National Geographic Traveller UK Magazine Monthly Theme Winner!

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Whoop! Yeah baby! I won a small competition in National Geographic Traveller UK magazine and I’m thrilled to bits to have my photo featured in the June 2017 issue of the mag. The magazine holds a monthly competition called “Your Pictures” with a different destination theme each month – go check it out HERE and try your chances.

The theme I won was “Spain”. I entered very last minute with a shot I took last year on a trip to Seville where I held a street photography workshop. On the last day I stalked some flamenco dancers performing in the street drumming up business for their evening show. I sat on the floor and started shooting. It was such a buzz. The rhythm of the dance, the singing and guitar… and how close I was to the action!

The shot is not cropped and was shot on my old camera, a Canon 60D with a 50mm lens.

Needless to say I am super happy about winning and seeing the photo in print. I also won a prize of a Manfrotto rucksack but seeing my work in the magazine was the real prize!

@Polly Rusyn

The Colours of Dungeness

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Last time I visited Dungeness it was in black and white, so this time it was in glorious colour (although I did want to limit the palette). However, without a clear vision in mind of what I wanted to shoot I took a little while to warm up. I was keen to avoid the ‘classic’ shots of train tracks leading to carcasses of fishing boats. But once I started framing and looking for textures I could not stop… Hours passed by with snapping broken boats, plastic objects, washing lines, rusty stuff, seagulls, blue skies, shingle beach and pylons…

 

The BBC, Hey Saturday, Martin Parr and Me!

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Let’s hear it for Hey Saturday for being featured on the BBC website!! This was super exciting news for my biggest client, and extra exciting for me to get a photo credit in the article as well (scroll aaaaall the way down!). It was for a shoot I did to document Saskia, Hey Saturday’s ridiculously cool CEO, photographing Martin Parr, the main man himself, world famous war winning Magnum photographer extraordinaire!!!! Too much excitement. And the result is a lot of buzz around the brand a heap more bookings.

And as I haven’t yet gotten round to posting the Martin Parr shoot photos, now is as good a time as any…

Save our NHS!

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Yesterday thousands of people gathered in Tavistock Square and marched across central London to Parliament Square to demonstrate in favour of a fully funded and publicly owned NHS service. It was a perfect spring day, the vibe was peaceful, positive and friendly. The march also attracted Anti-Trump protesters and pro-migrant supporters! It was awesome.

And while our NHS has it’s flawed (mainly because it’s under-funded), we are incredibly lucky to have a National Health Service at all. Let’s protect it! Please support #ournhs

 

 

Featured in Timeout

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So nice to see one of my shots featured in Timeout! Although it’s not one of my best… It was one of the set I shot one cold night last year for a homeless charity Rhythms of Life. The portrait is of Andrew Farris the founder of the charity, and while Andrew is a very gregarious personality and a snappy dresser, he’s also incredibly camera shy and as such reluctant to pose for a portrait! My challenge however was to snap one anyway, and it turned out okay although I would have loved the chance to shoot him properly and really capture his personality.

 

 

Comedy Film Festival Shoot

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The London – Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival took place in Hackney Attic on Sunday 5th and Sunday 12th of February. After being approached by the organiser of the film festival via my Meetup group – London Street Photography, I organised three photographers to cover each of the two nights of the festival (including myself!). Half of the profits went to charity so I was more than happy to offer my services pro-bono.

The venue was super small (Hackney Attic at Hackney Picture House)and light conditions were super low! Eek! A challenge for any photographer who does not use a flash. So here is how I went about shooting in very low light without a flash:

1/ I was mindful where there were sources of light, for example near the bar in the case of this venue, when a mobile phone is lit up a face and also where overhead spots were shining on the audience (prior to the start of the films), and that very much impacted who in the audience I chose to ask for portraits.

2/ I chose to shoot in shutter priority at 1/60 (knowing my camera would max out my aperture), along with an auto ISO with a limit of 3200 before the films started and in the intermission and a limit of 6400 when the films were screening, when it was super dark. Yes I got some grainy shots, but in black and white they looked cool!

3/ I made sure that I breathed out and held it just before pressing the shutter. Doing that makes me as steady as possible. Nearest thing to a human tripod!!!

Anyway, here are the results:

Spy Games at the Barbican

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Inspired by the work of Robert Koci Fernandez and his wonderfully grainy high contrast iPhone images (usually including a man in a hat!), I took my street photography group to the Barbican to play spy games. The wonderful Brutalist architecture of the Barbican in London lends itself to a noir cold war soviet vibe.

Instructions included wearing dark clothes, a fedora (if anyone had one!) and making sure they weren’t followed to the meeting point. I started the group off by giving them each the name of another – the name of their ‘target’. And so the spy games began! Then they were released of their surveillance duties and set off in search of random solitary figures in the shadows, glimpses of spies in the corridors and hints of shady deeds going down…

See the workshop participant’s spy snaps here.

While a few of my classified shots are here:

For the Love of Neon

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A second visit to God’s Own Junkyard and a second chance to challenge my Meetup group with the task of shooting for an imaginary magazine dedicated to Neon, with Issue 2 no less!!! See my own pictures here in a previous blog post and see Issue 1 here. So without further ado I would like to present the 3 double page spread dedicated to my group’s work! They do make me proud. With a brief that includes the search for negative space and for isolating objects as subjects in such a visually chaotic environment is a tough call but they went and did it!

They guys who made the cut should be super proud. And while there were other great shots, I (as chief picture editor for my imaginary magazine – I have given myself a promotion since the last issue -) had to choose the best images that worked together on a page and together created a narrative… Well done to Kasia Mijakowska, Stephen D’Agostino, Simon Smith, Geri Edwards, Bettina Brunswig, Kat Saradinova and Josef Mills. Great job guys!!! And a couple of the photographers got two pictures into the magazine!

The PDF is here: neon-monthly-issue-2

And here are the spreads (photo credits on 2nd spread):

neon-monthly-issue-2-1

 

 

Wonderful Winter Lights

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Headed up to Canary Wharf last night to experience their Winter Lights installations. And yes it was a LOT of fun. The best part was having my brain activity monitored by an ECG and translated into a light show. It was epic. I could have stood there for hours watching the colours come out of my head!!! Some of the installations are indoors, including the ECG, but there are some really cool ones outside particularly the lit up tapes strapped between trees. Here are a few snaps:

Neon Magazine Spread

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After visiting God’s Own Junkyard and challenging my Meetup group with the task of shooting for an imaginary magazine dedicated to Neon (see my own pictures here in a previous blog post) – I would like to present the 3 double page spread dedicated to my group’s work! They should be proud to have made the cut. And while there were other great shots, I (as picture editor for my imaginary magazine) had to choose the best images that worked together on a page and together created a narrative… Well done to Bruno Cicciarello, Sheena Craig, Sarah Ewans, Pierre F Docquir, Kate Scannell, Florian B and Paul Markwell. Great job guys!!!

The PDF is here: neon-monthly-issue-1

And here are the spreads (photo credits on 2nd spread):

neon-monthly-issue-1-1neon-monthly-issue-1-2neon-monthly-issue-1-3