justin welch photography

I'm a freelance fine art photographer based in London and Paris.

It’s been a while since my last post but that doesn’t mean I’ve been lying idle in some dark and damp corner. Oh no, in actual fact I’ve been a busy bee. To sum up the past couple of months, I’ve been abroad, yes again, and I’ve photographed two designer shoots as well as 3 separate shows at London Fashion Week.

Let’s start with my international excursions. I went across to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, for two and a half weeks to photography the city and it’s inhabitants. Unfortunately this was not a commission but more of a personal project. Apart from 2 days visiting surrounding towns, I spent most of my time walking the streets of Zagreb, with my trusty camera in hand. I shot a variety of subject matter from buildings, street scenes, people, graffiti and abstract images. My standard kit for the days out was my trusty 24-70mm f2.8 L lens and a recently purchased Lensbaby Composer.

From the gallery on my website you can see I captured and created some amazing images.

I then flew directly from Zagreb to Brussels for a two day exploration trip of the city. Here I also walked the streets photographing buildings, street scenes and the people going about their daily activities.

Eurostar back to London on Friday evening, followed by a studio shoot for a handbag designed, Embellished Truth, in Fulham on the Saturday. The shoot went well and we had a fantastic team including my assistant, Johan – Paul Hion, make-up artist and hair stylist and the designers assistant. The images are on my website under Client Gallery as they are awaiting final sign-off by the designer, who has already raved about them.

The following day I spent with fellow Putney LIP (London Independent Photographer) togs, shooting “The City”. Although the weather was not very cooperative, we still managed to bag some real quality images.

On Monday I began my week on a high note by shooting London Fashion Week (LFW) which was very enjoyable and I managed to cover 3 fashion show.

Images from The City and LFW are located in the Client Gallery on my website so venture over to it and have a look. Any comments welcomed.

We only had one night in Adelaide so we decided to walk it flat. And we did. It’s a lovely city and we wished we had a couple more days to explore it, and the surrounding areas and beaches. The following morning we collected our hire car and began our five-day road trip down to Melbourne.  The trip included 4 nightly “stop overs” in Robe, Apollo Bay, Port Fairy and Mt Gambier.  Oh yes, and a lot of driving. 

The drive was awesome and the highlights were…well, actually, all of those places but, in particular, Port Fairy (as pretty as its name), Geelong (a nice surprise just before Melbourne) and the Great Ocean Road itself, which begins at Port Fairy and ends in Geelong (even better than everything we had read about it and worth spending time on).

If we had another week allocated to the drive down to Melbourne we still would not have ticked off all the things we wanted to or could have done, so we had to prioritise and allocate some spare time to allow a spontaneous stop here and there (including Grey River Reserve, off the beaten track, beautiful unspoilt forest and where we saw our first koalas).

The Great Ocean Road was incredible. We stopped at London Bridge, The Arch,  the Twelve Apostles and Bells Beach. The latter was the highlight of the viewing areas.

But the huge Otway National Park was also amazing and we saw more koalas than you can imagine.  And some were even moving and not just sleeping! After seeing so many we decided to head straight to Melbourne and jokingly agreed that we would not stop for another ‘koala shot’ unless it was a mother and baby encounter.  And sure enough just up the road, a mother with her baby clinging to her back attempted to cross the road in front of us.  As I parked the car, she scampered off the road and climbed a couple of feet up the nearest tree. We climbed out the car and approached slowly and then stopped. We could see her assessing what threat we posed. After a couple of minutes she clearly accepted our company and climbed back down, she then casually walked right past us as she crossed the road, which I managed to capture on video. And that experience will stay with us for a long time!

We then headed for Melbourne, last stop Geelong, and were pleasantly surprised with what we saw. The beachfront was well laid out with areas dedicated to family picnics, grassed areas, a promenade and probably the best swimming area I have ever seen.  If you ever head to the Melbourne area, it’s definitely worth a day trip out to Geelong. 

For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com

Upon arriving at Uluru Resort we settled in to our room and had 3 hours downtime before our first excursion.  We had been warned that the famous ‘Red Centre’ wouldn’t be as red as expected and indeed it was actually very green due to the unusual amount of rainfall they had experienced over the past couple of months, ending a 9 year drought in most parts of Australia.  In fact flooding has now become a big problem in some areas and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a farmer in Queensland, swinging between extensive droughts and terribly floods!

That evening we were driven into the national park, past Uluru (Ayers Rock) and onto Kata Tjuta, Uluru’s neighbour, for a walk along the base and up into the rock itself for a view of the rock formations. We then walked back down to a viewing area for champagne sunset drinks. The light was amazing and, even though it was a little overcast, the setting sun still transformed the rock to an amazing red colour.

The next morning was a very early start for a sunrise over Uluru itself.  Wow! It was amazing - have a look in my landscape gallery for images of Uluru at sunrise. We then had a 4 hour guided walk around the base and ended the first part of the day with a well-deserved breakfast. 

That evening we were driven out to another viewing platform, this time for Uluru at sunset. The sun just managed to break through the clouds and catch some sections of the rock with light, turning them deep red. Due to an unexpected rain shower, we also had a special treat, with a partial rainbow forming just to the left of Uluru, something that even the guides had only seen rarely.

For our last day in the Red Centre, we had just got to sleep when we had to get up again to head for the King’s Canyon, about 4 hours drive away. Distances in this country are amazing and a 4-hour drive is a walk in the park for these coach drivers. 

En route to the canyon we stopped off twice, the first time to watch the sunrise and the second at a station in the middle of nowhere to have breakfast.  We arrived at the canyon and set out for a round trip walk of the canyon rim - the views and rock formations were truly amazing. 

We completing the walk, we continued on to Alice Springs, where we spent the night before heading down to Adelaide.  Alice Springs…well, what can I say??? It’s basically a shit hole in the middle of nowhere. It was the only place we were advised not to walk around at night and it was the only place we felt less than 100% safe. Avoid it if you can (we have heard a few other unsavoury experiences of AS since and while others may have good stories to tell, it wasn’t our kind of place and there is a simmering tension not far from the surface.

For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com

After a 7 hour flight, and just 1 hours sleep, from Hong Kong we touched down in Cairns (Queensland). We jumped onto the shuttle bus heading for Port Douglas, even further up the Queensland coast. The drive along the coastal Captain Cook Highway was spectacular.  And the town itself was just picture perfect. 

Once we had arrived and checked into our accommodation, which was a stone’s practically on the beach, we headed up the main street to the weekly market, which is reportedly one of the best in Australia. As we slowly walked up to the market, we could sense a storm was brewing. And sure enough within an hour the heavens opened and we were treated to a spectacular electric storm.  After the rain had passed I grabbed my camera and tripod and dashed for the beach to try and capture the dramatic lightning in the distance. I managed to get some keepers – can be found in my gallery.

The following day we decided to have as a chill-out day so we just hired some bicycles and rode up to a lookout point above the town and then just explored the streets before heading back for a well-deserved afternoon nap.

The following day we went diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I had a total of 3 dives and managed to see white tipped sharks, turtles, moray eels, loads of sea cucumbers and giant clams.  It was a memorable day out on the reef and felt really fortunate to have been able experiencing the beauty of the reef from a fish’s perspective!

For our last full day in the area we went on a private tour of the Daintree Rain Forrest. This is the only place on earth where 2 world heritage sites meet, the Daintree Rain Forrest and the Great Barrier Reef.  The day also included a river cruise where we went in search of the ‘Salties’, saltwater crocodiles.

 The following morning we were collected and taken back to Cairns Airport to catch our flight to Ayers Rock.

For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com

For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com

It’s been a while since we left the UK and there have been too many interesting things to do to keep my blogs updated regularly.  But here is part one…..

After a great flight with Cathay Pacific, we eventually touched down in Hong Kong for a two night stop over en route to Australia.  And all I can say is WOW! What a city it is. If you love shopping it’s definitely the place to go to. If you love architecture, it has an abundance of amazing buildings of all shapes and sizes.  If you love people, urban or architectural photography it’s definitely worth putting on your list of places to go to.  If you like peace and quiet, don’t bother!

With my trusty camera at the ready, we headed out to do all the touristy things, like getting the Star Ferry across to Kowloon to admire the views of the city skyline, and what a skyline it is.  We took a leisurely stroll through the shopping precincts of Kowloon and there is just street after street of shopping malls, stores and markets. I have never been anywhere like it, it was just too much, even for a shopper like me!  The botanic gardens of Kowloon Park were a welcome relief from the bustling streets and lots of local people also use them as an oasis of calm.  There were some unexpected opportunities for wildlife photography in the park, particularly around a lake where we were lucky to see a beautiful kingfisher perched on a branch overhanging the water.

After the return journey on the Star Ferry, we headed up to the Victoria Peak lookout, via the Peak Tram (the steepest funicular in the world) for its stunning views across the city. We went up in the late afternoon to photograph in daylight, at sunset and at night, with the full effect of the lights of the city in both Hong Kong and Kowloon.  From the Peak you are some way away from both sides of HK and get an amazing view, even on a rather hazy day.  There are also some nice walks you can do along the sides of the hill, while you wait for the right light.

The following day we headed out of town via the metro system, which is easy to navigate and very efficient, to head towards the Giant Buddha.  We caught a bus up to the Buddha but returned via an amazing cable car – the views from this make the journey worthwhile in itself. At the site of the Buddha you can find temples and shrines, where worshippers place burning incense and, with some of the biggest joss sticks in the world, the smell is wonderful.  We spent some time just walking around, and obviously photographing, the site before heading back into Hong Kong.

We went in search of the world’s longest escalator and when we found it we were amazed at how efficiently it transports thousands of people up and down, through some very steep old streets in the city.  This was definitely the most interesting area of HK and you can hop on and off the escalator to look at individual streets, where you find the best collection of restaurants, bars and cafes.  We wished we had found this earlier, it’s a unique part of HK, with real character and great photo opportunities, and we will definitely be going back on our return journey.

That evening we caught our next flight to Cairns, Australia for the main part of our trip.

For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com

On Sunday a group of fellow members from the Putney London Independent Photography (LIP) group ventured out into the cold to shoot Greenland Dock in South East London. Our aim was to use reflections of Canary Wharf as the backdrop to some interesting urban images.

En route, during our journey on an overground train, the sun began to show a glimmer of hope of making an appearance by gently breaking through the low lying clouds that had brought rain and snow for the past 2 weeks. We weren’t holding our breath for sunny skies, surely that would be far too fortuitous, wouldn’t it?

After arriving at Waterloo, we made our way to the northbound Jubilee Line to reach Canada Water, where we waited for 2 more members, one who was late (not for the first time – you know who you are!).

When we finally exited the station we were amazed to find that the sky was almost clear of clouds, which set the tune for the rest of the day. We were all buzzing with excitement, eager to get out there and shoot.

With our cameras at the ready, we arrived at the dock and were blessed with perfect conditions to shoot the smooth, reflection filled dock.  We spent a total of about 4.5 hours walking around the dock and surrounding waterways, snapping left right and centre.  After a well-deserved lunch on the Wibbly Wobbly (a floating bar and restaurant), we headed out again to shoot for the final hour of daylight as the sun began to set in the west.  First making our way to the bank of the Thames and then backtracking to our original starting position at the dock, to bring the day to a close. Wow what a day!

I think that the photographic results made the most of the perfect weather and great urban setting.

To view my final selection of images from the day visit www.justinwelchphotography.com (Urban and Travel section).

During a short break from seminars at the Blurb pop-up store in London, I took the opportunity to explore the surrounding streets for puddles. Yes puddles! Here is one image i snapped and the others can be viewed on my website in the Oxford Street image gallery. Not all is as it seems!
Going back to the main reason I ventured into town yesterday was to attend a range of seminars held at the Blurb pop-up store off Oxford Street. The main focus for Tuesday was Fashion, and as an aspiring fashion photographer I thought, ‘what the hell!’
The first seminar was presented by Martin Evening, (some will recognise the name as the author of the Adobe Photoshop for Photographers publications), he gave a brief summary of his photography life and showed some of his work, he then covered the technical aspects on preparing one’s work for publication. Quite a technical run through but nothing my nut couldn’t cope with. 
The second seminar was presented by David Eustace, Google his name or “In search of Eustace”. He gave a very informal but humorous pictorial display of his photographic career, and several fashion based project.  After the session I had a good long chat to him about his approach to working with advertising clients, his secrets to success. He was very willing to share this information and was a refreshing change to other photographers (no names mentioned) that prefer not to divulge any helpful tips and tricks.
The last presentation of the day, which was the main evening event, was presented by Jamie Perlman, art director at British Vogue. She spoke of he one pet project TEST and spent some time explaining what, from a fashion publication’s perspective, the market is looking for from photographers. The evening was finished off with the customary champers and snacks with some serious network taking place.
Until the next time…..
http://justinwelchphotography.tumblr.com/

During a short break from seminars at the Blurb pop-up store in London, I took the opportunity to explore the surrounding streets for puddles. Yes puddles! Here is one image i snapped and the others can be viewed on my website in the Oxford Street image gallery. Not all is as it seems!

Going back to the main reason I ventured into town yesterday was to attend a range of seminars held at the Blurb pop-up store off Oxford Street. The main focus for Tuesday was Fashion, and as an aspiring fashion photographer I thought, ‘what the hell!’

The first seminar was presented by Martin Evening, (some will recognise the name as the author of the Adobe Photoshop for Photographers publications), he gave a brief summary of his photography life and showed some of his work, he then covered the technical aspects on preparing one’s work for publication. Quite a technical run through but nothing my nut couldn’t cope with. 

The second seminar was presented by David Eustace, Google his name or “In search of Eustace”. He gave a very informal but humorous pictorial display of his photographic career, and several fashion based project.  After the session I had a good long chat to him about his approach to working with advertising clients, his secrets to success. He was very willing to share this information and was a refreshing change to other photographers (no names mentioned) that prefer not to divulge any helpful tips and tricks.

The last presentation of the day, which was the main evening event, was presented by Jamie Perlman, art director at British Vogue. She spoke of he one pet project TEST and spent some time explaining what, from a fashion publication’s perspective, the market is looking for from photographers. The evening was finished off with the customary champers and snacks with some serious network taking place.

Until the next time…..

http://justinwelchphotography.tumblr.com/

London Fireworks

On Friday evening I traveled down to Guildford to watch the towns torch procession and fireworks display as part of the Guy Fawkes celebrations. I was amazed at the visitor turnout, there were definitely several thousand attending it this year. It was quite a site seeing all those torches (Candles about 60cm long) being carried through the winding roads leading to Stoke Park. 

The fireworks display organisers were very fortunate to have a dry evening and a gentle but fresh breeze blowing on the evening. The display itself was outstanding and I managed to capture some descent images. You can find these n my website under the Urban/Travel page.

Until the next post…….

http://justinwelchphotography.tumblr.com/

Recreational Photography Time

Well it’s Friday again and time to head out into the big world and take some recreational photos (not work related). If you have any ideas as to what you want me to shoot just reply to this post.

Have a GR8 Weekend