My work as an advertising and editorial photographer and film maker, takes me all over the world on assignment. To this end I am lucky to visit some amazing locations that satisfy my passion for people and landscape photography. During my advertising shoots I always try to factor in some time to complete a personal project and invariably, I turn to my Leica M10. It is a very discreet camera system that enables me to quickly capture images in a totally unobtrusive way. Much of my advertising work is heavily staged and produced with extensive lighting design but I much prefer my personal work to be inspired by a much looser approach, mainly using available light. I also often set myself strict guidelines by shooting exclusively with the Noctilux lens, wide open at 0.95.
Below is curated selection of my images from around the globe.
THE NORTH MALE ATTOL, MALDIVES
I spent some time on the remote island of Hurra. I was drawn to this boy’s knowing expression and I loved the fact that his mother is clearly smiling at the camera but I elected to defocus her entirely and concentrate on the young boy’s more enigmatic look. The backlit, dappled light works really well in this instance.
105 YEAR OLD LADY, MANGGIS, BALI, INDONESIA
The great advantage of the Noctilux lens is it’s ability to shoot in lower light levels. The M10 is also so small and silent that I am able to shoot a number of shots without ever making my subject feel uneasy. This amazing old lady got my attention as I saw her sitting in the shade, tucked away in her back yard. I quickly gestured to her, asking if I could take her photograph. She agreed but I knew that I wouldn’t have long to get the shot. Having the lens set to 0.95 enabled me to swiftly capture a series of shots in seconds in very low ambient light conditions.
FISHERMAN – LABUAN BAJO, KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, INDONESIA
I was very much drawn to this man’s striking appearance and piercing look into the camera. The full beauty of the Noctilux is on show here with it’s incredibly shallow depth of field, however, it is pin sharp on his eyes and beard.
DIVERS – SA RAPITA, MALLORCA, SPAIN
I was exploring an area on Mallorca’s south coast when I came across this open air diving platform with children taking turns to launch themselves into the sea. I patiently shot a number of captures and waited for that moment when two went together. I love the spacious composition of this un-staged image.
FOOTBALL CROWD – LABUAN BAJO, KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, INDONESIA
I spent a while here just observing the scene, photographing the football, etc. However, I was really drawn to these guys watching the match. A tropical rain storm was approaching and I love the spots of rain just starting to fall.
ATHENS GHOST AIRPORT
This was an amazing place. The shots depict the Ellinikon International Airport, Athens’ main International & Domestic Airport which closed in 2001 before the Athens Olympics. Due to the financial crisis which subsequently hit Greece, the authorities were unable to demolish and redevelop the site so as a result, it has remained in a state of dereliction ever since. Up until recently, the terminal and surrounding buildings were occupied by Syrian Refugees as you can see from this shot of the Gas Station which has a purple blanket covering a doorway. Now it is just an empty and eerie place.
The second shot from this project shows the shuttle bus terminal and Domestic Arrivals. I was the only person around early on this Sunday morning and considering it was broad daylight, the whole place had a very creepy atmosphere. Like a post apocalyptic scene. Amazing.
THE BERBERS OF MOROCCO
I spent a few day shooting Marrakech then I travelled up to the High Atlas Mountains. The low light levels inside the Souk offered an incredibly atmospheric location to shoot in. This portrait of a market trader was once again captured using the Noctilux at 0.95. I love the soft yet cinematic qualities of the light. As a result of the softness of the daylight, the exposure is actually allowing some artificial light to illuminate the shadow areas giving a pleasing mixed light effect.
The second shot was also captured in Marrakech, down the side streets away from the crowds. I love the intensity of the orange in the image combined with its absence of people.
TOKYO, JAPAN – A VIEW FROM THE SKYTREE
On a scorching hot summer’s day, I ascended the Skytree and was instantly struck by the vast sprawl of Tokyo below but in particular, the vivid colours of the buildings below, the high, directional sun illuminating everything perfectly. I have a huge print of the image on my wall at home and people look at it for ages, transfixed by the endless detail. This was an occasion where the Noctilux was stopped down significantly to ensure a greater depth of field.
I’ll be hosting a Leica Masterclass on October 30th & 31st in my native Newcastle. Following in the footsteps of the German Akademie dating back to 1934, the new Akademie offers workshops that aim to inspire a new generation of photographers and help capture the ‘decisive moment’ through a Leica lens.
Book a place on Alex’s workshop: