OWLS, HORSES AND A NEW AGENT…….OCTOBER 2018
October gets off to a great start.
I went to see a photographers agent called Mark Gibson, with my animal portraits.
He liked my work, I liked him a lot and now he is representing me!
He has just launched his new website which you can see here:
Mark is great, his website is great, his photographers are all great…….in fact it’s all great!
I am looking forward to working with him and producing some beautiful images of animals…….and of course the odd human.
In the meantime, I have been working on a project with horses and visited some stables in Sussex.
Can’t show you the project images yet, but here are some of the out-takes along with some quite
wonderful owls I also photographed recently.
I saw my friend’s daughter the other day looking very cool.
So, I took some portraits of her…….
ARCHBISHOPS, GRANDMA’S, SHEEP AND CLEARING…….AUGUST 2018
Arriving back from our trip round Europe, where we had half an hour of rain the whole time we were there, we drive off the ferry into a good old English downpour.
It doesn’t last though and the Summer of 2018 carries on and on and on, and it is wonderful.
Mainly tennis and parties and parties and tennis and Grandma’s 80th birthday parties and carnivals and friends visiting, but also a trip to Brecon in the middle of Wales to take a portrait of The Archbishop of Wales for ULaw.
After the shoot with the Archbishop I thought I might drop in to see a lovely couple that I had met whilst photographing for Modern Farmer magazine. Pat and Graham live on a farm in the shadow of Pen y Fan, in the Brecon Beacons and amongst many animals they had a Maremma sheep dog called Milo, who nearly became a Modern Farmer front cover star. Unfortunately he passed away, but they now have another Maremma called Maizie. A quick phone call and I popped round for a cuppa, to find the last of the sheep being sheared, including an old girl called Betty!
Students all over the country who didn’t quite get the grades they were expecting, (aaagh) were making frantic calls to University Clearing to see if they could get in to the same or the next best Uni. Here are a few online posters shot for the University Of Law Clearing Campaign and also some from their Set For Success campaign.
The Archbishop of Wales
FOOTBALL, DUMP THE TRUMP, EUROPE AND PRIDE…….JULY 2018
Well, July turned out to be a pretty busy month!
The football started and it was great!
After all the years of disappointment, there was no expectation on the team and for a while anyway, the nation was gripped.
I loved all of it and couldn’t get enough.
From Germany, Portugal, Spain and Brazil crashing out, England winning a penalty shoot-out and getting to a semi-final, Neymar rolling and rolling, the Japanese and Senegalese cleaning up the stadiums after themselves, watching the Quarter-finals in a pub off Carnaby Street during Gay Pride, getting worried that we would miss England in the Final because we were off on holiday, driving through a very empty Paris whilst the final was playing and then shouting ‘Vive Le France’ to people hanging out of cars waving the tricolours and honking their horns. LOVED IT!
And marches, I love a march! I love that people are so passionate and/or enthusiastic about something that they bother to turn up and shout about it.
I’ve lived in London for thirty years and to my shame I have never been on a Gay Pride March. I went down this year to take photographs for a company that owns a lot of Carnaby Street and I loved it! What fun, colour and flamboyance! I think it might be a family trip next year.
The next march wasn’t quite such a celebration of life in all its forms; in fact it was the opposite. We didn’t really want Mr Trump visiting us and a good 100’000 people took to the streets of London to show Mr Trump that we don’t like him or his policies. My daughter came along and we met up with friends to shout – ‘Dump the Trump’!
And then it was off to Europe with the family for a four-week drive through seven countries.
Canoeing down the River Cher to see the Chateau Chenonceau, Paragliding over Lake Geneva, Water skiing on Lake Como, seeing the sunrise over St Marks Square in Venice, wonderful colours in Burano, swimming in the Danube in Vienna and the Vlatva in Prague. Early morning walks over Charles Bridge into the Old Town Square and then through Germany via Hannover and finishing with bicycle rides in Amsterdam. Wonderful sights, sounds and experiences, I could do it all again tomorrow.
Pride March 2018
Anti-Trump March 2018
Football nearly came home…..
The Parisians were watching the telly…….
Me andMrs B in Varenna, Lake Como.
Just a picture of Billie-Jo paragliding over Lake Geneva………
And just a picture of me paragliding over Lake Geneva! (Note rictus grin and white knuckles…..)
Lollage, Hashtag Hilarious…….
MY PERSPECTIVES, HILLS AND TRIATHLONS…….JUNE 2018
The competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that:
1. You must have Down’s syndrome.
2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.
Of the 300 entries entered into the competition I am tasked to ‘whittle’ it down to 25 images which are then sent off to a panel of judges to select their favourites. This years entries were again outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was Emily Buck, who also won the competition in 2016.
Two photographers shared second place – Christopher Diedo with his image ‘Prayer Cards’ and Yasman Ran Balouch’s image ‘Spring Has Arrived’.
The competition is open to people with Down’s syndrome across the world and this year 47 out of the 95 entrants came from outside the UK, with photographs sent from Iran, Canada, USA, Australia and Greece.
You can see more of the images and the event by clicking HERE.
Apart from that I cycled the London to Brighton bike ride for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even managed to cycle up every hill, even Ditchling Beacon! It’s busy, but there is a great atmosphere, I might even do it again next year…
And we also swam, cycled and ran round Blenheim Palace for our annual triathlon. I beat my twin brothers time last year, but he has been getting a ‘bit’ of training in and he beat me by about 15 minutes this year…….must try harder…..
Emily Buck – Winner of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018
Yasaman RanaBalouch – Runner-up of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018
Christopher Diedo – Runner-up of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018
Tim Beale – Finalist of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018
The Blenheim triathlon. It’s a family affair with brother, sister and wife!
Guiseppe Caccamese – Finalist of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018
POSITIVE ENERGIES EXHIBITION…….MAY 2018
Although Shifting Perspectives has stopped touring….I am still doing talks and showing the images.
This month I organised an exhibition for the Japanese photographer Mr Fumio Nabata, to show his images of children with Down’s syndrome.
I met Mr Nabata In 2014 when the Shifting Perspectives exhibition visited Tokyo. As part of his job Fumio travels the world taking photographs of children for a number of different clients. After seeing the Shifting Perspectives images, he decided to take photographs of children with Down’s syndrome and produce an exhibition that would eventually be shown in Tokyo. Mr Nabata’s images reveal an engaging, tender and very personal view of Down’s syndrome, which expresses the energy of a positive life. His portraits not only leave the viewer with a happy feeling, but truly have the power to shift perspectives.
His images are a welcome addition to the discussion around children with special needs and their place in families and society as a whole.
Called Positive Energies, this exhibition follows on from the hugely successful Shifting Perspectives exhibition in breaking down pre-conceived ideas about people with Down’s syndrome.
Myself and another founding member of Shifting Perspectives, Fiona Yaron-Field also showed work and we held it at thegallery@oxo on the South Bank.
Fiona’s work portrays women who are pregnant in the full knowledge that their unborn child has Down’s syndrome. These are particularly powerful portraits in light of the current debate around blood testing for genetic conditions and the fact that at the moment, in the UK alone, 92% of women will abort a foetus diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.
The development of a new completely non-interventionist test, that will give virtually 100% in terms of screening result, seems likely to increase the number of terminations.
And yet ironically, young people with Down’s syndrome have better health and life expectancy and more access to education and the work place than anytime in history.
To this end my images show individuals with Down’s syndrome in their workplace. Attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome have changed and twenty years ago images such as these would neither have been seen nor made. Over the years we have seen attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome change, and this powerful exhibition forms a part of that movement.
©Fumio Nabata©Fiona Yaron Field©Richard Bailey
For new readers Shifting Perspectives had started in 2003 when a group of photographers whom all had children with Down’s syndrome, put up a small exhibition for Down’s syndrome awareness week. One of our visitors was Susan Andrews, from The London Metropolitan University, who asked if we would like to participate in ‘Photomonth’, held in the East End every year.
From there ‘Shifting Perspectives’ developed.
In 2005 the Down’s Syndrome Association asked me if I would like to exhibit my work at the OXO Tower Gallery in London for the start of Down’s syndrome Awareness week. I brought the ‘Shifting Perspectives’ photographers with me and it became an annual event at the OXO.
With support from the Down’s syndrome association and generous funding from GlaxoSmithKline, the touring exhibition visited over 40 venues in twelve different countries and has grown to encompass a large and diverse body of work, by 20 different artists.
Some of the imagery deals with the photographers own emotions and feelings at the birth of their children, some look outside to see how others view Down’s syndrome, whilst others are a document of their lives or ask people with Down’s syndrome how they see themselves. We also have a burgeoning group of artists, who themselves have Down’s syndrome.
Before ‘Shifting Perspectives’ started there was little positive imagery surrounding Down’s syndrome. Many of the images would be of a medical or charity based nature and it should be noted that less than twenty years ago, images such as ours would neither have been made or seen………
Back in 1996 myself and Fiona had a book published called ‘The Road to Glory’ – A Portrait of Britain’s Paralympians.
I love sport and couldn’t understand why Tanni Grey, (now Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE) who had come back from the Barcelona Paralympics with four Gold medals, wasn’t plastered all over the back pages of the red tops wearing a Union Jack flag. In fact not many people had even heard of her or the other Paralympians, so in our own way we thought we would try to help to remedy this.
We started taking portraits and action shots of the athletes from all the different disciplines within the Paralympics and eventually had the book published by Quiller Press.
It is a great book, designed by the brilliant Debra Dempster and Steve Gardiner, but wasn’t a bestseller! Black and white portraits of Paralympians has quite a niche audience, so I guess it was never going to fly off the bookshelves! 🙂
But, the portrait of Tanni (who by the way is one of the loveliest people you could ever meet!) and also one of Chris Hallam was included in the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition of 1998 called ‘British Sporting Heroes’. It was quite a treat to see the portrait of Tanni hanging next to one of Ian Botham.
Many of the images have been featured in magazines and books including a great book published by Umbrage Editions called ‘Raising The Bar’ – New Horizons in Disability Sport.
We took the book out to Atlanta games, where for the first time they charged for tickets. It was a good idea, but didn’t quite work when you had 70’000 seat stadiums with only about 10-15’000 people in them. We were lucky enough to be in Australia when the Paralympics were on over there and they had learnt the lesson. They bussed in school kids from all over, there was free entry and the stadiums were packed, very noisy and with a great atmosphere.
Fast forward to 2012, when we were fortunate to get tickets to the Paralympics in London. You had to pay for a ticket and they were hard to get, stadiums were packed, the atmosphere was electric and our Paralympic athletes were hailed as true sports stars!
The reason I mention all of this is because I am still in touch with a couple of the athletes from the original book. Kevin Davids, the swashbuckling chap below, decided he would become an actor when he left the world of Paralympics, so he got in touch with me to ask if I would take a few shots of him for his model agency, which of course I gladly did. You can now see him on Coronation Street and in other TV shows. The agency he joined was called VisAble and is just for people with a disability of some sort or another. Every so often, Louise who runs the agency, points her clients in my direction and it has been great fun, not just taking their ‘headshots’, but also collaborating with them to make some powerful portraits. The shots below are of Andy McLay, Actor, Director and writer.
A few images from our book ‘The Road to Glory’.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson