portrait

Riding the San Francisco streetcar by Nigel Rumsey

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This guy was in quite a bad way. He'd lost more than the skin off of one of his knees at some point and was wearing the sort of ground in dirt you don't get in a few days - he'd been sleeping rough, as we euphemistically call sleeping on the cold, unforgiving ground, for some time. Coming from London I suppose I've got used to seeing people sleeping rough on the streets, maybe I don't always notice them. To a degree they've become part of the fabric of the city. I was far from prepared, however, for the sheer number of those inhabiting every public space in San Francisco.

Coming from London I suppose I've got used to seeing people sleeping rough on the streets, maybe I don't always notice them.

Our friend here was in better health than many, he was drinking, yes, but he was lucid, he was aware of what was happening around him. So many seemed to occupy a world of their own. In some way with us and yet somewhere else at the same time. I'm sure drugs have a lot to do with it. But it seems far too easy to dismiss it as something they brought on themselves.

I had to remind myself I was on vacation in one of the wealthiest cities, in the wealthiest country in the world. This is California in the United States of America. The home of the dot com billionaire, California alone has the world's eighth-largest economy.

Surely it can do more to help him and the hundreds like him.

Working with animals by Nigel Rumsey

A woman and her dog in a shop in Shoreditch, London I'd never really considered whether the adage about 'Never working with children and animals' was true. Until I approached this lady who was taking it easy in a very 'Shoreditch' clothes shop / coffee shop and asked if I could take her portrait with her dog.

She was charming and agreed straight away. No matter how much I tried the get the bloody dog's attention he was having none of it. He almost has the 'I know you're there but I'm ignoring you' look on his face - I guess I'm lucky she didn't have kids with her!

Chrome by Nigel Rumsey

Chrome I've been something of a fan of Chrome messenger bags for some time, I was in their New York store recently and had the opportunity to take some portraits of Brianna making one of their in-house custom bags. The custom bags give you the opportunity to specify the colour of each of the panels, the buckles, even the colour of the tape. It was quite dark in the store but that combined with the lamp Brianna was using gave a dramatic look I'm really pleased with. I haven't picked up  a custom Chrome bag yet myself but as they're going to be opening a store in London soon the temptation might be too much to resist.

Gregory Heisler: A Master of his Art by Nigel Rumsey

gregory_heisler_the_two_bushesIf you have an interest in photographic portraiture, whether you've known it or not, you will probably be familiar with the work of Gregory Heisler. Among other achievements he has 69 Time Magazine covers to his name. He became renown in 1991 for the stunning in-camera double exposure of George HW Bush (above) for the cover of Time Magazine, a shot which caused him to loose his White House photographer privileges, in my opinion it was probably worth it.

I've recently stumbled across a series of YouTube videos produced by Profoto USA where Heiser explains the methodology behind some of his most iconic shots. From the videos Heisler appears to be incredibly relaxed even laid-back. But that obviously doesn't mean he's relaxed about his work, in his preparation he's incredibly meticulous. It's fascinating to see the level of planning and experimentation that goes into each of these shots.

Whatever your level of experience you're going to gain something from watching these videos even if it's just respect for this master of his art.