Thursday, 31 March 2016

Alien Landscape

Here are some shots from my most recent personal work, Alien Landscape. To view all, CLICK HERE!

I recently went down to Devon for the weekend, and visited all our family's old beach haunts. Now, I've been to these beaches millions of times in my life - ever since I was very little - and have taken millions of photographs. I know them like the back of my hand. However, this time was different. I saw them differently. Recently, I've been getting into abstract and alien styles of work, such as artists like Filip HodasAlison Johnson and Slime Sunday. It was through the influence of these artists, (plus an absolute love for the beautiful, yet warped and experimental music of Baths - Favourite songs are currently 'Heart' & 'Maximalist') that when I went to my past-time beaches, I began to see them as alien lands. I had Interstellar in mind, and imagined myself in another world, on another planet, and photographed the natural forms accordingly.  

From these images, my three planets were born: Cochineal, Cerulean & Concretion. Imagine, if you will, that the images are taken on other planets, the shots used as records for the unexplored worlds. 

Come to think of it, this particular series is like an updated version of the incredibly popular Natural Forms post I made years ago (to date it has had 23,920 views!). Beware when viewing though, the photography is very old!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Charlie Steeds

These images were taken back around November for an interview I was working on for a magazine called 'Divergence'. The theme of the magazine was diverse people, so each of the team members chose someone to photograph who would be of interest. I went with young horror director and owner of Dark Temple Motion Pictures, Charlie Steeds. I had shot with Charlie a couple of times before, along with gorgeous model Charlotte Roest-Ellis (shoots can be found HERE and HERE - Brace yourself, the photography's old!). This time though, instead of a film noir theme, I had to convey Charlie's personality through just a couple of portraits. So what did we do? Fake blood and scary faces! What else?

I actually tried out a couple of cover layouts for the mag with the first image, and here is my favourite:

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

How did you get into horror then?

Well, the first little script I tried to do was crime. I mean… I was really, really into horror at the time, when I started making movies at fourteen. I think you see it in other filmmakers, you see it in the big famous filmmakers like Spielberg, where they try to recreate the movies that they loved in their childhood - because that's when filmmaking really captures your imagination. You get the bug. So, I was really into horror at that time. I used to actually be far too scared to watch any horror stuff, all the way up until I was about thirteen, probably. I would not watch anything, like, just adverts for horror films would give me nightmares.

No way! I can’t even imagine. 

I’d cry! When me and mum were watching a film called God's End with Robert Deniro - It's only probably a 12 certificate, I can't remember - but we were watching that when she was pregnant so I would have been twelve, and I literally just burst into tears at this vague scarey bit! At twelve you think you’d be over that.
But I always had a fascination of scary stories, spooky stories... that sort of thing. All growing up I loved spooky stories and I think that reaction to something scarey, that's what I like about horror. What I like about being a filmmaker is that you're playing with such a strong reaction that some people can have to film. So at that time, I was just really into horror. I tried to make a crime film because I'd been inspired to make movies by watching Reservoir Dogs, and I literally watched it and thought ‘I have to make a movie, right now!’. So that's what I did, I started planning it straight away. I made all the phone calls on that day, as soon as I finished watching. But… that’s a really violent movie, that’s probably why I have so much violence in my films, so much blood. It's because that film had such an impact on me. But then The Sinners - my first film - that was more like a David Lynch inspired thing. I was super, super into David Lynch at that time - nightmares and dreams and surrealism, those sorts of things. And then it was really after that that I started steering more into horror stuff. But everything is always dark because that's just what I love.

Any favourite movies besides Reservoir Dogs?

I’d say my favorite movie is Donnie Darko (the director's cut). Only the director's cut because the other version isn't so good. I love it because every single character in it, you get to know everyone in the whole neighbourhood of that film, there's maybe 40 characters. Even though some of them only get one sentence or one tiny bit of screen time, you just know exactly who each character is, even just the way they're dressed or the thing they say… You know exactly who those characters are, and you just get such a vivid picture of that neighborhood that their in. And like, the most important lesson for any filmmaker or any writer to learn, is that the characters make the script, that's what makes the movie, so that’s probably why I love that film so much. And their David Lynch elements in the freaky rabbit and the dreams… It's one you can think about, it plays with the narrative and your mind.

Charlie's film 'Labyrinthia' is about to be distributed in US/Canada and second feature 'Escape From Cannibal Farm' is going into production this summer for an early 2017 release.

Check out Charlie's Youtube and website for trailers, behind the scenes and film segments!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bristol Symphony Orchestra

Introducing the brand new Bristol Symphony Orchestra!

I recently got commissioned to shoot with the Bristol Symphony Orchestra, a brand new orchestra beginning to make its name in Bristol. The brief I was given for the shoot was for it to be fun, so we did all sorts of funny things from fencing with the conductor and current leader, to obscuring the players faces with the instruments, to a three musketeers shot and to violinists using their bows as swords and violins as shields! It was hilarious!

Not only are they a lovely, friendly bunch of people, but I've heard them rehearsing and it sounds fantastic!

Their first ever concert will be the High Sheriff, performed at Bristol's St George's on the 18th Of June 2016 - 7.30 pm. For more details on their other up-and-coming concerts, CLICK HERE or visit their website.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Holocaust Memorial




The Holocaust Memorial (or Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe, Berlin, Germany) was something that I'd been wanting to see for ages. I had no idea what an impact it would have though. There were no words to properly describe the way it made me feel, other than I found it awe inspiring and horrific. Spectacular and sickening. As I walked round, I had these mixed feelings of just... being absolutely amazed by the stunning architecture of the structure, and at the same time being terrified of getting lost in the towering concrete maze. It really hammered home the gravity of the holocaust, the amount of lives lost and the fear and confusion that those affected must have felt.

The museum below the structure was... amazing. It really was. Reading the information there, the whole span of the ghastly event over the years, the letters or quickly scribbled notes of those before they died, the whole families involved and who survived, what each concentration camp had been designed for... Just, heartbreaking. Really heartbreaking. I couldn't (and of course, no one else could) conceive how humans could have done this. How people were turned against just because of their faith. I mean, we still have these problems today, but not on such a colossal, all-at-once scale. I was left with a feeling of heaviness and sadness as the gravity of what happened properly sunk in. 

When you come out, you walk back up to the surface and immediately find yourself in the middle of the concreate maze. You feel nervous, belittled by the towering structures and completely lost as you try to find your way back out to the road. 

It is a beautiful and breathtaking way of conveying something through art and I strongly, strongly advise everyone to see it at some point in their lives!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Berlin 2016




I'd always wanted to go to Germany, mainly because I studied the language at school and wanted to try my hand at conversing. Finally, two weeks ago, I got the chance to go to Berlin!

The trip flew by and mostly consisted of exhibitions, sightseeing and snow! Honestly I was greatly excited when I woke up one morning to find a blanket of white outside - never thought I'd see it again!

An anecdote - As part of our sightseeing adventure, me and a friend sought out the Berlin Victory Column. It was beautiful! But once there, we realised that in the middle of the roundabout where the column was, there was people! We wanted to go over there too and take photos, but with no crossings anywhere to be seen, we couldn't for the life of us work out how people had crossed the roundabout to get to the island! The roundabout was huge, dangerous and ridiculously treacherous to even try crossing. That being said, we couldn't see how else to get across, so we went for it. We almost got run over several times and beeped at many, found ourselves standing in a lane and had to dodge out of a taxi's way... It was stressful to say the least. 
Anyway, we managed to get to the island alive and began taking pictures. Whilst I was photographing though, my eye caught what looked like an underground passageway on the island floor. I wondered whether it was the entrance to a station, and then joked with my friend that the underground passage was actually how you were supposed to get across to the island. 

....Yeah, it turned out that this was actually the case.