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... :)



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.




A few weeks back I was asked by Jack Price to shoot some production stills for the short film he is making as part of his Youth Cinema Foundation project.

The conversation went something like this:

"...We're shooting on location at Cothay Manor. Do you know it?"

"Umm.. No."

"Near Wellington. It's one of the most well preserved 15th century Manor Houses in the country. They shot Wolf Hall there. We've got it for the whole day. There'll be a bunch of teenagers dressed in period costume doing scenes for the film in various settings. What do you think? Is that something you could make time for?"

"Er.. YEP. OK."

No brainer. Not the sort of opportunity that comes knocking at the door every day.

I am a natural documentarian. One of my favourite things to do is to tell a story or portray an event using pictures, with the onus on attention to detail. I'm not fussy about the subject matter. It could be anything from the lowly and mundane to the most lavish and out of the ordinary - or anything in between. But I'll be honest: When it's something like this, it's a treat.

Working with Jack is always fun. He is a powerhouse of energy and creativity. His experience and enthusiasm are infectious, and he is adept at conjuring up scenarios you'd think would be next to impossible, out of nothing. His Youth Cinema Foundation is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain rare experience and insight into an industry which would normally be shrouded in mystery for those of their age group. Instead of fetching and carrying and 'making the tea', these kids are learning to act, direct and to use camera and sound equipment. All hands on. Very little watching from the sidelines. It is a pleasing thing to witness.

For myself, I got to engage in one of the activities I like best, with the added bonus of being surrounded by the authentic trappings of a fascinating bygone era. You could say I had a good day.

The premier of the film 'Shaftesbury's End' will screened on June 26th at Hauser and Wirth Somerset.

Cothay Manor Shoot-100.jpg