snapshots and observations

Monday, 31 January 2011

world gone mad

what the what ?!

words fail me


like a boss !

ok i admit it... i love having my photo taken.

at the end of my shoot at sketch, i joined the model for three frames.

she: christopher kane scarf, helmut lang trousers, christian louboutin heels.
him: a bathing ape top, stüssy trousers, nike air force 1's           

g-fog's behind the scenes shots

here are some shots taken yesterday by assistant number 1

shooting at f1.1 with manual focus on a leica m9 is not easy...
the bape head tag on my top is bang in focus though, even if my eyes aren't.

my quiff was having a nightmare



heck yes !
good stuff again from n7's finest

both sides now

here's michael experiencing an n7 sandwich...
boom !

boom !


i was shooting this portrait with the subject on the far right of the frame.
but i thought it was worth doing a quick shot to include g-fog and the silver.
good old sammy silver has earned his money this week.
he's been used with food, cocktails, portraits and still-life.

if you're into photography and want to buy something useful and cheap-ish,
treat yourself to a silver and white lastolite reflector. you'll like it.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

on saturday

i decided to give the first outing of 2011 to my zen grey nike air yeezys
teaming them up with my stüssy / levis.

my friend bengreensonofhilarygreen doesn't approve of the use of velcro fastenings
on adult shoes but i thought the chances of bumping into him today were about the same
as andy gray... ( insert your own punchline here )

my hair was looking great this morning and i was so pleased with it that i decided
to take a photo. i was using some new aveda pomade and it was all good.
grrr ! in the short time i walked from the bathroom to pick up my camera
and take a photo, two breakaway pieces of quiff started to spoil the whole thing.

while i had my camera out i took a quick photo of the maharishi kubrick figures
which are on permanent display here at whitfield towers
believe it or not, these figures are displayed upside down.
i was told by the main man at maharishi that they are supposed to be stood on their heads.
( they have flat heads by the way )

just below the maharishi figures is this...
did i ever tell you that the door handles at whitfield towers are skateboards ?
well, the interior doors anyway. 

they are mounted to the doors on wooden blocks and they actually stick out less
than door handles do ( i measured it, honestly )
i've had various skateboards as handles over the years but these huntergatherer
decks are my favourites... i love the cartoon wood grain.

anyway, it was off to the west end for the afternoon and on the walk from
chancery lane to soho i spotted this place
what do you suppose that old sign is all about ?
three guineas for stout seems a bit pricey. would it have been three guineas
for a barrel of stout ?
i like that it's made by hoare and company too... great name.

it was really cold in town today, as cold as h.h.h. as i like to say.
to warm up, i swerved in to fernandez and wells on beak street for a late breakfast.
here's my flat white, with my turtles in the background.

and here's my breakfast. egg and black pudding on a ciabatta
i almost cried. i know it doesn't look much but hot black pudding and egg on
a toasted, yet soft ciabatta... it was absolute genius.

i sat at the window looking out onto beak street. it is a good place for people watching,
as is any window in soho. from a distance i saw a bloke with a deerstalker approaching 
the sun and thirteen cantons... i quickly picked up my camera and took one frame.
i liked his style.

from a distance i could see his deerstalker, shirt, tie, overcoat, sensible
trousers, walking stick and he even wore those gloves which have leather palms
and woolen knitted fronts... proper old school.
i presumed he was wearing brogues too.
though when i had a closer look at the photo i spotted a strange thing.

what the what ?!
he teamed up all the old gentleman type gear with a pair of black and pink
nike air max 95's !
what a maverick !

after a sneaky purchase at the dover street market ( for a friend )
and a most successful trip to marc jacobs ( for mrs w )
it was time to take on some caramel eclairs... ( for me )
look at these bad boys. they even have a bit of gold leaf on them.
funnily enough i photographed the pastry chef who makes these last week.
when i told him i was a fan of his work, he sent me a couple of eclairs as a thank-you.

like most gentlemen, i like to stroll along savile row at the weekend.
unlike most gentlemen, when i reach the conduit street end of savile row,
i catch the c2 back to north london.

my least favourite part of savile row is the corner building which now houses
abercrombie and fitch. what's the hampden roar with that place ?
there's always a massive queue to get in. even on a freezing cold saturday evening.

this was the last photo i took on saturday. it was a good day.

i caught the c2, then walked back to whitfield towers just in time to watch the
last half hour of man utd v southampton. southampton were winning 1-0.
i took the opportunity to curse michael owen and with all the punditry skills of
andy gray ( but without the sexist comments ) i announced that michael owen
is past it... a spent force... a liability... a waste of space... etc etc...

seconds later he scored !

good night ( southampton )

fragment design bearbrick

i've really slowed down on the bearbrick collecting over the past 3 years or so.
 i probably buy 2 or 3 a year.

the latest addition to my collection arrived today...
series 20, artist edition by fragment design.
clean, simple and stylish.

peep and weep wednesday

i forgot to show you...
this week's comment on my peep and weep wednesday contribution from dj clark kent.

dj clark kent called my kicks 'fire'
i feel like i'm in the game now.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

bathing ape pirate store

success at the bathing ape pop-up store today. no queues.

i won't lie, most of the clothes in the pirate store were the type
you see in the bape store and think " that will never sell "

i did however buy what was probably the plainest item on show...
it's a reversible long sleeve t-shirt. one side is grey as you can see, ( with no back print )
just plain grey with an ape head logo on the chest. the other side is white with 
thin grey hoops, a bit like a breton shirt perhaps.
it's amazing quality and is a bit like a light sweatshirt, weight-wise.

and here's the punchline...
half-price... not bad at all.

it seemed rude not to buy the special t-shirt which was produced to tie in 
with the pop-up store, and i got the last one in my size...

once again, the quality is amazing
nice detail on the label

and on the cuff tag
sunday is the last day by the way.

ding dong !

well hello ladies...

what the what ?!

i've got more wrinkles on my forehead than leslie phillips !

Friday, 28 January 2011

on my coffee table this week...

here's what's happening at whitfield towers this week...
you know, every week when i do this feature, i always stop and admire my coffee 
table. it really is the most beautiful coffee table i've ever seen.
( thanks magnus )

and for only the second time, a proper coffee table book,
'the interior world of tom dixon'
i do like tom dixon. i used to buy his designs way back in the day... maybe since 1996.

this is a big heavy book
and i think it probably costs a few bob too.

my copy is a very special one...
thanks to tom... and many thanks to ash.

dvd box set: leslie phillips collection
the master of suave indeed.
these are 4 gems from back in the day. watch your stern is a classic,
as is crooks anonymous.

once again, this is a very special version... it's signed by leslie phillips
not only did he sign it but he also wrote "ding dong"
i found leslie phillips to be a charming man. i'll dig out the photo of the two of us together
and post it in a couple of days.
i do love a nice catchphrase by the way, and i look forward to doing a public appearance
one day soon, when i shall be signing copies of my coffee table book of coffee
and writing " i'll do the jokes" on the front cover !

cd: my beauty by kevin rowland
i know... i know...
but you have to understand, i was a fan of dexys midnight runners
way back in the day. before they made their first album... years before 
'come on eileen'

i bought this cd the day it was released. rumour has it that it only sold just over 500 copies.
if you don't know the story, it's an album of cover versions.
famously bruce springstein refused to let kevin rowland's version of 'thunder road' 
be included on the final album because he hated it so much !

i admit it might not be to everybody's taste but there are some corking 
songs on here. i defy anybody not to tap their foot along to 'concrete and clay'
other songs on here include 'rag doll' 'labelled with love' 'the long and winding road'
'daydream believer' and of course... my theme tune.

by the way, please be careful if you type the words 'concrete and clay' and 'kevin rowland'
into youtube. if you do, just listen to the song with your eyes shut.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

good cop, bad cop.

i had a big portrait shoot today. 

g-fog was with me so we gave it the old good cop, bad cop routine...

and the job was a good 'un.

good chef, bad cop.

here's the last frame from my portrait shoot, taken by g-fog, using my gf-1...
me and johnny dennis, my favourite french chef.

( merci for your help jean-denis )

setting up for portraits

for the portraits i decided to do 4 different set-ups for each person.
that way, the client would get a wider choice of shots to use. no doubt
some people would look better in one location and others in another location
with different lighting. that was my plan anyway.

while i was setting up each shot, i got g-fog to stand in place.

here's a head and shoulders shot using a 1 metre softbox on an elinchrom 500

my next shot was taken with a leica m9 using a 50mm f1.1 lens
and the modelling light of an elinchrom

in another part of the building i used a battery light with bare bulb
which bounced around the all white interior for a nice full length shot.

finally using my gf-1, available light and a silver lastolite reflector
when i get permission from my client. i'll show you some of the final images
from the shoot. they are very nice if i say so myself.

chamber of fear af-1's

today i wore my nike air force 1's from the "chamber of fear" pack
which nike brought out a few years ago to tie in with 
the basketball player lebron james
they were rare as anything. a very limited edition. i managed to find a pair in 
flight club a couple of years ago in my size. luckily enough they were the only pair
from the pack which i really liked.

the san francisco, 'hype' editions.
the tip, toe box, eye stay, mid section and tongue are all constructed
in a light grey suede material. the swoosh, the foxing and the heel tab are in purple suede.
purple stitching and laces finish the shoe nicely, as do the pale grey stitched
chinese characters on the outer side of each shoe.

looking back at the pack now, i quite fancy the chicago pair too.



if i could offer you one piece of advice regarding cameras.
if i could recommend just one piece of equipment for you to buy...
it would be this.
the gf-1, with 20mm f1.7 lens and evf.

trust me on this one.