PRINTAGRAM ISSUE 2

It’s been a while coming but the first issue of my magazine Printagram has been so well received that I just had to make a second issue. If you not seen it before Printagram is a not so instant version of some of my images, coupled with some of my musings – which if I’m honest have mostly been taken from my blog. 

This issue consists of current personal work, commissions, historical stuff and something even shot on very old and very outdated film. Intrigued? Of course you are, so grab a copy of the PDF here. It’s over 30 pages of stuff so you might want to start the download and then go and put the kettle on to accompany your read!

It’s best viewed as a double page PDF which if you are on a Mac using Preview you do like this:

If you missed the first edition of Printagram you can download a copy here. I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think.

Now must get to work on creating more for the next issue…

GOODBYE 2018

As we see the back of 2018, maybe it’s time to reflect on it in a historical context; 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One – the Great War, the War To End All Wars. It’s perhaps sobering to think that 100 years ago Europe saw the year ahead as one where they would try and put Europe back together again – how times change! 

Whatever your opinion about the ongoing shenanigans surrounding the departure or otherwise of the UK from the EU, we would never have been able to have had the debate if it hadn’t been for those who fought in that, and subsequent wars.

I wish everyone what I suspect was all that those who survived war wanted; peace, love, health and happiness. x

The Silent Soldier Memorial

Life In A Dark Shed

I’ve often wandered past a tin shed behind some gates, and wondered what was inside. One day I went inside and met Trevor, who has worked there since the age of 14. His Father worked there too, up until 4 weeks before he passed away at the age of 94. With all the welding, drilling and cutting that goes on there is a lot of dust everywhere but Trevor says he is tidying it up. Whilst I was there we came across a letter from 1984, although Trevor said that he had found one from the 70’s recently!

Doors in the shed also come in handy as notepads for making notes on jobs and customer numbers, and the portrait of Trevor against one of the doors has been voted for as one of the portraits to take place in the Portrait Salon 18 exhibition.

 

 

Who Tolls The Bell?

Campanologists that’s who! The sound of church bells ringing out is a part and parcel of town and village life in England, but how many people have seen inside a bell ringing chamber? My latest project involved creating portraits of bell ringers in their ringing chambers, which seemed like a good idea until I saw the steps I’d need to climb to gain access (and yes that’s my foot on the top step – and no I don’t have big feet!):

Once I had climbed the steps though I found that each space was very different, but they were unified by always being small, which presented some photographic challenges! The spaces were unique and quite fascinating, which is something I tried to capture in my environmental portraits.

Peals, methods, bobs and Sallys were all words that I thought meant something else until I started meeting bell ringers, but it turns out that they are all part of ringing life. Bell ringing has always been a significant part of Remembrance Day, dating back to when Armistice was declared on November 11th 1918, when they rang freely for the first time since the start of the first World War. With 2018 being the 100th year since the end of World War 1 there is a campaign called Ringing Remembers that is attempting to recruit 1400 new bell ringers this year to commemorate the 1400 bell ringers who lost their lives in WW1.

It is common for the bells to be rung half muffled on the morning of November 11th, which means putting one of these on one side of the clapper:

…like this:

It produces a more muted sound and is considered to be more fitting for the sombre mood of Remembrance Day.

To take these photos of the bells I had to go right up the tower to where the bells are housed, and if I’m going to go that far then I might as well go on the roof to see views like this:

St Peter’s Church in Chertsey, where I live, has a dumb bell for beginners to practice on, and when I visited them I was allowed to have a go on it. It’s called a dumb bell because it makes no sound, and the residents of Chertsey don’t know how lucky they were when I had a go! I think bell ringing is best left to the professionals like these:

On A Knife’s Edge

Or more accurately a knife’s edge on a river’s edge. Meet Tim who hand makes knives from reclaimed steel in his workshop on Lots Ait on the river Thames in Brentford. Tim’s a trained chef, and like all chefs he has a fascination with knives, but he’s taken it a step further and decided to make them himself.

What could be more fun than making your own high temperature oven out of an old gas cylinder, heating bits of steel up to over 1000 degrees C inside it, and then bashing the steel repeatedly with a big hammer until you have a knife? Okay there’s a lot more to it than that, including the amount of time spent making it razor sharp. Tim also hand makes the handles which he traditionally made from wood but has started making recycled plastic handles from plastic found in the Thames. All this in a 12′ x 12′ workshop in an old boatyard – to create these pictures we had to take the window out!

Check out Tim’s videos of him slicing an onion with one of his knives on his Instagram page. Remarkably Tim still has all his fingers!

:DK

Pacy Portraits

Guess what I did over the summer? Yep I shot 175 Portraits in two days – mad but true. It was Chertsey Agricultural Association’s 175th Annual Show so they asked me to shoot 175 portraits of people at this years show, one for each year. Obviously wandering around a field asking a load of strangers if I could photograph them was right up my street (or field may be a better word)!

To emphasise the history of the show we gave the show images an aged treatment and you can see all the characters here (okay there are some of kids cuddling dogs but come on I had to shoot a portrait every 4 minutes!)

Some of them were too good to not to take a second look at in colour, so I’ve selected some of my personal favourites and uploaded them here – just click them to see the gallery images..

With it being an agricultural show, when I had completed my 175th portrait I obviously had to enjoy a pint of cider…

 

The AOP At 50

The Association Of Photographers (AOP), of which I am a member, is 50 years old this year and to commemorate they are holding an exhibition of images by past and current members from the 50 years of it’s existence. The AOP50 exhibition has been curated by editor and consultant Zelda Cheatle and includes images by Brian Duffy, Terence Donovan, Anderson & Lowe, Simon Norfolk and Nadav Kander amongst many others. Wow! Where can you see this? Well the exhibition is currently on show with some big prints in the reception area of One Canada Square, Canary Wharf. And best of all – it’s free!

But wait there’s more; you can see an exhibition of current members work at the same venue on a screen in the reception area too, including my image called Sandbags On Portobello Beach (that’s Edinburgh if you don’t know), which even more fantastically is available as a limited edition print – get in touch for details or have a browse at what else is available here.

The exhibition runs until June 1st so don’t hang around…

Sandbags on Portobello Beach

The Kingfisher And I

When you think of Oxford you are probably more inclined to think of the University, the city of dreaming spires, punts on the river, the Radcliffe Camera, Inspector Morse, and you may have even stayed in the old prison which is now a Malmaison hotel.

You would be forgiven if graffiti wasn’t the first thing that comes to mind though, but, as I discovered during a recent reccé, there are some fabulous street art focused projects taking place in Oxford, most notably the Oxford Canal Mural Project initiated by local residents and the Oxford Canal and River Trust, which includes the fabulous Kingfisher mural below created by artist Richard Wilson.

Inspired by all this artwork I decided to use it as the basis for a recent portrait photo shoot in Oxford including some of the canal side murals and down the Cowley Road in Oxford City. It wasn’t without it’s challenges though as we got “boat-o-bombed” on the canal (see below)!

Whilst I think the initiative and the art in particular is fantastic, I’m not sure Morse would have agreed…

 

Oddly – Beer in the Thames

Or to be more precise beer made in the Thames – well, on an island in the Thames; Platt’s Eyot, a former boat builders yard that also made torpedo boats during the second world war.

Oddly is an independent brewery that operates out of one of the old boat yard buildings. Dilapidated and cold when he first moved in but home to this new and growing brewery.

Brian, the head brewer, moved in last year to set up a permanent home for Oddly on this fabulous island, access to which is via a small suspension bridge just large enough to take a narrow van, which led to Brian’s first challenge; how to get the barrels from the delivery point on the shore to his brewery. A job that took 10 minutes previously now took two and a half days!

As an independent brewer “Dry January” isn’t one of his favourite months, however the independents have responded with Tryanuary, a nationwide campaign to support independent brewers by encouraging people try different beers.

It was a great shoot and I’ve always been a fan of the odd beer, but now I am definitely a fan of the Oddly beer…

Platt’s Eyot island

The tasting zone

Brian in the brewery

Platt’s Eyot island

The Oddly bar

Printagram

Printagram? What’s this? Well it’s not Instagram but something less instant; a magazine that I have published, consisting of work, both commissioned and personal. What’s it look like? Well here’s the front cover:

And where can you get this sought after new publication? Well, it’s available as a PDF here. It’s best viewed as a 2 page layout, which if you’re using Preview on a Mac can be set here:

If you’re all modern and funky there is also an ebook version available from here.

Enjoy it and if it’s given you any ideas that I might be able to help with get in touch!