So its War!! I'm off to the Battlefield!!...

 Just how many of the enemy I took down with my sealant gun, I really don't know, but I had fun doing it. This was just a lighting test, and also a chance to play a little with photoshop. I don't often have the time or patience to work on my photoshop skills outside of the accepted practice of levels/sharpen/colourbalance etc.. at work.

Sometimes I take my work too seriously, yet those who know me well are well aware that I will often play the fool. Its a way of getting through it all and keeping a smile on my face.

This week I met a ww2 veteran who also had a smile on his face. A lovely man who was more than happy to let me photograph him over and over again. There was a charm about him I really wanted to capture while I had the chance.

We sat and chatted about how he had recently visited the place where he had helped build a bridge over the river Rhine for Allied tanks to cross during 1945. He showed me a photograph of  himself stood in a museum next to a jeep like the ones he used to drive. I really enjoyed listening to his stories and could have chatted with him for hours.

I've got lots more to post, but I'm just keeping this one simple, so keep tuning in for more episodes of G.I. (general idiot) Joe!!

A Varied Diet...

(Originally posted 21/10/09, but blogger went mental...)

What a crazy day...

Firstly I photograph a cheque presentation. Pretty normal you might say...except this cheque was for £25,000 from a company called DONG (insert your own joke here). Then I was office bound for a while sticking stickers on photos for a window display.
After that it was time to get paid for carving pumpkins. "WooHoo!!" you shout, but its a lot harder when you're trying to film and photograph a "how to" guide to pumpkin carving, something I haven't done in years!

The whole process took longer than had been anticipated, so we got in trouble with the boss.
Then I'm doing a feature about 3 generations of a family genetically prone to cancer.

After this its time to drive 20 odd miles down country roads, park up, walk up to a tent in a wood, get told to walk to a set in the 3rd muddy field on the right...about a mile of 'muddy walking with a hole in my shoe' later I arrive on set to photograph a scene from a short film staring actress Vicky McClure (from 'This is England' etc) called Just Before Dawn.

(Vicky McClure and Andy Bates in 'Just Before Dawn')

A lot of standing around waiting for some action (insert own joke here...Ian), but it was nice to be doing something really different.

...I guess this was a good day at work. What do they say? Variety is the spice of life!

The specs....

The first public siting of the specs... I think they make me look handsome.

Of course, I could be wrong.

I'll tell you what I did here sometime...maybe tomorrow.

Varied diet...

See above for 'Varied Diet...' post. Blogger went all crazy on me. Comments here refer to above blog.

Going mobile

Im writing to you from the confines of my mobile phone, or cell as you americans might call it. So it wont be a long one. im not the geekiest of people when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of modern technology. i got a little overwhelmed about 5 years ago, lost interest for a while and then got completely left behind.

now, using my thumbs to fumbley tap a qwerty keyboard on a touch sensitive screen that doubles as a cordless telephone, i can communicate with the whole world because of wifi connecting my mobile to a wireless router which connects me with the world wide web through the copper wires of my landline!

as i quickly approach my 29th birthday, its astonishing to think that most of the technology mentioned above that we all take for granted didnt exist before i was born.

even more startling is the speed in which digital photography is moving. it doesnt seem 2 minutes since nikon released the D3, now we have the D3s. i wonder where camera tech will be by the time i get my paws on a D3s?..

You wouldn't hit a man in glasses, would you?....

Today was looking like it was gonna be a good day. Things in the morning went quite smoothly, photos were looking alright, nothing too hideous. Then in the afternoon I had to have my first of the company's bi-annual eye test, which must mean I've been here two years now, which in itself is a scary thought!
Now, being a photographer, my sight is quite important to me. I've always been blessed with good sight, so I wasn't too panicky at the thought of the test.
Firstly I nearly walked into the wrong opticians, which would have been a bit of a mr.magoo moment. Then, I climbed into the optician's chair which was a bit like the mastermind chair, black leather, big arms, high back. After lots of showing off, like reading the bottom line forwards with one eye then backwards with the other, she declared my long distance vision was excellent. "Tell me something I don't know!" I thought.... So she did.

"You have a slight astigmatism in your left eye" she said. "Yeah?, well you got a big nose!" I thought, but decided not to start up a slagging match. "I'm gonna prescribe you with some glasses for VDU use and reading" she added....."I'm sorry, I could have sworn you said something about glasses"......"Yes. For when you are using a computer monitor or when you're reading" she said. "But I don't wear glasses!" I thought... Oh, the horror!

I guess I'll get used to them... The good news is work will be paying most of the bill. I'll let you know how I get on with them when I pick them up next week.

Back in the office while still recovering from the shock of the opticians, I get sent out to another road accident. They seem to come in groups, like buses. None for ages, then a whole load happen in close proximity. I don't really enjoy doing these jobs, its just one part of being a press photographer. But its not often I actually get someone in my face shouting at me to delete the images I just took of his family members in the crashed car, calling me a sicko and threatening me...

Its not nice, and no amount of reasoning with him was going to get it through to him that it was part of my job, I don't enjoy it, and there was no way in hell I was going to delete any images. Rule number 1 - never delete anything. Nobody has the power to force you to delete anything (not by law anyway - they could take your camera by force and do it themselves, but then they would be in the poo legally). He started to yell at a police officer to make me delete the images (which they can't actually do) and they just asked me to leave, which I happily agreed to do. While leaving, I turned around and got a final shot of the scene. I don't mind telling you I was a bit shook up at being threatened like that. I stayed professional throughout and was complimented by my boss for doing so, I guess thats all I could do...

Anyone had an experience like that? Leave me a comment.

Storm in a teapot...

Well... another day, another dollar. 2 more reception classes this morning, and 2 jobs involving mayors opening something ( jam jars and other uninteresting paraphenalia :p). Seriously, the paper could have sent a poorly trained chimp to do the mayor jobs, paid him in bananas, and saved themselves a load of cash!...For heavens' sake don't give them that idea though!! I'll go to work tomorrow to find a suit-wearing hairy monkey sitting in my chair staring perplexingly at the instamatic duct-taped to his hand; face shaved like a human as to not scare the kiddies.

It's on days like this that I have to remind myself that most people go to work and complete menial tasks everyday of the year with only financial reward to look forward to. There are days when I have to do exactly the same, but a lot of the time I'm actually being paid to do something really interesting, with opportunities to go interesting places, meet interesting people and be creative. I try not to take this for granted...

I've become a Twitt... isn't that what you call someone who Twitters? Doe's one Twitter or Tweet?!? It's all a bit new to me, but I'm getting used to it slowly. Anyone got any pointers for me I'd be glad to hear from you guys.

I bet you all wanna see a picture, eh? I'll see what I can find for ya...

(Mad Hatter's tea party...this could very easily have been me today)

(These were done at a summer camp for little ones...this day's theme, as the smart ones among you may have already guessed, is Alice in Wonderland)

I shot these a couple of months ago now, back in the days of summer. See? Sometimes I don't even use flash! Shock, Horror!! :p

On my way back to the office a saw a car being overtaken by a speeding hearse. He was really shifting! I dunno, maybe someone was late for the grave. "Come on driver, I can't be late for my own funeral!"....on that note, I think I'll leave it there for today :P

Tune in next time for more ramblings of a twisted mind...