Global domination

Last week I was asked if I was trying to dominate the world – my name had been spotted by one of my neighbours on a sale board in Buxton!


I have written an article for my professional magazine ‘Modus’ on the reach and power of social media – like the wee blog you are reading. And twitter.

You might remember I managed to get a picture published in the Daily Mirror after I had taken a picture in a toilet on a train. Although on face value this sounds incredibly sordid it wasn’t – as you can see.

Buxton is a good drive – but Tokyo is further. It seems that my picture has reached the other side of the world. I gave permission in the week for Nippon TV to use the image!

Ms. Suzuki (I kid you not) has asked for a Licence:

- Program Title: Sekai Banzuke
- Broadcaster: Nippon Television Network
- Territory: Japan Only
- Air date: June 27, 2014
- No. of transmission: One time

It’s a whole programme about … toilets.

So if you’re in Japan (only) on 27 June – watch Sekai Banzuke. You might just spot my picture. If you want to try a taste of the programme – click here.

Global domination indeed.

Nottingham in pictures…

Last night I was at Nottingham Trent University again (I seem to have been there more in the last few months than I was in the final year of my Degree!) – this was another exhibition.


As part of the 170th year celebration (which I blogged about before here) last night was a photography exhibition – by Martine Hamilton-Knight and the RIBA. The focus was on Sir Michael Hopkins work.

Marine has been photographing the architecture of this particular practice for the last 20 years. And there was a romp through the last two decades. The Inland Revenue, The University Jubilee Campus and latterly the Nottingham Trent University Newton / Arkwright extension all feature. There are some magical photographs and iconic views.

You probably know I have keen interest in photography – I aspire to this level though! Martine spoke at the event and mentioned the importance of light and good architecture on her work. Some of this architecture is fantastic – and looking at the body of work on show you realise that we do have some truly inspirational buildings in the City. They have been portrayed well.

There’s always that question you get asked- if you could do anything other than your current job what would you do? And I would always answer – I’d be a photographer. I have always been interested in the medium and I get to takes lots of pictures for my work. But thats not the level of art Martine and others achieve. That takes work – not just snapping!

It was an inspiring exhibition. I am inspired. I will get the camera out more.

Rankin to come to Nottingham

Sorry this is a shameless plug for a Nottingham off-beat campaign.


Rankin is one of the worlds top photographers. He’s ‘done’ quite a few folks – the Queen, Kate Moss etc.

We have an opportunity to get him to come to Nottingham to document the St Anns Allotments. We have stiff competition though – so as many votes as we can collectively muster would be great!

The brief: St Ann’s Allotments in Nottingham will turn allotment plot holders into subjects for Rankin, with the plots themselves forming the venue with the images displayed in the renovated Victorian glasshouse.

Voting closes on the 28th Jan – so please vote today. You can vote here.

Thanks for your help!

Jim’s camera club

Jim Taylor is part of the fabric of Nottingham – he was the Planning Officer at the City at a time when the place was booming -so you can deal with this two ways. If you hate the stuff built in his era, it’s his fault and if you love it, there must have been some really great architects around…


Jim is a harsh critic; he threw down the gauntlet to me a month or so ago and invited me with Margaret Tamplin, a skilled amateur photographer, to pit our collective skills in a sort of mini-club night at the Taylor towers.

It’s fair to say I was nervous. I take lots of pictures – thousands for work and a similar number for myself. But I don’t show them off really. Jim wanted me to. In the week running up to our evening – I hashed and re-hashed my modest selection – wondering about what I could include. I don’t really do people – just lots of buildings. I am also acutely aware of the worst eight words in the English language, “would you like to see my holiday photographs”…

60 were selected – from my travels – Shanghai, Venice, New York, LA, San Francisco and Nottingham. It did look like a collection of holiday pictures.

Margaret’s pictures were similarly spread around the globe – and it was clear I was with someone who took great care – tripods, cable-releases and the like.

I think I got away with it. It was interesting watching smiles, grimaces and hearing groans (from Jim). It actually inspired me to get out more and do some more pictures this spring and summer…

I hope you like the picture on todays blog – it was one the ‘panel’ liked best!

Time Lapse photography – some local talent

I come across lot’s of interesting people on my travels. But this week I had a call from Ashley Leung who had seen a picture he liked on my blog. He wanted to know where I had taken it! I luckily get to go on quite a few roofs around the city…

We got talking and it transpires that Ashley makes time lapse videos – and his showreel is below. I love this sort of thing – there are excerpts here of Nottingham’s station car park under construction, Hong Kong and Dubai. These are really interesting ways of showing how buildings are made …

Enjoy the video!

Mixing flying and photography?

In the last few months I have had reason to commission some photography – of sites I am selling. At one time it used to be necessary to pay for a photographer and a pilot – and then wait for the weather. But now photography can be done from a ‘pole’ – which is quite impressive.

I have an interest in photography and flying so this new ‘toy’ from Lehmann is right up my street. It’s not really a toy – it’s a real aeroplane built of carbon fibre and foam. It carries a Go_Pro video camera and can fly a pre-determined flight path for around 5 minutes. You don’t actually ‘fly’ it – you simply program it and set it free – it does the rest!

It will fly at around 300 ft – lower than a light aircraft can go safely! But higher than the pole system.

The blurb says, “Launch it, wait 5 minutes, enjoy your images”.

The downside? Well it’s about 1,000 euros. And then you need a Go-Pro camera.

But the results on their web-site are impressive!

As I have suggested before if Lehmann Aviation want me to play with one for them, I am fully available!

By Tim Garratt Posted in Business Tagged aerial photography, , Flying, Go-Pro, Lehmann Aviation, , pole, PPL

Ripped Off ?

I was reading great reviews of a new Lowepro Camera bag – which by all accounts has caused a sensation. I don’t really need another camera bag, but I was interested in the idea of a rucksack style bag – so I could spread the weight of my gear.

Getting hold of the Lowepro Photo Hatchback in the UK is not easy. But Jessops do stock them – here. At £119.99 though it’s not a cheap option.

So I headed off to my favourite shop in the whole world. B&H in New York. A proper boys shop where ou can spend a day and not get bored. And, guess what – the same bag is $89.95. Or in proper Queens money at todays rate £56.67. Lees than half the price of the UK stock.

In fairness B&H are usually cheaper than anyone else – for the sheer amount of stock they carry, but this is a sign of how we get ripped off in the UK. At £56 the bag is a bargain, at £120, it’s a rip-off.

Needless to say, I’m not buying one here…

But next time I venture to New York, I might be tempted!

Photography as art?

Yesterday I blogged about Thomas Demand and his current exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary. His work is essentially photographs of elements of models made by the Architect John Lautner.

Sometimes I do question whether some of the work on show at the Gallery is really ‘art’ and I think the current exhibition does challenge. Like most of the work at the Contemporary it does help if someone explains it to you!

Demand mentioned a photographer who I had forgotten about – Julius Shulman. Shulman was famous in the 1960′s and 70′s for taking architectural photographs which represented a place in time. Mostly around Los Angeles these were images made of new homes of the day. One of the images shown here is a famous piece of work entitled Case Study House No. 22, Los Angeles, CA. 1960, The Architect was Pierre Koenig.It is reckoned that this is one of the best images taken in that era – really telling the story of LA at its height of opulence.

He was one of the first photographers to use people as props! And one of the first to show ‘lifestyle’ in his images.

It does look a stunning home!

Sometimes perhaps a photograph can be art…

Where will the sun be?

One of the things I have to do a lot is photograph buildings. I enjoy it really (I don’t do people too well).

At any time of year trying to photograph into the sun may be a photographers style (correctly known as contra jour) but it makes life miserable when you are trying to balance a white out sky and a shadowy building. This week I needed to photograph a building – which is some way out of town. I need the detail not the sky!

I wondered when would be best to go – bearing in mind I’m not good at mornings! I came across an amazing website which does all the difficult calculations for you. It’s called SunCalc – and you plug in your address. You can see on a map where the sun rises and falls – at all times of the day. Even better it lets you pick a date too – so you can check for tomorrow (or anytime in fact).

Sometimes you come across tools on the internet that are so brilliantly simple but effective. This is one and is now firmly stuck to my web site favourites bar.

The only thing it doesn’t do is tell me whether it’s going to be sunny…

Photography and the law

You might remember that back in September I blogged about an incident my son had endured when he was questioned by a Policeman for taking photographs in a public place. You can read about it here. As far as I can tell his ‘terrorist’ activities have stayed pretty much under the radar since that time.

Filming you filming us...

Last week the Home Office and BSIA, the body for personnel guarding, crowd management, close protection and all other security staff issued some guidelines about, “Photography and Hostile Reconnaissance”. Sounds ominous!

But this is actually quite helpful and if you are like me then looking through this guide is quite helpful. It says, amongst other things, “If an individual is in a public place photographing or filming a private building, security guards have no right to prevent the individual from taking photographs.” and, “Security guards cannot delete images or seize cameras, nor can they obstruct individuals from taking photographs.” You can read the guidelines here.

We seem to have arrived at a place in society where we are so ultra-cautious about everyday things that the taking of a photograph can be attributed to ‘hostile reconnaissance’!

I take lots of photographs to help me with my work and I occasionally come across security guards who tell me about my (lack of) rights. I hope that this new guidance has been widely circulated by their governing body. But more importantly perhaps the Police need to read it too, after my son’s experiences earlier in the year?

So just to recap..“It is not an offence for a member of the public or journalist to take photographs/film of a public building. They do not need a permit to photograph or film in a public place…”