Here’s Bee Inspector Charles Millar disturbing a bee’s nest. Relax, he’s doing it for the good of bee colonies nationwide. Charles works for the The Food and Environment Research Agency as an inspector in the National Bee Unit and he’s inspecting this colony for signs of disease, which you’ll be pleased to hear there were none.
I’ve never photographed a bee colony before and it was a very strange and tricky experience. I was of course dressed in the same protective clothing as Charles but the sound of a few hundred bees buzzing around your head is totally unnerving and makes it very hard to concentrate. I guess it’s an inbuilt survival mechanism, much like the sound of crying babies, you just can’t ignore the noise. My brain switched between screaming ‘run for the hills’ and making me think one of the little buggers had gotten inside my suit, which made it difficult to focus on the photography. Luckily the cold weather meant that the majority of the bees did not take flight to defend the nest from the invading inspector and photographer. Call me a cream-puff but I would not like to try that on a warm and sunny day. Charles said I was very brave for my first time, so there.
portrait of the journalist Victoria Lambert
, photographed last month for Top Sante magazine. I’m not very good with horses, in most part due to not having spent much time around them. They’re lovely looking beasts but their size makes me a little nervous.
This horsey was exceptionally well behaved even when my light-stand blew over in the wind and gave him a bit of a fright. Victoria as you can see did an excellent job of looking happy despite the near freezing temperatures, if you look closely her hand has gone a little blue. The joy of shooting for spring editions when the weather is still in full winter mode.
spent a sunny afternoon shooting a feature on Bristol cyclists last week, specifically in relation to plans being drawn up by the Bristol mayor George Ferguson. The campaign hopes to ban cars from the city centre on Sundays, which hopefully might create some sort of city cycling Mecca. I’m proud to live in such a progressive city, I moved here six years ago not knowing much about the place and now would not want to live anywhere else. Saying that, Mrs Jones and I have just bought a house in the middle of the Wiltshire darklands, but it’s still close enough to the mighty Briz Broz to call it home when I’m trying to appear stylish.
Here’s a few portraits from my day out.
The guy above is called Kai Paulden. Kai rides a bendy bike, that’s as much as I know… Unfortunately our conversation got cut short, I never found out why he rides a bendy bike, maybe he just loves a bit of heavy pedalling (I thank you).
Caitlin Morgan (above) is a keen Bristol cyclist and coincidentally a member of the Bristol Roller Derby team whom my good friend and fellow photographer Adam (Wildman) Gasson has been photographing, take a look here.
The chappy below is Charlie Oboune, manager of Mud Dock cycles, which unbeknown to me has a fantastically positioned cafe overlooking the Bristol docks and serves great Spanish food.
A couple of portraits of UK artist Ghostpoet photographed at the beautiful Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol for Nokia UK.
The weekend before the Welsh rugby team beautifully upset both England’s grand slam and six nations victory plans, I spent the afternoon at the Millennium Stadium photographing the big chief of Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis. As a big Welsh rugby fan I was more than a little excited to be shooting inside the Millennium Stadium. I almost lost my ship when we went on an unofficial tour of the Wales team changing room.
Hide and Seek
My portrait of artist Charlotte Sorapure, shot for Artist and Illustrators magazine last month. I love the consistency in colour and tone across the image. I was also hugely inspired by the Sisal flooring in Charlotte’s studio, which I’m now determined to lay on any exposed area I can in the new house.
His Judgement Cometh
A recent actor portrait taken inside the chapel attached to the Cardinal Pole School in Hackney as part of my ongoing work with Secret Cinema.
On The Esplanade
Sea mist washes over a collection of houses in Ribiera Grande on the stunning island of Santo Antao in Cape Verde.
I recently photographed Lauren Nicklinson, the daughter of right-to-die campaigner Tony Nicklinson. Mr Nicklinson sadly passed away in August having fought and unjustly lost his case in the High Court for the right to end his life through assisted euthanasia.
If I were ever to find myself in a situation through ill health or injury where life became intolerable, I would hope to have the means and the right to end my own life with dignity whilst not incriminating those who’ve helped me. Current UK law will prosecute anyone who assists another individual’s voluntary euthanasia, which to me seems deeply unfair and another sad example of religious sensibilities influencing legislation.
On a more upbeat note, It was fantastic to meet Lauren who now helps run the right-to-die campaign started by her father. I’d followed Tony Nicklinson’s case which was covered closely by the British media and I enjoyed talking about the ongoing campaign with Lauren. The portrait was shot for Grazia magazine who were looking for a happy image of Lauren to accompany a piece she’d written about the importance of good friends in difficult situations. Lauren joked that it was refreshing not to have to look as if she’s about to cry having been photographed a lot over the past three months for various publications.
I kept the portrait simple and made use of the contrasting background against the colour of the red dress. Lauren is a very bubbly person and her expression in this image matched the feel of the feature perfectly. If you are interested in the right-to-die campaign you can sign an ongoing petition started by Tony’s wife Jane here and follow the latest developments in the campaign through Tony’s twitter account which is maintained by his daughters here.
I’m incredibly lucky that my work often allows me to visit interesting places which I wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. Shooting portraits one mile underground in the South Crofty Tungsten mine in Cornwall was certainly one of those experiences. Once I’d overcome the initial panic of being in a small tunnel with thousands of tons of earth above me I did actually enjoy myself.
Conditions as you might imagine weren’t the easiest. It’s pitch black, cramped and feels as if it’s raining with all the water seeping through the rocks. I felt as if I was in an alien environment, as in literally felt that I has stumbled into a Ridley Scott blockbuster.
The men who work in this particular mine do 12 hour shifts underground, They are also, I was told, not very good at remembering to take their vitamin pills to combat the effects of zero sunlight on their bodies. This is Adrian Tremayne. Adrian came within 3 inches of running over one of my very expensive flashes in his digger, in fairness I had left it on the floor in a very dark tunnel. More images after the jump. Continue reading