markkensett

Jason

A replica of Amy Johnson‘s Gypsy Moth hanging around in Paragon Station, Hull.

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Mammal Jam Festival

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I wish to communicate with you.

This is an amazing project which aims to grow across a part of the city. It’s got people talking and more importantly it’s got neighbours communicating. Each coloured filter costs about 60p, a simple idea to brighten peoples lives. I met Robin, who lives in the area and was instrumental in making the project happen, it was inspiring to see his enthusiasm and the impact  such a simple but effective idea can have on a community.

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Don Law Motorcyles

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Winter Warmer

As the nights are drawing in and the wood burner is back in action I thought I’d share a a shoot for the Morphy Richards Soup maker a while back. Enjoy!

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Interior Space

SGS Packaging new workspace, created by Chameleon Business Interiors.

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The Cure

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The latest project for Al Jazeera took my colleague Jonathan Richards and I to Chicago to make a film about treating gun violence as a disease. Dr Gary Slutkin has spent much of his career working in Africa specialising in contagious diseases. On his return to his home town he was struck by the similarities in how gun crime spread. It was a privilege to meet a group of people having such a positive effect, you can see the film here.

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C4DI

The Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) is the community of terrific people. From designers, to hardware specialists, technologists, marketeers and developers, everyone works and plays together to make an amazing environment.

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University of Hull Annual Report

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Higher Education

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An Education

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Shooting a Documentary with stills – the need for a Five Minute Wonder.

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Shooting moving image as well as responsibility for production stills always messes with my head, on the one hand the disciplines are similar, indeed lighting and composition are what we stills guys bring to the party.

The images below are shot to compliment the Al Jazeera Correspondent Series documentary “Putting Man on the Moon” and feature some of the key figures of NASA Crew Systems as well as the Astronauts whose life was in their hands. Directed by my good friend Jonathan Richards, the story centres around Caroline Radnofsky, a journalist whose grandfather, Matt Radnofsky was a navigator in a a WW2 B17 bomber. He was injured and thrown out of  the aircraft on a static line only to have all of his safety equipment bar his parachute fail. This inspired him to eventually work for NASA and help design the Apollo space suit.

The documentary was shot over three weeks and in three countries, seven flights (including the B17), ten U.S. states, eight beds… and about 5 minutes to get a decent still for each element of the story. There always going to be compromise when time and baggage allowance is tight – particularly when it comes to lighting – enter the Profoto B2. A light weight compact solution that is fast and powerful meant there was very little to trade off, once my head was in stills mode I was able to think on my feet and get decent lighting to either compliment what was there or in the case of the cover image eliminate the available light all together using High Speed Sync.

The film is not just for the Space geeks, it’s a story of human endeavour and it was a privilege to meet some of people who made it happen.

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The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

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Charlie Duke Apollo 16.

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Walter Cunningham Apollo 7

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Carlos – Barber to the Astronauts.

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Caroline with Barbara Radnofsky

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Joe McMann  – NASA Crew Systems

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Amy Shira Teitel – Vintage Space & Author of Breaking the Chains of Gravity.

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Nicholas de Monchaux – Author, Spacesuit Fashioning Apollo.

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B17 Flying Fortress

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At the Navigators table – B17 Flying Fortress

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Jim Lovell – Apollo 8, Apollo 13

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Jim Lovell – Apollo 8, Apollo 13

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Homer Reihm – ILC Dover

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John Scheible – ILC Dover

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Leave Hitler to Me Lad

Leave Hitler to Me Lad started life as many musicals do, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Written by Haley Cox, the Director at Duck Egg Theatre Co, with music by Nerf Herder’s Ben Pringle ( of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) and based on a true story, this sensitively written piece is about the hit London’s West End.

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Half-Silvered

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This photo- essay revolves around Street Theatre with a twist. The audience sit in an empty shop, the “stage” visible through two way or silvered windows. The actors then come an go in an out of vision and as the story unfolds, the characters interact with each other and with the passers by. It was a truly amazing experience, at first the audience don’t know who is on it and who the passers by are, the looks on the passers by and the audience you see reflected in the glass adds to the story. Watch out for Rather Be Productions in a city near you.

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Duckshoot


A selection of headshots for the very talented DuckEgg Theatre Co.

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Doors, Walls and Barriers

Not all Doors are barriers, not all barriers are walls. Palestine.

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A thing of Beauty

 

Sometimes a thing of beauty falls on your lap, in this case it was in the form of piece of wood, just a piece of wood. And yet I can’t stop looking at it, which ever way you look at it this is so much more than a piece of wood, it has so much form and function it practically replaces my iPhone. Made by Arthur Berg.

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Family Values

It’s been a while. They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and when it  comes to images of my children then it does tend to be my iPhone. So for a change here is the antidote, shot on my Sinar, manual focus, manual everything, a Profoto Softlite reflector on a boom overhead (the positioning of which is fiddly to say the least) with the idea to slooow it all down and consider everything a bit more. Needless to say I didn’t do a lot of this when they were toddlers…

 

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My Digital Addiction

 

Well not mine. This summer I worked on a documentary for Al Jazeera flagship programme, The Correspondent series highlighting a 21st Century problem that has become a phenomenon in less than a decade. Shooting alongside film maker Jonathan Richards, here is a selection of production stills shot with Al Jazeera correspondent Phil Lavelle as we followed his journey of discovery.

The project took us to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York London and Hull, from high rise Redwood forest of Northern California to the urban jungle. The film can be seen here.

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The Typewriter Range, Camp Grounded, Northern California.

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Phil Lavelle with Randi Zuckerberg.

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San Francisco.

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A little taste of France

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A couple of pointes.

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An impulse shot with available light, thought I’d capture my daughters new shoes while they’re still pristine. Maybe the better shot will be when they’re worn out…

 

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Images from Uganda

A few images from a recent trip to Uganda for Edukid.

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A Day in the Life.

A short film shot in Uganda for Edukid, Okello lost both her parents to the LRA and is cared for by her Grandmother.

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A sinner who keeps on trying.

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Nelson Mandela has been an icon and a hero for so many over the past 50 years. One mans freedom fighter, another mans terrorist. There is no doubt that in 1964 he was angry,  who would have thought that denying a man his freedom for twenty seven years would aid the liberation of so many.

He was, as we all are imperfect, but he was a giant. Some called him a saint to which he replied;

“I’m not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying” 

I like that, it gives me hope. His name stands for so much, for wisdom, for forgiveness, for freedom. World figures fell over themselves to be photographed with him hoping some of his kudos would rub off on them, for me he transcended the racial divide with his gravitas, any argument suggesting skin colour as an indicator to someone being inferior has surely been blown out of the water.

So as I watched his funeral live from the Eastern Cape, a place we visited for a family celebration four years ago I couldn’t help but reflect on the bitter sweet emotions it invoked. Our friend’s family were among the first black families to move from their homestead to the city after  Apartheid ended, they were the first black faces in their school twenty years ago, much has been achieved since then.

Mandela had lived to a ripe old age, and so the funeral could be a celebration of life, and many of the commentators reflected on the impact he has had, to them personally and to the world as a whole, but one thing I found sad was that here was a world leader, they were saying, the kind we may never see again, when John Simpson reminisced about seeing a President feeding a disabled child, he was already resigning himself to never seeing the like ever again.

My hope is that we can at least try. They say we get the leaders we deserve, there has been much debate recently in the validity of voting, I for one will question more the part I must play, inspired by someone, imperfect but non the less a man after God’s own heart.

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I’ve got SUN-shine (on a cloudy day)

It was a little disconcerting to turn up at the SUN awards exhibition knowing that you have an image included in the exhibition and it be notable by it’s absence. Then you see five images that are covered up and there’s a little flutter. So I was a little gobsmacked to find out I’d won “Best Image” especially as it was the prestigious awards’ 25th birthday. When I consider the caliber of the talent on display to say I’m honoured is an understatement so thank you to the judges for choosing my image.

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The image was taken in Nouadibou, Mauritania, en route to Freetown, Sierra Leone. I was part of a twenty four strong team driving from Hull to it’s twin town in Western Africa, on the Hull Freedom Trail – a documentary by Claudio von Planta of Long Way Round fame is available here. It was not posed, it just happened and I captured what I saw. But sometimes things happen because a guy is sat there with a big camera. For me this image tells a story of travel, the unwashed window, the scraped fingermarks add a certain tension, I gripped my comfort blanket of a camera as he stared at me.

I guess the cloudy reference was prompted by the subject of the image. The trip was all about slavery, past and present and the face in this shot was one of many that gazed into my privileged position in our air-conditioned Mitsubishi L200. I don’t know the story of this boy, I do know that many who hang around road junctions are “owned” by a local Marabout, think Fagin without the soft focus.

I shot many images on this expedition using the car window as a frame or just shooting out of the window. When I wasn’t driving I usually had my camera on my lap, the image below of the Berber sat next to the fire was shot from a moving vehicle, I just had time to wind the window down and shoot two frames, the bus was more considered but took several attempts to get the look I wanted.

For information about the SUN awards and to see the other finalists click here.

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Look before you leap.

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One the most exciting projects last year was working on a book for The Northern Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) and frankly it got a bit out of hand. It all started with a conversation along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be nice to have some good dance images…” And then “we don’t just do dance, we cover the performing arts, that’s drama and musical theatre too” so to cut a long story short a designer, Dominic Frary, who has worked for the National Ballet got involved and the next thing we knew we had an eighty page book on our hands.

The book has caught the eye of many people including my preferred lighting company Profoto. They asked if they could feature some of my work on their blog. This coincided with them releasing the Profoto B4 pack, the fastest, most versatile generator on the market. I had to check this baby out. On the roof.

There seemed little point in playing safe when I had a very flexible bit of kit at my disposal. No mains power? No problem. Freezing action? No problem. Over ambitious? Erm…

Having done a rece I thought the flat roof was large enough and the architecture interesting enough to get an eye catching image, but could we get a sense of drama?  My original idea was to create a parkour inspired image, run along and off a pitched roof, it was safe in every sense of the word. “Why don’t we jump off the roof?” They replied “well if you’re sure…”

So, five dancers, two B4 packs, three ProHead Plus heads, magnum reflectors and a soft light reflector and away we went.

Although the generator is capable of several frames per second I still prefer to use my camera like a rifle rather than a machine gun, anticipate and pick your spot. I spent three months working in Canada in the early nineties and met an experienced rodeo photographer who always preferred to shoot this way, he said “if you see it through the viewfinder, you’ve missed it”.

One of the biggest challenges on this shoot was one I hadn’t anticipated if I’m honest. I knew I wanted to over power the sun with the flash but because it was such a bright day it was  tricky balancing the power of the flash with exposure settings that reduced the daylight sufficiently. Turn the power up too high and the flash duration would be too long, and outside a focal plane shutter meant that there was a limit on the shutter speed. With hindsight a leaf shutter would be the answer.. or retreat to the safety of a studio.

But where’s the fun in that?

Thanks to Danielle, Leah, Max, Olivia, and Paige for looking before leaping, to Hannah for choreography and keeping it real, Matt from Profoto and the ever excellent film maker Jonathan for making me sound vaguely articulate.

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Behind the scenes images, ©Matt Wilson from Profoto.

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King of the castle.

Floors Castle is part of the Roxburgh Estate in the Scottish Borders. The food they serve in their Terrace cafe is made in the castle kitchen by the Duke’s personal chef and his team. We took a series of images to decorate the cafe and show that they don’t buy in but make their own bread, fishcakes, chutneys not to mention the patisserie. More images available in the Stately section of my website.

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Controlled Spontaneity

How do you shoot seventy four members of staff in offices, factories and outdoors quickly and efficiently, giving a consistent look to the lighting throughout? Use a Profoto Acute battery pack, a 4’x3’ Softbox, Air Remote and a willing helper (cheers Rob). The idea was to make the images look as natural as possible if that’s possible when pointing a long lens at them, we deployed the “controlled spontaneity” approach…

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Vanilla

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I love cooking with vanilla pods and so when found myself at a vanilla farm in Sri Lanka recently I took the opportunity buy wholesale! My client The Biomass Group is looking at making Sri Lanka the first fossil free fuel economy in the world, no mean feat but if the political will is there they have the recourses and the climate to do it. Part of the plan is to build a series of wood burning power stations (which are carbon neutral) using a tree called gliricidia. This plant grows very quickly and can be coppiced every six months and the aim is to get local farmers to intercrop it with, amongst other things pepper and, you guessed it, vanilla.

So I have plenty of vanilla, then another opportunity presents it’s self, a shoot for a drinks carton that leaves me with passion fruit. Having worked with Supercook products in the past I thought I’d make panna cotta with an orange and passionfruit sauce… without a recipe or the right dishes for that matter. Champagne flutes are not the convention but they look nice (didn’t think about the washing up though).

I love it when a plan comes together, in this case there wasn’t a plan but it came together, fusing travel, people food and family.

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A waste of time

So I’m faced with two challenges for the day, firstly it’s a “Daddy-Daughter Day”, everyone else is busy and it’s half term. Second having spotted my passport form on the desk with a self portrait Miriam reminds me that her passport runs out soon too, how a ten year old could possibly remember that is beyond me…

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So we could nip to a booth or we could set up a white background, four lights, a camera and a laptop and do it properly… Now this many many peoples eyes could be construed as a waste of time, but I opted for the latter.

The first challenge is the correct response to the dreaded words “Bad Hair Day”

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Miriam is allowed control of our lovely Bose iPod dock, NOW83 is the choice of music while we set up the background together, followed by softboxes and a “Beauty Dish”.

“What does that do?” she asks, “makes you look beautiful” I reply…

From opening the first lighting case to printing out the finished images, took about three hours, in that time we danced, read through the instructions, took some fun shots, worked with Photoshop together and ended up with a better image than if we’d disappeared behind a curtain in a supermaket.

Was it a waste of time?

Yes. It was a glorious waste of time.

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A bit of a performance.

What started out as an idea to produce publicity material for The Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) grew into something much larger. Together with Dominic Frary of Fred Marketing we shot and designed an eighty page book reflecting their three main disciplines, Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre. The book is available for sale, if you’s like a copy send me a note and I can arrange delivery.All £15 goes to their running costs.

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Faster Higher Stronger?

I’m still reflecting on an inspirational summer. As well as a trip to the Olympics with by son who has his sights on representing Great Britain at hockey in or around 2024 (venue to be decided) we also had a family holiday in Canada which is where my love of photography really took off as a teenager.

 

Many have commented on how inspiring our Olympians and Paralympians have appeared, comparisons have been made with footballers and the instant fame pop culture , as a father it has made me think about the messages that my three children receive from the media and also from me. As a sportsman myself (got my county colours in swimming and represented school at badminton), and I am not allowed to say former sportsman as I have inadvertently taken up hockey as of this week playing my first proper match in a youth development league a mix of older and younger players. I am left reflecting on whether I pursue excellence in my chosen field of photography.

The Olympian motto doesn’t seem fitting in an artistic arena, maybe sharper, brighter, clearer is more appropriate but then I quite like things to be blurry sometimes, literally and metaphorically.

 

Which leads me to reflect on our holiday. My interest in photography as a career was sparked on another family holiday to visit relatives in Calgary, back in the 1970’s. I was captivated when spending time with my Uncle Angus on the occasional shoot and spending time in his studio and darkroom. What I later realised was his influence reached further than an apparently glamorous way to make a living. Even after spending three months working with him in my twenties it was much later that I appreciated his dedication to his craft, his love of what he did, but most importantly the way he related to the people around him, whether he was photographing them or they were his clients, they became friends.

I continue to be inspired by people around me and in pursuit of my chosen career hope to do the same.

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Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing. Where does it come from? I was inspired by this project in the for many reasons, the people involved, the chance to be part of something that has a powerful message, the challenge of less is more…

 

The challenges of this project remind me of why I love and value being a photographer. There were many constraints not least the budget. The big idea was to project a positive image of young people, the relationships that they have and what they give back. One of my most powerful memories was staring down at my first newborn baby and being overwhelmed with how much I could love someone who could offer me nothing in return. When you meet people whose job it is to work with young people you get a similar vibe when you see how they relate to often challenging, self destructive individuals trying to find their way. Even at a younger age, hanging around with young people you start to see the world through their eyes once more and regain that sense of wonder and by the time they enter their teens their no fear attitude and perceived invincibility certainly makes life interesting.

Shannon is a good example. She was very patient with me, or maybe she just like being photographed, she was volunteered to be our guinea pig for the test shoot. She needed to raise a £1000 so that she could be part of a trip to Morocco. She decided to put on a gig, hire a venue and arrange the bands, everything. At 16 there were a few raised eyebrows to say the least, not to mention the conversations trying to protect her from herself. She ignored them and did it anyway. I wasn’t there but just seeing the gig poster was impressive enough. She cleared £750 profit on the night despite wiser heads best intentions.

 

The challenge was two fold. To show that she wasn’t alone, and that there were many stories of how youth inspires the wise. We did look at using the city as the back drop but because there needed to be many faces to get the weight of the message across we decided on a simpler approach. Keep it simple. Strip it down, white background, a young face and a single word, chosen by the youth worker that had nominated them.

 

I think you’d agree, collectively the attributes of this collection of young people working together could change perceptions, and who knows change their world.

 

Tech stuff (for those who are interested)

Canon EOS1ds III

85mm F1.2L lens

Profoto D1 heads x4

Main light, Profoto Softlight Reflector white with grid

Profoto 4×3 softbox behind the camera

Disc refectors on white background.

Profoto Air remote.

Post Production.

Split tone user preset created in Adobe Lightroom, exported and blended in photoshop with  standard exported file. Artwork created in Photoshop.

 

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Soap Opera

 

I have recently been working on a very exciting project…..photographing soap. It may not sound that enthralling but it’s one of the best good news stories I’ve heard about in a long time.

 

Carishea is a new brand of soap, it’s primary ingredient is Shea butter, made from from the Shea nut, used in many beauty and confectionary products. In a nutshell the nuts are harvested in Ghana resulting in the local growers doubling the amount of money they can get for the nuts. If you think they are now butter barons this means they are now earning in the region of £1.50 per day as appose to 75p. The knock on effect of this is that they can afford to put their children through school and an education has long term benefits for the family and the wider community. It also means that families don’t have to sell their children into bonded labour with all the implications that this gives rise to.

 

But it doesn’t end there. The Shea butter is then imported to Greenock in Scotland where there soap is manufactured by recovering drug addicts on rehabilitation. This employability scheme gives people a fresh start, a chance to prove themselves and the dignity of holding down a job.

But that’s not all. The product itself is made of 50-80% Shea butter which means it’s of the highest quality on the market, which means it has many health benefits and is very pleasant to use!

 

An all round good deal.

 

We hope to be visiting Ghana in the near future to make a film and shoot some images.

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Jobs, Gates & Legacy

 

 

I recently finished reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, and like many found it be a thoroughly enjoyable read, but there was something missing. It felt somehow incomplete and I couldn’t figure out why, had the author left something out, misrepresented the man or the story in some way? Was it not what I expected?

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Like many I have people who I look to as role models, for me and for my children, people who in their chosen field have excelled in what they do, but not only that, they have played the game well, have treated the people around them with respect and succeeded despite the environment they live and operate in. There are many people famous for their contribution to the arts, human rights and scientific discovery that have inspired me but when it comes to business I have found there needs to be a why as well as a what.

Men and women who conduct themselves well in business has always been something I long to hold up and say “See, it can be done!” I have heard the excuse “he’s a businessman”, or “she’s trying to run a business” as an excuse for bad behavior too many times and pleasing shareholders as an excuse for just about anything.

There’s no getting away from the fact that Steve Jobs wasn’t the nicest bloke in the world, I was hoping to find more nice stuff about him in the biography, I’ve read some brilliant eulogies in the months since he died and I desperately wanted more, a lot more actually to address the balance, maybe to excuse the tirades of abuse he dished out to some of his employees and the way he treated former partners and even his own flesh and blood.

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And then there’s that other bloke Bill Gates, the one who came up with stuff that wasn’t as good, that looked ugly, (the products not the person) but dominated the market for so many reasons. I wanted it to be neat and tidy, I am an Apple fan. My business hero’s are the philanthropists, the one’s who have a purpose beyond price, who look after their staff  and are passionate about their product so why couldn’t it be simple, Jobs/Apple = Good, Gate/Microsoft = Bad?

The simple answer is that life is messy, people are complex, people are messy. Apple products are fabulous to look at and a joy to use, I have used them for years I’m not a hacker I just want to create stuff not just consume what others have created. I don’t want the techy business to get in the way, I just what it to work seamlessly, my camera, my software, my computer all in perfect harmony. I particularly remember getting by first iPhone, having just dumped a Nokia smartphone favouring an older simpler model. The iPhone was a breath of fresh air, it just worked, there weren’t any Apps then, just sending a text message made me think  “why wasn’t it always like this?”

I’m convinced Steve Jobs wasn’t driven by money, he believed he could do better than what was out there, he didn’t believe in market research, people didn’t know what they wanted because they hadn’t seen what was possible. Yes he had a private jet and yes he spent more on the materials to make staircases than most but he wanted to make things better by making better things.

LEGACY

Time will judge legacy. The Bill Gates Foundation may yet commit Malaria the way of Small Pox, now that is worth living for. I was at my sons prize giving recently, he is in a very successful drama group, one of the award sponsors is a scientist who appreciates The Arts, he said “Science helps us to live but The Arts make life worth living”.

Good design is not what something looks like, it’s how it works, designing great products that free the creative process is a great legacy. Helping non techy artists communicate is a great legacy. Helping to make life worth living is a great legacy. Apple is a great brand, a creative company. Being creative with the way it uses the profit it makes also is a great legacy.

Oh, and is me or are all smart phones starting to look like the iPhone?

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Don’t run on empty.

Designed to replenish expended energy Fuel2Go, a new brand of sports energy bar, the brief required images with inviting places to run, wide open spaces as well as woodland. Shot on a Canon EOS 1Ds III with 24-70mm lens, this combo is not the usual choice for sports photography but as this was a controlled environment, lighting supplemented with a Profoto Acute battery  Softlight reflector with grid. Thanks to Olympian Tony Whiteman for “modelling”.


 

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Eggblog

To get in the festive mood I thought I’d have a go at making Eggnog and as a an afterthought I thought I’d shoot some images as it was looking rather nice. Shot in the fading light of a late December afternoon at 6400 ISO on a Canon 5d II using only the kitchen window this was a tester to accomany Mulled Wine when the carol singers come round at the weekend. If you want the recipe let me know…

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Life’s a beach


 These images were shot near the new home of our very good friend Maggie, near Berwick. For years Maggie worked as a food stylist and is a keen photographer herself. We teamed up “for old times sake” on this one, cooked and ate on the beach! We spent a little while choosing the right spot, wanting the background to rise up behind the shot rather than be too flat but in the end we needed to shoot quite quickly before the light passed round behind the camera losing the shape in the rocks, timing is everything with food photography and when you add the complication of working with daylight it’s a difficult balancing act. The angle of the sun wasn’t quite right for the shots of the langoustine so we helped that along with a Profoto Beauty dish and Battery pack, reflecting a little light back in (see below). I love the combination of planning  (essential for a shoot like this), the need to think on your feet and of course the responsibility of letting nothing go to waste…


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Strictly speaking too.

…and here are a couple more.

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Strictly speaking.

The start of a larger project these initial images were shot on a 24mm shift lens, lit with 2 Profoto Battery heads, a large silver umbrella and a beauty dish.

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Full Circle


The interior of the Stockport Plaza, recently used in a BBC drama about Morcambe & Wise, and now features on the front cover of Cinemas in Britain by Richard Gray. Shot using a Canon 17mm shift lens using HDR.

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Look Sharp

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Sineth

This interview was shot a Canon 5D II for Edukid. Sineth would not be able to study medicine without the support of fundraisers in the UK, inspired by his own upbringing in a slum village he is determined to give something back to his local community.

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Postcards from Cambodia

“I owe you a beer tonight…in fact I owe you several beers…” was the quote as we travelled through the rice fields near the Vietnam border to film for Edukid, (does what it says on the tin). In order to get to the village to meet our hosts we used various modes of transport including ox carts and motorbikes – oh and did I mention we got caught in a monsoon? One of the privileges of working in the charity sector is the opportunity to meet inspiring people, both at home and abroad, from the people who set up a trust to raise moeney to pay for education thousands of miles away to the teacher who started a school in her back yard when she was only 14 to the ex Khymer Rouge soldier running an orphanage.

Some of the stills taken during the week, interviews to follow soon.

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Interchange

Shot on a 24mm shift lens in 2 sections and stitched manually. Multi exposures to retain detail in sky, shadows etc.

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As Deep as it is wide.

Shot for Hull City Council, part of a series of panoramic images.

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No Longer.

The former home of Hull City is no more.

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In Rainbows (how’s it done?)

Any ideas? (there are two shots here). I’ll let you know if you are interested. Cool Radiohead album too…

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Showing some mussel

Mussels

Shot on a Sinar P3 and 4 Profoto heads – the steam is real too.

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Coming clean

reality

Ok, yesterday wasn’t the whole story, Ethan needed some persuading and there was a scramble for the Fairtrade chocolate advent calendar!!

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The Advent-ture begins

_K083134

This is how we spent every breakfast during advent…

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Christmas taster

christmas

The remnants of my Christmas card shoot… (recipe will be included)

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Dizzy

Taken at the handover ceremony in Grafton, Freetown.

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Free(town) at Last

Over 18months planning and 20 days travelling, finally we arrived in Freetown. A ramshackle city is best summed up in the words of the writer Aminatta Forna: ‘Falling in love with Freetown requires a different way of seeing. Upcountry men digging for diamonds in the riverbeds train their eyes to find the gems hidden in the mud. So it is with Freetown.’

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Amusing…

Its 10.00, it’s very dark we’ve just taken 5 L200’s and the support vehicle on a ferry just big enough for 3 vehicles, hand cranked using a chain on the riverbed. We then turn up at a village and ask if we can camp there for the night. They happily obliged. The next morning they didn’t go to work straight away, “we will amuse ourselves watching you…” Guinea.

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Bob

bob

Actually I’m not sure what his name was but he was happy to be photographed. Guinea – last stop before we arrived in Sierra Leone.

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Dakar or bussed

Shooting from the open window of a Mitsubishi again, this was my favourite of a series of panning shots. I like the pouting Madonna obsuring the drivers view. This image is one of several available as a limited edition print, (along with a book and DVD, no T-shirt). www.hullfreedomtrail.com

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Stark reminder

The second greatest fear when handing over the vehicles was to one day see them like this, the good news is that two years on they are still going strong and being used well. The worst fear? Seeing them on the news having been commandeered by a rebel army.

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Sparklers

Dabbling with my new Canon EOS 5D mark II that shoots HD cinema-look video. Very exciting.

Sparklers from Mark Kensett on Vimeo.

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Changing faces

One of my aims on this journey was to document the changing faces as we travelled South from Northern Europe, through Spain and then Arab Northern Africa, to the Sub-Saharan tropics. These two are class-mates in Nouackchott, Mauritania.

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1807? – 2007!

One of the aims of the Hull Freedom Trail documentary was to highlight the issue of slavery today. Wilberforce spent most of his life campaining against the slave trade but the law outlawing slavery was ratified in 2007. We spend an afternoon with a group in Nouachchott, Mauritania, when we arrived there were half a dozen of so people there and as time went on the room filled to standing room only, all with a story to tell.

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look away now

Street kids are common in many of the towns and cities we stayed in, some in organised gangs. Nouadibou, Mauritania.

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Yur avin a laugh

Often as photographers want to blend in and capture life un-noticed, this shot was a reaction to  the camera – sometimes we create the shot.

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Sahara-by-the-Sea

Dakhla peninsula, Western Sahara.

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Western Sahara

Laayoune in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, another drive by shooting.

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Tiznit

Shot through the window of a moving vehicle, Tiznit-Test pass, Atlas Mountains Morocco. It pays to have camera ready.

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And so to Africa

Our first day in Africa, day 4 of the journey, on our way to Rabat, Morocco.

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Tanked up

YR6O9196

Filling up in Murcia, Spain, 5 vehicles with long range tanks, the petrol stations looked very different once in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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2yrs ago…

Leaving the South of France – another 700 miles to do, to get to Murcia in Spain. Pictured here is the Cameraman/director for the journey, Claudio von Planta. You can see him on BBC2, Sunday evenings on By any Means. For more info on the project go to www.hullfreedomtrail.com

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the start of something big…

Two years ago today we left Europoort, Rotterdam to drive 740 miles to the South of France in 1 day, this was to be my view for the next three weeks, the car not the background, as I headed to Freetown, Sierra Leone with 24 “Trailblazers”.

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The dark side…

darkchoc

…but still Fair.

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Help yourself…

white chocolate

…because you can’t help yourself. (It is Fairtrade so that’s alright then)

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Love Local

Shot as part of a series featuring over 70 shops and businesses, the idea being to promote the local economy by highlighting the benefits of good quality, service and diversity. To see more: www.lovelocal.org.uk & www.markkensett.com./projects

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Thai-lite

Sometimes it’s the detail that makes the difference, the reflection in the gold leaf background shouldn’t be where you look if it wasn’t lit correctly it would distract from the product. Shot for the McCormick group.

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Sisters

Although we didn’t share a common language, we did share the experience of having three children of similar age. Sri Lanka 09.

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Miscellanearse

arse

In search of the Big Five…it’s harder than it looks this wildlife photography ;o)…taken at the Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa.

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Summer lovin’

Caterham 7, 0-60 in about 4sec and alot of fun, for more see www.markkensett.com/projects

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What’s cooking?

Nakaseke, Uganda. Stayed here for 4 nights while shooting for the Co-operative. Fantastic hospitality, breakfast underway.

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Sweet Home Ala-Diama

diama

Shot on the border between Mauritania and Senegal, this has a 60’s “Duip Sowth” feel about it. Shot en route to Sierra Leone.

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Food for thought.

Nakaseke, Uganda.

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Dr Ray

ray

Dr Ray Wiyewardene, Sri Lankan pioneer of sustainable energy, and all round interesting guy, just google him.

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Sea Lanka

sealanka

Negombo – Sri Lanka

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View from a bridge

H Bridge2

Stitched together from 6 frames, the camera had to be moved about 4ft in order to avoid the barrier.

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red-lining

Siyoli Waters

Siyoli Waters.

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