snapshots and observations

Monday, 28 February 2011

trip to the millennium

yesterday i took a stroll to my favourite local cafe... the millennium.

i must be quite a regular because the owner always brings me one of these
without me even asking...
 cheap coffee... perfect !

if i have my camera with me, i usually take a shot or two of the condiments
good lads.

this time i also took a shot of the stuff i was carrying...
perhaps i need a man-bag ?

here's how my breakfast looked when it turned up...
but you know me. i wasn't happy with the layout.


ah... that's better
much better.


i don't think i've ever posted any photos of me wearing my spectacles...

well, this is the pair i generally wear 
they're by stüssy and i bought them in new york in 1998. they just had plain glass
in them at the time and let's be honest, i only bought them for posing.

the other pair i have are by tom ford. i bought them off ebay a couple of years ago.
i kind of prefer them, but they are a bit on the heavy side.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

dj ted shred

dj ted shred is a genius.
he should be a well known and well respected genius, but i think he slipped through
the net, which is unfortunate to say the least.

his music is hard to describe. no, actually it's easy to describe, it's just that
words don't really do it any justice. i've looked on youtube and i can't find any 
examples of his albums to play to you. i looked on ebay and can't find any of his 
cd's for sale. you'll just have to take my word for it.

so here are the three albums ted made...
and the story of how i discovered him...

i was in san francisco maybe 10 years ago. one day i took a bus to haight street,
which for those of you who don't know, is a pretty cool street. i wandered into the
stüssy store and as i looked around i heard the amazing music they were playing.

it was the theme tune to the old spiderman cartoon series from the late 1960's
but with a hip-hop beat. trust me it was amazing. after it ended, another tune
came on which was the hi-ho, hi-ho thing from snow white and the seven dwarves
also with a hip-hop beat. i asked the bloke in the shop what the hell he was playing
and he showed me the cd and told me it was by a local dj and that i could buy it next 
so i went next door and bought the cd. when i got home to london i played
it a lot and was knocked out by the whole album. it's basically ted shred with
two decks playing everything live and mixing up the genres. live mash-ups.

there was an email address on the cd so i sent ted a message saying how much i
liked the cd and to let me know if he ever brought out another one.
a few months later he emailed me details of a little shop in san francisco that
was going to stock his next album and that took mail order requests.

so his second album came out. like the first it was on the upper playground label.
it was every bit as good as the first cd, maybe even better. it even had another
mix of the spiderman them, this time with ice-t's music in the background.

me and ted kept in touch for a couple of years by email and one day out of the blue
a package arrived at whitfield towers containing a new cd and some ted shred stickers.

he said it was to say thanks for all my support over the past couple of years.
i won't lie, i found it harder to get into than the first two albums but it still
was most impressive and was the work of a genius.

i guess ted needed a break. i kept telling him to get his spiderman mixes out to
the film company who were making the first spiderman movie at the time.
if they'd used one of his mixes over the closing credits who knows ?

if he had maybe a manager who could have promoted him better, who knows ?

as it is, ted has moved on and is now something of a fixed gear bike expert.
you can see videos of him on youtube riding around the hills of san francisco
without using brakes !

i have seen his albums on ebay now and then so if you are in any way intrigued
keep an eye out for them. maybe he'll be back one day ? i hope so.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

n7 v circus

circus is one of my favourite places in london.
i like the food, the design, the music, the performers and i like the people who work there.
( even if they don't deliver on the coffee front )

one of my favourite things about circus is that there are so many great parts 
of the interior to shoot some self-portraits.

it's daaaaarrrk !


yeah, that's better.
as you can probably tell:  
cashmere top from marc jacobs, london.
evisu jeans from the evisu store on savile row, london.
krink af-1's from 21 mercer, new york.
miserable facial expression from warrington, cheshire.

and finally after months spent perfecting my self-portrait pose "grrr !"
here's a new one.
i call this one "is there any chance ?"

setting up

while setting up the lighting for a food shoot the other day, 
i took photos of my cameras in the place where the food would be.

it's something i do every time i gave a food shoot.

i probably have almost as many shots of my cameras as i do self-portraits.

no... thinking about it, i have lots more self-portraits... lots and lots more.

Friday, 25 February 2011

magic truffles

i had an early morning shoot at a michelin starred restaurant a few days ago.

as usual with an italian restaurant, i was offered a coffee within seconds of 
stepping foot inside. as usual with an italian place, the coffee was excellent.

one of the dishes i had to photograph was gnocchi a sformata a pasta
er, some gnocchi with lots of grated truffle on top.

when i'd finished shooting, the chef said i could eat it.
however it was a bit early for me so i didn't bother...
g-fog was with me though and she said she would have a little taste.

... minutes later

she said it was magic by the way.

team n7

to commemorate my last shoot with g-fog, at circus, i commissioned a couple of
portraits of n7's finest. the photographer was cale.
( well, i set the shots up and cale pressed the cable release )

here's one just before we started work

and here's the last frame of the day, after i'd shot the interiors and been
denied a coffee by lucy ( who had promised me many coffees )
thanks to cale... and i guess thanks to lucy too... i suppose.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

bye-bye g-fog

ladies and gentlemen. it's time to say goodbye to g-fog.
she's leaving n7 for a round the world tour and the shoot at circus was our last one.
she's been good to work with and will be missed by me, and i hope by you.

here's the last shot i took of her, in the bar at circus.

bye-bye g-fog.

g-fog's behind the scenes shots

while i was shooting some interiors at circus a couple of days ago, i let g-fog
have a play about with my gf-1.
here are a few of her efforts.

i like this shot
i like the markings on the pockets of evisu jeans.
i also like the way the 3m material on my krink af-1's lights up when the flash hits it.

this is a good effort too
showing two of my favourite possessions.

yeah, i really like the way the krink af-1's react to the flash

and finally...
this shot is like the famous grainy photo of the loch ness monster, 
or the blurry footage of big foot.
it's almost one of the rarest shots of all time... like a photo of gerry getting a round in.
it's almost a photo of me smiling !

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

rihanna, put some clothes on !

what's the story with rihanna ?

it seems to me that every time i see her, she's wearing less and less clothes.
at the brit awards she did a passable imitation of a stripper... albeit a miming stripper.
now she's popped up ( and almost popped out ) in the new kanye west video...
the hype williams directed "all of the lights"

here's a still of her in action from the video

and another...
you get the picture. in fairness she's nicer to look at than yeezy ranting on a cop car.
she's less hard work than the flashing lyrics, but i just can't help thinking that she's
going to catch a cold dressing like that.

have a look at the video if you must, though those with photosensitive epilepsy
should probably give it a miss. i tried to post it here but it wouldn't happen for me.
just look on youtube for 'all of the lights kanye west'

london tat

i love the touristy shops that sell all manner of london tat.

look at these bad boys...
i especially like the people's princess plate and the one next to it... the royal princes.

these shops stock untold bus souvenirs too
it really is a london icon

of course in the run up to the royal wedding, a lot of quality merchandise
is now on the market for the discerning collector... though i have yet to find any.
i like that this picture frame has the words
"catherine using the ring of his late mother" 
at the bottom of it. what a nice touch.

this is a gem too
i like the cut-out headshots which i think are from different photos.
the metalwork around the frame is pretty special too. i love the perspective used 
on the bus and the black cab.

unfortunately i'll be out of the country on the day of the royal wedding
so i had to rsvp that i will not be attending.

cloverdale park af-1's

as you may have noticed, my air force 1 game has been growing stronger recently.

last week the postman was busy ( and i'm not just talking about delivering all those valentines cards to me... though in fairness i probably sent myself far too many this year )

one day this turned up...

ok, i'm not a fan of white kicks generally, but these are pretty sweet.
i found them on the bay by putting the words 'rare air force 1' into a search.

i'd never seen them before and they were not expensive so i 'lifted' them
( did i use 'lifted' correctly there dan ? )

they were made to commemorate cloverdale park basketball courts in baltimore
and were part of nike's city series in 2007

the tip, toe box, eye stay, swoosh and foxing are in white leather

they sit on a white mid sole with green stitching and a sand out. 
the swoosh has sand coloured stitching and the mid panel is a sand coloured
padded mesh, pretty much the same as the sock liner.

the heel tabs have cloverdale park baltimore embossed on them instead of nike air

the right insole has a cloverdale park logo printed onto it

the left insole has a few words about the courts printed onto it... badly !

the stand out feature on these bad boys is this...
a cloverdale park logo on a loop of green leather stitched onto the tongue.
i've never seen this feature on any other af-1.
i'm surprised nike did not repeat this detail since as it's an ideal little piece to
add to the odd pair of kicks with perhaps a logo, some words or even just a colour.

not my favourite pair of af-1's, but i reckon they're just the ticket for summertime.
until then... back in the box with them !


thanks emily... 

learning to love yourself...

... is the greatest love of all.

Monday, 21 February 2011

on my coffee table this week

my shuffle coffee table has a nice feature. one that i don't think i've illustrated before.

it has slots at both sides, which i guess are for newspapers or magazines.
however, here i've slipped in the items i'm recommending this week...
the companion piece, the shuffle side table better illustrates this feature.
i will take some shots of it tomorrow to show you.

anyway, here is a more traditional look at this week's stuff...
very nice selection if i say so myself

book: underground by haruki murakami
i'm a big fan of murakami. my favourite novels of his are:
norwegian wood, dance dance dance, kafka on the shore and after dark.
there's also a book of his short stories which is very good.
in my opinion, the stand-out short story is 'tony takitani'
if you don't know his works i seriously recommend you try one. they are 
quite difficult to explain but if you in any way like japan, jazz, ghosts or 
the supernatural, a good love story... oh, i don't know... just go and buy
norwegian wood or dance dance dance and travel into murakami's world.

oh, i nearly forgot... underground is not a novel. it's a series of interviews 
murakami did with people who witnessed the tokyo subway gas attack.

dvd: 30 rock season 4
this 3 disc set arrived at whitfield towers yesterday.
it should keep us going for a little while.

cd: nike / mo wax promotional disc
this cd was given away in a few select magazines back in 1997. i think i got it from gq.
it's an interesting listen, 7 tracks of music composed by the mo wax team...
it sounds very much like the sounds from the first unkle album.
over the top of the beeps, ambient music and loops, a group of nike sponsored 
athletes speak about the nike shoes they helped to design.
i hope it doesn't sound bad because trust me on this one, it's actually quite good
and very listenable. once again it does sound a bit like parts of unkle or dj shadow
albums... spoken words sometimes sampled and repeated, slowed down or speeded
up over really eerie background music.

i don't know how easily this cd can be found but if anybody is interested i
could burn them a copy of it... or is that illegal ?

so... that's what i'm listening to, reading and watching this week.

has anybody ever taken my advice and bought the dvd 'fish story' ?