Dyslexia Project

I’ve got a new(ish) project on the go though only in the initial stages at the moment, here’s’ the premise:-

I am a former pupil of Northease Manor (boarder from 1988-1992).

It is no exaggeration to say that the school saved me, without it I dare not think what would have become of me.

The skills I learned while attending the school prepared me for the outside world in more ways than I could have possibly imagined, not just academically speaking but in every day life. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I didn’t have to pre-plan so much of my daily life, even the simple things like making a pack lunch & laying out cloths for work the night before.

The skills I learned at Northease came in very useful while I studied at university, a degree in something I love doing (Photography) has always been a dream of mine which finally came true when I graduated in July 2012 (BA Hons.)

So now I come to the task at hand.

Although I have not yet become a professional photographer (really pushing myself this year) I still do consider myself to be a Photographer/Artist. I have several ongoing projects at the moment.

Following on from my degree dissertation “The Dyslexic Photographer” & final year project, for some time through both photography & the moving image I have wanted to continue my exploration of Dyslexia & what it means to be Dyslexic. My intention is to produce a short film/video, photo book, exhibition possibly even some form of installation using still & moving imagery, soundscapes and interviews from real Dyslexic people.

This is very much a multiform project with the objective being to express what it is like to be Dyslexic to the greater population which quite frankly has no idea other than the stereotypes that perpetuate popular media.

A Little Bit Of Personal History And Look Ahead

A bit of personal history

So what kind of photographer am I? Documentary? Portrait? Landscape? Lifestyle? Fashion? Architectural? Motorsport? All and none.

Born in the mid 1970’s it wasn’t until I was given the family camera for a school trip 1986 that I discovered photography. For me school life before that trip had been a struggle as unknown to me at that time, I was Dyslexic in a time when it was only beginning to be recognised. Ever since then photography has been a part of my life, though sometimes it had been floating in the background.

By my mid 30’s photography had become more than a mere personal interest. In 2009 I began studying for a fine arts degree in Photography, graduating with a degree in 2012.

Since graduating I have been continuing to develop my photographic skills with personal projects & portfolio shoots. I have had work in exhibitions and in 2017 I travelled to both Iceland & Australia to produce my own brand of travel & landscape photography.

For me photography is not just about producing something beautiful but something more than that. An emotional response, introspective, thought provoking, meaningful, these are just some of results I like to see from my work. I do of course like to produce work that people will enjoy looking at as well.

I have been quite lucky in where I have lived. I boarded at a school in the Sussex countryside up against the South Downs & when at home I was also surrounded by the South Downs. Being so close to Brighton and with London just over an hour away means there is a great deal of talent within a reasonable distance.

My main photographical interests are: - The natural world (the South Downs & Sussex coastline has so much to offer), Portrait Photography, Macro Photography & High Detail Photography.

I love taking portraits especially headshots, using different lenses & lighting setups to produce very diverse portraits is something I continue to explore. Fluorescent makeup & beauty photography (using a macro lens) are the current areas of portrait photography I am exploring.

For me photography is more than just a job or lifestyle, it is something to enjoy doing & to be enjoyed. If I didn’t enjoy doing it then I wouldn’t be doing it, it’s as simple as that.

Australia 2019

Ok so I’ve been having a little think since I did my end of year review/vlog yesterday.

I have always wanted to go back to Australia again, it’s such a big country you just can’t do it all in one go or even two or three go’s.

The first time I went was for four weeks (December 2006- January 2007) for the Ashes so I didn’t really do much else apart from when I was in Melbourne & Sydney.

The second time was in May 2017 for three weeks, in this case I had decided to do a 500 mile photographic road trip most of which was the Great Ocean Road (from Torquay to Port Fairy Victoria). I kept a photographic blog of my trip which can be seen here.

So now to my prospective 2019 trip. I’m thinking of three weeks in June/early July, I don’t want to cut into the English summer holidays otherwise I might not get the time off I want for this trip. I would be hoping to land in Adelaide, spend no more than five days there some of which would be to reset my body clock which takes two to three days. Then move on to Alice Springs for four or five days before finishing in Perth & the surrounding area Western Australia and then fly back from Perth.

I don’t want to spend too long in Adelaide as I’ve been there before, from what I remember I spent about a week there last time. I’m really interested in Alice Springs as I’ve never been there before & it’s quite different from the metropolitan Australian experience. I have been to Perth before but saw nothing of it as I spent to whole time resetting my body clock & then flew out to Adelaide, there is quite a lot to explore in Western Australia which would be my main area this time round.

Well I’ll put up more post’s when I have more news.

TFP Studio Portrait Shoot

Ok so although this is my blog I think I should post up some information for my studio portfolio shoot that’s happening next Thursday (6th of December).

Info: -

Models: - Please bring 2 outfits, now this can be 2 complete outfits or half (e.g 2 different tops). For the guys if you want to bring something smart & casual that would be cool.

Any accessories you might want to bring like hats, jewellery, glasses/shades, umbrella, anything with a hood would be cool too.

I’m looking to do 4 types of shots: - Full length, half length (from waist up), headshot (full face/head) and eyes (will use my macro lens for that).

I will bring some different coloured LED fairy lights for something a little different.

Models/MUA’s: - Once I have finished editing the photos you can choose which ones you would like for your portfolio, I will then send them to you at the right resolution for the internet (full res images are quite large).

Please check out the link below (Poses), I’m interested in the poses not the looks if you know what I mean. Poses

Sunrise & The Seashore

Ok so last Saturday (the 13th) I got up before dawn and went up to the South Downs above Woodingdean (on the road Brighton & Hove Albion’s stadium is on) as a friend had told me that it’s a great place to take photos from.

As I was driving along the A27 I could see the wonderful golden colours of the dawn coming as the light bounced off the clouds over Brighton so I was really excited about what I would see when I got to the spot I had picked out.

As you can see from the video below it didn’t quite work out as I had planned, all the wonderful colours were on the wrong side of the hill which mean I had to shoot into the coming sunrise.

To mitigate this, I used a Cokin P Series Gradual ND 8 square filter. Now this was the first time I had ever used a square filter before so I was learning on the fly but I did get a few good results. I found a mobile phone tower right where I was shooting which was great as it gave a sense of scale as well as a subject to photograph with the sunrise light.

After I had finished shooting the sunrise (around 8am) I decided to go to Shoreham-By-Sea Harbour & see what I could get there as I knew the tide had turned & was coming back in but would still be quite low.

There were some interesting shapes in the sea defences as well as the seaweed which was cool.

Anyway, enjoy the video below, you can check out my Youtube channel for more videos.

FIA WEC Silverstone 2018

FIA WEC (World Endurance Championship) Silverstone 2018. This year they moved the event from it’s usual April slot to a much warmer slot. In the past I have turned up to the track to find it snowing or chucking down with rain so it was refreshing to not be freezing my butt off this year.

I took with me an X-H1, 16-55 XF f/2 & 55-200 XF f3.5-4.8 lens’s as well as 5 batteries.

I have in the past taken a Nikon D800, a Canon 5DS & a Nikon D7100 – all very good cameras but not really suited for sports shooting.

I was really interested so see the X-H1’s IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) at work in the field, there has been so much hype & comparisons on YouTube so it was good to see for myself.

I have to say the X-H1 doesn’t disappoint, the focus tracking was good (well better than some of my previous cameras) and the fps (frames per second) shoot rate was fantastic. I had it set to 11fps as I didn’t want to fill up all my memory cards on the first day.

Here are a few examples using the 55-200 lens.

I really wanted to check out the video features though to be honest I was only really interested in the 120fps @1080p. I have to say I was very impressed with the image stabilisation, some of the video I shot I used the 16-55 f/2 lens which isn’t a stabilised lens yet you’d be hard pressed to see any real camera shake.

Here is a short video I cobbled together made up of some of the clips I shot over the weekend.

Fuji’s 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR lens is a monster! The image quality is just amazing, so sharp you could cut yourself.

Here are a few examples.

This was my first real opportunity to use Fuji’s X-H1 in the field and overall, I was pleased with the results though there were a few problems.

• My nose kept moving the focus point on the touch screen so I had to deactivate it

• The Q button is in a different position to the X-T2, quite close to where I place my thumb when I am shooting the camera which lead to me accidentally pressing it several times

• When shooting through the wire fencing quite often I had to pre-focus manually because the camera kept locking onto the fence wire in the foreground rather than the track & cars

• Weight, the X-H1 isn’t a light camera especially when I added the 16-55mm lens

• Battery power, I have to admit I did run through my batteries though to keep them going longer I did take advantage of the X-H1’s fast start-up speed by turning the camera off between shooting

So to sum things up the X-H1 is an excellent camera with some quirks. I would say that if you are a DSLR user wanting to go mirrorless without breaking the bank but still want that DSLR feel then X-H1 is something to consider. Image quality is fantastic & the video functions are far better than any DSLR’s in it’s price range.

Up date time

Hello folks.

So it's been a while since I've updated my blog.

I got that Australian flu that knocked me off my feet for most of January & have been quite busy with my day job which has left me with not that much free time to myself.

I have two trips planned so far this year, the World Endurance Motor racing at Silverstone in August & the GB WRC (World Rally Championship) in October in Wales.

I decided (before I got the flu) that this year I would start posting videos on YouTube. The idea behind this is that it will make me more proactive in getting out there & taking more photos & experimenting more. For too long I have relied on just a few trips a year as the majority of my output which I want to change. This is all part of my strategy to become a full-time photographer, with this in mind below are the first two videos I have posted.

The plan is that everytime I post a video in Youtube I will also put it up here.

 

Sky Arts Master Of Photography 2017

Well I've picked 10 images for my Sky Arts Master Of Photography submission.

It nearly went wrong this morning when a power surge destroyed my computers power supply unit, fortunately that's all that was damaged. I got it all fixed in just a few hours.

Now all I have to do is upload my selected images, answer the questions, do my intro video & push submit!

Kirkjuefellfos HDR Camera Dynamic Range Experiment

Ok so I've taken one of my photos I took at Kirkjuefellfos and as you can see it's exposed for the sky meaning everything else is vastly under exposed.

So I wanted to see just how good the dynamic range is of my new camera the FujiFilm X-T2. To do this I used a technique I learned from a film photographer.

  1. Open the original image in Lightroom.
  2. Push the exposure up until you are happy with the exposure of the underexposed areas of the image (not forgetting to count how many stops you have had to push the image).
  3. Duplicate the original image file as many times as the number of stops you have pushed the image.
  4. Reset your original image.
  5. Push each duplicate 1 more stop than the previous image (e.g Duplicate 1 is pushed by 1 stop, duplicate 2 by 2 stops, etc, etc)
  6. Once you've done this merge all the duplicates & the original image using the Photo Merge HDR option.
  7. Make sure Auto Toning is on when looking at the preview.
  8. If you are happy with the result finish the merge.
  9. The new HDR image file loads up as a DNG file which you can now edit just like a RAW

Below are the results of my experiment.

I then edited this image in Google's NIK's Silver Efex Pro before doing a little more when it reloaded in Lightroom.

The FujiFilm X-T2 has a great level of Dynamic Range especially for an APS-C sensor camera.