JAZZebell_ in Queens Park

For a fair while I’ve wanted a 20mm lens on my Nikon for shooting clubs as I currently exclusively shoot 24mm.

It turned out getting an actual 20mm for my Nikon was going to cost an absolute ton, and I resent paying that much for something I’d mostly only be using on drunk people anyway so instead I opted for a Sigma 10-20mm lens. The snag being that it ain’t a full frame lens, but as it didn’t cost nearly as much as my other options I went for it.

While it might not be a dedicated 20mm lens, it’s technically wider than what I already had and when mostly zoomed out it creates a pretty neat vignette and distorts in a way which reminds me of photos of early 90’s grunge bands.

So I took it out and tested it out with Jazz because a new lens is always a good excuse to get out and take some photos.

It’s always a little unnerving using a new focal length, and it’s going to take a while to get used to it. That said, I’m happy with a whole bunch of the photos we took and tonight I’m away shooting with it in the club for the first time so I’ll undoubtedly post something tomorrow too if my photos aren’t utter garbage.

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A night off… so, Cathouse?

Plans I made last night went tits up so I headed to the casino, made a little money, and then headed to Catty for a night out as Stephen was in taking photos.

Jazz had a couple of pals visiting from England and also headed out. We all kept bumping into each other throughout the night. I also kept running into my pal Emily who was out with a couple of pals and I haven’t seen her in way too long. That’s what I love about Catty, familiar faces appear everywhere.

The club is daaaark, and I was shooting without a flash. As a result, the focus didn’t hit 100% of the time. All photos were at 3200 iso (and still mostly pushed 4 stops), around 1/60th, shooting wide open at f2 giving my my new xf35mmf2 lens a serious work out.

I’ve said it before a million times, but the Fuji jpegs are stunning. I feel like this could wind up some tech-snobs, but even with the grain simulation turned off, the noise structure on the jpegs is beautiful. Even if you don’t agree, and the only negative thing you can comment on is a photo being ‘too noisy’ then most of the time it’s not even a comment worth voicing.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m paying the price of two consecutive nights out right now and I need to go clean the vomit outta my sink, and also watch House.

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Back to Hartwood Hospital, with Amber & Des

I’ve been meaning to make sense of the hundreds of photographs I took while Amber and Des were staying with me in Glasgow but to be honest it’s too damn difficult, so I’m going to settle for occasionally dropping a day or two in a blog every now and then and maybe write a little about it.

While they were over I wanted to make sure they saw some rad stuff – They’re from America where I’m pretty sure the oldest building is only 5 years old or something, so I thought Hartwood Hospital would be a good shout. I don’t know how old this building is, but it’s falling apart, has been set on fire a bunch of times and also abandoned for years.

I’d been before and it looks rad.

I feel like we were hungover, I can’t remember. We grabbed some food and headed there on the train.

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Save Movement Scotland: Become a Pig Lover

I headed to Edinburgh on Monday to get involved in some vegan activism. Holding up informative placards, distributing fliers, engaging in conversation with the public, and offering free vegan food as demonstration for cruelty-free alternatives to pork.

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I found it pretty interesting that this tour is financed by the European Union (allegedly costing £1.5 million) to tour Europe and promote pig corpse as “top quality food” all the while “respecting the environment” and the “welfare of animals”.  During my time there the bus had no customers, and I’ve since read that there were no customers throughout the day with them even sending staff away within the first few hours.

Yep, £1.5 million well spent.

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What bugged me the most was their “how are we not going to like an animal that gives us so much?” spiel. Nonsense like that don’t hide the fact the pig actually gives us nothing, we take its life.

Their website – Pork Lovers Tour – is atrocious and their social media support is pathetic. I tagged a couple of photos with their official Instagram only to find it has 4 followers.

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Admittedly I didn’t talk nearly as much as the others (who did an excellent job) as I’m not that much of a talker. I observed, listened, and spoke when spoken to. This was my first time actively getting involved in street vegan activism, I was pretty surprised at the amount of support we had. The support from the public was lovely, and even the folk who chimed in with obvious lines like “but it tastes so good” stuck around for conversation, and actually left taking it all a little more seriously.

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There was one guy, though. Smug, shouting “we’re the top of the food chain, y’know!” in passing with a grin on his face unwilling to stop and chat with us.

Well, we’re not at the top of the food chain; but even if we were, we’d still have the choice.

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Newcastle’s Royal Station Hotel with JAZZebell_

On Monday I headed to Newcastle with Jazz as she was invited down for a “creatives party” studio shoot by a model who was having the event as part of her birthday celebrations.

Jazz managed to arrange a couple of shoots in our hotel room for the day before, so I hung around performing my duties of taking photos for her behind-the-scenes snapchat content, while also grabbing a few photos myself.

I’ll post another blog featuring some of my ‘behind-the-scenes’ shots along with photos from our time in Newcastle. This post is for our quick morning shoot.

We had a late night before eating a ridiculous amount of chinese food that I’m pretty sure almost put me into a coma. I woke up later than usual, with the driest throat I think I’ve ever had. After a very quick pack, we were left with literally 5 minutes to shoot before check out.

I think Jazz finished getting dressed in the corridor.

Anyway, here’s 15 or so photos from the set. There’s another 25 exclusive to my b-sides blog which you can bag access to right here.

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Hats & Butterflies

It’s currently freshers week and the past couple of nights I’ve been in Cathouse doing party photography duties. Thursday I got to shoot Bury Tomorrow, and last night was a Disney Bar Crawl followed by shooting You Me At Six. I’ll link up some of those photos at a later date.

Freshers is always interesting; Meeting new faces that are gonna become familiar real quick.

Anyway, this morning I woke up with a heavy hangover and Jazz had a gone out for a shoot. She came back a few hours later and lifted up her top and showed me that she was covered in butterflies, so I grabbed my camera and we did a quick shoot.

The hat in these photos was knitted by my mum. She’s making her way through a mountain of wool she acquired from some dead persons house. So if you’re wanting a hat ready for winter, drop me a message and get your orders in. I think she’s charging £15 per hat and you can probably pick the colours, too.

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49 SECONDS: Episode 1.

Last week, a friend passed on to me a palm-sized camera. It’s an old and small waterproof, bombproof Fuji thing. As it slides into my pocket I felt compelled to carry it everywhere and it turns out that recording with it is straight forward and it kicks out enough pixels to be usable.

A while ago I started a vlog on my YouTube channel and I’ve got a bunch of content to catch up with but I want to do something that feels effortless to keep regular content on the go, so I decided to allow myself to film 7 seconds of video a day. Over 7 days that’s 49 seconds of video… so until I have a better idea, forget, get bored, or die, there’ll be one episode a week uploading to my channel.

Here’s a couple of snapshots that I particularly like.

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Shout out to my pal Dave who I uploaded something not too dissimilar to this from his trip to Germany. As soon as I got this camera in my hand his video sprung to mind.

It’s fast, but not *too* fast. There’s a bunch to take in, and I think it flows in an interesting way. I’ve already managed to capture my best buddy proposing to his lass, so I feel it’s gonna be interesting to look back on whatever snapshots I choose later down the line.

You can view the full thing right here.