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52 Photo Tips Part One: Tips 1 to 13

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(Pic: Nicola Perantoni/Pexels)

Since January, I’ve been writing a series of film photography tips in collaboration with the wonderful Film’s Not Dead.

Film is undergoing something of a renaissance after a decade or so of decline, and many people are turning to it that were too young to use it the first time around.

If you’ve missed any, you can review all the tips so far in the first part of the series – from why you should always have black and white film on you, to why you should try cross-processing slide film and always keep a notebook with you.

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52 Photo Tips #14: Experiment with expired film

A tunnel dome in Greenwich, London, shot on massively expired Konica R100 slide film bought in Istanbul

This is the 14th article in a series in collaboration with Film’s Not Dead.

Film isn’t dead, but in recent years its ranks have been dramatically thinned.  A select bunch remain, but it pales in comparison to what used to be on offer.

Just over a decade ago, you could have walked into a decent camera store and chosen from dozens of different kinds of still film, all of which have been discontinued. Kodak Gold 100, the staple of summers in the sun. Agfa Ultra, the super-saturated colour film made famous by Magnum photographer Martin Parr. Kodak’s Ektachrome slides, the film that had captured decades of discovery in the pages of National Geographic. Fuji Press. Konica VX. Ferrania Solaris. Dozens of other names that have slipped into obscurity.

But they haven’t completely disappeared. A decade after many of them were discontinued, they can still be found on auction sites like eBay. And expired film can create images that look completely different to their fresh counterparts.

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Up close and personal with the Airbus A380

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Two of the great benefits of being a journalist is that you can sometimes combine your interests with work. And being a journalist, you can sometimes gain access to areas that are usually out of bounds to the average person.

Since a kid, I’ve been fascinated with aircraft. When I was growing up on a farm in New Zealand, my walls were covered in aircraft posters and my desk and chest of drawers packed with Airfix models. Part of my desire to become a journalist was this love of aircraft, and in my first few years as a reporter I covered all sorts of aviation stories.

A few decades later, I’ve found myself in a job where that childhood interest in positively indulged. I work for BBC Future, one of the BBC’s science and technology sites, and aviation is one of our core subjects. A fantastic opportunity to accompany one of our columnists, Jack Stewart, on a trip to London’s Heathrow Airport and get up close and personal with the world’s biggest airliner, the Airbus A380.

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52 Photo Tips #13: Try medium format

frame-sizesThis is the 13th in the 52 Photo Tips series in association with Film’s Not Dead.

Jumping from 35mm to 120 can at first be a bit daunting. Larger negatives mean less frames to play with, a different ratio, and a range of cameras to choose from. We’ll show you a few of our favourite medium format cameras that you could start with.

When looking for your first medium format camera take your time in choosing, try the cameras out, go to camera shops and hold it in your hands.

Medium format means medium sized film that is inbetween 35mm and large format. 120 film is 6cm in height and the amount of images per roll varies depending on the camera format; 6×4.5 (16 frames), 6×6 (12 frames), 6×7 (10 frames), 6×8 (nine frames), 6×9 (eight frames), and so on even some up to 6×17 (four frames).

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Soundcheck Sessions: Buffalo Tom, Ghent, 2007

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Shooting soundchecks makes you work creatively with light. It’s rare to find the stage flooded with light. Instead, you have to make the most of those isolated pool of light, and use them to your advantage.

Often that’s from one of the house lights, shining down on the musicians or their equipment. But not always.

Shooting Iron and Wine back in 2006, I framed Sam Beam in front of the hard, bright light of a projector beaming it’s blinding glare from the mixing desk. And on tour with Buffalo Tom a year later in Belgium, The back of the stage presented another dramatic scene.

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