose the image, defying normal convention. This produced a somewhat dreamy effect helped by the already hazy conditions.
I really like this effect as it helps to draw attention to composition and color as well as creating a very specific mood. I'm therefore working on a series of these shots with a similar effect from different beaches. I've included another one here with a similar effect achieved from a beach in Miami.
I found these really unique tidal pools on the outskirts of La Jolla whilst on a trip to Southern California last week. I loved how the rock formations and pools of water gave the beach an almost lunar-esque appearance and it provided plenty to work with in terms of interesting foreground subject and composition. Given that it was the holidays, I was fortunate that the beach was relatively empty and although I didn't quite get the sunset and clouds I was hoping for, here are two of my favourites from a great location. I'll definitely be heading back here soon!
I've recently got an IPhoneX and have been really impressed with the quality of the camera. I therefore wanted to test it more thoroughly on a trip last week at one of my favourite locations, the Big Sur that is situated on the Pacific Coast Highway and is perhaps the most dramatic stretch of coastal road in the whole US. I shot all of the photographs direct from the phone using the in-built black and white filter and wanted to see how good the dynamic range was at capturing high contrast scenes. The selection you see below are therefore all completely unedited and native straight from the IphoneX.
I just taught a series of photography workshops at the Kenmore Camera Show just outside of Seattle. The show is the largest photography show on the West Coast of the USA and it was great to teach so many enthusiastic people on how to improve both their landscape and macro photography. Many thanks to Manfrotto for sponsoering my workshops!
Pigeon Point is the largest lighthouse on the West Coast of the US. The lighthouse gets its name after the ship Carrier Pigeon which wrecked here in 1853 on its journey from Boston to San Francisco and is still fully operational. It has been guiding ships up and down the rugged California coastline since 1871 and emits a distinguishable bright white light every ten seconds.
I have been waiting for the right time to photograph the lighthouse and with clear skies and a full moon this weekend I took the drive out there along Highway 1. With perfect conditions and very little wind, I spent a couple of hours watching the sun going down, the stars come out and whilst standing and chatting to some stargazers captured some of my favorite photos in a while.
My thoughts have been with all of those affected by Irma and Harvey and I feel very lucky to currently be blessed with almost constant great weather and Californian blue skies (especially being a London native!)
However, last night we had our own dose of weird and wonderful weather as an electrical storm passed through San Francisco. I quickly got to the best vantage point I knew for blue hour, making sure I had as much of the city skyline and the new Salesforce tower (soon to be the tallest skyscrape in the city) in frame and managed to catch this bolt of lightning flash across the sky.
I really like how this photo evokes the energy and vibrancy of such a fast moving and innovative city.
I partnered with Manfrotto and BID (one of the UKs biggest charities to help the deaf community) to create the Picture of Life programme which was designed to help young deaf people who had experienced difficult situations and social exclusions. We wanted to use the power of photography to help participants learn a new skill set, improve their confidence and help get them into the workplace. I have taught many workshops but creating ones for the deaf community I thought would create some challenges. Notably, how I would be able to communicate concepts and theories and get the participants to really engage and enjoy photography. However, with the help of two fantastic signers (It's amazing how quickly these guys can interpret what you say), communication barriers were quickly broken.
Indeed, the project has far exceeded our expectations and an exhibition of photography work created by the deaf talented participants has just launched in central Birmingham showing the exceptional work that they managed to produced. The exhibition will also show behind the scenes images to give some insight into the project, and the participants will be available to discuss their experience and answer any questions on the night. The project is one of the most rewarding I have done in my career and it was amazing to see how photography has the power to quite literally change lives.
Below is a short video about the project that also shows some of the phenomenal photo results taken by participants as a result of he workshops. You have to bear in mind that when they started the course with very little confidence and marginilized from workplaces (ridiculous given that they are normal, people just like you and I), no one in the group knew how to hold a camera, put a battery in or insert a memory card. However, by the conclusion of the course, they were all taking professional quality results as well as blossoming as people and personalities in terms of their confidence; incredibly rewarding for myself as an educator and teacher.
Below are also some of the press releases from the exhibition along with some behind the scenes images from in studio and on location around Birmingham:
Whilst teaching a photography workshop along the Thames in London last weekend at sunset, I was emphasising the need to always be prepared as a photographer as you never want to miss a moment. As I was explaining this we stumbled across a guy using a slingshot type machine to blow huge bubbles right by Millenium bridge. This was a great opportunity to create something fun, colourful and artistic using the iconic St Pauls Cathedral as a backdrop. After firing off quite a few frames below was my favourite...
We also had time to turn around and capture people scurrying across the bridge as the sun set behind the bridge silhouetting them against a gorgeous sky. The beauty of photography is wherever you are, It's amazing what opportunities can present themselves...you just have to be ready to take advantage of them. Happy Snapping!!