Saturday, 7 May 2016

'Street Life' @ The Islington Arts Factory

Some of my prints up at The Islington Arts Factory, London. People were coming in to look while I was still putting it up, it stretched round onto another wall when it was all up. On show now until the 27th May, 2016. Check it out if your in London.


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Exhibition of my street photography

From 10am 6th May to 7pm 27th May, 2016. An exhibition of street photography, capturing street images is my fav genre, I like the spontaneity and unpredictability of it. This is a varied collection of my work, I chose 45 prints to include, it was a difficult choice as I have quite a few taken over the past few years in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bradford, Scarborough, Leeds and my home City of Hull, the City of Culture 2017. (I passed on having an opening/private view as most people I would invite are outside of London, don’t know if people would have made it) 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

My Journey into Photography (a short bio)

I have been making images with cameras for well over 20 years, starting out with 35mm and medium format film cameras now predominantly using digital. I was aware of photography from a young age, my Dad was a keen photographer, and as a small child I remember finding light meters in the house, using them as toys. I was also aware of the process as he would have makeshift darkrooms in the house. In the 70’s when I was at school Kodak instamatic cameras were quite popular, it was a compact film camera, limited exposure with a fixed lens and a distance scale for focusing, glorified pin hole cameras really. I had one with me during a school trip to London, aged 11, think I got some good shots of my feet while walking around Trafalgar Sq, accidentally tripping the shutter. Aged 19, I had one with me when I travelled overland to India, unfortunately I wasn't into photography seriously, wish I had been, I could have got some great images. I did take a few memorable shots, one a busy street scene in Tehran, Iran. I've scanned a few, but the prints are quite faded now. The film in the Kodak instamatic camera was smaller than 35mm, it came in a cartridge which just fitted into the body of the little plastic camera, you would then send it off for processing and get small square prints back. It wasn’t until I was about 30 that I caught the bug and took it up seriously, after receiving an Olympus Trip 35 as a present, the one David Bailey advertised on TV, it was a metal bodied camera with a 40mm fixed lens, apart from an inbuilt light meter it was all mechanical, no batteries required. It was probably the first decent camera I had. Later I started using Canon 35mm SLR’s, and medium format twin lens cameras.

 Downtown Tehran, Iran. 1979.

Apart from some help from my Dad, I am mostly self taught. I did start a BTEC in photography and related studies in the mid 90’s but left the course, I enjoyed the related studies part but the actual photography Tutor seemed negative and uninspiring to put it politely, other students had similar opinions, a hardcore of die hards actually stuck it out. I learnt a lot more through my own efforts, in fact for something like photography, teaching yourself is the best way in my opinion. Everyone has different styles, you need to find out what works best for you and shoot from the heart, enjoy what you do. I try not to get bogged down too much with technical stuff, I know what I need to know in order to get the best from a camera, everything else is art, looking and seeing. The creativity starts the moment you put your eye to the viewfinder and start framing, constructing the image. With a lot of newbie’s its all about the equipment, which is all very well I enjoy the equipment side to a certain extent, but the more experienced you become the more you realise its simply a tool. You could have the latest state of the art camera but that wont give you great images, only you, the person behind it can do that. And I think learning with film cameras teaches the true fundamentals of photography. Its still popular with students, last time I was in London I saw three schoolgirls on Brick Lane, photography students with Pentax 35mm SLRs, I wanted to get a shot of them pointing their cameras at me, but they seemed a little paranoid about my motives, this can be a problem with street photography.

  A Leeds City Market Character

I enjoy most genres of photography, landscapes, abstract, portraiture etc. I had a spell at wedding photography, loved it at first, I felt like a film Director posing and arranging people, but after a while it became just more of the same. I thought it was actually stifling my creativity, I call it production line photography, next group, next group etc. I am not saying it can’t be artistic, obviously it can be given the right locations, but most of it is pretty routine and all the hard work starts after the event, editing and processing, not for me really. My real passion is street photography and social reportage, it’s become a labour of love, I like the spontaneity and unpredictability of it, you never know what you might come across. It’s also challenging, for me good street photography is about capturing something unique, unusual or something that is portraying a message, funny or serious. I have been inspired by all the greats of photography, Henrie C Bresson I like the surrealism influence in his work, Sebastiao Salgado's work is terrific too, and Don McCullin who is more known for his war photography, but his street photography is top notch too, Weegee (Arthur Fellig) was a big influence and inspiration for me. Weegee was a press photographer in 40’s and 50’s New York, but also enjoyed documenting everyday life, he was probably one of the first street photographers, I think he was ahead of his time. In his later career he worked in Hollywood and did the special effects on the film ‘Dr Strangelove’. I am based in Hull City my home town where I grew up, we received the "U.K. City of Culture" for 2017. The art scene in Hull is alive and well, and some great grassroots, homegrown talented people have originated here. I have many good street shots taken in Hull. I also enjoy travelling about to do my photography, Leeds City is a favourite place, you can often find unique characters in the Markets there, I like the streets of London too. Recently I put together an exhibition of my street photography which will be on show at the Islington Arts Factory, London, next May, 2016. I put together a slideshow of the images which can be viewed on Youtube, I have a link to it via my site @

Click on the images to view larger

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Photo Books

My photo books, available to buy on Amazon. Click here

Monday, 9 February 2015

Impressive Compacts

Some time back I tried the Canon G series compact cameras the G7 and G11, both quite impressive, but for various reasons I sold them and decided to stick to DSLR’s. Last year I saw a used Lumix TZ5 for sale for $40, I bought it on impulse, mainly to try it out, and I like the idea of having a pocket camera, its not always practical to carry your DSLR about with you all the time, also these compacts can reach places a larger camera cannot, I was so impressed with the TZ5, I bought a Lumix LX3, mainly for the extra control over exposure.  

It’s an impressive little camera, produces lovely images. Some people don’t like the detachable lens covers, it comes attached to the camera via a piece of string, but I don’t like it dangling about, so I took it off, I don’t bother using the lens cover, I take the camera out in a little pouch, which I can attach to my belt, its unobtrusive and easily accessible if I see anything I want to grab a shot of. When the lens is retracted, its has a lip around it, the actual lens is recessed a bit, enough to protect it in the carry pouch, so aslong as your careful I don’t think you need bother with the lens cap. I was impressed with the raw files on the LX3, with the Canon G cameras I just didn’t think it was worth while processing the raw files from a small sensor compact, compared to the jpegs the camera knocks out. However, the raw files from the LX3 in my opinion are well worth using.

Raw shot from the Lumix LX3, processed in Lightroom and tweaked in photoshop 

Another thing worth pointing out is the in camera bw option, especially the dynamic bw, is very usable, more so then in camera bw options on DSLR’s iv used, but normally I would use Nik Silver efex for bw. I was considering the LX7, but after some research I don’t think the additions are worth it, the sensor on the LX3 is actually larger then the one on the LX7, both are 10mp, I wouldn’t want a compact with any more then 10mp, cramming to many pixels into a tiny sensor is pointless in my opinion, not all pixels are born equal. The LX3 is a CCD sensor and the LX7 is a CMOS, I have no idea how this impacts, I know nothing about CCD v CMOS.  I’m sure the LX7 produces lovely images too, but I compared some real world images from both cameras and I honestly couldn’t see any difference, also peoples personal processing techniques/skills will play a big part in any results. I am now having serious thoughts about getting a Lumix LX100, it has a much larger sensor then both the LX3 and the LX7, its bigger all round, more substantial, it looks like an old 35mm rangefinder, very retro style with an aperture ring on the lens barrel and a shutter speed dial, and they all have excellent Leica optics. Perfect for street photography.

Another shot from the LX3, raw shot, processed in Lightroom tweaked in photoshop, bw using Nik Silver efex. (Click on images to see larger)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Recent image

A Comment from a fb friend...

“I appreciate how realistic your photo's always are, great work.” – Hope Luna

Me: Thanks Hope, iv never been big on digital manipulation, though I recognise and appreciate that can be an artform in itself, but I believe there are many real visions of art to be had in the real world, to me that is real photography, not spending hours making up stuff on your computer.

Check out my fb photography page @

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Another shoot, on Hull Pier, 4 Dec, 2013.

Click here to see as a slideshow presentation on Utube

This was shot on and around Hull Pier, on the east coast of Yorkshire, U.K. (The U.K. City of Culture) Despite the blue sky and sunshine it was very very cold, the model Kerrie Rymer, not a pro, but dealt with it like one. The light was very harsh, which wasnt very good for her, and caused a lot of harsh shadows on her face, but made for some interesting shadows elsewhere. We both enjoyed it and still got some decent stuff, despite the cold etc. Go to my website or fb page to see more. Thanks.