Thursday, September 21, 2006

Railway workers, commissioned portraits

These are some of the portraits I recently took at the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells as part of a commission. It was simply aimed at recording the men and women who give up their weekends to work as volunteers maintaining the steam railway, and so for that reason I tried to create a determined and dedicated look to the subjects. As it happens I didn't need to direct them that much, they were a very photogenic and cooperative group of people.

Portrait, Tunbridge Wells railway yard, 07:00

Friday, September 08, 2006

Children of the camps

These images were all shot in refugee camps. The one in the middle of the boy on his bike was taken in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, all the rest were taken in Balata refugee camp near Nablus. I was lucky enough to be shown round Balata by the Chicago based photographer Matt Cassel which really helped in terms of access. In the camp there are around 22,000 people crammed in to a space not much bigger than a square kilometre, and it is the largest camp in the West Bank. Israel considers it the centre of terror activity, and thus the military presence in the surrounding hills is strong. Their incursions into the camp are very regular and therefore armed Palestinian fighters patrol the streets and there is some suspicion of foreigners. On the night we stayed there shooting broke out in the camp and further away at a checkpoint, there were casulties on both sides including the occupants of taxi who were shot by nervous IDF troops as they tried to find a route around a checkpoint. Once the people are comfortable with your presence their hospitality is as warm as anywhere else in the West Bank. The plight and nature of the struggle in this camp and in Nablus itself certainly deserves more attention.

Facing the Wall

These photos are a brief study of the security wall that runs through much of the West Bank. The top photograph was taken near East Jerusalem or Al Quds as it is known loacally. The rest are taken in the town of Bethlehem, the relatively quite West bank town is ruthlessly divided by the meandering security wall which cuts through roads and communties. It grey concrete stands alien in the landscape and has become a symbol of the divisions within the region. It also become a canvas for many who voice their opinions against what they see as an illegal occupation through the medium of graffiti. This includes the famous British graffiti artist, Banksy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Updated website and new slideshow

I've finally got round to revamping my website somewhat-no massive changes but there are new images and a new gallery style which uses flash. Any feeback on what people think would be much appreicated.

Also as a little treat I put together a slideshow of images from the war along with a soundtack on a progamme I've been mucking around with called soundslides. The actual slideshow can be viewed here. As you can see its still a demo version the I haven't found a way of cutting it yet so it actually carries on until the music finishes rather than the images! Also a quick note about the music 'Angel' by Massive Attack, this was a favourite tune of ours whilst up on the border bombing it around in our hired Fiat Panda, and it seemed to fit the mood quite well. Once again let me know what you think.