It’s all in the detail

Screenshot of the options on Google Chrome for clearing your browsing history. I just like it, it made me smile, and you have to respect the attention Google clearly puts into every little detail.


Rajasthan, India

I’ve eventually got round to uploading a selection of the pictures I took during my 2 weeks in Rajasthan, India. You can check them out here


Positive Thinking

I make no secret of the fact I’m an optimist. I always choose to look upon things with a hopeful view and believe that the best possible outcome is in easy reach. True, sometimes this can be no more than wishful thinking, but that’s just the way my mind works.

Last night I noticed, through the snowflakes, my weekly reminder that the bin men are due: the wheelie bins of my organised neighbours all lined up neatly on the street. With nearly a foot of snow on the ground and no sign of the blizzard slowing, I thought it was optimistic to think the council would even attempt to do their rounds the next morning. I loved the idea, however, that despite that, all the dustbins in my street were waiting in hope. I liked the thought so much, in fact, that I went out and immortalised the scene on camera. And so has begun my new photographic adventure…

I’ve decided to capture, whenever I see them, moments of optimism. I don’t yet know what I’m going to do with all the photographs I collect, nor how long I plan to do this for; I just like the idea that these images will document hopeful moments, leaving their eventual outcome open to interpretation depending on your inclination. In most cases I probably won’t find out whether the subject’s faith was misplaced or rewarded. But as an optimist, you can rely on the fact I’ll always assume there was a happy ending.

I’ll keep you posted on the pictures I capture.


Muddy shoes

In my room I have a pair of old shoes from when I was a child, still muddy from the last time I wore them. I can’t remember what I was doing to get them so filthy but it’s nice to try to imagine; they offer a physical reminder of the child I once was, and most people would say, still am.

The reason I’m writing this is because I believe in the inspiration we can get from children, and also because one of my highlights from last week was seeing a kid walking out of McDonalds with his Happy Meal box over his head, completely covering his face. No reason why, I assume he just wanted to. And yes, I have checked, and McDonalds aren’t cutting back on toys during the recession.

I love the energy young people have for life and the way they approach the unknown inquisitively, tackling a challenge without the fear they may be wrong in their conclusion, allowing their imagination guide them to what they feel and believe to be a successful outcome. An interesting talk for TED from Ken Robinson is well worth a watch although a few years old now some of the points made by Ken are still as relevant today.

I’m not the first to say it, but we should take a lesson from our younger generation: aim to enjoy life and don’t fear being wrong. If we were always right all the time the world would be a very boring place. In the words of Pablo Picasso:”Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” And on that note, I’m off to get another pair of shoes muddy.


A view of Iceland

I’ve just returned from a 10 day road trip around Iceland, the land of volcanoes, hot springs, glaciers and, if the locals are to be believed, Elves. Expect a more detailed post as soon as I get my head around everything I was fortunate enough to see and experience but until then I’ve uploaded a selection of my pictures for you to enjoy.

See here.


The sound of success

It’s always a good feeling when your hard work pays off, and on that note congratulations to Bombardier and everyone behind the winning pitch to build the TWINDEXX trains in Switzerland. Working alongside the designer David Gordon and the teams at Mediasphere and Boxframe I composed and recorded the music on the animated film used in the €1.3 billion winning bid.


Beneath Berlin

On a recent trip to Berlin I expected to be inspired, I didn’t expect one of the sources for this to be the U8 line of the U-Bahn. More specifically, the stations that punctuate the route connecting the underground tunnel to the vibrant city above. My interest, whilst initially purely visual, has since grown after discovering how Berlin’s chequered history has impacted on the story of the U8.

Connecting Wittenau in the north west to Hermannstraße in the south, the route runs through the heart of Berlin, and between 1961 and 1989 flitted between both east and west sides of the divided city. During this period the stations falling on the east side between Moritzplatz and Voltastraße were closed, earning them the tag of ‘Geisterbahnhöfe’ or ‘ghost stations’, the only human presence being the GDR guards watching over the trains that were still allowed to pass through connecting parts of the west. Since learning this I’ve tried to imagine such a scenario but, as with so many things about this period of Berlin’s history, I don’t feel like I can fully appreciate what it was like for the people involved. Imagine this brief window when east meets west, where the west Berliners find themselves in world that operates in such stark contrast to their own and the guards observe commuters who will end their journey back in a society that affords them more freedom than allowed by their employer.

Visually, there’s charm in the simple and practical design. I found myself drawn to the strangely unique character of each station, probably fuelled by my appreciation for the work of Bauhaus during the same period. Designed by Alfred Grenander and Peter Behrens between 1927 and 1930, practical, and in their simplicity strong examples of ‘Neues Bauen’. What first sparked my interest however is the glazed tiles decorating the walls of each station, with every stop themed by the strong and bold use of a single colour throughout. From the blue-green theme at Alexanderplatz to the orange of Rosenthaler Platz, each station is different from the next. This confident choice and application of colour for me opened up the space, helping to counteract the lack of natural light, and offered a refreshing contrast to the darkness of the tunnels and, in their time, probably the darker days of Berlin’s history. Some images I took on the U8 can be found here.


Drumming up support

This month the Derby County season ticket campaign film was featured in the Creative Review feature of The Drum magazine. Writing the review, Shaun Cooper, Marketing Director of Bray Leino, had this to say:

“This is a strong ad that will resonate well with Derby County fans. Really emphasising the anticipation and excitement of the new season and portrays the subject as seriously as the fans take it. The black and white art-direction accompanied with silhouettes add to the drama and provide an almost operatic quality, adding gravitas to the copy. Nicely done. 9/10″

Thank you Shaun.


Best in the league

As a child I always dreamed of a glittering career in football. Admittedly, those dreams involved a more athletic version of myself scoring the winning goal in the World Cup after already securing the League and Cup double for my club. However, at this year’s Football League Awards Derby County Football Club won the award for Best Digital Content.

Over the past 12 months I’ve worked closely with the Club’s media team to help improve the digital offer from the Club, both on their website and around the stadium during a match day; content which, when presenting the award, was described by the Football League as having “really engaging clips with great features, exclusive access to the first team squad and innovative ideas to show the players in different environments, and ‘behind the scenes’ information not usually seen, such as player quizzes and a Pot Black Pool Challenge. The judges were also tremendously impressed with the slick production and quality of the features.”

Since injury/beer/lack of footballing talent hindered my original career hopes, this award is gratefully received and is a fitting reward for all the hard work put in by those involved. I’m sure if at the age of 8 I understood what digital media actually was I would have approved.