Monthly Archives: August 2012

Photo workshop


So this weekend was spent in Brighton, a photography workshop by Michael Levin who is a Canadian fine art photographer, His photos are stunning, not necessarily my sort of thing but he has achieved a lot in a short space of time and has defined his style and gotten it “out there”. I thought that I would pick up a few things…
A lot of photographers keep much of what they do under wraps, which is fair enough (im probably guilty of that myself). There will always be a queue of people who think they can replicate or do something better but Michaels workshop was extremely open and he shared a great deal of knowledge in a very open and honest way. My head was full of ideas by the end of it.
The flip-side to this was of course that I could see a lot of areas where I had been going wrong, too much info on my website, too much clutter in almost everything that I had done before. Maybe not quite a ground-zero moment but its almost there.

This was my first photography workshop, I hadnt found one that i wanted to do before and I wasnt sure how much benefit it would be for me but now I would definitely recommend them, if you can find one that appeals to you and you have a rough idea of what you want to get out of it – I think now they can be very rewarding.

Here were my shots for the final day, im quite happy about these ones:

A walkway into a milky sea

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In a galaxy far far away…


Lego was my main thing while growing up, about to show my age here but it was “proper” lego, none of this preformed into wierd and wonderful shapes that only allow you to make whats on the box picture. Standard bricks and technical lego with extra holes in it that forced you to get creative to build the models that you wanted.
I remember my pride was an airwolf helicopter which i built, only it was in red because i didnt have enough black bricks to make it, but aside from that it was a really good likeness (or so i thought at the time).
When I was younger legoland only existed in Denmark and it was my ultimate dream to go there, so my first excuse to go to legoland in Windsor was with my younger nephew and I jumped at the chance.
forward wind a bit…
I had promised my niece a day out and legoland again came to mind, an excellent day out with the highlight being the mini legoland. I found myself pushing the kids out of the way to get in and take these shots, alls fair in love and lego…

Sarajevo Winter Olympics (in Infrared)


I nearly always take 2 cameras with me on photography trips, my trusty Canon 5Dmk2 which i use for all shoots and a smaller Olympus EP2 which has been specially converted to have a clear bit of glass in place of the hotmirror, this is generally called a “full spectrum” conversion because it lets in all of the colour wavelengths to the sensor. Using this with an infrared filter, this produces images completely different to a normal camera.
An alien landscape comes out of the raw files where trees look blue or green and the sky takes on a deep red hue, much like you would imagine mars to look like after reading war of the worlds.

These images have been processed to enhance the infrared properties of old Kodak HIE film where the photos are monochrome and have really atmospheric characteristics like deep grain and halation which is caused by light leakage on the film

My post on the locations and colour photos are HERE

The Ski Jump:


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NGTE Jet Engine testing facility


NGTE Pyestock was one of my exploration targets for the last few years, living so close to it, I could almost hear it constantly calling out – or maybe that was just the Broadmoor siren. A Saturday in April, I finally cracked this one alongside 2 others who were going there for a second time.

This place was something else entirely, I had done a few laps of the perimeter before but once you are actually there, its very disorientating. I realised  quite quickly how unprepared I was on previous attempted visits, if any of those had actually been successful I would have found myself dizzy and lost by the time I got to the first building.

Luckily my companions knew where they were going so within a matter of minutes, we were inside the airhouse.

The size of just this hall by itself, on 2 levels with turbines and vacuum pipes winding their way across the great expanse. This was probably the size of the main hall at ECVB by itself. A good hour was spent here on both levels as well as climbing up to the higher levels. I had seen pictures from the centre of the gantry but there was no way that I was climbing out there and had to make do with a few higher  shots from the higher staircases.
Cell 3 was the next stop, deep inside this building runs a tunnel which was used to mount some of the jet engines, a hole in the top of the tunnel leads down to a long passage. On one end, there is a complex metal ring surrounding what looks like an exhaust port and on the other, industrial looking doors which were installed for the movie “Sahara” turn out to actually be a lot lighter than they look. Beyond these doors is another passage which then opens out to a massive circular  formation of pipes and dampeners . Standing in this opening feels like being in a science fiction movie, it just needs flickering red lamps and maybe some incoming beeps on a radar screen.

My final stop was Cell 4, I had seen alot of photos from in here an it’s easy to see why. On entry to the massive hall – the first thing you see is a huge exhaust port connected to a bulbous cylinder, this is connected to several space ship type compartments and the follows to the rear middle of the hall where it splits off into 2 pipes which then wind themselves around and out of the hall. In actual fact these ran the other way in terms of airflow. Just the sheer size of this place would have kept explorers happy for a good few hours.

This hall was used in some scenes from Sahara which I watched a few days after the explore, it was then when some of the signs and manufacturer decals made sense!

It’s quite a strange feeling being somewhere that you have seen so much in photos, probably like visiting somewhere like New York that you have seen on movies or the harry potter sets. It was too tempting not to take these tourist shots but this was only my first time here, I could return to get some more unusual photos!