Friday, December 24, 2010

Week 50 of 52

I know, I know - I'm yet again behind on this project. But with good reason, I'm busy putting together certain things for my future business, such as: business plans, website 2.0 and looking for studio premises.
This is a theme I have been itching to do it for quite sometime. The concept was based on a Bryan Peterson idea. Well, this was the moment I got to finally do it.
The theme was LETTERS. Everywhere around us we are faced with letters. Words from signs, logos, directions, warnings, information, names - so I was hardly short of opportunity to find them. The one thing I wanted to do on this challenge was try to find different and interesting letters and shapes. Luckily Brighton is full of weird and wonderful Typography.

Given that I was behind I took several hours yesterday to shoot the whole alphabet from various locations around the town. I did plan on doing two alphabets one using proper letters and the other using abstract letters made from windows, doors and fences etc. But that would take more than a few hours. I will construct that version next year ;)

Week 50 - LETTERS
Letters from home

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 48 & 49 of 52

Wow this 52 has been much tougher than I ever thought. Im not sure I will do this again for at least another year. By which time I hope my photography will have improved slightly more, time will tell ;)

As I am behind and lighting is awful currently I have suffered to find something worthwhile and still lacking motivation somewhat. To make matters slightly worse I seem to have developed an issue with my shoulder/back - not too sure what it is but it is very tender to the slightest touch, yet not so painful when pressed? Also today I felt what seemed like a very hot needle being inserted into my back, there wasn't, that is unless someone has a voodoo doll of me!?

I had a few more images I could have used for this theme, but I felt they weren't good enough, so I went with a few stronger images rather than adding weaker ones just for the sake of it.I am sure if I took longer I could come up with something better, but im happy with the few shots I have.
Emma and I went for a hike (and a proper hike it was) up to the Jack and Jill windmills in the South Downs. Sadly the Jack windmill is on private land and cannot be accessed, having said that Jack is quite a dilapidated windmill
unlike Jill. So I happily snapped away at Jill while I looked for interesting angles and shapes to shoot.  

Both the chosen images for these weeks can be seen HERE & HERE
Week 48 - Mechanical



This theme was easier to do as it embodies more possibilities and allowed me to practise my landscape shots a little more too. Luckily the weather has been quite mixed of late, so I have managed to get some diverse, and what I think, interesting shots.
Week 49 - Distant

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho...

I awoke a little late, and forced myself to climb out from under my warm duvet. I was already late, and it was getting later, as I dashed around collecting my camera gear - whilst drinking a cup of coffee to wake me up. Today was the day I would see Santa! Well multiple Santas in fact. This was the morning of the Brighton Santa Dash 2010.

It was kind of surreal to see so many Santas in one place and even stranger was the fact they were running a 5k race, for fun!?! Due to my late arrival I never managed to get any portrait shots I was hoping for, so I focussed on getting some action shots instead.

The turnout to support the red and white suited wonders was little scarce which was a shame, in fact only one of the reindeer turned up. Anyway the winner of the race did it in 17:57 and well done to him ;)
I thought it bad form to take shots of faces as red as their suits as they crossed the finish line, although some seemed to be enjoying it far too much, and one even crossed the finish line with his car keys in-hand, did he really run or do Santa suits not have pockets!?

Enjoy the images of the many faces of Santa

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 47 of 52

A bit of business before I get down to my 52 week project. My Macbook suffered its first (and hopefully only) malfunction last week - the graphics card started playing up. So I took it into the nice people at the Apple store and they checked it out, only to find no problem. Typical it works when you don't want it too.

I returned home, and for a while, maybe a day, it worked fine then started playing up again. This time I managed to get screen-shots to show them, just in case. So I took it back showed them the issues and they said they would take it in for repair - parts and labour cost was to be £350!!! After a little gulp to myself, he then added "which of course we will waiver as you have had no problems before, looked after your mac" and "its a nice thing to do". I paused with baited breathe, did my ears deceive me!??!
Now I am a huge advocate of Apple, but really this takes customer service to a whole new level. They did indeed fix the problem by replacing the part and did it within 4 days - now THAT'S service, oh, and they smiled about it too :)

What else have I been up to in the past week? Well, we had a HUGE snowstorm, more on that later, and I had my second brain scan, which was fun.
The first part of this scan involved seeing how you react emotionally to movie scenes such as Forest Gump, Dead Poets, Blair Witch and American History X amongst others. Then a series of questions needed to be completed, boring!!!  But the cool thing was, seeing how you brain waves were affected by tension and relaxation (gritting your teeth or closing your eyes) - very cool!!
Only problem is you looked a little weird, this is how I think I looked, I might be wrong, there was no mirror.


On with the 52...
...as I mentioned before there had been a snowstorm. Now when I say this you may think it snowed a little? A faint frosting perchance? NO! IT REALLY SNOWED! In fact I had never seen snow like this in the UK before. But this did give me the perfect opportunity to play my WINTER card for my 52. Everywhere was covered in several inches of snow. Trains had stopped running, the country had ground to a complete stop, it was that bad!
So armed with my camera I set off the get some wintry shots.

The problem I soon found was few places were accessible. My bottom of my jeans had frozen and became like cardboard - you could quite literally knock on them. But I persevered and managed to go for a stupidly long walk along the coastline towards Peacehaven. I took several shots along the way and got what I hoped would be the winner for the week. On the way back the sun had gone down and the temperature had plummeted. So rather than walk back, I made my way for one of the few running buses. After about 40 minutes one pulled up, I jumped on frozen, the driver obviously in good spirits then refused to take my £20, saying "it wasn't allowed" and told me to get off the bus - if only Apple ran buses!?!
So I decided I would walk back after all, but it was bitter cold and my toes were numb (well I think they were, I couldn't feel them). Along came another bus and this time the driver had no issues whatsoever!? hmmm, some people!
Chosen image for the week can be seen HERE
Week 47 - WINTER

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 46 of 52

Yet again time is going faster than my little size 9s can take me, as the weeks seem to blend together and I find myself a week behind yet again!

As I mentioned in my last post I had attempted to do some night photography, of which I was unhappy with. So I decided to take the time to do it tonight and make the most of it. So armed with everything except a pair of gloves I set off. Gloves turned out to be the one thing I needed most as it was bitterly cold. I met Emma out of work and she bared the freezing cold with me whilst I trekked around looking for images of interest.

Having been out before I had a rough idea of some shots I wanted to improve upon, so I got those and also worked on some light trails and shots of light reflections on the ocean, these were new and something I wanted to play with for a while. Sunday nights are not the best time to get loads of traffic so took quite sometime to get at least a shot I was happy with even if it wasnt what I wanted overall.

Anyway, these images I am more impressed with and I felt that the night, even though cold, was worthwhile. With each press of the shutter my fingers got number until my battery died and I could call it a night. On the way home as a reward we nipped into a bar for hot mulled wine, YUMMY!!!
I hope you like the images - chosen image can be seen HERE

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Readers Digest

With the sudden cold snap in the air it's apparent Winter has arrived. So what have I been doing down here in Brighton you may be wondering? Well to start with, I've being on the lookout for a studio space and made several promising leads. I have spoken to lots of cafes and restaurants about exhibiting my work on their walls, which will be followed up - as I have large prints of my images coming from Loxley Colour shortly.
---
I took a walk down The Lanes to do some night photography and even though it's currently lit up with Christmas lights, I didn't feel inspired and my 52 is falling behind again, which means a revisit is in order, with fresher eyes.

The Royal Pavilion has currently got an ice rink built onto the front of it, along with a very expensive pop-up style Chinese restaurant at £90 per head! The only cool thing about this is the fact that the Palace is now illuminated with pretty blue lights.
---
Earlier in the week I did a photo session with Alex - a French Canadian, after he answered an ad I posted about wanting a model to photograph. I wanted to practise some ideas and work on my photography more as I feel it needs pushing more than it has been. The whole story can be read HERE
Interestingly just as we had finished the shoot the student protests kicked off. I had put away my camera at this point for fear of vandalism or confiscation, as the police and students vied for control of the streets.  
---
This could be a hard week as it's China's and Pitu's Birthday this week, neither of which I will get to see. Each year it's harder knowing I am not there and unable to be part of their lives as I ought to be. I have resigned myself to the fact that Deb will not allow China and I to have contact any longer, personally I think this is pathetic and unnecessary as no one gains from this BS, but then again I expected too much of her all along, so I shouldn't be surprised.
As for Pitu, this is her second birthday and my first year without her, and yes it hurts, I'm sad and sadder we are in this place, having left to build a better life. I hope there is a way to resolve this issue as I don't like the pattern forming, even though it's not one of my design. For Pitu's birthday I bought her, her first camera!!! I'm sure she will be showing me how to do it properly in a few years, kids learn SO fast this days.
--- 
On Saturday I was invited to photograph a secret event for 350.org. This was part of the 350 EARTH planetary art show. It was an interesting shoot involving around 2000 people (not sure how secret it was given 2000 people showed up!?), who became part of a human sculpture of King Canute on Brighton's seafront, trying but failing to command the ocean. The image was designed by Radiohead's Thom Yorke who generously donated his time, energy and art to make the event a success. Sadly he didn't show up to the actually 'making of'. I can't say as I blame him really, it was FREEZING!!! I half expected him to drive up, wind down his window, give us a thumbs up and drive away.
What I enjoyed about this event was the fact the people all bonded in a way people do when they all suffer the same adversity and they do something thats bigger than themselves. It started slow to then suddenly lots of people joining in from all over and kept in good spirits even though the wind chill was harsh. The people amassed in a sea of blue cagoules and were ushered into place by stewards. Later we had some groups in yellow cagoules who formed the 350 part of the picture.
There were a lot of other talent involved in this project too, such as PETRUSCO and filming and interviewing people on the ground, and freezing along with us, was the fantastic crew of FLYCREATIVE. Not to forget of course the lady who orchestrated the whole event on the day Jo Hedges, who deserves a massive - 2000 thank yous!!!!

From the ground it was really hard to get a sense of scale and overall idea of the design, but flying overhead we had a plane taking aerial shots, someone else was filming time lapse material and several other cameras placed in prime locations. To see the event and the finished article see the slideshow below, to make it easier for you I have circled where Emma and I were :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brain Freeze

Not being keen on early mornings, I arose from a warm snuggly duvet to the cold brisk air. My first thoughts, coffee! But not today, I couldn't. I wasn't allowed any stimulants before getting my brain scanned - insert any four lettered word here - *&^%!!

We arrived at the university for my scan, and that in itself made me feel like I was already being tested, like a rat in a maze. But we found the building and entered. I was greeted with various paperwork, then ushered into a small room. Whilst I continued filling out various forms and what not, the Doctor?, Scientist?, person in white coat, started attaching various leads to my head. Several part of my body had to be shaved, to ensure good contact was made with the cables for monitoring purposes. I remained calm on the outside but full of trepidation inside. Finally all the cords were attached and I headed down to the machine. At this point I looked like a futuristic rastafarian, as different coloured cables were coming out from my head and several body parts.

Once inside the room I saw the machine, and I was immediately warned that if I had ANY metal to remove it as it would act like a MISSILE once the machine was turned on - OK, if I wasn't panicking before, that did it. I quickly double and triple checked my body and pockets. Then once strapped into the machine I was asked to perform simple tests so they could see how I handled pressure etc. The machine was a little claustrophobic and very noisy. The tests took around 2 hours in total. Below you can see what they saw of my brain. Yes, I was surprised not to see a big empty space too.

The image below was not actually taken on the day and is an artists impression of what was expected to have been found. It turned out I'm normal, whatever that is?!?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brain Training

There was an ad placed recently on Gumtree to have your brain scanned - the study involves completing some simple computerised tasks during an MRI brain scanning while they monitor your bodily reactions (e.g. heart rate), then a day later, another that involved being connected to EEG brain monitoring equipment whilst you perform simple computer based tasks - of course I applied to both, and why not! The hardest part of these tests is the fact I cant drink coffee for 24 hours!!
Here are my psychological results from the second test: I'm a O76-C52-E79-A10-N71 Big Five!!

Not sure what that really says about me, but I think at this point, I'm too set in my ways. Maybe that's not a bad thing, at least you know what you're getting, most of the time. I do think I'm easily frustrated with myself, the world and life in general - then on other days I wake up and the world seems at peace with me. Do we all have this inner turmoil? Is it just those with artistic temperaments and middle aged women that have severe mood swings!? Or is this an effect of a bi-polar disorder?

Even as a kid, I always shot for the stars. I don't see it as a huge fault, yes, typically I get disappointed when I don't achieve what I want, but by the same token dreaming big doesn't phase me. Speaking to a stranger on the street or pushing for something I believe in has never been an issue, having said that, selling something I don't believe in has. I had a job when I was young selling 'rendition' perfumes that I just didn't buy into at all, and consequently couldn't sell them. But by the same token, I have done work that I believe in 100% and sold it with all my heart, sometimes getting frustrated when people didn't see what I saw.

Typically, I believe in people more than products (unless its Apple), I get pissed off that people aren't invested in enough. I have had the fortune to meet and work with some amazing talent, who are just crying out to be discovered or given a break. Having done; acting, magic and photography amongst other 'creative' jobs, I constantly see the same battles being fought for funding, training, assistance, guidance etc. To address this issue I am currently playing with the idea of starting a co-operative for photographers and looking at finding ways to make the industry more sexy instead of this insular entity that it currently appears to be. See, there I go again, trying to fix the world :/


The big question is: will you EVER be satisfied?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week 45 of 52

I am in a strange place right now, no I don't mean Brighton, although.....! I don't know why but my head and heart are at battle with each other. Since the split with Sandra I have found it hard to know what I'm feeling, pretty much about anything. They claim that it takes a month for every year you were together to heal - not sure that's right, some days it feels so raw others are fine and I'm still floundering around for answers which never come :(

My aims and aspirations are moving forward but not as I would like, but then I never did set my standards low. Emma and I, walked around several cafes and bars and quite a few are willing to hold a viewing of my work, which is nice. Now I just need to pick the images I think are best, have the widest appeal (with a view to selling them) and then hope this helps get my name out and push my work forward. I personally feel my photography hasn't moved on much for a while now. I am seeking various photography positions and opportunities to help change this - one of which is photographing inside nightclubs, not great but its work (at least for now).

OK enough chatter, onto the week - I had GRAFFITI as my theme, and Brighton being Brighton didn't let me down, almost any quiet street you go down there is Graffiti. I mean that in a positive way. To me, graffiti is art not tagging (just writing your name on the wall) - I think you would agree that the folks images below have a real talent for art and very creative. I liked the Chess image but the fear in the eyes did it for me, I just loved that comic styling :)
You can check out my chosen image HERE
I lay no claim to the artwork used within this theme - and as such I haven't copy-written any of the images. 

Week 45: GRAFFITI

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Week 43 & 44 of 52

All change for Brighton please, all change! I am now here, in Brighton! So what's changed apart from the geography? Well, I'm now staying with a friend - Emma, I have a new 2.8L lens, I have hair and a beard and thanks to Hussian I now have a printed portfolio of my images - to promote to local businesses and potential clients. Hopefully my mojo will catch up soon and I will start feeling back on top.

To that end, I have being doing photo walks - just going out and about and taking photos of whatever catches my eye, some images were good whilst others turned out to be nothing of interest when I finally got home and reviewed them.

These photos have being mounting up slowly and now it's your chance to see them.
chosen images for these weeks are WEEK 43 & WEEK 44
Week 43: PHOTO WALK

I recently went to a photography workshop - which has potential to be worthwhile if developed further, but it was aimed a little low for me. What it did do however, was highlight what I already know is more than I thought ;)
I have a few plans in mind and when the time is right I will launch them. Right now I am looking at studio spaces, opportunities within venues and making use of the environment around me, oh and of course, global domination, all good things.....

....anyhoo. There was a car rally last weekend with vintage cars travelling from London to Brighton which appears to have been going for some years now (the annual event that is, not the race). It was good to see some of the older cars coughing and spluttering along, their metal parts glistening in the sun, the drivers wrapped up warm donning various driving goggles. The sad part came when we (the spectators) were forced to stay behind barriers and could only view them from afar. I like to get up close and personal - to take detail shots, luckily I had my zoom lens, but that's not the point - the good old biker boys let us get close without any problems!? As a result, the images I got I'm not terribly impressed with at all :(

As I didn't get shots I wanted to use and the theme was NUMBERS, I hope you like what I have in store for you - eyes down...
Week 44: NUMBERS

Monday, November 01, 2010

Week 42 of 52

Not many weeks left of this project, and only days until I move to Brighton!!!! The Oxjam gig was successful with the highest traffic we have had to our website, so if you havent checked out the pics you really should.

Lately I have been taking quite a few shots of the trees as they continue to change colour and not quite focussed on a theme as such, just snapping away at what caught me eye.
Autumn is such a cool season

So, I went back to my list and chose 'Abstract' as my theme. Then having looked through my many collections and image stored away for a rainy day, I chose the images I think fit nicely as abstract images.

Week 42: ABSTRACT

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oxjam & Week 41

I'm a big fan of 'working smarter not harder', so for this weeks theme I combined an event with my 52 week project, the theme: MUSIC. 
The photoshoot was in Leicester and organised by Oxjam. They were hosting a music festival on Braunstone Gate for the whole day. It involved 8 bars and nearly 80 artists of all kinds of music genres. I'm sure you're dying to know what Oxjam is. It's a music festival that is happening all over the UK - not only to promote Oxfam and raise money for charity but also as a platform for music artists - two key reasons I was keen to get involved.

Adam and I went to the Independent Arts Centre in Leicester for Friday nights gigs. It a nice sized art house, which has a stage set up at the back for musicians. The artists themselves were good, but sadly the turnout was poor. However, Saturday was the main event so it was a nice warm up.

Saturday arrived, the weather looked hmmmm - changeable. 1pm rolled around and kick off time! When I arrived at the O'Bar the place was packed and rocking as music filled the room, as some great musicians were giving so much energy to their performance, a fantastic start and set the tone. The challenge for me this time round was that I have never photographed music events before, and to make it even more challenging, the musicians were playing in eight very different venues, with a mix of lighting conditions and space. One thing I wanted to do where possible was catch the action and also the ambience, but still get nice crisp images, no easy task for a novice like me.

In order to see and hear the bands playing live, you bought a wristband to gain entry to The Looking Glass, Loaf, O' Bar, Sumo, Natterjacks, The Hub, Venus and The Bowstring bars. Not only were the bars full, but there was plenty more merriment to be had in the street, with Capoeira, a Caribbean Carnival, Fire Poi, Graffiti artists and even Vikings?!?! (Yeah, I didn't get that one either).

To top it all off, I also got to see an old friend playing and he blew me away with how well he has done - if you haven't heard of him yet you will, allow me to introduce THE JAMES LEWIS BAND, you heard it here first folks! One of my fav songs so far is Kathryn, go check it out or why not buy it from iTunes. One trait which drove me crazy was the fact that about 90% of the musicians sang with their eyes closed - it looked like I caught every one of them blinking - which is typically what I try to avoid, having said that, it does work well on some images.

It was a fantastic, tiring, ear popping, head banging, foot tapping day! I would like to thank Adam Breedon and Oxjam for getting us involved and a big shout out to all the musicians and performers who did themselves and Leicester proud by raising £1000s for charity ;)
Below is just a sample of the many images I took that day, the remainder can be seen by clicking HERE
I have several images I really liked this week, but my fav is a shot of The James Lewis Band and can be seen HERE
 
Week 41: MUSIC

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 39 & 40 of 52

Not many more weeks left of this challenge and boy has it been harder than I imagined. Having said that though I have learnt a lot more, slowed down, worked on my composition and started to train my eye - so it has been a very worthwhile venture.

So from my time in Brighton I have managed to catch up on my weeks finally. I chose BIRDS and TRANSPORT as my themes. There were of course many shots which didn't make the grade but also from the ones I did take, and preferred, it became hard to choose a worthy winner. Anyway I finally decided which I liked the most as you can see below.

Chosen images are available here - WEEK 39 and here - WEEK 40 

Week 39 - BIRDS


Week 40 - TRANSPORT

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 38 of 52

I really needed to get away, lots of things getting on top of me and certain people taking the opportunity to kick me whilst I was down, so I headed south to Brighton for a while.
Maybe its the sea air, the change of scenery or the company, but it felt better. As long as I can quieten the voices I'm OK.

Whilst in Brighton, I tried to focus more on my photography and keep active. Luckily there was a motor bike rally, so loads to see and do. It also gave me a chance to catch up on my 52, as I got candid shots and some specific images in one go.

I tried to get a wide variety of images, people, bikes, boats, cars, animals, landscapes - more for practise than anything else. I stood on the top of the promenade and shot down into the vast crowds trying to pick out interesting characters. I did manage to get some, but the one thing that was all too clear was how poor my 'cheap' lens is. I really need to replace this with a better one. I also want to upgrade my camera too as I think I have out grown this one, I will ask Santa really nicely ;)

As for the shots I'm happy with them, nice mix, good feel them I think. As yet I haven't chosen a winner, so feel free to offer your suggestions as to which deserves to be chosen and why.
I finally chose the one I thought is the best image click HERE

Week 38 - CANDID

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hello darkness my old friend

The weather today looks as miserable as I feel and have being for quite sometime.
I came back to the UK to sort of out a life for me and my family, only to have that taken away again, regardless of the effort I had put in. It seems no matter how hard you try for some people it will never be enough. I'm angry with some of the choices that I made but they were at least my choices, but now I need to learn to make the right choices in order to move forward. Since the split I have had some very dark days and a few wobbles, some more serious than others and after several looooong chats with some friends I know Telford at least, isn't going to give me what I want and need. I also need to seek professional help as it's thought I have a bi-polar spectrum disorder.

I have decided that I'm off women too. No, I haven't changed sides, regardless of what some people may think already. I just need much more time to sort myself out - with that in mind I am going to move away for a year. I will still pursue my photography as I really enjoy it and believe there can be a future in it. But I haven't learnt as much as I expected here, so more effort and more like minded people to grow and learn from required.

I feel that I have let some people down but sadly the state I'm in is not good and I cannot offer them what they want or need right now, giving myself time and space will hopefully fix that. Newdawn still exists and for now I will be behind the scenes more and Huss will take the reigns. So if I go quiet for a while, like I have been, don't worry I'm just trying to get my life back in order again, no matter what they say it doesn't get any easier.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week 36 & 37 of 52

Well this one was the toughest weeks yet. Not in terms of subject matter, more the fact that my life was turned upside down with my long term girlfriend and I splitting up :(

I have so many things to say but better I say nothing, my mouth tends to get me into trouble - my head however is a mess, my heart destroyed! I wish I had a magic wand to fix everything but that wont work if only one person wants it, no matter how hard you wish - I learnt that before. So I needed space and some friends offered me some places to crash, but I dont like imposing, never have, but thank you for the offers folks. I did disappear to Brighton for a few days though - very cool place, kinda reminded me of Camden town, cool, funky, arty place. 

Anyway now I'm left with the decision as to where my life is going next - currently, no where fast, being refused jobs left right and centre, besides my intention was to return here and run my own business, and that already has become a costly choice, so silly to leave it now.

I just want to thank the friends who were there and who offered support. Once I have my mojo back, watch out world!!!

On with the images - click to see the chosen shots WEEK 36 and WEEK 37
Week 36 - Light


Week 37 - Man-Made

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The hunter and the bear

This is worthy of a mention, clever advertising on behalf of Tipp-ex.
Simple short film of a hunter and a bear and the joyous wonders they share together. At the end of the video you given an option choose either. You are then presented with ANY option you can think of to rewrite the story.
The Hunter uses the Tipp-ex to allow you to type any word in, and a short video plays using your chosen word, try it - but be aware you may not stop and you will laugh out loud, so dont do it at work!!

Some to start you off - Dances, Smiles, Pokes, Farts, Cooks, Moonwalk. See what you find and post them into the comments, there are loads ;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 35 of 52

Autumn has arrived and in order to mark this the chosen subject for this week is AUTUMN.
Whilst heading off on this journey I had a good idea of where I wanted to go, as I hung out there as a kid. 20 years later though, much had changed. My old infant and junior schools have been demolished and replaced with a housing estate! In fact the whole area has changed quite a bit. There used to be an old tree at the bottom of the school fields, that has been removed. That tree was like a perished fossil of what used to be. The rumours were it had been struck by lighting and died on that very day - it was old, twisted and so iconic, we used to say that at Halloween ghosts would haunt it. It really did look like a hanged mans tree.
So a quick trip up to the Wrekin and the Ercall supplied me with plenty of opportunities for subject matter. There was a chance to catch three young deer but sadly they saw me before I saw them and they ran off into the distance. Anyway, I headed up into the woods taking shots of the various fields and animals as I went. Music playing in my ears, camera in hand, wind in my face, I trudged on. When I arrived at the base of the woods, my intention was to get lost - that way I get off the beaten track and hopefully find something more unusual than that you find along the footpath.

The colours of the trees are starting to change and perhaps I'm a little early as there is still more greens than browns around. Still it was nice to get out and stretch my legs get some fresh air. One thing I really enjoy about photography is it quietens my crazy head and gives me focus if only for a little while.
I hope you enjoy the images below the chosen shot for the week is HERE 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 34 of 52

Whilst experimenting and taking pictures using our Hi-lite background I struck upon an idea for my next 52 project. As the theme is POSED, what better than me posing, but not just a pose or two, oh no, that's way too easy. I want 100 different poses!!!

So I got to work thinking about what faces, expressions and emotions I could use. I decided for this project I didn't want to use props, like hats etc (i have enough of them), instead only use my face and hands, that should offer enough variety. I then began by going through the usual emotions - happy, sad, grumpy, sneezy, sleepy - yes, I did use the 7 dwarves as a reference point. Then I got a little more creative and started working on a flow from one image to the next. I also decided to use movies, music and whatever I could think of for inspiration as well as using my own many crazy faces.

I was lucky enough that Hussian was available to take the actual shots, which saved me running backwards and forwards to the camera. So we set up what we needed and began snapping away. Huss added in ideas as we went along which kept the project alive and fun, amidst the laughter and frivolity we did manage to get plenty of shots. We then got to a point where both our minds went blank (no smart comments) we called it a day, with around 140 images in the bag. Typical, that once we had finished and packed everything away I suddenly thought of maybe 20 more options, maybe for another day?

Anyway, as I have 100 images I wont be uploading them all. Instead, you will see the finished project below.
enjoy :)

Week 34 - POSED

Friday, August 27, 2010

Smile for the camera

I'm always keen to learn new things and push myself in some way. Typically it's in a creative role or experimenting in something 'free'. I don't work well with constraints and rules so much ;)
That's not to say I'm lazy, but I do prefer practise to theory and rarely read manuals.
I do love watching the likes of Gok Wan and especially his approach to 'natural women' and 'looking good naked'. The way he approaches the subject and people, what he accomplishes in a short time period and the shift in attitudes, all very clever and effective.

One thing he does, is he forces people to see themselves as they really are, and then learn to be comfortable with that realisation. Having clients in front of the camera is very similar, in so-much-as most people don't like having their photo taken for a multitude of reasons. Your comfort is key to me and I want to get you as comfortable as possible with the camera, so I can get those wonderful shots. 
I know its hard to relax and you judge yourselves, because I do it too. I'm not handsome, I have moles, I don't like my teeth, but that aside, I have a fun-loving personality as you will see in the next post, or a sneak peek can be seen by going to the newdawn photography site, and this is what I want to capture on camera, not your imperfections.

For those of you that know me, know I am tactile, crazy and emotive. This is carried over into my photography, I like to get a feel for the shots, my subjects to have fun, enjoy it and keep it fresh and organic. When I'm out on a photo-shoot I'm always looking for a WOW image, that one shot that really stands out, where all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place; the location, the light, the subject, the expression, the angle etc.

So in my portfolio, I'm currently looking for boundaries to be pushed, creativity to flow and I'm experimenting in lots of different ways. I would like to get to shoot some extreme models and I would love to do a vintage photo-shoot at a 1950's train station, so if you're available or know of anyone, point them my way, or if you happen to know of a great location, email me ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 33 of 52

This weeks theme presented a new challenge for me, each week is a challenge in its own right but this one was special.  The theme was OBJECT, and to make it tougher I decided I could only use one object.  Typically I go out and shoot several variations on the theme and get something I like from one shot or another.  This time however having only one object to shoot made me have to be more creative with what little I had!
I wanted something I could do a variety of shots and angles with, and my love for colour was also a factor, so I thought about using a slinky!

When I was in Spain I looked for one, but no one really knew what I was after - they just laughed at the crazy English man.  Being back in the UK, a quick trip to the toy store and a pound later I had what I needed.  But rather than simply shooting the slinky I played with it a little and worked the abstract nature of it more, as I felt it made for more interesting images.

So here is the CHOSEN IMAGE

Week 33 - OBJECT

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Talented DJ

I love talent, variety, quirky, different and amusing acts - this one ticks all the boxes!
This is SO wrong yet so right, sit back, relax and listen to the melodious world of a Hospital Radio DJ (Ivan Brackenbury) as he plays dedications to his ailing patients.

WARNING - Contains highly amusing material
PART 1


PART 2


PART 3

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 31 & 32 of 52


I must say, I tip my hat to all those who complete a 365 challenge (photo a day). Having been busy with many other things I have not kept on top of my 52 challenge as I would like. Right now there is so much going on, yet at the same time nothing! Do you ever have those moments?

Anyway these are the latest offerings I have. For week 31, I had RAILWAY as the theme. I went down to a local train station and took some shots, but was not inspired. So I went on to another station, but still nothing excited me. Then on a quick day trip we came across a cool Olde Worlde train station, so I quickly snapped away.
Feeling much happier with the results from this occasion, I was able to complete this weeks challenge and breathe a sigh of relief.  Rather than just one image I ended up with two I really liked, but, there can be only one!
The chosen image can be found HERE

Week 31 - RAILWAY



This weeks challenge, (which now brings me up-to-date) is SCENIC. Again whilst out and about with a friend I managed to get what I needed for this particular challenge and some additional shots should I want to use them another time or for other things. Sadly my battery died and that ended the shoot, what I didn't realise until I arrived back home is I had my spare battery with me all along. The weather was nice which was great considering how awful it has been. It was also good to get away if only briefly, fresh air does help clear the mind ;)
The chosen image can be found HERE

Week 32 - SCENIC



Question: Just out of interest did anyone else not get the global memo about double spaces after full stops is no longer the done thing!?!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Week 29 & 30 of 52

I know, I know I'm really falling behind!  I have being trying to keep up with everything but sadly not got the motivation I need, I think the weather is partly to blame.
My week 29's theme is Summer, but I'm struggling to find anything 'summery', in fact, little except rain!  Sandra is online showing me her tan and here in the UK all I have to show is a cold, so not fair!

Being back is not what I thought it was going to be, for reasons I won't go in to.  But someone is determined to make my situation harder than it need be.  Not being able to move forward in my life is perhaps what's holding me back in my photography as I just aren't as inspired as I have been.  This MUST be resolved one way or another, luckily I have Sandra and some friends who have helped keep me sane (no easy task).

So I finally did get round to posting the images, they were already shot, I was simply unhappy with them as they didn't convey what I wanted or were of a quality I would like.
The chosen image can be seen HERE

Week 29 - SUMMER



Be afraid, be VERY afraid, as the theme for Week 30 is Fear!  This one was a little better because fear is pretty abstract.  It started with a few simple questions: what do people fear?   What am I afraid of?  What's the biggest fear in the world?  Then going to create an image that would embody those answers.
Heights, spiders, public speaking and clowns!!!  But maybe the sight of those things would be too fearful for my audience?!?
So a quick re-think.  Its fair to say most people fear death - they sure dont welcome it anyway.  The internet and technology is another big fear, so armed with these new ideas I set about creating my week's images. 
It certainly did get me being creative again as the winner of this week will show you.
The image can be seen HERE...    ...if you dare to look!


Week 30 - FEAR

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The mouse is dead!

For years now we having been using mice to navigate around our computer screens.  Typically having to replace them maybe once a year or more often in some cases.  The first mice were constantly getting gunk trapped on the wheels as you then removed the ball inside to clean them. 
Then came optical mice, great no more messy ball and clean scrolling, perfect.  But wait, not so great as it all depended on what surface you used, as reflective surfaces or glass didnt work so well, and you were always limited by the cable, so along came the wireless mouse.
Step by step the mouse has improved but not much.  Then came along Apple's Magic mouse they had cracked it, I thought.  A nice touch sensitive mouse, but Apple being Apple didnt stop there, oh no!!!!

Now they have released the replacement of the mouse forever, thats right!!!  BEHOLD THE MAGIC TRACKPAD.  OK the name sucks, im sure they could have done better, but its genius!
It looks the part and it does exactly what the trackpad does on all good Macbooks and is so simple to use.  You can single click, double click, use two-finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, rotate with your fingertips, three-finger swipe, and activate Exposé or switch between applications with four fingers.  Lets see the mouse bounce back from that.  Long live the track pad ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

To make or not remake

So I have just watched The Karate Kid and The A-Team, both blasts from the past and remakes.  
So what did I think?  For me, The Karate Kid just didn't work this time round.  I never connected with the characters or felt the plight of Jaden Smith as I did with poor Danielsan.  Jackie Chan playing the mild mannered Janitor (aka Mr Miyagi) was OK and given Jackie's skill it was good to see some of it back in action without the Hollywood glam.

The reality is this film was Jaden's showcase, no more no less.  He is talented, he has the mannerisms of his father and Im sure has a promising career as he can act.  But the film being a remake just didn't work to my mind - the fact it's 'The Karate Kid' and they openly keep saying he's being taught Kung Fu seems ludicrous, its a typical storyline and they could have simply adapted it.

On a positive note - I did enjoy the part at the temple, where you got to see some classic Kung Fu, including a cameo of Michelle Yeoh and a cobra training (Kobra Kai reference??)
It took too long to establish characters and get the film moving at a suitable pace - one part of any movie that typically gets me going is that: pick yourself up and train moment, you know the kind like they have in the Rocky films - where Adrian says "win Rocky, Win!" the music builds and he goes on a training rampage with montage shots.  Sadly in this movie (although I did like the shadow puppet Kung Fu training) it didn't stir me at all  :(

On the other hand, The A-Team, this was pretty cool.  My expectations were low and I wasn't really feeling Liam Neeson as Hannibal but the film itself worked.  Nothing amazing just enough cheese, adrenaline rushed, bullet flying, weak plot twisting to keep me watching.
The first 45 mins were good, I liked the setup, the pace dropped somewhat, but overall it was watchable - and to be honest right now from Hollywood I expect little else.
Murdock for me made the film, just the right amount of crazy and great line delivery.
The plot was thin, riddled with mistakes and they did the cheesy building stuff from nothing - all what you expect from this film, nothing more or less ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week 28 - Sweet

I thought this would be easy, go the shop buy a few sweets and snap away.  Thats what I did, I also didn't much like the results.  I played with a few ideas and considered a few options - I tried to get arty, but weren't happy with the images, tried being clever but didn't have the skill to pull it off, tried shouting at the products; that didn't help either :-S

Anyway I cracked on and took the following shots I was at least OK with.  Jelly Babies are no longer the cool looking sweets they used to be - bring back the original Jelly Babies!
OK, so it was an excuse to grab some sweeties, but my creative edge was evading me and I wasn't happy with much I set up.  I did try catching an M&M bouncing but couldn't get a shot I was happy with :(

Anyhoo the shots I took are below enjoy
and the chosen shot can be seen HERE

Week 28: SWEET

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Week 27 of 52

As you would have previously read, I had to take a trip to London to see my ladies back off to Spain.  Whilst there I had a quick look around for inspiration.  The place is bursting with opportunities for photography everywhere you look.

My theme for the week was Authority so I had to choose my shots, but I captured the typical images of London too, and why not.  It was great to be back in London, far more interesting than I recalled. 

I decided against going for the obvious authority figures being Police officers, mainly because the issue they typically have with photographers, plus they were armed!
The soldiers looked splendid and were happy to pose, well I say that, they had no choice as they couldn't move.  The poor guys must feel like chimps in a zoo with everyone wanted to be near them and photograph them.  Still they do make great shots.  

Oh I nearly forgot to mention, an image of mine (flaming shot) has been used by a American rock group - now thats Rock 'n' Roll. ;) 

The chosen image can be found HERE

Week 27: AUTHORITY

Friday, July 02, 2010

Gone but not forgotten

Sandra and Pitu returned to Spain again today :'(
Hopefully though the next time I see them we should be together for good.  It does mean I have my work cut out though: house, job, income, security, stability and need to be sorted within a few months, no pressure then.

Today was Sandra's birthday (I wont say how old she is, but welcome to the club), not sure if it was a good gift to be leaving the UK or not?!  It was really nice to see them again and have the support around.  Pitu is rapidly growing and speaking more Spanish than I understand, grrrrr.  But she is very funny, dont know where she gets that from?  Pitu is so lucky, she has been on a plane, many trains, and to another country and she's not even two, I was over 20 when I first went abroad. 

The trip to and from the airport were long and sweaty ones, yuck!!!  I did forget though just how much I liked London though for the sheer variety of...  ...well everything.  Yes its crowded and bustling, the tubes are crammed and its expensive but it is such a cool place to just BE.

Sandra was keen to go sight-seeing so we did that and she was like a Japanese tourist (no offence meant to Japanese tourists, but you know what I mean) - so funny, of course I took my turn to grab a few shots too - there are SO many photo opportunities in London.  

Sadly with all the excitement of Sandra coming over I forgot to do something really important, oops!!!
That may come back to haunt me later.  Hey ho, I have more than enough things to worry about and organise as it is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 24, 25 & 26

As I'm sure you are aware, I have slipped slightly with my 52.  I have been taking shots but nothing I was happy with, although I have been ensured they were of suitable quality I just weren't liking them, partly because my heart was not in it.
I have a too many trails and tribulations to deal with currently and as a consequence I was unable to do anything.  So I have resigned myself to focusing on one thing at a time and only dealing with other things when I am in a position to do so; thanks to family and friends for the advice and support.
I am now feeling much better about moving forward and have revisited my shots and worked with the ones I thought had some merit.

Week 24's theme was: Historic.  So I went over to Shrewsbury as it is steeped in history and has a castle of its own to photograph.  The day was very nice and it was good to see that Shrewsbury hadn't lost its charm.  Although the cost of the rail fair did put me off somewhat.
Chosen shot can be seen HERE

Week 24: HISTORIC

For Week 25, I chose wedding details as I hadn't shot a complete wedding and this was my task for the wedding along with co-ordinating and taking candid images.  Huss taken care of the formal and group images.  It was a splendid day and one I am very pleased to have been apart of.
We have a wide choice of images and selecting the ones for my 52 was tough so I don't envy the bride trying to decide which images she wants to keep.
Chosen shot can be seen HERE

Week 25: WEDDING DETAILS

AND FINALLY.....  ..The half way point, Week 26.
I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get this far to be honest, but I have made it and it was no easy task I can tell you.  So far I have had a wide mix of style and types of shots along with a wide variety of subjects.  I am pleased to say I can see a progression in my photography looking back, although i need a little more thought into my creative shots as they had slipped away.

So what could I do for this week, well I need to be able to work in daylight, with and without flash so that's what I did.  In order to understand and use it better I asked Sandra if she would mind being my next top model and we headed off to a park which would be great for wedding and portrait shots.
I got here to pose and dropped in flash where needed as the midday sun was strong and high in the sky.  I played with direction, poses and angles and I am happy with the outcome to be honest.
But why not judge for yourselves, the chosen shot can be seen HERE

Week 26: PLAYING WITH LIGHT
 
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