photographed two heavyweights of the science world on the same day this month. Firstly Professor Peter Higgs (above) who 48 years ago first predicted the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson
, “probably the most sought-after particle in modern physics” (thanks Wiki). CERN
famously announced on 4 July 2012 that they had (experimentally) established the existence of a Higgs-like boson. I remember seeing the footage of Professor Higgs overcome with emotion at the announcement, an announcement he’d never expected to see in his lifetime. I cannot imagine how that must feel. Dedicating your work and life to a theory that you thought you’d never see confirmed and then not only excitingly witnessing the development of the technology able to test it but to also have your theory proved correct. A historic milestone that may not be bettered in our lifetime.
Sadly my knowledge of particle physics doesn’t exist, so I bought the conversation round to a more comfortable level. I asked Prof Higgs if he was aware of the Nick Cave song ‘Higgs Boson Blues’. Turns out he knows of it through his musician son but he has never actually heard it. I toyed with the idea of pulling out my phone and playing it to him but decided against it, it’s a lengthy song and I didn’t have long.
The second scientist was Dr James Watson of Watson & Crick fame, who first discovered the structure of DNA but I’ll save that portrait for another post. I feel immensely lucky to have met two of the key people who’ve shaped modern science and our understanding of the world around us.
All The Years
Recent work for Grazia magazine, shot on a sunny afternoon at Dovecliffe Hall near Burton On Trent. A feature on best friends who’ve helped each other through difficult times.
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.
Lord of the Manor
This is Tim Shorland, or Lord of the Manor of Redwick and Northwick and of Hempton and Patchwick to you and I. Tim bought manorial titles in both South Gloucestershire and close to his home in Westbury-on-Trym — for less than £10,000 in 1990. Tim’s Manorial estate is 6000 acres large around the Bristol area, which is where I photographed him near Severn Beach for The Times this week.
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.
A fun summery portrait shot for Lighter Life magazine.
spent a few hours on Friday last week being reminded of my many muscular flexibility shortcomings. Sarah (seen above) practises yoga four times a week, I try (and fail) to touch my toes four times a year.
I’ve been looking to add some sports and fitness images to my portfolio and finally got around to shooting the talented Sarah who’s a fashion model but also a superb yoga practitioner. I wanted the pics to feel light and bright but to also show off the delicate beauty of yoga in action. We were very lucky with the location having changed venues last minute, the yoga studio fitted perfectly with the vision I’d had for the images.
Here are a couple of images that caught my eye, plenty more great images to come….
Emily Patrick is known as a figurative painter, which I’ve discovered since looking it up means she paints using real object sources, therefore her paintings are representational rather than abstract. I going to start referring to myself as a figurative photographer, I do enjoy a good alliteration.
I had the pleasure of photographing Emily last month at her house and studio in Greenwich for Artist and Illustrators magazine. The bay window in the portrait above worked beautifully as a backdrop. The late afternoon sun was streaming in through the glass and dropping in a few gelled light sources from the front helped to carefully create a natural looking scene. A bright and warm portrait which complimented Emily’s sunny disposition.
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.