Jiva and Dan playing at the Spice of Life

In August last year I had the privilege of photographing two talented young guitarists, Jiva Housden and Dan Bovey, at the Spice of Life music venue in London. Jiva and Dan met while at music school together and play beautifully as a duet. Being their photographer made for a lovely evening of good company and good music, what more can you ask for on a shoot?

We arrived in true style by underground.

In Leicester Square underground station

Dan’s on the left here with the shiny shiny shoes, and Jiva’s on the right.

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An evening with Wildaid.

This summer WildAid contacted me, asking whether I would like to photograph one of their events. Last time I worked with them (during the Tiger Gala in March ’11) I met lovely people and made memories I treasure, all while helping in a good cause. I was excited for the opportunity to do a little more to support the charity and happily agreed.

The event in question was a cocktail party hosted at the stunning home of internet entrepreneurs and generous philanthropists, Michael and Xochi Birch, in order to bring several international branches of WildAid together to share news and inspiration.

Wildaid Fundraiser for blog-1

While the stone lions stood guard at the door, preparations were underway inside…

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Hibernation and Contemplation

Sunset in Santorini, Greece

(Photo taken at: 1/4000, f/3.2, ISO 500)

What’s that you say? It’s nearly the end of the year already?!

This past few months has gone by in the blink of an eye. I’ve entirely neglected anything to do with my online life, focussing instead on what’s happening around me, and what a busy time it’s been.

Since July I:

  • learned to drive
  • bought a car
  • found a brand new job that I love and leaves me happy at the end of every day
  • went on holiday with my best friend; we spent a little over a week in beautiful Santorini, Greece
  • lost 2 and a half stone
  • decided that I’m definitely moving and began my plan to do so

I’ve been restless lately, unable to focus on anything on my to-do lists. Finally I’ve woken up to the realisation that this is because my life and career plans no longer fit the brighter new me, and need to be revamped to be bigger and better than I was able to dream them before. I’m going to spend the winter hibernating and growing new plans, ready to bring them to life in the spring.

Photography is still my great love in life and the basis for all my future plans, and just like all my plans, I feel the need to spice it up a little. All through the winter my photography will mainly be based around film and my Pentax K1000, giving me chance to get a deeper feel for what it is I’m aiming for with every shot. I’m so excited to take photos like this and three rolls into my challenge and I’m already falling head over heels in love with film all over again.

This is just a little “hi”, I’ll be back with actual pictures and things very soon.

Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas season!

Ornaments on Christmas tree

(Photo taken on expired Fujifilm with a Pentax K1000)

3 Steps to Quick and Easy Borders in Photoshop

At the beginning of Sunday’s photo restoration tutorial, we began by cropping away the rough edges of the photograph.

However, on some images the border is what gives it that touch of polish. Especially on vintage photographs, where some kind of border is very common due to the machines used in the enlargement process. It’s possible to add genuine scanned paper borders for a lovely effect, but that’s an entirely different technique. For now we’ll start with something simple.

Let’s take the image we worked on last week.


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The Soldier’s Goodbye – a 10 step photo restoration

Restoring old photos is a rewarding pastime. I love seeing beautiful, tired old pictures emerging alive and sparkling from the restoration process. It’s always my aim to maintain the original feel of the photo. To me, this means making appear as it would have done either when it was new, or if it had appeared in an ideal world.

Today’s tutorial is a brief introduction into the world of restoration. There are of course countless techniques depending on the photo, editing software, and the preferences of the artist performing the restoration.

As a practice piece, this charming, but rather sad photo caught my eye in the Flickr Commons.

(The Commons are a great resource for practice photos, inspiration, history, and so much more. It’s always worth browsing when you get the chance.)

It’s just a little faded from age, rather than severely damaged. Perfect for a quick freshening up to bring it back to its former glory.

Keep reading to find out how…>