Word from the street
January started off nicely and I have been reasonably busy. Michael’s retouching skills are a wonderful help in realizing many commissioned shots. His CGI work still amazes me.
The boxing project continues as does the Urbex but I’ve found another interesting subject to keep me busy. The Homeless.
Back in early November I stumbled upon one of the most interesting characters I have ever met. Whilst driving back from a meeting in Publicis on the quays, I noticed a tramp lying under a bridge feeding pigeons from the comfort of his sleeping bag. I pulled the car over and grabbed my camera to shoot the scene. I was so intrigued by the photos that I returned the following day to introduce myself and learn more about the guy. I walked up and said “Hello”, he replied “Excellent, thankyou” in an extremely well spoken upper-class accent. I was hooked. His name was Martin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xd2w62aclM
Since that day I’ve been visiting Martin a few times a week to bring him some breakfast and just chat. Christmas dinner was an education http://vimeo.com/82682130 His life story is mysterious yet very intriguing. Despite us now having a very good relationship he’s still very vague with his early history. He is extremely intelligent and even agreed to make this little video with me to highlight homelessness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWX7g-VFFi8 I have introduced Martin to photography and have given him a number of throwaway cameras to record his day. He truly enjoys his results.
Since then I have interviewed and shot many other homeless individuals. Documenting the lives and stories of these people is photographically interesting and the by-product of raising awareness very rewarding. I have also shot them on video which is something I will look at producing when I’m happy I’ve got enough interesting footage.
Just before Christmas I made my annual pilgrimage to Dubai. Commercially it was fruitless but I shall return. However, I took the opportunity to take some portraits of the workmen who build Dubai. These guys work for buttons and live in work camps. It’s a side of Dubai that few speak about. I was tempted to visit the workers at their camps but was advised not to (particularly as a photographer) as they are now guarded. So, I spent a couple of days going out and meeting them on the streets at work http://vimeo.com/82143242
I’ve now started boxing to keep myself in some sort of shape. It also helps me understand the culture. More recently I shot a short video for a friend who is trying to fulfil her dream by becoming an Irish senior champion http://vimeo.com/86037723