Triath-elite

Imagine getting to your 40’s before taking part in your first triathlon, winning it and then going on to represent Team GB in the age group triathlon. That’s what happened to Thalia Hessey, who Surrey Life Magazine commissioned me to create an environmental portrait of for their feature on her and her achievements.

I met Thalia and the editor on location at Buckland Park Lake where Thalia arrived with her Team GB kit already on. We were shooting in the middle of the day and the sun was out and high, so not ideal lighting conditions for a portrait. I also had to photograph her by the lake where there was no cover to mask her from the sun, but luckily my Elinchrom Ranger battery powered lights had enough power to open up the shadows and reduce their harshness.

Environmental portrait of Team GB triathlete Thalia Hessey at Buckland Park Lake in Betchworh, Surrey. Photo by Douglas Kurn
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Are your photos stoppers?

A red octagonal STOP sign against a blue sky used to illustrate a post on "stoppers". Photo by Douglas Kurn
A stop sign. Photo by Douglas Kurn

What do I mean by stoppers? It is a term that the fashion editor of Vogue magazine Phyllis Posnick attributed to former Vogue art director Alexander Liberman, that meant an image had the power to make readers stop at a page and absorb the content. Posnick even used Stoppers as the title of her book of photographs that she created at Vogue with some of the worlds best photographers and fashion photographers of their time.

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Brooklands On TV

Brooklands Museum has its own TV show called Secrets Of The Transport Museum which is on Yesterday channel and is well worth a watch (it’s on catch up at UK Play TV too). Although my series of photographs, The Spirit Of Brooklands mainly focussed on its history as a motor racing circuit, Brooklands also played a significant part in the aircraft industry being a just in time manufacturing centre for aeroplanes during World War Two.

The hangar featured in this photo is a Bellman Hangar and was designed to be a temporary fixture when it was first located on the Finishing Straight of the racing circuit, but is now a grade II listed building. I shot this just before it was moved to another area of the site to become part of the aircraft factory.

Photo of Bellman Hangar, Brooklands Museum
Bellman Hangar, Brooklands Museum
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Brooklands Volunteers

With more places opening up as a result of the easing of lockdown restrictions I thought I should write about Brooklands, a local museum that is on the site of the former Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, which regular readers will know is a place where I have spent many an hour, usually late at night, and for those of you who don’t know you can check out the photos here or search using the Brooklands tag on the right.

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Global Recycling Day

Today is Global Recycling Day (18th March 2021 if you’re reading this on another day) and to commemorate it I have changed my logo to that of the Global Recycling Foundation logo, just for the day (although it could be the shape of things to come – but more about that another time). Here’s a screen grab of what it looks like in case you missed it:

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Working Through Lockdown

Although I have continued to work throughout the whole coronavirus pandemic (whilst complying with government guidelines), a lot of my clients have been working from home so shooting on location with them has been tricky. Luckily I have been able to use my home and garden to help out as I previously mentioned.

For that shoot I had to photograph a shoe, comp the shoe on to a stock shot of a leg and then repeat for the dorsi flexed or plantar flexed stages of taking a step during walking – can you tell I don’t know what I’m talking about? Luckily I had some experts from my client on hand to advise!

The image was for the front cover of the latest Halo Medical catalogue, which looks like this thanks to the good folk at Remember Creative:

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The M25 Motor Wey

I’m often asked where I find my subjects for some of my personal portraits; the answer is simple – if I see someone interesting I go up and ask them! Take Chas for instance; I have regularly cycled past his long boat on the Wey Navigation just underneath the M25 motorway bridge, and often thought he would probably make a great subject, but the problem was his boat was on the other side of the canal so it was difficult to make contact with him.

Chas’ boat moored on the Wey Navigation under the M25.

Trans-Atlantic Art Dealer

As well as commissioned photography I also sell limited edition prints. I’ve attended various art fairs over the years with mixed success, but the Internet has proved extremely useful for making sales without having to shell out for an expensive stand, pack everything up, hire a van, drive to the fair, unpack everything, hang it up, spend a number of days trying to hawk my wares, and at the end reversing the whole procedure!

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Lockdown:Look Up

How did you spend the Lockdown? I spent it looking up – not in a life affirming, positive way, but quite literally looking up – at the skies above me. Living under the Heathrow flightpath this would normally result in seeing loads of planes, but with air travel severely curtailed there was so much more to see; birds, clouds, helicopters, moons, super moons, and more clouds.

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