Archive for ‘September, 2018’

Giants from behind the horizon

This is part of a new project exploring consumer culture. As the project develops, I plan to look at consumption on the high street and online, the people and machinery that transport these goods to us and what happens when we have finished with them.

My interest in international trade and shipping grew from two commercial commissions that I had at around the same time. The first was for a large marine insurance company where I took a series of images on a brand new Maersk container ship.  At the time, in 1998 it was state of the art and the largest ship of its type in the world. By modern standards, the same ship would be a baby compared to the current monsters. Many of today’s ships can carry over 20,000 shipping containers.

In the same year I had a commission in Bangladesh and I had the opportunity to take pictures of the Ship Breakers of Chittagong. On one of the longest beaches in the world, gangs of workers dismantle huge ships often with little more than hand tools and with little understanding of health and safety. These ships had reached the end of their working lives, they contained toxic harmful products and dismantling in The West would be unsafe and uneconomic so this work is ‘shipped out’ to the developing world. I saw numerous workers carrying bales of asbestos from the engine rooms of a ship they were working on.

Ship breakers, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Bangladesh

Ship breakers, Bangladesh

As a species, the human race currently consumes 50% more resources than the planet can provide.

Consumer spending (consumption) is often used as a measure of the strength of an economy. Advertising companies assign status to the products they promote and we the consumers acquire this status along with the items we purchase. Today’s must have item is tomorrow’s landfill. Unless we can find a way to increase the life of the products we buy or find a way to recycle them completely, consumer culture in its current form is unsustainable.

MSC Anna being unloaded at Felixtowe

MSC Anna being unloaded at Felixtowe

As a post-industrial state, 90% of what we use is imported. To make this possible, a fleet of giant container ships circle the world.

Some of these ships can transport over 20,000 containers. If all of these containers were loaded onto lorries and parked in a line, the queue would be around 330KM in length, longer than the M4 motorway.

MSC Anna about to set sail, Felixtowe

MSC Anna about to set sail, Felixtowe

Occasionally, we might see a distant shadow on the horizon but most of the time these monsters occupy a world out of our sight. This part of the project aims to link the shadows that pass in the distance to our unstoppable appetite for ‘stuff’.

MSC Anna bound for Antwerp

Dali bound for Bremerhaven

Bora Bay bound for Zeebrugge

Bore Bay bound for Zeebrugge

Maersk Mkinney bound for Hamburg

Maersk Mc Kinney Moller bound for Hamburg

OOCL bound for Rotterdam

OOCL Scandinavia bound for Port Said

OCCL Scandinavia

OOCL Scandinavia in port

There are 6 OOCL ships including the Scandinavia which all currently share the title of the largest container ships currently at sea. Each of these ships can carry 21413 containers.

Maersk McKinnery

OOCL Scandinavia

Maersk McKinney in port Felixtowe

Maersk Mc Kinney Moller in port, Felixtowe

MSV Anna can carry over 19,300 containers

The ships that bring their bounty from where most goods are manufactured in China and South East Asia have little of value to ship back. In the past, our waste products were crammed into containers where they were disposed of in the developing world. The developing world no longer wants our waste and so often containers return empty or don’t return at all. They serve a new life as glamping pods, pop-up coffee shops, stables or site offices.

Refuse centre next to container port

‘Recycling Centre’ next to container port  (the site office is an recycled container)

As ‘good’ consumers, we need to continually buy new items and obey the advertisers who tell us that we will be better, be more popular,  have greater status and be more attractive if we buy the latest gadget. Often goods fail shortly after the warranty expires, repair is expensive and difficult, replacement is cheap and easy. The failed item is discarded and often finds its way into landfill. Despite major developments in material science (lightbulbs that can last a lifetime) we have learnt to accept that items will fail and need replacing.

2 month old faulty picture frame showing MV Autosun passing boating lake at Portishead with a cargo of up to 2000 cars from Bilbao to Portbury

 

Mobile phone & iPhone photography online and in person training

Online and face to face mobile phone photography training

Short intro to mobile phone photography workshop (1-3 hours) (face to face & online) from £45 per hour for 1-2-1 and small group training

This fun yet practical workshop shows how you can get better pictures from your mobile phone. It covers preparing your smart phone, general camera phone app settings as well as composition, exposure and editing.

The session was informative and interactive, Nigel was friendly, approachable, encouraged questions, and gave time for experimenting.  Numerous times throughout the evening, one or another member could be heard saying “I had no idea my phone could do that!”.  We have no hesitation in recommending Nigel as a speaker to any group, large or small. Arwen Beaton, Brislington WI
mobile phone photography class in Bath and Bristol
This popular mobile phone photography training session has been delivered at the University of Bath, Linguarama, 24 Hours in the City the Royal Photographic Society Microsoft, Zurich Insurance, Royal Automobile Club and to numerous other groups and individuals. The skills covered will help attendees to get better portrait and product pictures for social media, publicity, promotion, for pleasure or even high quality print.

mobile phone photography classModern mobile phones are quite capable of delivering high quality, print ready images if used with care. Images can be taken spontaneously and shared immediately, saving time and the cost and delay in  hiring a professional photographer.

The workshop provides a practical and fun staff development activity or for continual professional development (CPD).

No previous photography experience required.

Product photography shot with iphone

The practical, mobile phone photography session is between one and three hours in length (depending on content required) and attendees learn how to get better quality pictures from their mobile device and learn how to edit them. While I use an iPhone for the demonstrations, most features are also available on Android or other platforms.

We also look at a few affordable accessories that can improve quality or build on the camera’s features.

Macro image taken with iPhone CS

Macro image taken with iPhone CS

The practical class is suited to groups of up to 20 students in size, all students need to bring is a fully charged, modern mobile device. The session has been delivered to groups of over 200 individuals though this is less interactive than with smaller groups.

Online workshop prices start from £45 per hour  (maximum size 20). For on site training please contact me for a quote.

Nigel gave me technical and video shooting tips that will take me to the next step of filming my own business video. He is a knowledgeable and generous teacher. N.P, Athens

For on site training, there may be an additional charge for travel and possibly accommodation so please contact me for a more detailed quote.

 

mobile phone photography training

Food photography shot with iPhone

Capturing high quality audio and video with your smartphone (1 day on-site and online workshop)

I also offer a more advanced 1 day course which explains how to capture the best quality video, audio and still photography and editing on a mobile device. The workshop covers; photographing people, photographing objects, composition, exposure, lighting, high quality sound and video capture, filming interviews, presentations to camera and testimonials, editing and delivery.

 

Smartphone photography and videography online and face to face  talks

As an alternative to a practical workshop, I also offer talks on the subject to camera clubs, photographic societies and others that want an overview of the subject rather than a practical workshop. This also works for groups larger than twenty where interaction is more difficult. This talk has been delivered to groups of over 300 attendees. Prices for talks start from £80.

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