Meryl Streep Macintosh Chair

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The Times asked me to do a portrait of Meryl Streep, she was only in London for one day and I found her so amazingly kind and receptive for an actress of her status and talent. As I was checking the camera, I looked up and she had fallen asleep because she was really jet lagged. I whispered “Meryl” because she’d told me I could use her first name and I was a little nervous. She blinked her eyes open, looked into the camera and in that moment I knew I’d got the shot.

Sienna Miller Chelsea Studio 2010

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Sometimes you just have a great rapport with the people you photograph. Sienna Miller was so radiant and so funny and laughing most of the time, I just adored her. Her agent said “You’ve got a half an hour”, Sienna stayed for two hours and we drank coffee and talked about all the films that we both loved.  I could tell she was going to be a huge success, her intelligence and keen wit made her really stand out in my mind. Below are some dressing room pictures of our reflections in the make up mirror, which incidentally have have never been published before today but capture how open and fresh she was in the studio. A complete joy to work with, I would love to photograph her again.

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Giants of Photography Xposure 2017: Sharjah – Setting Up The Shoot

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Here I am with my team in Sharjah setting up the shoot for Xposure 2017. The logistics of shooting outside are complex and you have to find a way to control the lighting. I first used this technique in the the French Dordogne in 1991 when shooting my first Pirelli Canada in 1991. The reason I do this is that I want the figure within the awning to be completely in shadow so that I can light the model and then shoot with an iris shutter camera (like a Phase1 or a Hasselblad).

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This is because  a focal plane shutter can only shoot at 125th of a second before you get cut off either side of the image from the focal plane shutter .  With the iris shutter one can shoot up to and over 1000th of a second, so that the background can be lightened or darkened, with the powerful flash on the figure over powering the daylight for a fraction of a second giving the dramatic effect. For example a clear blue midday sky with the sun overhead shadowing the model can become a deep blue or even a night time dramatic back drop. This is a bonus with modern digital photography which is much more light sensitive than film. Making the process, quicker and instantly viewable on a monitor, so you know what you are getting and can therefore adjust the camera settings.

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Here is one of the finished shots, where the model was in the shadow of the overhead canopy but lit by the flash.

Lowry At Home – Exhibition Salford

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So excited that this exhibition is happening in Salford it’s taken a long time for the images to come to light. The process of printing these images large has also been really exciting and a lot of hard work. Genesis imaging London, Ken Seti and Paul Herren have been total heroes and have really made this process much easier. I can only highly recommend them, these large C type prints from 35mm film shot on Nikon for Nova Magazine are really incredible.

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The Photography Show, Birmingham 2017

I had a great time presenting my work at The Photography Show in Birmingham, which is the largest photography show in Europe. I hadn’t expected such a large crowd so it was great to meet so many great people who really, really love photography.

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Albert Watson was on before me and Nadav Kander was on after and he said to me “When I first came to England I wanted to be your assistant….and how come you look so young”. I did point out that I started very young and thanked him for the compliment.

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