Author Archives: thomas peck

Empty Venice…

Venice is a photographer’s delight. Everywhere you look are potential images. The trick is to empty the city of people, and that isn’t quite so easy…

Early morning works (only photographers get up before 6am…) or shoot across the water in the misty twilight.

I love slowing the exposures down so much that everything moving – boats, people etc – just disappears…

And then it’s good to find hidden corners, bridges and canals where occasional interlopers do appear, but seem quite arbitrary.

Visit Venice in the off season and it’s easy to appreciate its beauty, and not get too flustered by its crowds. And then, get up early morning to make the most of it…

 

For more info on Quest Photographic Tours, and the workshops I’m leading next year, please click on this .


Immy likes to strike a pose…

I have an actress for a daughter, and she loves to strike a pose… Spot the onlooker!

 

Wonderful to see Immy happy again!

Photos from Rousillon, Luberon, France. Aug 2018


Galloping in the Camargue

It’s been years since we went to France on summer holiday. But the wait was worth it. Even in the canicule (41C at its peak) it was lovely. And in spite of the heat we made a trip to the Camargue so that I could photograph the horses. A fantastic evening, knee deep in the marsh, camera set up to 3200th of a second, and galloping horses, coming straight for me, very fast….


I guess photography is as much about the experience of taking the photo, as the photo itself. And this was an experience! Power and grace, and a lot of splashing. I couldn’t stop grinning…

 

 

This is gypsy land, and gypsy horses. It was fantastic to see the gardiens drive the horses through the water. Here’s gypsy Lucie, bareback, no helmet, galloping at 40mph. Definitely a sight to behold…

 

I think my favourite images are those that are slightly desaturated to reflect the ethereal experience (see first and last image). It was a great day in a great place. I can’t wait to return!

 

 


Judges’ Bait – the Blavatnik Building

Photo judges would not like these photos… Too much deep black shadow, slightly burnt out white highlights. Too empty. But so what, I rather like the atmosphere it creates, and atmosphere is what a photo should be about. So the blacks and whites stay…


Pics all from the marvellous new wing of Tate Modern, the Blavatnik Building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron. Concrete drama, all very striking!

Stairways are a fave of mine. Leading lines and suggested journeys. Up, down, travel round the corners. A sense of mystery…

Here’s to curvy stairways, emptiness and deep blacks and clear whites…

 


Iceland – just amazing…

There is a moment when you know that you’ve fallen for a place. I’ve just been co-leading a workshop in Iceland, a land which is awesome in every sense of the word. But the place that encapsulates that wonder is the beach at Jökusárlón, where the bergs get washed up on the black sand and create amazing temporary sculptures. Stunning.

Iceland is not just black beaches and icebergs. It’s glaciers, fish, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, sulphur, mud, horses and expensive hotels. Empty roads too. Route 1, the equivalent of the Icelandic M25, is empty once past Reykyavik and the glory spots of the south coast. I drove for hours only passing a few cars the whole time… 2500 kms, empty most of the way.

 

 

I can’t wait to go again. Next year, perhaps in late March when it’s a bit colder, more icy, more dramatic, more raw. If you want to come, let me know. We will be in 2 4x4s, space for 6 passengers on the photographic trip of a lifetime…


Help…., Can’t breathe.

Sometimes you just feel sorry for the animals. And that perhaps nowhere so much as in the market place. Pride and dignity gone. No escape. Dead eyes still imploring. It is all very final.

 

 

 


You can never tire of London…

“Why Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London” said Mr Johnson. And what goes for 1777 still stands for 2018. A fascinating city, even on a bitterly cold February evening outing with the camera club. The best was Tate Modern, full of vibrancy, youth, music, art and installations late into the evening. I could have spent hours there snapping away, agreeing with Mr Johnson’s dictum… “No Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…”

 

 

 

 


Shredding the gnar…

Well, we’re right in the middle of the Winter Olympics, surrounded by slopestylers pretzeling, corking and double japanning. I can’t do any of this stuff,  barely even understand it! But I can appreciate a good downhill skier, and Charles is certainly that. I can only just keep up with him…

Ah, to be 18 again, and have the cojones to go this fast without fearing the consequences. He’s regularly 90/100+ kph, and has no sense of mortality – he’s just shredding the gnar…

Off the corduroy is where he’s at, but not me – I just catch an edge and face plant. Charles? Hits the apex and runs the white room…

I must admit when Charles finally alley-oops, tastes powder, & loses a ski, I do laugh my head off… It’s only natural, and I can see he’s ok. He’s has to climb back up the hill – steep, through the powder mash,… But then within a nano-second he’s back up to ridic-speed….

 

I want to be 18 again and ride for fun! What am I talking about,… I can still do this! Wait until next year and I’ll show you my switch right lip 270 pretzel out of the top rail, 450 on the down rail, butter pad, then cork 450 out, double cork 12, double japan, switch right, double cork 10 safety and finish with a double cork 10 tail. Believe it! Basta!!!

 

(PS – apologies to any true slopestylers out there, I know I have taken the vocab in vain, and don’t really know what I’m talking about…)


Enjoying the craic!

When I was a student I was good at doing this. Large quantities of beer were the norm, and recovery time was minimal. Nowadays a great evening out takes about 2 weeks to recover…

 

I guess the best way not to suffer is to stick to one particular drink, and in Dublin that can only mean one thing, and try to drink slowly over a long period of time. Perhaps I didn’t quite achieve that (drinking slowly…) but at least I stuck to the black stuff, and mighty delicious it was too…

The other way to forget that you can’t quite be a student anymore, is to surround yourself with your student pals and just relive the old days. And that’s what we did, to great effect. Enjoying the craic! Inside I still feel like I’m in my younger 20s anyway…

And at no stage did I give up the ghost, put my head in my hands and drown all my sorrows. This pic isn’t me!


Next year: Galway!!!


Champagne, in the snow…

How do you keep your spirits up when the weather is grim and grey? Drink bubbles of course! And the best bubbles are from the Côte des Blancs in Champagne, where chardonnay rules and the dosage sugar is kept low. So that’s where we go early December…

And blimey it was blanc, très blanc. We beat the snow by a day, but it caught us up. Not that it stopped us drinking the stuff, copious quantities, all in the name of research (to get our tastiest bargain…)

Épernay has a little festival first week in December – Les Habit de Lumière – well worth a visit if you want to see how the locals consumer their fizz…

Ahem…, several of the drinkers in these shots may well not be from Épernay at all… I shall not give their identities away…

Gimonnet and Bouquin Dupont came out top in our dedicated and fastidious research, so we stocked up (Mrs P cannot go a week without at least one glass of blanc de blanc); the car was loaded up and off we headed home, into the teeth of a storm and a slightly anxious ferry crossing. Didn’t spill a drop or pop a bubble. That’s the way to do it!

(Duchies – we missed you this year. Don’t go missing this again!)