Shooting Dungeness in Black & White

Dungeness is one of my favourite places in England. It’s not exactly what you would call a summer getaway. Its main attraction is two huge power stations but it also has a beautiful lighthouse which first opened in 1904.

It’s often referred to as Englands only Desert although technically speaking.. it’s a huge shingle beach owned by the energy company EDF.

I also knew I was going to desaturate the images during post-production, I just feel like black and white suits the atmosphere of Dungeness better..

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Snapshots of a Robot Camera

For me, having fun with photography is what it’s all about, and this robot camera provides it in bucket loads.

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It’s super light, fits in your pocket and has 3 lenses. The viewfinder is non-existent as is the ability to frame a shot. But this camera is more about capturing moments with the hope that one of the 3 images is usable.

I got given this camera as a birthday present a couple of years ago. As I’m often working on commercial or personal projects this camera isn’t a viable option. But after so long collecting dust on my camera shelf surrounded by my beloved Olympus MJU II and Pentax 1000 I decided to take it with me everywhere I went for a week…

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Paddling Out to Sea

Over the weekend the biggest annual free beach festival returned to my hometown of Brighton, UK.  ‘Paddle Round the Pier’ features numerous events including DIY boats and paddle boarding out to sea and around the pier. Everybody gets dressed up, smothers themselves in sun cream and gets paddling..

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There is also a fair which comes with food stalls, rides and music stages. It takes place over the whole weekend, although most of us were indoors watching England at the World Cup on Saturday…

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Photographing 100,000 People!

Two weeks ago, on my way to visit my grandparents I got given a leaflet advertising the ‘Peoples March’, a demonstration against Brexit, in Central London on the 23rd June. I am always on the look out for new photography opportunities and as I was already heading up to Birmingham to catch up with some university friends this proved the perfect pitstop.

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I arrived at the meeting place half an hour before the start, there was an air of both excitement and confusion among the people gathering to make their voice heard. It was clear the amount of people far exceeded expectations at over 100,000 and many had no idea where the march actually started..

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Through sheer luck and determination (and no logic) I ended up at the front of the march along with all the tv cameras and political figures.

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It was a purely peaceful protest with samba bands, face painting and people singing. With so much going on it was hard to know where to look let alone photograph. I aimed to capture a mixture of people along with incorporating the backdrop of Central London.

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The light was extremely bright so I used a ND filter and focused on shooting with the sun behind me.  If you want to see more images from the protest check out my latest Instagram story @madisonbeachphotos.

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And if you’re looking for some travel inspiration check out Emily’s blog. Emily is one of my closest friends; both my roommate in Bangladesh and travel buddy in Eastern Europe and has just moved to Australia! A great travel writer and even better friend, head over to her new blog and give it some support! 

Shooting Expired Kodak Film

Last year I won the Ginnel Foto Fest Analogue awards. Part of my prize was being sent a box full of film. Some I’ve used before such as portra and Agfa, but there was also a roll of Kodak Tri X medium format film estimated to be 50 years old.

I have always wanted to shoot it so last weekend when me and my cousin went to Peacehaven. A small suburban town on the English coast where my cousin, Harry, grew up.

I got some surprisingly good results..

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If you ever get your hands on some expired film be sure to double check if your local lab develops it. After walking 40 minutes to mine it turns out they don’t develop expired films. If you’re based in the UK I would strongly recommend AG Photolab who are super friendly and based in Birmingham. I sent the film off on Wednesday and got it back today!

Lisbon Travel Diary: The Graffiti of Alfama

My favourite district of Lisbon is without a doubt Alfama. Its a cool neighbourhood filled with locals, students, cafe’s and elderly women selling alcohol from their front room..

It is also the Shoreditch of Lisbon, the streets and alleys house some of the city’s most famous graffiti. Here are a few of my favourite/ most controversial pieces..

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Lisbon Travel Diary: Eating the Most Famous Custard Tarts in the World!

Belém, a district famous for it’s custard tarts and monastery, is just a short tram ride away from the city centre. Unfortunately for us the tram didn’t turn up for half an hour and the queue was so long we wouldn’t of got on the first couple of trams that arrived.

So we made the decision to take the metro- only problem was the metro doesn’t go to Belém. So just two metro’s and a train later we finally arrived.  First impressions was busy- so so busy. Filled with tourists and students spilling out the cafe’s and taking in the beautiful architecture of the monastery.

Like many visiting, first stop was lunch. After trying to find a seat in a few restaurants we stumbled into a burger place. Turns out this place was a cosy, artisan burger joint and the best decision we made all day- it was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately I was so hungry I ate it before I could take a picture but this is the front of the restaurant, if you ever visit Lisbon I highly recommend a visit..

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With our stomachs full we headed to the windy riverside to see the gigantic monument; Padrão dos Descobrimentos.

The 171ft tall monument was finished in 1960 after 2 years of construction. It sits on the edge of the Tagus river and has a viewing platform at the top. There are 33 sculptures surrounding the monument representing figures (mainly white men) from history, with Henry the Navigator leading from the front.

The size and detail makes this a must see for a visit to Lisbon, as is the most famous Portuguese custard tart cafe. Pastéis de Belém house’s the most secretive recipe in the whole of Europe. The recipe was first created by monks 200 years ago and the recipe has not changed since. It is so secretive only 3 people know the recipe-and they won’t travel in the same car together. The custard tarts are so popular on an average day they sell 20,000!

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The queue came out the entrance all around the block.  But as we weren’t planning on returning to Belém during our time in Lisbon we joined the masses. And to be fair, the queue went down extremely quickly and before we knew it we were inside ordering a couple of custard tarts to take away. And boy, did they live up to the highest of expectations, well worth the wait.

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To end the day we headed back into the centre of Lisbon, this time by bus, and took a funicular up to a stunning viewpoint across the city to watch the (cloudy) sun set.

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