Our doc on the big screen

Another collaboration with Allan Burr of Moonwater Media and Nim Design to film a 20-minute documentary-style corporate film for Barnsbury Housing Association. This was to celebrate their 50th anniversary of providing affordable housing in Islington and involved several interviews. 

Like many projects these days I also provided photography of what we were filming - portraits of interviewees and architectural shots of the buildings. I introduced Barnsbury to Adam Bailey of Kingfisher APS so he could do some aerial surveying they needed - and supply some great bird's eye footage for the film! 

I also prepared a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) so they could show it at Angel's Screen on the Green cinema. See more about that here

Short intro section below, the full-length film is on Barnsbury's website



The Power Awakes - timelapse

A new town centre with shops, entertainment, commercial space, Apple's European HQ; new homes (yes, including affordable housing); thousands of new jobs; Northern Line extension; Thames clipper service has already started; and especially, a rejuvenated, spectacular power station (think Tate Modern on steroids) - all designed by world class architects...

A timelapse/video I filmed a few weeks ago at Circus West, Battersea Power Station. Remember to click '4K'.

BTS - video for an executive coach

I just shot another website welcome video, this one for Harsha Perera, an executive coach. It has come to the point where one MUST have video on one's website, or it will be conspicuous by its absence, and slip down Google's SEO rankings.

It's on his YouTube channel and embedded on his website front page.

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. It is owned by the No.1 search engine of course - Google. Hence the value in using a YouTube-Google link.

Choosing a location and equipment:

We filmed this in the park on a windy day with the usual Heathrow-bound jets passing overhead, yet we still got a peaceful scene for filming.

The lav mic (lapel mic) is magic for getting great quality sound in noisy settings - part of the RODE radio transmitter set, it's one of my best video-gadget purchases.  Another RODE mic (simple shotgun) was on-camera to give good reference sound for synchronising and back-up. On the second camera I just made do with the built-in mic, again just for reference/synchronising purposes. 

The behind-the-scenes shots below show that at first look it doesn't seem the most attractive spot. However, it was sheltered from the wind and the natural light came in at a nice side angle (as opposed to overhead). With zoomed composition, it actually looks good. 

Pros and cons of shooting outdoors


In this case we didn't need extra lighting or external power. (Often still used for outdoor shoots if there's the budget of course). I had some reflectors with me but didn't use them either in the end. I chose the location partly for the sheltered directional light.

It was a suitably peaceful, natural setting, that matched the style of the profile photo I had shot of Harsha a few months previously (on the first page of his website).

We also didn't need to spend money hiring a studio. Shooting in a client's home or work environment is also a good option (depending on space, light, noise), but wasn't the look we wanted in this case.


One is at the mercy of the weather. The sun came and went behind clouds which you may notice in the video. This can create problems with changing exposure/colour, but wasn't a big problem after some minor adjustments to video footage in editing. Strong wind can also potentially make sound recording tricky. Choose weather, time of day and location to deal with this issue. Sometimes using a studio or other indoor location is a better solution.

Noise and other distractions - once or twice we had to pause when overhead jets became a little too loud. We were in Clapham Common, many parts of London have this problem to a greater or lesser extent. However, as mentioned the lapel mic mitigated this problem pretty well. The closer the mic is to the person, the lower the comparative volume of ambient sound. Occasionally passers-by in the background or friendly, inquisitive dogs also halted proceedings. Generally we didn't mind a bit of background noise to give it a sense of place.

Do check out Harsha if you are thinking of getting some coaching, he is a most erudite gentleman, really knows how to listen and gets to the core of one's business or life challenges.


Britain's highest dozing photographer

A few weeks ago I walked up Ben Nevis, Scotland, with a couple of friends. I shot this lifestyle travel video along the way.

We spent the night in the shelter on the summit, making us the 3 highest people in Britain for a night. My companions slept, I dozed for about 2 hours - the rest of the time I was doing timelapse, video and photos...

Ben was the main star obviously (video above), but I got some selfies along the way - this looping video below was taken with the iPhone on a little stand - iPhone 4K video in low-light was very good quality! If you look at the tripod (holding my Canon 5D MkIII) you can see I have it tied down to a bag which had BOULDERS weighing it down - it was extremely windy. The eagle-eyed might also spot that I have the camera on top of a small video tripod head screwed to a medium video head (which is in turn mounted on the tripod legs) - this allowed me to get some faux-slider/dolly effects without carrying an actual slider, as well as 3-axis movement for vertical shots. It didn't get much darker on the horizon than this either, being so far north and close to the longest day of the year.


Plus some levitation action - the altitude got me feeling a little zen I think...

Still more moving stills

More experiments with the currently trending cinemagraphs.

Everything seems to be moving towards 'motion', or a fusion thereof... Perhaps 'pure' photography will become a shrinking, rare speciality? Such as platinum printing and shooting on film is now? 

It seems likely that very soon the majority of photographers will be 'imagemakers', also shooting video and fusion such as the cinemagraphs seen here, timelapse, etc. Many of us already are, many others have transitioned completely to producing/directing video and cinema. I am almost 50/50 video and photography now. And I haven't even begun to experiment with virtual reality, but that is firmly in my sights.

Just as mobile phones began to incorporate cameras, then video cameras... motion is becoming the new standard. Cameras and computers will become ever faster and more powerful so this won't be a limitation. (GIFs are large in file size AND low in quality - but for a little longer yet they're still the most widely accepted format). You can now get apps on your smartphone to make cinemagraphs and even stranger fusion VR/motion creations...

The cinemagraphs in this blog (more below) can be licensed via Come Alive Images - specifically through their stock agency partner Glasshouse Images, including video versions which are much better quality.

Click on a GIF to be taken to the specific agency listing.

And you can find the lovely Lexie (the portrait model) on her website - she does do 'wistful wonderfully well'.

Right, I think that's enough weak puns and cheesy alliteration for one blog post...


Serafina Salvador - with a surrealist's name, no wonder she's so good at modeling for surreal cinemagraphs.


It was great to work with this talented actress and model again. This time I was experimenting with cinemagraphs, a kind of GIF where part of the image is frozen and part is moving.

They tend to take a while to create and file sizes are pretty large, hence only three here. Colour is also limited in the GIF format, so it suits the vintage/Instagram look.

However, I have some ideas on improving this - watch this space.

Meanwhile, keep scrolling for a couple more cinemagraphs. And check out Serafina's page.