Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Want a Goat

After the massive success of Lonely Island's all time classic I'm On A Boat (putting the video on the blog drove traffic up by like 300%, so I had 3 people drop by for a change), I'm pleased to present I Want a Goat:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leeds by night

I met up with acclaimed Leeds-based music photographer Giloscope last Friday night, to return a lens which he'd kindly loaned to me. Secretive by nature, in case his legions of fans spot him and mob him, Giles insisted that we meet in notorious Triad watering hole Northbar. Giles is seen above, ordering a pint of absinthe and some beer while a riot kicks off around him.

In breaks in our conversation, Giles used his iPhone to exhort the free world to keep on rocking.

Giles is a proper photographer; he's not comfortable or happy unless he has a camera in his hands, taking photos. Quickly downing our drinks, we hastened across town to his 'office' (a shipping container in a hidden corner of a desolate industrial estate), where he picked up his camera and a 50mm lens. Thus armed, we ventured into the night. The challenge was on! Both shooting with the same kit we were about to blaze a path through the seedy underbelly of a northern town's nightlife. Let the gods sort out the rest.

Our first stop was Leeds' traditional German Christmas market. Leeds has a long-standing connection with Germany, and was the site of a V2 factory in the mid 1940's, as well as being where Arminius's ancestors came from, history fans! Anyway, Leeds Christkindelmarkt seems to be a totally authentic experience, from the Malaysian staff at the chocolate nibble stand (above) to the Teutonic dodgems.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were having a bad night. Famine had pissed off to Subway for a Meatball Marinara, and Pestilence had to ride a giant chicken, 'cos his usual horse was being reshoed.

Art, so you can bog off if you don't like it.

This is probably the shot du jour, we didn't really push any boundaries after all. You may as well stop reading now.

A rare shot of Giles. Legendary.

Some leaves. Backlit for your enjoyment.

Big Bite. Food. Fast.

We wound our way down towards the Arches and railway station, the throbbing heart of Leeds nightlife. I reckon there's a heap of documentary photography to be done round this area, and - if you survived - it'd be fine training for a combat photographer.

Gritty, urban Leeds. This is a gay bar, not a strip club.

She'd heard a new club had opened just yards away.

More art. You can buy a limited edition print of this for a thousand bucks.

That night we learned something about what happens if you carry a bunch of SLR around your neck when there are hordes of pissed up people milling around. Instead of smashing a broken beer bottle through your kidneys (as I'd expected), they are more likely to demand that you take their photo, apparently in the misguided belief that you're a photographer for Heat or something. X factor. America's Most Wanted. Whatever the kids are into these days, I don't know. So, we were approached by:

A Welsh woman...

...and her crew., a cocktail bar (hey I just put these photos up in sequence, take it up with the management if you don't like it)

Someone who demanded chewing gum from Giles, then photos.

..and some others (including a bloke dressed as a whoopee cushion), but the pictures are pretty atrocious, so I won't stick them up here.

So there you go, bra. Leeds by night. Safe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Becky's Mom asked me to take some photos of her. So I did. Since I'm sure you're fascinated, here are the lighting details: One medium softbox above, containing a speedlight at 1/16th power and a reflector below. All on the Canon 50mm 1.8 Mkii, a truly awesome lens. Click the pics to biggerise and see how cool the lens is...

By now you'll have seen this one on Flickr, yeah? Just in a different flavour.

I learned a lot about taking portraits of kids. They won't stand still for more than a few seconds, and are easily distracted. In Becky's case, the TV was a handy distraction, but so was the softbox, the tripod, the back of the camera and so on...

...and kids get bored quickly. Very quickly. Nevertheless, or alternatively, neverthemore, Becky was trés well behaved and a great time was had by all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


LEC invited Alix and I over to Amsterdam for the weekend. The essential plan he proposed was:

"Saturday: Ill get you from the airport

In the afternoon Im off to watch the rugby and see our brave boys in white thump the shit out of those slimy Aussies you can do what you want

Evening were going to Sjouks sister for snert (google it Dutch peasoup, very very nutritious & flatulent) with a few friends and then we're off on museumnacht

Sunday: Not a clue. Maybe take the dog for a walk on the beach"

So that's what we did. I'm just going to stick a few snaps up here, you can fill in the bits in between.