It's mid July and the sun should be shining. Instead, it's grey, damp and pretty miserable outside. What better way to cheer myself up then digging through my archives and posting a picture of the most jovial man I've ever shot, the legend that is Desmond Tutu. His charisma and vivaciousness for life truly is infectious.
With the disappointment of defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray being eliminated at the quarter finals stage, I thought I'd trawl back through my archives and resurrect one of my favourite shots from when I was fortunate enough to photograph the British number one . He was such a top bloke, full of charisma, charm and not too shabby at tennis; definitely still got it in him to secure a couple more Grand Slams. Come on Andy!!!
Sometimes you just don't want to lug around a hefty SLR with you and recently while in New York I experimented shooting some street photography with the incredibly stylish Fuji x100s. However, this pocket powerhouse has more to it than just a retro shell and packs some impressive sensor technology behind its exterior.
Veering away from my usual style of shooting landscapes (primarily HDRs) of large skylines and buildings and inspired by the blog Humans of New York, I took to the streets for a couple of hours and explored the Lower East and West Side to shoot some street photography...Cartier-Bresson style.
It is always fun to set assignments and challenge yourself to shoot new things especially as the Fuji I was using had a fixed focal length lens of 35mm which, makes you really think about composition and framing on each and every shot.
Below are a few of my favourites from some of the characters I met on my walk.
Continuing my Abandoned Spaces series, I recently visited St Agnes, a gothic and majestic church just outside downtown Detroit which has been abandoned since late 2006.
Following its completion in the 1920s, the church quickly grew and by the mid fifties was the focal point of a thriving community serving approximately 1,600 families, three priests, 22 nuns and an adjacent girl's high schools with just under two hundred students.
However, by the mid 1980s the LaSalle neighbourhood in which it sits, had become run down and dilapidated leaving the church with only 160 families worshiping at the space. Although a number of cost cutting measures were made to try and save the church, it was soon deemed impractical to keep it open and it was forced to close in 2006. Coincidentally, St Agnes once so splendid and grand, even hosted a sermon by Mother Theresa in the 1980s where she spoke to thousands; she even insisted that all food provided at the event be given to the poor.
As with so many of Detroit's ornate buildings since closing, scrappers have colonized the space removing all the valuable piping from the organ whilst precious glazed tiling from walls and pillars has been stripped away. On entering, I also noticed that weather and further vandalism has ripped away much of the facade as the floor literally crumbled under foot as I carefully explored the space with my cameras. As with all abandoned churches, it is somewhat creepy and a little eery to see places of worship in such a sad and sorry state.
I hope my photographs do the space justify. I certainly feel that they are a worthwhile addition to my ongoing series which I hope to exhibit soon.
The World Cup has arrived and as we all kick back and enjoy a months worth of football, I thought I'd share one of my favourite shots I took at the last World Cup in South Africa. Of course, it's got to be a Brazilian. Here's Maicon steaming down the wing before scoring his infamous goal against North Korea.
I just visited a photograph that I donated to the CS Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The photo is located on the cancer ward which, is one of the most advanced in the States and is placed in a recreational area where kids can play mini hockey, football and other games with a stadium crowd as a backdrop. This hopefully provides patients with a little bit of distraction from their treatment and makes their time at the hospital a little easier. I hadn't had a chance to see the plaque and photo/space being used having not been in Michigan for a while. It was therefore extremely rewarding to see the area being used by patients for their benefit.
I've decided to make an effort to try and begin blogging some of my favourite shots from personal projects amidst the hustle and bustle of my commercial work. The first photo is taken in Detroit, Michigan back in 2013 of an old staircase leading to nowhere in particular. This makes up part of my ongoing series on Abandoned Spaces. The second two are from the same series but, shot in a different location (a derelict electrical factory). They were taken in the middle of a relentless Winter during one of many snow storms which only added to the silent, eeriness of the location.