Posts Tagged ‘ pop ’

Still life project in homage to Irving Penn

I’ve been avidly collecting discarded cigarette packets over the last couple of weeks. Crawling about on the floor, carefully lifting the items off the street has not been a good look but luckily for me the streets of London are littered with them. I’ve collected packets in various states of distress and have come across some excellent examples. Some of the packets I have never seen before. Who’s heard of Manchester or Diana cigarettes ? I’ve also noted that many of the packets come from abroad which is probably a reflection of the cost of smoking in the UK.

I remember seeing a wonderful exhibition of cigarette butt images by Irving Penn. Large in scale, the images were very impressive and obviously memorable. My images were taken with Penn’s in mind. I find something strangely beautiful about discarded, used, and decaying objects, and wanted to show this in the images. I love the colors, the designs, and the decay. Simply beautiful. I also admire the pop art movement and these photos fit this genre.

I went for maximum quality and shot with the Hasselblad H4D 60, HC 120mm and a Profoto ringflash. The images will be able to be printed to a huge size and I’m looking foward to getting a couple printed.

Here are a selection of images. Enjoy and remember that smoking seriously damages your health.

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Photographing gigs

Photographing gigs is one of the hardest subjects I’ve ever had to photograph. You get to the venue, have three tracks and then you have to leave. I went to the O2 venue in London to photograph a well known band. Luckily I wasn’t there in a professional capacity, so the pressure wasn’t on. No deadlines, no sweat. Just a useful exercise. I’ve had 20 years experience of press calls, celebrities, royalty, sport etc but a live concert was a different kettle of fish ! The first track arrived when I realized I’d forgotten earplugs, a deafening noise, a huge crowd and the protagonists were backlit. Not only were they moving about but the lighting kept changing. Different exposure times, camera at the limit of ISO, struggling with shutter speed. Which lens to use ? The nightmare. Second track arrived and still I was having trouble with everything. Two tracks gone and no worthwhile images. Disaster. The last track that I was allowed to photograph arrived, far too quickly for my liking but luckily I’d managed to get myself slightly more composed. The lighting was better and I managed to get a few worthwhile frames. The buzz of photographing a live gig was immense and possibly one of the hardest events I’ve ever had to photograph. Give me a press call any day ! I really want to do it again though, as I found it highly enjoyable. These are a three of my favorite frames. Give it a go if you get half a chance.

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