1924 Brough Superior SS80
The Brough Superior is one of the most iconic motorcycles ever made. In their time, these bikes were record breakers and even by today’s standards are fast. These machines are highly sought after but are often only seen in static displays at museums. A neighbour of mine is lucky enough to own one, his bike was bought directly from the factory by his grandfather in the 1920s. While the bike is normally displayed in a museum, he does take it out from time to time and I had the opportunity to see the bike after it had been out on a 100 mile trip in the rain so needed a bit of a wipe down before it was returned to the display. I am a keen motorcyclist so I jumped at the chance to see a Brough in ‘the flesh’ and take some pictures.
The Brough Superior was known as the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycles’ and for good reason. The craftsmanship is amazing and these were staggeringly fast machines when they were manufactured. Famous owners include Lawrence of Arabia who owned eight.
I now want to be a vintage motorcycle photographer.
1924 Brough Superior SS80
Leather bags – Brough Superior SS80
SS80 – right handlebar showing choke (top) and throttle (bottom)
SS80 – left handlebar
SS80 petrol tank-sight glass for total loss oil system
Pinhole photography class at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath
It is quite easy to think of photography as being a highly complex and technical process however, the principles of photography are very simple and a basic pinhole camera can be constructed with the types of items found in a typical rubbish bin. While the image quality of these cameras is basic by modern standards, there is a mystery to the pictures and in some situations, a pinhole camera can capture images beyond the ability of even the most sophisticated digital SLR. Throughout 2017, I will be running a series of one-day pinhole photography classes at the Royal Photographic Society’s (RPS) HQ in Bath.
The workshops introduce the fundamentals of photography and camera construction before the students make their own cameras and use them to undertake a set of tasks. The students will process their negatives in the darkroom.
If you have never seen a picture appear in a developing dish, this is one of the wonders of analogue photography.
During the class, we also look at contemporary photographers that are exploring the potential of pinhole cameras.
No prior knowledge of photography is required and all materials are provided.
For more information or to book visit the RPS website
Pinhole photograph taken with home-made pinhole camera
Photography and illustration for trade unions and NGO’s
I have had the pleasure of working with many trade unions since I started as a photographer and illustrator in 1994. I have covered campaigns, mergers, strikes, conferences, festivals and almost every other area in which unions are active. Some of my photography has won the TUC annual awards.
Trade union photography at conferences and AGMs
I have worked on conferences and AGMs for PCS, ACCORD, RMT and ASLEF. The types of shots I have taken include, portraits, delegates and the lecture, guest speakers, reactions from the audience, group shots and informal shots of delegates enjoying the event.
Delegate at ASLEF AGM
Group photograph at ACCORD conference
Questions from the floor – ACCORD conference
Guest speaker at trade union conference – John McDonnell
Images for magazines, journals and publications.
I often take images to go on the cover of the union journal or for editorial images to go inside. These might be documentary, illustrative or staged images.
Campaign illustrations and photomontages
Sometimes a still image cannot illustrate a complex story effectively but an illustration or photomontage made from a number of separate images can create a powerful campaigning image.
Commissioned Photomontage for CWU created using Photoshop
Jeremy Corbyn – leader of the Labour Party – Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
The Marshfield Mummers continue an ancient tradition every year at 11am on Boxing Day. A short, three minute play is performed a number of times along the length of the High Street in Marshfield near Bath. The play has changed little over the centuries, it is only performed on Boxing Day with a single rehearsal earlier in the morning.
The image below is of ‘Saucy Jack’ who carries his family on his back. Other characters include King William, Tenpenny Nit, Beelzebub and Dr Fennix.
There are more images in this earlier post
‘Saucy Jack’ with his family on his back
Many photographers feel that while their digital cameras produce amazing quality images when used correctly but believe the craft of the media has been taken from them and embedded in software applications. The darkroom is still a place where the true craft of photography can be found. Darkroom equipment which was once priced beyond the means of the typical enthusiast photographer can be picked up in online auctions for a tiny fraction of its original value. Sadly, courses on the subject are slowly disappearing as colleges convert their darkrooms into digital editing suites.
DeVere 504 enlarger
Traditional black and white photographic prints still have some significant advantages over their digital equivalents the most obvious being its archival quality. A properly processed and washed black and white print on fibre based photographic paper should still be around in a hundred years time. The digital equivalent would need regular conversion by the photographer and their progeny to be available for future generations.
My darkroom is just outside of Bath, it houses two enlargers, a Devere 504 covering a range of film formats including; 35mm, 6cm x 6cm, 6cm x 7cm, and 5″x4″ and an LPL C7700 enlarger for 35mm up to 6cmx7cm.
Classes are limited to a maximum of two attendees.
Typical workshop content might include; an introduction to darkroom equipment, film processing demonstration, contact printing, enlargement, use of multigrade paper, dodging and burning and split grade printing.
If you would prefer to have the workshop at your home or workplace I also have a portable darkroom which can hold between three people including myself.
The price per person which include all materials is £160 for the day
For two people booking together the workshop is £300
If you would like me to deliver the course at your home or workplace give me a call or drop me an email.
My darkroom experience
I have taught both digital and film photography for over twenty years and have worked as a commercial photographer for nearly thirty. While all of my commercial work is now digital I am still passionate about traditional photography.
My training courses can be combined into a three day workshop covering fundamentals of photography including pinhole cameras and darkroom work. Photographic lighting including flash, incandescent and fluorescent and digital image editing using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Please contact me if you would like to know more about combined analogue and digital course.
Linking in to the earlier story on the 2nd July, Phil and Jeremy sailing in their tiny Wayfarer dinghy Hafren successfully managed to knock 43 days of the previous record for sailing around the coast of Britain.
Hafren Round Britain Celebrations at the finishing line
I have provided photography and photomontage services for trade unions and NGOs for over twenty years. The work is varied and interesting and differs widely from one organisation to another.
Photo-montaged images are often used to represent complex topics which cannot be illustrated with a traditional photograph. The types of subjects I have illustrated include, teenage pregnancies, John Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ policy, employment rights and environmental issues. This images often draw heavily on visual symbols and metaphors and can make very powerful images for campaigns, front covers or home pages. Some of my photo-montages have won the prestigious TUC media awards.
You can see more examples of my photo-montages here
Royal Mail privatisation. Commissioned by CWU
Most of these organisations have annual AGMs or conferences and need images of the event. Conference photography typically involves unobtrusively photographing speakers and delegates, taking shots of fringe meetings, team shots and stalls, recording any planned publicity events and forwarding images to picture desks from the venue.
Reaction from the floor- trade union conference
RMT – stewards
Guest Speaker – Dave Smith
RMT Conference delegate
My day rate for trade union and NGO work is based on the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) agreed day rate of £300/day before expenses.
Photomontages can require props and numerous location shots so please contact me for a quote.
Trade unions I have worked for; PCS, RMT, CWU, GMB, NUT, TGWU, UNISON, GPMU,
NGOs I have worked for; Greenpeace, War on Want, Central Americas Human Rights Commission, Prisoners Abroad,
I was with my family last weekend at the annual Beaufort Polo Club event and captured what I thought was an interesting juxtaposition. There were significantly more photographers than the three I shot here, some concealed in the hedge in full military camouflage. Perhaps by taking and showing this royal snapshot I am as guilty as the photographers that scrutinise every waking moment of these people’s existence. For me however this image also questions the tabloid media’s obsession with the everyday and often trivial aspects of the lives of celebrities and royals. Why do we need to see yet another picture of royal princes playing polo? Is it really news worthy? Discuss…..
Princes William and Harry and the paparazzi