Header Shot – The Last Count – shot taken by Liz Drake at the General Election Count 8 May. References da Vinci’s The Last Supper.


BBC News: Week in Pictures, references photographer Pascal Le Segretain’s use of digital filter

Here’s the accompanying text to this shot published on BBC News web site:

Actress Charlize Theron arrived for the premiere of her latest film Mad Max: Fury Road with partner Sean Penn at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival. The photographer Pascal Le Segretain added a digital filter to the picture.
Actor Sean Penn and Actress Charlize Theron attend the premiere of Mad Max: Fury Road during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival

It is interesting to note the reference to the use of a digital filter. Is this a move to acknowledge and not deny the use of filters and digital manipulation by professional photographers and agencies such as Getty?

If photographs could speak, what would they say? Thematic thought development.

I remain totally fascinated by the concept of truth in photography. Ritchin’s exploration of the concept and actuality of truth in photography is, I think, brilliantly assessed and well reflected on and I completely agree with the statement that the era of the photograph as automatically credible is over and that “photographs have been employed rhetorically build a case and to persuade” and as a photographer who established her own photography business to capture a reality of events and portraiture, I remain optimistic that I, with a definitive work ethic of no use of photoshop, minimal cropping and minimal interference in a shot’s composition, that I can continue to photograph events and capture the ‘reality’ that the client wants. As my MA draws to an end, I now have come to understand that the world I live in, is, for the most part, built on foundations of trust, love and respect but also mitigated PR, pleasantries and vague acknowledgement of human need for companionship and friendship, and the compromises this requires in daily lives.

Whilst contemplating how I understand the concept of truth in photography to be represented, I was reminded of a series of second world war posters my Dad has in his house – ‘Walls have ears’.



I then began to think in terms of if photographs could speak, what would they say? Whilst photographs are 2d objects fixed in time and space, they are visual testament to a moment in time, whether this moment is staged or unstaged. The photograph itself could give testimony as to how, why and when it was taken, and if it’s been manipulated, offer an explanation to its framing and composition and reveal the working methodology behind the photographer. Maybe if photographs could speak, photography’s reputation of a medium for truth would be returned. However, in speaking, a photograph itself may an its own agenda and therefore may not be trusted.

VR (Visual Reality) Technology comes to your kitchen.


An incredible Virtual Reality experience via Google Cardboard. Unbelievable to experience 360 degree movement and visual experience in my brother’s kitchen! This takes the visual representation of the world to another new level beyond still photography, beyond 2D film and out into the Virtual World. Leads into questions of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the role and the rise of AI has and will play in shaping our understanding and interpretation of the world.

Foundation Project Idea No.3 – Visual Sensory Overload. Goldberge’s influence!

Let’s be frank. I’ve had a terrible, terrible last 18 months. With my beloved Mum dying of undiagnosed lung cancer and two other members of my immediate family having been diagnosed with other forms of cancer, I have been to some very dark places. With counselling and the support of good friends, I’m coming through this, however there was a couple of weeks in March / April 2015 where I didn’t think I could cope with the such potential losses. When a friend complained to me that I’d let them down over something that was important to them, I wanted to create a piece of work that was so overwhelming with emotion, grief, confusion; a riot of sound and noise and darkness that the viewer would want to turn the switch off, as that’s what I’ve wanted to do at times.

My project however only evolved as far as me choosing the soundtrack – and knowing that I wanted to hire the cinema in the Hub for the viewing so as to completely overwhelm the viewer. Taking reference from Goldberg’s sensory mash-up, that’s what I wanted to do.

The soundtrack would have been played AT THE HIGHEST VOLUME POSSIBLE without causing deafness!

Visuals would have been a mash up of words/ flash backs/thoughts/ photos played at 100 miles an hour.

But I concluded I wanted my life to be about the positives, not the negatives, so I disbanded this project idea.

I still think it has relevance however as it is an exploration of the disguised world of grief and worry, that I (and many many millions of others) are living through each day.

Here’s the soundtrack I chose: Witchy Britches by RW Smith – You Tube Audio Library

Front Page News! An Election Campaign special!

I was unexpectedly, and with two hours notice, invited to photograph a recent pre-election campaign Ministerial visit to Leamington Spa by the Conservative party.

In every shoot I find that there is one key image which stands out as being the ‘money’ shot. For the Home Secretary’s visit, this was no different, with the following image being one of my favourite ever. It is such an intimate portrait of a Home Secretary who is often perceived as indomitable. In this portrait, the Home Secretary is chatting to a 6 year old girl called May, a 6 year old girl with diabetes. Theresa May and the little girl who both have diabetes, are chatting about how many injections they take a day.

T May 23 April 201520150423_0045

Home Secretary Theresa May, chatting with May, a 6 year old pupil from Leamington, about the number of diabetes injections they require each day. You can view this cynically; or view it as a moment of beautiful gentleness.

Following the visit, it became clear that another stand out shot was taken of the Home Secretary and school children when she was having a tour of the school. I wanted to achieve a different perspective on the visit and decided I would go and sit amongst the school children to view the visit from the same vantage point as the children. I sat crossed legged on the floor amongst the children and took this shot when everything was in place – waiting for the ‘decisive moment’ as Bresson called it. Here’s how it was used by the Conservative party for their election campaign.


Front page wrap around cover.