Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Pressed Flowers.

Flowers and leaves get into odd places, and past generations have pressed them between the covers of books and then frequently forgotten them.
I started photographing what I came across  and then started pressing flowers myself.
The four above were the first ones I found, and three of the images were auctioned by the charity Photovoice
The leaves top left were found in Uncle Mike's bible; the palm in his wife Barbara's bible; the rose petals and the five leaves from inside a copy of Son's and Lovers.
All shot on Polaroid type 55, my supply of which is near its end.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Flowers for Free

Thanks heavens for flowers, or at least pictures of them, especially in dull and gloomy times and overcast skies. Even my pinhole camera gets an outing here with a photo from a field in Spain. And we have bluebell woods to look forward to too; and poppies in fields in Wiltshire. Bring on spring, then summer!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Wriggly Tin.

Or Corrugated Iron. Either way, I have a real penchant for this stuff. Below are: a garage in Cumbria; a shed in Brockwell Park, South London; a beach hut in Knoydart Scotland, bassist Alex James at home inthe Cotswolds; and writer Chris Haslam in Peckham.
A frequent daydream is life lived in a corrugated iron building, though I know they get a bit noisy during hail storms. 

Friday, 16 January 2009

Gabriel Prokofiev

Italian publishers Rizzoli contacted me the other day; they said they'd seen my picture of Gabriel on my web site (second image below), and could they please use it as a cover on a novel by Serena Sinigaglia.
Gabriel, the grandson of Sergei, produces the Elysian String Quartet ( and was happy to agree, though it must be odd to see a photo of yourself on the cover of someone's novel.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Henk Gerritsen

Henk Gerritsen, the Dutch gardener, sadly died towards the end of 2008. He was one of the most challenging and at the same time charming subjects to photograph; simply, he hated the process.
Famous for his Priona garden and love of wild flowers, he advocated strict use of water, and liked to allow nature (including animals and weeds) to run its course alongside established gardens. I photographed him with one of the hedges he planted at Waltham Place. For a fuller profile written by Noel Kingsbury, see issue no 134 of Gardens Illustrated magazine.

The Garden Museum.

The museum was until recently The Museum of Garden History, and it's located next to Lambeth Palace, on the south side of Lambeth Bridge, a stones throw from The House of Parliament. Housed in a massive church, it has just been revamped and looks amazing.
They have kicked of with an exhibition about the famous British gardener Beth Chatto, using one of my photographs of her lent by the National Portrait Gallery:

The graveyard surrounding the church has flowers growing in and around the stones, and is exceptionally pretty and photogenic.  If you are ever in London it is well worth a visit, and it's really easy to get to, only 10 minutes walk from Parliament Square.

Gardens Illustrated. Who's Who.

Gardens Illustrated is a top gardening magazine published in the UK, but available worldwide. Each issue profiles one of the great and good from the world of gardening plant finding and botany, and the shoot is always on black and white film, and then  output as a lith print.
Here is a very small selection of some favourites from my shoots for the magazine.
In order, they are: Frank Cabot; Charles Quest-Ritson photographed at home with an upright grand piano as a backdrop; the late Alan Bloom with his own railway line stretching away behind him; and lastly Fergus Garrett photographed in an empty barn at Great Dixter.
I'll be showing more from this series later in the year.

Monday, 12 January 2009

A few Photo Shoots from 2008

A great opportunity arose to photograph the British film maker, scriptwriter and actor Terrence Davies, whose film Of Time and the City was released this year.

Several Actor photoshoots took place during the year, including these with Kenneth Branagh and Sigourney Weaver.

A rare shoot for the Spectator Magazine of composer Peter Manning.

Rachel Fuller, singer/songwriter, shot in the grounds of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Artist Michael Landy, with comments from one of his subjects.

Work from another British artist, Sarah Lucas's Percival, bought by Jacob Rothschild, on the lawn of  Waddesdon.

Writers in 2008.

There were many writers to photograph during 2008, and they include Sara Stockbridge, Susie Orbach, a playful Charlie Higson, Sarah Waters photographed in Blacks Club, and Sarah Dunant, photographed on location at Charterhouse, and hosted by the elegant Peter May, shown below.

Holly and Sven's wedding.

Holly Frean and Sven Petersen married in Diddling church, at the foot of the South down's in Sussex. Perfect weather for a December wedding, and a gorgeous church that could seat just 45 people.

Coniston Water November 2008

A short break in the Lake district, in northern England in November last year. I stayed in a lovely lodge on the southern tip of Coniston Water, famed for Donald Campbell's record breaking  efforts in Bluebird.
These images are from around the private boathouse attached to the lodge.
Shot on Polaroid's 665 film I have a very small supply left, though it was discontinued in 2008.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A Domestic Landscape: Outdoor/Indoor.

I was asked by the garden designer Jinny Blom to document one of her design projects. The garden belonged to a stone built cottage located in some remote woodland site in Kent. The building had fallen into disrepair, and the gardens were overgrown. Several colonies of bees were living in the walls and the roof was open to the sky in one of the bedrooms upstairs.

Although very nearly completely empty of possessions, there was plenty of evidence of the family who had lived there for many years. The patina of daily use was evident throughout the rooms, giving small clues here and there of the family who had left six years previously.
Outside, were dilapidated sheds and stores and a greenhouse. Empty bottles and discarded tools lay abandoned, and it was nice to notice that it had been untouched by vandals. Brambles covered much of the structure of the garden, and tall trees dominated the skyline.

Below is a small selection of some of the photographs.
During 2009 a limited edition art book will be published consisting of two volumes titled:
"A Domestic Landscape: Outdoor/Indoor" . There will be a total of around eighty images, all shot on black and white film, showing an extraordinary place full of interest, memories and atmosphere.