South Bank Centre summer beach

London’s South Bank Centre kicked off its summer season of events this weekend by installing a beach and sky gardens around the Royal Festival Hall to mark 50 years since the Festival of Britain. Lounging on a thick grass lawn a couple of storeys up in the heat was probably one of the best things you could do – unless you wanted to dodge the water jets of Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms. I chose the warm option.

South Bank Centre beachThe Lion and Unicorn by Gitta GschwendtnerThe Lion and Unicorn by Gitta Gschwendtner at London South Bank CentreSouth Bank Centre beach seagullSouth Bank Centre beach hutSouth Bank Centre beach hutThe Lion and Unicorn by Gitta GschwendtnerThe Lion and Unicorn by Gitta GschwendtnerThe Lion and Unicorn by Gitta GschwendtnerJeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms at the South Bank Centre

Dulwich Picture Gallery | Paul Nash competition entry

Public voting for Dulwich Picture Gallery‘s Paul Nash competition opened today – and I would love some support for my entry in the people’s vote.
The competition has two categories – over and under 18 years.  In each category, gallery director Ian Dejardin will choose a winner and there is also a people’s vote.  You can take part in the people’s vote by going to the gallery’s voting page between today and the end of the month. I’ve entered a reworked view of the gallery’s external walls when Antoni Malinowski’s Polish Connection major work was on display there, using Paul Nash inspired iconography. Entries are to relate to the gallery’s interior or exterior and grounds.

My entry looks like this – and would love your vote. And yes, I’m most definitely in the over 18 category.

Peckham car park art

Bold Tendencies III from the Hannah Barry Gallery is on at Peckham’s multi-storey car park, Rye Lane, at the moment until September 30. I went to the private view, which was hugely sunny and insanely popular – a great excuse to relax in the summer weather, listen to jazz and look at the great view … oh, and look at the art.

Learning more about photography

Although most of my time is spent shooting and working on client images and albums, improving my skills and learning more about photography is also a very important part of my professional life. This week, I’ve been at Focus on Imaging in Birmingham, the main UK photographic trade show. For much of yesterday, I was on the MPA stand, observing the judging of Licentiate panels. It was a fabulous experience I had organised ahead of time, to learn more for when I’m mentoring other MPA members for their first qualification. It was brilliant to see how thoughtfully and enthusiastically the judges approached the panels of 20 photographs, looking at the overall impact of the panel, the photographer’s ability to focus, composition, ideas, colours, retouching and posing.
Not all of the panels made it through, but whether they did or not, each candidate had time with one of the judges to go through the panel, learning about its strengths and weaknesses to improve their photography. It’s a process that I have found invaluable in my learning and developing a style.

Yesterday was also a time to catch up with other photographers, find new products and learn more advanced retouching methods.

Naked Voices album artwork

I’ve been asked to provide a photograph of cherries to represent the singers of acapella singing group Naked Voices with a triangle of 16 cherries for the front and a single one on the reverse. The group is singing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August – and this CD will be about half a dozen songs recorded in the last couple of weeks. Below are some ideas for how the images might be presented. Can’t wait to hear the album – it includes a version of “In These Shoes” which is a song I love.Naked Voices CD cover