Tearsheet – National Geographic – Dinosaur Autopsy


It’s not every day that I get a ‘phone call asking me to photograph a dinosaur, let alone one being cut up … but there’s a first time for everything.


A couple of month’s ago, National Geographic Channels called and asked if I could do just that. The job, in two parts, was to photograph dinosaur ‘bits’ for the poster for the show and secondly, to photograph the unit stills. The ‘organs’ were crafted by the extraordinary Crawley Creatures company in Buckingham (responsible for models in Star Wars and a host of other screen productions) and photographed in their workshop which we (my assistant Tristan Fennel and I) converted into a makeshift studio. The client wanted a ring-flash to simulate a real forensic photography look to the images. Here’s the final poster and a set of various set-ups (with and without models and props) and one of me checking exposures and trying not to fall off a ladder.












And a gory one from the three days at Pinewood Studios with everyone knee-deep in (fake) blood.




National Geographic – Miracle on the Hudson


As an increasingly nervous flyer, imagine my delight when I was commissioned last year to work as the still photographer for National Geographic TV’s film about the miraculous emergency landing on the Hudson river by US Airways Flight 1549…

I used to work a great deal for Channel 4 as a stills photographer in the ‘Nineties and early 2000s and there is a specific skill set that you need. You have to be quiet, you have to be quick and on this occasion, you had to be fine with paddling around inside (and outside) a plane submerged in a 3.5 million litre water tank in the middle of a field in the English countryside.

The truth is, on a set like this, you are suddenly the least important figure but you have to make sure that you shout loud enough to get the time and space for what your client needs. In that regard, Simon George the director was utterly charming and was generous with both time and crew. It also isn’t really about pictures that one personally likes because you are trying to make engaging images that will inform the viewer but here are a couple that I liked…


UK - Hampshire - Production stills from the making of "Miracle on the Hudson"
UK – Hampshire – Production stills from the making of “Miracle on the Hudson”

Special thanks to picture editor Nicole Cappello for being so lovely on the assignment organisation.

There are more images here but I leave you with an image far scarier than any plane crash…