Tag Archives: “Black and White”‘

Sharp lines and chiaroscuro in London and Rotterdam!

I have been having some fun converting  pictures! With the expert help of my friend Noel (check out his website here) I’ve been experimenting with luminosity masks, superior selections, and 8 minute sky exposures. Dramatic and I love it! Here’s London, looking sharp…



And give me a Dutch bridge and this is what I do to it:



Perhaps the most photogenic city for modern architecture however is Rotterdam, see below. And it’s got a fine modern art museum. Noel tells me his wife tells him that the shopping is superlative too. Excellent. Mrs P will have something to do on our next weekend away whilst I get on with the image making!


Faces of the future

I did a shoot at a theatre company the other day. I loved the eagerness of the actors – the faces of the future. Here they are, blimey they look so young!









Michelle, grace and elegance

If Ruben soars, then Michelle glides, graceful and elegant. The arch of the foot, the point of the hand. Arabesque, Plié, Pirouette…








There’s time for fun, a little – it can’t be all too serious.



Perfection must be to the fingertips, to the toes. A body under control.





Ruben and Michelle make dance look effortless, controlled and beautiful. They look serene, together.






For pictures of Ruben, see previous post.

Ruben dancing into the air

Now I know that I have published the odd post featuring the female form. Beautiful it is too, and I’ve loved every moment of every photo shoot. But maybe it’s time to even up the score… So here are some images of the male form, and in spectacular condition too. This is Ruben, a man who can soar, seemingly effortlessly, through the air.

Ruben 4


How many hours of practice does it take to be able to do this? They say 10,000 to master an instrument. This is a life’s dedication. So it’s great to record the beauty of Ruben’s skill.





Ruben 3


Ruben 2

Unsurprisingly, the feet take some wear and tear. But a short rest and then Ruben is ready to fly again. Up, up and away. Amazing….

Ruben 5


2 speedlights, background, and a model…

Amazing what you can do with a couple of speedlights. Basic kit – 2 small flashes, 2 strip boxes, a background – and a model of course! and hey, it’s up and running…



These are from a workshop I did the other day with Luca Monti – check out his workshops here. Going on a workshop is a great way of stepping out of the comfort zone and doing something different. Just do it, and have some fun.





The next image is one I put into a competition. The judge slated it – too much negative space, according to him. I don’t agree. I rather like the curves and the space. They balance off one another. Let me know what you think!



The Unbearable Sharpness of Thorns

Oi! You lot out there. Who occasionally look at this blog, probably very fleetingly.  I want your opinion. Which ones do you prefer? Black background or white?














Lake Windermere and dogs…

We’ve decided at long last to get a dog. So, whilst on a quick trip to the Lake District, we rated every dog that we passed, with a view to working out which actual dog we want. We got some weird looks as dog walkers strolled past and we would call out “four”, seven”, “eight”, “two”… I just want a dog that likes coming with me early doors on my photography trips. Anyway, here’s a few pics from Lake Windermere, as I said, early doors.








Dog photos will no doubt follow…

And now, for something completely different…

I keep looking through photography mags and getting jealous – no, no, no, not those sorts of magazines… The proper ones, the ones with full time photographers in them. Image makers who make real money. Their images are just so exquisite, and so different. So I put down the magazine, told myself to stop jerking off at other people’s pictures and do some of my own. My challenge for 2016 will be to see if I can find anyone else who likes them. Here goes with series number 1, called Inversion:











Let me know what you think!

California Road Tripping

If you like road tripping then America is the place. Especially if you get one of those enormously, humongously, massively large monster cars. Which is what I needed as I had wife, kids and ps-i-l in tow, so I hired a Chevy Suburban which can seat an army plus luggage (…don’t ask, 3 men + 3 WOMEN…), and off we trundled, down the coast of California.

The Lone Pine

The Lone Pine

Luckily, in between the malls of SF and LA, I was occasionally allowed to stop and take a pic or two. I know I know, the cliche images of Route 1, but hey, they’re still great to look at!

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge

I rather fell in love with my Suburban. And I’m slightly worried that if I were American I would end up driving a truck. Where else do you want/need a car where the engine bonnet is at the height of your chest? But the bigness of these cars just seems to go with the place. Almost 2000 miles and I barely let Mrs P drive.

It's a mans car

It’s a man’s car

Due to the passengers, I had to curtail – severely – my desire to stop every 10 miles and take another photo. And I barely was allowed to use the tripod at all! So I had to content myself with the best known spots.

Bixby, close up.

Bixby, close up.

Play Misty For Me

Play Misty For Me

Not enough photography. I shall just have to go back and do it all over again by myself. But how, then, do I justify a Suburban….?

Burn Forest Burn

Posting about bucolic English countryside is all well and good (check it out: here), but for the opposite of Constable-esque pastoral it’s fun to whizz over to America. These images are from Bryce Canyon. Not the classic views, everyone does those – me too: here – rather these are looking away from the Canyon ridge, back down into the forest. And what a sight. Death and destruction everywhere…

Desolation amongst the trees

Desolation amongst the trees

Ponderosa pine, dead

Ponderosa pine, dead

These images are infra red, converted to black/white. They become punchier, contrastier. Starker. Suits the mood of the wounded forest…

Smashed apart by fire


This tree will not recover

No recovery


Nothing left

But even though the forest has been scarred by the lightning fires, there is still hope. The fire was in ’09, and slowly the forest is recovering. This is Bryce last autumn. So after 5 years there are new shoots. The forest never gives up, hope springs eternal. The reflectance of foliage in infra red means it goes white – exuberant and new. Rather fitting, I think…

new life

new life