About Me

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Photographer based in South Wales, UK. Working mainly on a single beach - Poppit Sands.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Keith Carter Quote

I found a great quote about Keith Carter fron Bill Wittliff - I hope that he doesn't mind me repeating it here -

'That is his bent: to keep moving, to keep working, to keep challenging himself to go ever deeper, to keep risking the horror of losing his way because there’s no map or chart beyond his own instinct to guide him – and there are never, ever, any promises at the end. Believe me, you’ve gotta have a lot of ass in your britches to live with these kinds of uncertainties on a daily basis.'

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Balancing sharp and soft

I now have a definate choice to make when I start work each day - to dive into the sharper intense images like Poppit or London - or work through the softer more subtle images from Windows into Winter for example. I know pretty soon if I have made the right choice as it either flows or it doesn't. I still find it interesting that you can look at an image all day and not see its possibilities - then the next day you get it right away and it is done. Take the image below for example. It took me a long time before I saw what it could be.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Latest London Work

The London work is moving along with a number of new trips planned soon. The place is so full of exciting and monolithic buildings it is sometimes hard to stop and think straight when you are there.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Return to Simpler Things

After a long period of thinking in a certain way I have found it interesting to almost 'wipe' my mind clear and begin afresh with something as simple as it gets - with not even a viewfinder fitted - to see if the most simple of images can create emotion or reaction - and if it can then is it worth studying further - or is the secret in the fact that it wasn't studied and measured and tested beforehand?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

More London work

I am still working on my London shoots. There is such a mass of information collected from my London visits that it is taking a while to make the cream rise to the top, so to speak. This way of working is so different to Poppit - where weekly visits of 12 shots each was the norm - but I can still feel the rush of excitement as I stood in front of these buildings, the same way as I used to feel while shooting the sands at Poppit.
Which is a good sign.

The London work so far can be seen at http://www.mgjackson.co.uk/gallery_420688.html

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Equipment - important?

After an exhausting few weeks working on the London images I have been relaxing with a small point and shoot camera. I find that the different camera produces a different approach - which got me thinking about how often I hear that the equipment is not important - it is the photographer that takes the photograph.

I am starting to think that this is not true, and maybe just a cliche that people like to throw into the conversation. From my experience the equipment has a profound effect on the work. I feel that the equipment I use is essential in shaping my approach and therefore the final image - from its size, shape and features to its limitations and overall design. I know for a fact that the way the old Hasselblad 500CM felt in my hands effected the way I photographed at Poppit. If I had used a different camera the shots would have been different.

So, for me anyway, I think that the equipment that I use is essential for making a photograph look a certain way.

Monday, 9 May 2011

London work

The latest trip to London is keeping me busy and will do for some weeks to come yet.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Latest Work

More work from Cardiff. London work to come soon...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More 'Shadows of Day' work

Work is progressing with the architectural photography, so the gulls and Poppit are having a break from me for a while. I'll be back to them when the marketing rush is over. Meanwhile, London is calling and I am building my ideas on how to portray the architecture there.

Friday, 15 April 2011

New Gallery representation

I am very pleased to announce that Wales' premier contemporary gallery 'Off The Wall' in Cardiff is now representing my 'Shadows of Day' work.

The Old Probate Registry

49 Cardiff Rd, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2DQ

029 2055 4469

Saturday, 9 April 2011

More Shadows of Day work

I am pushing further with 'Shadows of Day', making a number of visits to cities. This work is at an important stage to me at the moment. I remember getting to this point with Poppit Sands - where a lot of the hard work had been done - all of the searching for techniques and matching what I had in my head with what I had on camera. There came a point where because I knew the technique needed, and I had made it into a simple procedure, I could visualise what the final image would look like and had no need to fiddle or guess at camera settings etc. I am not there just yet with this project but I can feel it coming soon.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Shadows of Day

I have been building up a collection of work based around my many visits to Cardiff and my interest in the skyscrapers there. I have found that most of my time is spent either on the beach or in a rural area, and when I visit a city my mind wanders with wonder at all of these buildings. To me they are remarkable - but to the people that see them every day they seem invisible.

Full collection on http://www.mgjackson.co.uk/

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Not so pretty gulls

After watching these birds for a while they stop all looking the same - and there are some beautiful ones out there- looking as though they have been cast in bronze as the sun shines on them - and then there are some that are not quite so beautiful. They look to me like Victorian villans.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Good weather for the gulls

I am now in my third month recording the gulls at Ceibwr. It has been an interesting project so far with many changes of equipment and little additions found on ebay for next to nothing. Each time I visit the gulls I change my technique/equipment just a little to take me towards what I have in my mind. Once I get there I can settle down and start work on the real job of understanding these birds and forgetting about how to record them. I am lucky that I have time on my hands to do this - if it takes years then it takes years.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

If I could paint...

If I could paint I would want to paint like Chelsea Bently James.

This is amazing stuff. For some reason it really makes me want to get out there with the camera - much more so than seeing other photographers' work. I can almost see some Poppit abstracts in it - and the fact that it seems to be taken from far above. Check out her blog - http://chelseabjames.blogspot.com/

Monday, 21 March 2011

Business as usual

Business as usual at the moment. I have been making a number of trips to see the gulls at Ceibwr as well as travelling to Cardiff to work on ideas for a future project that is taking shape. And as usual I have been scanning ebay for any odds and sods that I can use.

I am also working on a new book and a number of exhibition proposals - all should be ready for later this year.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


I was very pleased to be featured on 'Lenscratch' yesterday. What an excellent blog it is. Run by Aline Smithson it is considered one of the top ten photography related blogs. Many exciting photographers featured. http://lenscratch.blogspot.com/

I have been back to Cardiff for more work - and I am off to Ceibwr today to see how the gulls are getting on. One minute I am walking amongst tower blocks - the next I am laying in grass on the Pembrokeshire coast peeking at gulls - the next I am striding through sand on a freezing Poppit beach at sunset. Three sister projects - all so different and they all need attention. Sometimes it is tricky to bounce ones mind from one to the other.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Singular Structures

The weather is no good for the gulls at Ceibwr at the moment - so I am adding some more work online to the Singular Structures series.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The big question...

....How to portray these birds so that they match what I have in my mind? They are gentle yet hard - commonplace yet strange. Overall they are just plain unusual.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Thank you for the messages

I have had a wonderful response to my new gull photos. It is quite a lurch when you move from one type of photography to another and positive comments and emails help immensely as I feel in the dark for something solid to hold onto and use.

After 4 years at Poppit I knew what to do inside out and was very comfortable with it. However, I find that comfort often stops one from growing. Now I am following a totally different subject, with different equipment and ideas. For me the subject should make the photos. The subject should show me the best way to photograph it. With the gulls I am having to abandon pin-sharp photos at sunset and move towards a softer, more telling approach in full midday sun. This is what I have in my mind's eye.

So, thank you all for the many emails - and to answer some of them - no, I have not finished at Poppit yet - yes, I am using 35mm film cameras (Ilford HP5 for those that asked) and yes, I'll be following the gulls for as long as it takes.
All the best

Friday, 4 March 2011

The joys of 35mm film and old cameras...

These old cameras cost almost nothing on ebay. I have a Canon Av-1 and a Canon FX - and they are taking all my gull shots.

Work is going well at Ceibwr - new discoveries every day.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Laying in the mud

To get close enough to these chaps I have to lay in a muddy path. The weather is freezing and I get little bugs crawling into my hair.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

More Gull work

The past few weeks have been an interesting learning experience. I am following the same basic procedure as I did at Poppit when I started there - relying on what I have in my mind's eye - then changing equipment and techniques to get that image in front of me. Once I have cracked exactly the techniques needed I will be free to look inwards to get to the nitty gritty of portraying these birds.

Friday, 11 February 2011

More Gulls

I am now following the gulls on a day to day basis (when the weather allows). It is such a different discipline to Poppit - different equipment and film etc - but I have an image of what I want planted solidly in my mind and I know that the gulls can give it to me. It is just a matter of me learning how to do it.

Diving into this artistic process is both exciting and nerve-wreaking. I'll update the blog when I surface again.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The Gulls of Ceibwr

I have been keeping an eye on the Gulls at Ceibwr for over a year now. Ceibwr is close to Poppit Sands and I have been visiting there just to see what the gulls are up to. They seem to watch me too. I started to take a camera with me and now I have been drawn into their world.