This post may turn into a bit of a ramble. I realise as I sit down to write, that there are a lot of thoughts and feelings swirling around inside me, which may find their way out. Feelings about life, both my own and in general. Thoughts about place, identity, experience. Things of that nature. In certain ways, this is a love story. There is a romantic dimension to be sure, but it is also about love for life, love for oneself and an enquiry into the subtle aspects of experience, which translate themselves into larger more profound forces in our lives. So bear with me whilst I let forth. Perhaps some sense will be made of some things, perhaps not. No matter. Make of it what you will.

So where on earth to begin with this... Well, I am British. I was born, and grew up in London, England. As a child, a sense of national identity began to form at quite an early age. I started to realise, “Oh… I am from here. This is my place. This is my home.” I began to look at things and to ask myself: “What does that mean? Who am I? What am I a part of?” I think we begin to invest in our identity; to look for things to like about it and be proud of. To find things which might be unique to our particular culture; which set ‘our’ collective apart from other collectives. This helps us to further identify, and gain a sense of place in the international fabric of our global community.

In my case, I am English. When I realised this I remember I started finding pleasure in the fact that although we are all individuals, there is also a sense of oneness and belonging we can have with our fellow countrymen. We share inherent qualities which are the culmination of centuries of indigenous culture. There is comfort in that. In many ways, this is the meaning of Home. With a capital H.

But there’s more to life than home. A lot more.

Concurrent to my embedded experience of unfolding as an English boy, I was also being influenced by an awareness of the world outside my own country. For the most part through television, radio, books, movies and music (I can only imagine what it would have been like had I been exposed, as my children now are, to the volume of content the internet provides. But that is a whole subject in itself and best left for another time). Anyway, by far and away the biggest source for those influences was, and continues to be a country named The United States of America.

I needn’t go to great lengths to explain quite how influential that side of the Atlantic has been to this. Anyone who is reading this will know what I’m talking about when I say that without American arts and culture, the world would be a very different place. Imagine movies without Hollywood. Imagine music without… wow, I don’t even know where to start. You get the picture. The point is, as both child and adult I have always been conscious of this larger-than-life, geographically enormous and wonderfully enticing force-of-nature of a place. A place incidentally with which the British, my own people, have quite some historical entwinement.

When I was young I simply assumed that of course, when I grew up I would go there. I mean, how could I not? I would have money because that’s what adults have, and I would pay for holidays because that’s what adults do, and one place I would most certainly go would be America. Simple.

Yeah... well... not to put too fine a point on it, it didn’t work out that way. Life happened. Years rolled by and I found myself in my middle forties (WTAF!?), still not having made that trip. Even once. Dreams somewhat tarnished if not in tatters, I started to re-frame my expectations. Hmm... Ok, so maybe I won’t go there until I’m an old man. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t go there at all in this here lifetime. I would be sad about that but it wouldn’t be all bad. The place is pretty damn present in my life regardless. I feel unavoidably connected to it through all the aforementioned vehicles, and thanks to the combination of the Internet and my un-ending pursuit of all things photographic, through social media feeds and podcasts it is there more or less ubiquitously in my daily affairs. Impossible to ignore, and in many ways a very welcome interloper.

So there I was. Coming to terms with my revised version of reality, keeping my head down and getting on with life…

Then, like a bolt from the blue, whatever sublime force it is that weaves the pattern of our continuum saw fit to deal me a card I truly did not see coming. A uniquely wonderful and special person literally walked into my house and into my life. Bam. I fell suddenly and deeply in love. And, well guess what. She’s American.

There’s a lot I could say at this point. Really. A lot. But honestly, some of it is straight up private and should be held as such. Plus it would be a departure from the thread we are on here and you really don’t need to hear me gush about those particular intimate dimensions of my heart.  Suffice it to say that things have changed. Fundamentally and radically. This will have far-reaching effects on multiple aspects of my life moving forward but put simply, in a hot minute I went from the situation described above, to finding myself landing on American soil and breathing American air for the first time in my life. Woah. What a trip. Head spinning? A little bit, but in the best possible way.

It’s hard to know where or how to start relating my experience of arriving, after all that time wondering whether I’d ever make it at all. Aside from the obvious and overriding reason that took me there, the many quiet internally lived encounters with all things from the big, in-your-face and obvious, all the way down to the tiny details which perhaps only you notice will be personal to every individual. For me, it was an altogether comfortable immersion. As I say, a lifetime of input in one form or another, has brought me to a point of such familiarity that actually being there first hand felt completely natural. Like stepping into a neighbours house on the same street.. you may never have been inside before but there are no real surprises. Things are much as you expect to find them. Having said that, I also lost count of the amount of times I said to myself… “Oh my god, I’m in America!”.

I think the two main aspects of the country that excite me (as with anywhere I suppose) are the land, and the people.

What can I say about the land… It’s mind boggling. The grandeur and diversity of the geography is like nothing I have ever seen before, and we barely scratched the surface having only spent a small amount of time in two neighbouring states, Oregon and California, both of which are vast in their own right. Nevertheless, we saw mountains, high desert, hills, hot springs, lava beds, forests, giant redwoods, rolling coastlines and more. But it’s the sheer scale of it that blows my mind. It just goes on, and on and on. Like Gods own amusement park… I look forward to further adventures in the future.

And then we have the people. This part is important.

Growing up with all of the positive innovations and contributions coming out of American arts and science has been a good experience for me. But I was always aware of a certain disdain for Americans themselves. This served as the negative counterpoint to all that was great and good. Speaking with sweeping generalisation it should be understood, there was, and still is in the world a perception of American people as being brash, arrogant, kind of shallow, self-centred and a bit xenophobic. This, I’m sad to say, is the image that was fed to me as a child, and was perpetuated somewhat by those around me as I moved into adulthood. Now, I have always been one who tends to make my own mind up about things based on my own experience. But I know, at least when I was younger, I bought the story to some degree… I refer back to what I was saying earlier about finding comfort and safety in one’s own identity. Feeling a part of one’s own people; one’s own culture. There is a shadow side to this, which I postulate can foster an unhealthy ‘us and them’ mentality. A thing that I now believe strongly to be at the root of almost all of the world’s problems in one way or another. As such, this is something we should be ruthlessly looking for ways to eradicate. But i digress, albeit only a little.

In point of fact, and in short, my own experience is very different. I find Americans to be open-hearted, infectiously positive, impressively productive, interesting, interested, life-loving people. Again, I’m generalising but there it is. I originally began to form this opinion a long time back, and for many different reasons. And lately, over the last few years through listening to podcasts. That might sound strange, so let me explain. I’m a photo nerd. A camera geek. Unabashed. And I have probably heard hundreds of hours of interviews, conversations and discussions on the subject from people inside the photography community. The vast majority of which come out of America. Through the course of time I’ve felt connected to and overwhelmingly struck by the self confident, boundlessly enthusiastic tone of what I hear.  Speaking as an Englishman who is excruciatingly aware of the downsides of our national consciousness (right my English homies? You know what I’m talking about), there’s a love and a zest for life here which is downright inspiring. So can we stop with the national stereotypes? I’m tired of it. It’s old and boring. Yeah, yeah, there’s truth in some of them, but I’d rather live in a world where we’ve stopped calling each other names and perpetuating divisions; have grown the fuck up, realised we’re all basically the same and are in this together. C’mon guys, doesn’t that sound good? Oops. I ranted. Well, some things need saying.

Which brings me to the final aspect of love I wanted to touch upon. That of love for oneself. This is a tricky one, and I’m not sure about even attempting to explain what I’m getting at in relation to this post but I’ll try. I think what it boils down to is this: We spend so much of our lives just getting by. Doing the things we ‘have’ to do on a daily/weekly basis etc, etc. In this way, we tend to forget ourselves. To forget about, or at least sideline the things that feed us. That bring us happiness, growth and the sense that we are enjoying the life we have been given. We forget, or worse, become unable to give ourselves these things. That truly sucks. I think it is another significant cause of a lot of the ills in our society. The fact that so many of us are a little bit broken inside by the demands of modern life. If we can all find ways to lessen this feeling of shelving ourselves in order to attend to our ‘duties’ I believe we will be more fulfilled individuals, and a society comprised of fulfilled people will be a more fulfilled and better functioning society. Spending time in different countries, while not for everyone, is one of the things that nourishes me. So on a certain level, I see it as an act of love. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Well my friends. I think that’s all for now. It feels good to write. For myself, as a way of bringing some order out of the undercurrents of my internal life. For others, as a means of illuminating who I really am. I’m a reclusive so-and-so, and I’m aware that though there are some people who know me well, there are many, many more who really don’t. This is of my doing, and I’m sorry for it. I intend to cultivate the courage necessary to share more. Engage more. So that we may all know one another more fully. And Caitlin. This humble piece is also for you. Thank you for the gentle nudge I needed. You did it without even knowing. You’re the best.

In honour and gratitude, and with love

Ben x

A word about the photographs (mainly for my fellow nerds). They are mostly shot on film with either the Minolta CLE + 40mm Rokkor lens, or the Canonet QL17 which also has a 40mm lens. There are few digitals mixed in, shot on the X100f and edited to blend with the film stocks.



I just got back from a week in Bulgaria, which was an interesting experience. I was based in a tiny village in the far west of the country, close to the Macedonian and Serbian borders where my mum has a little house. 

Being born, and growing up in the UK means I am most familiar with life in western Europe. I am accustomed to the general standard of living in this part of the world and it's easy to forget how things change as you go further east. Particularly today in 2017. People are poor, and life is basic in many ways. It's like stepping back in time. The rural communities still grow and preserve much their own food, tend goats and live largely hand-to-mouth. Winters are hard. I saw a lot of abandoned buildings, both large and small. And the village populations are predominantly elderly, with, I can only guess, much of the youth leaving for the larger towns and cities. Overall it was a humbling and timely personal reminder of how good we have things here in the west. It is good to get a little perspective from time to time, and to remember that so many of the things we like to complain about really are first world problems.

A week is not long but in that time I was able to explore quiet villages, the larger local town of Kyustendil, and we made a trip to the beautiful monastery at Rila which was founded in the 10th century.

From a photographic point of view it was actually quite challenging. I use small cameras and I am used to being able to blend in and not be noticed too much. Not so here. By and large I found people to be rather cagey and suspicious, and it was difficult to photograph them on the whole. There were of course some exceptions, but I often found myself reduced to 'shooting from the hip'. 

I look forward to a return trip in summertime when I expect it will have quite a different feel.

Pictures below. Click for large.




Wow. It's been virtually a year since my last post relating to film. Time flies faster than you ever think and here I am getting around to this again finally..

I've written before about how awesome digital is (seriously, very very) and yet, how I've found a return to shooting film as well to be immensely pleasing. This was covered in a previous post so I won't re-hash those words here. Suffice it to say I love it. It is such a different experience, and yields such different results that I have become quietly hooked again.

It is a MUCH slower process, particularly in the context of how my life tends to work. This is fine. It's part of what I enjoy about it, but it does mean that these posts are liable to come somewhat fewer and further between than they might. To begin with I typically shoot far more sparingly, for obvious reasons. Then there are the subsequent stages of developing and scanning, both of which may not happen immediately. Therefore it is often many weeks between loading a roll into a camera (aaah, the cameras.. That might be a subject for future posts...), and seeing the results. At this moment I have one roll developed and waiting to be scanned, one roll part-shot in one camera and another loaded, but not yet begun in another. At the time of writing, all film and cameras are of the 35mm variety. Medium format can be utterly beautiful but I am finding the size, portability and number of shots per roll of 35mm just too convenient to put down.

Due to these factors, the frames I am sharing here are not as recent as they might be. They are mostly from recent trips to Bangkok, with a few from France thrown in for good measure. Some colour, some black and white, from a variety of different films. I am developing black and white myself, but sending colour stuff to a lab. All scanning done here in the studio.

Two galleries. One colour, one B&W. See what you think..







Well shit, it's been way too long since I blogged. There are good reasons but I won't write about them. Personal family stuff. Suffice it to say, my head has been elsewhere. But it's time that changed.

I've been doing some portrait sessions at the studio recently. This is Maddy Brodrick Brooks, a very talented local singer. She came over for a couple of hours and we had fun shoot. I wanted to experiment using a small hotshoe flash inside a big modifier intended for a much larger light. Mainly just to see if the small unit had enough kick to fill a octabox and still give a nice quality of light on the subject. Short answer: Yes. As long as the working distance is close enough, no problem. Recycle time became a bit of an issue after a while but nothing that couldn't be overcome. Overall, I'm really happy. There are times when it's easier to work with small battery powered speedlights and it's good to know they will do the job if that is all that might be available.



I was recently asked to produce some publicity photographs for an interesting project in the works from these guys.. Meet Charlie and Kristian. Musical production collaborators and innovators.

After years of working in the field as employees of different companies servicing the independent record industry, both were becoming increasingly frustrated with the standard MO and status quo of this working landscape. They told me how things are routinely fragmented and inefficient in terms of the various aspects of production. A & R? Speak to this company. Distribution? Talk to that department. Photography? Maybe this, that or the other guy. Publicity? This company vs That department.. You get the picture. Kind of all over the place, with a lot of time and energy wasted in unnecessary meetings, negotiations and complications. They both took a deep breath... and quit their jobs.

Enter monoKrome music.

Their vision of a streamlined new blueprint for a refreshing way to work. Everything in-house, all aspects of the industry serviced from one place with an emphasis on efficiency and freedom from constraints. Sounds good to me, and I'm not even a musician.

The project is still in the early stages of development, but the guys wanted some images of themselves both together and individually to get the ball rolling.  

I look forward to the evolution of this exciting new company and to a continued working relationship going forward.

We had great fun working in the studio. Here are some of my favourites..

FUJI X-T1, XF56mm f/1.2R


Continuing my current pre-occupation with all things film, I thought I'd share this recent experience with some Fuji Velvia 100F.

For those who don't know, Velvia is a colour reversal slide film which when developed becomes a positive transparency, as opposed to an inverted negative. It is known for its fine grain and saturated colours. Sadly, it has now been discontinued but I found a few expired rolls on Ebay some time ago. I bought them and put them away in a drawer.. for like, years. Oops, now even more expired. I think it's now somewhere around ten years out of date, but I don't have the boxes so not sure precisely. 

Well, I finally got round to shooting a roll in my old Nikon. Now, there is a rule of thumb which says you should overexpose by one stop for every ten years past it's use by date a given film might be. Ok, no problem. Only thing is, being quite a slow film to start with - 100 iso/asa, this did result in some rather slow shutter speeds under lower light conditions, meaning an increased risk of camera shake and blurry photos. I think you can see this in some of the frames but overall I'm quite pleased with how things turned out.

Being my first and only experience (so far) with this film, I was interested to see what all the fuss was about in relation to colour saturation. I knew the results I would get might be compromised in some way because of it's age, and I think that is the case. There are a couple of frames which show it nicely, but a lot of the rest seem a little flat to me. Not unpleasant, far from it, just not perhaps as saturated as things might've been.

Over all I'm happy that the film is useable. I have three more rolls of it in the fridge. All I need to do is decide where and when to use it... :)

See what you think.


Once again I've been indulging a little passion of mine.

Um.. Cameras. Yup, in case you hadn't guessed, I like cameras. If I was made a different way; if all I needed was a camera that worked. Got the job done. Ticked the box, perhaps with a couple of different lens options, then one would probably be enough (well, maybe two... think weddings and events etc).

I'm not made that way.

I love the act of photography, but I also find great pleasure in the camera itself. The object. The form. The design. The aesthetic. The history. There are so many makes and models, both past and present out there to investigate that if I don't watch myself, I'm in danger of becoming a collector. I honestly don't get bored thinking about, reading about, researching and handling these wonderful things. I know. *Geek Alert*

So, further to my little piece on the Olympus XA, here we have the Yashica Electro 35. A recent charity shop find I picked up for the princely sum of thirty quid. These cameras have somewhat of a cult following as there were so many of them made from the late 1960s and through the 1970s. I was particularly happy to find this GTN model as it was born more or less when I was so we're the same age :)

This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive review, but I will give it a brief descriptive summary.. Firstly this camera, like the Olympus, is a rangefinder. This means that focus is achieved by manually aligning a super-imposed ghost image onto the real image below in the centre of the viewfinder. See all that extra gubbins across the front there? That's all to do with how the rangefinder works, (amazing technical detail here, I know). It takes 35mm film. It has a fixed 45mm f1.7 lens which has an unusual amber coating and is pretty damn sharp when focus is nailed. It is an aperture priority camera, meaning that it is only semi-automatic/semi-manual. You pick the aperture, the camera picks the shutter speed based on a reading from its fairly rudimentary light meter. And that's it. Not a lot else to say about operation. If you really want to know more go here.

My example appeared to be working, but I couldn't be sure without running a film through it. So, below are a handful of images from the only roll I've tested so far. This, once again, is the super-cheap yet very cheerful Agfa Vista 200 which when they have it in stock I can get for a pound a pop. It's not the greatest film in the world, but it has a certain charm and for the price, I've got no complaints. See what you think of both camera and film..


Last weekend I had the chance to take my two eldest sons away in the van. Doesn't happen very often, just boys. It's a bit of a thing for a dad: Going on a little road trip with his sons, camping (van style), just being in each others company and hanging out. It ticks some kind of box which really needs to be heavily ticked more often..

To add to the package, we also caught up with some friends we haven't seen for far too long. So all in all it was a very fine weekend, albeit just a weekend.

The weather was however, as we are accustomed to it being in this dear land, a bit shite. Rain. And lots of it. But, undaunted like the true Brits we are, we ignored it and went walking on Dartmoor. Oh man. It's easy to forget that stuff is out there. So beautiful, so wild, so completely awesome. We only stayed out for a couple of hours but it filled us up (well, me anyway) with a kind of wholesome connectedness with both the people and the land around us.

That's it really. Nothing much more to say other than that. Oh, and of course I took a few pictures... :)



Whilst I was in France a couple of weeks ago, I had a fun opportunity.

My dear friend Jonty was recently asked to start shooting the cover of a local Perpignan magazine. Assuming things go well it will be a monthly gig for him. Most excellent fellow that he is; knowing that I would welcome the chance of shooting with a model, he arranged for this to take place during my visit. 

Each month there will be a loose theme for the issue cover. This month, it being cherry season in the region, it was cherries and as he has worked with her before, Jon decided to use Mélissa.

Now, this was his shoot really so I tagged along as an impromptu assistant and had the opportunity to fire off some frames of my own. A few in 'pole position' but most from the alternative perspective of a second shooter. It was a lot of fun, and a little frustrating at times, mainly because I don't speak french! 

In the end there were various different locations. First and most obvious, we went out into a cherry orchard. After that, we used the temporarily empty and freshly white painted living room of his new house which made a fine studio space. We then went outside again and, almost as an after thought we drove to a field of wild flowers just a few minutes down the road because well, rude not to really :)

It was a lovely added dimension to an already good reason to be there. I think it might happen again from time to time..





My eldest son is here for a week. This makes me happy :)

Yesterday, the weather being beautiful, we decided to jump in the car and head for the coast. We settled on a part of Devon neither of us had been to before. North coast as opposed to south. Croyde, Putsborough, Woollacombe. 

We just drove to the beach and walked. With cameras. As I've said in a previous post, Louis is mid-way through an art degree at Edinburgh. He is learning various disciplines and mediums among which photography plays an important part. So he did his thing and I did mine, and man what a joy. The simple pleasure of shared experience between father and son, safe in the knowledge that neither person will become impatient with the other as we're both in the zone and have no fixed agenda. Just following our eyes and going where things lead.

Two or three hours wandering about, followed by a good meal in a pub and then home. There should be more days like these..

FUJI X-T1 + XF35MM f1.4 AND X-PRO1 + XF16MM f1.4


Ok. Not an actual roll, this is digital. But here's what I mean..

I recently returned from a trip to France. On the morning of the last day, I went for a walk into town to pick up some bread, and I took my camera. Nothing special. Just a walk to the shops and back. I was out for about an hour. When I went through the pictures I shot, I realised there were 36. Hmm.. that's a roll of film. Which got me thinking..

As a photographer, I am often looking for simple exercises or constraints which can be used when one is uninspired or in a rut. One thing which is often suggested is to put yourself in a situation where you have one camera, one lens, one 'roll of film' and a set period of time. The aim being to get as many pictures as possible within those constraints regardless of the subject matter, or lack thereof. It can be a useful discipline and the results are often surprisingly rewarding.

Now, on the morning in question I was not thinking this way at the time. But afterwards it occurred to me that I had unwittingly done exactly that. I had gone out for an hour and shot 36 frames. This time I ended up with 20 I was happy with. Not a bad return :)

Here are the results.





Meet my little brother.

Some years ago now, Luke was living in London trying to make ends meet. The usual story.. working his ass off in order to just stand still. Drinking evenings and weekends, putting on weight and slowly but surely becoming less and less satisfied with life.

Then, disillusioned with that particular treadmill, he flew to Asia for a break. Starting off with a few weeks in India, his road led him ultimately to Thailand.  He fell in love. With everything. The climate, the culture, the people - everything. By the time his visa had run out he had decided to find a way to go back as soon as possible, to stay. Life back in London held little to no appeal any more and he was determined not to get sucked back into the trap. 

He did it. 

That was a good ten years ago. He is now married, living in Bangkok and is well on the way to becoming a successful personal trainer. He eats healthily, drinks rarely and is studying a mixture of different martial arts along with Thai language. He trains daily and has become a well known and liked 'Farang' in his local community.


I am very proud of him and what he has achieved. The world needs more people who have the courage and tenacity not to accept the hand they've been dealt, and to carve out the life they actually want. It also means I have somewhere to stay in Bangkok ;-)

'Course, the downside is that I now only see him occasionally.

But right now he is here! He and his wife have come to stay for three whole weeks and I couldn't be happier. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to shoot some long overdue photos of him in the new studio. 

Particularly for those who know him... Enjoy.




Well, it's a funny old world..

I shoot digital and I love it. No two ways. The technology available to us today is fantastic, and it just keeps on getting better. It's astonishing, and my only gripe is: I wish that camera manufacturers would actually slow down. An updated model every five or six years would be about right.  As it is, it's pretty much yearly and it's nuts.

Of course, I am of an age whereby any early explorations and experiences with photography for me necessarily took place using film, a long time before the advent of digital. When I was a kid I was lucky enough to have a dear family friend living in our attic, developing and printing Cibachromes and other colour processes. I can still remember the sheer magic of being invited into the darkroom and watching gorgeous rich colour images being brought to life through a soup of noxious chemicals. I myself dabbled with black and white printing whenever I got the opportunity to use someones darkroom, but many years passed before I truly embraced the photographic medium. By then digital had well and truly arrived, and for a long time now it has been my day to day bread and butter...

Then one day I was reading an article extolling the virtues of the Olympus XA (pictured above.. see the digital goodness of that shot? mmmm... oops sorry I digress). A tiny, compact rangefinder camera originally released in 1979. '..oooh I remember those!' It is essentially an aperture priority camera. You choose the aperture and the camera works out the shutter speed. Focus is achieved by way of a split screen rangefinder patch in the viewfinder, and the f/2.8 Zuiko lens was apparently renowned for its sharpness and contrast. I got hooked. 'Hmm, how would it be to play with film again..?' So I went straight onto Ebay and snagged one for cheap. Coupled with a few rolls of film I managed to find for a pound a pop, yes one pound! I had a tiny inexpensive film based set up, light enough for a jacket pocket. There are the associated costs of developing, but again, I found a lab where I can get a roll done for three quid. My good friend (Dave Watts top geezer) has graciously offered me the use of his scanner... Let the fun commence.. :-)

I have only put one roll through it so far but here are my findings:


After years of shooting digital, the experience of being constrained by a roll of film is strangely refreshing. Because there is no way of seeing what you're getting, you are forced to slow down. Waaaaay down. You want to make each frame count so it really makes you look, think and question whether or not to press the shutter.

The quality. This is where, for me, it gets interesting. Having become so used to the nature of a digital file, I had begun to overlook how utterly gorgeous an image shot on film can be. There is a richness of tone and a level of dynamic range which I had almost forgotten existed. Add to that the grain which film emulsion necessarily yields, and you have a very specific look which gives a much more organic feel than a digital file. And this is all from a little compact camera loaded with very cheap 35mm film. Imagine what you can get out of a medium format set up... Drool.

And, the magic. It's just, well.. like magic. I feel a bit like a kid again. It's hard to put into words, but knowing what's going on inside that little black box when you press the shutter and make an exposure brings me joy. It's chemical man. It's analog. It's old school. And it changes things. In a good way.

So, this is just a start. I foresee a lot more film passing through my workflow. Fortunately I already have an old Nikon SLR for more versatile 35mm work, and a Bronica SQ-A for medium format. Hurrah!

For now, see what you think of these initial frames. Click for large.





My eldest son Louis has grown and flown, and I couldn't be prouder. He has just begun a degree at Edinburgh College of Art, part of Edinburgh University. He's twenty years old and it's so wonderful to see the twin worlds of possibility and opportunity opening up before him. I myself never went to university in the traditional sense, much less art college with all its fantastic resources and shared motivation... Everything I know, I have essentially taught myself. Whilst there is a certain satisfaction in that, it is a long and sometimes lonely road. Part of the problem is that I only worked out that I needed to be a photographer a handful of years ago.. 

If I had my time again would I do things differently? Perhaps.. perhaps. But now I get to watch my boy walking a path which I hope will set him up with stronger foundations than I gave myself, and enable him to build the life and career he wants with more efficiency and success than I have. If our children learn from our mistakes and evolve past the point of their parents, then all is right with the world.

The name 'Auld Reekie' comes from the old scots meaning 'Old Smokey' and refers to the days when there were so many hearth fires burning, the city was permanently covered by a haze of smoke and it has always stuck in my mind. I've had a life-long connection with Edinburgh. My aunt, uncle and cousins always lived there. Sadly, my uncle died a few years ago and one cousin has moved away (Paul, you are missed) but it was good to visit again with such a new and fresh purpose. To re-visit old haunts and to catch up with family (Sara, thanks again for giving up your bed). Being shown around by my own son was a special feeling and strengthened the sense of pride I have in watching him grow in confidence and independence.

The three days I was there were (not surprisingly for Scotland in November) - cold. The sun was winter-low and it was dark by 4.30pm. It made for a lot of bright contrast, dark shadows and fleeting daylight hours. After a good bit of strolling about town visiting the college, the library and miscellaneous places of interest, we discovered that a short half-hour train ride away is the small coastal town of North Berwick. It provided a nice counterpoint to the city centre...

Grow well Louis. Exciting times :)

Click for large.


 FUJI X100




Last weekend I was asked to photograph the pumpkin festival held at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the new contemporary art gallery on the edge of town. London. Zurich. New York. Bruton... Yep, still coming to terms with that one. I grew up in London and am no stranger to cosmopolitan cultural diversity, but I kind've left all that behind some years ago when I moved to Somerset. Living in Bruton is a very different experience to the big city. Not better. Not worse. Just very different. But we now have an enormous cutting edge art space right on our doorstep. Cool :)

The Pumpkin Festival was a community event, with food, music, competitions and childrens activities. My job was to document the day and deliver a number of photographs to be used for publicity purposes on their social media platforms.

I enjoyed the day and came away with a number of pictures I am actually pretty pleased with.

Since the bulk of images were, as intended, shot for H&W to promote the event, I will keep to just a few detail shots which I ended up liking.

Click for large. Enjoy.