Zippy

Photographs

Things have been busy all round with plenty of planning going on for various projects and opportunities.

There are two main ones. One a money making venture that links to marketing and loosely to photography. The other is pure photography and is taking some time to get prepared and into full swing. It is this one that is sparking the artful side of the brain and challenging mentally how to develop and create!

I now have a number of volunteers to really get the project, “An Englishman’s Home…”, up and running and it is tremendously exciting. I have a lovely mixture of people too and I desperately want to get many many more. The possibilities for this are limitless and the more I have the better the outcome and result.

Early this morning I shot a fantastic local character called Zippy. A real genuine gent who leads a simple but happy life, asking for little and enjoying lots. He doesn’t bother others and keeps himself to himself and lives alone in his little caravan with his small dog Sophie. We arranged to meet quickly before he went out and he happily posed in the freezing conditions (-4°C) outside his van with his little dog. It was a slight challenge in that there was so much I wanted to include about where he lived but also who he is. He has a characterful face and I wanted to capture that, his interaction with his beloved dog and the van itself. I also wanted to try to include the massive pylon and lines that loomed ominously over his van but that was a step too far. I couldn’t logistically manage to capture all three.

The sun was out and bright and not long risen so I feared the worst as I approached his home but luckily his van faced totally the opposite direction. My only slight issue was creating enough depth of field at the same time as a high enough shutter speed to handhold. I compromised the former and shot mostly at f3.5 which is enough to get Zippy himself sharp, and he is the main point and focus of the image.

I am not as yet going to post any of the final images here but here is a slightly different shot of the two of them I took today, not heavily processed but will hopefully give you an idea of the style and approach taken. Remember, I am trying to show men in and around their homes as they live, as it is. It is not meant to be a ‘staged’ shot so I am trying to discipline myself to not direct the subjects too much. I would rather they be as they are and let the viewer decide who is leading the happiest and most content life!

Zippy with Sophie

I already have a few dates booked up to shoot some other people but I still need more! Please keep sending your suggestions through to me and I will follow up every single one of them. Everyone is important and everyone will be treated with the utmost of respect.

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Woopidy Doo….. I really need YOU!

Photographs

So the Chinese New Year has begun and my new project has also got under way! To say that I am delighted is an understatement of heyooge proportions.

For those of you not yet aware of what my new project is for 2012, Olympic Year, it is a series of environmental portraits of British people in their homes. It is intended to show all aspects of life; rough, smooth, well-heeled, poor, famous, unknown, local and national. It is the simplicity of “An Englishman’s Home is his castle” with a modern twist. The twist is that the subjects do not have to be English just living in the UK or UK citizens.

I am on the lookout for interesting MEN that either have interesting ‘room consuming’ hobbies or are interesting just in themselves. I want to photograph them on their territory. In their world. A world that due to the breakdown of the community in this country, few people outside close family/friends generally get to see. Everybody lives differently and everybody has different ‘quirks’ and approaches to what makes a home a home. Males tend to be compulsive and sometimes impractical, compulsive about hobbies or their looks. I want to take photographs, hundreds of them, showing everyday UK citizens in their own private worlds.

This week I have taken my first image and processed it. It is of Les, a Hotel Owner from Wiltshire. It does not sensationalise or undermine Les. It is Les, Les in his world, where he is at his happiest. I am delighted with this image, it is a marker and a standard that I need to uphold and build from.

As a result of this first success, whilst chatting away about the project, I now have two more opportunities, one that hopefully, weather permitting, takes place this Friday. I am so excited. It is going to be such a challenge and such a journey. I have many other people I know on my list but then again, more importantly, there are so many people out there that I don’t know. But you might.

I am now sending out an official plea to everyone. You all know somebody that would be appropriate for this project. The guy that collects/builds/makes/looks after etc etc, maybe that you work with or who is a neighbour or friend, that would make an interesting subject for this project. Maybe they live their work at home and it is all consuming for them. Maybe they have the most spectacular beard and/or moustache, or collection of dickie-bow ties. The project will result in a book and hopefully an exhibition, that will simply show each person in their domain, the titles will be their first name, job title and area within which they live.

I have all the necessary info to hand if you would like it to give to someone you know or alternatively you could email me details at rich@ellisimagery.co.uk and I will contact directly and explain the purpose of my enquiry. It should also of course be a bit of fun as well as being a serious project during the UK’s Olympic Year.

I truly do look forward to hearing from you as soon as you can. You know that if you leave it you will forget about it! Let me know now and I will keep on reminding you!! Lets make this project work and become a serious piece of meaningful art.

Respect, Rich X

Two Big Days!

Photographs

Olly Murs performing last night at the Colston Hall, Bristol

Yesterday was somewhat slow to get going following the big build up I had given the Olly Murs gig at the Colston Hall, Bristol. We had left for the venue in plenty of time as we wanted to hook up with our hero Rene Woollard. However, due to a ‘bonding’ go-kart session for the band and crew we were disappointed to learn that we couldn’t get to meet up. The sound check was a no goer as well which was awkward as we were then not sure of the set up for the gig itself. As it turned out the gig was interestingly an all seater affair and the ‘pit’ was simply a case of treading on the front row patron’s toes and annoying the hell out of them. They weren’t to be annoyed for too long however as our Press Pass allowed us a rather miserly 2 songs shooting only which equated for exactly 8 minutes of shooting time. This is barely enough time to get your bearings let alone grab any  meaningful images for client Godin! As it turned out we were to be slightly disappointed again as the object of our desire was again poorly lit and difficult to do justice to. I think we may need to grab Rene for a meaningful studio session in the not too distant future.

The only other memorable thing about the gig was that I had never really been to a ‘teeny’ gig before other than Avril Lavigne at the MEN in Manchester but never had I heard such awful screaming. We ended up in front of the huge PA stack and even that was drowned out by the hideous noise emanating from the audience. I guess the Band and Olly have their in-ear monitors in and therefore are protected to some degree but man, that is not a good sound!

Today was spent in two business meetings, one in Bristol and the other in South Wales. The first has a very exciting potential attached to it and I truly hope to be able to report on that in the near future. The second was a slight cock-up (not sure who was responsible) but no harm done and a good chat was had anyway with a further meeting booked for next week with the potential for another exciting project to be launched shortly.

Tomorrow has a bit of fun attached to it as we are heading up to London to visit the International Wine Fair at the Excel which will of course be all in the interests of research and assessment and nothing whatsoever to do with photography!

One final note is that we hope to be involved in some way with a big charity event at the Royal Albert Hall with the very worthy cause that is the Sunflower Jam, featuring Deep Purple. More details will follow but for now check out the website here http://www.thesunflowerjam.com/