New shot of Canary Wharf

Today I published a new shot of Canary Wharf (you can see the whole shot here) which I really like. I was lucky to get this shot as a heavy mist was forming and would soon obscure my view completely, but as it hung over the City of London it absorbed and dissipated the bright lights at street level and created an eerie glow which hung, radiating light above central London (on the left of the image) in a small pocket of mist. The mist moved in quickly after that and ruined the view, but I was lucky to see it forming.

I took four shots on my P25+ with a 35mm lens to get the whole view, then cropped it to the aesthetically pleasing 6×17 panoramic format.

You cannot get an impression of just how sharp this photograph is on my website, so I have attached here a crop of the detail from the bottom left hand corner. Just click on the small image above this text to see it enlarged. It even surprises me how sharp it is sometimes!

I dont think I have ever been so cold as when taking this photograph, it was already -3C, that on top of the wind chill factor made it seem much colder. I was lucky the mist was coming in so the wind dropped!

Long Service Award – from the British Institute of Professional Photography

I received a nice surprise this morning in the post, my Long Service Award certificate (20 years continuous membership) from the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography)! It doesn’t seem that long ago since I joined!! There are a couple of other milestones this year, my 50th birthday and I am also celebrating my 30th year as a professional photographer! Quite a momentous year all in all.

When I look back at how my career started, it was my positive attitude that helped me get started. I got my first job interview in the Selfridges Portrait Studio by just turning up and asking for a job, I thought that’s how it was done!. There weren’t any going at the time, but they interviewed me anyway as I was there, and three month later when they were short staffed I got a call offering me a job if I could start the same day. It seemed a bit mad sat at home one minute then helping out on a shoot photographing a Nigerian Prince and his extended family later that day!

After leaving Selfridges to start my own business, I was told a year later that the current studio (my old employers) was closing and so made an appointment to see one of the directors to try and get the contract for myself. They were not sure at first, given I was only 24, but I think our enthusiasm won them over and we were given a chance subject to some very strict targets to meet. If we met them we were in! We ended up exceeding all our targets by miles and securing a working relationship with Selfridges on our terms that lasted 12 years.

It just goes to show, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, which is something that is as true today as it was then. If I hadn’t been brave enough to walk into Selfridges and ask for that job my career might have taken an entirely different path.

‘Artists Wanted’ competition finalist!

I entered the ‘Artists Wanted’ competition last year and was really pleased to get an email last night to say I was one of the selected finalists for the exhibition! The international competition judges, including Michael Shulman, Director of Publishing, Broadcast and Film at Magnum Photos, selected my portfolio for its ‘compelling, unique images’

You can see all the finalists here:

And my portfolio page here:

Image quality

I recently posted a new photograph, Greenwich Night Panorama and it occurred to me after seeing it on line that it gave no indication as to how sharp the final image is! So here is a 100% crop of the detail of the Canary Wharf buildings to show you how sharp this image is. It should be sharp really having been made from several Phase One images, but you may be surprised how sharp!

Greenwich Night panorama 100% crop

30 years of being a professional photographer means up to 30% off prints!

Later this year I will be celebrating my 50th birthday and also my 30th year of being a photographer! Starting out in Selfridges in 1982 was a fantastic way to start my career and was a real baptism of fire. Madly busy from day one as a runner, while at the same time being trained to photograph royalty from around the world. It was hard work but fun!

So to celebrate I am offering 30% off all prints and 25% off all tuition for the whole of February (discounts are applied at checkout only, not shown before – applies to on line orders only), so get it while you can!

Thanks to everyone who has helped and supported me to get me this far!


Phase One infra red photography – my photos on Drew Gardner blog post

New (short) blog post by Drew Gardner on Phase One infra red photography, something I specialise in, including some sample test shots I made with my converted P21+ back. Looking forward to using it this summer!

DLR – Canary Wharf iPhone shots

Took some shots on the DLR today, which you can see here in my ‘latest‘ section

I was just experimenting with slow shutter speeds (yes it is possible on the iPhone, using the ‘Slow Shutter Cam’ app) and trying to emphasise the grungey look of the wet weather.

I have only posted a couple on my site but the rest are here on my facebook page as they were just a bit of fun! Let me know what you think!

Green Chain Captured Workshops

I will be leading a free photographic workshop this year for the Green Chain in association with Elixir Gallery, on the 14th and 15th February. Information below, and PDF download here!

Need some advice on what makes a really great nature photograph? There will be three FREE photographic workshops led by professional photographers on walks along the route as follows:

14th February 3-5pm with Mike Curry, 15th February 2-4pm with Mike Curry; 21st February 3-5pm with Ian Cook.

For further information and updates about free workshops, please visit this page again in the new year 2012 or email [email protected] or call 020 8836 5831.

The workshops will take place on afternoon walks along the Green Chain route in the Woolwich / Charlton area in February. Booking is preferred but not essential, you can just turn up on the day; contact us for locations of starting points. The routes will be confirmed nearer the time but will start or finish at train stations or main bus stops, for safety and convenience. Unless it’s torrential rain, the walks will still take place, so please come dressed appropriately and bring your camera.
Two professional Greenwich-based photographers will lead the workshops:
Mike Curry 14th February 3-5pm
15th February 2-4pm.
Half-term week, ideal for families and students, but under 17s should please be accompanied by an adult.
Ian Cook 21st February 3-5pm.
You can attend as many workshops as you like. The aim is to provide expert advice on what makes a great nature or landscape photograph. You don’t have to stay with the group for the whole two hours. It will be a mixed ability group – beginners are welcome as are those with experience; the photographers will aim to spend time with everyone during the walk and to answer queries. However, they are not experts on every make of camera so please consult your manual!
Bookings will be confirmed with the location of the meeting place.

Canary Wharf View

I took this photo earlier this summer while on a walk in Greenwich Park. It was taken with my infra red converted camera. I just loved the contrast between the trees and the buildings, like the trees were encroaching on Canary Wharf . I never realised how many trees there were until I looked at the photo after.

I actually took these photos and never did anything with them at the time, I supose i was busy and just left them on the hard drive to be discovered another day. Quite pleased I re-discovered them now!

The infra red effect makes the foliage look white and a lot of people mistake it for frost! I had to turn down a magazine front cover once as they wanted one of these type of shots for their winter edition! I couldnt let them make such a big mistake and of course when I pointed out it was taken in summer they changed their minds!

Whitstable training day

Had a great day teaching on Saturday in Whitstable, Kent with a customer of mine, Luis. Managed to pack loads into the day and got some great feedback.

Here is a shot I took from the end of the pier. It was taken on my P25+ using a 10 stop neutral density filter, therefore slowing the bright sunlight an ethereal 30 seconds, which really brings out the misty sea spray I think! I would normally shoot much longer shutter speeds than this even, but this time I think it enhanced the sea spray nicely!