Meet up in London

Once upon a time a meeting was planned for past and present members of FIP to attend the Photographers Gallery in London. This came to pass and 7 individuals were present, several others were unable to attend for various reasons including Action Man! We wanted to meet him after his tour of the city his knowledge would have been useful. However we understand that he has so many calls on his valuable time, he can’t be everywhere. Following the obligatory tea/coffee and introduction and general chats we proceeded around the gallery (with our yellow stickers) – chatting over our thoughts etc., of what was on display. One of the exhibitors who seemed to strike a chord with a number of us was Tish Murtha (I for one will delve further into her work).

After the tour several persons had to leave due to travel and other commitments, so the remaining four headed off to a hostelry to continue the discussions re where we were on the FIP, as well as getting input from those who had completed it. Then it was down to two who headed towards the station and got side tracked by a pub so further conversations ensued, none of which will be repeated here (what happens on tour etc.). From my perspective it was a pleasant day, making new friends, putting faces to names and learning new things.

I can’t finish without mentioning some individual who will be off looking for snow leopards and then early next year visiting Namibia – so lucky. To all those reading this who attended hope you enjoyed it as well, and going forward we all live happily ever after! Names have been omitted to protect the innocent.

All the best stories start with “once upon a time”, and finish with “they all lived happily ever after”.






Having been following Richard’s discussions re his visit to Farnborough Air Display, it had me searching for a few photo’s I had re the annual display help in Jersey usually around the beginning of September. Normally has the Battle of Britain memorial flight, Red Arrows, and various display teams from France and many more used aircraft as  static displays.

Several years ago we were lucky to have the Vulcan Bomber, before she was moth balled again. A very graceful lady, and when she flew above me (bomb door open) I can honestly say the earth moved for me! Couple of pictures below:-

Also an Avro Anso T21


Hope you enjoy them Richard.

An evening with Paul Berriff OBE

On Tuesday 6th June I was lucky enough to attend the above talk. The talk was very informative around his early days working for the Yorkshire Post covering the music scene of the 1960’s, during which time he photographed the Beatles amongst other, before they became famous.

He was always out and about taking photographs of things happening around him, and to see some of these black and white prints and others on the screen was something else. You had to consider the type of camera he was using and his age (early teens), which showed his remarkable talent. He then went to work for the Yorkshire Post, and after spending time on the music scene he went on to become involved in current affairs and documentary work. He worked for a time on the “Live and Let Die” film and captured a photograph of Roger Moore (his first Bond role) at the desk of Ian Fleming where most of the Bond books were written.

Paul always wants to spend about 12 months with his subject with complete freedom to capture anything and everything. However he does allow discussions to be held before the finished article is aired. He has had unparalleled access to the Astronauts at NASA, the crew of Air Sea Rescues and well as a Police force and HRH Prince Charles to name but a few.

During these times he has had an angel looking over his shoulder, he survived a helicopter crash in Scotland.


photo – copy write Paul Berriff.

its a wonder he got out (in fact everyone got out). Whilst working with the Air Sea Rescue team they were scrambled for the Piper Alpha disaster (but at the time it was unknown what the issue was). He was the first photographer on the scene and the fire was so intense that a lot of the images could not be used as they destroyed the film due to the brightness of the fire.

He almost got caught as a volcano erupted around him and a couple of others who were taking readings, that’s apart from being involved in the 9/11 incident. He was taking photo’s close to the command post as the buildings started to collapse, he started to run with the camera over his shoulder pointing at the falling building before he was hit and it took some 25 minutes to get out. The camera was ruined (and still has some of the dust on it)but the film was OK as has been seen around the world numerous times.

All I can say is if you have a chance to attend such an event yourself its very well worth it. He comes across enthused about his work but very modest of what he has undertaken, a lovely man. You leave wanting more and in awe of what he has achieved.

Below is a link to more of his work.

Almost There!!

Well almost ready to submit Part 5. Got one more exercise to complete and a final review of the work and a reflective summary – then it will wing it’s way to Gina for her review and feedback.

The journey has been full of it’s ups and downs – thankfully more ups than downs. The “downs” were “Still Life” (sorry Gina) and of course breaking my ankle which restricted the opportunities. The “ups” were learning new things, and developing as a photographer as well as a person, linking up with a great group of people always keen to share knowledge and providing support. Also having a good tutor who was able to provide the feedback which was always spot on – after I had read her comments it always made sense and subconsciously I recognised the mistakes – or rather areas for additional development. At times I realise that I am using some of the new skills that I have learnt – but this is usually when I am reviewing what I have taken, and I can see what I did and why. Even resorted to buying a few books to help me with some of the areas I still feel I need to develop.

I have also been asked if one of my exercises can be used in the course material when it is updated. I have of course said yes – whilst it is not as fantastic as Archna’s news was, it’s at least a confirmation that I have produced some good work. Still concerned re undertaking the full degree, but I think a call with Gina after submitting part 5 will help me decide. I have always asked her to never sugar coat her feedback, and she hasn’t, so if she believes I can do it, then that will tip the scales and that will be my next photographic journey. I appreciate that the final  decision will be mine, but it’s always worth getting feedback from someone who knows what is expected at the next level.

Until the next time – keep on taking photographs and supporting each other on the course.


Personal Project – Urban Art or Graffiti

I have been taking photographs of Graffiti for some time especially murals as I find these extremely skilful. Some of  these have appeared in a previous blog – see “Photobook”. However I have ignored the other styles, this then meant various outings to find and capture these to show a balanced final piece of work. Thankfully I had an overnight stop in London after scattering mums ashes, and as I was not flying until the evening I had several hours to undertake this mission. Once I had checked into the hotel – off I went camera in hand (in the rucksack really) and headed to Brick Lane and Shoreditch. Within 40 minutes of getting there I had obtained examples of the other styles except “wheat pasting”. I will now have to sort and then tweak in Photoshop if necessary before placing them under the various headings.

I also visited the arch under Waterloo Station, but this was not very successful as far too many of the tags had been defaced by others. I was under the impression that within this community such things were frowned upon. Invariably this sort of action can ruin the work beneath them. When this happens to a mural I would consider this to be vandalism, as it prevent others seeing it and getting enjoyment from the original.

Whilst heading back to Liverpool Street station I saw this –

DSC_0088You have to admit that some of these artists have a great sense of humour.

Now to start the large task of putting everything together and doing all the research for the final assignment.

The FIP Journey So Far…..

Well here I am about to start the final part, and am awaiting the results of my Part 4 submission. From the feedback and comments that I have received from a number of you over the last 10 months or so, I think I am on the right track. For this I thank you for your time and efforts in reviewing my work as well as making comments or just likes. Wherever possible I have tried to reciprocate and hopefully my comments have been taken in the spirit they were intended.

I have been inspired by a number of you, not only in your submitted work, but also in your openness to share and support. This is something I must try to do more of. None of us are islands (even though I live on one!), interaction and swopping of ideas is the key to this course. Without this I would not have got as far as I have.

Parts of the course have been hard – i.e. Still Life (still don’t particularly like doing it), the analysis sections – again something outside of my comfort zone – I think I am getting better, but still room for improvement. Some of the Photoshop work, has been fun and stretched my capabilities, but I have learnt even from that to do things differently.

I am considering undertaking the degree, and I am about 70% I will, this will depend upon the outcome of sections 4&5, and well as my tutors comments / feedback. Providing I undertake the degree it would be great if some of you could do it as well. Failing which hopefully I can rely on you to review my work and provide the necessary critiques – I respect your judgement and can only learn from such things.

For those of you still in the early stages – enjoy the experience, don’t be afraid, we only fear the unknown. Once you have done the exercises, things become easier, and your photography will improve. Remember there is no right or wrong as it is our interpretation – This is something I have learnt “If I like the work – good, then I am happy – if others like it as well its the icing on the cake”.

There is no such thing in this course as failure – it is just another learning curve.

Happy snapping