John Downing 1940 – 2020


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Earlier this month, the industry lost one of the greats with the death of John Downing, one of the finest photojournalists the United Kingdom has ever produced.

For the latest in theBPPA’s Spotlight series, Board member Jonathan Buckmaster writes a fitting tribute to his friend and colleague of many years.

Read the tribute here…



NIK Collection for free..

I know a few have asked about my processing of monochromes…

Well today Google have announced they are giving the NIK collection away for free and that includes my beloved Silver Efex Pro…

Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.


Working: Gig Photography


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I’m still working on the White Balance post; so much I want to cover in it, I will probably have to split it into two.

To keep the blog rolling though, here is a quick look at my work last night. I was at the Brighton Dome to cover City and Colour with Lucy Rose as the support.

Browsing around the inter-web as we do I come across lots of discussions about “Can’t use this camera for so-and-so”,  “thats the wrong lens for that”, quite often with no follow up argument (yes trolls). Quite often the discussions are about using Fujis in low light or in Gig situations.

Last night I started with the 2 2.8 “Red Label” lenses getting the basic shots, for the 3rd song I switched to the 56/1.2 basically because I had not used it in a darkish  gig and wanted to see what I could get…

Lucy Rose plays Brighton Dome on 18/02/2016

Lucy Rose plays Brighton Dome on 18/02/2016. Picture by Julie Edwards. X-T1, ISO800, 1/180th @ F1.2, Astia Simulation 


Fast & Furious Changes.


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I have been rather light on the blog as late as I am in the process of switching website (and blog) providers over so that everything is hosted at Zenfolio.  This means that although the website will keep the overall structure,  it will have a more generic look and feel. The real key for this is to minimise the amount of time I need to spend checking the site is secure and managing content. I will be able to change the displayed slideshows and portfolio far more easily and hence more regularly.

I have also changed my strategy regarding image sharing and social media. In the past I used Flicker as the platform to host my images to share on media such as twitter and Facebook mainly because Flickr has such a high rank in the Google search engine and it meant my images were found easier (and a few sales did result). From now on though, with the sharing and SEO tools of Zenfolio, all of my sharing will be done right from my site, hopefully pulling in more visitors and improving my own ranking. Only time will tell if this works.

In the meantime a gallery of this weeks Fast and Furious Premiere at The Empire.

From the Archive: Kirk and Spock


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With the forthcoming release of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ I thought this weeks Archive could be the two major characters; Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto aka. Captain Kirk and Spock.

This photograph is from the 2009 premiere.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto attends UK premiere of Star Trek at Empire Leicester Square, London on 20/04/2009.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto attends UK premiere of Star Trek at Empire Leicester Square, London on 20/04/2009.

Amateurs and hobbyists, don’t sell yourself short


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Remember my blog last month about valuing your photos (I’ve heard of Free Willy but why Free Images?), well here is a hobbyists point of view, he agrees!

Read it here: Amateurs and hobbyists, don’t sell yourself short

The UK Wife Carrying Race


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With images used across 2 UK national newspapers, images from this very cold but fun event proved popular.

With the race taking only a few minutes (for the winner), planning and preparation were important to get the right angles and the sort of images I wanted. Working with two identical camera bodies equipped with differing focal length lens (held on a double rapid strap) allowed quick changes as the competitors got nearer. It’s details such as these that make all the difference when covering fast moving events.

Panning an event? Contact me to discuss your photographic record.

UK Premiere of G.I. Joe: Retaliation on 18/03/2013


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A wet premiere in London’s Leicester Square with a long wait for Tatum Channing (who got delayed in traffic after a days filming).

International Women’s Day: CARE “Walk in Her Shoes” March on 08/03/2013


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2 weeks ago I came across a one of these “top 10 apps you must have” lists. Most of the time I either know all of the applications or the applications are not really applicable to my work as a photographer. However this one contained an application called “Evernote“. (see I played with for a day and realised it would have a big impact on how I research upcoming shoots. My method used to be to save any relevant images or search information as documents into a “project folder”. Evernote completely changed this allowing me to clip web pages, text, images , anything really into notebooks. I could research on my iPad, my phone and all synced back to my laptop.
I thought I would share this revelation with my professional colleagues. You guessed it – they all knew about it and had been using it or a rival product ( ) for quite a while.
The reason I mention this here is that Friday’s International Women’s Day shoot was the first “proper” project I researched using this tool. I had researched Dr Helen Pankhurst, the olympic suffragettes, recent stories published, photographs used etc so I knew what they all looked like and which photographs were widely used enabling me to come up with ideas for alternatives that would “press the same buttons” but not duplicate what has gone before. Of course – I do not hold rigidly to these concepts on a shoot, its always good to be led by the personalities and see what unfolds but good research gives me a secure starting point.
Of course not matter how good the research, there are some some things that cannot be accounted for and when shooting outside this means The Weather. With the emphasis of the walk to be “walk in her shoes” much of my concept revolved around lower “looking up” wide angle shots. Fridays persistent and quite heavy rain just about totally halted that idea. Even with constant cleaning the lens was obscured within 2 or 3 seconds meaning that I really had to revert to a mainly eye-level set of images and try to use the weather to our advantage. The set of images are shown in the slide show below.


As always the images were distributed directly to the UK press along with the client’s  press release. Overall a tricky and wet day but really quite rewarding.