First night photos: 3PO and the Stormtroopers

First night photos: 3PO and the Stormtroopers
The first night gig for new boy band 3PO and the Stormtroopers was a smash. After ninety minutes of high energy action they appeared to have won a huge following on Endor. Glad I was there to see this new power in modern music rise and if I were One Direction or 5SOS I'd be ready to lose some fans.

(Click the images for a larger version and behind the scenes commentary).





The Consequence of Probabilities: a science fiction short story

The Consequence of Probabilities: a science fiction short story
Sometimes we all think the universe revolves around us. But what if it did? What if our existence determined whether the universe continues to exist?

That's something John Stock has to face up to in this Science Fiction short story.

The gathering

The gathering
Tourists gather round their guide to hear about another of London's heroes.

The insanity of Shibuya

The insanity of Shibuya
The Shibuya "scramble crossing" pits thousands of people against each other in a mad dash across the street while advertising blares from the surrounding buildings. It's an icon of Japan, a must-see for anyone who visits Tokyo and sheer tourist theatre.

After half an hour in the district I was finding it pretty hard going. The constant noise and brilliant lights from the advertising hoardings were getting too much for me. My senses were overloaded and I was finding it hard to concentrate. I was becoming irritable.

When I looked up I discovered the cause of my discomfort. City streets, particularly those that thrive on tourism, are always noisy and crowded and bright. Only the noise is indistinguishable: snippets of conversation that pass by and are lost as the next person comes past. In Shibuya a constant voice was being streamed into the streets that was demanding attention. It was always there and subconsciously I was searching for its source. Being tired didn't help and recognising the few words of Japanese I knew probably only added to the problem.

Our cities are becoming nosier places, stretching our filters to the limits. I wonder how unbearable they will become if more follow Shibuya's example.

Hiroshima from the top of the castle

Hiroshima from the top of the castle
This view is from the top of Hiroshima castle, reconstructed in the 1950s after the original was incinerated in the nuclear blast of 1945.

It's incredible to think that none of the city is more than 70 years old as the devastation was almost complete. Indeed, if you are planning a trip to Japan I strongly recommend a visit to the Peace Park and the accompanying museum. I challenge you not to be moved.

Roseanne: a return to portrait photography

Roseanne: a return to portrait photography
It's been a couple of years since I've done any portrait photography. I needed to get some shots to use as headers for my business blog and so a model was hired, a set constructed and away I went.

Only rather than just take photographs of hands on keyboards and what-not I decided to test myself on portrait photography again. It was something I enjoyed doing, but I've now more or less given up on. So I thought "why not" and stepped back into that mindset.

This one is natural light, shot on a tripod with a timer and a bit longer exposure than normal. The only treatment is cropping and taking it down into black and white (I prefer black and white for some reason).

A little pruning is taking place

Every couple of years I look through the content on this site and wonder what should stay and what should go. A recent change to the site design means images can now display in a "full screen" mode, something my originally uploaded images were not designed to do.

So I'm going through what's here and removing some, uploading new versions of others and adding new images too. I want to be a bit more prolific in what I post on this site, more creative, more thoughtful. Maybe more selective too.

Apologies if this means you lose track of an image you particularly liked, or a piece of writing that you enjoyed. I'll try and keep the disruption to a minimum, but sometimes these things can't be helped...

A panorama of The Thames
(and how I created it)

A panorama of The Thames<br>(and how I created it)
The recent warm weather has given me the opportunity to go for long walks at lunch. Armed my mobile phone and its excellent camera, I oft find myself at the banks of the Thames. It's about as far as I thought I could reach during my hour break and still be able to get back to the office.

Only a little clock watching and a touch of refining my route to the river and I realised I could get across and back quite comfortably. Which gave me the opportunity to shoot from Tower Bridge.

This image, however isn't quite what it seems. The initiated might be looking at it and wondering how I got such a wide sweep from a mobile phone camera.

If you're thinking "panorama mode" then you're wrong. I actually took a series of images, pivoting the camera round between thumb and forefinger to ensure a consistency of shot. I also made sure I had at least a third of the previous shot in the current image. And I worked quickly to try and capture similar lighting conditions.

Back home the images were pushed through Photoshop Element's "Panorama" feature, stitching them together to create a single view. A little cropping and the result is what you see above, or you can download it here.

Not perfect, but good enough for a header on Facebook!

Once these were warehouses (Shad Thames, London)

Once these were warehouses (Shad Thames, London)
Once the banks of the River Thames were lined by warehouses.

Now they are lined by million pound plus apartment blocks.

As ships grew larger and ports closer to the Channel expanded to support them, the old warehouses started to vanish. In their place came blocks of flats - renamed "apartments" to give them a more classy feel and distinguish them from "council housing". What remains of the old warehouses, such as the aerial walkways that linked them together above the streets, have become sought after features that add a few percentage points to the value.

I wonder what will happen to these places a few years from now. Will they continue to escalate in value and move even further out of reach of the common man? Will tastes change and they become less valuable as new developments emerge? Could governments intervene on a wave of some popularist movement yet to find form?

Steampunk London

Steampunk London
Sometimes life isn't complete without a Steampunk inspired sculpture front and centre in your shopping mall.

Roseanne: a portrait in black and white

Roseanne: a portrait in black and white
From my recent shoot with Roseanne.
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ROSS A HALL
By day I take companies into new channels and markets. At night I write science-fiction, contemplate the future of society and capture the world in images. Feel free to get in touch or follow me:

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