Another year has passed

So 2016 was the year i took a break from blogging to focus on producing more work and defining my style. Next year promises to be one of a lot of action focussing on more portraiture and long exposure photography. Many thanks to all who’ve supported my work with encouragement. I am eternally grateful. Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

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Sweeps Festival Rochester 2015

More merriment than you can shake a stick at!!!

Once again Rochester’s annual Sweeps festival is back full of all the characters, noise and beer its famous for.

Merry men and women dancing, The Bruncles and a winged steampunkette caught my eyes this year. Enjoy

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Photo of the day: Windy afternoon with Pigeons.

Dockside Chatham, where the fierce winds blow pigeons and slices of bread alike in every direction. 50mm lens ranging from 1.8 to 4 for better bokeh.

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Fan Photography: High Stakes 2015 Revolution Pro Wrestling 15 Feb

HIGH STAKES
YORK HALL

www.revolutionprowrestling.com/events/high-stakes-2015

Again RevPro pulled it out of the bag and it’s probably the best one I’ve seen to date. Seems York Hall really has got a massive presence once it’s packed to the walls with fans, noise and fighters! My second time there and although I was not as close to the front as last time I still could not resist snappin a few quick shots. I have to admit it I’m proper back into wrestling now.

Big thanks to all the recent subscribers from the world of wrestling on Twitter. Your comments and reposts have been gratefully received, Glad you enjoy the snaps. Peace

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Fan photography: Revolution Pro Wrestling Sunday 8th Feb 2015 Sittingbourne

www.revolutionprowrestling.com

Sunday in Sittingbourne was again another awesome  line up!

Some of the highlights include 2 Unlimited vs The Wolves, Lord Gideon Grey vs The mighty Flatliner, Marty Scurll, Sha Samuals, Josh Bodom and NoamDar.

Thanks again everyone at RPW!

Photoblog: Rochester Christmas market 2014

www.visitmedway.org/events/rochester-christmas-market

Taken on the last Sunday of the festival using 20sec exposures at F18 to truly capture the glow and movement of the rides as they lit up the night.

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Photo-Journal: Battle of the Ardennes Tour Part 2

Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery & Memorial

The final resting place of nearly 8000 American soldiers who fought in World War II.

Over looking the beautiful countryside you may never see a more immaculate tribute to the fallen with its perfect symmetrical design and open peaceful space.

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Photoblog: Revolution pro wrestling Uprising 2014

www.revolutionprowrestling.com/uprising-2014

Becoming a bit of a fan of wrestling these days.

The shear talent out there and the fact a lot of the events can be reached in and around Kent means I can’t resist taking a few fan shots when we go. Many thanks to all the hard working fighters that slug it out in the squared circle.

York Hall, Bethnal Green

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Photo-journal: Battle of the Ardennes Tour Part 1

Wiki/Remembrance Sunday

In memory to all who gave so much.

This year we took a trip to Belgium to visit the key sights of the Battle of the Bulge also known as the “Battle of the Ardennes”. It was a powerful trip to say the least, to visit the graves, memorials and towns that held some of the bloodiest battles in World War 2. To find the trenches softly reclaimed by nature in what felt like an enchanted forests in Foy left me wondering how it could have been a part or the dreaded Siegfried Line. To think soldiers were hiding down in these dug outs to avoid gun fire and bombardment from shelling brought us a very different perception on how they lived throughout the campaign. It was quite a chilling image against what was to me one of the most peaceful and calming places I had every seen in my life. Over the next few weeks I shall be posting many of the images I took during our 4 day tour through the Ardennes. Thank you and enjoy.

Forest of Foy

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Salute to the 40s 2014 Chatham Dockyard.

www.thedockyard.co.uk

Once again another fantastic event at Chatham Dockyard. Salute to the 40s 2014.

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Photo of the day: Red Dragonfly at Oare Marshes

With more patience than I thought I had I managed to get close enough (and quiet enough) to catch this beauty.

wikipedia.org/Oare_Marshes

wikipedia.org/Dragonfly

The Biscuit Barrel #10 Mr Rose a.k.a DJ Buddhafinga

Series of interviews where we ask creative people about music, how it has shaped their lives and how it inspires and moves them.

Mixcloud/DJ BUDDHAFINGA

After months of days falling through from bad weather I finally got around to some High-speed photography under probably the best skies this year so far.

Mr Rose is a Flatlander and this is my first time actually seeing this style of BMX riding with my own eyes. The shear technical aspect of the gyroscopic nature of what flatland BMX can do truly makes it a unique genre and I cannot deny I was very impressed.

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What was the first BMX you ever owned? was it a particular style?

First BMX I owned was a universal as a kid but the first proper one I owned was a mongoose California. That was the first one I was doing tricks on. It was an all rounder so you could do any kind of tricks on it. Back then a lot of the bikes were made for all types of riding. Now days the bikes are made for specific disciplines of riding. I mainly used it for a bit of street and dirt jumping.
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What made you try out flatland and what is the  addictive appeal of it to you?
I had always been quite intrigued by flatland ever since I got into BMX as it was so different and creative. I finally got round to giving it a go after several accidents forced me to try a safer type of riding.. It was meant to be, I was addicted!
Favourite trick ever performed?
My favourite trick ever performed is not the worlds hardest trick but for me marks a massive progression in my riding as it took me so long to get it. I decided one night in ASDA multi-storey in Gravesend to keep trying and not go home until I pulled the trick smoothly and rode out of it.. 4 hours later I had achieved my goal and was so happy I treated myself to a kebab on the way home.. The trick is a backwards hitch-hiker.
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If you could pick one day in history  to go back in time to where would you go and what would you do?
If I could pick one day in history it would be August 15th 1969 the first day of Woodstock.. To me that was the birth of a revolution and was quite possibly the greatest music event ever. My love for music is the biggest love of my life and this is why I have answered with this. I would not try and change history.

 

How big is music a part of your riding?

 

Music is a massive part of my riding if forms the part of escapism that is riding flatland. When you ride it’s just you, your bike and your music.. Nothing else matters. That’s how you stay focussed. I purposely load my iPod shuffle up with different genres and speeds of music as depending what is playing in my ear it will determine what style I am ridding in.. Be it chilled out, slow and relaxed or fast paced and aggressive.. I find it very hard to ride without music it’s like a missing link in the chain.
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Pick 3 songs that would make the soundtrack to the moment if?

 

Only you and your bike were between Godzilla and a city from being destroyed?

 

You are raging from the 4th puncture in one day.

 

 

You just found out your van was a transformer (flying is optional)

 

Any final words and shout outs?

Yeah thanks to James white for buying my turntable off ebay and comming to my house to collect it which in turn got me back into riding.. Slightly surreal but happened for a reason I guess. Thanks to the guys at Edwardes in Camberwell namely Jason Forde for helping out with parts Thanks to my mate Chris Springhall who is now back into flatland. We rode together as kids, without him I would have rode alone a lot and we have helped push each others riding. Thanks to the guys at Fakebum for just being all out awesome dudes And thanks to you Obi wan for the awesome photos and interview and for being one cool dude!
Also check out www.Flatmattersonline.com for all your Flatland needs!

 

 

Photoblog: The Objectors studio rehearsal shoot

Leading up to the big VW Festival in Folkestone this late July The Objectors rehearse their set list at DEF Studios at Chatham Dockyards this weekend.

Always looking to express their unique dub style The Objectors are branching out in different mediums such a video to connect further with their rapidly growing fanbase. This Sunday consisted of me trying to re-acquaint myself with video after several years away from the record button as the gang smoothed out some tracks from the recent online release of their debut album Overruled whilst I cautiously avoided tripping over leads. The photography was taken whilst the video camera rolled on tripod in the corner with a 2 speedlites set up with diffusers.

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Photo of the day: The 1950s billboard of Maidstone road Rochester

Recently a billboard has been removed from the side of a property in on Maidstone road Rochester. When it was taken down there appeared to be posters from the 1950s behind it but sadly they were torn straight off the wall by the workmen. What looks like layers upon layers of posters I managed to get one shot of what was left. Persil. I’ve googled Persil adverts and although I could not find the exact match there advertising campaigns followed a theme that changed with the times making it very easy to find the decade. Wish I’d had the chances to separate and photograph them.

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Project: 50mm Part 1 Street Photography

Way back when I got my first SLR my dad told me I should get a 50mm lens and that despite it being a fixed prime lens it had some beneficial advantages over my regular 17-85mm variable lens. Born in the age of these amazing variable lenses I bought the 50mm and kept it pretty much as a quirky souvenir on my shelf never giving it the proper time and place as it made no sense to ever use it. Until now.

Over the last month I have virtually glued it to my camera since I came across a need to produce a lower depth of field image and realised my regular variable lenses were clearly not up to the job. The project I had in mind was simply a bit of fun to create more dream-like images in an upcoming photo-shoot. What I arrived at was a whole different direction and the result is now to create a new project starting with writing a light primer on what a 50mm can actually do, why it is now my favourite lens of all time and what results I can achieve with it in various photographic scenarios.

Limitations are still limitless limits!

50mm, the cheapest lens you can actually buy is in fact one of the most powerful you could ever own even though initially you may not believe this if you have only ever looked through a variable lens. When you first look through a 50mm you will notice what feels like a negative in its ability. “Dam everything is too close”! Well thats probably because your sitting down and only looking around you indoors (i’m guessing) whilst “Crying out to zoom out”. Do not panic your anxiety will soon fade when you get up and turn your feet into your new zoom. Don’t be nervous its like taking your first steps and you won’t be crawling long. Right, now we have your zoom limitations beaten lets get down to the next revelation, Clarity. You may not see it at first but a fixed focal length lens does seem to have more clarity. This is due to less of the moving parts found in variable zooms and less lenses within the unit. The quality of image is also improved by the fact the 50mm is lighter than any other lens so camera shake drops in my opinion quite dramatically too.
The other great thing about the little 50mm is the power of Aperture, with a fixed lens you have a wider aperture of f1.8 and you can now rid yourself of higher ISO and throw in some faster shutter speed which means a better shot in the noise department plus it will also give you a better “Bokeh” which can if used effectively bring you an amazing dreamlike image.
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“Bokeh”!?

 No i am not speaking Japanese, or am I?
Bokeh is (according to wikipedia)  “the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens”. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.” And with a 50mm you get lots of Bokeh! The lens is not macro but you can get a lot closer and the blur can make an object feel smaller like a normal car looking like a toy car. Portraits can become stronger and  more emotive ranging from romantic to haunting with the reduction of Depth of Field and f1.8 can make it almost as thin as Rizla. If you happen to have someone with eyes in their head near by take a shot at f1.8 getting only the eyes in focus. You will be blown away as the rest of the face softens away beautifully.

But surely no zoom will rob me of a good shot?

This is simply not the case. Your composition will improve with a fixed lens and it will also make you a better photographer. “A better photographer! How?” you ask? Having a fixed focal length means you have to really take your time in composing an image. You will after some practice find yourself really taking away all that is not important in the image. Think of it as cropping on the go if you must but do not mistake it with digital cropping it is far from the same thing when you apply it. For example many of us photographers will invariable zoom out a little when taking a photo with the idea of cropping later on in Photoshop which to most of us is simply a way of taking a safer shot should the image need framing in a specific dimension. The kind of cropping I am referring to with a fixed lens is the actual consideration for the subject and its space in time. You will start to get the idea when you realise you are looking for the perfect shape in respects to subject(s) and background. Once you get the feel for that you will almost if not completely forget zoom ever existed and really begin to engage with your subject. Over all taking shots with a fixed lens will simply improve your skill to compose your perfect image. Trust me.
Lastly on the so called limitations of fixed lenses I’d also mention that once you use it for a whole session without changing  you will find quickly that “Zooming-with-your-feet” will teach you new angles and help you see compositions you may have never considered prior. To be honest I think the best thing about this lens is that it taught me to be a more engaging photographer and I think its lessons are worth others experiencing for themselves.

The 50mm Project.

Ok so with all that primer cleared up I recently took only the 50mm out with me to a market place one very early Sunday morning to vanish into the crowd and catch the ambience in black and white. I will be doing several updates demonstrating the various styles and scenarios I will use this lens for. So far there are two more updates planned but I intend to post more as we go along. Starting here with Part 1: Street photography, followed soon by a portraiture update and after that in part 3  we will be doing still life. The result will be a blog series focussing on what I can accomplish  with Bokeh through the 50mm lens.

PART 1: Street Photography

The Marketplace. Fast paced and ever changing as smiling traders set up and drink their hot coffees in the cold morning, lots of shouting lots of laughter as people arrive to haggle and barter.
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Patterns of products lined or stacked as many a character passes them by. You have to be really on your feet to get that good shot and sometimes that really good shot finds you as someone smiles and poses against the background of the masses.

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Here one can move about to zoom as much as they wish as the traffic of buyers carry you along the aisles of stalls.

My camera settings for the shoot were mainly ISO 400 Aperture priority f1.8 Camera Raw monochrome. I tried to get near and far shots to get an idea of what Bokeh I could create and found myself really enjoying the possibilities.

Many thanks for viewing, subscribe to get more updates on the next adventure in 50mm.

Project 50mm: Lewisham Cyclists.

Another set of images using the f1.8 50mm Canon lens.

Taken whilst hanging the camera out of the car window as we left London. Its funny I was not expecting a delightful smile or someone cycling backwards through bus stop crowds with the least of effort. Slick.

Coming soon I will be posting a  nice big blog explaining why I have been so enthusiastic about using this wonderful lens of late and why every photographer should have one in thier arsenal.

Watch this space…….

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The Sweeps Festival 2014

Rochester once again hosted its ever growing festival The Sweeps. With more stages for busking this year there was a broader variety for everyone to see and participate in. The Bruncles were playing and many a Morris man and woman were out in mass amongst a crowd in its thousands. The images within this post are part of a larger project to be revealed soon regarding the art of using a fixed 50mm lens and why it is still is one of the most essential lenses you could ever own and one of the cheapest. Enjoy.

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Photoblog: The Warrior

http://www.lorientrust.com

A few months ago I got the chance just before leaving  our studio  at Nucleus Arts in Chatham to photograph an extraordinary character. The Warrior, a man who takes part in themed role-playing. When the opportunity came up for him to bring all his cosplay and weaponry to the studio all i could think about was creating the ultimate movie poster based on the genre. Middle-earth, Skyrim and Conan the barbarian, massive battle sequences and lush landscapes I’ve always wanted to find an excuse to create something like this.

We took about 40 main poses from swinging battleaxes to drawing swords and slaying foes. It’s gonna take me a while to get them all done but here is a taster from a first try this morning.

Many thanks to The Warrior for this opportunity. Peace.

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Photoblog: Catalunya, Calella sunrise Part 2

It was difficult to decide which days sunrise I photographed would be submitted. I narrowed it down to two, this one has more of a wider view than the last. Enjoy in all its HDR glory.

 

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Photoblog: Catalunya, Calella

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalonia

Hey bloggers I’m back from Spain with a lot of holiday snaps to share and inspire. I’ll try to release them all as quick as I can but please be patient I busier than ever these days lol.

This Church is one of the tallest buildings in Calella and is over 400 years old. I’ve photographed it every time I’ve been in town but have yet to be satisfied with a single shot. This year was to be different though as it appeared to be level and in view of my hotel room balcony. This gave me the opportunity to capture a 3 shot HDR image on a monopod of the sunrise right next to the church!. Trust me you have no idea how lucky I felt that morning when I awoke with a hangover to peel back the curtains and find such atreat. Enjoy and please comment as always. Peace

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Photoblog: The lost Spain holiday pics of 2012

In the midst of many things after our holiday in Calella last year I forgot to process several days of photography I took back then.

So here’s a few street shots, foot-stomping flamenco dancers, dogs and jousters.

Obi . Cover Artist, Photographer

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