Monday, March 31, 2008

I have a new toy...

...a canon G9. Plus I got a waterproof housing that I hope to put to the test soon enough (lets hope it passes). So hopefully in the future I'll also be able to start posting some videos from shoots and time lapse pieces. watch this space.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Recent shoot..

Another one from a recent shoot.

Waiting for the sun...

All I want is for the long lazy summer days to arrive...(but first off we'll need Spring to start). This shot was taken a few weeks ago in the city on one of the rare sunny days we've had so far this year.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Mexican suitcase

Some of you out there may have read the story recently of a suitcase that turned up in Mexico not so long ago containing the lost negatives of the famous Robert Capa, his Friend and fellow founder of Magnum David 'Chim' Seymour and Capa's then partner Gerda Taro. The images disappeared in the chaos of war in mainland Europe and somehow ended up half way round the world in Mexico nearly half a century later. What is amazing is the luck that someone realised the importance of the negatives and was able to contact the International Centre of Photography in New York and begin a 11 year dialogue that has finally seen the images make their way to New York and hopefully into the public realm. This is exciting not only because it will add to the Capa collection from the Civil War but because it will hopefully go someway to recognizing the importance of Gerda Taro's work (some of which has previously been presumed to be Capa's photos). Anyway check out this nifty interactive multimedia piece where Trisha Ziff explains the story in more detail. Thanks go to Sion Touhig and his blog for bringing this to my attention.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Philip Jones Griffiths 1936-2008 : The passing of a legend

It has been with great sadness that I recently learnt of the death of the legendary photographer Philip Jones Griffiths. Griffiths is probably best known for his book 'Vietnam Inc.' which is seen by many as one of the strongest examples of a thorough photojournalistic approach to a war in the 20th century.

As a photographer he took a deep interest in his subject, which he felt was necessary to be able to tell the complete story. He returned no less than 26 times to Vietnam, focusing not just on the conflict itself, but on its devastating aftermath, the legacy of Agent Orange. He was not just happy photographing the 'visual climaxes' of war as he believed they only served to decontexulize the situation. At the same time he realised he would be hard pushed to spread this work to a wider audience, especially at the beginning of the war, because the American media wasn't quite ready for his critical approach. He believed that the freedom of the press belongs to he who owns one (Griffiths interview, 2002), and so from early on he knew he would have to produce a book.

A few years ago I tried to get in contact with Griffiths to interview him for my dissertation, at the time I failed. A year or so later however whilst sat in the Frontline club in London, I heard his distinctive Welsh tones and on turning around found him seated behind me. I was pleasantly surprised if not a bit gob smacked. Here was a man that I had read so much about and whose images and influenced me so strongly when I was first getting into photography. At the end of the talk I plucked up the courage to introduce myself, and I even managed to persuade him to autograph a book I was reading on the Vietnam war (A Second edition of George Herring's 'Americas Longest War'). He questioned me on the book and its political stance before obliging my request and it wasn't until a few years later that I was able to go a see him again. At the time I was doing some work for the Sunday Times Magazines picture desk and they sent me along on the guest-list, I was able to see him in full glory do a presentation and talk about his work at length. Afterwards I finally got my copy of Vietnam inc signed by the man himself. Although from these quick acquaintances I would not attempt to judge him, the impression I got from people who worked with him closely is that he was a man dedicated to finding and telling the truth, often fighting as the David against the Goliaths of this world. In many ways he saw photography merely as tool, a means to an end rather than an end in itself. His work is a testament to the power of photography and an example of the importance of journalistic integrity in photographic work. He was never completely objective but then he never aimed to be, in many ways how can you ever claim to be? As the intellectual Susan Sontag wrote, a photograph is always 'an image that someone chose, to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude' (Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others). His images will forever be part of the history of their era, documents to remind us of past sins and mistakes that we told ourselves we would never make again. The were one mans indictment against the world-not only to the people committing the offenses but to all those going about their days, blissfully ignorant to the horrors committed in their name. They were his way of saying, you can't pretend this isn't happening. I only hope there are many more like him in the making.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Recent shoot

Anybody who reads this blog must think I'm schizophrenic....
(I'm not..and neither am I..)
But one moment its 'photojournalism' next its fashion....

Kosovo work online

Finally got a bunch of images up from Kosovo under the Documentary section of the website.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sound familiar...

Have to give credit to Martin Shakeshaft for this over at But it's well worth a listen, he could so easily be talking about photography...
(clip contains some strong language)

You've been framed...

If you've haven't seen this link already from The Online Photographer then it's well worth checking out for a jovial bit of photographic mischief and mayhem.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I'm a photographer (not a terrorist)

I'm loving these new t-shirts and hoodies that are available from These were bought to my attention by the BPPA's recent newsletter, but it's been a subject that a number of photographers have been talking about recently. Sion Touhig's blog has an interesting piece on the latest campaign in London on 'how to spot a terrorist', and a new poster that reads 'Thousands of people take photos everyday, What if one of them seems odd?' This kind of thing leaves me speechless. 'Seems odd'??! In what way? What is the definition of odd?? He was wearing odd socks? He had a waxed moustache and a monocle? He was riding a unicycle? The whole concept is crazy.

It seems with fear of terrorist attacks on our shores growing, people are becoming more and more paranoid about street photography and filming. I must admit I've always been quite shy when photographing on London streets, and I always take an unhealthy interest if I see another tog loitering with a camera...but more in the sense of 'what's he seen that I haven't?' than 'OH MY GOD what dastardly and machiavellian scheme has this chap got up his sleeve??!'

Update: Interesting story here on regarding a photographer asked to delete images by police officers followed by a number of anecdotes in the comments section.

Foto8 relaunched

For avid fans of photojournalism the news that Foto8 has relaunched itself is quite exciting. Not only has their website had a revamp, but their new look magazine should be hitting the shelves at the end of March, and, get this, will have 200 pages and around 15 stories! You can see a sneak peak of the magazine here. Its founder and publisher Jon Levy announced on the lightstalkers website that they will also be aiming to pay around £200 per feature in the future, which will be welcomed by many in the photojournalism community. The new website has a new blog which should be interesting to follow, but it also has photo stories and a short films section which are well worth checking out.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kosovo mutlimedia feature - Coming soon

Some people have been asking recently what came of my project in Kosovo towards the end of last year. The news is that I hope to have a multimedia piece up online in the next couple of weeks. I hesitated at first because I don't think the story is quite finished, but at the same time I feel it should offer a small insight into the state of the country before Independence was declared on 17th February this year.

I need SPACE!

One of the tough things I find working in London is, believe it or not, finding space to shoot. Often when shooting for young designers and stylists there's little budget and so hiring a great studio is usually out of the question. A lot of my fashion studio images have in fact been taken in people's bedrooms, workshops or just on location somewhere. Recently however I was lucky to get access to a dance studios thanks to the proactive and talented designer I was working with Sandra Bamminger of the House of Boing - I was literally jumping for joy (see pic above thanks to Ben Thomas). It meant that we able to shoot iamges that helped get across the sense of movement, which is a fundamental part of their design.

Some other movement shots from that shoot.

A quick behind the scenes shot

You can see a few others on my flickr thread