The Graffiti Wall at the MAD nightclub on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Behind the Lens, the MAD Graffiti Wall

When I first received the brief for the project I pretty much scanned the email, Photographing artwork is mostly just a fairly straight forward technical exercise so I wasn’t expecting anything too challenging with photographing a graffiti wall. The client wanted to produce a reproduction of the graffiti artwork for the entire wall of their office; ok no problem, we need to make it really high resolution. The building is 15 meters high; ok it’s a little tricky to get …

The Armani Hotel meeting room in the Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Interior Photography: a technical photoshop walkthrough

In this post I will walk through the process of editing interior photography by looking at the workflow of a fairly simple photograph and the process of bringing together the final image to a stage where it can be delivered to a client for publication. To download a low resolution photoshop file for the image used in this tutorial click here. One of the roles of a photographer is actually to make things look really easy and this is especially …

Behind the Lens – The London Underground

Photography is a journey, every experience brings depth to your work as it evolves and changes. As you try new things you learn from your mistakes as well as success and every now and then you make an image which is like a lightbulb moment. These are your ‘hook’ images because they change the way you think and you hang everything on them as you move forward. This week in ‘Behind the Lens’ I want to look at a particular …

Dogs at the K9 Friends animal shelter in Dubai

Behind the Lens – K9 Friends

Today ‘Behind the Lens’ is about an assignment for the National newspaper to photograph K9 friends the Dubai based charity that seeks homes for stray or abandoned dogs. I was given a tour first thing in morning by Alister Milne, the manager of the Kennels. K9 friends currently has some 120 dogs housed in the facility and Alister explains that there are a further 50 dogs on the waiting list. With an average of 20 dogs arriving each week K9 friends is struggling to …

Behind the lens, the story of a fathers quest to find the finances to pay for his sons operation.

Behind the Lens – Abdullah’s story

Its not every day that you get to do something good with your job but Saturday was an exception. I was sent to Al Ain to photograph Guilam and his Son Abdullah for the National Newspaper’s, Helping Hands section which reports on the work of the Dar Al Ber Society, a registered charity in the UAE.

A photograph of British comedian Omid Djalili

Behind the Lens – Omid Djalili

In this edition of ‘Behind the Lens’ I want to share some insights on getting the best out of photographing stage performers by looking at a photograph I made of Omid Djalili for the National newspaper several years ago. Omid Djalili is one of the most media savvy performers I have photographed and is a great example of the relationship between a photographer and a performer. More on that later, firstly I want to talk a little about the technical …

Shemi, Indian author of 'Nadavazhiyile Nerukal' (The truth in my path)

Behind the Lens – Shemi

It was late in the day when I finally arrived at the small apartment on the upper floor of a villa in the Abu Hail district of Dubai. I was to photograph ‘Shemi’ the author of ‘Nadavazhiyile Nerukal’ (The truth in my path) for the National newspaper. I didn’t really know a great detail about Shemi before I arrived but the little of her story I did know fascinated me. Shemi was tragically orphaned at the age of 13 and …

Audi Q5 surrounded by camels grazing in the hills above Salalah

Behind the Lens – Audi Q5 and lots of Camels

In this edition of Behind the Lens I want to look at a car shoot I did for Audi magazine. The brief was very open. “Here have an Audi Q5, go to Salalah and take lots of pictures of the car”. Myself and Noel Ebdon the writer on the story set off on our journey from Dubai which would amount to a gruelling 2 day drive. I had also picked up a bad case of food poisoning from a certain …

Behind the lens, a photograph of children playing with toy swords

Behind the lens – war games

The image was taken when I was a student in Brighton University (not so long ago) but it taught me some important life lessons. For me it’s a ‘hook’ image, a picture that changes everything, an image which literally redirects you in the way you think as a photographer. It also seems an appropriate image to kick off the new blog series, ‘Behind the Lens’. The picture was taken in Hastings in Sussex, England. I had been working on a …

The next photograph…

Photographers by profession are optimistic people. This is a pretty bold statement so let me try and justify it. I’m not talking about subject matter, I’m not going to argue that corner. When a photographer walks out of the door they are certain that they will make some great images that day. Why leave the house if you felt any other way.

Drinking with the Cook

The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East however issues of culture and religion are obviously taken very seriously. Nobody wants to cause offense or cross the line yet sometimes it’s a little tricky to know what may or may not be offensive.

One day in Brighton

Whilst I am happy to share my technical knowledge in this blog, I am acutely aware that such emphasis on technicality simply diverts conversation away from what’s really important in photography.