In what has been one of my favourite projects, I've been working with Slowlights on an ongoing basis since February this year. From promos at 5am on the coldest morning of the year to their biggest live show to date. Getting creative on the design and videography front is a massive bonus for me too. I would love to get involved with more campaigns like this but it helps that I'm totally into the music too!
It's been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to continuing the journey.
The new I Try So Hard EP is out now on Spotify. Check out the video ad for the ep below and have a listen in full here
There are studies confirming that high amounts of pink colour can have a calming effect on the nerves and even create physical weakness in people. Although, overexposure to the colour may have the opposite effect...
Some quotes from popular theologians
“Pink isn't just a color it's an Attitude too!” - Miley Cyrus
"Right, right, turn off the lights
We're gonna lose our minds tonight" - P!NK
Always a rad time shooting with Hayley Ku'unani.
Been too busy to actually go do something for myself and see people so we made the trip across the overground to Kew Gardens. Straight to the palm house, always a favourite.
So much greenery makes me feel a certain kind of wistfulness. Like, I need to be in amongst it. I suppose that's a little odd but I love plants, alright?
Because of a lack of nice compact camera to take with me I decided to bring along my two smallest and cheapest lenses. the canon 1.8 50mm and this old olympus g.zuiko 28mm lens I found in amongst some old slrs. I bought an adapter off amazon for a few quid and it's turned out to be really useful. It's not super unbelievably sharp, it's a manual focus, it's only f3.5, but, whatever. I've used it for commercial shoots as well fun projects. Just goes to further prove the point that spending loads of money on gear isn't the solution to taking photos you're happy with. you can pick one up for next to nothing on ebay.
I'm pretty happy with them. Especially seeing as I didn't have to lug those heavy sigma lenses around.
In conclusion, get some green and cheap lenses in your life.
Had a great time shooting Celine and learning about Vogue. It was one of those amazingly bright days we had in March. London has magical light on our occasionly sunny days, the unlikeliest places often offer the most. Some of the shots below. You can follow Celine and see more of her Voguing at instagram.com/celine_zosia.
Sorry it's been a while since I've posted something. I decided 2017 is gonna be my year so I've been working myself super hard to make all my dreams come true. That comes at a cost, especially when a big part of your work is coming up with ideas. Some days it can be like there is literally nothing going on in my mind, maybe a couple of moths flying about a tumbleweed. Then other days it's like there's too many ideas floating about and I can't quite catch just one to make it a fully fledged thing. I obviously prefer the latter so I find it important to take a break from my own work to get some inspiration from others. Here's a few things that have turned my head this week.
Spent a Sunday at the Tate with my partner in love, life and inspiration, Zoë. Finally went up to the viewing platform and inadvertantly watched the strangest of families play out a dramatic and bloody episode while we ate cake.
1.) Wolfgang Tillman 2017 at the Tate
currently exhibiting at the Tate Modern. I'll be honest although I knew some of his work I wasn't very clued up on Tillman.. I wanted to go to the radical eye exhibition which I really enjoyed and will talk about shortly but Zoë wanted to see this exhibition. It turned out to be my favourite part of the day. It's nice to be surprised by something you're blissfully unaware of. Having someone that pushes you to see new things is a gift that I'm so grateful for.
From huge images taking up a whole wall takes your brain a moment to figure out what is going on to abstract colour work and photographs of some of life's simple things that are often ignored. Here's a selection below although to get the best out of them go to the exhibition itself and see them covering the walls. None of these pictures are mine fyi.
2.) The Radical Eye
A photographic collection belonging to sir Elton John that is normally covering every inch of the walls in his fancy apartment. It shows a history of photography and techniques used by artists in the early 20th century. Techniques we're so used to having at our fingertips in photoshop but would have required skills and knowledge that are way beyond me at that time. An important reminder that everything doesn't have to follow rules and that boundaries should be pushed at every occasion. The classic argument that there is no wrong or right in photography. If it feels right to explore, then do so.
3.) Abstract: The art of design.
its been a while since I've watched something as inspiring as this series on Netflix. I obviously watched the photography episode first and while Platon is a gifted portrait taker but it didn't interest me as much as I thought it might.
However, despite just having an appreciation rather than love for architecture, interior design, stage design and illustration I found those episodes to be completely mind blowing and fascinating. Focusing more on the people themselves over the details of their field of work, it's amazing to see their journey to where they are today. There's not much else i've seen recently that will get you fired up to work for yourself than this series. Check the trailer below.
For now i'm about to board a bus to get a ferry to drive to Belgium. Hopefully i'll have plenty of time for exploring on this trip.
Sunrise is often the most rewarding time to be out of the house. particularly at this time of year. It feels special.
Here's various 6am outings across our freezing, foggy and unfortunately very polluted city. Each sunrise as unique as the icy crystals forming on everything in sight. Deep stuff there...
how the hell is 2007 10 years ago already? Oh well here's some things I've found that are new to me this year already.
Photographer - Can Dagarslani http://www.candagarslani.com/
These photos make my heart hurt they're so good. The colour palette, the content, the feel. Makes me so jealous in the most positive way. Nothing like finding a set of photos that makes you just want to go make something. When I'm old I hope to be this cool.
2. Mishima: A Life in 4 Chapters
A 1985 film executively produced by Francis Copella and George Lucas. Alongside is a soundtrack by Philip Glass who if you know me already, i'm a big fan of. To be honest with you i'm only half way through but i wanted to get this blog out and it's already hit those inspirational nerve endings in my brain. The film switches between the famous Japanese author, Yukio Mishima's, real life and episodes from his written work.
The script is overly poetic, the colours and the imaginary scenes are beautiful and the music is random and dreamy.
you can actually watch the whole thing on youtube too.
My tofu Scramble.
I always hear how tofu tastes crap, the texture is gross, blah blah. Tofu is so easy to cook well as it is badly. I'm sure those people have had bland tasting or badly cooked meat before.
This is just for one person, so double or triple or whatever if you have more people.
- block of tofu, no real need to firm it like I would usually do.
- smoked paprika - 1/2 tsp
- cayenne chilli - 1/2 tsp
- tumeric - 1/2 tsp
- nutritional yeast - 1 tsp
- Almond milk 4 tbsp
- sesame seeds
- whole cumin seeds
It's really easy to make.
- Put some coconut oil and cumin seeds in a non stick pot.
- cut your tofu into 1cm cubes, then squish the cubes between your fingers and thumbs till it's the texture of scrambled eggs and drop it into the pot.
- then drop the spices and yeast on top and stir until it's all covered.
- pour in the almond milk and simmer until the texture is moist but not dried out.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
I like to finish by toasting a bagel, spreading vegan pesto on it, slicing up some avocado then spooning the scramble on top. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and squirt some sriracha sauce on top. I Love Breakfast.
Zoe, always supporting my weirdness gave me this book The Photographer's Playbook. Basically 250 photographers set out challenges and i've decided to pick one a week to try out. Week 1 ...
It's a bit like being back at school but instead of wanting to get out I can't wait to start. You should try it too and tag me in the results.
2017 is go!
This is a list of my most listened to albums of 2016. I strongly recommend listening to them all if you haven't already...
Thank you all for your supporting my little adventures. I'm genuinely surprised how many people picked something up! From Merthyr to Inverness, North Carolina to New Zealand. You guys are the best!
I have put a preorder up for some new prints and the notebooks as they all sold out in a few hours last time, which blew my mind!
The following are on their way in the New Year and available to preorder now...
All Preorders will be shipped the first week of January.
P.S. don't forget that I'm doing custom sizes on (almost) any picture from my site until January 1st.
Bring on 2017!
Where would I be without a notebook? Probably still thinking about maybe possibly setting up my store and maybe one day in the future possibly selling them along with prints.
Of all the things I could have done with my store notebooks seemed like an obvious choice. I use my notebooks all of the time. Here's a few ways they help me stay organised...
1. 'To do' lists: I live by my lists. Tending to write a new one for each week from trivial things like making sure I eat well, to big jobs like getting my taxes done. My tip is to always try to cross off the most difficult one first and the rest of the list seems to disappear with ease.
2. Ideas: I'd never go out or go to sleep without having a notebook next to me. The number of times i'll be lying awake in bed for hours with ideas rolling through my head to wake up the next day and not remember a thing. It actually helps with insomnia as my mind feels at ease knowing I won't forget. All songwriters I know carry a notebook. You'll never forget those spur of the moment lyrical inspirations if you can write them down instantly.
3. Dreams: I had a period of time where I got recurring nightmares. So I did a bit of research and one way to help counter them is to simply write down what you are dreaming about. It sounds silly but it helps to rationalise why the dreams are happening and it really worked for me.
There's something quite therapeutic about writing things down by hand when so much is done on our phones or laptops. They come in a handy pocket A6 size and are printed on recycled paper, inside and out. Available to purchase now at my store and free with all orders over £40.
Here's my top 10 from the Isle Of Skye. People forget how amazing the UK and in particular Scotland can be. I'd go back every year if I could. Starlit skies, lochs, waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, lighthouses, highland cows almost running you off the road and oh so many sheep.
Finally! I have had the time to organise and set up my print store. The first two are a limited run of 18 x 12 inch prints for £20 each. I took the time to find the best quality printer in my area and i'm really happy with how they've turned out!
This is just the beginning so to say thanks there's a 20% discount for the first 10 orders of these two. Just enter the code 'first10' at checkout.
Also, for a limited time I'm offering to print (almost) any picture of your choosing from my site. They range in price from £15 to £25 depending on size. This is where it gets a little tricky... If you are planning to order one of these, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot or description of the image you would like before placing the order. As a general rule any band promo shots are not allowed to be reproduced so please don't request them. find some inspiration in the gallery below or just browse my site and pick!
Sorry this is a bit overdue! Here's my favourite pics/places from our European tour with Billy Talent. It had been a while and I intended to make the most of every city we were in. The full set of shots is up on my new facebook page.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of photographs on this tour. The schedule was insane. We’d be getting to festivals at 10 am, playing between 1 and 3pm, doing press and leaving by 5 to get to the next show in time. But here's a brief run down of what we got up to on our time off on this tour.
We had the unfortunate news of some of the shows we were playing with our friends in Of Mice And Men being cancelled due to illness. I’ve seen enough hotel rooms and cinemas around the world so instead of sitting around for a couple of days, we got into adventure mode. TM and general legend Brendan rented an Airbnb by a lake and off we went to chase some waterfalls ;). The US is such a place of contrast. Most of the time we go from city to city seeing the same old beige shopping centres and straight roads with, bluntly, no character at all. I’m being harsh on some of America’s great cities but if you have ever toured there you would understand what I mean. the major travel routes are littered with them. However, most of the time, if you have a vehicle and the desire to see more, you tend to never be more than a few hours away from natural beauty.
Here’s some shots from Cummins state waterfall and swimming hole a few hours outside of Nashville, TN.
Pictures from the shows themselves can be found on our band Instagram
I think That’s a wrap on our US touring for 2016, but we will be back next year!
Echoes was recorded, nearly mixed and ready for reproduction except for one fairly important detail, the album cover. We had been sent some initial ideas (admittedly from our own basic thoughts on how it should look). Nothing seemed right. Management suggested I give it a go. Massive PRESSURE!
I roped in our long time friend and photographer, Marcus Maschwitz, to help set up a shoot to help bring some of our ideas to life. I strongly recommend looking at his work. In fact I’ll put some of his stuff on my next 'yeh, nice' blog. I’m really happy with how the portraits turned out. A large part of the visuals for this record stemmed from that shoot. The artwork booklet, which I know many of you are still waiting for, will contain a lot of those photographs and sentiments from Echoes. I have put up a selection on the projects tab but I’ll add another blog when the book is finally sent out.
The last idea I had is what became the final artwork. I’m torn between explaining fully or not. There's something to be said for leaving a bit of mystery to your work in this day of youtube tutorials and walkthroughs.
It’s a macro photograph. I’ll let you decide what else was involved. The lighting was important but it was all done in my flat with minimal equipment. As usual, the set up took far longer than getting the shot. After all the processes we went through to get the right piece for the cover, shooting this set up only took 15/20 minutes. Which I often found writing music too, my favourite things tend to come out of nowhere and fall into place really quickly. It’s too easy to overthink things.
Here’s the final image that I came out with. It felt right. We had been sent a number of images with repeating sharp lines representing the echoes. But I like the way this image has natural echoes in the swirls and it is a bit more ambiguous than initial ideas. We felt like the cover needed to be dark in colour. The lyrical content of this album isn’t light.
The inlay was made of other shots from this set up and a portrait we had done earlier in the week. I'm not overly pleased with the execution of the group shot, but it didn't really matter for the way it would be blended in.
I know people were asking for a full explanation of how I got the shot and I'm sorry that I didn't oblige. But the thoughts behind it are often more important than the final piece. Making album art is something that’s new to me but through all the pressure of deadlines, not to mention making sure everyone was happy, I found it to be something that I really enjoyed and would love the opportunity to do it for other artists.
If you haven't already, please check out Echoes at all the usual places.