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Showing posts from May, 2008

Rest easy dear friend

James AKA 'Tomo'. Rest easy dear friend. 1981-2008. Yesterday I went to James' funeral. There are no words to truly express how much we miss him and the huge impact he had on so many of us. I took this portrait shortly before he left the UK for his first tour of duty. I believe it captures his mischievous spirit and sense of fun. As the pastor said yesterday at his funeral service, "He lit up the room with his smile." But the impact he had was so much more. He was a force of life and wherever he went he left people feeling more cheerful and optimistic. He had a serious side too. Professional, dedicated and calm, he was the kind of guy you knew you could count on without question. Here is the official press release and you can read the earlier news releases in my previous blog . I know my blog is about photography but I had to write something more personal because I feel it so badly. And in a way this article is about photography too because the pictures we have o

Tragically lost his life

You may have noticed I've been quiet lately. It's a sad time. A friend was killed a week ago in Afghanistan. His funeral is next Friday. He was a wonderful, strong, funny chap and I miss him. I can't believe he is gone. Here are some of the news articles. /homepage/news/campaigns/our _boys/article1184685.ece /2008/may/20/military.afghanist an /news/newstopics/frontline /1989319/Afghanistan-British -soldier-killed-by-explosion -in-Helmand-Province.html Paul

Capturing 'once in a lifetime' photographs again and again. What does it take?

Everyone has to find their own way of seeing the world. I photographed this youngster at a Brass Band festival in Delph, a small village in England. How do photographers get those great shots? Most writers focus on the obvious answers like photographic technique – composition, lighting and enhancing images in the digital darkroom. Obviously these are important but there's something perhaps even more important that barely gets a mention. So let me a share a few 'secrets' about getting 'once in a lifetime' images again and again. It all comes down to luck. You were there and everything fell into place perfectly, just at that moment just as you pushed the shutter button. Look at many of the astounding photographs of our time and what do you think? Yes, that photographer was darn lucky to be there at that moment. Why are some photographers luckier than others? Well there may be an element of pure chance but on the other hand there are several strategies you can use to i

Photojournalism today and the World Press Photo competition

A man lies collapsed in the street, attended by a policeman who put him in the recovery position and stood by him waiting for the paramedics. Click on the images to see a larger version. This week I came across the event above and took two different images. The first is a clear no frills photo journalistic image. The second image uses photographic language and aesthetics to create an emotion. A friend said of the second image, "I would not qualify it as photo-journalistic as it is too artsy (in the right way) to be published in a newspaper. But man, it does have a strong impact!" I found that interesting. Thinking of the beautifully lit images that W. Eugene Smith made. Would they be considered too artsy for a newspaper these days. Which brings me to the recent debate about the beautifully lit image of the Thai prostitute discussed in Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin's hotly debated article "Unconcerned but not indifferent" , which goes behind the scenes at

True emotion

Ken and his border collie, Pinch, stride through along the Bempton cliff tops in Yorkshire. Click on the image to see a larger version. Man and dog have a centuries old relationship, with dogs working alongside us and earning the title "man's best friend'. I think this image illustrates that special bond with Pinch looking up at Ken waiting for his next instruction. She was so attentive. A typical border collie - fast, intelligent and ever willing to please. This image to me has real emotion. Ken strides confidently along through the field. He looks down at his dog and she spins round to look up. The connection between the two of them is as clear as daylight. The image has space to breath, texture, light and a pleasing composition, all working together to tell us the story of man and dog. I hope you like it too. In the coming months I'll share more of my images and tell you why I think they work. Hopefully my thoughts and pictures will interest you and perhaps even ins