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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.

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

Bora 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 workshop. Bristol, Bath & London

Mobile phone photography training

Short intro to mobile phone photography workshop (1-2 hours)

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, lighting and exposure.

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

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 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 class in Bath and Bristol

mobile phone photography class

Modern 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 two hours in length and attendees learn how to get better quality portrait and product pictures from their mobile device. 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 class is suited to groups of between 4 and 20 students, all students need to bring is a fully charged, modern mobile device.

For more confident photographers there is the Intermediate mobile phone photography workshop (1-2 hours). In this workshop we explore some of the more advanced features found in some camera apps. The workshop covers white balance, advanced exposure and file formats.

Both introductory and intermediate workshops can be combined into a 3 hour session if desired. Please email to discuss this.

The price for the introductory or intermediate workshops is £250 per group (maximum size 20) or £350 for both workshops. For larger groups, sessions can run back to back.

We are Bath/Bristol based but often deliver sessions along the M4 from London to Cardiff. For events outside the Bristol  and Bath area there may be additional cost for travel/accomodation.

For more information please email mail@nigelgoldsmith.co.uk

mobile phone photography training

Food photography shot with iPhone

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

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

The teaching can be tailored to suit the needs of a group

Our prices start at £400 /day for up to 4 people.

 

If you would prefer to attend a formal workshop, I run a mobile phone photography workshop at the Royal Photographic Society. Follow this link to check for dates and availability.

Farm photography

I had the privilege of growing up on a dairy farm in Pembrokeshire so love the opportunity to put my wellies on and take pictures down on a farm. Cows make great subjects, they are naturally curious and with little encouragement will come right up to you in a field. While this makes close-up shots easy, you cannot put your camera bag down for long or their curious noses will leave a trail of drool over all of your kit.

Going through the shooting brief with my subjects - cow photography

Going through the shooting brief with my subjects

I was recently asked to photograph three different herds of cattle in Wiltshire. The summer of 2018 has been one of the driest summers in decades and the traditional green English landscape was starting to look a little scorched. Fortunately there had been a bit of rain a couple of weeks before the shoot so the grass had started to green up a bit.

Brown Swiss Cattle, Rancourt Farm near Swindon

Brown Swiss Cattle and Friesians , Cancourt Farm near Swindon

Brown Swiss Cattle, Rancourt Farm near Swindon

Brown Swiss Cattle, Cancourt Farm near Swindon

Quite a few of the farms I have worked at have diversified into other product lines or services from ice cream and cheese to clamping pods. While I am on the farm it is normally quite easy to pull out a set of lights and set up a temporary studio in a barn or farmhouse kitchen to get some product shots or portraits of the staff or owners of the farm.

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, near Bath

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, near Bath

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, near Bath

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, near Bath

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Product shot for Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Farmhouse kitchen studio

Farmhouse kitchen studio

James the Herdsman

James the Herdsman

Will and Dawn Hawking, owners of Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Will and Dawn Hawking, owners of Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

If you would like to know more, give me a call or drop me an email

Agricultural clients include; NMR, Cow Management, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream.