My Work

Eleanor No. 2

Following on from the images I posted a few weeks ago of Eleanor, taken at the Miss Aniela Fashion Shoot Experience, here are another two showing Eleanor on the bed.

Eleanor on the Bed No. 2

Eleanor on the Bed No. 2 (click image for larger view)

Credits (as before)

Photography Jon Milet Baker
Dress Reem Juan
Model Eleanor Cooper
Stylist Pash Stylecreative
Hair Tati Zarubova
Make up Cornelia Page
Assistants Aimee Wollard, Matt Leonard

You can find more information on Miss Aniela’s Fashion Shoot Experience here

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Three new maps added to oldmapsofnewyork.com

When I launched Old Maps of New York a few months ago it only had a handful of maps, today I have uploaded 3 more maps onto the site which you can pan and zoom into as you would with Google Maps. The three newly added maps are shown below.

New York 1756

The 1756 Tobias Conrad Lotter’s map of the Middle Atlantic and New England regions during the British colonial period

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New York 1831

A pocket map of New York City issued in 1831 by J. Langdon. It has a Westward orientation and covers New York from Forty Fifth street south to the Battery. The map is divided and color coded according to the 14 wards. All streets are marked, as are the piers, slips, parks, and important public buildings including Bellevue Hospital, the West Battery Castle, City Hall, the House of Refuge, the Alms House, and the Penitentiary. The following Parks:  City Hall Park, Washington Square Park, the Battery, and the Parade (today’s Madison Square Park) are all included.

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New York 1835

This is c. 1835 edition of David H. Burr and Edward Walker’s pocket map of the City of New York. It covers New York City south of 26th street to the west and south of 40th street to the east. Churches, theaters, ferries, government buildings, museums, and other public centers are shown in detail. Columbia College is indicated on Murray Street and Fulton Fish Market, St. Marks Church in the East Village and the nation’s first hospital at Bellevue are also included. The map includes parts of Brooklyn and Williamsburg, separate cities at that time.

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You can view all the maps at www.oldmapsofnewyork.com
You can also view the Paris version at www.oldmapsofparis.com 

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Eleanor No. 1

I recently attended the Fashion Shoot Experience run by Miss Aniela which I highly recommend. The event is run every month or so around the globe and provides attendees with a unique opportunity to experience photographing a location fashion shoot and working with a large creative team. Rather than being instructional, your are provided with all the ingredients and tools for success and then left to your own devices to experiment and have fun.

The day is split into 5 slots, each slot allowing an hour with each model, in a different area of the location. All the models are styled with their outfit, hair and makeup professionally done. The creative team are available throughout the day to adjust and ensure the models and outfits look their best. In addition to this, help is on hand to help hold things, create small sets and to help technically with setting up the lights to achieve your artistic vision.

The locations that Miss Aniela uses are excellent, providing lots of props that allow you to quickly put together small sets. You are allocated a different area in the location, as well as different lighting equipment, for each model you work with; giving variety and a broad range of tools to try that you may not normally have access to.

The images here are from my first shoot of the day with Eleanor

Eleanor

Eleanor

Eleanor and the Bull

Eleanor and the Bull

Credits

Photography Jon Milet Baker
Dress Reem Juan
Model Eleanor Cooper
Stylist Pash Stylecreative
Hair Tati Zarubova
Make up Cornelia Page
Assistants Aimee Wollard, Matt Leonard

You can find more information on Miss Aniela’s Fashion Shoot Experience here

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A Suitcase Full of Legs

I created this image in dedication to Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) the French fashion photographer whose fashion photography broke the mould with it’s surreal narrative.

During his career he created many collections of themes in his images but a reoccurring theme was women’s legs, which came about initially from his work with French shoe designer Charles Jourdan. If you are unfamiliar with his work it is well worth checking out.

Alltop

On a separate note. I am delighted to announce that Alltop, a great service co-founded by Guy Kawasaki, have selected to include my blog content on their site. They have a high standard to meet before you can be included so this is a great honour for me. You can find me in the Photography category.

 

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The Involuntary Pursuit of Clarity

The confusion of the maze, the involuntary actions of the robot and the conclusion of the poppy.

There are three motifs in this image which I will briefly explain below. Together they explore the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious.

  • The key idea comes from a recent Horizon I watched on BBC2 on the 16th March, titled “Out of Control?” in which scientists put forward the notion that our sub conscious is really in control of us, not our conscious. This got me thinking about our similarity to robots. Our autopilot is on but we are lead to believe that we are in the driving seat.
  • Labyrinths and mazes traditionally symbolise confusion and in finding one’s way through the maze, knowledge is gained. It is interesting, in a way, if we were to look at the physical characteristics of a brain that it indeed looks like a box hedge maze, like the one above.
  • The ancient Greeks associated poppies with sleep and dreaming and more recently we associate them with death and loss. In either case they can be interpreted as unconsciousness. There is hope, however, as the dead seed head is filled with the potential of new life.
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Introducing Old Maps of New York

Last year I started a side project at Go Tripod and brought you Old Maps of Paris, today we am pleased to announce the launch of Old Maps of New York.

There are only a few maps on there at the moment, starting with the earliest known map, of the east cost of America dating from around 1635.

The map embedded below was created around 1660 and known as the Castello Plan of New Amsterdam. It is the oldest known map of New York City dating from the dutch period.

I am currently adding them chronologically. The site operates in exactly the same way as Old Maps of Paris, with the ability to easily pan and zoom around the map using Google’s excellent Google Map user interface. You can also download the original map and even embed the map in your blog.

I’ll be regularly adding maps so please keep an eye on the site if you have a passion for old maps like I do.


View Larger Map

You can view the maps at: http://www.oldmapsofnewyork.com 
You can read more about the project here.

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Bear rowing

I was on the Fal last year and I saw a bear row past…

In 1896, Richard Kyle Fox editor and publisher of the National Police Gazette set a challenge. A prize of $10,000 would be awarded to the first crew to successfully row across the atlantic from New York to Europe. Two Norwegian-born American friends, Frank Samuelsen and George Harbo,  collected together their life savings and took up the challenge. With an 18ft clinker-built row boat, the only modification being rails to help right the boat should she capsize, the two friends set off from New York on 6th June. They rowed, and rowed and the rails saved their lives on at least one occasion. They finally reached Bishop Rock setting the record for rowing the Atlantic at 55 days.

Although Richard Kyle Fox came to Paris to bask in the glory he never made good on his promise of the reward money.

On their return journey to New York, their steamer ran into trouble and the Captain ordered all wooden objects be used to stoke the fire. Frank and George would have none of this and launched their row boat off the side and rowed the remainder of the journey back to New York.

In their lifetime they never received any fame or fortune, their only recognition was a gold medal each and 10 Krona from Swedish king Oscar II.

Although their record was finally broken in 2010 by the four man crew of Artemis Investments, Frank and George still hold the record for two people rowing across the atlantic.

This picture is dedicated to all unsung heroes that keep doing what they do.

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Behind the Orchids: Making of a heist and three tips to successful compositing

The Heist was the first image in a recent series I did that explores the darker side of orchids. I based the project around three concepts, each concept exploring a criminal activity that orchids might get up to when our backs are turned. Without dispelling too much magic, I wanted to run through how one of the images was created.

From the start I didn’t want to use any stock images in my work. Stock images are expensive and their licence terms could make it tricky, if I wanted to self-publish a book or sell prints at a later date. Half the fun is being resourceful and working within the constraints you may have.

I could have had the orchid pulling out a diamond necklace from the drawer but I don’t have access to a diamond necklace. I know I could have got some costume jewellery, and I am sure my wife would have been delighted to receive a real one. However, the image is better for not being so obvious. A key leaves what the orchid is stealing open to the imagination.

As you can see below, there were not that many source images used in the heist. Other than the two keys (did you spot the clockwork key? – a little reference to… well I’m not going to give everything away) I needed to source longer aerial roots for the image, some that I could manipulate using Photoshop’s warping tools. The background was just too flat, so a texture of some panelling did the trick.

The Heist's Components

 

Tips

The key things to pulling off a good composite are clean selections and masking, consistent perspective and light.

  • Although a lot of people don’t like the quick selection brush, I find it really good, quick, and gives the right amount of softness on edges. Though using the right method for the image you are masking, is key.
  • Perspective needs to be consistent for all the source images in the composite. Thankfully the brain is fairly forgiving here. For example, in the image above, the key was shot straight on but in the final image the viewer is looking slight down towards the key. We can use some of Photoshop’s transformation tools to correct the perspective.
  • Light consistency is probably the trickiest thing to get right, not only do you need to create source images with a consistent light source (you can sometimes fake it), you also have to recreate shadows that would be cast by the things you are adding. The best way is to hand paint them (I highly recommend a Tablet for this Wacom make excellent ones). This takes practice. Removing shadows is even harder…

You can see all the images from the series here: The Darker Side of Orchids

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Old Maps of Paris Gets Even Better

I launched my personal project oldmapsofparis.com a few months ago and it has been a huge success both technically and from the feedback of visitors to the site. When I launched the site I just wanted to get the maps up and online and at the time I didn’t create a home page. If you navigated to the site you went straight to the first map.

Today I have relaunched the site making it easier to navigate, as all the maps are now indexed on the homepage. In addition I thought I would make use of the Skeleton CSS framework again to make it a little more mobile friendly, now the site should resize and allow you to navigate the maps on your smart phone.

The biggest change is under the bonnet. Previously to add a new map, I would need to run a script locally to create the map tiles and then uploading all the tiles via ftp (100s of MB in some cases) and then set up the references to the files manually in the database. All that has now changed. I can upload the single processed file and the site now automatically processes all the tiles and sets up the references. What was previously a chore has become a pleasure, so expect more maps soon… oh and not just of Paris 😉

You can read more about the project, on my projects page.

Please check out: www.oldmapsofparis.com 

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The Darker Side of Orchids: The Homicide

As he warms himself by the fire, he catches a glance of his assailant’s reflection in the warm glass of the stove. Too late for him. The fire burns as the roots tighten around his neck. The orchids can now chase their prize and indulge in vice.

View the first and final images in the series.

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