This picture’s done OK for me. You may know it from the homepage on my website, but it was also selected for the prestigious Foto8 Summer Show in East London. That’s me looking suntanned and a bit smug (that’s why I’d rather take pictures) in July 2012. The photo has also been reproduced in the Transition Free Press and helped me get my foot in the door at Friends of the Earth. As from April 10th-May 3rd it will be on show at The Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington as part of the Environmental Photographer of the Year, as well as one of my films, Shaking the Tree. The picture itself was taken during a gorgeous day in Finsbury Park, as part of a workshop. All the participants were told to don a beekeeping suit, which begs me to ask whether I should wear one more often.
I have been taking photos at Grow Heathrow for 18 months now, and the recent open day celebrating the 3rd birthday of the project was the busiest I’ve seen it. Well over 100 people came through the gates, many of whom were people from the local villages, but also friends, squatters and people interested in alternative living from further afield, plus John McDonnell, the local MP.
Grow Heathrow residents have for many months been threatened with eviction from the the landowner, and days like these are a good opportunity for strengthening ties for Grow Heathrow, which in turn reinforces the validity of the project. Highlights of the day included pizza assembly, music, site tours, erecting a wind turbine and yoga in the newly assembled yurt. The last one was the only place I warmed up on what became a chilly evening. More of my Grow Heathrow/Transition Heathrow pictures can be seen by clicking the link.
As more people have acquired digital cameras over the years, it’s got more difficult to sell stock images. But I love it when I do shift some, especially ones that I’m quite precious about, like my fruity bus stop series.
Several years ago when I was traveling the world and making photos of unusual bus stops, I made my way to a remote rural district within Western Japan. I kew about these quirky bus shelters from a couple of pictures online, but I hadn’t been prepared to see them so void of people. Therefore I did a lot of hanging around, and persuading locals who couldn’t speak English to pretend they were waiting. In all I spent the best part of two half days there, wandering between giant strawberries, melons and lemons. I needed to check that I hadn’t wandered into the set of Alice in Wonderland. It’s great, therefore, that they have seen the light of day in Darrin Nordahl’s book about public transit.
It’s not often that I get a commission from a tabloid newspaper, but last week I was phoned by the Sunday World to photograph a female nurse who appeared on the Graham Norton TV show. As an audience member, she told a story about how she caught the eye of an attractive man at the gym, but tripped up on her treadmill at a crucial moment as she was establishing eye contact. When I met her in Stratford, I realised that the part of the appeal for the newspaper was merely to splash a picture of a young lady across their pages, so I dutifully obliged by producing an aesthetically pleasing one. Hearing the story before setting off, I took the orange dumbbells which are a large part of the focus.
To see the one I picked for my website, please see my best editorial portraits here.