John Spinks

Today, we were lucky enough to have John Spinks in as a guest lecturer, a real veteran of the fashion portraiture industry. He has worked on over 30 different projects with various different brands such as i-D and British Vogue.

He started this lecture by introducing his personal project, titled 'The New Village'. This book is all about his home town, and started when he was only about 18 years old.

He really struggled with this project to begin with and decided to find something else to work on, but he never forgot about the concept and held it with him.

One of his big inspirations growing up was Larry Sultan, and this shows with the way that John makes photos.

After university, he worked in a studio for a few years and got into fashion photography. He went back to the village and started shooting again. He says that he never necessarily even developed the film he had shot, but just enjoyed being there in the moment.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 18.19.41.png

He was then approached by someone who had an exhibition in two years time, and she asked if he had any work and he mentioned the village. She told him to go and get it started, which he did. John spent all of his earnings travelling to this village and taking photos there, he took about 4500 sheets of film over the duration of this project.

Once he had settled down and began creating a family, he looked back at some sheets of film that he hadn't seen for years. He noticed an obsessive pattern in the photos, but thought that the majority of them were awful.

Changing My Homepage

Having used the same homepage for nearly 3 years, I decided that it was time for a change.

I had previously gone for a modern, interesting aesthetic showcasing one single photo that had been manipulated by the use of photoshop.

I have decided to collect a number of images that I have taken recently which best showcase what I am capable of. For this, I have tried to involve as many different photographic styles as possible to show an array of skills. I have presented this in a carousel format and have stuck with the minimalistic theme of the website itself.

I have decided to collect a number of images that I have taken recently which best showcase what I am capable of. For this, I have tried to involve as many different photographic styles as possible to show an array of skills. I have presented this in a carousel format and have stuck with the minimalistic theme of the website itself.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.51.24.png

National Portrait Gallery - Our Unbroken Stream

After a day of shooting in London, I decided to visit the National Portrait Gallery with a friend and had a good look around at some of the new installments.

Some of the sections didn't allow us to take photos, which was disappointing, but I did photograph where able.

The images were inspiring in terms of composition, lighting and richness. Each image was powerful in a different way and one thing I did notice is that there were no 'filler' photos or paintings, they were all designed to blow you away. From this, I can take that I would like all of my work from this point on to be blowing people away, and will aim to cut out all photos below par.

Below are some images from the gallery.

Stockholm, 2018

In February, I decided that my next University project would involve Stockholm. So, I booked it.

I went away for 3 days with two friends and we have all agreed immediately that a yearly trip will be tradition.

We stayed in a budget hostel with budget flights, as always, and had a great time. On this trip, I focussed massively on my photography, which is something I don't usually do when distractions like videography and alcohol get involved. But from this trip, I have managed to create a small travel book which will be printed in a limited number in the coming days.

Upon arriving in Sweden, we didn't book any excursions or trips, we simply arrived unprepared and open-minded. The best way to travel.

Below are some of my favourite images from the trip.

 
 

Music Video Shoot w/ Billie Alderman

Following the other two videos that I have been working on, I was asked to shoot a part of Billie's music video, another student from Bath Spa studying music. 

Her concept was again a very interesting one. Her song was about covering herself in gold, so that is exactly what we did for the video! I only shot with her for about an hour to get all that we needed, and below are some of the frame exports from our shoot.

Music Video Shoot w/ Pritt

Pritt Pathmanathan is a friend of mine that I have known now for about three years who also attends Bath Spa University, studying music with Susie Mills who was mentioned in my last blog post.

She has launched two singles so far on Spotify and iTunes and is now due to release her debut EP with about 5 tracks on there. She also asked for me to film and edit her video.

Pritt had a lot of very specific concepts that she wanted to fit into this one video. She loved the idea of using really grainy, retro looking 5x4 clips along with some gorgeous, smooth landscape shots. She wanted the video to be really fast-paced and to showcase her as an artist and a person. The video is due to be about 4 minutes long and she has created a specific track to go with the video.

We have yet to finish filming as we are due to travel to London to finish it off, but she requested that I made a short 1 minute version of the video with the clips that we have shot so far so that she can give it to different venues for when she tours for her EP. Below is the video that I produced for this, however I am yet to finish the final video - this will be displayed in a separate blog post in the near future.

Being Exhibited in Museum of Bath Architecture

In the first few days of the new year, I was emailed by Tim Beale, who works as the Museum Administrator for Museum of Bath Architecture, explaining that he had seen my website and would like to exhibit some of my images in their latest exhibition. This is possibly the most exciting email that I have ever received, so I immediately began to search through my archive of images to find my best work fitting his brief.

After emailing him back and forth for a few weeks, I decided to use some images that I had taken in London as I believed these were the most powerful and would look amazing printed at a large scale. I got them printed at 400x500mm on the Chromera and delivered them to the museum for hanging.

A few days later, I received an invite to a private viewing of the exhibition, where I was allowed to bring some friends and family along to view the work. I decided to ask my Dad and his girlfriend who are both local to Bath, and so they attended.

I was asked to price my images for sale as well as writing a short artist's bio, so after some research, I had developed a short introduction to my practice and came up with the price of £100 per image, taking into consideration the 40% commission fee of the gallery.

The link for the exhibition is as follows: http://museumofbatharchitecture.org.uk/event/architecture-lens-exhibition-architectural-photography/

Below are some images of my work from the exhibition.

 
 

Music Video Shoot w/ Susie Mills

Through word of mouth, I was approached by a music student, Susie Mills, who is due to release her debut single and wanted some filming done for her music video.

Susie Mills is a strong Christian and had some very specific ideas that she wanted to implement into this video. We spent about three hours filming and managed to get most of the video shot. All of the filming was done in different locations in Bath and were filmed on my Nikon D7200 with a stabilizer rig and monitor screen.

Susie decided that she would like to edit the video on her own as this was a part of her brief for the video, so I gave her all of the footage and gave her a few tips on how to utilise Premiere Pro to its full potential.

Below are some stills from shooting with Susie:

Bath Spa Rugby Match Shoot

Following the shoot I did for their Christmas dinner, the Bath Spa Rugby Society asked me to photograph one of the men's and women's matches against Bristol University.

I luckily had my car with me as I brought quite a big camera bag with my lenses and camera incase for any reason I needed to change, though I decided to stick with my 50mm prime lens in order to have the focal length to photograph people across the pitch.

My knowledge about Rugby isn't great so when photographing this was slightly challenging as I was often unaware of what was to happen next, meaning there were things that I missed, though I coped well and managed to capture over 400 images that I was able to edit and send to the society.

Below are some of the images from this shoot:

Wales, 2018

Where do I start?

This extremely last-minute trip (decided on the night before we left) was the scariest, riskiest, most hilarious trip I think I have ever been on...

It all started when at 1am on Friday the 26th of January, Dan (@daniellatter) sent a message to Ryan (@_ryan_curtis) and I, asking if we would be up for a road trip. Two hours later, Wales was decided upon and we were all packing our bags in preparation. In the evening of the 26th, Dan and Ryan had driven down to Bath, where I live, and we quickly swapped cars and were on our way.

We arrived in Wales at about 5am, after a long car journey from Bath. Once arriving, we decided to head straight for Mt. Snowdon, forgetting about the treacherous weather conditions that we were in the middle of. About 20 minutes into our walk up the mountain, in the pitch black, with only an iPhone torch on 30% battery showing us the way, we realised that it was a bad idea. After a short discussion on the side of this mountain, we decided to carry on, despite already having lost a softbox to the wind and feeling in all of our hands and legs - another bad decision. We continued to walk into the unknown for about 2 hours before the sun began to rise, introducing us to our surroundings visually. We were amazed. We had spent hours complaining and threatening to turn back, but we were in the middle of some paradise.

We never made it to the top as we decided that was way too dangerous, but what we had seen was by far better than we could have imagined, and that was good enough. I managed to get my camera out for a short while before both my hands and the D7200 had frozen, so there weren't many photos taken on the mountain, but the memories will last forever.

After unmounting the mountain, we got into the car, stripped off and turned the heating on, full blast. We sat there for about an hour before setting off on our next mission. A quick stop off at McDonalds for brunch and Sports Direct for some new socks led us to some arguably more incredible views in the Snowdonia National Park. We drove the length of the park before deciding it was time to book a hostel for the night - at 5pm we laid our heads down, not to wake up until 10am on the 28th.

A 17 hour sleep and a cafe pitstop later, and we were ready for our next hike. We found a nice spot, parked the car and wondered up a hill for three hours. We added to our travelling experiences by jumping over a river, drinking from a waterfall and getting completely lost with no signal.

It was then ready to go home.

Below are a selection of photographs from the trip. I hope you enjoy, and please follow Dan (@daniellatter) and Ryan (@_ryan_curtis) on Instagram for more from this amazing experience!

P.S.

It was (annoyingly) too windy for the drone and there wasn't enough footage for a video...


 
 

...aaaand here's an out-of-focus photo of us.

OVD2018004D00078.jpg

Poznan, 2018

To get 2018 off to an amazing start, a housemate and I decided to book a short trip to Poznań, Poland. There was no real reason behind the trip but to explore and enjoy, and that is exactly what we did.

I set out with a DJI Mavic Pro drone and a Nikon D7200 DSLR which both contributed to a small collection of images and a highlight video from the trip. The temperature reached a height of 3 degrees Celsius throughout the entire trip, with rain, snow and harsh wind making a big appearance. For this reason, many of the things that we had planned to do were changed. The weather made it hard to shoot specific photographs and dangerous to fly the drone, but we managed to get some of the shots that we had hoped for, and that is what I am going to showcase below.

For more from this trip, please visit my Instagram page (@dopov).

Enjoy!


 
 

Bath Spa Rugby Christmas Dinner Shoot

Following the cancellation of a photographer, I was asked on the day by the president of the Rugby committee at Bath Spa University to photograph their Christmas meal. I also managed to work in an increased price if I were to film the event as well.

The shoot went really smoothly as most people who wanted photos taken were happy to approach me and ask. The room was very dark so I used a flashlight with a softbox on in order to light the subjects, and I am happy with how the images came out. Since I couldn't use the flash for the video, the ISO was quite high, lowering the quality and softness of the clips, but they are all happy with how the video looks nonetheless.

I managed to edit all of the images along with the video immediately after the shoot and got them sent out the next day, where I received payment straight away.

Below are some of the images along with the video:

The Photographer's Gallery, London

During my week back in London in November, I decided to pay a visit to the Photographer's Gallery in Oxford Street, London.

There was a very interesting exhibit on the top floor about storytelling through Polaroid images. The project was called 'Instant Stories' and featured Wim Wenders's work from the 1940s. There were over 200 different polaroid images framed all around the exhibition room, split up into over 20 titled sections. There was also a short film playing which explained that these photographs were being taken when Polaroids were a very new invention, meaning that barely anyone understood the concept of a Polaroid Instant image. In this video, it showed him selling his car for cheap in order to purchase more film to fund his photography desires.

There were also many other exhibitions on that were interesting, however Wim's project caught my attention the most.


 
 

Pumpkin Patch, 2017

So today, after a lecture, some of my housemates and I decided to attempt a pre-Halloween shoot in a nearby pumpkin patch. Thanks to Farrington's Farm, we were able to access their patch before it had been opened to the general public, giving us a great opportunity to make images. Below, you can find a select few photographs from the shoot, taken by myself, as well as a short BTS video of the shoot.

Also, to find more images from this shoot, please feel free to visit my housemate's Instagram pages:

Danyelle Smith - @snapsm.th

Kristen Kate Morris - @kristenkatephotography

Joe Clifford - @joefford


 
 

Video Editing for a Friend

One of my close friends approached me after seeing some of my video editing that I had recently done and asked if I would be able to edit his holiday clips into a short memorious film. He had predominantly GoPro footage filmed with no real purpose, so it was a very fun little project that I spent about 6 hours on with 2 or 3 different drafts being produced before exporting a final copy.

In this video, I decided to use lots of different editing techniques that I had recently learned in Premiere Pro in order to practice for the future, and I am happy with how the video has turned out.

Since this video, I have had lots of his friends messaging me asking if I would be able to offer their holiday videos with payment being offered, so I believe that this little favour has helped me out in the long run in terms of experience and future work.

Below is the video that I produced: