Blade Runner Replicant Eyes

November 3, 2020

Recreating Blade Runner Replicant Eyes with my wife Becky

I’ve wanted to recreate Blade Runner replicant eyes for a few years and have finally got around to it. I half-heartedly tried a couple of times in the past, buying the wrong things and setting up wrong. It turns out it was easier than I was thinking and I had the necessary materials lying around.

Although the original inspiration is a movie, my aim was to shoot photographs on film.


Wednesday August 1st 2018

August 1, 2018

Canon T70 / Portra 400.

Hello Friends.

Recently, I’ve been keen on venturing to the fruit and veg shop on Stoke Newington’s Church Street instead of being disappointed buying underwhelming supermarket produce. One hurdle that I’ve been running into is knowing what’s in season and what to buy, especially as the shop is always busy and I don’t want to hassle the staff when the queue goes through the whole shop. I discovered this Seasonal Calendar (thanks to a tip by Alexis of Wander) which has been helpful – this week we’ve been enjoying some fantastic cherries, peaches, yellow courgettes, radishes, and heritage tomatoes. This website looks like quite a good resource for a quick glance too.

The picture above is from our honeymoon in Italy – this one from our last stop, the island of Ischia. We loved Ischia and it was the perfect end to the trip. The food and produce is incredible if you avoid the tourist-trap restaurants around the swanky harbours and instead go to the small, local restaurants. I know this is a tip you hear all the time but it always pays off.

We also hired a well-battered convertible Fiat Punto for a day of driving around the island and found a pastry shop in Sant’Angelo that had some incredible choices like pistachio cannoli and strawberry ricotta cheesecake. You can eat on a balcony over the sea and they hardly cost anything. Perfect!

I’m going to post lots more Italy honeymoon photos over the next week.

One more thing – I finally got to ride Ofo bikes over the past couple of days. They can be collected and left anywhere in central London, there’s an app to unlock them and they cost 70p for half an hour. So much fun riding about again. I wish there were more Ofo available bikes near me, I’d definitely use them.


A visit to Scoland

July 30, 2018

Inchcolm (the island behind the tree) taken from Silver Sands, Fife, on my Canon T70 with Kodak Portra 400.

Since moving from Sydney to London last year, Becky and I have been able to visit Scotland much more frequently, especially because we had our wedding to organise and wanted to see more of our nephews and nieces. Missing out on seeing these family babies growing up has to be the worst thing about living on the other side of the planet.

This time we were up North for a couple of birthdays – including my Grandma’s which involved the whole family coming together.

Guardian of the Bridges by Debbie Ryan, a sculpture in South Queensferry, near my sister Melissa’s house where I had my birthday lunch earlier this year. Canon T70 / Kodak Portra 400. 

I love this sculpture, it’s so colourful, magical and its face reminds me of playing Pokemon in the 90s with my sister who now lives nearby.

Inchcolm again, on my Canon T70 with Kodak Portra 400. My school “house” was ‘Inchcolm’ (instead of Gryffindor – though our colours were red, which I take great joy in) so I feel like I have a connection to this little island on the Forth, which I have also been fortunate to visit thanks to my dad and his fishing boat.

I’m delighted with the colours and contrast in these images. When I returned to shooting on film, the landscapes that initially inspired me were by Cody Cobb. I found his work (especially this featured one from The Island) to be warm and nostalgic, like he had found the key to capturing the rose-tinted idyllic memory of a place, rather than the cold and clinical version perhaps with a blown-out sky that you often get with digital, and especially phone, photography.

While I’m talking about landscapes, a series that I have loved for years is Nadav Kander’s Yangtze, The Long River. The tones and layers created by the thick air between distances is incredible.


I Bought a New Camera – Pentax Espio

July 27, 2018

A shot from my test roll using the Pentax Espio around Cammo (Scotland) last week.

Unless I’m heading out on a shoot, I don’t like taking my film cameras out as they are heavy and cumbersome. After some missed photographic opportunities and a nagging feeling of guilt (photographers should always have their camera with them), I was on the lookout for something lightweight and portable, with decent image quality.

“The best camera is the one that’s with you” and my iPhone is always with me and it works well. But I never want to share anything I shoot on it, except with family and friends or sometimes Instagram Stories. I just love the process and aesthetic of film photography and it’s what keeps me interested.

When I saw Harry F Conway speaking about the portable 35mm cameras he thinks are best (on his Instagram Stories), the Pentax Espio jumped out to me for 2 reasons: I knew about all the other cameras he mentioned and my two workhorse cameras are also Pentax.

I found one on eBay for a very reasonable £20, including a new battery and a roll of film (FujiColor x24). Here are some thoughts I have from my test roll:

Detail outtake from a recent street profile shoot for Chronicles of Her.

My favourite characteristic is the quality of the image with forced flash outside, as seen in this outtake above. The nails and the dress (by Mimi Wade) accentuate this look, which reminds me of the 80s and trashy (but fun) movies.

Another thing I like is the data back, which allows the date or the time to be imprinted permanently onto the image, as seen above. It’s something I’ve always wanted – I’ve often almost bought a Canon Command Back for my main 35mm camera for this very reason. However, the years digit on the Espio only goes up to ’19 and then jumps back to ’87, so I should use this feature while we’re still living within the available year range (another 18 months). I’m also disappointed it doesn’t start at ’86 (my year of birth) so I could at least put in my birthday as a replacement signature.

It’s small enough to fit in my pocket (or a bumbag which I’ve recently taken to wearing over the shoulder) and I’ve already taken it out with me more than any other camera. I’m looking forward to testing it with film that I like better and in different situations.

The two shots above are from a pond I visited regularly as a kid. It used to be filled with tadpoles and I’d grab a few in a cup and take them home and build a mini-pond from a plastic sand pit and try to grow frogs.

I hope you have a fab weekend.