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Aesthetica Art Prize

The Aesthetica Art prize is a long running competition which I had entered quite some time ago.
Before the end of last year, I had heard that I had made the first cut and then a week ago, they informed me that I had made the longlist of 100 artists which will be featured in the Anthology book that they publish.
Out of over 1500 entries, thats not bad going. My print was not shortlisted for the actual exhibition (only 8 were chosen) and none of the finalists were photographers so I dont feel too bad.


Anesthetic was taken in an abandoned hospital in Germany, this was an icy cold day and the hospital was in a snow covered woods just outside a small village.


New year, New lineup

Everyone goes through the “new year, new me” thing. I think thats just human nature
This year for me, does feel a bit different though I must admit

At the end of last year, I took the decision to sell all of my Canon gear which was based around my 5Dmk2 which I had for quite a while but I was never happy with the dynamic range (or lack of it) and the red noise problem which seemed to plague my low light shots!

I have just got my Fuji X-E1 back from the IR workshop and now is fitted with a dual spectrum hotmirror (it cuts out all the light band above UV) My initial test with this, even on a dull day like today were outstanding, the sharpness of the Fuji system is worlds apart from my previous full spectrum Olympus EP2 – I cant wait to get some sunshine now

So the camera lineup for 2014 is :
Sony A7r
– Voigtlander 21mm F1.8
– Canon FD 50mm F1.8
– Contax 28mm T* F2.8

Fuji X-E1 (dual spectrum conversion)
– 18-55mm
– 14mm F2.8
– 55-200mm

The surprising thing for me is the lack of zoom lenses, especially for the Sony, but ive been loving the old lenses so much that actually having a zoom lens doesnt appeal at the moment Рthe Canon lens especially was an ebay buy and is an absolute gem of a lens on the 7R and for £30, it looks and feels better than any of my older EF lenses ever did

Church – Jpeg straight of of the camera
A7R, Canon 50mm FD
Bedham Church

Church – IR 595 Red filter, converted to mono and fog added to highlights
X-E1, 14mm FX
Bedham Church IR

Artists Quarter

One of my enquiries from the Royal Academy exhibition got in contact with me, firstly to purchase some prints and then we started to discuss other possibilities. which led to this, an interview on their new site. Their ‘artist’ side of the company aims to purchase from up and coming artists and eventually help with exhibitions and other activities.

we are going to be working together to put on an exhibition, hopefully next year around the new portfolio that im working on called Republic

please check out the interview and like the page here : http://www.facebook.com/artistsquarter


Exploring in the snow

Here in the UK, we dont do extreme weather very well at all, the first sign of snow and the country seems to grind to a stop, it was around this time last year during a mini photo trip to Belgium that it started to snow heavily on the road from Calais to Ghent. The usual snow panic kicked in to start with but once you are actually forced to carry on then its not so bad.
This old park was the final destination on the trip and the snow still covered the ground but the white skies had given way to the crisp blues of a winter sky, making the the park look like a land out of a fairy tale.
The park was made up of what I would call “child powered” rides, none of the electrical thrills of modern parks but swings, slides and roundabouts although on a larger scale to the kind of park thats found on housing estates and parks.
Originally opened in the 1950 and a series of accidents led to the decline of visitors and eventually to its closure in 2002.

It had quite a strange atmosphere. the access was easy because of a wide open entrance and it seemed that the town had just come to accept it as it was. There were a lot of kids playing on the barrels, couples walking around hand in hand and people out walking their dogs.

(I believe this has now been demolished)

Bunny in a barrel
Bunny in a barrel

The Carousel

Shooting Range
Shooting Range

Tree Slide
Tree Slide

The rest of the images can be seen here

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The weather was pretty good for the photograph that I wanted to capture for the day, or at least it was when I set out for the coast.
Dungeness is on the south east coast of England and is a strip of coast which is still for fishing and working boats are grounded next to old wrecks and rusty old machinery. At the far end of the shore is a massive nuclear powerstation which casts a gloomy shadow over a desolate, almost monochrome landscape.

The wind was icy, as was the rain which helped create the mood, even if it didnt help with finger functions – A heated grip would sometimes be a great addition to the camera. The final image was of one of the wrecks, almost silhouetted against a grey featureless sky

a place of emotional desolation

From the Mist

The second outing while in San francisco was on the last Saturday, driving in the opposite direction this time over the great span and impressive structure of the Bay bridge.
By the time I had arrived at the destination, the blue skies were no more as a thick bay area fog had swallowed up the whole area, if a covert entrance was actually needed then it would have been perfect.
A short walk by the train track and I could see the massive storage towers emerge from the grey.
I was getting accustomed to soggy feet by now, my choice of footwear for this trip was frankly ridiculous and my canvas trainers would have to be disposed of later on that day.
The cement works was reduced to a ruin consisting of the towers, a circular barn type building and 2 larger buildings which would have been the main building, now just walls and foundation structs.

The fog gave the place an eerie and claustrophobic feel, especially when you are wandering around alone in the silence. My camera set to monochrome mode, I went about trying to capture this sense of solitude.
The floor of the barns interior was covered with a thick layer of sludge, I had given up trying to keep my feet dry by this point though, the roof in contrast though was dizzying, a spiders web which looked almost kaleidoscopic with the grey sky visible through the deteriorated wood.


The ruins

The ruins

The ruins

The ruins

Passages in time

The name Beelitz-Heilstätten has quite a sinister tinge to it and once off the train, it was obvious that this wasnt entirely misplaced. The district is home to the large hospital complex which also shares its name and not alot else.
The hospital was built just before 1900 and in its lifetime saw various transitions from German to Soviet occupation – it was where Adolf Hitler recuperated after being wounded in WW1.

Most of the buildings were boarded up, adding to the sinister and empty atmosphere of this massive complex – one of the buildings had been bombed in WW2 and this had an open but hollow feel to it, the inside dusty and earthen :

The more grandiose buildings which had been more secure (although not completely) were in much better condition, the brightly painted corridors although peeling with age, were much brighter in appearance but retained a spooky feel to them none the less :