The Photography Experiment

It was a new year resolution this year that I would try to push the boundaries of my photography.  I decided that experimentation both in camera, and in Photoshop would be my goal; not necessarily to achieve competition worthy images, but to push my knowledge, and see just what can be done – especially in camera.

In the first instance I looked on u-Tube, and sought out photographers who were doing ‘different’ things with their equipment, and two particularly caught my eye.

A photographer called David Johnson – (Maxblack Photos) and another Dr Reinhold Adscheid of Germany and  I was intrigued by their work, and set out to have a go.

IMG_5932Firstly I stated looking a multiple exposures.  I know that you can do this in newer cameras now – but mine does not have that facility – and so I had to look for ways of achieving the same effect in Photoshop.

So far, I have learned how to use some of the blending modes in CS6 – and found that using the ‘soft light’ or hard light blends give the best effects.  The multiple images are brought into Photoshop in Layers, and blended.  You may need to tweak the ‘levels’ on each layer, as the more layers there are, the darker overall the image gets.  Playing around with the different blend modes can yeield some unexpected, and clever results.  The shot above of one tram on Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester was taken on my compact camera – a Canon G12, and blended in CS6, then taken into on-one perfect photo suite.

IMG_6065This second tram shot – taken near the Bridgewater Hall, on a bright sunny day was blended in CS6 using the hard light blend mode.

I’m also looking to experiment with camera movement, and zooming whilst taking a long exposure shot, and to do more image blending.

That’s for another post.

Water Fools – Salford Quays – Manchester

The French outdoor theatre company ILOTOPE put on a spectacular event this weekend at Salford Quays.  I was down there to shoot the dress rehearsal which, although brilliantly done, did not have the fireworks going.

Water Fools, Salford Quays-11It did feature though, a floating car, with a caravan, a huge floating bed, and lots of other magic.  At 9.30 prompt a car arrived, dropping a man off on a platform in the middle of the water.

Water Fools, Salford Quays-14The story is rooted in the fanatical, as a surreal world explodes out of a man’s head, transporting him from the rigmarole of his everyday existence to a landscape populated with mythical creatures and inexplicable magic, while all spectacularly taking place on the water’s surface. Caravans, prams and penny-farthings will feature, defying all logic, bringing an impossibly innovative piece of entertainment to Salford Quays.

Water Fools, Salford Quays-48Choreographed by French artist Bruno Schnebelin the routine had chain breath-taking visuals, punctuated by pyrotechnics, with engrossing theatre while fellow countryman Phil Spectrum composed an original score to make the show spectacular in all aspects.

Water Fools, Salford Quays-40The rest of the images from this shoot can be seen HERE

The Great Manchester City Games

Manchester City Games 2013

Manchester City Games 2013

The Manchester City Games were held today – May 25th, and will be followed by the BUPA 10K run on the 26th – the games though were all about running, jumping, and pole vaulting.

It was hard for me to be everywhere all at once, but I managed to bag all of the long jump, and all of the pole vaulting.  I did shoot the races last year, so tried to concentrate on things I hadn’t shot before.

What I did find was that the main challenge was not so much the athletes themselves, but the light – it was dull and shady in the morning – meaning I needed a high ISO to keep the shutter speeds up, and harsh sunlight in the afternoon, meaning I had to control the amount of light that was coming into the camera, without compromising the image.

Malte MohrAnyway, it was an experience I hope to repeat in the none too distant future….

Feel free to peruse the rest of the images by following THIS LINK

X-Factor in Manchester

Gary Barlow and Chris Maloney
Gary Barlow and Christopher Maloney

Well it’s been a long weekend of x-factor madness here in Manchester, ending with James Arthur as a worthy winner, Jahmene Douglas coming in second and Christopher Maloney not appearing on the final night.

Louis Walsh is rumoured to have said that Simon Cowell has ‘big plans’ for both Jahmene and James.

James Arthur
James Arthur

What happened to Christopher though?  The 34 year old is said to be not interested in the x-factor final, and has gone back to Liverpool.

Jahmane Douglas
Jahmene Douglas

When I photographed the final three last Thursday night, they were all in good spirits, and all three got a good reception from the people who turned out and stood in the cold and rain to greet them, and their mentors as they arrived at Manchester Central.

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

I wish the contestants every success for their future careers.

Tulisa Contostavlos
Tulisa Contostavios

The rest of the images from the shoot can be found by clicking Here

To buy images please contact

Key 103 Live 2012

Last night saw the Key 103 Live event at the MEN Arena in Manchester – it was great that I could be part of this event, and gain access to the pit area of the arena to get images of the artists on stage.  Much hard work, very hot, and VERY loud.  Me armed with ear defenders that I used to use when going clay pigeon shooting – made me look pretty silly, but I came away with my hearing intact.  It’s exhausting work, but more than worthwhile – many thanks to the MEN Arena Staff, and the guys and girls from Key 103, for making this such a great event.  It was run with military precision – well done.

Images here of Alexandra Burke, Will Young, Alyssia Reid, One Direction, Talo Cruz, and Tulisa – the rest of the images can be found by clicking HERE

The BUPA Great Manchester Run – 2012

Sunday May 20th – dawned bright, with a touch of cloud – an excellent day for the runners in the BUPA Great Manchester 10K run.  With world class competitors, as well as the 40,000 other runners, it was set to be a brilliant day.

We had started our photography on the Friday before, with an opportunity to shoot some of the main competitors – including Haile Gebrselassie, Sanya Richards-Ross, Holly Bleasdale, Andy Turner, Mara Yamauchi, and Patrick Makau Musyoki.  The track was still being built along Deansgate, but the runners threw themselves into the spirit of the games, and of the construction…

Haile and Patrick really got into the spirit of the games.














On race day itself Haile Gebrselassie showed with a fifth victory achieved in a pulsating 2012 World leading time, of 27 minutes 39 seconds.  The 39-year-old eased alongside a vintage pack of world class rivals which included Patrick Makau the Kenyan who took away his world marathon record in Berlin last autumn, plus his own fellow Ethiopian’s Tsegay Kebede and Ayele Abshero before stretching the pace. Haile took the lead early, and never faltered..

The start of the Men’s Elite Race – BUPA 10K – Manchester

Gebrselassie’s dominant run where he passed through the half distance in 13:31

Haile takes an early lead

















Haile later said that for once the Manchester weather was good to him….. what a race..

Haile in a clear lead at 6K

















The 10K race was followed by the Poweraid games, for which more images will follow, in another post.

It was great to be in the lead truck, in front of the mens race throughout the whole 10K, and though it was a bit of a rough ride, the images were worth it… well done Haile… and congratulations Manchester.

Many thanks to the organisers, who did such a good job on the day.

Keep it Up – for SoccerAid – With Dan Magness

On Friday 11th May, Manchester United held a photocall on the Old Trafford pitch to celebrate a new World Record set by Dan Magness, who has walked from London to Manchester doing ‘keepy-uppys’ all the way, as part of ‘Keep it up for Soccer Aid’

Soccer Aid is a celebrity football match, held at Old Trafford (and broadcast live on ITV1) on May 27th, raising money for UNICEF’s vital work for children.

Manchester United is hosting Soccer Aid and is delighted to celebrate Dan’s amazing feat. The Manchester United Foundation has supported UNICEF for thirteen years now and the United for UNICEF partnership has raised more than £2 million to date helping over 2.2 million children.

Dan’s ‘Keep it Up for Soccer Aid’ challenge has encouraged the public to take up their own challenges and ended on the pitch in Old Trafford, home of Manchester United which will also host Soccer Aid on May 27th.

Dan’s finale also coincides with an announcement by the government (DFID) that they will match all funds raised from the public as part of Soccer Aid 2012.

Mr Magness started his 200 mile journey from Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 1st May completing the equivalent of almost a marathon a day with an estimated 400,000 steps and doing an estimated half million keepy uppys along the way.

Launched by Robbie Williams in 2010,  ‘Keep it Up for Soccer Aid’ calls on the UK public to keep something up and get sponsored to do so in the run up to Soccer Aid, ITV1’s celebrity football match at Old Trafford on  Sunday May 27th, which raises money for UNICEF’s life-saving work for children around the world.

Canon 5D MK1 For Sale – Now Sold

I have a camera body for sale…. the original classic – Canon 5D – full frame.

12.8 MP full frame CMOS sensor
3 fps 60 JPEG image burst
9-point AF with 6 Assist AF points
2.5″ LCD
Picture Style image processing
Records RAW/JPEG images
Digital Photo Professional software
Compact magnesium alloy body
Connectivity options

Excellent condition – I do look after my kit – always cleaned and serviced.


Please note it’s body only – with handbook, Canon strap, software, and battery.

Musical Theatre at its best !

I was asked the other day what sort of pictures I liked taking best – and though I enjoy all genres of photography, I have to say I’m a sucker for the theatre.  Inside, I reckon I’m a frustrated thespian, with all those artistic frustrations just itching to get out…..

So when I was asked if I wanted to shoot the PR Press release for the upcoming opening of The LION KING in Manchester, I had to be held back in my eagerness to be there.

The presentation was made by Thomas Schumacher – Producer and President, Disney Theatrical Group at the Comedy Store in Manchester – members of the cast – in full costume – sang, and acted their way through a number of songs from the show, with full explanations as to how the costumes, sets and props were created to create Africa on stage.

The costumes were amazing, with so much detail, some of which I’m sure will be lost from the back of a huge auditorium.

I’m booking my tickets later this week……..

To view the rest of the images – CLICK HERE