A new book – The Englishman and the Eel



I’m delighted to say that my new book, The Englishman and the Eel will be published by Dewi Lewis this  November.

A sort of companion to my last book (also with Dewi), The Palaces of Memory – Tales from the Indian Coffee House, it explores the eel, pie and mash shops of my childhood. In doing so it examines the rich, largely undocumented cultural heritage of generations of working-class Londoners in a city whose only constant is change. After spending the best part of twenty-five years working in Asia and Africa, this marks a departure and a conscious effort to return home and examine Britain at a crucial juncture.

You can order the book from Dewi’s site or directly from me.

Here’s one of my favourite, but less obvious images from the book…


Cindy and customers at T and J Kelly Pie and Mash shop, Loughton, Essex


The King is dead…



I’m no Elvis fan but I know lots of people have a very soft spot for The King and his music. For many, the anniversary of his death today is a significant one so I thought I’d show a few images that I made at an Elvis convention some years ago in Blackpool as a mini tribute. Once upon a time I was shooting a good deal on a rather lovely 5×4 Horseman Camera with Polaroid Type 55 (pos/neg) instant film. Working that way allowed me to shoot rather formal – but unexpectedly beautiful images that I could peel apart and then give to the subject (whilst shoving the negative in a big tank of fixer). It was a lovely way to work but my back never forgave me for the weight of kit I had to lug about. Anyway, here’s a triptych of some of the work…





ps. You might like to look at another image of Elvis fans that I made years ago that I featured on this blog in 2015…

The iPad folio revisited


I wrote last year on this blog about the iPad as a portfolio tool and specifically about an app called Foliobook. I was particularly impressed by the customisation features that it offered and that it allowed me to be flexible with changing content. I decided last month to freshen up my presentation and I contacted Paul Freeman the app’s designer. He very quickly set about rearranging the architecture and sent me customisable templates into which I could drop work. I have to say that I am not terribly technically minded when it comes to computers but Paul’s help and assistance was first class. I very rarely recommend anything on this blog but I can honestly say that Foliobook is an excellent product and that the support from Paul was brilliant.

In terms of the folio, I wanted a clear delineation between editorial and commercial work and in terms of stories and new work, the ability to change material quickly to suit different clients. I think it works very well.

Here’s a selection of screenshots of the current set-up.

























A website update

I’m very pleased to announce that my website has had a refresh. There’s an improved and reordered navigation down the left hand side showcasing an updated Commercial section (that now includes images from the Non-Profit sector and imagery from recent jobs) and a restructuring of my Travel work divided into two clearer sections.

There are also some new stories in the New Work section – a set from Kashmir on the Wazwan (more about that soon) and one on the new East End.

I hope you enjoy the update(s).

iPad portfolio

After much deliberation, I bought an iPad last week to use as a portfolio. I know that there is much debate about what clients actually want to see in a folio and a beautifully printed book is hard to beat but this seemed a good compromise as an addition to print. Logistically, I’ve always found it very difficult to schlep around town with three or four folios of differing sizes with the combined weight of a small car so I’m hoping that it will be well received.

My initial problem was finding an iPad portfolio program that worked smoothly, was easily customisable and didn’t require the intellect of a particle physicist. After a bit of searching I found Foliobook. What I really liked was that it has a pretty easy interface and a whole load of instructional videos. It took several hours of working out what I wanted and uploading images with iTunes to get something I was happy with. I created a simple jpg image for the front page that imitated my website design and overlaid that above a template structure in the program. The results are below as screen grabs. Once your images are in folders its very easy to change orders and set slideshows. I particularly like the ability to email an image directly from the slideshow.

Over the last few years, I’ve had Plastic Sandwich make me several print folios so I was very pleased to see that they’ve made a rather lovely one for the iPad as well. Just like my print books, they’ve embossed my name on the front and the whole thing slips into a very sturdy slip case.

So far, it looks like a very valuable addition to a range of ways to show work.


The title page uploaded as a jpg and laid over a Foliobook template



A page showing an image and a contact sheet view



Drop down menu with slideshow settings



A library of images for one of the galleries



Details of the slideshow controls



A very useful ability to email any of the images in the presentation


The iPad in a custom case from Plastic Sandwich


The Plastic Sandwich case and slip cover


Wonderful Machine

I’m very proud to announce that I am now represented commercially by Wonderful Machine in America.

I have a varied folio that includes work portraits, corporate, food/drink, travel and institutional.

I’m looking forward very much to working with them. Here’s some screen shots of my online folio for them.