Into The Night

Been meaning to write this post for weeks now, but until the realism of its subject actually gathered pace I have been holding off a bit! After what seems like forever, countless emails badgering people etc,  I have finally managed to get an exhibition arranged at Font Bar, New Wakefield St. Manchester.

The Exhibition commences this Sunday, with an opening night 6-9 and the images will hang for 3months. These last couple of months have really amazed me and what I have been able to achieve once securing the venue. I have of course had lots of help from friends and family, without whom it wouldnt be possible.

On the opening night there will also be guest DJ spot by the very talented Mr Air Adam and hopefully PA permitting a very exclusive acoustic performance by Mutineers, who are close friends of mine and have photographed them on many occaisions.

So lots and lots of planning will finally come to fruition this Sunday, still much to be done and I am nervous as hell (!) but really looking forward to it. I set out with one key goal this year and that was to exhibit and finally I am about to achieve it, I cant wait. All are welcome so if you are nearby and interested enough to pop in, please do so, the pieces will hang as I say for 3months so if you cant make the opening dont worry. Also it would be great to get some feedback let me know what you thought, get in touch drop me a quick mail or a comment here or on facebook or my website.

Hopefully see you there! :-)

Exhibition Layout

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And Oh Yeah It Was The End of The Summer…

Somewhat foolishly we decided to go for a walk last Sunday and I can truely say summer is over, like it ever begun I hear you say! Well after deciding to avoid the fair at Buile Hill Park, on account of it being over run with chavs, we headed off in the direction of Clifton Country Park. No mean feat in itself, as it must be a good 40 minute walk from the house alone. I havent been since March last year and the foilage, due in part probably to the recent heavy rain, was overgrown and stark contrast to my previous trip. The main reason for going was to get some shots of the epic 13 arch viaduct, but due to rain and the fact that all the new greenery hides a great deal of this massive structure I hardly got the camera out! After trapsing down winding muddy tracks for an hour or so and having crossed the full and fast flowing River Irwell, we finally got a proper look at it and despite the weather conditions and the fact that over half of is hidden; its still a site to behold!

After attemtping to take a couple of shots, we plodded on in the rain, it was at this point where it turned ugly! The rain got harder the wind more forceful and at one stage I felt like I was in Vietnam, tripod in hand rucksack on my back, horrendous weather and night closing in – as we hadnt set off till 6.30ish it was now getting on for 8ish. We finally made it home at around 9 and cooked a lovely chicken risotto and enjoyed a few large glasses of vino! I have since worked out that we walked 5.5miles that day which whilst that isnt unusual for me but Reet (Mrs.TdM) is not a big fan of walking, so hats off to her! :-)

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All Attitude & No Trousers

Killing time at the start of the evening with some off camera flash tomfoolery!

Was asked to shoot an event at Selfridges, in Manchester last night and with the details being a bit sketchy I hadnt really got a clue whatwould be shooting! All I was told was it was something to do with “Attitude Magazine or something” After doing a bit of Googling it turned out it was a gay magazine, which whilst that doesnt bother me I wasnt quite sure what I had let myself in for.

As it turned out it was all good clean fun ;-) We were charged with capturing shots of customers posing with a well chisled model in-front some advertising hoarding and I was to get in-cidentals around the store of some of the fun events they put on. These included surfing, strong man hammer thingumy and a fashion show of mens underwear.

Its the second time I have seen one of these recentlty and I have always wanted to have a go, but I always seem to have my camera in hand when the opportunity presents itself!

I was quite proud of myself (as a photographer) for making good use of the escalators during the fashion show, timing it so I was going up as the models were in-front of the crowd, so I could get the whole scene in, whilst a lil dangerous I was in my element – despite a few strange looks as I smuggly smiled to myself disappearing up to the next floor!

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Kendal Called (Updated)

OK so this really is a quick post on the fly as I have gotta dash out, but if I don’t make a start on it I wont get round it! I will flesh it out with some words tomorrow. The long and short of it is as I reported a while back that I got invited to shoot for Kendal Calling festival off the back of the organisers seeing some of my generic festival photos from last years event.

**UPDATED**

Well I went, I saw I shot! There were definitely some great bands on show and the festival overall was a massive improvement on last year, with many more and certainly cleaner toliets to boot! I have a feeling that it will grow in to something special over the next few years and if the organisers can hang on to the current site, Lowther Deer Park, although not strictly in Kendal I think I shall look forward to this event for many more years to come. Having a press pass this year and standard photo policy of first three songs and no flash definitelty made me concentrate my effort and I am pleased with the images I captured.

Highlights for me this year would have to be The Streets, Skinner and co turned in a top performance and were a delight to shoot, unlike a lot of dull rock bands he was keen to come to the front of the stage and throw some shapes. The same could be said for Ash, who have aged well andand turned a great headline set on the Sunday evening, like Skinner they worked the stage and got the crowed amped up during an an energetic set, most notably the bassist, who having few lines to sing worked the amp and his portion of the stage like a true rock legend!

Essential festival wear, even I sprung for wellies this year not wanting to get caught and a I was glad I did, after heavy rain on the Friday evening and further showers on the following morning the lush green grass of Lowther Deer Park quickly turned to red clay mud!

Last years stand out performance by far for me was DJ Yoda’s genre defying mash up mix, throwing together the likes of the Antiques Roadshow theme, The Simpsons, assorted drum and bass and quite ironically at the time Jay Z and Wonderwall back to back, it all sounds wrong but it worked, believe me. Well this years cool crown definitely went Mr. Beardy Man, this guy is a beat boxing legend. Accompanied by a guitarist he managed to pull of Misirlou (from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack), Outta Space (Prodigy), Superstylin (Groove Armada) and Feeling Good (Nina Simone) amongst countless other amazing feats of lip, breathing and vocal control.

Craig Charles rounded stuff off late on the Sunday evening / Monday morning with a pounding funk and soul DJ set, I was a bit bemused to see him on the line up but apparently he has a radioshow on 6 music and boy he didnt disappoint a rammed tent of tired and muddy festival folk.

Special mention should go to Andy and Kevin who we met up with on more than one occaision in the photo-pit. Often when you meet other photographers, of a certain standard at events like this there is the potential, lets face for them to be completely stuck up their own A**ES! But these guys were two of the nicest pro togs I have met to date, check out their work if you get a second.

To see more pictures from the festival simply click on any of the shots and that will take you to the whole set on Flickr, featuring Ash, The Streets, The Zoutons, Idlewild, Goldie Looking Chain, Nine Black Alps, Sunshine Underground, Beardy Man, Cornershop, The Rumble Strips, The Kabeedies, Craig Charles (DJ Set),
Howard Marks and lots more.

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Training Ground

So I’m slowly getting up to date with the blog, just a few more posts to go (phew) and couldn’t not mention this trip to an old train graveyard. So not so much waffle this time straight to the pictures…

Bits & Bobs and Fiddly Knobs

Not a hugely successful evening as there were a few other shooters about so it meant people getting in shot which was a touch annoying but I persevered and managed to get a few decent shots. It really was quite strange seeing these former British Rail work-horses laid to rest like lame old beasts, retired from the track and gone to seed but then they do make great subject matter!

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I have a dream

F7.1  / 36mins / ISO200 / 10mm

Ambient light apart from torch at the bottom of the steps (doh, although I quite like it!)

More of a re-con mission than a serious attempt at shooting, I have wanted to visit this monster statue for sometime now. After seeing it get the go-ahead on Channel 4’s “Big Art” program I immediately contacted St Helens council, who based on my previous night photography work have commissioned me to take some night photography of the statue. Last nights effort was just really to go have a look see what I was dealing with exactly with this 20m high statue, quite possibly the largest thing I have ever tried to capture seriously.

Watch this space for more ;-)

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Great Scott

Some of you may recognise  Jo from a previous shoot I did for Dorkzine ; well since that shoot we have stayed in touch and boy am I glad we did! Jo is not only captivating to look at from behind the camera but she has a similar creative vision to myself and we have developed a great working relationship. So I thought I would share a few shots from a couple shoots we have done recently.

First up we visited Alderly Edge a location I have always wanted to check out, not specifically for photography but generally it just looked like a nice place to visit. Anyways rather loosely Jo and I arranged to hook up and check it out for some shots. After meeting up and finding out Jo had forgotten her Sat Nav – we got explicit directions from her step-dad (something he is reknowed for apparently ;-) Anyway here’s a couple images…

The Thing I love and indeed other people have commented on my photos of Jo, is that she manages to look completely different all the time, whether that be down to posing, facial expression or styling; she is SO versatile to work with. Anyway we packed up after a few shots up on the edge itself as light was fading fast and rain was threatening, as is fairly common around these parts ;-) bloody English weather. If I was cursing the weather then, it was nothing compared to what was in store on our next trip out!

I awoke on the Wednesday morning at around 8:30am to large thunder claps and torrential rain, not what I had hoped for having planned a shoot with Jo at a location I had not previously scouted and was unsure how feasable it was to start with! As soon as it was a more sociable hour I sent a text to check weather (boom boom) we were still on. Jo was as usual still fiercly keen to shoot so we met as planned! On the way we both laughed at how both of us were more than concerned about dragging the other out on such a hellish day like this, despite both been secretly mad keen to go ahead anyways! So off we went…

After a little re-con we found the location, an abandoned power-station. I have to say visiting locations like this one is not un-common to me but dragging along a model is not such every-day occurence and I was unsure how Jo would hold out but like the  true preofessional that she is, she took it all in her stride. Anyway enough waffle here’s some of the shots…

…and just to demonstrate just how bad the weather was (and hopefully how awesome the location was), I used some artistic license and the full potential of my (basic) photoshop technique and came up with this…

Jo can also say she is an urban-explorer aswell as one hell of a model!

Hope you enjoyed looking, stay tuned for more…

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