Part 4: The Silks to The Lalu..






Having spent two days in Taroko, it was time to load my MaxSYM600 and get back on the road. the ride ahead was to be a long one, heading south away from Silks Place and climbing up over Hehuanshan. Hehuanshan lies on the boarder of Nantou county and Hualien, rising 3416 meters to its summit. This section of my journey consisted of over 100km of twisting, winding, climbing and falling road, it was a day for staying focused, on schedule and preferably on the tarmac.


With the sun already heating up the back of my leathers, I pulled the bungee straps tight and programmed my GPS, it was time to get rolling. 


There is a definite quandary on a road trip through somewhere so beautiful, the dilemma being the time you have, and the desire to stop and make photographs every minute. Of course I wanted to enjoy the ride as well as the view, so stopping every other kilometre to take in yet another stunning vista had to be put on the less important list. It is easy to let time slip away from you on the road, and I didn't fancy another 2 hours in the dark on a mountain side.    



The light was lovely and riding conditions were perfect, so I cracked on a little bit to make time for one or two photographs of this leg of the journey. 

Central Taiwan is very mountainous, steep sided peaks rise up blanketed in thick jungle which becomes more forest and eventually grass land the higher you climb. Some of the craggy mountain sides are scared from more recent landslides, all of which adds to the beautiful drama of this landscape.


As i made my way higher along the twisting ribbon of road, several things happened. Firstly I had to stop and put the liner in my jacket as it was getting a bit chilly, secondly the tyre pressure rose and the scooter started to handle slightly differently as a result, finally the performance dropped a little due to the thin air and altitude. Altitude sickness can occur from 2400 meters, my GPS was reading nearer 3000 meters, eventually peaking at 3362 meters. Fortunately I was feeling fine, the view and great road were keeping me more than happily occupied. I just had to try and stay on time.




Up on the highest part of the road, where the air was super fresh, and a steady cool breeze blew over the mountain, I had to stop and enjoy where I was. Pretty much all alone, on top of Taiwan and with the clearest view of the beautiful mountains. No real trees up at this height, just grass and scrub, I could have happily sat for hours.  




Sadly though time was a luxury I did not have, and so my charge down the mountain began. The MaxSYM600 is certainly comfortable, however it is not the most agile of machines, ground clearance is not exactly generous. As I peeled off corner after corner, so I peeled of scrape after scrape of centre stand, I just figured I was lightening the load. I had got so used to the noise that it had stopped worrying me too much, but the occasional slip of the rear wheel as a result of grounding out was more unnerving, especially considering the drop off the side of the road.


Having not stopped for a couple of hours, the sun was now starting to get low in the sky. Thinking that I was still making the time and that the GPS was doing it's job, I felt all was ok. Only when I rode through the same small village for the third time did I realised something was not right. Now I started to feel a rise in my stress levels, I hate to be late. Calling ahead I explained I was a bit lost, I knew I was close, I just needed to figure out the correct turning.

Riding all day long on the demanding roads had been difficult, I was mentally and physically drained. Heaving the big and fully loaded scooter around the endless switchback roads had been fun, but it had taken its toll, the last thing I needed was a problem with my navigation system. But that was exactly what was happening. Only a week after I purchased the Garmin, it was beginning to let me down. The Lalu hotel was close, but I just could not get on to the correct bit of road as the GPS sent me around in a loop. Several phone calls later and having given up with the GPS, I was riding to each junction and then checking my phone until eventually I got to the hotel, two hours later than I had aimed for, but I was there and in one piece.


I really wanted a shower after the full day of riding and the added stress of the final section, however it was back to work as soon as I arrived. There was a shot list prepared, and so I had to take a deep breath, gather my energy and get to it. On the plus side, Mrs.L had made her way to The Lalu, she was welcome company indeed.


The following day we were up before dawn and heading to a farm to see the sunrise, there is often a mist which sits low in the valley, it is known as a cloud sea. It wasn't perfect this morning, but what a way to start your day.




Getting back for breakfast, the dawn over Sun Moon lake was beautiful, so peaceful before the tourist boats start to run.


With breakfast finished I got straight to work making photographs around the hotel, not as many as Silks Place thankfully, but a good couple of hours none the less.


Premier Suite



Delicious food.



Relaxing treatments.


Traditional tea ceremony.


Beautiful architecture.


Stunning infinity pool with lake views.

Mrs. L was to join me on the next leg, riding from The Lalu to Tainan and then on to Kenting, but my GPS was now not working at all. I was very disappointed about this and so contacted Garmin. I informed them that I bought the unit a week earlier and now it was not working. Saying they were not helpful would be generous, first they said I had to take the unit back to Taipei to where I bought it, I pointed out that navigation would be a problem and that I was on a work schedule. I asked why I could not take it to the Garmin shop in Tainan and why it is not covered by the global warranty. Again they just said bring it back to Taipei, so I asked how I should navigate, "use your phone" was the reply. I had just got a brand new phone and did not want to use that, plus riding and holding the phone is not really so safe. They then suggested a map, ok but not easy to read as it is in Chinese, and then finally they suggested I stop and ask directions all the way back. Well, I can ask but at the time I would not have been able to understand the answer. Eventually they did accept that I was going to go to the Garmin shop in Tainan. It was lucky that Mrs. L was on the back of the bike to navigate or we would never have made it to Tainan, What happened when we did arrive was far from pleasing, however that is for the next episode.

I hope that you enjoyed this section of the journey, the road over Hehuanshan really is very beautiful and well worth a drive/ride should you get the chance. In the future I think I will camp at the top, spend a night beneath the stars, and wake for the sunrise. 

Next time it will be the leg from The Lalu to Tainan, Tainan and also more of the Garmin saga.


Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.

















Multi Skilled and Multi Disciplined


Multi Skilled and Multi Disciplined


“Photographers” they just have a camera and press a button right? Well, for some people claiming to be photographers this is the case, and sure we all start somewhere. Actually being a photographer is so much more than this, in fact the camera, other than being a tool for the job is a long way from the most important part of being a photographer. Of course a camera is needed, but a photographer is so much more.


My friend and fellow photographer coined the collective noun for a group of photographers as a “whinge of photographers” haha. This is amusing, but also has a hint of truth to it, we do love to complain. Is it fair to feel a level of disgruntlement?


As a photographer I have spent many years learning my trade, building my business, investing in the tools for my job. I have served my apprenticeship assisting working long hours and for little pay. I have skills in my arsenal tha now enable me to understand lighting and create complicated images…


Midnight Manoeuvres (proof) (1 of 16).jpg


I have learned to work with my team and direct the shoot to achieve the results for my clients. It isn’t just me working to make these images, I have assistants, hair and makeup stylists, clothing stylists, and the talent to motivate and energise. While doing this, it is also my job to liaise with my client and insure we are on track. Now some people taking photographs don’t use assistants, but for me I feel to truly focus on my task at least one good assistant is essential. My assistants work closely with me so I can simply instruct them where I want the light and to what power I want each light set to. I trust them enough to then let them get on with this. Assistants should never be underrated if you are a photographer, along with simply really helping they offer a great opportunity to educate. They may just want to learn about lighting and the photography side, they may want more, but teaching helps all parties grow. I rate all of my team and have invested time in assembling and developing our working relationship.


So now we start to see that the camera is only a part of being a photographer, there is so much more knowledge and skills going into making a great image. As a professional photographer I am also running a business, so I need to understand marketing, accounting and budget. I need to handle meetings and negotiations, many times I am made to feel it necessary to justify my fees. I linked an excellent article earlier which address how fees are configured, if you didn’t see it take a look here.


The article points out that each project is different, it is difficult to quote without proper dialogue between photographer and client. I have learned that honesty and transparency is key and actually enjoy the process of working together to make a fair deal. I respect my client and my clients need, in return I ask them to respect my extensive and hard earned knowledge and ability to deliver images of the highest standard. These images will be of benefit to them and their business, helping build the brand and expand client base. Is it unfair to expect a fair fee for all the experience and skill I bring?


Having a camera means you can take a picture, but as you can see there is so much more to being a photographer, you really have to be multi skilled across the board.


Now my second subject, multi disciplined. When I say multi disciplined I am referring to genre’s of photography. There are many disciplines within photography, commercial, fashion, portraiture, travel, food, street, wedding and reportage to name just a few. Specialising is accepted, being one or another, either a street photographer or a wedding photographer etc..


But why can you not practice several of these disciplines?


I really love to shoot commercial and fashion photography….


Jet Style Ximending (1 of 1).jpg
Max SYM (Pingtung County) (1 of 1).jpg


Black Jump Suit - P.L.A.N (2)-2.jpg
Joanna (proof) (2 of 14).jpg


I enjoy making portraits…
Stephen Webster (1 of 1).jpg


I enjoy being in the studio and making still lifes..
Jawbone Big Jambox RS (2 of 2).jpg
Matisse Single Malt Whiskey (final) 72dpi.jpg


And I shoot travel photography, shooting for Nat Geo Traveller…


Dujiangyan (9).jpg


Now I wonder should I simply stop shooting all that I love to shoot and only make photographs of one subject, what do you think?


I find the skills I learn lighting one subject and the relationship with that subject can be transferred and applied across the other disciplines I practice. I say practice because that is what we do, well that is what we do if we want to continue to be open minded enough to improve. I am actually beginning to practice a new discipline, one of making film. This is a long road, but the journey has begun and I am learning how to shoot film and also the software needed to edit it, but that is another article in itself.


Will I reduce the photographic disciplines I practice, to some degree I already have. I know what I enjoy and that is the area I wish to concentrate harder on. I enjoy the creativity of shooting fashion and I enjoy the pressures of commercial photography, strange as that may seem. Pressure keeps me on my toes and in all honesty no one puts more pressure on me than myself, but I know that no matter what happens during the shoot I have the skills, flexibility and creativity to make the photographs. If it wasn’t for all the hard work and practice over the years, I would not be able to produce the images I do. Images my clients enjoy and help their businesses and brands grow. Images that make people want to visit a place or stay in a specific hotel, and images that simply make the viewer smile.


So when you book me, you are not just booking a guy with a camera, you are booking a passionate, creative and knowledgeable photographer, a photographer that will deliver and one who will give you all and more than you wanted. My fee? Like I said at the top, this all depends on the project, the budget and usage. I am happy to discuss and work with clients all the way through the process to ensure all parties are pleased with every aspect.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article, I hope you have enjoyed it. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any enquiries and check out more of my work.  

Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt3...... Taroko Gorge National Park.

Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt3...... Taroko Gorge National Park.



Having ridden into Taroko Gorge National Park from the north, I had headed over mountains and then steadily desended into the beautiful gorge itself. I could write about the gorge, how the river cuts its' route through marble and is a beautiful cool blue colour. I could tell you that within 60km the Central Cross Island Highway rises from sea level at the Hualien end to 3000m and then on up beyond that as it winds over Huashan. Huashan is for the next leg and blog, and all the information about the gorge you want can be found here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Taroko_Gorge.

I would like to tell you more about what was on my mind as I rode the tight and twisting road. Although it is named Central Cross Island Highway, it is narrow, very narrow in places. The road is cut into the side of the gorge, it runs through tunnels and overhangs. Rock walls rise steeply on one side, and fall equally steeply to the river on the other. If it were only two wheeled vehicles travelling this route all would be fairly easy, but you will come across all sizes of transport hustling along. So it gets busy, and with Taiwan's regular rumbles and weather, this road is classed as one of the top ten most dangerous in the world, coming in at number 7 I believe. That sounds bad doesn't it, but don't worry if you travel here, the risk is well worth it as you will see, just be aware and take it easy.


Across the road bridge and then a foot bridge from Silks Place is Hsiang-Te Temple, I would recommend making an early visit to this temple. It will be quiet then, and you can have time to contemplate. You may even come across a trope of Monkey's hanging around, watch them though, they are indeed cheeky and may take a liking to something shinny.





As I walked around in the morning sun the busy start to my journey was on my mind. I felt like I had been on the go non stop and rushed, today was going to give me a chance to slow down a bit. A chance to go from two wheels to two feet and slow down. My plan was to ride to the Hualien entrance to the park and walk the Shakadang trail.

The Trail is clearly marked and follows the river, on my visit some of the trail was impassable due to the river flooding and washing it away. This worked to my benefit though as it was easy to get to the actual river bed dip my toes, and get some special and unique shots.















I think every tourist visiting Taroko stops at The Shrine of the Eternal Spring, not so many make the journey up to the nearby Zen Buddhist Temple. It is at this Temple and across a rope bridge you can visit a shrine to all the men who died building the Central Cross Island Highway. Brave the bridge and ring the bell whilst giving a thought to those men who made it possible to enjoy this amazing place.





The gorge truly is breathtaking at times, scary at others and will always be one of my favourite places in the world, not just Taiwan. Make a visit there, spend some time walking the trails and enjoying nature. Don't go looking, go there to experience the moment, that is my best piece of advice when travelling. So often we neglect to actually be there at that moment, and that is what this day of my journey was about. It was a timely reminder to be in the moment of this experience as much as I could be, that I was doing something special and I was allowed to enjoy it as well as document it.




I had one last night at Silks Place before a long leg over Huashan where the road climbs to 3660+ meters before arriving at Sun Moon Lake and The Lalu. 

Hopefully you are enjoying this journey with me, feel free to let me know and ask questions should you wish too. So next time the ride to Sun Moon Lake.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.







Quick and Sleeklens...


Quick and Sleeklens...


Hi, this is going to be a quick rest bite from the road and a look into Sleeklens Lightroom presets bundle.

So just before Christmas I was contacted by Sleeklens and asked to have a look at their new preset bundle for Lightroom or Photoshop. Now I shoot mostly commercial work, but you will know that I also hit up a lot of street and landscape work during my travel pieces for Nat Geo Traveller. 

For my commercial work I use both Lightroom and Photoshop to produce the final images, mostly with my travel work I predominantly work with Lightroom, so I opted to test the Lightroom pack.

Honestly I am not a big fan of presets, I find that they can lead you down a generic path and make everybody's work look similar, lets face it there is nothing more important as a photographer than your individual style. Having said that I ran through the preset library and brushes to see what they had to offer for my workflow. 

As I suspected the preset library offers a selection of fairly generic looks, remember presets should only be used as a base to start from and develop further. The brush set on the other hand does offer, for me at least a more useful collection.

Overall, I would say that the Sleeklens presets for Lightroom are useful, if just for the brushes. I don't think my workflow will be revolutionised, but I expect I will employ the brushes in my processing work.

Here are two editions of the same image, one processed using Sleeklens and one with just Lightroom, you can decide. If you like the Sleeklens look, get on over to their site and order your package.

Without Sleeklens....


With Sleeklens...


Next time we will be back on my tour and exploring the beautiful Taroko Gorge, so plenty of landscapes to enjoy there.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...




Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt2...... Silks Place Taroko.


Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt2...... Silks Place Taroko.


Having ridden all day and over some challenging roads which demanded constant and complete concentration, I was feeling tired and very much looking forward to arriving at Silks Place Taroko. Silks Place holds a special place in my heart, Mrs.L and I stayed there during my first ever visit to Taiwan. I have been fortunate enough to return a number of times since, and was looking forward to some peace, a rest from the road and a chance to contemplate the journey past, and ahead.

Riding into the gorge I had met two other Brits enjoying a motorcycle tour, no sooner had we said hello to each other than we found ourselves posing for photographs. Apparently three white guys on motorcycles are more impressive than the gorge to those in the tour buses. Personally I didn't think we were, but now regret not making a picture of the three of us. JJ and Jamie have become friends and we stay in touch through Facebook. You can't really blame me for being distracted though...



...it is rather spectacular isn't it.

Located in Tiensiang a small town in the middle of the gorge, Silks Place Taroko was once used by Chiang Kai-shek to relax and entertain, the hotel now offers a luxurious experience available for everyone. A place to pamper yourself, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and fantastic facilities, which is what I was looking forward to when I rode my scooter from the road and up to the entrance.


The ride had been long and I wanted to get out of my leathers and shower as soon as I could. However when I arrived I was greeted and immediately went into a meeting to discuss the photographs I was to make of the hotel, it seemed the list was endless and I was to practically shoot a new brochure. Now, I am really happy shooting interiors, food and exteriors, I enjoy it very much. To do that properly takes time and a plan, I was on a travel piece and so had neither, not to mention only one speedlight. I did get to shower and change eventually but the marathon of photography began as soon as I reached my room. I always photograph my room before unpacking so it doesn't get messed up...








 Then I grabbed a welcome shower, and went to make the food shots...












Finally after 2 hours of shooting food I got to eat, but my day still had not finished. After dinner I was requested to photograph the entertainment and rooftop cinema.







Eventually at around midnight I managed to get back to my room, I set up my laptop, uploaded the shots from the day. Took a cold beer from the fridge and the delicious chocolates left by the turn down service, relaxed in the bath and soaked away the aches of the day...


....bliss.

The following morning I got up early to start the rest of the shots on the list, so here we go...

The roof top pool (probably my favourite pool in the world)




The roof top hot tubs...



Breakfast...





Spa...




Yoga studio..





Gym...




Finally of course, the conference room..



At last I had completed the list requested from the hotel and was free to head off and explore the beautiful Taroko Gorge National Park properly. I packed my cameras and headed off for a hike.

The next part of this story will follow soon, I hope you enjoyed Silks Place, they worked me hard but I love to stay there and highly recommend it. It is a treat to swim in the spring fed pool and watch swallows stoop and drink as you do, all in the most beautiful mountain surroundings.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.














Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt.1

Epic Taiwan Scooter Tour Pt.1


I have to confess and apologise as this has taken me over a year to get around to writing. The reason for this is that it has taken me this long to really absorb the wonderful journey that I went on, a journey that took me all around Taiwan. The journey was not just about riding beautiful roads on my scooter and seeing amazing things, making a photographic essay for Nat Geo Traveller or shooting a campaign for SYM. It was a journey for me too, one of discovery, discovery about myself, being alone in a foreign country, the thoughts and realisations that come to you in these moments, and most importantly learning to be in that moment. 



This is my SanYang Motor Company MaxSYM600iABS, Together we travelled 2000 miles, miles which took us along the coast, up to over 3000 meters and over all kinds of surfaces. She may not be the most svelte of machines, but she sure ticks the comfortable, sure footed and reliable boxes. There is plenty of space under the saddle for bags, but I needed to carry my camera kit too, so fitted out with a topbox I had all the space I required. Perfect for the tour.

My route would take me from home in Linkou (just south of Taipei), south down the island central and then west to the coast before travelling back north all the way up the east coast. I would make wrong turns and my satellite navigation system would break down. I set off with a planned and solid route, but as with all things in life, we have to learn to be flexible and roll with what comes our way.



This was my planned route, each coloured represented a day on the road from one destination to the next. I wasn't travelling everyday as I spent a few in some areas to explore more.

Leg one took me through Yilan County and into Taichung County where I was to stay the night near Heping District. It was a pretty straight forward run down the very winding route number 7. As usual I was late leaving and had to cover a fair section in the dark, it wasn't too warm up in the mountain and I was quite tired by the time I reached the homestay for the night.


I am sorry that there are no real photographs of this section, the sky was grey and time was against me. When I woke up the following morning, I found I was in a most beautiful place. Heping District is full of fruit farms and I had arrived in the middle of pear season. Fresh, cool and crisp pears for breakfast were very refreshing and a great way to start the day. Not to mention the amazing view.




I could have made photographs every half a mile, I was on a schedule and needed to complete the second leg of my journey into Hualien and Taroko Gorge National Park. With my scooter happily loaded and riding well I pushed on.



So Looks simple enough, along the 7 and onto the 8, the only problem was that I went the wrong direction on the 8! I don't get stressed about going the wrong way, it is all part of the adventure and I got to discover this...



The road was beautiful, and had it not been for the fact it was closed due to a landslide I would have continued along it. I suppose I got my first warning passing this, a fairly common problem, and something to be aware of when travelling in this part of the island, a landslide had wiped part of the road away. The section I passed was almost repaired, it was further along that a more serious issue was in the process of repair. Kind of explained why this section of route 8 was so free of other traffic.


Backtracking and heading in the correct direction I was soon winding my way into Taroko Gorge. My destination was Silks Place Taroko (I will write about this place in my next blog), the journey to it greets you with stunning views at every turn. The road through the Gorge is called the Central Cross Island Highway and is classed as the seventh most dangerous in the world. No you are not likely to be held up by highwaymen or blown up by mines, but you may have a rock fall on you, and one as big as a house at that. I figured it was best to keep moving and chased the rising clouds for a chance to see above them.



Back down in the gorge, the crystal blue water cascades through the rocky, boulder ridden twists and turns. It is hard to find the right place to stop and make a shot. Fortunately I was to be staying in the gorge for a couple of nights and would have a day to explore more. For now I will leave you with this shot of the Liwu River that formed the gorge to wet your appetite.



Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.










  

Diversity...


Diversity...


In the U.K. I heard it said time and time again, "you have to specialise, find your niche". Apparently you can't be a commercial photographer, travel photographer, food photographer, fashion photographer, etc etc, you can only be one kind of photographer. There is no denying that certainly in London, and I expect other major photographic hubs such as New Your and Paris this may be the case due to the concentration of photographers. While I was in London I focused on editorial portraiture and dabbled with fashion, it worked for me and my portrait game became strong as a result of the practice and focus. I did make some effort with food photography and also shooting some product, but mostly concentrated on portraiture which I enjoy a great deal anyway so it was fun.




However I do like to diversify and had varied my subjects alongside my chosen "niche". I don't accept half measures from myself, or my team, everything I shoot, I shoot to the best of my ability, no matter what it is. Pushing to see faults, learn and correct them through a range of subjects has undoubtedly enabled me to take knowledge from one discipline and apply it to another. It also keeps me interested and driven in my work, feeling fresh and sustaining my inspiration in image making.




The first time I returned to the UK after moving to Taiwan I had a meeting with Roger Tooth (head of photography at the Guardian). It was music to my ears when he said that photographers can be more versatile, it was like a green light to explore, learn and develop myself further. We, as photographers should always be reaching to be better and produce better images, if we don't do this then why continue?

I work hard to be the best I can be across all the disciplines of photography I work in. This is paying off with work coming from a multitude of sources and across a range of genres. Regular readers will know about my Nat Geo Traveller assignments which I really enjoy. Travel can encompass all areas, street work, landscapes, portraiture, fashion and food...





So I suppose what I am saying is that I think it is possible to shoot at a high level across the different disciplines of photography if you put enough effort into it. Unfortunately what I see most times is "photographers" flitting from one to the next without spending enough time on any to become proficient. I feel they are trying to look for their photographic identity by jumping on a trend. More often than not they end up copying other and better photographers work badly. There is nothing wrong in taking cues from other photographers work, at the end of the day though, as a photographer it is your voice you need to get heard, and your style you need to develop. It needs to speak through all of your work, whatever subject you are making a photograph of. Concentrating long enough and practising hard enough to become not just proficient, but able to produce good, consistent and high quality work will bring great rewards, personally and professionally. Consistently trusting in myself and my communicative ability, my style, I believe does show within all my work. This is now reflected and confirmed by the diversity of work I get to enjoy shooting.










I love image making, I am starting to expand even further and moving towards creating fashion film. I am learning new software and fresh techniques almost daily. It is a great challenge which I simply enjoy so much. There is a wonderful feeling of producing something that you can feel proud of, that your team can feel proud of and that all of you enjoyed creating. I hope that my work brings pleasure to others too, and some inspiration. 

My plan is to never stop pushing myself, to always try and stay fresh and explore the boundaries of image making. And finally to go back to the start of this blog, I have to say there is some truth saying you can only be one kind of photographer, that is the best photographer you can be. If you want to shoot multiple genres, then practice them all equally hard and with the exact same mind set. Be honest with yourself, be your biggest critic. Listen to others also, it may not be what you want to hear, but take it on board and try to be objective.

Nowadays I am shooting mainly commercial, fashion and portraiture, I think these are the areas I get most creative pleasure from working in and I definitely have the most fulfilment working with people and a team.




My travel work with Nat Geo Traveller is fun for me and I will continue to do that as and when the opportunities present themselves, I do love an adventure in a foreign land, or even around the one I live in. That reminds me that I have not yet relayed the story of my epic thirteen day scooter tour of Taiwan last year, I will write that for you in a couple of blogs time. 

Next time I will finish up on my China assignment, for now though I hope that you enjoyed this, get where I am coming from regarding reaching to produce your best work and aim to do the same yourselves, no matter what you do for a living or a hobby.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have any questions, bookings, assignments etcetera, I am always interested to hear from you (contact me).


Love to all...

One last thing (which is amazing), my blogs are now becoming available in Chinese and can be found here.



















I like to fish....but....

I like to fish....but....


Last time I spoke with you, I was talking about the morning visit to meet Qinchenshan's Pandas. This time I am going to relay the story of the afternoon's visit to the Cerealia Caviar Sturgeon farm.


Lying among the beautiful mountains of Dujiangyan the concrete fish pens funnel through fresh and oxygen rich ice melt water, perfect conditions for the Sturgeon that lurk below. To say Sturgeon are an ancient animal could be a slight understatement. Their evolution dates back some 240 million years, all the way back to the Triassic period. Having hardly changed as found from early fossil records, they have proved to be perfectly designed to survive. Only now, thanks to humans and harvesting of Sturgeon eggs for caviar in the wild have they become endangered. Farms such as this one are countering the need to catch and harvest wild fish, producing a very high quality caviar which is distributed all around the world to grace the tables of connoisseurs of this luxury delicacy.

Personally I am not the biggest fan of caviar, it just doesn't do it for me. I don't hate it, but like my wife with scallops, I feel those who appreciate it more should enjoy it. Having said that, I was lead to believe there would be an opportunity to actually try the fish itself, and that it really is very delicious. Similar to Sharks, Sturgeon do not have bones as such, instead they are all muscle around a cartilage like frame. The skin is smooth and scale free, armoured with hard plates with sharp edges along the sides and back, this teamed with their sheer scale, growing on average to 7-12 feet in length protects them from predators. The largest Sturgeon on record was a Beluga female captured in 1827, she weighed over 1500kg and measured a whopping 24ft!



After the fun Panda morning, I was looking forward to this amazing lunch, as ever though I got a different surprise, and treat. The surprise was not just for me though, it was for my friend and guide Olaf (Guest Experience Manager at The Six Senses Resort and Spa Qingchenshan). We were not offered the Sturgeon lunch, instead we were offered a chance to get in the water with these beasts and give them a hug. Well I thought that sounded like a splendid idea, Olaf on the other hand, having watched Jaws the night before was a little less enthusiastic.


This life experience was only given to us as they were purging the tanks and refreshing the water for the fish. As you can see the water level was drained, this meant the fish were much more concentrated in the couple of feet depth that was left. This level of concentration didn't do Olaf any favours, neither did my teasing as I gladly got into the cool water on the hot and sunny day. The fish are very solid as you can imagine, I tried to gently move through the water, almost stumbling as they brushed and banged unseen against my legs.


Snow (the lovely lady in the water already) was as amused as I was with Olaf's reluctance, but eventually we got him in and his fears were all but allayed.
  


I have fished on an off for most of my life and am quite used to handling them. I also am a fully trained rescue diver and enjoy seeing them in their natural environment. These guys were something different though. Bumping your leg into them felt a bit like trying to push a reluctant horse, they were slow most of the time and wonderfully docile. Maybe it is because the species has been around for so many millennia they have become super chilled out. Snow showed us how to give them a hug, I kind of knew it was best to not grab them, but to be gentle, calm, slow and deliberate so the fish didn't feel threatened.


I am not sure how much experience with fish Olaf has had, but they kept slipping through his arms with a splash.


My advice in English was echoed by Snow in Chinese "handle them gently and with care, like a woman...haha."


Having seen Olaf find success, I handed my camera to our driver and went back to greet the fish properly and have a closer look at what beautiful creatures they really are.


The sunlight hitting the fish made it shine golden, you can really see the platelets along the flanks of the fish and its whiskers which help it hunt out it's food in the heavily coloured water, what a beautiful animal.

Finally it was time for all three of us to have our photo opportunity, or should I say four.






I am not sure how much the fish enjoyed that, but as you can see it was smiles all around for Snow, Olaf and I. I for one loved the chance to get in and see a Sturgeon up close an personal, what a great and graceful animal.

For me it is experiences like this that make travel so exciting, working hard has given me the privilege to shoot for Nat Geo Traveller UK, and have these experiences. Life has taught me to generally say yes when an opportunity such as this is presented. How many times in life will a person get to hug a Sturgeon after all, and share that experience with such lovely people, not to mention one from China, one from Germany and me from England. Wonderful.

I am going to continue with my China assignment, however I feel my next blog may be on a different subject, one that I have been thinking over for a couple of days now. That will wait, so for now I hope that you enjoyed the tale of this little adventure with the beasts beneath.

Don't forget to check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, bookings or inquiries.

Until next time love to all....




   




National Geographic Traveller and the Panda Picnic....ish!


National Geographic Traveller and the Panda Picnic....ish!




Pandas, they are cute and cuddly right, well that is the image we project of them. Our lovable, playful black and white furry friends. For years we were always excited by news that males or females were being flown in to help with the attempt to rejuvenate the dwindling wild population of these humble creatures. Thanks to science, humans have now managed to work away around the frustratingly unsuccessful matchmaking and in Dujiangyan's Panda paradise there is a baby boom, well cub boom I guess. So I was very much looking forward to heading to Panda Valley for a proverbial Teddybears Picnic.



It can get pretty hot in Szechuan, and on this day it was clear blue sky's and edging past 34 degrees centigrade by 09:00. Not too much of a problem for me, but Pandas prefer it a little cooler, after all sitting around all day and eating bamboo is hard work. Almost as bothersome as donning a giant Panda suit and trapesing about on a social media exercise, which is what my friend, and guide Olaf (Guest Liason Manager at the Six Senses Resort) was having to endure.



He managed to terrorise a couple of children, entertain a few more, apologise for not being able to broadcast with the Pandas as they prefer it indoors with air con on full blast and that was my Panda adventure sadly. I got to look at them through the glass as they sat in a comfortable, temperature controlled environment eating. I found out that that is what they do pretty much, just eat and chill, not such a bad life huh. Then we were off to meet another wonder of nature, the Sturgeon.




Don't tell me that you thought I didn't get any actual Panda shots haha, of course I managed a few.


Next time I'll show you the Sturgeon farm and the fun we had there, I'll leave you with this silly picture of the Kung Fu Panda getting his butt kicked....




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Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..
Love to all...



What I do on assignment for Nat Geo Traveller - Qingchenshan.


What I do on assignment for Nat Geo Traveller - Qingchenshan.


If you have been following along on my write up of my latest assignment for NGTUK, you will know that I have spent an evening in Chengdu, just hanging out, and then travelled to Dujiangyan before finally reaching The Six Senses Resort and Spa. The single ticket from Chengdu to Dujiangyan cost about 10 pence for a 45 minute trip, are you listening train services and governments, that is properly subsidised public transport. I had enjoyed my massage and facial and was now feeling refreshed and ready to continue.

Walking is best when on assignment. It is slower, allows more time to explore and really feel the location, get a handle on the atmosphere, look around, you know, be there. I was not quite prepared for the climb ahead of me though, I have lived in Asia long enough to know better. 

It isn't far to the foot of Qingchenshan from the hotel, but it is quite a trek to the top. My GPS indicated I had walked about 16km up to the top of the mountain from the resort, shuttle buses are available to the gate, but I didn't want to miss anything. Having walked all the way up, I caught the cable car back down, but was seriously feeling the fatigue later that afternoon. That is the next blog though, this one is the climb, the endless steps and the birthplace of Taoism. 

My Taiwanese family practice Taoism, it is a religion, similar to Buddhism but not quite the same, it is very popular here in Taiwan. If you want to know more I would suggest looking here: Taoism. It is an ancient philosophical, ritualistic and spiritual religion, beautiful temples are all over Taiwan, they are pretty nice to visit and very chilled to hang out in, Longshan in Taipei is my favourite in the city. On Qingchenshan there is the eldest and some of the most beautiful I have visited. Now beauty isn't always because they are colourful, beauty comes in many forms and these are beautiful because of history, and the tangible feeling you get from that, you can almost taste the history it is so thick in the air.

So I will start at the foot of the Mountain and the walk to the gate...


A beautiful sea of yellow lines the shaded pathway to the start of the climb.


There are other options of places to stay, it is pretty, but it isn't The Six Senses.



The first gateway, it's not too much further to the top from here, only another 13km!



Through this and there is a chance to see your first temple, grab a bite and then head to the ticket office.


Entrance to Jianfu Palace, notice the restaurant and shop to the left.

The ticket office is just that, not too exciting but I was amused to see the throbbingly busy and well stocked tourist information booth...


And so with ticket, map and GPS I set off...


I would not advise making a purchase before you climb the many many steps, purchase on the way back and have less far to carry it.



I figured these were to help people who had succumb to the effort of the climb. There were lots of old people, so it made sense some people may get into trouble, and need mountain rescue.



Possibly stationed along the route in case a rapid response was needed?



I was so wrong, they were just for folks who can afford to pay to be carried and feel no shame in that. Maybe I am wrong, but being carried is one thing, spending the entire time on your phone in such a beautiful place really got my goat I have to say.



The guys doing the work seemed happy enough though, they must be super fit, imagine spending every day carrying tourists up and down mountains.



An ancient bridge helps me get my bearings on my way to the five caves, and the birthplace of Taoism.



Fashion finds its way up the mountain.



As you raise along the path, you travel through many temples.



The worn steps and moss covered stone wall really demonstrate the history and age of this serene place.



Refreshing Cucumber and Watermelon are available all along the journey. Make sure you take water and advantage of these refreshments as the going is not all easy.



The path winds down into a crease in the mountain side, you might not realise, but these are the five caves, and very busy with people moving through. Mind your head!



Near the top there is an amazing temple built into the mountain, it is fully constructed of wood. there is a small eatery and this fascinating building on the left here.



The entrance to the wood fronted cave temple.



It was a hazy, muggy day and the visibility was not great sadly, I bet on a clear day the view seems endless.




I reach the Shangging Palace the highest temple on my journey before heading back down the mountain.



Prayer candles flames flicker.



A pilgrim makes his prayers.



Giant incense sticks burn and red prayer ribbons adorn the trees and bushes all around the temple gods.

That was the end of my climb, I had to get back down the mountain and quickly too. That evening I wanted to be in Dujiangyan to make a photograph of the irrigation system. Fortunately for me there is a cable car and I was soon back to street level.

As I walked back to The Six Senses, I found the locals had the right idea, stinging hammocks in the shady trees by the river and paddling in the cool mountain water, what better way to spend a hot afternoon with the family. The locals always know the best spots....



Back in my room, a quick shower and a phone call to order a taxi then I was off to Dujiangyan, that is for next time though, so as ever I hope you enjoyed this. I hope that you are enjoying all from my little story about being on assignment for NGTUK, the next instalment will be in a couple of days.

All images in this piece were shot on my Fujifilm X-Pro2, it is a great travel camera, it shoots fashion pretty well too, I need to use it for some more of that, and show you the results.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..


Love to all...







On assignment for Nat Geo Traveller - The Six Senses Resort and Spa.

The Six Senses Resort and Spa.


I finished my last blog entry with a little list of what was to come, first up was a report of the amazing Six Senses resort and Spa. 

Having been travelling for a few days, spending time filing paperwork for my visa and then walking the streets of Chengdu for five hours, I was sure looking forward to getting to the resort for a few days. Living out of a bag and bouncing from place to place was getting to me, four nights in one place was going to be bliss. Sure I was going to be busy while I was there, I am always up against it on an assignment. Only one thing was on my mind though when I arrived though, the spa.

I met the friendly and engaging Olaf (guest liaison manager), discussed the planned schedule, and then booked a massage and facial. My hips were very sore from all the walking, flying and carrying of heavy bags, Nancy in the spa really made all that drift away. The massage was perfect and my tired skin was rejuvenated from the facial. A weary traveller could not ask for more, just check out the spa location too, it is stunning....






Feeling totally refreshed, and wonderfully relaxed I settled for the evening knowing ahead of me were a few days of heavy footbassing (walking) and image hunting. Fortunately I could not have been in a much more beautiful resort to return too, here are a few shots of The Six Senses Resort and Spa, I highly recommend it, a really wonderful place, run by really wonderful staff.














Let's not forget my room, it was amazing. They are more like villas, and you can even have a private set with a courtyard if you travel with family and friends...













There are a few restaurants in the resort, lunch in the little square with high quality tea is a must..


Then choose between Chinese, Thai and Western for your evening meal, what a lovely place to eat dinner...


Finally the view, now I am a little restricted as to what I can show you here, you can see a shot I made in the NGTUK magazine which is currently featuring my work from this assignment which almost brought a tear to my eye it looked so beautiful when I witnessed it. This is what I can show you though....





If you like what you have seen, and I would recommend it as a great base to explore this part of China from, go to Six Senses Resort and Spa Qingchenshan to book a relaxing and welcoming stay.

As you know there is more to come in this series so you will see what is in the area...

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..


Love to all...











On Assignment in China for Nat Geo Traveller UK.

On Assignment in China for Nat Geo Traveller UK.




 The first time I went to China was at the start of this year for a commercial shoot. It involved a lot of portraits, fifty eight or so, and some other photography, you can see the shots here: http://www.runfutang.com/. I was there with my assistant for four night only, one day in Shanghai and then a couple in Beijing. It was my first taste of China and was a bitterly cold, -14°C when we landed with a razor sharp wind. Shanghai seemed like a place I could hang out, but Beijing was grimy, dusty and gritty, by the end of the day I felt like I had been licking cement, that isn't really my ideal location. After a very busy few days we flew out of Beijing, I peered through the gloom, the Sun was low and just a faint orange glow through the haze like something from another world. I was not sad to leave Beijing, but a little sad I hadn't had more time to explore.

Obviously China is absolutely huge and has many many beautiful places, like I said, I liked Shanghai. So when National Geographic Traveller UK (NGTUK) got in touch and asked me to illustrate an article in the Szechuan province, obviously I was excited as I knew this area is very beautiful indeed. Like I said China is huge, as are many of it's provinces including Szechuan. My work and exploration was going to be focused in and around Dujiangyan, near Chengdu. 

Being British, I need a visa to travel in China, these are not cheap in Taiwan, but easy and more affordable in Hong Kong (HK). Fortunately I was already heading to HK, so just booked my trip to fit in the visa process and then fly from HK to Chengdu, one night in Chengdu, then a train ride to Dujiangyan and on to The Six Senses Qingchenshan resort and spa.

Although it isn't the beginning and I will come back to it later as it is well worth it, The Six Senses is an amazing place... 


The Six Senses Qingchenshan.

I landed in the early afternoon in Chengdu and spent an evening wandering around with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 making street photography.


Afternoon Nap.


Off to get dinner.


Finding out the future.


The hunt for knowledge.


Getting ready to set up to trade.


Fresh, hot and spicy potatoes 


Welcome to the peoples restaurant.


Street Barber

As you can see there are plenty of characters and lots going on in the evening in Chengdu. I wandered around for a while, drank a couple of beers and enjoyed the open air Karaoke in the park. Gentleman fished the fast flowing, and rather pungent river while groups of ladies did dance exercise around the park. After a long walk I was happy enough to get back to my hotel, and looking forward to getting to the mountains and my assignment to begin properly.

I have decided to make this NGTUK assignment story in instalments, they won't be spread far apart, every other day or so. Keep watching for the next one, I will cover The Six Senses Resort, Qingchenshan (birth place of Taoism), Panda Valley, The Earthquake Memorial, an ancient Qing Township, Puzhao Temple and if that isn't enough, hugging Sturgeon!

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..


Love to all...



Going Back to Move Forward...


Going Back to Move Forward.


A long long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth....well, not quite, but we were all still shooting on film, Adobe had just given birth to Photoshop and I had no real desire to be a Photographer. That's right, no real desire to be a Photographer. I wanted to make special effects for film, as a result, I studied Film and Media, what I should have realised was Adobe had just given birth to Photoshop and this world was about to change. Anyway, to cut the story short I moved into photography, away from film and photography, and then back into photography again full time, and that brings us almost up to date.

I say almost as there has been a development. We all watch and view images on our phones, tablets and computers these days, print media, although some of it is still lovely, is mostly falling behind now. Soon I believe there will be animated paper and magazines will live again, but this time with moving images on the pages. I don't think for one second that photography has had it's day, it is evolving and continuing to grow, but I am adding film making to my skill set, something more to offer my clients, and something I have been asked for.

So a while back we made a fashion shoot I asked my then assistant if he would shoot some video, he is an award winning DP and so I figured he would be the guy. The other thing is that he is familiar with my work, I thought he would shoot close to my style. I learned two things, number one concentrate on either making a photo shoot or a video shoot. Number two, if you want a shot composed a certain way, you have to do it yourself or direct it more closely and make sure you get exactly what you are thinking. I could say a third lesson, but it is knowledge I already understand, people don't see through your eyes. This last point is why I get picked to shoot certain things and another photographer gets chosen for something else. We are unique and that is what makes a photographer worth hiring, create and develop your own style.

First of all have a look at my photographs from the days shooting...














The shoot was fun, and the results made me fairly happy. A couple of blogs back I posted a before and after, so you can see the amount of work I put in on these.

I was given the RAW rushes of the video and they had been sitting on my desktop ever since. In the meantime I have practised a bit with video editing in Photoshop, no I don't have premiere pro yet, but I am sure it will come soon enough. 

I went through the rushes, embarked on a very steep learning curve and finally produced something half passable. I know it isn't perfect and I know where I went wrong, next time I need to direct closely, if not film it myself. I have to story board it and employ the techniques I learned at college between dodging Raptors and the occasional T-Rex. I know my image making voice more now and am confident to apply this to film, with that I feel I have grown from just a Photographer and can refer to myself, should anyone ask, as "Image Maker" now.

Here it is, my first real effort at a fashion film, there will be more and they can only really get better. I hope you enjoy this, let me know either way, comments and criticism are all welcome.




Next time I am hoping the November issue of Nat Geo Traveller UK will be in the shops, inside is an eleven page article featuring my photography, and I can tell you more about my wonderful China assignment for them.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..


Love to all...


The Importance of the Third Leg.


I get asked all the time, what is the best camera? What should I buy? What lens is best for travel, fashion, portraiture etc. Most recently I was contacted by a friend in Taiwan who is about to take a trip to Tokyo, he asked me about lenses and what is the best choice as a travel lens. If I only get one len, then it will be my 24-70mm 2.8 on my Nikon, however I don’t carry my Nikon so much for travel anymore, it is simply too heavy. Now, when I am on assignment for Nat Geo Traveller, or other travel assignments my favourite choice of kit is my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with my 18-55mm f2.8-4.0. The Mirrorless option is lighter, more compact and great for, street and landscape photography alike, infact I use it for portraiture and fashion also, it is bloody brilliant. My friend asked me “should I take a flash?”, I told him not to worry about it, but do take a tripod.


Admittedly I carry a few speedlights with me on travel assignments, I only really use them when I am shooting the interiors, or food sometimes. When shooting interiors it is important to balance the ambient light with the flash. To get the lamps looking nice and the bedroom warm and welcoming you need a longer exposure and so, my camera is firmly on my tripod. I mean who can really hand hold ½ a second or longer and not have any camera shake. So those times really are the only time I will use my speedlights, but I will be using my tripod all the time as you will see.


There are many tripods available and at all sorts of prices. Most photographers will have a Manfrotto, they are pretty much the norm and are good. If you want a little more and have the money then Gitzo will float your boat, and support you equally expensive Leica. I have neither of these, this is my tripod….


Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (1 of 7).jpg


It is a Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT and I absolutely love it. I love it so much I have two. Now why would I have two, well the answer is simple, I am not sympathetic to my kit. The first one I bought has been used to death, it’s been up mountains, in the rain, wind, snow, ice, rivers and even the ocean (multiple times). It didn’t get cleaned often if at all but it kept on going. I wasn’t to know we would be together so long, but we have been, previously I had a Manfrotto and it lasted nearly 2 years and then just went beyond repair. I never had to think about repair on my Vanguard until eventually it developed a sticky leg that became annoying to the point of getting a new tripod. Yes of course I bought the same model. Now if I want to set up in the ocean, Mr. Sticky Leg can take the hit like a total three legged trouper, while Mr Sparkly New stays smooth as silk.


So why did I choose Vanguard over Manfrotto or a Gitzo?


There are several reasons: versatility, adaptability, weight, strength, build quality and design.


Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (6 of 7).jpg


For those that don’t know, there is the tripod (the base part with the legs) and the head (that the camera attaches to). These are sold separately on any half decent tripod, you can’t see the head in this shot, and it is not mounted in the first image. I don’t want to talk about the head too much, this article is about the tripod. What you are looking at here is a lever, well derrr obviously. OK, this lever releases, or locks a hinge which allows the center column to be set at any angle, yes any angle from vertical through 180 degrees, brilliant. Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (2 of 7).jpg Not only that, the knob below it releases a panning swivel allowing the center column to rotate, no need to pick up and move the tripod. The legs lock at three angles, all the way up to 90 degrees, ideal for uneven ground and tight spaces. They have nice foam grips, surely the foam grips are a gimmick, why have them? Well I tell you this, even though this tripod is carbon fibre, it still gets cold in icy weather, those foam grips on each leg are a god send. Being made from carbon fibre, the Vanguard is strong, stable, but also light, another reason to buy it. And finally before we get to the final bit, I am about 181cm tall, my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT fully extended is about the same height. Not the height to my eye but to the top of my head, add the tripod head and we are looking at well over 6ft to viewfinder.


So here is my tripod with the head on…


Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (3 of 7).jpg              Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (4 of 7).jpg


I use a ball head as I shoot fashion and it gives me support and freedom at the same time. Also it means less knobs to fiddle with to make adjustments, So you can see that the Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT is a tidy bit of kit, it has lots of features, more than any other tripod I know about, yes it has a hook to hang weight off and make it more stable, yes it comes with a little tool kit to make adjustments and swap heads if you need too, yes the rubber feet screw up to rvral metal points to grip mud and yes it has a spirit bubble, and yes it comes with a very smart carry bag.


Is there, more, well a little bit, here it is on a rock, by the ocean….
Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (1 of 1).jpg


Sexy right……


Seriously though, that pan feature, now that I am getting into shooting film/video is a bonus, why? well because I can pan!


As long as I take the time to make sure the tripod base is level, I will get a level pan, if you imagine my camera mounted and the pan swivel loose, I even have a handle to turn it with, the unused end of the center column. Works a treat.


Vanguard Alta Pro 283ct (7 of 7).jpg


So now you know why I chose Vanguard, why after discovering how tough they are I got a second one. That a feature that is so simple turned out to be so excellent and makes this tripod an even more, if not the most versatile tripod on the market. I expect to get a minimum of 5 years use (like I said, I drag my tripods all over the place), but suspect 10 plus years will be nearer the mark.


You can see the full range here, and they are available globally: http://www.vanguardworld.co.uk/


Well, now you know which tripod I use, I will tell you why I said it is more important than a flash for travel work. I’m, pretty steady but I can’t hand hold for long exposures, anything longer that say 1/15th and I am going to be worried about camera shake. I like to make really long exposures too, like this..
.The Scoop (1 of 1).jpg


Believe it or not, there were hundreds of people in this space when I made the photograph. However (here comes the tip), anything that moves for more than half the exposure will disappear, or not appear however you want to look at it. So, this was a 5 minute exposure, people generally do not stand totally still for that long and so, hey presto...gone.


Another technique I like to geek out with is light painting, literally painting a subject with a torch light. This was a 15 minute exposure as I gradually built up the lighting on the car using a maglight. This kind of photography would be almost impossible without a good tripod, yes you could put the camera on a surface, but that is just not very portable is it, unless it’s a wheelie bin!
E-Type Jaguar (1 of 1).jpg


I admit it the car, other than travelling in is not a travel photograph, it’s a demonstration of why tripods are important. Cameras record light, the longer the shutter is open, the more light comes in and the brighter the image. When are you going to go around a street market in Marrakesh and use flash photography to get that realistic street scene...errrr never. Sure if you are shooting a fashion shoot in a market in Marrakesh and you want to make your model pop out, light them up. But when you are traveling, it’ll be street work, so adjust the iso to get around 1/125th at f5.6-f8 and don’t use your tripod. For the beautiful sunset and sunrise then set up your tripod and enjoy the moment as you create your image, all thanks to a longer exposure and smaller aperture….
Dawn over the Wye Valley (1 of 1).jpg

Most of all enjoy your photography, remember, it is supposed to be fun…

Next time I will talk about my new venture into a world I left to focus on photography. I have been striding headlong into the world of film making, in particularly fashion film...

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..


Love to all...

What I said at the end of the last one...

What I said at the end of the last one...


Hello again, I hope you are well and all that good stuff. If you read my last blog (I hope you did, and if you didn't, well off you go, read it and we will see you back here in a minute or two, it's short don't stress.), you will be kind of up to speed with my move toward the fashion world. You'll have seen I got experimental and enjoyed myself exploring my capabilities and understanding of image making. Basically I had been having fun and pushing myself, my team and my learning curve close to the max. Then Mrs. L said something to me, and she was right (as is often the case). She said, "your work was better before you started this course.". She didn't mean technically, more aesthetically, I had veered somewhat. Although I felt my skills with lighting, my cameras, and directing my team were better, I had drifted off down some path of incoherent experimentation. In itself, this is no bad thing, but it doesn't bring the bread in, and I am a professional after all. So, yes I had grown as a photographer, but I had also been over complicating things, and loosing direction. 

Having decided I want to shoot more commercial fashion, I know I must think about the product, the fashion. Of course I will continue with my love of portraiture, I guess I like to work with and photograph people. It is also good to shoot more experimental creative work, but on my time, or when a more creative publication allows me to really go for it.

Well, make it more simple I thought...


Fe Dolly (a designer from Taipei) created some outfits and we booked a couple of models for the shoot....









Now it looks more simple, and I guess it was, but I had made an error again. My focused was too much on the location and not enough on the clothes, they are fighting each other in the shots. I had also thought it was a good idea to shoot video at the same time. I am moving toward adding video making to my arsenal, shooting and produce fashion video is a very interesting area, more on that in another blog. Overall I am happy enough with this shoot, but I do feel it could have been better, I learned a lot from it, saw that I have come along way and am more mature and aware as a fashion photographer now, a lot more mature.

We got ready for this shoot in a poorly lit place, that didn't help. Basically, Make Up Artists (MUA) need light. The closer to the light we will be shooting in, the better. An LED torch, although diffused nicely and even is not the best. My poor MUA struggled and I had a hell of a lot of work to do. Now I don't make my models thinner, but I will work on their skin and make up if I have to. So here is a after and before example, you get an idea of the work I have to put in...


As you can see quite a lot of work, and I ended up with about 12 frames of each model, it was a lot of late nights. To get to the finished image was taking 1-4 hours depending, not much fun, but lots of time to think.

My conclusion was to remember it's about the fashion, the outfits, the look, the bags, shoes, hats and accessories. Yes the location is important, of course it is, but it can't be more important than the clothes. Also I need to buy an LED light panel that is battery powered, this will help in poorly lit prep areas and also with my video making.

Time to get another shoot organised, getting a team together and keeping it simple is a plan I stuck too. Rong Chen was our wonderful model and perfect for this shoot, we titled it "White Hot on the Rocks"...







We called it "White Hot on the Rocks" (WHR), because, well it was really bloody hot, Rong is wearing white, and I think you can guess the rest. I was finally pleased with where I was heading and over the moon with the team on this one. It was simple, straight forward, Rong worked well with us (She is in Milan currently, book her and work with her if you can. I can't wait for her to be back so we can shoot again.), within a few hours we were done. I was really happy, and still am, I feel confident I know I am heading in the right direction, the direction I want to head in. Keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it about the clothes, the fashion.

That about wraps up this blog, before you go though here are a couple of extra shots from the WHR shoot, see how much fun we have....


Sadly my assistant for the day Michael Geier had buggered off to find a sunset photograph up a mountain, or he would have been in this, which is my favourite post shoot team shot ever. Wearing the glasses Hair and MUA, Anna Tian, on Fujifilm X-Pro2, Me and looking gorgeous, Model Rong.


Yep, found a river, it's hot, lets paddle..... 


Who needs to go up a mountain to get a dramatic shot, the light came to us, and we loved it, don't you. I really adore it when Taiwan gives us a view like this.

Next time I am going to address the issue of a Tripod, and some technique advice, maybe some other bits too.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , TumblrTwitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..

Love to all...











Where did that go....?

Where did that go?


The view of Hong Kong from our Air BnB apartment in Sai Ying Pun.

 It is hard to believe, but a whole year has slipped by since I managed to get my butt in front of my machine, take a few minutes away from processing and write to you all. It started with this photograph I made in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, that's when I realised it had been a year since I last wrote my blog. If you look at my previous blog you will see images of Hong Kong as that was where I was when I last wrote.

Over the last year I have been all around Taiwan on a scooter tour for National Geographic Traveller; I have flown to Shanghai and Beijing on commercial photography shoots; touched Singapore for a blink again on assignment for National Geographic Traveller; Shot a look book for a shoe company; landed an image on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Taiwan for Taipei in Style (Taipei's fashion week); completed (sort of) the Nick Knight Mastered course and pushed super hard to build my fashion photography work. I shot a campaign for SanYang Motor Company for their Jet S Scooter; returned to China to shoot a piece for National Geographic Traveller; became a Fujifilm X Photographer; began to work with Cactus Imaging to help develop new photographic equipment, and I even managed to take some time off and have a holiday in Bali. Writing it all out it does appear it has been a good year, and it is only getting better with new clients coming and my business getting stronger.

There is a lot to cover so where to begin, and should I fit it all one blog? Hmm I think that would be too long, so for now I think I will just talk about the Nick Knight Mastered Program. I will blog more and get you up to speed with experiences and photographs from all the other projects, for now though, let's talk fashion photography.





The course was intense to say the least, I had been shooting editorial portraiture almost constantly and so was a little rusty. A fashion shoot I had landed had re-ignited my passion for fashion photography, and so I stepped up to the challenge and got very busy. Now I am the only (or was) member of the Mastered Alumni in Taiwan, this means I have no other members to call on for collaborative teams. I had to find my own, trawling facebook, looking at fashion blogs and generally applying every last bit of charm I could muster, soon enough I had one. Stylist, Hair Stylist, Make Up Artist and Assistants. We were poised and ready for the first project, then bang it landed; "look at a collection from a fashion house and base a shoot on that.", we chose Moschino. If I am honest I never took any notice of Moschino, I always thought it was a bit tacky. The thing is, and what I learned was, I wasn't getting it, it highlighted that I needed to learn more about fashion as a whole. What I hadn't understood was that Moschino is the transient nature of fashion personified, and their heavy leaning toward Pop Art won me over in a big way. So we had a Pop Art feel, style and substance in everyday design, bright colours and plenty of, well...POP! 

Yilan is on the east coast of Taiwan and has an amazing black volcanic sand beach, I wanted a grey day, a grey ocean and the black/gray sand so that the fashion really leaped out. It was good fun, a good first shoot, and the start of a steep and experimental learning curve.

The next project we worked on was about working with a team. My inspiration came from a film called  Perdita Durango. A great film staring Rosie Perez and Javier Bardem with a twisted love story narrative that includes a lot of reference to Santeria, a voodoo religion practiced in Mexico. I took the idea some of the beliefs, becoming a warrior, the five Saints and the Nagual. The Nagual is one with the ability to transform into a Jaguar to escape their enemies. 

Again we found ourselves in Yilan, the shoot was interesting, I am really happy with some of the shots, ultimately it drifted off track a little, we were learning, and I was pushing the team hard. Hell at one point I made my stylist make clothes out of a strip of red material on set for our model, and burned the actual clothes we had been using...




The good thing about the Nick Knight Mastered program is that now I am a member of the Alumni, I am able to go back and look at all the material as much as I like. I am also able to contact people all around the world and work with them. I learned a great deal already and will talk about that more in the next blog.

I bet from the start you thought this was going to be a long blog, I did too, but that is no fun as we are all busy. To sum this one up, Mastered with Nick Knight was ok, I learned about working with a team, about me, about organisation and about fashion. I also had a long conversation with the director of the Mastered group as there were a few things that I just wasn't happy with. Overall it has been a good thing to do and as my career in fashion photography grows, being part of the Mastered Alumni will come in handy I am sure.

One thing is for sure, I absolutely bloody love working with a big team and making fashion photography, being surrounded by creativity is a privilege I am lucky to enjoy. 

Next time I will talk more about fashion and you will see and hear how my direction has developed, I will show you a before and after photograph so you can get an idea about the post production I do, and the level I work to.

Until then, check out my WebsiteInstagram , Tumblr, Twitter and Linkedin. Remember to LIKE COMMENT and FOLLOW.

Feel free to get in touch, if you have a question, booking, assignment etc..

Love to all.






Hong Kong again, and Nick Knight Mastered.


Well July has been and gone, but while it was here Mrs. L and I were in Hong Kong. She was there for two weeks running around like a headless chicken with work, so to try and keep her from going completely mad I tagged along too.

Not being one for sitting around and twiddling my thumbs, I made the most of the time I had while I was there, setting up meetings with Agents and Editors, making a portrait and of course catching up with all my friends in this crazy city.

AirBNB provided us once again with a great apartment, this time smack bang in the middle of Mid-Levels, just off the escalator. If you haven't been to Hong Kong, there is a thing called the Mid-Levels Escalator, which claims to be the longest escalator in the world. In reality it is a series of escalators that take you all the way up from Queens Road, Central to Conduit Road, Mid-Levels. To be accurate (I bet there are some out there huffing), it is the longest series of covered escalators in the world.

The view from the apartment we stayed in was simply breathtaking, I just would never get bored of it, making plenty of photographs as you can see. Even though some were made only minutes apart they are all different. Well, the weather and light conditions are never the same twice are they... 

Created using my Fujifilm X-E2 and it's in-built Pano feature.
I wanted to make a comparison between my little Fujifilm X-E2 and my Nikon D800e, the above image is from the Fuji and the below from the Nikon. They were made about 3 minutes apart from each other, which do you prefer?

Shot on my Nikon D800e using a 14-24mm 2.8 Nikon ultrawide.

While in HK I always take the opportunity to meet up with friends and clients, some of which I am happy to say are both. It was during an evening catching up and having a drink that I was told a magazine was looking for a shot of HK that made you feel how densely populated it is, and give a feeling of claustrophobia. There is a famous shot looking up from the ground in the old walled city which was offered as an example. The walled city is long gone but it's still fairly easy, if you are brave enough to venture into the little back alleys between the towering, stretching apartment buildings to find shots that give this feeling. The brief called for shots without the usual HK buildings in, so sadly the skylines I had been shooting all week were not what was wanted. I had the perfect shot of course, but it was on my hard drive back in Taiwan (bugger) and the two shots below didn't quite meet the brief either, not to worry. Sadly after a week of glorious sunshine, the weather had decided to throw down torrential rain for the second week, and boy did it. I was lucky to grab these two images in a 10 minute break in the weather. If you think photography is glamorous, try standing in a big puddle, at the backside of an apartment block, with unspeakable human detritus all around you in flamin' flipflops, I was on the verge of bringing up my lunch. Still even though the shots weren't used, I really like them, so I guess it was worth it, right?

Braving the nasty, filthy, stinking and flooded alley to get this. 

Thankfully a less unpleasant place to pitch my tripod, right by the mid-levels escalator for this one.

A fairly typical view from the Mid-Levels Escalator as I head up from Queens Road, Central.
The above shot was a kind of taste of street life. I feel I have been neglecting my street photography a little so will try and bring you a street photography special soon. Back to the Cityscapes...... 

Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, so it makes sense to throw a portrait orientated shot of it in.

Just waiting for that moment for the sun to set and the city light up, this was always going to be a winner. My favourite.

With my usual peculiar sleep pattern in full effect, I discovered that my friend had posted a thing on Facebook about the Nick Knight Mastered Program. Ever since I first started on this long road of photography, right at the beginning, back in the early 90's before I walked away from it all I fell in love with the work of Nick Knight. His lighting ability has always been the biggest inspiration to me, so naturally now that I am back in the game I was intrigued to find out more about this opportunity.

I guess it was somewhere between 3 and 4 in the morning, I had woken up, seen the facebook link and decided why not, nothing to loose. I filled out the application all the time thinking; "hell I'll never get selected for this course." 

Blow me down with a feather, I only went and did get selected, and now I am on it and both excited and nervous in almost equal measure. It is a great opportunity, the energy from my course mates is wonderful and the build up to it all starting is gathering momentum. The actual start date is at the end of September, at the moment we are getting daily news about who we will be working for/with, setting the projects, mentoring our progressing and guiding our paths to become more focused photographers. We not only have Nick (which is fantastic on it's own), but also 10 and Oyster magazines, the Editor in Chief of Lula and now Vox Populi are also lined up for us to submit our work to and learn from, it seems a new announcement of who is joining occurs daily.

It is all amazing to be part of, I am sure it will be a challenging 4 months of hard work, I will try and keep my blog up to speed with what is going on and how I am progressing, wish me luck, and enough energy...haha. 


This photograph made by Nick Knight is one of the reasons I strive with my work.

Never a truer word spoke.
 I'll leave at this, I have to go to the gym, it is taking some effort to address the beer and burger fest' that was Hong Kong. I need to be in shape and fighting fit to perform at my best over the coming months. We have friends coming from Austria and the UK, they will be getting a tour of Taiwan, fingers crossed I will be able to see them as well as work, I am sure I will manage one way or another as am really looking forward to seeing them and showing them the wonderful country we get to live in, I expect I may even make some photographs you lovely peeps will see on here in the future.

As ever, thank you for taking the time to look at my work, please go ahead and share it, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.

Should you need a photographer, feel free to get in touch anytime, I am always happy to hear from people around the world regarding any work they would like to talk about. You can reach me here or through my website: www.duncanlongden.photography

Hit me up on Instagram (my following is growing, but I want it to really fly), Tumblr and Twitter for all the most up to date news and exclusive photographs.

Take care, talk of what you love, not what you don't.

Cheers,

Duncan.



BRAND NEW WEBSITE......

 

Brand New Website.

Hello.

Yep, it has finally arrived, my brand new website. The couple of busy months I had put it on a back burner, however I was forced into addressing the situation as my time with Behance ProSite was due to come to an end. Of course had spent some time looking around researching the best options for me. Basically easy to use, with a clean and simple interface for all involved, eventually I have settled on a site from Squarespace, hopefully you will agree with my choice, feel free to let me know.



Click here: www.duncanlongden.photography and this is where you will end up, you can see all my latest work, in both portraits and fashion plus a few examples of my product work. You can also find links to my Instagram feed and my Twitter feed, follow me on either to keep up to speed on where I am, and what I'm doing on a daily, if you're interested.

As you can see there is some more emphasis on my fashion work, I have been really enjoying being back in the fashion scene and making shoots with other talented creative people. I had forgotten how much I love the process and the results. You can see the final shots from my latest project "The Wanderling" on my site, I'll post a couple of extra shots from that shoot on this blog too, be a little patient and read the words, or just scroll down and have a look, after all I'm not a writer, I'm a photographer.

Prior to "The Wanderling", we made a shoot with the delightful Julia on a rather windy north coast beach. Julia secured designs from James Ma for the shoot, we had the pleasure of Vera Chien working brushes for hair and make up, and my wonderful assistant Choncy is back after being poached by Martin Scorsese (can you believe the bloody cheek of that?). My gosh it was certainly windy and that pesky sand gets everywhere, it even found a way into my Bowens battery pack, it's now at the repair shop. Here are a few from the beach...






Currently I find myself back in Hong Kong for a couple of weeks, this was part of the reason I was working so hard on fresh fashion work recently. The Plan is to try and make meetings with more editors and also photographers agents during this visit. Hopefully they will like what they see and it will lead to more work, I am never happier than when I am busy as regular readers already know. Photography for me is like a drug, I am always looking for the next hit, and want something bigger than the last, which lead me to "The Wanderling". This project had been in my mind for months, I had tried to assemble a team, only for it not to work out. Finally, just a couple of weeks before I was due to head to HK it all came together and it was shoot day. I had arranged to work with 追梦人  (Mong Ren), a great model with a unique look, especially for Taiwan. After our original stylist fell through, she suggested we work with Raymond Chiu, he turned out to be a perfect fit for my team. Raymond is a very talented hairstylist with great vision which extends to styling for clothing too, top dude. As ever having the vivacious Anna Tian on brushes to produce amazing makeup work was an absolute pleasure. Rounding my team up once again was Choncy, Assisting and also shooting some video. Yes you heard that right, some video, a little side project while in HK so watch out for that soon. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the team that came together from around Taiwan to make this shoot possible, you guys rocked, made the day fun and helped create some stunning photographs, I could not have done it without you.

The concept for "The Wanderling" was inspired by cinematography, from a feel of being out in the world, I wanted to create photography that reflected road movies, drifting through small towns, dinners and truck stops. The feeling, of freedom without connections, a phrase kept running through my mind "alone, but not lonely". Like I said, head over to my new site for the final selection and also to see lots of new portraits and some product work (more will come). Below are some of the out takes from this fabulous project....









As ever, thank you for taking the time to look at my work, please go ahead and share it, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.

Should you need a photographer, feel free to get in touch anytime, I am always happy to hear from people around the world regarding any work they would like to talk about. You can reach me here or through my website: www.duncanlongden.photography

Hit me up on Instagram (my following is growing, but I want it to really fly), Tumblr and Twitter for all the most up to date news and exclusive photographs.

Take care, talk of what you love, not what you don't.

Cheers,

Duncan.

Summer begins and I am teaching in the street....

Summer begins and I am teaching in the street....


I have been non stop for a couple of months now, and boy am I loving it. Yes I am working long hours, processing lots of shots and driving up and down the island a fair bit, and yes, long may it continue.

We have had a funny bit of weather over here (hey look you can take the man out of England but he will still talk about the weather), it was Winter, and then in like a blink the sun came out and stayed out. The island had a draught, up here in Linkou the pool closed, and the water supply was rationed. For two days a week we had to use water stored in a bath to wash, fill the cistern, etc etc. 

Over the last few weeks though it has more than made up for that, 181mm in Taichung in one night and it didn't stop there. Where the rivers were dry, they are now flowing torrents, driving back to Taipei after an event last week was an experience which demanded my utmost concentration at times, as visibility diminished in the heavy weather. We were a couple of weeks into this rain when I got the call from the guys at Frog in a Sock asking if I was interested in hitting up the pool again this summer. Well, what can a busy photographer do but grab an opportunity to get to hang out on a Saturday afternoon, listening to great DJ's spin the best vibes, surrounded by Taiwan's greatest party crowd. 

And would you believe it, the sun came out, the temperature got up into the mid 30 degrees (No I will not give that in Fahrenheit, I am British.), and global revellers poured in from all around the island to make the fun, and welcome in the start of, judging by this crowd, an epic summer.

If you're in Taiwan then bet along to the Roadcastle Waterpark and bust a move...



Vicar, the infamous crate digger played a cracking set in the heat of the afternoon.


Dj Cross Cutz got the crowd bouncing as the sun began to sink low in the sky.

Always on a good vibe with a tasty, ice cold, Frog in a Sock bucket of punch.

It's arrived, the new flag of Havana Land, all hail.

Winner of this years Taipei round of the Redbull 3Style DJ Championships, DJ Marcus Aurelius - 馬克思 Plays the closing set.
Full to the rafters and beyond, DJ Marcus Aurelius - 馬克思 rocks the crowd with his eclectic funky sounds, keeping the packed dance floor and beyond hungry for more and more.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any hotter...boom in comes the gorgeous Sam Smile and.....
....raises the roof....Literally!

In total contrast to the heady day poolside, part of what I have been doing over the last few weeks is teaching street photography using Fujifilm X100 series cameras. My student is a lovely lady named Mira, she has got herself a Fujifilm X100T, an excellent, and as ever with Fujifilm, inovative camera.

Recently I updated the firmware on my X100, it's like a different camera, thank you Fuji for the updates. I really like the focus peaking function, I am trying to practice using manual focusing as much as I can on my Fuji cameras. The X100T has a little pop up screen which helps even more with focusing, offering a magnified view  of the area in the focus point, within the main viewfinder, brilliant.

Admittedly I had been neglecting my X100 since I got the X-E2, however hitting the streets with it again reminded me what a perfectly designed bit of kit it is for street work. For me, teaching is a great thing to do, I never thought I would do it, or could do it even. Admittedly I may not be the most organised when it comes to class structure, I am very much into practical work and then discussing the shots made in the last part of each session. I enjoy very much the process of looking, and explaining how I see things and get my head and eye tuned in to the world around me. As pretentious as I may sound, I enter an almost meditative state.

It is actually lovely to be out with Mira, she has a great eye and with a little practice and familiarity with her camera it will be second nature to enter the settings to create the shots she sees. Like most things in life, it is about putting the hours in if you want to reap the rewards.

Directions.

The great strength of the X100, spot a shot, make the shot.

Encouraging Mira to explore the scene and look at more varied angles.


Heading out for our first walk around the streets, I pointed out this shop and said to Mira, "Now what we need is an older couple wearing something typical for the everyday to walk past." Sometimes you see the shot, you just have to wait a little for the right moment to catch up with your vision.

Smoking.


It was very hot around Longshan Temple on this morning.





Naked Birds.

So that has bought us to the end of this blog episode, I do hope that you enjoyed it. I will talk to you a bit more about all the editorial work I have been shooting over the last couple of months soon. I have already updated my website with a few of the portraits if you want to take a look.

I am gradually getting around to putting my site through a diet and work out to make it nice and trim, much like myself. Thankfully Mrs. L and I have a fitness centre a short walk from us with a really lovely pool and weight room. I have been trying to make the most of it, photography can be fairly physical work sometimes believe it or not. I wouldn't want to pull a muscle stretching to get the right angle for the shot I want, or even worse, not be able to get to that angle at all.

As ever, thank you for taking the time to look at my work, please go ahead and share it, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.

Should you need a photographer feel free to get in touch anytime, I am always happy to hear from people around the world regarding any work they would like to talk about. You can reach me here or through my website: www.duncanlongden.photography

Hit me up on Instagram (my following is growing, but I want it to really fly), Tumblr and Twitter for all the most up to date news and exclusive photographs.

Take care, talk of what you love, not what you don't.

Cheers,

Duncan.






Judging The National Geographic Traveller UK Photography Competition....

Judging The National Geographic Traveller UK Photography Competition....


Many of you who have been reading my blogs will already know that I had the honour of being asked to judge The National Geographic Traveller UK (NGTUK) Photography Competition. The more I think about this, the more proud I am that I had this experience, that my level of photography and skill as a photographer is considered high enough to be able to judge other peoples work and in such a highly regarded publication. I would like to say a big thank you to all at NGTUK for this opportunity, all those who have supported me along this path, and a special recognition to Roger Hickman who is sadly no longer with us, but influences me still, he was a great Tutor.






The standard of work, as you would expect was excellent and the judging tricky. There were however a couple of shots that I really loved, especially Chris Miller's excellent Vietnamese Cave shot which is now on my list of places to see, doesn't it look epic.

My congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this years competition, well done to Alecsandra Reluca Dragoi for snatching the Grand Prize, I look forward to seeing more from you in the future. Hopefully I will be invited to join the judges panel again as it was good fun and a privilege to be a part of this. 

I hope that you enjoyed this little blog supplement.

 As ever, thank you for taking the time to look at my work, please go ahead and share it, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.

Should you need a photographer feel free to get in touch anytime, I am always happy to hear from people around the world regarding any work they would like to talk about. You can reach me here or through my website: www.duncanlongden.photography

Hit me up on InstagramTumblr and Twitter for all the most up to date news and exclusive photographs.

Cheers,

Duncan.