Seaview Regatta 2014

I was given the fortunate opportunity this year to produce a series of images to hang as prints in the restaurant at the Seaview Hotel on the Isle of Wight.

With the help of the hotel we decided that it would be appropriate to cover the Seaview Regatta. This is it's 139th year so represented the village, it's history and culture both past and present.

I wanted the images to have a timeless quality, though it's something that seems to be a thread running through much of my recent work and thought process, it seemed particularly apt for this subject.

I must admit that I went into the project with little knowledge of the regattas history and was a little surprised and pleased to find it ran over 3 days and included diving, rowing, swimming, beach races, sailing and an infamous "greasy pole" event.

My job was to produce a body of work that condensed all that activity, culture and history into 11 images for the hotel.

I hope they convey the sense of community, camaraderie, history and culture that I had the privilege to experience.

I need to thank the Seaview Hotel, particularly Tracey for her support, trust and the opportunity, Seaview Yacht  Club, the regatta organisers and the people of Seaview for their help and participation.


Feral Fasciation.

So while enjoying a perfectly timed affogato, (ice cream and espresso not a ballet move), I noticed this Agapanthus with a fasciated stem emerging from a costal garden gone pleasantly feral. I've noticed quite a lot of fasciated plants this year, not sure why. 

I was drawn to photographing it because I loved the line of the stem and emerging extra flower head from the soft bracken and ocean background.

Green wet fingers.

Curator of Ventnor Botanic Garden, the militant, hand grenade defying, world record breaking Chris Kidd successfully hybridised and geminated seed of giant Amazonian waterlilies this year. Seen here potting the first seedling.

For a more in depth information about the process go here

Magnolia eventuality

For some years I've been trying to capture the display of Magnolia Campbellii at Ventnor Botanic Garden.

Every year I've tried to illustrate the on mass display and every year got frustrated with myself and the results as they look like images of a lot of flowers. This, of course they are but as with most images, to convey the three dimensional world with smell, sound, temperature etc in a two dimensions the images need to be "more than".

This year started off the same way, I tried some panoramas shooting at 200mm to compress the image so the flowers would be more densely clustered, and though I imagine many people would be happy with the results they just seemed too busy for my aesthetic.

The next day was a foggy one and it struck me that I could use this to my advantage. These Magnolias originate from the Himalaya and china so I could go for a more mysterious, oriental style painting, don't try and get everything in, go for soft subtlety and feel.

Many times when photographing flowers you look for the "perfect" one, no blemishes, or torn petals but part of the beauty of these was that they fell apart so elegantly, like dying ballerinas.

I shot them again as panoramas but very close with a wide aperture to soften the feel. The resulting images are very large ranging from 10000 to 15000 pixels wide so I'll never get to truly appreciate them unless they're printed but it's satisfying to think I've got closer to capturing their perfection.

Father, Self, Son

This is a triptych that's currently hanging at the Quay Arts gallery in Newport.

It's part of a great  youth initiative by the Quay;

The brief was "Self".

I've always noticed, more so as I've got older, how I have many of my fathers mannerism, just everyday things like how he leans against the sink when washing dishes or changes gear when driving, same with my son.

I wanted to illustrate that so I gathered all three of us, set the camera up with a couple of lights in front of my parents lounge window and tethered it so we could trigger it with the mouse and could all take identical "selfies".

After processing I blended the features of all three of us in three variations using my torso... I'd worn a jumper with a specific colour to "bland out" with the background, as a constant. I was going for a hyperreal "North Korean" look, whatever that means.

It was a fun, bonding experience we all enjoyed, but it's a bit disconcerting when you drop your fathers face onto your own and it just goes "click", you're 25 years older, though I think my son got the shittiest end of the stick...

Big thanks to the Quay Arts for there continued support of the arts on the Island.


Broken and cherished.

I took some portraits of a visiting friend Alex Meyers at the weekend.

His body has been broken and half mended from being a pro skateboarder and now has become a very adept classical guitarist.

He's travelled the world with his guitar which bears the scars of being broken and mended as much as himself, he buried it once outside an airport because he couldn't afford to take it on a flight and unearthed it on his return... It's since revisited the man who made it in Mexico. Alex makes it sound beautiful.


Alex Meyers

Sunk to the nuts.

Got into the river of my childhood yesterday utilising my new wadders. 

When you put them on it feels like becoming a super hero...  you look stupid but do have an extra ability. 

This one's another "intentional camera movement" (ICM) shot, hand held, moving the camera over a 10sec exposure.


Click the image for a bigger (better) view.