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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.
I've had a lot of fun the last few months experimenting with Manfrotto's new lens filter suite which works with the Xume system. Essentially, the system means that you can attach filters to your lenses much faster and more efficiently using magnets rather than having to waste time screwing them on, risking breakages or damaging equipment as with conventional systems. Take a look at this video I made below:
Here's an article I also wrote explaining a little bit more in depth on the system and how it can be used practically in the field to help you take better photos and not miss that perfect shot...just click on the photo below!
It was a pleasure to recently be commissioned to shoot England Rugby coach Eddie Jones. An Aussie originally (which led to a bit of banter on set), Jones led England to the Grand Slam at last year's Six Nations. This followed on from an already impressive coaching CV which included when he led Japan to a victory against South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sport.
The shoot was part of a promo for Natwest/RBS/Coutts who all sit under the same umbrella and took place in the Twickenham changing rooms. I can't show you photos of these but, trust me these are far from the one's you remember from your days at playing sport at school; they look more like a five star hotel and are equipped with plenty of high tech gadgets and facilities to ensure that players can perform at their maximum capabilities.
I chose to shoot Eddie away from all of the mod-cons though and found a quiet spot in the coaches area. I asked him to sit on a simple red cushion where instead of shirts hanging in lockers or fancy wall decals as a backdrop there was simply bare white walls. This gave me more of a canvass to work with. As I began taking some test shots for both composition light, I noticed some strong vertical red lines had been painted at one end of the room on the wall....perfect!! I could frame Eddie within these as if he was at the centre of the flag of St George. Eddie who, by the way was an absolute pleasure to work, with kindly scooted over a few cushions until he was just in the right place between these strong compositional lines. This hopefully imbues the end frame with some patriotism.... "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" which is the traditional and historical song that echoes around Twickenham to support the English Rugby Team was the only thing missing as I shouted wrap.
p.s. there was even time for a quick impromptu snap of Eddie Jones and the Six Nations trophy!
Part of the thing I love about being a photographer is the diverse and eclectic mix of exciting assignments you often get asked to do. An example of this was a commission I was sent on for The Royal Navy aboard one of their newest ships, the HMS Diamond. Working on an active, military ship presented some challenges, notably setting up lighting in extremely confined spaces, movement at sea and a severe lack of sleep! However, I got to spend some time getting to know those working on the vessel and was blown away by the work and dedication that these men and women show on on a daily basis and left with a new found respect for all those who serve in the armed forces. Below is a photograph of the HMS Diamond courtesy of the Royal Navy along with a few of my favourite portraits that I took aboard the ship.
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.
I recently got the opportunity to photograph arguably the greatest cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar in the infamous Long Room at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Tendulkar, who in India is commonly known as "The Little Master" or simply "God of Cricket", recently retired from cricket having scored 34,357 runs and represented India 200 times at Test level. Not only was he a true gentlemen to shoot but, also generous enough to share some wonderful stories from throughout his cricket career over the space of an evening spent in his company.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of my photographic career so far was the opportunity to photograph, meet and spend time with Nelson Mandela while on assignment in South Africa; arguably the most inspirational, charismatic and compassionate icon of our times. In fact, meeting Madiba is arguably one of the greatest moments of my life to date.
Hearing of his passing is such sad news as I was so touched, inspired and moved after our meeting. Following the opportunity to photograph him whilst working with the US delegation at the World Cup in 2010, I have read and endeavored to learn as much as I can about his incredible story. As President Barack Obama so elegantly surmised Madiba “took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”. Below are just a few of some of my favourite photographs from my shoot with Nelson Mandela and President Bill Clinton at one of his homes on the outskirts of Johannesburg…photographs that I will cherish forever . May his legacy live on and his message of freedom and equality for all continue in his memory.
In his own words: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”