By Definition, lockdown has forced us all to look for creative inspiration closer to home.
Rather than the strange emptiness of urban spaces during lockdown, my experience has been one of calm, in the rural setting of the village I inhabit. Having the time for "daily walks" has allowed me to explore my surroundings to notice the details of a burgeoning community spirit, none more so than in the emergence of knitted rainbows and wrappings that adorn the street furniture around the village in a spirit of hope and support for the NHS. This, together with the occasional sight of and polite interaction, at a respectful distance with other walkers and cyclists has encapsulated my experience of this strange period of our existence.
My focus turned to documenting these details and the efforts of the artists and makers behind them to work on a book project to remember this period where time slowed down, in my case for the first significant stretch of time in over 30 years as a working photographer.
Here is a small selection of some of the images with a link to a larger selection at the end.
Click here to view a broader selection of images from the project.
Having felt privileged to have been in Berlin before the wall came down I decided to re-visit some of the places I had photographed as a young photography Student back in 1987.
Finding the prints from 30 years ago was the first hurdle to overcome for which a trip up into the loft was ultimately required and I was delighted to find they were still in good order.
This was followed by a concerted effort to find the locations of the shots I had taken without the help of geo tags & the like.
Eventually, a map secured in the DDR museum was my point of reference for trying to retrace my steps along the wall to recreate the shots I took all those years ago from the Western side of the wall and beyond.
My decision to shoot in B&W in 1987 was largely to represent the "cold feeling" the wall gave me in what was actually a very decadent and colourful city as opposed to the approach taken by most of my fellow students who opted to shoot in "full technicolor". Two different approaches which gave a very different representation of the wall and its legacy which I suppose only came to prominence two years later with the fall of the wall.
Thankfully my monochrome approach back in 1987 served to further illustrate the stark differences in this once divided city between then & now.
One location in the former East Berlin that I couldn't track down was way ahead of it's time. Recycling food was widespread in the DDR.
With all the madness of Marrakech going on around me it was the scooters flying around in the narrow streets of the souks that captured my eye. All sorts of locals young and old weaving through the bustling crowds and in amongst the buses and taxis on the busy roads of this frenetic city. With brands like Docker and Mate being the prevalent models the ubiquity of this personal mode of transport and the characters riding around gave me an interesting insight into the people living and working in the city.
In my “other life” as Chairman of my son’s Fencing Club I’m often found wandering around “off piste” trying to capture the action unfolding in front of me. In spite of the fact that fencing generally takes place in dimly lit sports halls and needs to be shot at fast shutter speeds to freeze the action with very limited angles to shoot, occasionally there are some nice shots to be had.
This is where my trusty Nikon D4 really comes into its own allowing me to shoot at previously impossible ISO levels to capture what can be a very explosive sport.
A recent trip to the English Youth Championships in Hertfordshire Sports Village allowed me to capture some of the club’s fencers in action.
To see some more of the action you can visit the TRYB fencing club website which I have designed and continue to manage as well as providing a large proportion of the content.