Photography – In Focus with Alan Campbell

In the midst of festival season it’s lovely to see some gig photos from smaller, more intimate venues. Photographer Alan Campbell has a knack for capturing the atmosphere of these events as well as shooting the striking Scottish countryside around his home…

(Header shot: Stock Manager)

I first got into photography around 10 years ago after attending a few workshops with an excellent photographer called Brian Sweeney. I’m fortunate that I live in Central Scotland, as there’s so much beautiful scenery, wildlife and culture nearby to photograph.

A local music and arts venue in Stirling called the Tolbooth is one of my favourite venues.  The venue hosts a diverse range of music, comedy, spoken word, art exhibitions and classes/workshops.  It’s well worth a visit and you can find their upcoming schedule of events here. 

Left: December 91  Right: Ross Fairweather & Annie Booth  Below: Withered Hand

Above: Emme Woods  Below: The Van T’s / CRPNTR

Kenny Bates from the Tolbooth, in particular, has been phenomenal by putting on so many cool gigs, either in the Tolbooth or in other unusual locations in the Stirling area.  I’ve included a few photos from some of those gigs here.

Left: Be Charlotte  Right: Constant Follower

A couple of other beautiful locations in my local area include the University of Stirling and the Ochil Hills. The views are simply stunning and no matter what time of year it is, there’s always a scenic view.

If you’re interested in viewing some more of my photos, please follow my Instagram page – I’m also on Twitter

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Alan. We’ll be featuring more of his gig photography on Breaking Glass in due course – in the meantime, do follow his Instagram posts to see his latest work.

18th July 2019

Photography – In Focus with Irena Siwiak Atamewan

Applying a diverse range of techniques and skills, photographer Irena Siwiak Atamewan creates images that are both captivating and thought provoking. Here, she shares an ongoing project that proves just how much can be captured and expressed in a photograph…

‘Photography has been a big part of my life for about 35 years; I’ve spent that time exploring different genres in photography resulting in an eclectic body of work. Alongside creating my own work, I have spent several years working as a medical photographer and I now teach photography.

I am currently working on a couple of projects:

One I shoot on film on a 6×6 Rolleicord. The film has been exposed several times; the film exposed, re-rolled and exposed again, in different places and at different times. This lends itself to fortuitous combinations and happy accidents, I have little control over the combinations, except for the places I choose to photograph. It can take up to 6 months to complete a roll of film, the images reflecting my journeys, my experiences, my narratives and the fleeting way memories are recalled. You can see more of this work here.

The second project ‘Sitting with Mother’ is featured on this page.

This work stems from my mother’s initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s 6 years ago and follows the time spent going for walks, sitting on benches and in tea-shops along the way. The work began as a casual document of the walks, revisiting and re-seeing the town where I grew up, then developed into a body of work documenting my mother’s journey through the disease. The images become more intimate as her condition progresses, my mother’s world becoming smaller, spending more time at home. I use the camera I have with me; it may be a DSLR, a Rolleicord or my iPhone. The iPhone being the most convenient camera helps me create the most intimate images, it is less intrusive and can be used quickly.

 

 

 

 

I have recently been experimenting with bringing the two projects together and using the double exposure method on my ‘Sitting with Mother’ project.

This is still in its early stages, giving me lots of room for experimentation. This work is in progress with plans to create a book.’

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Irena. If you’d like to find out more about her work and follow her new posts, you can contact Irena through her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.

28th May 2019

 

Photography – In Focus with Joe McKillop

Giving us a glimpse into his life and surroundings, photographer Joe McKillop’s evocative pictures show pride and affection for his heritage, family and environment. Here, he takes us through some of his favourite shots and the stories behind them…

‘My name is Joe McKillop, I’m an amateur photographer from a small town in the west of Scotland called Port Glasgow. I started taking pictures using my mobile phone documenting my son’s football games when he was younger and I then found myself taking odd pictures here and there while walking the dog – it was then I discovered an enjoyment for landscape and street photography.

I try to keep my homelands as centre focus for the majority of my work. My local city is often discounted as ‘rough’ and somewhere you’d rather drive through quickly but with my photos I like to challenge these assumptions and show that there is beauty and personality within this wee town. Also in the collection are some snaps from holidays and neighbouring cities.’

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To most folk this picture doesn’t say much but it is important to me as it reminds me of my roots. This was where I grew up, definitely not one of the posher areas of the Port. While it wasn’t perfect, it gave me warm memories of my family and childhood friends.

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I took this photo at night. During the day it just looks like your average tunnel but at night, with the lights on illuminating the graffiti, I felt it gave off more of an urban vibe. Still, I felt it needed something extra – so I set up the timer and put myself into the shot.

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This was taken outside a sports shop in Glasgow whilst out doing some street photography. The boldness of the sign struck me and I liked how it stood out.

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This is another street shot in Glasgow, the focus is on the lady’s coat. I had a lot of fun with the editing process of this one darkening the background and highlighting the redness of the coat.

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This is one of my favourite shots as I love the hustle and bustle shown which is typical of Glasgow city centre. Also the light of the sun reflecting down gives a good contrast to the silhouettes below.

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This was taken on our first family holiday with my grandson. I just liked the way the red sofa contrasted against his blue onesie and, to be honest, he is quite a poser. For anyone wondering, the reindeer toy was his favourite, it was singing the same song over and over… conveniently that toy was left behind.

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Again, this is from our family holiday. I just spotted this as a good shot as I saw how the light hit my son’s tattoo while he was reading. One of my better candid shots.

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This was taken from the top of Conic Hill in Loch Lomond. Walking has become another hobby of mine and it assists me well in capturing scenic shots like this. When people talk of Scotland, this is what I imagine they picture.

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I took this on a snowy, misty morning up the back roads of Port Glasgow. It was the way the mist hid the buildings at the end of the road that caught my eye; I thought it would make an eerie shot with the icy road seemingly leading to nowhere.

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This was a long exposure shot taken by the light house in Port Glasgow. I was quite pleased how this turned out – I had many friends and family comment on how they liked how the brightness of the light stood out and shone over the Clyde.

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This was taken on a family Holiday in Salou at the theme park Portaventura. It was the wettest, bleakest day of the holiday but the dark clouds made for a good atmospheric photo. Something about a rollercoaster about to tip over the edge added to the excitement of the clouds forming a storm in the background.

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This was a street shot down in Greenock. It was the old red door that initially stood out for me, I waited for the right time for someone to walk into shot to snap the photo. I particularly enjoyed playing around with the colours in this photo; matching moody black and whites with the vibrant red.

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This is another long exposure picture taken on the edge of the River Clyde. Not much to look at in the day time; however the street lights hitting off the water at night make this little part of the river look quite beautiful.

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This was in the windy waters of Lanzarote. My wife and I were on the beach watching the water sports and I started taking shots of the windsurfers. This was one of my favourites. I love the look of the choppy sea and the determination of the windsurfer to stay upright.

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I chose this as my final shot as I identified strongly with the symbolism behind it. The boy in the photo is my grandson. Having a baby in the family again reminded me once again how much children depend on us adults to make sense of the world for them. The picture of the child in my hand was to represent how our kids sometimes need us to give them a help up in the world now and then.

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All photos and words © Joe McKillop. If you would like to see more of Joe’s work and follow his posts, you can find him on Instagram.

29th April 2019

 

Photography – In Focus with Juanita McKenzie

Embracing city life, photographer Juanita McKenzie finds beauty in the metropolitan landscape around her to produce some powerful, eye-catching shots. Here, she tells us what drives her and shares some of her favourite photos…

‘I am a Bristol based amateur photographer but I’m originally from Cape Town in South Africa and moved to the UK about 6 years ago. It was a huge transition to make and in many ways was a process of starting over but I believe this was the catalyst to rediscovering my teenage dreams of pursuing photography. In high school I dreamed of becoming a photojournalist and telling the stories that I so passionately believed needed to be told. I saw the ability of an image to convey powerful emotive messages in a way that words could not, yet I also saw the synergy that could arise from combining image and word.

Looking back, I realise that the passion for photography has been there almost since the beginning – as a very young child I was fascinated by a set of encyclopaedias at home that had the most amazing colour pictures of the world and its people. I remember spending hours looking through them, planning how I would visit all these places one day, to take the photographs and tell the stories. So here I am now… a late starter perhaps and with a lot to learn… but I have a long-standing love of photography and a dream that demands I pursue it!

Having moved from the Cape Town environment of mountains and sea to living in a city in the UK has been a big adjustment and a major influence on my style of photography. I’ve had to adapt to not only being in a new country but also to city life and being part of an urban landscape. Cities can appear to be grey, oppressive concrete jungles but I have learned that if you really look, there is beauty to be found everywhere.

(Kings Cross Station, London)

Everything is about perception and your perspective at any given time. It fascinates me how we all look at the same things yet see something completely different. How we perceive the world is unique to each one of us and photography is a way to for me to show the viewer the world as I see it, through my particular perspective and through my lens. I hope that it creates a visual journey for the viewer that may inspire seeing the familiar or ordinary with new eyes.

For me photography is a narrative, each image tells a story and often has a story behind it too. Photography captures moments in a sea of constant change and this is particularly evident in the fast pace of city life. Photography is a way of slowing down and being present in the midst of all the rush and movement. It is a way of capturing the essence of a moment and documenting places, lives, people, the times we live in. These images are collections of moments that weave together to tell our stories.

I hope that I can inspire others to discover the world with new eyes every single day, starting right where they are. There is beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it!’

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour”

– William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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Colourful Exchanges

Paddington Central, Westway Bridge – city underpasses transformed by colour. This is a public artwork by Liz Weston, called Colour Transfer. The statue in the foreground is one of two very realistic figures by sculptor Sean Henry, portraying the narrative of everyday life and the potential of meeting up.

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Perceptions

New Bridewell Street Walkway, Bristol – large public artwork on the side of a building, showing a digital pattern that appears to change as you walk past. This artwork is called 14537/9431 and is by artist Lilah Fowler.

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Keeping an Eye on You

Candid shot of spectators at the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival 2018.  Some of the buildings along the streets are boarded up during the carnival weekend but these barriers are transformed into colourful and inviting artworks.

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Golden Hour Reflections in London

This is a city that has definitely stolen my heart with all its contrasts and contradictions. The modern architectural styles of glass fronted skyscrapers can provide perfect reflections and in both of these images I loved the combinations of old and new, reflection and form, cold and warm light.

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Walking in my Shoes

Bristol Wing – This was taken on a photoshoot and the model was posing outside the old fire station doors. While everyone was trying to capture her face in the last ray of sunlight, I noticed her shoes and how they expressed so much. I love DMs and pretty much live in them, so well-worn boots speak to me of character and roads travelled.

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Look Up

City buildings can tower over us, dominating the landscape and blocking out light. I see so many people walk around the city, hunched over, looking down, drawn into themselves. Looking up reveals beautiful building details, expansive skies and interesting skylines. It also creates a sense of spaciousness and light that can sometimes be forgotten in the concrete jungle.

(Left: Bristol Wing, old police headquarters – Top Right: Richmond Building, Bristol – Bottom Right: Rivington Place, Shoreditch)

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At the Feet of a Poet

St Pancras International – detail shot of the large statue of poet, Sir John Betjeman. Something a little different and purely because I could not seem to get a clear shot without people in it. I eventually sat down on the ground in despair to wait and that’s when I saw this shot. I never did get a shot of the entire statue.

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Painted Cities

Urban art has fascinated me for a long time and it is so much a part of city life as a means of social commentary, protest, expression and also transformation. I notice how areas that are decaying and forgotten often provide the canvas for some of the most beautiful and colourful street art. The art transforms and uplifts these neglected spaces and creates a sense of vibrant culture and optimism in these communities. In some cases street art has even become part of the identity of these areas.

(Top Left & Top Right: Stokes Croft, Bristol – Bottom: Brick Lane, London – Header Shot: Shoreditch, London)

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Juanita. If you would like to see more of her work or discuss a photography project, you can contact her via her website and see regular posts on Instagram.

25th February 2019

Photography – In Focus with Mik Connor

From behind the drum kit to behind the camera, photographer Mik Connor tells us how he made the switch and takes us through some of his favourite photos…

‘I’d just like to start off by stating I’m really not good at talking about myself or things that I’ve done so if I start waffling about nothing, please forgive me.

My name’s Mik, a music and portrait photographer based in Preston, Lancashire. Originally I was a drummer in a touring and recording self styled shitty pop punk band. We didn’t do too badly for ourselves (a few tours, a couple of festival appearances, radio and TV airplay) but we never hit the big time and as these things so often do, it came to an unfortunate end. I tried starting another band after that but it just wasn’t the same and I found myself struggling to have fun with the whole thing again so I decided it was time to walk away completely. Always felt that if you don’t enjoy doing something then there’s not much point in doing it.

When I’d stepped away from making music I knew I had to find another way of staying creative but I couldn’t draw a stick figure to save my life, I haven’t got the attention span to be able to sit down and write a book, I can make words rhyme but I couldn’t write poetry and it was at this point I remembered just how much I used to enjoy taking pictures on old family holidays.

I was always in control of the camera whenever me and my family went away somewhere. My Mum had a habit of cropping out people’s heads or having her finger across the lens, my Dad was always in charge of the video camera and providing his commentary of everything that was going on, so our little point and shoot or the old Kodak disposable was always handed down to me. I don’t know if it was because I made better pictures or it was just a way of keeping me quiet or entertained, either way, it worked.

While I was sat contemplating all of this a post from a friend popped up on Facebook offering her Mum’s camera for sale, without a second thought I messaged her saying I’d have it and later that evening I was round at hers to pick it up. I’d bought my first DSLR at 25 without a clue how to use it. In hindsight I probably should’ve thought it through a bit longer but too late for that now I suppose.

Anyway, a few years on from that now and here we are. I’ve had enough of talking about myself so now I’m just going to talk you through some of my favourite shots instead. I hope you like them and the stories around them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking (most of*) them.’

*story to follow

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The Picturebooks

This is from one of the first ‘proper’ gigs I ever shot in an official capacity with the relevant press pass, up until this point I’d just been shooting small pub/club gigs or sneaking a camera into slightly bigger gigs.

Being a fellow drummer this set up amazed me; all drums, no cymbals and a hell of a lot of sweat.

Such a great band to watch. There’s only two of them but they sound HUGE, highly recommended.

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Status Quo

Speaking of firsts, this was the first time I shot a ‘proper’ band and I probably couldn’t have picked a bigger one. This was one of those times I snuck my camera into the show and shot from the crowd. Don’t ask me how I got my 5DMKII with 70-200mm lens attached into the arena, I’ve still no idea how I actually managed it myself but I did and that’s all that matters.

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Portrait of my Mum

Now then, here’s a piece of advice. If someone you know is going on a 4×4 driving experience and asks you if you want to tag along to sit in the back and take photos as they go round, just say no. Also, don’t shoot a club night till 3am, make a hour and a half drive to a hotel for two hours sleep and get a McDonalds breakfast all before sitting in the back of a 4×4 taking photos.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so ill.

Portrait looks good though, all natural light.

*this was the one I didn’t really enjoy taking, I just wanted to go lie down in the fetal position until my stomach stopped spinning but nooooo, I had to get my Mum’s good side.  

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Save Me

This is another first, I’m starting to see a trend here. This was the first promo shoot I did with a band. Joe, the front man of Save Me, used to do about 99.9% of my old band’s photos so I thought it was only fair I returned the favour.

Handy tip though; if you’re shooting in the woods late at night when it’s dark, always make sure you know where you’re going just in case you take a step backwards to reframe a shot and accidentally end up with a tree branch where you shouldn’t.

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Alistair McGeorge

My good friend Alistair McGeorge. Part time singer songwriter, part time journalist. Known Alistair for years from him drinking in a pub I used to work in and while he was studying journalism he used to give the band some really great reviews back in the day so again, when I picked up the camera, I thought I’d offer something in return by giving him some promo photos. This was taken in my little studio space back at the beginning of 2018.

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Wheatus

Loved this shot as soon as I got it. When I shot Wheatus I was shooting for the venue and was given access to the sides of the stage after the traditional first three songs in the pit. Due to the way the band have their stage set up with the drummer at the front off to one side instead of banished to the rear of the stage, I managed to catch this great angle.

They’re also the first band I’ve seen go on stage without a set list and just ask those in attendance for requests.

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Carbomb

OK, so I wander into the photo pit for the first band of the night. “Drum kit is pushed right to the front of the stage, I’m shooting ultra wide with a 15mm lens, it’d be a crime to waste this opportunity as a fellow drummer; I’m getting some killer shots of this incredible kit.” That was my thought process until the relentless strobes started going off paired with harsh backlighting, managed to catch this through the mayhem though, loved it since. It’s been my desktop wallpaper for nearly 2 years now.

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Livewire (AC/DC Tribute)

Again I was shooting for the venue at this show (Guild Hall in Preston by the way, three great rooms in one venue) so I was just chilling at the side of the stage when the guitarist decides he’s going to climb on the shoulders of the lead singer and head off into the crowd for a change of scenery. I quickly ran to my camera bag, grabbed the flash gun I always carry in case of emergencies such as this one and decided to follow them into the baying sweaty masses. I like to think being covered in other people’s sweat and the odd bit of people’s pints was worth it for this shot.

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The DSM IV

Love this shot purely because it brought me out of a massive funk.

I hadn’t been shooting much and whatever I had shot I’d hated, I think everyone goes through something similar every now and again, then I got to shoot these guys. Guy McKnight is one hell of a front man with great energy and presence. I caught this just before I had to get out of the pit and I’m still so glad I did.

Another band you should most definitely check out if you get the chance.

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Pete Searle

Another old friend of mine, Mr Pete Searle. Pete got in contact with me at the back end of the summer 2018 and asked if I fancied taking some photos for his new music project as well as some for his own personal use (when a snapchat selfie just isn’t a good enough profile picture) so I said of course. Now I don’t know if this was a brave or stupid move on Pete’s part but he also told me I could have full creative control over the shots. He offered no direction other then he wanted some suited up and some casual. Quite proud of how they came out. Pete’s still speaking to me so he must’ve been happy too I guess.

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Patent Pending

Easily the most energy filled set I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. I don’t know how they kept it up, I was that knackered after shooting 3 songs I had to go for a lie down.

Getting this shot has now given me a new claim to fame though; Joe from Patent Pending dedicated a song to me for saving his life.

I didn’t really save his life, I just caught him as he came back over the barrier from his little venture, that story isn’t quite as cool though so I’m gonna stick to the original.

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Me

This last one is me.

I thought it’d be cool to set up a kind of ‘self employed/freelance christmas party’ for a bit of fun seen as all I was seeing on Facebook at the time was updates from everyone else’s regular works Christmas parties. First time I’d tried to dress a set properly like this and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Again, shot in my little studio space.

The shot is a result of me trying to look pretty and my Dad trying to throw the little paper streamers at the right time for about an hour because the party poppers I bought didn’t work.

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Well that’s all of them and I hope you’ve had fun. If you’re not sick of me by now feel free to give me a follow on Twitter (for more nonsensical ramblings and the odd photo) or Instagram (more photos than ramblings on there) and you can give me a like on Facebook (photo to rambling ratio is more or less equal on there) if you’re so inclined via Mik Connor Photography. You can also give my website a peek for full portfolios and the odd blog, that’s mikconnorphotography.com.

Anyway, I’ll see you around somewhere. Thanks for reading.

Peace
Mik

All photos are taken and copyrighted by Mik. If you’d like to see more of his work or book him for a gig or portrait shoot, please contact him via his website or the social media links above.

21st January 2019

Photography – In Focus with Derek Rickman

Photographs always hold memories, often known only to the photographer. Here, both the pictures and the memories are shared…

VISUAL POETRY
in the modern age

By Derek Rickman

‘I’ve been absorbed by photography for a few years now. I like the broad canvas of landscapes to practice my art. Like many before me I find inspiration in the Lake District which I visit often with my brothers. I like gothic architecture, particularly cathedrals and ruined abbeys and I’ll happily immerse myself in their cavernous spaces and sunlit chambers. I generally use iPhone for captures despite its limitations as I don’t like to be encumbered with camera kit when I’m out hiking the fells. There are subtle themes behind some of my work. Sometimes I’ll go out with a preconceived idea if I’ve been inspired by music, poetry or art, but generally I go where intuition leads me.

I feel a deep affinity with the landscapes I explore, their wildness and spiritual essence inhabit my soul and I’ll have a deep reservoir of thoughts and emotions to draw on long after I’ve left them. In that sense I’ve written purely about the aesthetic principles behind the work. I hope the words will provide insight as you view each image, judge them as you find them.’

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Easedale (on leaving)

I was sitting in the white drawing room at Llancrigg watching the leaves fall in the garden. We’d climbed Helm Crag in the morning and had descended on Wordsworth’s spiritual home for afternoon tea. I looked out through the huge bay windows towards Easedale’s verdant fields stretching away in the distance. They seemed tantalisingly out of reach. I quietly sipped my tea and pictured the great poet contemplating the same view. As we left Llancrigg behind for the long walk back to Grasmere, I was already visualising Easedale on a Spring morning in May..

I could almost feel the sharp light of that distant day, see the trees dripping with soft English rain, and hear the breathless rush of the river through the scented meadows…

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Buttermere Edge

I’d been listening to Jon Hopkins’ Glitter remix in the car as we drove up to Buttermere, its hypnotic throb had somehow implanted itself in my subconscious and undercurrents of electronica kept permeating my thoughts on the hike above the lake. An icy wind ripped across the summit of Red Pike, momentarily shaking me from a music induced haze. I looked out to a land and sky in constant flux, clouds spilled over dark peaks and ribbons of light cast drifting veils across empyrean plains. There was a tangible sense of time passing, of elements conspiring to shape material and emotional landscapes.

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Starflower / A Eulogy

“For me the pristine and delicate Starflower is the true evocation of Spring. Their subtle fragrance draws you down paths into shady hollows where they glow imperceptibly in the light, a transient beauty of the wood. To walk among them is to drift in an infinite galaxy, a quiet exodus for the soul.”

King’s Wood / 18th April

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Chilham Mill

There’s a stillness and quietude to this place that’s so alluring. I’ve walked here on a Midsummer’s day and not encountered a soul. It’s especially beautiful in early Spring when the river flows past the mill in sparkling overtures and the giant willow trails its feathered branches lazily in the water. Later in the Summer blue damselflies flit among the reeds and ride the warm currents beneath the bridge. On this day I’d just climbed the hill to Julliberrie’s Grave through light rain and returned to the river to find a perfect equilibrium of light and colour. The Constable like clouds give fluidity and depth and provide a natural symmetry with the trees, and perhaps in this setting echo a certain Englishness and enduring timelessness.

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Angel

Her face caught my eye as I was wandering amongst the tombs in the churchyard. White petals from a cherry blossom tree were strewn at her feet but she was still clutching her faded flowers in her fingers. Her visage spoke such a beautiful melancholy and with her hand elegantly placed to her heart it seemed as if she was softly reciting poetry to an unrequited love..

Pluckley / 24th May

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Pilgrim

The first warm days in May found me hiking the old road to Canterbury. When I walk its sunken lanes and chalk trackways I feel so close to the Pilgrims who centuries earlier journeyed along its ancient route to receive a blessing at Becket’s shrine… ‘Holy blissful Martyr to seek’. I wondered if in their haste they had time to pause and catch their breath for a few moments and like me contemplate the blossom on the bough, smell the damp earth, and look at the river down in the valley meandering its way to Canterbury…

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Tintern Abbey

An incredible space, so much scope for photography inside and out. It was blissfully quiet when I arrived and the low clouds drifting across the river only served to enhance the surreal atmosphere. I had some difficulty deciphering the wonderful array of gothic windows and towering columns into a image that was a little more prosaic yet still captured the romance and beauty of the ruins.

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Last Snowfall

There was heavy snow in late February and it had lain on the ground for nearly a week while I’d been on holiday so I was desperate to explore the parkland near my home before it all melted. Sleet was falling as I crunched through the kissing gate and into the big field. The giant cedars looked like white cathedrals in the snow and they creaked and groaned under the weight showering the unfortunate huddle of sheep sheltering below. A solitary oak stood naked and forlorn in the wintery wilderness yet its slate black silhouette still held some shape of beauty against the sky. Mist began to envelope the horizon as I waded through the snowdrifts, the rooks circling noisily overhead perhaps perceiving a subtle change in the weather. I trudged slowly up to the lodge my frozen hands thrust deep in my pockets. I looked back and traced my footprints trailing away downhill and contemplated the white rooftops and flickering lights in the distance, thankful that I’d seen the last day of snow on the edge of my hometown.

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All photos and words © Derek Rickman. If you would like to see more of Derek’s work you can find him on Instagram.

19th December 2018

Photography – In Focus with Nigel King

With a long-standing love of photography, Nigel King’s portfolio covers a wonderfully diverse range of subjects. Here, he gives us a glimpse into his world in pictures…

‘I live in Nottingham in the East Midlands. I’ve always had a camera since I was about 8 or 9, starting with a Boots own brand 110mm model, a 1950’s West German rangefinder and also a Zenit EM. Today, I mostly use a Canon 80D and a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. The shots here were taken with those two with the assistance of Adobe Lightroom. My aim with my photography is just to keep gradually improving and for as many people as possible to view my work.

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No collection of my work would be complete without including at least one of Brix Smith Start (here with Brix & the Extricated). She is my absolute favourite person to photograph, the power and the intensity of her (and the band’s) performances are always astonishing, though I caught her here in a more serene moment.

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The header image above of the lady in pearls and the one here on the left were taken at a 1940’s theme day at the Framework Knitters’ Museum in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire. The museum is run by volunteers and I helped them out by recording the day’s events for them. These are just two of the shots from the day, I think they particularly capture the personality of the subjects.

A new event at the museum was their Steampunk Day which included a parade through the village and a ‘tea duelling’ competition. The picture on the right shows just one of the many fine costumes worn that day.

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Live music and event photography is about capturing the moment that defines the show. Live music shoots tend to be mostly shots of the artists, I like to try and get shots of the audience reaction as well. This was a special moment at a Balaam and the Angel gig at The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham.

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In the last couple of years I’ve been very fortunate to work with LeftLion Magazine in Nottingham. It is the local arts, music, culture and listings magazine. This has given me a chance to shoot at different types of events. These two photos are from a poetry night to celebrate the Windrush 70th Anniversary this year, which included Jamaican poet Kei Miller and Georgina Wilding (the current Nottingham Young Poet Laureate). Poetry is big in Nottingham.

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The Nottingham Caribbean Carnival is one of the highlights of the summer. The carnival is in three parts; the parade, where I met the Luton Revellers, followed by a group dance competition on the main stage and then a music festival with four stages into the evening where I found many other revellers.

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This is Sophie Barkerwood from the band Haiku Salut, it was taken at a show at the Rough Trade shop in Nottingham but it is essentially a profile portrait shot of Sophie.

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The Owl Man – I was down by the River Trent for the ‘Nottingham Mile’, a series of mile races along the riverside as part of the Robin Hood Half Marathon weekend. As a race set off, I noticed this man leaning against the barrier in front of me with an owl on his shoulder. I thought I’d better quickly ask him if I could take a photograph, which he agreed to.

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The Robin Hood Marathon events were over two days this year. On the Saturday was a series of mile races where, in addition to the Owl Man, I met these lovely people and their dog. On the Sunday was the the main Half Marathon – as well as shooting the start and the race itself my favourite part was meeting some of the 9000 runners just after they had finished. The second photo is of three from a large contingent of the Notts Women Runners club taking part in the race.

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Nottingham is where I do most of my photography and I’m very proud of my city. I’m always looking for shots when I’m out with my camera. The classic photograph (which I often do) of the Council House is closer than this with the fountains and reflective pond in the foreground. This shot is from 100m further back. The sun came out and illuminated the white Portland stone facade and I found it was framed by the trees.

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2018 has been my best ever year for live music photography. This is one of my favourites of the year – Izzy B Phillips of the band Black Honey. Like Brix, I’ve caught her in a more reflective moment here.’

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All photos are taken and copyrighted by Nigel. If you’d like to see more of his work, or book him to cover an event, you can make contact via Nigel’s website or catch up with him on Twitter and Instagram.

29th November 2018

Photography – In Focus with Dan Bold

Hailing from Surrey and currently based in Portsmouth, we spoke to Dan Bold about crossing over from cinematography to photography and what inspires his work…

‘I study Film Production at the University of Portsmouth and got into photography last year as a way to keep myself busy when I had a bit of spare time from my course which, because of the nature of film making, was either really hectic or nothing was going on for me. As I was already developing as a camera operator, using a camera was second nature to me but learning about photography was completely different.

At university I’ve worked on a range of different projects; my favourites have been working on a short fiction film, developing a documentary on para-triathlete Lauren Steadman and creating a corporate video for the International Port here in Portsmouth, all as a Director of Photography / Camera Operative.

The majority of my photography has been taken in Portsmouth; I will go into shoots with a idea of what I want to come out with and just go looking for locations that match what I want. I try to shoot in a different place every time to keep challenging myself.

I spent the summer just gone working in Greece as an action and portrait photographer for a company inside a hotel resort. The team I was a part of took photos of everything going on in the resort, from the kids clubs to the waterskiing and wakeboarding, which was of course my favourite, and then family portrait sessions in front of the Greek sunset in the evenings.

I’m hoping to get more into live music photography and potentially begin working with bands on a regular basis, as well as continuing to shoot with different models and brands to keep learning and improving. I’m also hoping to travel more; I really fell in love with Amsterdam when I went this year and I’d love to see some more of Europe.

I’ve met some lovely people who are driven and who drive me; Jack, Lewis, and Chloe (featured models) are three people who I keep finding myself shooting with. One of the best things about taking photos is all the people I meet and creating art with them.’

All photos featured are taken and copyrighted by Dan. To see more of his work or if you have a project you’d like to discuss collaborating on, you can contact Dan on Instagram.

31st October 2018

Photography – In Focus with Tim Beavis

As the saying goes, every picture tells a story. We asked photographer Tim Beavis to showcase some of his stunning shots and give us an insight into how photography became more than just a passing interest…

‘I originally got into photography as a hobby after working for a year as a Product & Dispatch Specialist at SO Cameras whilst living in Brighton during my first year of uni. I had no previous experience in using a DSLR for photography but I was taught the basics and understood the functionality for that job role. During spring 2016 I would often go out in the evenings and walk along the seafront in Brighton, capturing many photos on my iPhone. During the summer that year, I decided to get myself a camera to take photos with and ended up purchasing a Canon 60D and a 50mm lens to accompany it. I would often snap shots around my home in Southampton including Winchester and Holly Hill. I didn’t even consider the idea of producing shoots for clients until one of my mates from uni asked me to capture some promotion shots of his band, Imbium, which turned out fairly well for my ability at that time.

My personal love of capturing landscape shots provides the perfect motivation for me to get out and discover new places or even find new spots in places I’m familiar with that had until then been hidden to me. Over the two years I’ve been involved in photography, my most common shoot location is Winchester and to this day I’m still finding new places within the city that I’d previously been unaware of, one such location being The Weirs, behind Pilgrims School.

Whilst I love capturing landscapes, more recently I’ve ventured into headshot and dance photography through my involvement with RicNic Hampshire, a youth led theatre production company, who asked me to take headshots, rehearsal and dress run shots during August 2017. This was a massive boost to my work as it forced me to capture different subjects to usual and I ended up making a large amount of contacts with dancers and actors who I have gone on to shoot since.

RicNic was the big push I needed to force myself into shooting a fully manual setup on my camera. Up until that point I had been shooting mostly in auto and making all the creative decisions in Lightroom, however I realised that to get the shots I desired, I needed to be controlling aperture and shutter speed.

Recently I traded in all my Canon gear and have replaced it with a Sony A7ii in pursuit of much higher quality images. Whilst I don’t like technical spec to get in the way of the image itself as photographers often forget the best setting, composition, is free, there were features within this camera that I knew would enhance the work I am capturing. I’ve recently started to venture into videography and this camera was the next step I took to get closer to that. In the future I’d like to break into the world of wedding photography though I also find the prospect of that very daunting…’

All photos in this feature are taken and copyrighted by Tim. If you’d like to see more of his work or book a shoot you can contact him via his website or find him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

11th October 2018