#8 Nature reserve with a Russian lens
27th December 2020



I recently bought an old Russian lens on eBay ( for about £45 ) and this week used it to shoot a test film at a nearby nature reserve. The Helios 44-2 58mm f2 is something of a classic lens and was produced in Russia between 1950 and 1990. The lens isn’t partcicularly sharp but it has a lovely soft, retro feel to it and the bokeh is quite lovely when shooting close to mid range subjects. All the shots in this film were wide open at f2 which really suits the atmosphere of the landscap. I will certainly use it again for video work and I’m excited to try some portraits with the lens too.


#7 The Darkest Journey of a Living Soul
16th September 2020

Last week I was in Chester to photograph the latest exhibition by my good friend the artist and environmental campaigner Jacha Potgeiter. 

“The journey these animals take, from their natural habitats, to being poached, trafficked across countries and over borders, to end up on a market where they then may be sold as food (and so will be eaten) or become a pet in a person’s home, being kept in unsuitable conditions and living a miserable life.  

"It is a heart-breaking thought for me to think of the suffering and stress caused to a whole variety of species. I can only think that it must be a very dark journey for their souls to travel.
"I’m not pointing the finger at any one country or race, as animal exploitation occurs worldwide in one form or other, I want to make as many people as possible aware of just what does happen and how easy it is for us to exploit nature.”

The exhibition has been created using a mixture of materials. Some of these materials have been mass produced in the Far East and shipped to the UK and so they represent another journey; this time of cheap goods to satisfy the demands of the “throwaway generation”.

The exhibition runs until November 1st

www.jacha.co.uk

#6 Vietnamese coffee film 24thJuly 2020


   
Cocobolo coffee in Cambridge asked me create some new online assests. I was really intrigued that they have a Vietnamese coffee kit and thought an explainer film might be a nice way to explore this delicious coffee which is also great fun to make. 

The steel ‘Phin’ would have been challenge enough to light in a stills shoot but as it’s rotating in the film there was nowhere to hide. Dulling spray helped enormously as well as a huge white screen with a small hole for the camera reduced the number of reflections. The Phin still had some blemishes which had to be retouched in Photoshop - a labour intensive process if ever there was one! 

#5 Outdoor film processing 20th July 2020
   
 

In my mid-teens I discovered photographic processing. This led me towards photography, after all, if you like printing in the darkroom you are going to need some photographs to work with. In the last five years I have been lucky to have a darkroom at my studio and now at home. I love messing about and experimenting and this movie is actually the result of quite a bit of that trial and error. 

#4 Lockdown project 27th June 2020
   

Pat, 19th of April 2020

On the 23rd of March, the first day of lockdown, I knew around half a dozen people in my village. It quickly became obvious that the pandemic would be an event of historic significance so I decided to try and document life under lockdown where I live. Between April the 4th and June the 14th I photographed over 100 people and also recorded their experiences. 
This project is very much my gift to the village and I will make a short run book which will hopefully survive for many years to come. One important unintended outcome has been a new found connection to my home - having made so many new friends has been wonderful. After 12 years I finally feel like I’m part of a community and very much hope that the shared experience of lockdown will make us closer as a village.



 
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