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‘I-Spy’ – with my little eye?




I’m Back on the Streets

'Camouflage' - Sidmouth, Devon

‘Camouflage’ – Sidmouth, Devon


(Click any image to enlarge)

I think most photographers, both hobbyists and those who make their living out of ‘happy snapping’, try all genres before they decide where their true interest lies. Many portfolios, and mine is really no exception, are filled with all the ‘usual suspects’; portraits, architecture, landscapes, travel, documentary and so on. All but the best never seem to specialise.


'What the F***?' - Torquay, Devon

‘What the F***?’ – Torquay, Devon


If you follow this blog you will already know that I earn my living out of shooting (mainly) upscale properties in south Devon along with a little business portraiture and advertising work. However, after so many years of pointing a camera at most things I have finally decided to settle back to where I started in the 70s and specialise on ‘street photography’ as my preferred spare time creative outlet. It is just the type of photography I enjoy most and the one I will be concentrating on from now on – out of working hours of course!


'Stand Off' - Teignmouth, Devon - UK

‘Stand Off’ – Teignmouth, Devon – UK


I just love the thought of stumbling upon the unusual, the bizarre, the juxtaposition of objects or signs to unaware passers by which, caught at the right second, can produce classic results. Most of the good shots come from ordinary people just going about their daily lives, at work or play, but caught in camera at the right moment can produce highly amusing or interesting results or ones which ask the question “What is that all about?”


'The Naughty Step' - Torquay Harbour

‘The Naughty Step’ – Torquay Harbour, Devon


Earlier in the year I started re-experimenting with black and white. Now, I shall return to the streets to hopefully seek out some truly visual treasures. Like shooting stars the classic situations may only last for a couple of seconds but I am now going to enjoy myself hunting for them in and around south Devon. I may still have quite a way to go to achieve award-winning images in my chosen genre but I’m going to have a lot of fun trying. Watch this space!



'Camouflage' (Detail)

‘Camouflage’ (Detail)

'Red Shoes - Plymouth'

‘Red Shoes – Plymouth’


'Tax Free' - Totnes, Devon - UK

‘Tax Free’ – Totnes, Devon – UK

'Spreading the Word' - Teignmouth, Devon - UK

‘Spreading the Word’ – Teignmouth, Devon – UK


'Twin Beaks'

‘Twin Beaks’ – Dartmouth, Devon

Digging up the past….

With over 100,000 images in one of my Lightroom catalogues the mouse sometimes falls at random on one which is automatically highlighted and blasted onto the big screen. Today it fell on a press cutting from 1976. The copy now sounds cringeworthy but it does at least authenticate my photographic beginnings.

At the at time I had hair AND a Hasselblad – not sure about the herb growing though!



HDR For Real Estate – Video Tutorials?



‘Leave Your Lights at Home’

At the start of 2012 I had planned to produce a series of 3 short video tutorials on the subject of using multiple imaging in the production of high quality real estate photographs. I received not inconsiderable support for this at the time  and since posting a few recent examples I now get emails every day asking about my technique and when (and if) these videos will be available. However, since I published my trailer work and ‘life’ got in the way and here we are two years later no nearer to producing these tutorials.


Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 08.09.38

Achieving excellent results using this technique is NOT always the easy option as there is a certain amount of ‘artistry’ involved so this is definitely not for the very faint hearted! It is not as easy as A B C and you will need to acquire a good eye and a certain amount of Photoshop and other skills in order to achieve the results that I regularly deliver to my clients.  However, there is absolutely NO magic to it at all and my big ‘secret’ has an awful lot to do with ‘Ambient’. Using this simple method means the onsite equipment you need and the onsite time taken are much less than if you plan to use traditional artificial lighting techniques and all the time-consuming complications that involves. I gave that all up two years ago.



It is in my nature to deliver this information for free but if I am to produce these training videos (which are intended to be streamed online rather than supplied in DVD format) they will have to be produced as part of my business and will therefore unfortunately need to be chargeable (as many have already suggested anyway).   The point of this post is to assess whether such an exercise will be worthwhile as there is likely to be a huge amount of work involved. If this area does interest you I would simply ask you complete the poll below which will give me an indication of the project’s feasability. To see the original trailer click here: ‘Leave Your Lights at Home’

If you intend to purchase the three streaming videos when they have been produced I need your name and contact details so that you can be contacted when the videos are available. By completing this form you are under absolutely no obligation to purchase.

For those interested you may like to see the original post and its responses on the FlickR Photography for Real Estate Group.

In the news again this week

Front page picture in the Property section of the Western Morning News last Saturday:

Front Page Western Morning News

Front Page Western Morning News (click to enlarge)

Property of the Week double-page spread inside centre:

Western Morning News - Property of the Week

Western Morning News – Property of the Week (click to enlarge)

Once again one of our shots features as the lead photograph in the enormously successful Houzz website this week. Blue Seas, Torquay on sale with John Couch:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 15.43.01

Click to visit article.

Kitchen shoot to feature in ‘Real Homes’ Magazine

Our shoot for interior design shop Distinctly Living in Dartmouth will hopefully be used later in the year in Real Homes Magazine with an article by Debbie Jeffery.


A week of storms…

Nobody could escape the news this week about the storms which have badly flooded the Somerset Levels and battered our  South West coastline. This did, however, give us an opportunity to snap a few shots of the amazing waves at Meadfoot Beach just 400 metres from the studio.


Meadfoot Sea Road - Torquay, Devon, UK

Meadfoot Sea Road – Torquay, Devon, UK


Jan, catching the waves from a (relatively) safe distance.

Jan, catching the waves from a (relatively) safe distance.


This guy now has nowhere to go until the waves subside!

This guy now has nowhere to go until the waves subside!


Local photographer Dave Low gets a surprise soaking.

Local photographer Dave Low gets a surprise soaking.


Meadfoot Sea Road - Torquay, Devon, UK

Meadfoot Sea Road – Torquay, Devon, UK


The beach is about 30 feet below this point.

The beach is about 30 feet below this point.


And this one is looking down from Ilsham Marine Drive at the north end of Meadfoot Beach


The North end of Meadfoot Beach and car park. - Torquay, Devon, UK

The North end of Meadfoot Beach and car park. – Torquay, Devon, UK



Only the press were allowed anywhere near the collapsed railway tracks at Dawlish this week but it didn’t stop us taking a look around and grabbing a few useful ‘street’ shots. This one of two road workers beside the railway line is my favourite and begs a great title.


'Where's the railway gone?' - Dawlish, Devon, UK

‘Well, it was here yesterday!’ – Dawlish, Devon, UK

A short trip back to my black & white roots…

Stepping back to Monochrome

My photographic roots, like most photographers who started their passion in the 1960s, was steeped in basic black and white. Blacking out the bathroom to form a makeshift darkroom, the ever pervading smell of chemicals and the tedious but exciting wait whilst that monochrome image appeared in the swirling developer tray like magic. So, for a while I will be travelling back into the world of black and white to concentrate on light, shade, form and texture.

Buskers - East Street Market, London 1976

Buskers – East Street Market, London 1976

Alex Turnbull - Dartmoor - 2013

Alex Turnbull – Dartmoor – 2013

'Looking out to the future' - Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

‘Looking out to the future’ – Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

'Over the garden wall' - David Simpson - Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK

‘Over the garden wall’ – David Simpson – Stoke Gabriel, Devon, UK


Gemma & Laurie Turnbull – Dartmoor 2013

'Cathy takes a break from Christmas'

‘Cathy takes a break from Christmas’

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