Greenham Common, Berkshire (27/12/15)

As promised, here they are – the photos from the historic and always impressive Greenham Common. A place so steeped in controversial history and yet so beautiful whether in gleaming sunshine or gale-force winds (as it was for us), I always enjoy a long walk up there. For those of you who have seen the latest Star Wars, you might well recognise part of the landscape, minus the incredibly muddy dog.

Paraffinalia, Campbell Park (19/12/15)

Last weekend saw the return of Festive Road’s Paraffinalia winter fire show at Campbell Park. It was a chilly night, but it was a great show and I got some great pictures from it.

The BJC Blog; A Matter of Perspective

It won’t be the first time I’ve said it, but I really like this picture.

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Creepy.

I could go on about colour and composition, and knowing me I probably will, but the thing I love most about this picture is the shift in perspective. As someone growing up in the UK, where we don’t have the big gnarly spiders of warmer climes,¬†I’m used to seeing these things as a shuffling ball of legs with no real body or face. In spite of how scared of these guys I am, I find them¬†fascinating. It is believed that you are never more than 10 feet away from a spider at any time.

In fact, there’s one directly above me right now. Hmm.

For those of you who aren’t read up on your UK weather patterns, this summer was a warm one, and those spiders which are usually only little and small got pretty freaking big. After a shoot at a local park, I was walking back and passed by a thick gorse-like bush covered in thick webs. On closer inspection I saw that each little patch of web had a not-so-little-spider tucked away, and in some cases I could make out some really interesting features and colours with my own eyes, let alone looking through the zoom lens. I decided to return the next day at around 10am, to get some clearer sunlight overhead.

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It’s not me, is it? That thing is clearly looking right back at me.

Luckily, by the time I arrived the rain had long since cleared and the spiders were, for the most part, out in the centre of their webs. From that point on it was a case of remaining quiet so as not to spook them and dropping down to their level. Shooting at f5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/1600 without a tripod, the key challenge was re-framing as the subjects kept shifting about and rapidly darting across their webs.

The reason that I loved this project, and especially that first image, is that readjustment in perspective, taking these creatures which are so small and largely ignored in this country and placing them above the viewer, bigger than the viewer. It is easy to imagine how freaking terrifying it would be to be insect-sized and have these guys as a natural predator; the dark eyes, the strangely-balanced bulk, the patient and eerie intelligence. To imagine standing before the spider in that top picture as it approaches…

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<shudder>

To me a good picture tells a story, and that’s so dependent on composition. Most cameras have onboard processes that can alter settings to optimise the image quality, but there is nothing on there that can help you compose the picture to get the best narrative out of it. Perspective is one of the most subjective elements of reading an image, but there are norms that we take as a given (i.e; people are bigger than spiders). Taking one of those general rules of thumb and subverting them through camera placement or perspective manipulation can lead to some great pictures, with some great stories in them.

I’m going to go now, because that spider above my head is no longer above my head and I’m starting to worry.

BJC

 

The BJC Blog: An Introduction

Ok, so for those of you who may not know, I used to write for my own videogames review site (link here), but gave up due to a combination of time commitments and general apathy towards the current-gen releases of the time (although things are looking a lot rosier now than this time last year!)

Back on topic, I recently realised that I missed typing up my periodic ramblings and publishing the few that aren’t complete gibberish. As such, I’ve created the BJC Blog (or #BJCBlog for those of you who speak Twit), as a space for some of those picture-themed ramblings to find the light of day. I’ll update when I can, and if you all like and share the posts, I’ll at least try to keep them photography-focused.

For now, here’s a seagull with a Santa hat to get you all in the Christmas mood.

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PS It’s not a real Santa hat, but it is a real seagull.

hf Chocolates Valentines and Easter Brochure, Milton Keynes (Winter 2015)

Working again with the Directors and Product Design Team at hf Chocolates, I photographed the products hand-packed on premises and edited the images to match the company’s brochure style.

 

Clash of Drums, Milton Keynes (03/10/15)

Last night saw the epic Clash of Drums travel from Campbell Park to The Point following a day of Rugby World Cup excitement. We followed their journey and got some cracking pictures of the fantastic drumming and fireworks display.

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