Brook Road

I had the opportunity to photograph an electrician at work for a website I was developing. The shoot was the first of a couple we did of a Victorian side-return extension in St Margarets.

I learnt that trained electricians move fast. This one can trim and strip three wires in about five seconds flat. I had my tripod, flash and reflector with me, but I soon decided to shoot handheld with available light, which was the only way to keep up.

The scene was lit by a series of Velux windows and a builder’s lamp, which had very different color temperatures. As Carter moved about the lighting would often change dramatically. As a result a lot of the exposures were guesswork.

I pretty much always shoot manual, with manual exposure settings and manual focus. Partly this is a matter of habit and partly it’s good practice because it means I know what compromises are being made. It’s also pretty much essential to use manual focus in situations like this where the depth-of-field is shallow and the ‘right’ focal point usually isn’t the closest object.

The flipside of shooting manual is that sometimes I get it completely wrong where the camera would have muddled through okay in auto mode. Fortunately Capture One, which I used to post-process the shots, does a great job of salvaging shots with dodgy exposure or color-casts.

Nightingale Road

I shot these photos of the ongoing renovation of a Victorian flat in Nightingale Road, Balham, as content for a website I’m building for an electrician friend.

We arrived at the flat quite late on a winter’s day, and the light was fading fast. I took a few close-up shots of wiring and socket boxes using flash bounced off a hand-held reflector, then used the tripod to take some high-ISO long exposures of the bare rooms.

You can check out some more of the shots here.

South Africa

Although I’ve lived in London for over 15 years now, I’m a South African by birth and by heart. Ania and I travel to SA as often as we can: usually only once every few years in practice because the flights are expensive enough that economically it makes sense to make longer trips less often. I always take photos when I’m there — or, lately, video — and these are a few of the pictures I’ve shot over the years.