Category Archives: People and Portraiture
After my first two photo locations I parked the camper van in a lay-bye in the Monmouth countryside. After some food and meditation I set about processing the first days work. I then had an early night to prepare for Fortress wales a multi-period re-eneactment event at Caldecot castle.
I arrived at 10.00am just as it opened. My plan was to shoot re-enactors without any modern items in the shot.
Unfortunately this proved quite difficult to do. To my eye the who event seamed to be about the re-enactors and photographers.
I’ve never seen so many other photographers in one place before. Trying to get a shot made me feel like a paparazzi fighting in the hustle. This made me feel very uncomfortable. I’m used to being either the only photographer at an event or one of a small number.
I simply didn’t have the emotional energy for this environment. I stayed an hour but found it quite draining and so decided to leave.
These are my favorites.
I had originally planned to return home after this shoot, but my heart signaled otherwise.
I had just done three shoots in atmospheric locations, all of which, for me had been spoiled by noise and people.
My heart was telling me that I needed nature and solitude. It was at this moment that I decided to drive down to Devon to shoot Wistman’s Wood on dartmoor.
Leighton from Resistanz asked me to photograph the festival in return for free entry and access to the pit.
Ideally I like to actually to get paid for festivals these days and if not that at least have my expenses covered.
However, free access to an uncluttered pit and chance to practice my gig photography was just to good to pass up.
The conditions were extremely challenging. Most of the bands played in pretty poor light with a good dose of smoke.
My auto focus was hunting all over the place and i just couldn’t see clearly enough to manually focus. However, I kept at it as I’m a bit of a determined little bugger when it comes to my photography.
The best thing about shooting at Resistanz was that most of the time I was the only one in the pit, so I could run backwards and forwards and clamber up and down stuff doing my usual unstable balancing routine without being challenged by any overzealous security.
Petrol Bastard and the Gothsicles were the easiest to shoot due to their dynamic energy and stage presence.
The hardest were iVardensphere due to the shear number of people on stage and Seraphim system and Randolph & Mortimer due to the truly awful lighting and smoke.
On Friday night I worked from 15:30 until 02:00 had a dance for half an hour then went back to the camper-van and stayed up until 05:00 processing my images.
I got up on Saturday and was able to upload to Facebook thanks to James allowing me to tether to his 4G phone.
On Saturday I worked from 14:00 to 23:15 then stayed up until 01:00 to get my processing done, then had a relatively early night.
By Sunday I was fresh and all recovered. I didn’t fancy processing at the end of the day so this time I actually went back to the van and did the processing after each band. By 01:00 I was done, and actually allowed my self to get drunk and dance for 2 hrs before going to bed.
I actually processed the Gothsicles on Monday morning before I drove home, so that I wouldn’t have any processing to do when I got back.
These were the artist that I shot:
Petrol Bastard, Isoloscope, Neuroticfish, Organ Donors, Neonsol, Randolph & Mortimer, Cyferdyner, Grendel, iVardensphere, Godflesh, Massiv In Mensch, Seraphim system, Alice In Videoland, Lab 4, Youth Code, Kutski , The Gothsicles.
These are my favorites from the event.
So quite a while ago Oni Freeman from Noetic flux asked me to photograph their Psytrance event.
To be honest I normally have to approach nights and offer my services, so its wonderfully nice to be approached and actually asked.
The tunes in the main room were provided by K.I.M, ANTISPIN, GOA JONAS, MULTISEED and AMETHYST.
Playing in the second room were BAD TANGO, MAGIC LANTERN, EXTRA SPECTRUM and MILTOID
This is my selection from the event
So, I’m sitting there on my PC and Facebook says “A year a go to day you were drinking cocktails by the pool in Thailand”. Well thanks for reminding me Facebook. Its dark and cold and I’m stuck at work and you remind me of my 4 months travelling Asia, thanks a bunch.
Then I think to myself. I could go away. I could get a cheap flight to Marrakesh and bugger off for a week. So thats exactly what I did.
Originally skyscanner had flights for £17 each way but I’m sure that site is set to artificially inflate the prices if you show any interest. The first time you visit they were £17, then they jump up to £47. I decided to book a return flight, but funnily enough just as I’d purchased the outward flight from easyjest, the return flight using Ryan air jumped from £7.50 to £107. What a con.
So I cancelled the booking of the return flight and just booked it directly through EasyJet. I had to pay an extra £20 each way for hold luggage but in the end I got a return flight for £135. Not too bad I guess.
I then sorted out the Nation express coach to Gatwick. That cost £40 Return.
The riad was run my a lovely French couple that bent over backwards to help me.
It was a real shame that there were no other guests staying there when I arrived as I ended up getting pretty lonely.
The location of the riad had its good side and bad side. The good thing was that it was very close
Jemaa el Fna and access to the souks. The downside is that every time you left the riad to get food or water you got hassled by all the street vendors.
To be honest I think I suffered from culture shock. I admit I hated Marrakesh. You always had to be on your guard.
As a tourist you are seen as a commodity to be drained of wealth. Everybody wants their share.
The moment I left the safety of the riad I felt like I was in a pit with so many ravenous dogs tearing at my flesh.
Each time I grabbed my camera and went out side the street vendors tried to get their hooks into me.
I resented that these people were draining the energy from me that I needed to do my work.
I didn’t come to Marrakesh for a holiday. I visited Marrakesh to shoot stock photography, push me outside my comfort zone and get some sunlight before the impending Xmas gloom.
So everyday I got up and went out to shoot the souks and the streets. And everyday I was exposed the the hustles and cons of the people of Marrakesh. No doubt the experience was character building but I have come away hating that place. I would not advise anybody to visit .Its a truly horrible place where everyone is simply after your money. ‘Disingenuous’ is the word that springs to mind.
I’ve never felt so unsafe in my life before. I had a man drive his motorbike at me to try and force me into his shop, another man tried to get me lost in a labyrinth. Youths constantly hassling you to buy drugs, people spitting at your feet, people left right and centre trying to con, hustle and extort money out of you. I felt like an injured fish in the middle of a feeding frenzy.
Despite all this I forced myself to work. I took many photos of the souks but very few shots of people. Most People In Marrakesh don’t like having their photo taken, and of those who do, most want paying!
I’m glad I’ve had the experience, but now that I’ve done it, I really wouldn’t want to go back.
These five videos record my experiences as they happen during my weeks stay in Marrakesh.
Well I’ve just got back from working as event photographer for Alchemy festival 2015 and what a festival it was.
Each year I wait for Alchemy to come round like other people wait for Christmas. This difference being that Alchemy is never a disappointment.
I spent my mornings RAW processing, the afternoon, evening and night shooting and the early hours socializing. I even managed 4hrs of sleep per night to recharge my batteries.
I looked for bands, Dj’s, Performers, groups, couples, babies, dogs, and general moments of emotion and energy.
Alchemy never disappoints, It’s a festival of friends and families, of positive energy, happiness and connection.
The music varies from crusty punk and ska, Folk and Reggae, and Dub, Psytrance and many other genres.
Thanks to the fantastic friendly people at Alchemy fest for helping me have such a great time and capture some memorable moments.
Here are my favorite shots from the event
The night before we flew back to Thailand we decided to go to Rumah Api a Malaysian Punk music venue in the Ampang District. Our Guest house was at Imbi which was about 5-10 mins walk from Pudu station. It took about 20 or so minutes to get from Pudu to Ampang and then only about 3 mins further walk to the venue.
When we arrived we were confronted by a sight which surprised me, a large gathering of black skinheads. I have always thought of skin heads as Nazis or fascists, so to see Malaysian Skinheads was a bit of a surprise. I have since been informed that the skinhead movement was never originally racist at is core and at some point was hijacked by the far right.
The bands playing on the night were:”The Bois, The Pub, homerun, Street Rebels, W.A.R, Milittan, Berantakan, class war, revolter, and on liberty”
I really enjoyed the gig. The venue was extremely hot, but the atmosphere and the energy was fantastic. It was lovely to so many joyful people obviously loving their music and throwing themselves around like maniacs.
I always feel threatened when attending similar gigs in The UK, but that probably has more to do with me, than the gigs.
I think the low amount of alcohol present probably added to the more chilled atmosphere.
I found the photography extremely challenging due to the low light and fast moving subjects, but I think I got some interesting shots.
I traveled to Loikaw to photograph the Kayah State festival, because I believed It hadn’t been photographed by a westerner before. Of course its likely that it has been, but I couldn’t find any images on Google image search, Flickr or Alamy stock site to which I contribute. I thought that perhaps taking unique original images would be a good way to sell more of my work.
We arrived on 31st December, New years day. According to a website the Festival was on 3-5th January. Unfortunately Our Landlady at the Nan Ayar Inn informed us that the festival actually ran from the 10th to the 18th of January this year with the big day, Kayah State day, on the 15th.
Once Mid was out of hospital and recovered from her illness, the festival was only a few days away, so we decided to stay and stick to our original plan. Unfortunately with only having a tourists visa allowing us 28 days stay in Myanmar, it became apparent that our Burmese traveling experience was going to consist of Yangon to Liokaw, to Yangon, then out. The downside to this was that I was going to miss out on the photographic opportunities offered by Inla lake and Began. The upside was that I was going to be able to get to know Loikaw far better than I had originally planned which hopefully would lead to more interesting images.