Hello Old Man Time…

Oh boy it’s been a long time…

Editing work and my little girl have swallowed up my time of late, hence the lack of posts.


…there’s a very exciting project in the works that hopefully I can reveal soon.

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Eleventh Light

Anyone who has arrived here looking for Eleventh Light…don’t panic! Very sorry but our new website isn’t quite up and running yet. This is my personal photoblog. Please feel free to have a look around.

The new website will have all our available prints as well as galleries of our current projects.

Hopefully over the next few weeks it will come into being so keep checking back and if you have any queries in the meantime please email us at shootsweet_at_gmail.com.

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The Village’s Royal Wedding…

The village hall was home to a big screen presentation of the ‘Royal Wedding’ on the big day. As a staunch republican it was hard to head there without an agenda but the picture’s the thing and, despite my misgivings about the Royals and the wedding, everyone’s enthusiasm and sense of fun won me over.

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Treading the boards…

Our village has a long established (75 years old this year) amateur dramatic group, which I had the…pleasure…of being involved with when I was a wee bit younger. My dad is still very involved, organising backstage, running sound effects, building stages (which I still get roped in for) and pretty much every other job going, apart from actually stepping onto the stage. A few of my friends are also very involved so it was a relatively easy start to documenting the groups that are in the village.

The Players have just put on their Spring production and I went along to shoot the technical rehearsal.

I wanted to do the technical rather than dress rehearsal or an actual performance as you still get to see the nuts and bolts of the production as well as actors on stage.

They’re all a very dedicated bunch and I’m very grateful for them not telling me to bugger off when I popped up backstage to add to the many and varied pressures already upon them.

Seeing groups like this in the village is one of the big plus points to living here. That there are people still willing to give up (a lot) of their time and work their backsides off for no reward but a round of applause and a sense of community.

Every other year the Players put on a pantomime that gives heaps of kids a chance to get involved and really pulls the village in.

Photographically it offered a chance for some nice narrative shots and heaps of frames within frames and the line between backstage and onstage.

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Upon a star-filled night…

Last week I shot the local Willow Lantern Pageant, organised by The Cotswold Water Park and the In Our Element arts team. Local youth groups and schools had all worked on making lanterns out of willow, tissue paper and glow sticks, to be paraded around one of the nearby lakes, accompanied by drummers.

It’s a fun event to shoot but not without its challenges…

…shooting at night, trying to get the full effect of not-very-bright glow sticks but maintaining some clarity was/is not easy. Personally I would have been quite happy with the more abstract images but the organisers also needed shots that clearly showed the lanterns and the kids who worked on them so I had to find the balance.

One or two of these images may also find their way into ‘The Village’.

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The Village #06 (And the first shots from the Coronet!)

I finally got my first films from the Coronet back yesterday and I’m very chuffed with the results. They’ve got a nice vintage feel but with a better clarity than a Holga.

My problem now is going to be not putting film after film through it…processing 120 film round here is pretty expensive…but it’s just so much more satisfying than memory cards and screens.

These were all shot on Ilford 3200. There’s more to come from The Forest School and a couple of Holga films I’d forgotten I had..!

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The Village #05

Following on from my previous post these are some of the shots from my two days at the Cotswold Forest School that will be going into ‘The Village’.

It was an interesting experience trying to shoot for two purposes with two different stylistic approaches at the same time. It made me look more at the overall aesthetic of ‘The Village’ which I’m now narrowing down to (hopefully) give the project a sense of cohesion throughout the wide variety of locations and action that will eventually go to make it up.

It’s also created quite a quandary for me. As I said, these are just a selection of the shots that will or could be used in the final project. Chosen from fifty-four possible images. Fifty-four. I had envisioned using four or five from the Forest School. Not fifty-four…

This is pushing me to find or distill the essence of ‘The Village’ and think more about what I’ll do with it when or if it’s finished. But that’s something I’ll come back to another day!

Suffice to say, it’s been really tough selecting which images to put up here and which to leave out. I hate the thought of good pictures never being seen, mine or anyone else’s. What purpose does a photograph have if it’s never seen? If you’ll excuse a rather crass philosophical point, like a tree falling in an empty forest, a photograph never seen could be said to not exist. The joy over the recent discovery and publishing of Vivan Maier‘s work is a great example. Imagine those photos languishing unseen in a loft forever more.

I’m sure I’ll return to these pictures at some point. Especially as I got some wonderful portraits of the kids on the courses but want to double check parental consent before posting them.

Oh and I almost forgot. I got my first films from the Coronet developed as well as some from the Holga too so those will be up soon.

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Your corner of the forest…

As part of ‘The Village’ I arranged with my friend Jono to go and shoot at his forest school on the outskirts of the village.

The Cotswold Forest School is a fantastic set up. Kids and adults get to go and spend the day in the woods learning all kinds of bushcraft skills. Fire starting, shelter building, whittling etc.

In return for shooting for my project I also shot for Jono’s website and publicity. I thought it would be nice to put a few of these up as a break from the shooting style of ‘The Village’.

I loved being able to spend a couple of days outside, surrounded by trees and the smell of a campfire. Living in a tiny shoebox of a house with a postage stamp garden I don’t get as much ‘outside time’ as I’d like…

I’ll be posting some of the pictures that will be going in to ‘The Village in the next few days so don’t forget to check back!

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The Village #04

Yesterday arrived sunny and not (too) cold which gave us the opportunity to get out for our first proper walk as a family. My wife had a few problems after the birth of our daughter on Boxing Day so it’s taken a while for her to be able to get out for any length of time. It also gave me the chance to take some more pictures around the village.

These two were taken from one of the highest windows in an old manor house:

Our village is surrounded by gravel pit lakes and this coot must have wandered off of one. You very rarely see them away from the water, which made this particularly sad:

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