What is a pre-blog ? Well, in this case it looks a bit like a blog, it has content very similar to a blog but it isn't a blog... yet! In a few months I will be publishing a fully-formed, all singing and all dancing blog. In the meantime you are going to have to make do with this pre-blog...

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24.03.2009 | 13:36 GMT | My most used technique

If I were asked to pick the one technique that has made me a better photographer and helped me make better portraits over the years it would have to be "shooting in the shade". It's a very simple idea - you take your subject, put them somewhere where the ambient light isn't very strong and then use a background where there is plenty of ambient light. I wrote a very early technique page on my website about something I called "not portable shade" as an answer to the complicated, expensive and difficult to manage systems for creating shaded areas in the open. I've used trees, buildings and even other people to create shade in contrast to the idea that you might have five assistants, ten lighting stands and a lot of material to achieve much the same thing.


23.03.2009 | 17:17 GMT | Light and shade

News photography isn't a huge industry. It employs a few thousand people here in the UK and it's amazing how many of those know each other, or at least know of each other. That having been said, it's also amazing that so few people can be divided into so many small pockets. Sports photographers, news photographers, local newspaper photographers and features photographers all come to mind as sub-divisions of the business. Whilst talking to a couple of colleagues the other day I was made aware of another division. A division that you seem to fall on one side or the other of according to the way you see and shoot pictures.


17.03.2009 | 09:02 GMT | UNSEEN goes on sale 25th March

The waiting is almost over... The books are printed, bound, wrapped in plastic , boxed and loaded onto pallets. They have arrived in the UK from the presses in Italy and will be in our hands later today.

Unseen - Photographs from The British Press Photographers' Association is published on 25th March by Skateboarding Duck and the project was sponsored by Canon.

The foreword is written by Jilly Cooper, who says: "Thank goodness for Unseen. "The sweetest songs,” wrote Shelley, "'sing of the saddest thought", and these photographs are so beautiful yet compassionate that, despite their appalling images of death, loss, mutilation and destruction, one feels an overwhelming elation and relief that someone has drawn attention to such suffering. Without photographers invading the worse troublespots, armed only with their cameras, so much tyranny and brutality would go unrecorded."

The book is available on pre-order from Amazon and will be on sale through various retailers.

13.03.2009 | 13:06 GMT | Video editing lessons

All over the world press photographers are looking at video as either an exciting new challenge, the saviour of their careers with news organisations or as the greatest threat to their beloved profession since, well, since threats were invented. It's hard to find anyone who doesn't have an opinion that isn't close to one of those views. I have swayed between excited and thankful for the last couple of years and barely done anything about it. When Canon announced the 5D MkII and I decided that this was the camera for me, it became logical to go with "excited".


10.03.2009 | 20:12 GMT | Hard shadows on a portrait


When I teach editorial portraiture I always tell people that they should shoot pictures in a strict order of priority. First of all you have to shoot the pictures that the client asked for. Next you shoot the pictures that you want to shoot so that the client sees your vision for the job. Finally you should supporting images that haven't been asked for but you can see that they will give designers and editors options that they didn't even know they needed!


04.03.2009 | 16:30 GMT | Three months with the 5D MkII


My first EOS5D MkII arrived on the 1st of December (2008) and the second a little over a month later. Having had the cameras for a reasonable period I guess that it's time to give my opinion about these long-awaited and much anticipated Canons. I'd like to say from the outset that I never became familiar with the original 5D and that I have switched to the mark two from a pair of EOS1D MkII bodies. If you are like me and don't want to read the blow by blow account of the cameras successes and failures and just want to skip to the conclusion - here it is: I really like these cameras and they are just right for the mix of work that I do right now. The image quality is excellent - even at very high ISOs AND they arrived at the right point in my new freelance career - what's not to like...



04.03.2009 | 10:15 GMT | Six months and counting


What a difference six months makes. On the 4th of September 2008 I became a great-uncle to twins and met the beautiful pair a few hours after their birth in our local maternity hospital. They are now six months old and I get to see them almost every week. They serve as an apt reminder that I have also been a self employed freelance photographer for the same period. To add to the family's joy, my wife and I became great aunt and great uncle to another beautiful baby girl in February. It goes without saying that these are going to be well documented early years as I find myself combining the two tasks of giving the family some memorable images and keeping my skills as sharp as possible now that I am not shooting commissions absolutely every day in the way I did when I had a staff job.


February 2009 - The Archive page

January 2009 - The Archive page

December 2008 - The Archive page


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