We spent a couple of enjoyable days at an atmospheric stately home near Oxford, to test some new techniques and find ways of telling stories with the augmented reality app Blippar.
The project was conceived as an experiment in bridging the gap between still images and moving content.
Although the images can be viewed independently, by scanning them with an augmented reality app they come to life, revealing extra layers of information.
Is it just business as usual at the Manor, or is there a more sinister undertone to the activities of the individuals?
- all the best for the New Year!
'Fantastic Beasts', J.K. Rowling's latest movie venture opens today, and Entertainment Weekly have produced a special magazine edition to celebrate. I contributed some images that were shot a few years ago on the set of Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows.
The sets were spectacular and the attention to detail was magnificent, right down to the hand written journal entries at Gringott's Bank. Below are some outtakes from that shoot that were not shown at the time.
We did some portraits of the London based artist Yani B. He is showing at Archive Gallery in London in November, and we also shot a video explaining more about his thoughts and process as he prepared for the exhibition, Trans:plant.
The AOP Awards 2016 will take place on the 13th October, and I am pleased to have two images in the exhibition this year. This picture of Dusty was taken at 16th century Sackville House. The house displays the patina of centuries past, as Dusty keeps in touch with her friends on social media.
As well as creating the print and poster material, we shot some moving image idents for the campaign for the UK Government's new Universal Credit scheme. That gave us a chance to roll out the big 18K's to create the mood required for the brief from Mullen Lowe.
The image above is a somewhat darker outtake, with Michael caught at the moment before the doors were pushed open to reveal the 'new dawn' outside.
This is the time of year when Canon launch new camera models. We created the stills material for the launch of the PowerShot SX720 HS in Lisbon in December last year, and the result has just been published on Canon's website.
Tangerine Films were in charge of the production and for a couple of days we roamed the city with the blogging duo "We The People" as they explored the sights and attractions.
Lisbon is a great bustling city, mixing old fashioned tradition with modern twists to architecture and food scene. A great travel destination for a few days of European winter sun.
The New Zealand based travel magazine 'Destinations' asked me to capture the spirit of Naples and what it means to live next to one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. As well as capturing the photographs, I also wrote the story. It was a great experience to interact with the locals to get the sound bites, snippets of information and recommendations of the roads less travelled in the search for the soul of the region.
The story is on Destinations' website: The Layers of Napoli
Once we moved on to Capri, the weather deteriorated for a little bit. The lightning lit up the early morning sky over Marina Piccola.
Capri offered an opportunity to add to my ongoing series 'On Location', and we ventured out to see Casa Malaparte, used by Godard in his film 'Le Mépris'.
- and all the best for the New Year!
I was asked by Olivia Beasley to be cinematographer on a short film that she was directing for the London based fashion company Merchant Archive. The shoot took place for two days at Dungeness in the south of England.
One of the largest expanses of shingle beach in Europe, Dungeness is such an eerie place, completely unique and wonderfully bleak. With catering every day from the appropriately named 'Snack Shack at the Fish Hut', the great crew Olivia put together wasn't complaining about the long and occasionally drizzly days.
HSBC's new global airport campaign launched in Singapore this month, and will be rolled out worldwide during the summer.
The shoot took place in London and Buenos Aires, and we had a great time producing the images with the talented people at JWT: Giles and Bill on the creative side in London, Adam and Mark in London and Buenos Aires. JWT's senior producer Louise Tench oversaw the proceedings and made sure that all the elements came together.
One lunchtime we stopped for a bite at a small restaurant in the centre of Buenos Aires. We were entertained by a local Zamba dance troupe, and I managed to grab a quick stop motion cinemagraph while we were waiting for our Asado!
The images are currently being rolled out in selected cities. Check back soon to see the campaign when it is released globally.
We spent some time in Istanbul, working with Tangerine Films and Canon on the February launch of two new cameras. The M3 is a new mirrorless compact system camera, and the EOS 750D is an entry level DSLR.
We worked with the Italian artist Alice Pasquini who painted one of her murals on a wall in the Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood in Kadiköy. She used the 750D for her research and inspiration for the painting, and it was great to see how her vision came alive over the couple of days we spent with her.
We also spent time with the Dutch photography duo 'On A Hazy Morning', who used the M3 to explore the streets of Istanbul, the markets and cafes, details and colourful sights of the Turkish metropolis.
Istanbul is a great sprawling cosmopolis, full of texture and colour. Here are a few outtakes and snaps from the days we spent exploring:
It is always pleasing to get images accepted into the AOP awards. Unfortunately I couldn't take part in the celebrations this year, as I was working in Istanbul, but I heard it was an enjoyable night.
One of the images accepted was an outtake from a shoot in Lyme Regis on the English south coast. I was adding to the ongoing 'On Location' series and stumbled on this fisherman on the harbour wall, known as 'The Cobb'. The location was featured in John Fowles' novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and the film of the same name, starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.
The weather was, very fittingly, atrocious.
- and all the best for the New Year!
The Smithsonian Magazine asked me to photograph Stonehenge for a story about the site. Scientists had recently been using laser technology to explore the ground beneath the monument and the surrounding areas.
Stonehenge is a popular spot, with thousands of visitors every day. Fortunately, English Heritage had granted us access outside of opening hours. For a little while in the evening, we shared access with a group of RAF servicemen. Lot's of selfies were taken!
Very early in the morning, with the landscape covered in dense mist, we did some 360º panoramic images for the Smithsonian's iPad app. The example above is shot from within the stone circle.
Read the story on the Smithsonian Magazine's website.
I was pleased to be asked to contribute to the National Portrait Gallery's annual 'Portrait Gala', in support of the gallery's work.
The event showed 200 'Mystery Portrait Postcards', each being sold anonymously at the auction.
It was great to see the photograph of Inez Valk included alongside portraits by (apparently) David Hockney, Alex Katz and Paul Smith.
… the weather, that is!
We worked with Dare in London to create a series of Post Office sponsorship idents for Channel 4's weather forecast.
The idea was to capture and show weather changes using time-lapse techniques. Each time-lapse would be focused around a small scenario, promoting the different services offered by the Post Office. Some of these scenes would naturally take several hours or even days to unfold, others no more than a few minutes. We needed to find ways to compress the action into just 10 seconds or 250 frames for each spot, and at the same time show very visible weather changes.
We took advantage of the forever fickle British autumn weather, we instigated small rain dances on the spot to speed up the process, we applied a flurry of snow and the slightest sprinkling of digital trickery just to make sure ... but mostly we just waited … and waited ... We got there, thanks to the efforts of a terrific team, open-minded creatives and a trusting client.
Below, one of the initial tests of cloud and rain ...
The final sports are posted in the Moving Image section.
John Toolan, Picture Editor at Field and Stream, asked me to illustrate a very personal story by Executive Editor Mike Toth.
We went to Mike's childhood home in New Jersey to photograph the mount of the great deer that his father had shot five decades earlier. In the interim years, Mike and his father had fallen out and only reconciled shortly before the father's death, just a few weeks before the shoot.
'Through it all, the mount was there. It was the first thing he carried inside the new house when my parents and I moved out of our apartment. Except for when the walls were being painted, it never moved from its spot on the right side of the fireplace. When I was a little kid I’d watch him carefully clean and polish the antlers before the holidays. He’d even use my mother’s hairspray on the hide. He had other mounts, but none with more mojo. I’d heard him tell the story about that buck so many times, often at my urging, that it became a memory of my own, something I play over in my head while sitting in the deer woods, waiting for shooting light.'
Above is the deer, carefully resting on the floor, ready for his closeup.
Below an outtake, a time-lapse video featuring dancing antlers