Hedo, Beach Water-sports Salesman Turkey

Having once owned a home in Turkey I was privileged to have visited the country many times over a ten year period.
This as you would expect also meant I got to make friends with some of the locals and those who worked in the area during the busy summer months.
Hedo was someone I always knew would be in the same place on the beach with the same big smile selling tourists water sports.

Summer Of 92, Venice Beach

I captured this image way back in the summer of 1992. I was enjoying the last few days of my summer touring the USA and ended it at Venice Beach in California.I spotted this lifeguard called Trec patrolling on his tower on the beach and politely asked if I may take his portrait. During the shoot and the usual exchange of polite conversation Trec with some pride told me he was 36 years old which as you can see from the image was a big surprise.

 

Unveiling Of Alp Yanki

Today sees the sale of our home in Turkey finalised which to be honest leaves me slightly sad.We bought the property close to Bodrum around 8 years ago as an investment and, as a result, made many friends in the area and my many trips created many happy memories (and images) but it’s simply run its course and it’s time to move on.

 

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Corporate Portraits At Dillington House

It was only in September that I found myself on location shooting at the beautiful Hartham Park house near Bath.
This week I was at another beautiful historic house called Dillington which happens to be only a few minutes from the studio.

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Dillington House

I had received a call from an online events company called Choose Your Event who needed some corporate Portraits for a magazine feature they where appearing in.
As CYE are based on the grounds of Dillington House (and a client of the company) it was arranged for us to use the house for both interior and exterior images we had planned.

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Behind The Scenes


For the interior we chose one of the many rooms and it’s impressive fireplace to position the directors Ben & Simon Gray and to reflect some of the room back into frame and help set the scene.

 

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When it came to the exterior we where once again spoilt for choice but I decided on a couple of simple set up’s one of which was to show the famous golden local Hamstone and windows of the property.
As with all photography the best images are often those that are kept clean & simple even if sometimes they are far from simple to produce.

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Behind The Scenes

 

 

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You can view the CYE Group website and their services  Here

Simply Up Close

Most of the images I create tend to be fairly wide vistas with people (life) within them.
Occasionally however I come across someone who demands to be captured very simply up close with minimal fuss as with this gentleman.
It was while in Turkey that I came across this charasmatic chap attending toilets and just had to capture him.
As with all these type of shots I seek out open shade to provide flattering even light and drop everything but the eyes from focus.

Turkey May 2013

Simplicity, Belly Dancing On A Boat

In my opinion what you leave out an image is as important as what you choose to show…the simpler the better.
Some images I create can be quite complex, in some cases consisting many many dozens of individual files to create the final picture. Even when this is the case I’m still always looking for the final image to look simple and uncluttered as possible.
With some images however we are lucky that everything unfolds itself on a plate for you as in this image shot on a boat off the Turkish coast.
This chap (note the facial hair) and a member of the crew decided to dress in a Bellydancing outfit and give everyone an impressive show from the back of the boat.
I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of the headdress and the beautiful diffused light softened by the boats canopy which sheilded the harsh unflattering summer sun and wrapped him in a glow of white.
To simplify things further I chose to drop everything out of focus except his rather striking eyes to create the final image below.

 

Turkey May 2013

Juicing Oranges In The Shade

This wonderful smile belonged to a man I stumbled upon in the intence summer heat of Side (pronounced Ceday) in Turkey.
I was in Side in 2001 for my honeymoon but of course if you are a location photographer then honeymoon or not the camera gear has to come along !
It was mid afternoon and still exremely hot when we went for a walk and I remember seeing a crowd of people ahead on the shaded road.As we approached it soon came apparent that a crowd had gathered to quench their thrist with fresh orange juice this guy was selling from his mobile cart.
I have to say I dont think I have ever seen a man with such striking blue eyes that seemed to compliment his shirt perfectly.Then there was his amazing smile and almost perfect white teeth which in a country where so many men smoke is probably not a common site.
After buying some juice I gestured if I may take his picture and he happily without stopping his work obliged with a smile.

This image would have been a disater if not for the open shade of the trees which although cast a slight green but correctable cast on him softened the harsh summer light enough to avoid distracting contrasy light to take attention away  from his wonderful expression.

This was also the days before digital at least for me so there where no checking histograms or image previews I had to rely on knowing my films characteristics (contrast range,latitude etc) and my experience metering and interpreting the readings…phew what a lot we had to contend with !

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Keeping The Ambience, Dark Art Of Weaving The Withy

While on a shoot capturing some images for my personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape” at Withy growers P.H Coates I came across this very dark but atmospheric room.
In it three guys where busy working in the dim light and plenty of banter was being exchanged in their strong Somerset accents especially when I was introduced to them followed by the words photographing you where mentioned!

It wasn’t a Landscape… but the room had a rustic historic charm and bags of atmosphere and I could vision the final image complete with Matthew Godfrey one of the guys who skillfully weaved wicker fences in the room.
The image was going to be a tricky one to attempt to capture in one frame due to the dim light and the fact there where elements I wanted to be visible to help tell the story without over lighting and killing the whole ambience of the place.
It’s one of those moments when seeing the final image and having an extensive knowledge of post production techniques allowed me to harvest all the images I would need then combine them in post without a huge amount of system time.

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Asur At Dawn, Aegean Coast Turkey

This image was captured during one of my many trips to Turkey.
I set out just after dawn to walk along the beach to explore and capture anything that took my fancy in the glourious if not a little harsh morning light.
I had only walked for less than 5 minutes when I noticed this gentleman who I later discovered was called Asur sat smoking a cigarette enjoying the beautiful morning over Gumbet bay.
After a few nods to each other I decided to approach him to ask if I may take his picture.
He spoke no english and my limited Turkish was not any good but we got by and I positioned him with an iconic Gulet in the background.
He must have enjoyed his 5 mins of fame as he insisted I take more images of him on the balcony of the hotel beach bar he worked for !
I returned a year later with some prints but never saw him again.

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George The Greek Of Kos Castle

My wife and I purchased a holiday home in Turkey 8 years ago and so I have traveled to the Bodrum area of Turkey a fair bit.
On one such “Working Trip” (as I tell my wife) myself with several of my friends popped across to the beautiful Greek island of Kos for the day.It was during a tour around the Castle that I was drawn to this delightful man called George who was offering his services as a tour guide.
I knew straight away I had to photograph him so I sat out of the blistering May heat on a marble bench with him and struck up a conversation.
I mentioned we where over from Turkey where I had a home and he got slightly animated telling me why you should not trust the Turks !
It’s no secret there is a lot historic bad blood between the Greeks & the Turks and being in his 80’s he had obviously see a lot of it.
We continued to chat before my friends caught me up, so I captured his portrait and we said our goodbye’s.
I adore meeting,chatting and photographing people like George after all they have been there seen it and done it all.
If you ever find yourself on Kos keep an eye out for George although I suspect he might no longer be with us.

 

 

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