Countless people have been talking about the now-infamous Charlie Le Mindu catwalk show which took place earlier this week. By sheer good fortune I was one of the few allowed in to take pictures... Here is a selection!
Fresh from recording and mixing their latest EP, The Mars Patrol gave their first live performance in six months at the Monto Water Rats, Kings Cross. As ever, lighting conditions were hostile... damn those new LED spotlights.
Kyashii is a new Japanese restaurant on Upper St Martin's Lane, London.
The above aerial shot was taken from the outside looking in, high up a 9m ladder. Most of us have climbed the odd step to reach a shelf or perhaps do some painting. I will tell you now - climbing a 9m builder's ladder at midnight in the middle of the West End is a completely different affair.
I think the following picture perfectly illustrates the scales involved. We ain't reaching for mother's cookies here.
But first, how does one actually go about extending such a tall ladder? This is not really something you consider until the moment arrives, and you suddenly find yourself stuck for ideas. There's obviously a knack yet I'm no workman. In the end it was a three person job - two to extend the ladder and another to help guide it into place.
Actually climbing the ladder was the next challenge. Not only did I have to scale a height far greater than any I had ever climbed before, I had to do this with my camera.
Strange primal instincts suddenly assert themselves: The rational mind knows that the ladder won't slip, neither will it fall backwards. But when you climb a ladder like that for the first time, all sorts of crazy thoughts take over: The ladder feels precarious, creaking and flexing with every slow, deliberate step upwards. You press your entire body into the metal. Are the locks fully fastened? Are the metal runners - which hug one stage of the ladder to the next - completely secure? You don't look down.
I had slung my camera around my neck and left arm. This was the easiest way to make the ascent without bashing nearly £3k of equipment. Once at the top though I then faced the challenge of pulling my camera into position. What would have been a trivial motion on the ground suddenly became an arduous maneuver 9m up. I had to somehow free my arm and shoulder from the camera strap. I felt like a contortionist performing in slow-motion, wowing an unseen circus audience silenced in awe below.
When my feet eventually returned to the solid assurance of pavement, I immediately loaded the pictures onto my laptop. They were magnificent. Suddenly one of the clients pointed towards the bottom-left corner of the frame: The restaurant's curious glass facade had somehow produced a freak reflection of the alfresco dining area outside. Scattered on the ghostly tables were the remains of our evening meal.
It was now nearly 1am in the morning. I walked back to the ladder and prepared for my second climb of the night...
Here are a couple of photos from a recent commission for GIHLondon.
Tall buildings, such as those presented here, can be rather tricky to capture. London streets are often tight and awkward, and even with a 24mm tilt-shift lens it can be a struggle fitting everything in.
Both of these buildings required two shots - one levelled off, the second tilted up. I then manually stitched the photos together in Photoshop. Small tilts can be corrected with PTLens - you simply dial in the angle and the software does the rest. The finished result appears as though it was taken with a remarkably wide tilt-shift lens, or a large format camera.