Friday 9 March 2012

Meet Your Neighbours

I'm very pleased to have joined the 'Meet Your Neighbours' photographic initiative created and led by Niall Benvie and Clay Bolt. The project aims to celebrate local biodiversity by creating a team of photographers around the world to photograph the wide variety of species on each of their doorsteps. All images have to be taken in the same distinctive style - with a white background created by using a field studio (on location). This not only means the images are instantly recognisable as belonging to the project but this style of imagery also celebrates the beauty and diversity of species by photographing them in isolation from their surroundings.

Photographers contributing to the project either work closely with a local wildlife organisation who utilise the images to further their cause, or they contribute stock images on a profit sharing basis to a Meet Your Neighbours collection held by stock agency Nature Picture Library. I'll be doing the latter and I've just signed a contract with Nature Picture Library.

For futher information about the project please visit the Meet Your Neighbours website. You can also find project updates on the project's Facebook page.

I'll be honest and say I didn't immediately fall in love with the style of photography when I first started to see it a couple of years ago or more. But having read the project's aims the style of imagery started to make sense. Further conversations and emails from Niall and Clay only convinced me further that this project was a great way to encourage people to appreciate their local wildlife. As Niall puts it "A brilliantly-lit white background removes the context, encouraging appreciation of the subject as an individual rather than a species. Their own form constitutes the composition. Seen this way, animals and plants we thought we knew reveal another side of themselves, encourage a second glance, perhaps even renewed interest"

At this stage I'm still refining my techniques before the insect season starts in earnest. But a few insects are now appearing and allowing me to practice on them. In due course I'll be photographing a mixture of large and small insects using a variety of styles and techniques which I will explain on this blog. Watch this space over the coming months!


A Shieldbug

A Seven Spot Ladybird

A Millipede

A tiny Globular Springtail

A Seven Spot Ladybird

and finally a coiled Millipede looking more like an ammonite

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