Behind the scenes

Fantastic Beasts/Harry Potter Special

'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.

Universal Credit

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.

The layers of Napoli

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'.

HSBC - global airport campaign

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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.

Canon - Istanbul

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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:

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Stonehenge

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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.

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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!

The Smithsonian

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.

All change ...

… 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.

The Mount

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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