Friday, December 18, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

And here is a seasonal message from myself and the Tu Clothing/ Sainsburys crew:





BEHIND THE SCENES ON THE MERRY CHRISTMAS SHOOT

Here are the behind the scenes from my recent still life 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' shoot, shot for Tu Clothing at Sainsburys and also handily used in my Christmas cards!  
The lettering was great.  We had a huge version of the word 'MERRY' made up so that the clothing would sit perfectly on the letters as though they were pedestals.  We had the 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' made up to sit together (Merry on top of Christmas) in smaller letters so that it would fit on the set and the big 'MERRY' was in post comped onto the smaller letters for the final frame of the advert.







Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CATS AT CHRISTMAS

Below are Aiko and Harvey, the cats I shot for my Christmas card.  A full day of festive fun and tinsel was had by all to get the below shots.......





CONEY ISLAND

Coney Island is a peninsula, formerly an island, in southernmost BrooklynNew York CityUSA, with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean.
Coney Island became a resort after the Civil War  With the rail and steamboat lines, and access to the beach came major hotels and public and private beaches, followed by horse racingamusement parks, and less reputable entertainments such as Three-card Monte, other gambling entrepreneurs, and prostitution.
Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States, attracting several million visitors per year. At its height it contained three competing major amusement parks, Luna ParkDreamland, and Steeplechase Park, as well as many independent amusements.
Today the major parks are the late Astroland,which closed in late 2008, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, 12th Street Amusements, and Kiddie Park.

Three rides at Coney Island are protected as designated NYC landmarks and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Wonder Wheel. Built in 1918 and opened in 1920, this steel Ferris wheel has both stationary cars and rocking cars that slide along a track. It holds 144 riders, stands 150 feet (46 m) tall, and weighs over 2,000 tons. At night the Wonder Wheel's steel frame is outlined and illuminated by neon tubes. 
  • The Cyclone roller coaster, built in 1927, is one of the nation's oldest wooden coasters still in operation. A favorite of some coaster aficionados, the Cyclone includes an 85-foot (26 m), 60 degree drop.
  • The Parachute Jump was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted 190 feet (58 m) in the air before being allowed to drop using guy-wired parachutes. Although the ride has been closed since 1968, it remains a Coney Island landmark and is sometimes referred to as "Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower." Between 2002 and 2004, the Jump was completely dismantled, cleaned, painted and restored, but remains inactive. 
I visited Coney Island just before Astroland closed.  Coney Island and it's amusement parks have a strange atmosphere but there is something about the place that I love.  Partially dilapidated and partially restored, it is a contradiction in itself.  Behind the beach and the park stands a bunch of high rises making for a most unusual skyline.  The rides that are still open are packed with people while the ones that are closed stand deserted not so far away.  There is a feeling of hedonism and abandonment, people having a great time at the fun-fair, mixed with the dregs that society abandoned.....






















Thursday, November 19, 2009

TU November '09 TV Commercial

Below is my Tu Clothing ad, shot for Sainsbury's in October and shown on UK National TV a couple of weeks ago......

video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THE AMERICAN'S ENCOUNTER WITH A BRITISH BULLDOG

My favourite moment from a recent shoot is pictured below.  
The model/ actor below, Austin, was fresh to London from LA for the very first time.  Instead of showing him some of the usual tourist hot spots, we whisked him straight to London's East End, where I was shooting in the rain on the streets around various council estates.  
Walking back to our winebago, I spotted this bulldog tied up in a van.  After asking the owners permission and enquiring into whether the bulldog was a friendly character, I asked Austin to go and acquaint himself.  Nervous at first, we eventually got him in the van where he got well and truly mauled (in a playful way).  My assistant and I were howling with laughter as I shot it.....Austin was a great sport!




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TU Clothing - Autumn TVC

Below is my Autumn execution for Tu Clothing at Sainsbury's. This was shown on UK National TV for 1 week in September.......

video

Thursday, October 1, 2009

BEHIND THE SCENES: SHEBA-CARGO SHOOT

I recently shot an advertising campaign for Sheba cat food. This was in association with Cargo and Natmags.
The shoot required me to source 2 Russian Blue cats to use as models (one main one and one back up). I also had to hire a cat handler to look after the cats and to make sure they performed on set. The cats became like mini celebrities on the shoot, requiring their own private green room and a silent closed set when we were shooting. If cats get upset whilst shooting, they 'stop working' (the cat handlers words) and you can't get them back. So the entire set had to be carefully managed to ensure this didn't happen and we could get the shots needed.







SHEBA - CARGO - NATMAGS PROMOTION

Here are some of the tearsheets from my recent Sheba - Cargo - Natmags shoot. The ads are featured in Cosmopolitan, Company, She, Prima, Good Housekeeping and other Natmags publications. They are also Point Of Sale in Cargo stores across the country.




Friday, September 25, 2009

THE SALTON SEA

The Salton Sea is a saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Riverside and Imperial Counties in Southern California. It is located below sea level, with the current surface of the Salton Sea at 226 ft (69 m) below sea level. The lake covers a surface area of approximately 376 sq mi (970 km2), the largest in California.

The name "Salton" appears to be connected with salt mining in the area, at least as early as 1815. With the extension of a rail line through the basin, large scale salt mining started in 1884. After that, the general area is referred to as the 'Salton Sink' or the 'Salton Basin', "sink" or "basin" referring to the area's bowl-shaped topography.

The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell and breach an Imperial Valley dike. It took nearly two years to control the Colorado River’s flow into the formerly dry Salton Sink and stop the flooding. As the basin filled, the town of Salton, a Southern Pacific Railroad siding and Torres-Martinez Indian land were submerged. The sudden influx of water and the lack of any drainage from the basin resulted in the formation of the Salton Sea.

The lack of an outflow means that the Salton Sea is a system of accelerated change. By the 1960s it was apparent that the salinity of the Salton Sea was rising, jeopardizing some of the species in it. The Salton Sea currently has a salinity exceeding 40‰ (parts per thousand) (saltier than seawater) and many species of fish are no longer able to survive in the Salton. Fertilizer runoff, combined with the increasing salinity and the highly polluted water from the northward-flowing New River have resulted in large algal blooms and elevated bacteria levels. The New River is considered to be the single most polluted river in America.

I visited the Salton Sea in April 2009 and it was a spooky experience. It was baking hot, at least 37 degrees C; I felt like I was in the middle of the desert. It was creepily quiet, long since abandoned and full of remnants of a life that once was. The ground by the sea crunched as I walked, it was covered in small fish bones caked in dried up salt. Dead, rotten, dried out fish were washed up on the shore. There was no breeze. A ghost town of a different kind.













Beyond the immediate area of the actual sea was an equally creepy half abandoned trailer park. The few people living here were like 'the ones that got left behind', ghostly people who would just appear, seemingly out of nowhere. Most of the trailers were boarded up and dilapidated, some were for sale. People drove around on golf buggies and seemed to have never left the trailer park. I asked an old geezer on a golf cart what existed on the other side of the sea. His dog promptly attacked me while he looked on at me like nobody had ever spoken to him before. I didn't hang around for very long.