Saturday update: TLR & shoots

Good ol’  saturday! This week I’ve been rather busy and I still have not managed to get everything done I wanted. I found a brilliant Microflex TLR camera at the Warwick Antiques Centre, cosmetically in good condition, the glass is clean and scratch-free and the winding-mechanism (this model’s Achilles heel) seems perfectly purring. It even came with it’s original box, manual and a couple of filters, all for only 95 pounds! There was just one but – so it turned when I had already taken it home. The aperture wheel wouldn’t move any lower than 11, moving freely between f11 and f22. Oh dear…. I took it back to John (the gentleman that sold it to me – I would recommend going to the store if only to have a chat with him. You can find the store at 22-24 High Street in Warwick, UK) to show him the fault he had overlooked.

The camera seemed a little fickle then as well, for when John turned the wheels, everything worked fine. Then I held it again and it froze up! In the end, we worked out that if he could find me someone to repair the fault (for under 60 preferably) I’d gladly have the work done. After all, just try and find a decent vintage camera in perfect condition that won’t need at least basic servicing. If he wouldn’t be able to do so, he offered to give me a full refund. Deal! That’s the nice thing about this place, the people are still of the old-fashioned honest kind. He called me today to tell me that he managed to track down a man in North Shields (of all places!! I used to live there not so long ago!) who repairs old camera’s for his camera club. I’ll send off the camera in the upcoming week and hope the doctor has a cure…..

On other news: I’ve been gathering and cleaning/ painting some frames for my upcoming exposition at the Gaia Coop in Leamington Spa. I’ve spent a lot of my time on painting and drawing and in general getting my work ready to put on the walls before the 1st of February. On the Thursday I’ve spent my first evening in years in the darkroom again and even though I think it’s great to get back into it, I had simply forgotten how long it takes to get even one print done. This will prove to be a lot more fun when I get to move on to large format printing – I am very much looking forward to seeing my first 6×6 negative appear on paper.

I was supposed to attend a Dr Sketchy in Birmingham today with my friend stylist Melysa Fay but for some mysterious reason there was none! Good thing we still enjoyed the Flea Market at the Custard Factory earlier in the day – it’s held every Saturday if you are around – and a light spot of high street shopping. We are planning a couple of shoots together again so watch these Saturday updates for more news regarding that.

Saturday update – Darkroom printing

This week has been busy and fun. I contacted the local College to ask about some darkroom courses they would have going in both January and April and to see if a space could be rented on a day/ evening bases.

I came to talking with Lionel Moogin and we worked out a brilliant scheme where I can make use of their darkroom and in exchange I will help one (or some) of their students with their final projects. It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to get stuck in! I’m looking around for batches of Black and White paper (if you’d like to donate any old darkroom paper you have lying around – send me a message :)) and a decent medium format film camera.

I’ve been painting again and got a better idea of where to take some of these works. Taking some of the recent advise I’ve gotten into account, I should work on some consistency within my portfolio. Let see if that works!

Personal update – Face of 2011 competition and art expos

Since it’s Saturday, I’m taking a quick break from my photographer/ artists blogging to bring a little update on my personal life. The year 2011 has started off great – I’ve put a couple of my paintings up at a buzzing local pub in Leamington Spa, ‘the White Horse‘ so if you are local, go check them out!

I’m also preparing for an exhibition which will run in February of some of my other work at the Gaia Coop, a Leamington Spa based ethical food shop, workshop and gallery space. They are located on 7 Regent Place, Leamington Spa and trade in locally and ethically produced, fairtrade, organic, vegan and animal friendly produce. The art space in located in their cellar, which is spacious and well lit, with a different artist showcase each month.

Other than that, I’m preparing for the Twycross Wedding Fayre on the 27th of February 2011, which hopefully will be very succesful and good fun to boot 🙂

I will be one of the official photographers for the ‘FACE of 2011′ competition organised by in the Warwickshire region – entry to the competition is complementary with each shoot! Contact me for available dates via the contact form.

I’m very much looking forward to what the new year will have to offer, and I’ll be working my socks off doing shoots and creating new works of art.

Icy conditions and visitors from abroad

You would have to be hibernating not to have noticed the icy conditions outside for the last couple of weeks. Living in the Midlands, we have been spared most of the grief the ice and snow have caused – and as an added bonus, the place looked amazing! On the morning before my parents from the Netherlands were due to arrive for a 5-day stay in Leamington Spa, I nipped out with my trusty camera to capture the marvel of condensed fog frozen on… well… everything!

In that same week my parents and myself travelled from Leamington Spa to London Marylebone, which in itself was fine, were it not for the small fact that it was FREEZING COLD and there were the student protests going on. Us, in our tourist-like innocence and temporary high from being able to successfully negotiate both Harrods and the London Underground system and just sort of wandered towards the general area of protest, every now and again muttering something like “Isn’t that the Big Ben over there? Would those be the Houses of Parliament?” Apart from underlining the fact that I need to brush up on my general knowledge of London it also kindly pointed out that neglecting any form or shape of news possibly wasn’t the smartest thing to do, especially when going to the capital.

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We passed a few policemen standing guard in long lines, apparently functioning like a membrane- we could get through with ease but no way in hell would they let us pass back the same way. The Underground station had been shut so we were forced to walk all the way around with my dad not being as light-footed as he may well have been in his youth, and all of us freezing our socks off. I did manage to get some nice photographs during the day (which rights nearly every possible wrong) and were astounded to find out whilst having a coffee at Marylebone station that fights had broken out during the protests. Things still seemed chilly yet cheerful amongst the crowds we had just seen….

is it…. finished?

And so we were almost 1 month on since the last time of writing. In the meanwhile I’ve been working on these pages, editing and resizing images, thinking of backgrounds, headers, pricelists and what not. But, I think I am finally done! Please have a look around and tell me what you think – did I miss anything, did I put too little/ much into on these pages – your thoughts please!

Since the last time of writing I have done a shoot with Philip Brown (a.k.a. Wyken Seagrave, a Coventry based author;  find his works on, and on ) and Francoise, the love in his life.

We went to Baddesley Clinton, a property in the care of the National Trust, where we enjoyed the sights, pumpkin soup lunch and the fact it didn’t actually rain whilst we were taking photographs outside.

I also managed to keep walking into charity shops, which without fails sees me coming home with yet another useful object. This time round I found this little chest of drawers, with an usual side-lock on it. Mind you, it is in need of some TLC and I don’t think it is particularly old judging from the drawers pulls, but it would be nice to find out a little bit more about it before I start stripping the varnish. For some reason, it just keeps reminding me of something you would see in a biology classroom in the 50’s or 60’s, or in any school to do with farming and the tropics. Any suggestions?

What a wonderful (online) world

On this Monday, I find myself behind my shoddy little half-broken laptop updating my blog. I am currently trying to convince my hosting server to open up a database file – so I can attempt to install WordPress properly and start updating my work to date. My website had been built by myself and looks exactly like that…. unfortunately. As far as it stand it does not function on phones and 1 gallery is still broken.

That just won’t do now will it?

In this last week I’ve been gathering some more information about the art world in the Midlands and UK in general and it might be useful to post some of my finds in this and future blogs. After all, some of this information is not that hard to come by, but it takes quite a lot of time for one person to gather it all!

In a search for various WordPress blog sites I’ve come across Lisa Bettany’s blog in which she writes about her life and experiences as a person and professional photographer.  It is great to find someone sharing their experiences and useful tips, and remains really supportive to the (starting) photographing community. Speaking of sharing tips, anyone that hasn’t heard of the Strobist blog must’ve been hiding out in a cave! The full-fledged amateur-to-pro instruction on various ways to make the best out of your off-camera flashes has been a popular site amongst photographers for some years now.

On the art side of things, I’ve found the monthly email I receive by Emerge (the creative industries Ezine) very useful indeed. I’ve signed up to the newsletter via ICE (Institute for Creative Enterprise) and it contains invitations to network meetings, updates on training sessions, useful links and artist opportunities.

Birmingham Fashion Week 2010

Last Saturday the 9th of October was the day Birmingham Fashion Week 2010 took off. It was held at the Oceana nightclub where entertainers, models, MUA’s, stylists and designers had gathered for a full day of performances and catwalk shows. Even though the event ran slightly late the sheer quality of the artists and shows more than made up for it.

I have to apologise for not being able to put every designer name to the garments, or to artists’  faces for that matter. If you do recognise yourself, or your creation, drop me a line and I’ll make sure it gets tagged properly!

Images taken by Yvette Bessels, copyrights belong to A.V. Phantom Ent., the organisers of Birmingham Fashion week 2010 . If you need any images in print or digital please contact Ashleigh at

My first blog post – thank you Wayne!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first Blog-post. I’m kinda new to this WordPress malarkey – Wayne Hudson at – kindly pointed me to this site – and I’ll try to keep things short and sweet.

As this site will come to replace my current flash-based website ( I will have a lot of archive making/ image posting/ updating to do and will make sure to get round to it at some point in the not-to-far-near-future.

At this point in time I’m busy as usual with my 101+ projects: reading books, catching up on some antiques knowledge, helping the amazing Wayne Hudson with his photography space (when he’ll let me tag along), planning and shooting model/ author portraits and creating illustrations and general artworks. Planning to redecorate the living room (read: adding shelves – too much clutter is driving me insane) but in general trying to have a good time whilst doing all of the above 🙂

Speak soon!