Latest news Archives -
- By Patrick
The start of 2016 took me on four assignments in East Africa.
The first two were for my regular client, Ace Africa.
I started in the historical homeland of Ace Africa in Bungoma District in the far west of Kenya above Lake Victoria very close to the Ugandan border.
The journey took me almost all the way down the Eastern shore of Lake Victoria by road, ferry and on foot. An odyssey unlikely to be taken on any tourist route. The people who live here are subsistence farmers and fishermen and Ace provides a lifeline to many where poverty and disease are frequent companions to most. Click here to see the pictures and read the post.
The next stage of the Ace Africa shoot took me to Northern Tanzania where I visited Ace projects and communities in the areas surrounding both Moshi and Arusha. Two legendary mountains, Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, loom tall over the region and people eek out a living on the lower slopes and plains below them. Click here to see more
Next the subject matter changed from human to animal as I travelled west to Rwanda. The journey took me to the Virunga Mountains a chain of dramatic volcanoes spanning the border regions between Rwanda, Uganda and Congo – home to the world’s largest groups of Mountain Gorillas. As a portraitist the work is surprisingly similar. Waiting for an expression in the eyes or a pose that captures a unique personality. Click here to see the pictures and read the story.
The final leg took me back to Kenya and not far from the shores of Lake Victoria to a gold mine in Migori. These deep pit mines are worked manually and vast amounts of ore are processed to glean seemingly minute amounts of gold. Excitingly this is about to be given the status of the first Fair Trade gold mine in Kenya. Click here to go straight to the pictures and story.
- By Patrick
In June this year my camera and I went to visit an unusual, or at least uncommon, rural business in the back lanes of deepest Somerset.
I went with Liz Earle to take photographs for a feature in her Autumn edition of the Liz Earle Wellbeing Magazine.
The farm and dairy is home to Will & Caroline Atkinson, a young intrepid couple out from the confines of the city to seek an new life in the country.
What they have established is impressive. A mixed flock of British milking goats and a dairy producing the most delicious cheeses…
Click here to see the pictures.
- By Patrick
Some people one meets in life are just so impressive that one can’t help being drawn to them. Not because they are famous or successful or wealthy but simply because they are rare.
When the year was still quite new I went to Bungoma District in Western Kenya not far from the Ugandan border to make a short film for Ace Africa.
I was looking for one story that would help to present an overall picture of Ace Africa‘s work with the poor and marginalised in the area. Over the first days I met with several needy people in diverse situations all poor, all struggling against the odds; but it was Christine Nasimiyu who stood out above all the rest.
Full of fun, laughter, drive and gritty determination, Christine has raised herself from the dregs of abandonment and destitution to be a powerful force for good not only within her family but also in her community.
Ace Africa is there to help put a foot on the first rung of the ladder back to normality – and as a steadying hand to help to climb higher.
Click here and scroll down to see the short film of one of Africa’s little success stories.
- By Patrick
A trip to a bright but chilly Venice even in February offers great opportunities to take pictures. This series of quickly captured images are all taken ‘in the moment’ and look to present two aspects of this remarkable city – the simultaneous kitch glamour of the Carnival and the more mundane – but also visually rewarding – aspects of Venetian daily life. These are a few of the things that caught my eye while traveling around this most extraordinary of cities.
Click the photo above or here to take a look.
- By Patrick
This year started on the ever wonderful island of Lamu on Kenya’s northern coast where I photographed the annual Shela 1st January Dhow Sailing Race – a splendid all island affair when boats from the arch-rival communities of Lamu Town and Shela compete for the honour, prestige and cash rewards of victory. Click the picture or the link below to see some of the pictures.
Then my African journey continued with a film making and photographic trip to the western parts of Tanzania and Kenya for Ace Africa.
The first destination was another extraordinary island, this time set in fresh water on the southern part of the Tanzania side of Lake Victoria, called Kome Island. Then travelling on and back up to the north west of Kenya – a few miles from the Ugandan border – to visit the people involved in Ace Africa’s original project area, Bungoma District.
See some of my pictures and read about the trip by clicking on the picture or the link below.
Hope you like them. More soon,
- By Patrick
2014 started in Africa with three new photos shoots across two countries for ACE Africa.
The first in Bungoma District in Western Kenya on the Ugandan border. Ace Africa’s work has expanded into new areas around Bungoma both geographically and in the resources they provide to local people. Their projects have grown throughout the region, have been truly life changing for many thousands of people and encompass almost every aspect of daily life. Nutrition, healthcare, education, housing, agriculture and, most important of all, the development of genuine self-sufficiency for individuals and groups of needy people removing the entrenched, yet unnecessary, dependency on outside aid.
I have photographed and filmed ACE Africa for nearly 10 years. Almost since its inception. In that time the results of their work have been beyond extraordinary. In the early days almost everyone I photographed died. Now, with combination of ACE Africa’s well considered, ultimately practical assistance and the introduction by governments of free ARVs, most live. And more than that most live normal, productive and healthy lives. The photographs of the projects all tell this story showing positive and empowered people providing for themselves and for others.
The second location for the ACE Africa shoot this year was Siaya. Close to Lake Victoria and deep in more remote Luo country. Poorer, more needy people without a doubt; it feels more like Bungoma in the early days. ACE has only been here a few years and this is my second visit here and it’s clear the work is going in the same direction. But the need is still great. I met many people who are just being ‘found’. People who have struggled on through stigmatisation, sickness, bereavement and under-employment. But all are stories of hope and of lives transformed with an uplifting hand from the remarkable team at ACE Africa.
ACE Africa’s third area of operation took me across Kenya’s southern border into Tanzania. In the shadow of Mount Meru (Oldonyo Orok) nestles the town of Arusha. The fastest growing urban area in Africa. Not long ago the population in and surrounding this town were nomadic, pastoralist Maasai but over the last few years most have settled permanently changing their ancient way of life to become subsistence farmers now known as the WaArusha (the people of Arusha). HIV Aids has taken its toll here too and though these people appear superficially stoically independent poverty is rife and the need is great.
These few pictures selected for this series aim to show ordinary people trying to live ordinary lives against a background of great adversity. Lives that are damaged but not completely broken filled with dignity, resourcefulness and hope.
Search this site for In Sickness or in Health or Ace Africa – 2014 to see the pictures. Or click Ace Africa -2014
To see a much larger range of my pictures for ACE Africa and to find out more please go to ACE-Africa.org
- By Patrick
March 2014 took me on a whistle-stop northern Ethiopian excursion to Bahir Dar on the shore of Lake Tana, from there we travelled north to Gondar, then into the Simien Mountains and finally west to the medieval, rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
The people, often strikingly and simply beautiful, dressed in their traditional cotton robes (gabis) stride or ride through a vast, ancient landscape filled with mythology and dramatic geography and geology.
The country oozes history out of every pore. It evokes the Old Testament at every turn, the Queen of Sheba is reputedly from here and the Orthodox Coptic religion has added layers of legend and tradition to this biblical heritage.
Everywhere people are friendly and hospitable – welcoming strangers. The atmosphere is fragrant with the perfumes of coffee, frankincense and the smell of ubiquitous eucalyptus trees.
- By Patrick
2014’s calendar has a 1940s wartime theme and aims to capture a series of narratives from the period.
All the pictures – bar one – were taken on an a Canon Eos 5D Mark II using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L lens to help create an authentic period look. The exception being ‘The Harley’ which was taken with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 lens.
To create a convincing period look with a modern digital camera, even one as good as the Canon Eos 5D Mark II, is always going to be a challenge. Back then 35mm camera lenses were often less precise; film stocks were significantly different and print fixing more haphazard. Then there’s the whole grain issue to deal with. So rather than to attempt to age the photographs to look like a ‘40s picture that has been around for over sixty years with all its commensurate wear and tear, we decided instead to create the pictures to look as close as possible to the way they would have looked freshly printed at the time.
All the proceeds of the sales of the Compton Calendar raise money for The Waterloo Military Families Fund. The beneficiaries being the Army Benevolent Fund, Caring for Courage, SSAFA, Combat Stress, Defence Medical Welfare Service and Scotties Little Soldiers.
Many, many thanks to all the diverse people concerned both in front of the camera and behind the scenes without whom this production would not have been possible.
To see more from the series click here.
A little update to say that the Compton Team are hoping to raise £10,000 for The Waterloo Military Families Fund. By mid-November 2013 the total already stands in excess of £4,000. Well done to all concerned and if you haven’t bought yours yet then order yours today from http://www.comptonabbasairfield.co.uk/?agent=abbasair&page=calendar2014
- By Patrick
I hope that you like this new site. It’s packed with recent work as well as a considerable amount of work from the archive.
Essentially the website is split into two main sections. Photography and Films. Hopefully it is intuitive enough for no further explanation to be necessary. Just click on the various on screen options to navigate your way around.
Use the + to see more information.
The latest project is The End of Days – The Last of the Omo Valley Tribes. This photographic assignment to Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley in early 2013 produced a large amount of new images of the traditional tribal peoples living close to, or on, the shores of the Omo River.
If you would like to commission me or to enquire if usage rights or to find out if prints are available for sale please click the Contact option in the navigation bar.
Thank you for visiting…