Holidays

It’s X-Mas, well Boxing Day actually, and Terri and I have a had a brilliant X-mas day, a few cool pressies and a killer dinner made by the missus, perfect.

On a sad note I just dropped off my Nikon Coolscan LS9000 at the post office again, the day before, to have it shipped to Nikon for another fix, the third in 3 years.  Just finished doing the military book and now just before starting on the nudes with accessories shoot I did on film it has decided to pack it all in. This is a bit of a set back as I am away the next few weeks, but I hope they will have it done in the 2nd week of Jan, otherwise no work on this shoot gets done until end of Jan. Bit dissapointed about the manufacturing build of the  scanner and how often it fails and has to be sent back to Nikon. But at this point there are limited alternatives.

This is the shoot I also did some on Polagraph film, a 35 mm instant polaroid film from more than ten years ago. I shot 20 rolls of EPY (that’s Kodak Ektachrome 64 for those not in the know) alongside it and intend to use that material as the polagraph slides are a little too dark and do not allow any dodging or burning for that matter at all.

Meanwhile I am backing up a truckload of dvds of old shoots from the period 2004-2007, the happiest moment was when I found some lost shots of our holiday in Palermo in high res format from 2004, I am thrilled to have them back. I shall post a few in due course.

This is also a soft introduction to the new website and being hosted on a new server, this one is EU based and speeds have drastically improved so it will be a lot better browsing through galleries all over, special thanks go to Jochen Maess for setting this up.

 

New shoots

I have done some fashion shoots last week and the week before that, one being called La Linea, and another called Into the Black, 4 in total. Post production duties have commenced and hopefully this is all done by the time the festivities start.

Here are some shots taken by Jane Hodsen of yours truly in action shooting Ivane Grondin and Gersande Coudyser.

I had a great time!

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The Netherlands

I am in The Netherlands for a few days, the first day of my arrival I, landed in Eindhoven this time,  and left for ‘t Harde where I was going to meet some of my mates who I used to be with  in our platoon at 444 Inf. Bev. Cie.  stationed at Crailo not far from Bussum.

I had not seen this lot since 1990, so it was a real joy meeting up at The Site (a bunker complex on military land that was used for storing so called American Nuclear Artillery shells and now is being used for exercises). None of us had been here since August 1988 so it was odd to see the whole place again, a lot of its original features still standing up. At this point it has been left undecided what to actually do with it.

The pix are taken inside the limited area which was normally very hard to get entry to back then. Anyway, long story cut short, I loved every minute of it, meeting my pals from back then, some great stories were told and we left as overweight cows from the Chinese/Indonesian restaurant A La Wok in ‘t Harde, it was good.

Showed the very first copy of the book I put together about our antics while doing military service at 444 I.B.C. in 1987 & 1988.

We had some lovely weather on Friday, some pix I took with my iPhone:

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On tour with Die! Die! Die!

Joined Die! Die! Die! on four dates of their Harmony tour in Western Europe; after landing in Germany instead of Eindhoven due to heavy fog I had to grab a cab to Nijmegen to get to Utrecht where I hooked up with the band at DB’s. This was also my first live show acquaintance with new bass player Michael Logie. The show itself was pretty good, the owner of the venue liked the show so much he ended up buying discs and t-shirts for all his staff for X-Mas! Ghent on the next day made us go to a club where Andrew claimed his stake on top of the bar. After which we also joined for quite a few, good times indeed. Too bad about the minimal lighting, a red wash is anything but nice looking on digital format.

Paris the next day was an amazing show, Le Point Ephemere has a great stage, great crew and without a doubt the best sounding show of Die! Die! Die! I have heard. Only minus was the strobe lighting which made it a bitch to shoot good pictures. Finally Old Blue Last, a venue the band should not be playing at any more, they deserve better, especially sound wise, the sound man was more active on the internet than actually paying attention to the band, only after yours truly told him to up the guitars did it start to sound like something. I had a blast, time flies when you are having fun.

There is talk of recording a new album early next year and come back to the EU in April, good!

Just finished shooting two fashion spreads, one based on stripes and one, shot on film, of dark nudes with accessories. I used polagraph film, a 35mm film manufactured by Polaroid and has not been made since early 2000’s and also shot Kodak EPY, which I will cross-process.

Some shots of Die! Die! Die!:

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The Bench vs Bench

I was going through my Twitter feed and stumbled across something that caught my eye: Ukrainian photographer Eugene Kotenko spent four years documenting one bench outside his house. Thought that sounds similar to my project from 2005, and upon looking at it is VERY similar. The differences being the location (now that would be freaky) and the time frame; I spent about 6 weeks doing this, as I knew I had to move house so there was a definite end to my project, which also suited me fine as I would be well bored doing this for four years if you ask me.

Another difference is, by the looks of it, his are tripod based whereas mine were taken hand held.

Let’s get one thing straight I am not pissed off, well a bit as he gets a lot of recognition for it which I don’t think is deserved. When I finished the project I had a similar project in mind (not telling :) ) as a follow-up but it was so identical in execution as a photographer that I decided not to do it and shoot The Kiss instead, as that proved to be a challenging task, and it still is.

The total collection consists of 243 pictures and I will release it in book form, and no I am not rushing it out just because Eugene Kotenko has done a very similar project as mine (his starting 3 years after I finished mine!). I simply lack the time and there are two books before this one slated for release first.

Anyway I have moved on, here are a few shots from The Bench shot between July/September 2005.

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Die! Die! Die! at The Bull & Gate

Die! Die! Die! are back in Europe again, this time they played a show at the Bull & Gate in Kentish town with very little promo before, still 100 people showed up. The band played a well balanced set, with no “Blue Skies” (the romper stomper has been assigned attic status for now, which isn’t such a bad idea). Good sound, dreadful lights (hence the b&w).

I will be joining them for a week in November while they are gigging in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England.

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Zwarte Cross 2012

Had a fab time at Zwarte Cross 2012, went there on the Friday and Saturday. It started as a mudfest but the ground dried up over night and turned into a  dusty desert instead! Hell were excellent, it is great to see a band that dresses up and throws in a few show elements, amazing what you can do with a suit case full of outfits and masks and a couple of portable backdrops, well done.

Municipal Waste caught my attention as well and I was pleasantly surprised by Lizzy Borden, some of the 80’s stuff withstood the test of time. Pity I could not go on the Sunday, seems that Suicidal Tendencies had a crowd on stage.

Shooting from the photopit wasn’t as good as standing in the pit between the moshers, the angle was a lot more pleasant. During Hell I went on stage and managed to nab a bow shot at the end. Great atmosphere and very well attended too (156K).

Here are some shots:

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Tropea

I am in Tropea and it has been a fabulous week so far.

The old town of Tropea is a great little town to walk through and gaze at the architecture from the 18th century and take pictures off. Add on that from our apartment at Salato the view is stupendous and it just doesn’t tire looking at, if ever. This area is an amazing place to have a holiday at.

I’d like to pre -warn everyone that these pictures are copyrighted, and that anyone re-using them without my permission will be contacted by my solicitor! 

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In Nicotera we climbed 200 meters uphill on a path that had not been used much, by the time we arrived up there we were drenched in sweat, after another half an hour browsing we decided to sit down in the shade and we got to talk to Giuseppe, a 78 year old retired teacher, who gave us boiled sweets and we did our best to converse with him in our broken Italian, I HAD to take his picture. The old town of Nicotera is strange to pass through, you end up going up and down stairs and slopes and go from a beautiful restored apartment to a complete wreck, back to beautiful house and then another wreck and so forth. Some parts of this town date back to the 1200’s. Great place to visit.

Capo Vaticano was next, nice place to lie on the beach, the fact that we are at the beginning of the season means not many people around all over, I bet that is different in July/August!

To Stromboli: the journey  was the least of anything we have done so far: imagine the worst Ryan Air flight, treble that, and you will have a rough idea of what it was like to take the boat out there, ok so loads of kids roaming, screaming and whatnot which comes with the package, fair enough but the constant tannoy activity in Russian, French, German and Italian, each taking ten mins and talking so much drivel, the people doing this are surely in love with themselves as the English translation lasted just about 20 seconds. I kid you not. I feel not very well due to the rocking sea but a  friendly Italian family hand me a motion sickness pill and it sorts me out about 20 minutes later.

The island itself is on the brink of becoming too commercial with too much stuff for sale no one actually needs. The viewing of the ‘wall of fire’  was nice, it happened 3x in about 40 minutes, the last one being a great one to take some shots of as the lava rolled down all the way into the water. Being quite close you realise how powerful nature can be.

We also went land inwards and this was a great idea, since there are some beautiful stretches around and derelict buildings as well. The Italians drive like mad on the motorways, we have witnessed it a few times up close, real up close!

The evening before we leave and I pick the missus up in town, after a short ride I turn around the corner with our moped and I have to hit the brakes so hard, so we don’t slam into the car who suddenly halted in front of us  that we slide over the asphalt for a few feet, enough to break two toes, various scratches and bruises on my ribs and right leg and arm, bot nothing too bad. The missus is ok too.

On the last day we miss our connecting train to get to the airport so we splash out 120 euros for a cab ride that you could only imagine in a film, ‘rode like the devil’ indeedy :D We end up making it to the flight in time.

I grabbed a couple of great pix for The Kiss book, which will be shown in due course.

I have to end this post on a sad note that Johno Driscoll has passed away, a b&w printer I met first back in 1994 (when he had his darkrooms in the basement a stone throw away from the White Cube Gallery on Hoxton Square and later based in Clerkenwell Close, sharing the corridor with LTI (the color lab that did my prints back then). A fitting tribute has been posted HERE