Category Archives: Photography

Photobooks for sale: Ponderosa and Party People

I am planning to publish two books of my photos. This is something I’ve been thinking of for some time now, but I’m opening up my house and showing off my photos as part of Open Up Sheffield open studios event, and I want to have a few things available for sale.

I am going to use Photobox for the books – so they will not be of quite the kind of quality of a properly published and bound photobook, but from what I’ve seen they are pretty good for an off-the-shelf type product. I would like to do more than the standard 20 pages, but I really don’t think I can afford to at the moment.

The first book will feature images and text from my Ponderosa (traces of crime) project.

The second book will feature a selection of my as-yet un-named (suggestions welcome) project which I provisionally call Party People.

I have one small problem, which is the complete and utter lack of any funds, so I hope to be able to get a few pre-orders in to help pay for this. So… I am offering the book to any of my blog-readers at a special reduced rate of £24 per book (or approximate $/€ equivalent) – this should just about cover my costs including postage to you, but because there is a 2-for-1 offer on it means I get an additional book for each one ordered. I intend to sell the books for £35 at the open-studio event.

So… please email me or leave a comment here if you are interested in buying a copy.

I need to move quickly on this – I would like numbers confirmed by next week (22nd) and payment (Bank transfer or Paypal) by 25th.

Improvised off-camera flash technique

Improvised off-camera flash technique

This is an idea which has been bubbling in my head since the weekend, when I spent half the night trying to hold together my flash and radio receiver, and the other half nursing tempremental electrical contacts, before finally bumping into somebody, smashing the receiver and losing the battery.

I have taped up the receiver so that it’s fairly secure, taped it onto the flash head so that the two don’t keep coming apart, and – most important of all – I have stolen a small piece of sparkly fishnet tights from Rowan, slipped it over my arm, and stuffed the flash inside. This means that I have a fully operational off-camera flash at arms length from me, while my non-camera hand remains free for vital tasks such as carrying beer. Sorted!

Tonight I’m off to the Vice student gig at Plug to test it all out. No doubt something will break, again, but hopefully my ingenuity will find a way around it.

I also got one of these to pack my kit in. It’s a bit bigger than I’d imagined, but really rather swish, and incredibly practical (well, I hope it is. The proof is always in the pudding…)

Teaching Photography

Tonight I taught my first photography workshop in Wath-on-Dearne. I had been dreading it – was on the verge of panic attacks last night – but actually it went very smoothly, the kids were wonderful (there were only 4 of them – I had been prepared for 2 or 3 times that number) and everyone had a good time. It’s been a massive confidence boost to me, managing to get this under my belt.

We started the session with a quick slide-show of about a dozen of my photos, then I showed them in about 30 pictures from the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize over the last four years. I got them to to talk in detail about each picture – what it told them about the person pictured, and how different things like the background, clothing, possessions, pose, framing, angle, lighting etc. could all affect our understanding of the person shown, and could add up to a story about that person.

Then I got them to split into two groups of two, and take photos of one another, thinking about some of those different elements and how they could be used. I just let them use the cameras on fully automatic settings, with flash (although a couple of them worked out how to turn the flash off).

Then I mixed up the groups, and gave each group two halogen desk lamps to play with, switched off the main lights and got them to play with lighting.

Finally, we downloaded the photos and looked at them.

I’m really looking forward to next week now! And on Sunday, I’m giving another workshop to a local Muslim girls’ group.

Several more photography commissions rolling in – I’ve got a conference to do on Friday, and it looks like I’ll have another party to do next week. Suddenly, all systems are go!

Two New Photo-Galleries

Some exciting new photo-news. Firstly, I have been asked to hang some of my pictures at The Washington. This is quite an honour: the pub is the centre of Sheffield’s hyperactive music scene (it used to be owned by Pulp drummer Nick Banks, and ex-Pulp members can often be seen in there, along with various Monkeys of one sort or another) and has just taken down an exhibition of very fine musical portraits by local photo-whizz Chris Saunders. At the moment I’m frantically getting photos printed and framed so that I can install some in there, I hope, early next week.

I’ve also decided to participate in this year’s Open-Up Sheffield. What this means is that I will open my house up for people to come and inspect my photos (again, I need to print lots to stick up on the wall, or at least matte them for browsing). Hopefully I’ll sell a few, or at least get some commissions out of it.

Finally, for some months now I’ve been touting Photobox as the place to get photos printed (admittedly it’s not the best, but it is among the best of the bargain photo-printers: cheap, quick and pretty good (and consistent) quality. As I’ve uploaded so many photos there recently for printing, I thought I’d shift a few of them to a public gallery. So here it is, my own personalised photo-shop, you can buy some of my prints and other photo-based gift products here direct from Photobox.

By the way, if you are thinking of signing up to Photobox, please email me first. I have some special offers which means that you & I will both get some free prints when you join.