Welcome to the Moorcock

In my early twenties I used to regularly pass a place called the Moorcock Inn. It was on a quiet road between Waddington and Newton in the Ribble Valley, perfect for a summer evening drive out with friends in my freshly waxed car.

I haven’t been that way in some time, but in July this year I fell upon the place again, and was dismayed to find it in ruins. What a sad ending for this once lovely inn, which used to be a very popular venue in the Ribble Valley despite its slightly remote location.

As my pictures show, the Moorcock isn’t going to be serving food any time soon. Memories are all that’s left, fading fast among the piles of broken glass and detritus.

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Artists in Liverpool

I spent the afternoon in Liverpool yesterday, photographing artists in their studios. It was great fun, and the people I met were so friendly and patient while I fussed around them. The spaces themselves were amazing too – so vibrant, and just buzzing with creativity.

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I’ve got lots of pictures to go through to pull an edit together, but I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing so far. I’ll be going to back to photograph some more artists next week.

There’s no doubt about it – Liverpool’s Boss!

Artists in Liverpool

The joy of printing

I’ve spent the last couple of days producing prints for a portfolio update after pulling together edits for a couple of projects I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve never really produced my own portfolio prints, preferring instead to use a lab. However, I have just invested in a good A3 printer, and have been hankering to have a go at my own.

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My portfolio book used to have archival polyester sleeves into which I just inserted an 11×14 print from the lab. Dead easy. For this update it hasn’t been quite as simple, as I wanted to go down the double-sided ‘prints straight in’ route, and unfortunately I couldn’t find any 11×14 double-sided paper on this side of the Atlantic!

So, I’ve had to buy double-sided A3 paper, print on both sides, cut it down to size using a rotary trimmer, crease the edge so the pages turn easily, and punch the holes individually to fit the proprietary screwpost binding mechanism.

It’s been time-consuming, but I’m delighted with the results. I can see fine details on the prints that I couldn’t see on the screen, and I’m convinced these prints are better quality than I would have got from a lab.

Very happy photographer!

The joy of printing

The game with the hole

I had a great afternoon documenting an afternoon’s polo for Cheshire Polo Club last week. This is one of my favourite shots of the day – a portrait of the lovely Caddi after she had just finished a chukka.

Caddi at Cheshire Polo Club.

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While I was a bit concerned about the weather, in the end it turned out to be a great afternoon and I only had my brolly up for fifteen minutes in total. I was very pleased to come away with some interesting pictures for my equestrian portfolio, and the club have a choice of plenty of pictures to use in their annual club programme.

You can see the full documentary story here.

I’ll be returning again before the end of the season.

The game with the hole

Liverpool’s Boss!

Liverpool has changed massively since I used to work here as a computer programmer back in the mid-1990s. I remember certain areas being no-go zones, not particularly because of crime or violence (this was long after the days of the Toxteth riots), but simply because large parts of the city comprised of nothing but derelict warehouses.

Nowadays, the city is still undergoing the massive transformation that seemed to spark off almost a decade ago when Liverpool was awarded the accolade of European Capital of Culture in 2008.

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Parts of the city are now unrecognisable from how they were just ten years ago, and even from the Albert Dock, as seen above, giant overhead cranes swing out over the city almost everywhere you look.

Myself and other photographers really feel the buzz of this transformation, and whenever I’m in town I am rarely without my camera, documenting the various aspects of the change.

Liverpool’s Boss!

Southport Rock

I live near Southport, a Victorian seaside town in Northwest England that is somewhat faded from how it was in its heyday. In fact, over the twenty years or so that I’ve lived in the area I have witnessed the steady decline of parts of the resort, in particular the Lord Street shopping area which now seems to have as many empty shops as occupied ones.

Southport looks particularly grim when out of season, as this photo of mine shows:

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Obviously things will perk up before the tourists arrive, but I love photographing these parts of the town in Winter and early Spring when they are quiet. This shot is from a documentary project about the seaside that I’m working on at the moment.

Southport Rock

Southport Festival of Speed

It’s the Southport Festival of Speed at the moment, and among other things going on the original Sunbeam Tiger driven by Sir Henry Segrave, is on display at The Atkinson in Southport.

On the promenade at Kings Gardens yesterday there was a classic car show culminating in a procession along Lord Street. I managed to get some interesting pictures while documenting the event, including this one of a beautiful red Ferrari that really pops.

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Of course my eyes were interested in the drivers and people attending the event, as well as the cars themselves.

Southport Festival of Speed