Into the woods

I got these photographs on a spontaneous trip into the woods with my friend back in March. We drove through The Lake District looking for somewhere to park alongside a forest, praying the last of the winter’s snow was still scattering the grounds.
I hope these pictures give you the inspiration you need to grab your boots and clamber through the trees.

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Upon writing this post, I was surprised to find the images lent themselves as part of a “set”, if you will. The angle of the photographs, all seemingly taken from below, allow the for the trees to rise up. The images as a whole have a vertical orientation, with the subjects aligning to suit. This was unintentional; it was a nice surprise to see them come together.

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The image above is my favourite. The mist was low, lingering between the trees and despite it’s usual turning and twisting, the path here was clear and straight. Believe it or not the image is entirely unedited; I feel a surge of warmth when I see it knowing I was once standing exactly in that spot.

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Although I have given the forest primary focus, I always try and incorporate humans into my images. It’s hard to find a person with the confidence to sit for a photograph, let alone relax enough for it to not look staged. However when teamed with nature I feel like sensuality is more important; allowing the viewer to feel the pricks of the pine needles and the dull ache of cold snow in their hands.

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For me, I am always considering the situation of light when taking pictures in natural settings, whether I want a huge spectrum of the forest’s colours to come out or (as above) simply create intricate silhouettes.
As Beth walked ahead up the hill towards this fence, I noticed the light coming up from behind, seemingly flooding everything before it, and me, in darkness.

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I got in a river to get this shot from below; deciding to focus on the background, the trees rising up, rather than Beth. I think if you are purposefully out to take pictures of a particular setting, rather than a person, it’s important to keep that focus consistent throughout.
Grizedale offers sculpture work too. The one above is a footpath gate, it’s on a huge scale so requires some climbing (which is always fun!)

You can learn more about the walks Grizedale has to offer here
Original Images on my Flickr

 

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A venture into 1990’s Manchester

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The pictures were taken when Gallagher was studying at Stockport College. Most of the images are based around the city centre and Levenshulme; candidly capturing people going about their lives and giving us an insight into the aesthetics of the city in a former decade.

The use of black and white film takes us back to a time where digital was on the rise, but film still dominated. The heavy contrasting and cover of grain across each image gives them a personal feel; a look through the lens yourself, taking you there.

When speaking to the MEN, Gallagher said of the photographs: “I did all sorts of projects around Manchester while working as a photographer – including a series of portraits of the Irish community in Manchester which was exhibited at the Town Hall as part of the Manchester Irish festival in 1997. I also documented Manchester City fans during that decade, and was often at big events in the city taking pictures.”

“It would be nice to think people that were around Manchester and even maybe captured in the images might see them.”

Original article here

Coffee with Suzie B

When I arrive at her shop in Barrow-in-Furness, Suzie is helping a class of four women make the final touches on adorable stuffed animals. Four drained cups of coffee and a packet of biscuits sit in the middle of a table bordered with sewing machines.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow would you describe your shop?
A place to meet and learn. It’s a safe place. I often get people coming here who simply want to meet new people; people who perhaps don’t often get to socialise much, for whatever reason. So I suppose I could say comfortable as well. And welcoming.

What about homely? I think it’s very homely.
Yes, homely! God my spelling is awful. Messy, it’s always messy in here. But a happy messy. It’s very happy here.

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When did you start sewing? And if you can remember, who inspired you and where were you when you fell in love with the craft?
I was 7 years old and was inspired by my mum’s best friend, and my aunty Hilda. I fell in love instantly and the love never waned!

What can customers coming from your shop expect from both you and your services/products?
A casual but informative learning experience.

Who is your hero? Now, this can be a textile or sewing god, an artist, a designer… Anybody!
I have always, always loved Chanel. And Vivienne Westwood. She’s my hero really, for her manipulation of fabrics to make clothes for curves.

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What is the most impressive thing you’ve created on a sewing machine?
Oh, I think my dress for the Dickensian festival. I made it around two years ago now and have worn it every year since!

I saw the pictures! So, what’s your favourite part of owning Suzie B?
It’s got to be meeting new people! I love seeing their faces light up when they make something!

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This one is for other sewing bees like yourself… If you can choose one, which is your favourite sewing machine?
A sewing machine with a story behind it. Like the Singer over on the dressing table. It was given to me as a gift from my friend when I opened the shop. It’s really special to me.

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Do you mind if I photograph your shop?
No, of course not. Just don’t photograph the mess!

Do you mind if I photograph you?
Hmm no…

Choose your favourite spot to stand by.
Hmm somewhere away from the mess… Oh and get Cedric in it!

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If you had to describe yourself in a song or album, what would you choose?
It should be “you’re never fully dressed without a smile”. And, this is cheesy, but… Pharrel’s “happy”. I like to make lots of flipograms of people with the things they have made and I always use that song, because everyone in the pictures always looks so happy.

If you were in a fire and you could only grab three things from your house, what would they be?
My husband. I’m not allowed any sewing at home so I don’t have any machines to grab… My photographs, definitely. Oh and I have this statue of a man, I’d grab that. Yoga is a big part of my life and he’s doing a headstand. It has been everywhere with me. It’s irreplaceable. My husband, my photographs and that statue.

What would your superpower be?
To be extra tidy. That can’t be a superpower can it? No it can’t be.

We can make it a superpower. I’ll write it down, anyway.
I’d be Mary Poppins. I could click my fingers and make things tidy in a matter of minutes. Yes, I’d be Mary Poppins.

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What’s your favourite word?
Home. Because I moved to London when I was 17, I’ve lived in Tenerife and I’ve travelled around India and Thailand, where I got married.

That’s a good one. Some people say home is a feeling and not a place, don’t they? I like that.
Yes, exactly! That’s what it has been like for me. I’ve made myself a home everywhere I’ve been.

Tell me your favourite joke. And don’t hold back!
Oh I can never think of these on the spot. I’m one of those who has a good joke then forgets the punchline! I can’t think of one, oh my god.

1422528135Draw a picture of yourself, be as imaginative as possible!
Ok, so… here is my short spikey hair. And I always wear a scarf. And a dress, there’s my little dress. Now the legs and my big feet. And I’m always covered in bits of thread, so that’s what these things are!

You can visit the Suzie B Facebook page here .
My own images and words here

Lukasz Wierzbowski

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My love for photography and desire to shoot everything, and everyone, around me came instantly after my discovery of Lukasz Wierzbowski and his work. He shot the ad campaign for high-street fashion giant, Urban Outfitters’ Print collection in 2011. When the magazine was delivered to my door, for the first time it wasn’t the clothes I longed for but the stark lighting, intentionally obscure posing and sense of freedom portrayed in each image.

Wierzbowski’s shots are always so full of colour. Their vibrancy adds to the playfulness, I think, in that they are visually captivating. They grab your eye’s attention, forcing you to observe; as a child would be attracted to colourful toys and shapes.
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The majority of his images feature female models; femininity dominates them particularly in the nude shots (as below). Male models tend to (however not always) feature when a romantic relationship is being shown; close ups of male and female chests pressed together, silhouettes of lovers in an embrace.
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As a young viewer myself, it’s strange how his photographs bring about a sense of nostalgia. These women, gangly limbed, long haired and casually dressed, swing from trees and jump from furniture in such a child-like manner. His images are youthful; this is what I think brings about the sense of freedom you get when viewing them.

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Images here – Wierzbowski’s Tumblr site.