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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Lakes International Comic Arts Festival

It's that time of year again - LICAF!

Remarkably, a small and grey market town on the edge of the Lake District (yes, Kendal) has become home to not only the internationally famous Mountain Film Festival but now the worlds biggest comic arts festival. Weird eh?

I grew up on 2000AD comic so I'm all over Judge Dread and Nemisis the Warlock, or at least I was when I was appropriately young.

So I was a wee bit intrigued when I was asked to photograph the artist responsible, Bryan Talbot at Kendal College's Box theatre.

It's always interesting meeting the actual face behind the name, if you know what I mean. Bryan is not quite what I expected - quietly spoken, slightly intense, a professional artist with wide ranging interests that have taken him a long way from predictable story lines and imagery of DC comics. Not your average geeky comic guy!

I shot these images with a Fuji X-T10, aperture priority mode, f4.5 hand held at 1/30th second iso 1250, which would be boring geeky info normally but I've just acquired this camera so I'm interested in how it performed under duress...looks pretty good to me. Love this little camera - I think I'll be using this a lot in the future.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Back to School...

It's September, so of course school's back and for those of us who work in education it's a whole new sea of fresh faces eager to learn. I always look forward to welcoming my new group of part-time evening class enthusiasts on the Level 2 and Level 3 photography course, which I've been running now for 14 years.

Now that we are under the UAL (University of the Arts, London) umbrella, the course has so much more scope for students to develop their own personal photography projects and get their teeth into more creative projects. But what should a personal photography look like?

Let's take travel photography for example. Most of us love to travel with our camera and try and shoot something better than a holiday snapshot. We'd like to think we can communicate a sense of place, create some atmosphere or capture a more realistic sense of real life and community on our travels. That can be hard when you're competing with the demands of family and friends and the next round of ice creams on the beach. Everyone will find their own solution; for me it's taking an hour out to roam free and explore the back alleys and quieter places, away from the crowds.

My aim is to do "Street" photography, just as I would at home, to try and avoid the cliche postcard views. By setting myself a genre and a theme, I hope to stay focused and produce a set of images that say something a little different about where I've been and what I've seen. Essentially, that's what I'm going to teach my students. Set yourself a project theme, in a genre of photography that you enjoy or want to be challenged by, and stay focused on the subject, don't get too sidetracked by "pretty" pictures. Photography should be be about communicating
something real, not just for decoration.

If you live in the South Lakes area of Cumbria and you fancy coming along to one of our photography courses at Kendal College, check out the college website part time courses at

Friday, 3 February 2017

I've been working with the world's leading specialist Mercedes-Benz Unimog refurbishers, Atkinson Vos, who recently launched their new website at

The company have undergone a complete re-branding with Lancaster based design agency, Hotfoot Design at


So finally, the website is up and running with the images that we produced over a 6 month period of carefully managed photo-shoots on location.
These amazing vehicles will go anywhere/do anything so we needed to create a portfolio of images to visualise this message to customers and reinforce the idea that a Unimog vehicle is the right solution for extreme purposes.

The key to creating these images has been the use of off-camera lighting and out-of-the-box thinking to find ways to make the Unimogs stand out in their environment. 
Speed lights where used with remote triggers to light under, around and inside the 'Mogs to highlight detail and create contrast. 
We didn't let the famously inclement northern weather get in the way either - stormy skies played right into our hands, with drama and mood. 

Charlie and Guy at Hotfoot have done a great job turning my images into a complete re-brand for web, print and mobile and I'm looking forward to working with them again on future projects.