Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Usually we stay at home, have a quiet night in and watch Jools Holland on the box. This year we are braving the cold and rain and heading up to London to see the fireworks and ring in the new year in the shadow of Big Ben! Whatever you do, a very Happy New Year to all of you! I hope this years brings you all that you wish!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Kiss for Hallowe'en...

Happy Hallowe'en to everyone. I hope you won't be too frightened tonight...

As it is the dark season, and I like taking dark photographs. Here is one based on an old Dracula movie poster.... Enjoy and thanks to Catherine for being such a convincing vampire!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Shooting The Past... Part 3

I was saving the best until last. This old MG was definitely my favorite car on a recent shoot. Everything about this old car says class, style, and distinction. What a beauty!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Shooting the Past... Part 2

Inspector Morse and Downton Abbey, this is what I thought when I first saw this Jaguar and the Rolls Royce.

Another world... enjoy...

I can imagine Inspector Morse driving through the streets of Oxford. I first saw the TV detective in the 80's and it portrayed to me what i thought was the quintessential English City; Oxford. 

It was a pleasure to shoot these cars, thought the Jag was a bit tricky. I was limited on space for the detail shots, but it was worth it in the end.

The Rolls was even trickier, its all angles and chrome, but what a Lady! This car just screams Downton Abbey!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Jerry Hall, a Tuba and some graffiti...

We had a blast down in Brighton last week with a photowalk organised by my good friend Glyn Dewis. A great photographer who is always ready to give to the community at large, go and see his work here... you can also see the excellent results of the competition he ran during the day. Well done to those deserving winners!

I was lucky enough to bump into Ms Jerry Hall...

An interesting Tuba Player...

And Brighton must be the capitol of the graffiti world; it is everywhere and very good too! 

A big thanks to Glyn for organizing a great day out and to James for being a great guide to Keith and myself!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay... Windsor

Its not everyday that the Olympic games come around, actually it's every four years... But it's a once in a lifetime event when it comes to where you live. How could I miss out on this. The Olympic Torch is continuing its relay all around the country and this week, last Tuesday, it visited Windsor. I took a late look, grabbed my camera and set out to find a vantage point along the Long Walk in the shadow of Windsor Castle.

When I first came to these shores, compared to the Irish weather, I thought it was tropical over here!  Well I must be getting acclimatized after all these years; it was cold and raining. Reminded me of home.

What a great sight it was to see the flame that embodies the Spirit of The Games! I can't wait for them to start!

The crowds that braved the elements were fantastic! There was an Army Brass Band, a choir, rides for children and of course the usual trinket touts.

Roll on the Games, I am one of the lucky ones with tickets!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rules.... Not for me... really?

I am not one for rules, especially when it comes to my photography. I like to be spontaneouse, edgy and sometimes rules get in the way of that.

And heres the '...but'...

One of the first thing that a photographer is thought is the 'rule of thirds'. You know what it is... basically, split a frame up horizontally and vertically into thirds and where the line intersect you get the 'perfect' composition. Yeah, right.

Well, maybe, because I recently spent a week in Devon, and the one day we didn't get a downpour of water from the heavens, we spent an afternoon at Lyme Regis and I took a few shots. And this one stood out. Perfect example of the rule of thirds... it was also a grab shot.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Shooting The Past... Part 1

Some projects are more fun than others... and that's saying a lot because for me, all photographic projects are great fun. Way back in February, Wendy asked me to photograph her husband, Nick's pride and joy... not one, but a whole collection of classic cars!

Well I couldn't refuse! So I didn't! There was only one catch, it had to be a secret, and so for months there was a hive of activity going on behind the scenes. And we had to arrange for a driver for the day, get the cars washed and ready, sustenance... the odd cup of coffee and maybe a biscuit or two. You can imagine the planning that went into it.

Here are some of the shots...

The E Type...

The Fiat Bambino...

A big thanks to John for being a patient driver, Trisha for coffee and moral support, John's wife Carol for a wonderful lunch and to Hilary And Belinda cleaning the cars! You guys made my job so much easier!

Enjoy... more to follow...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Telling Tales...

When I was growing up in Dublin, it was a big treat to go to the movies. Back then, in the Seventies it was movies like Jaws, Star Wars, Enter The Dragon, the list could go on and on... that captured my attention. I was able to lose myself in the story, I would identify with the main character and always save the girl! I was always hooked by the fantastic posters! The colours, the way images blended into one another, amazing.


I have always been into stories, either watching movies or reading books. As I have said before, one photograph is not enough for me; I have to take 3 or 4 and I always want it to tell a story. Often this means literally 2 or 3 photographs. A great example of this is the amazinphotographer Duane Michels, he manages to tel quirky and interesting stories with his pictures. He often presents them in the wrong order and the story is totally different!


Getting back to what I like to do; it has become easier since I joined NAPP, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. The learning I have had in the last six months has been phenominal, and coupled with the great books produced by Kelby Media, I now have the skills to produce my own 'movie' posters. The tell little stories that I have in my head... Enjoy

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Axminster... where they make the carpets...

We recently had a fantastic family holiday in Devon at Spiller's farm in Musbury, near Axminster. We stayed in a cottage attached to a small farm. What a great time we all had! It rained quite a bit, but that didn't dampen the holiday spirit. We really enjoyed the country living for the week and Keith and Bridget, the cottage owners were brilliant. A big thank you there!

On one of the afternoons, I think it was Bank Holiday Monday, we had had a busy morning and Mrs H and I managed to escape for a few hours, so we headed into Axminster. I had always wanted to see the River Cottage Canteen, this is the town its in.

Anyway, after a 15 minute drive we got there. And the place was deserted. I was so surprised. This was 4 o'clock in the afternoon! So I took some photographs. the way I have always wanted to take them; townscapes with little or no one in the shots. I must be honest, I hear you shout, just get up early and you will get these shots! I don't do that early! Anyway, here are the shots.... enjoy


Information on Spiller's Farm can be found here....a truly wonderful place to stay for a holiday!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Nights At The Movies...

If you are like me, you love the thrill of going to the cinema. I look forward to losing myself in a film; its a great way of stepping out of everything for a few hours and cheap therapy too!

I have always wanted to tell stories with my photography; one shot is never enough for me I have to take enough to get over the meaning. So I decided to try something a little different; Movie Posters.

This is the first one, is based on the movie I haven't seen the film, but I was bowled over by the poster, I just had to have a go at recreating it for a fictional film called 'A Different Kind Of Tension'.

A different Kind Of Tension,
the finished poster

There are four shots in this poster, of the models, Annie and Elan.


I originally shot this photograph of Annie with a burlesque theme in mind. I had previously played around with the shot using a technique that Corey Barker set out in his book Photoshop Down and Dirty tricks for Designers. This is a great book, do not hesitate to buy it!

Annie and Elan

The next shot was again a burlesque type shot in a sort of Jack Vettriano style. (Vettriano is a fantastic artist, his paintings are full of drama and often a bit risque!) This formed the main shot.

Elan and Annie

We then have the two head shots at the side. All the shots were done in studio against a white background that has come out grey because of the way the lighting was arranged. This made it easier to remove the background later. This was part of the #curryclub shoot in December last year, and while I didn't shoot it with this poster idea particularly in mind, I knew I was going to use the shots together somehow or other.

None of this would have been possible had I not been badgered, cajoled and all but threatened with grievous bodily harm by my good friends Dave Clayton, and Glyn Dewis who finally coerced into joining NAPP, the national Association of Photoshop Professionals. For $99, about £65 you get a years membership, an amazing magazine (I think its 10 a year) and access to amazing learning in the members section of the NAPP website. Click on the link below for more information. There are also lots of deals on, I chose the bonus of all the back issues of the magazine for 2010. Bargain. I haven't regretted it for a minute.

Where everyone learns Photoshop - National Association of Photoshop Professionals