Strong Island Co.

Photography

Mia Mai Lingerie Collection 2014

Friend of Strong Island and one of our most loved creatives Ami Lowman has just released the images of her second lingerie collection. Ami who launched Mia Mai after graduating from Portsmouth Uni in 2006 has created collections of handmade and customized vintage clothing over the last few years in addition to her artwork and freelance teaching.

In 2012 Ami and Mia Mai took her career in a new direction designing a collection of lingerie to debut at the first ever Southsea Fashion Week. Two years on and this new collection showcases the designers unique approach to lingerie. She designs and creates garments that deserve to be shown off as apposed to hidden away under clothes. The collection has a huge ethnic inspiration and is made using vintage materials, donated clothing, jewellery, vintage laces and Indian trims.

Ami showcased the collection in the Kings Theatre and assembled local talent to help including Maximilian Hetherington (Photography), Tatum Isaacs (Hair), Naomi Lake (Make Up Artist) and Amber, Emily and Naomi (Models).

Ami Lowman:Max Hetherington 6

Ami will be taking her beautiful collection to Brighton Fashion Week next month to take part in a curated Fashion Market featuring 40 handpicked designers and artists from across the country. Mia Mai accepts bespoke commissions for lingerie sets, to enquire or to see more of Ami’s work visit her website www.miamai.co.uk, Facebook and Twitter @MiaMai.

Ami Lowman:Max Hetherington 1

Ami Lowman:Max Hetherington 3

Ami Lowman:Max Hetherington 5

Victorious 2014 Animated GIFs by Sam Brooks

Local creative Sam Brooks (who recently participated in our Tricorn Artist Series) was, like many of us, at Victorious Festival this year and captured some of the sights of the festival and has produced a series of animated GIFs. animated GIFs have been around for almost 20 years but as bandwidth increases to dramatically grow they are no longer clunky MySpace-like flashing colours…and can now be refined, thought provoking, fascinating frozen moments in time.

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Winter is coming, that means only one thing, we are working hard behind the scenes finalising our 2015 calendar. We were again overwhelmed by the demand for our 2014 calendar. This year we aim to have the calendar available for pre orders from mid October, with the copies ready for dispatch/sale in mid November.

The calendars will be available in the Strong Island Clothing Co. shop and can be posted nationally or internationally. We will no longer be offering a pick up service for your orders. You will however be able to pick up a copy directly at Southsea Gallery, Albert Road or Lou Lou’s, Marmion Road.

We will be taking submissions up until the end of October, so please keep them coming! You can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Tina Bolton South Parade Pier
By Tina Bolton
Louise Kydd Cathedral
By Louise Kydd
Jon Neil 13
By Jon Neil

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

We’ve kept a keen eye on local photographer Andrew Hayward’s work since he graduated from the University of Portsmouth including his Secret Dockyard photography project and the Secret Dockyard exhibition through to his new project focusing on petrol stages located on A roads taken after dark.

Andrew’s images within this commissioned collection capture serene and haunting visions of petrol stations, glowing like beacons of hope for the weary traveller. For those who pass through them silently in the night, they are a sanctuary amongst the isolation of the night-time drive. Every driver and passenger on road trips can connect with this vision.

Andrew’s inspiration for this project was ignited on a family holiday to Devon, where a lot of travelling through the darkness was broken up by the safe haven and goods these petrol stations have to offer. Embarking on this project he was influenced by the work of American artist Ed Rushca, who photographed petrol stations along Route 66 during the mid 20th Century.

Andrew has spent his entire life living in Portsmouth, studying photography at the city’s university where he found an even deeper love for traditional methods of photography with colour and black and white film. More specifically he works with large format 5 x 4” film and sometimes 10 x 8” finding it important to use increasingly niche and finite materials for creating his work.

aspex Guildhall will be home to this new exhibition of work by Andrew Paul Hayward with the aspex Guildhall gallery space to be opening with an artist preview on Wednesday 20th August from 6-8pm, the exhibition will then run until 19th October, open from Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.

If you were lucky you may have even picked up a print of a piece of work from the exhibition as Andrew dropped 10 prints around Portsmouth as part of Free Art Friday last week, well done if you were lucky enough to find one.

To see more of Andrew’s work and find out more about the exhibition visit Andrew’s website:

www.andrewpaulhayward.com

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos

In the six years we have been writing articles we have featured the progression of aerial photography in and around Portsmouth and Southsea, with photos from kites, planes and helicopters. Recently small, affordable remote helicopter drones have enabled people to film and photograph the city, allowing amateurs and professionals to share views of landmarks and locations like never before. We spoke to James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos who works professionally with drones to find out more:

How did you get started in aerial photography?
Photography in general has always been a passion of mine but the aerial part was inspired by my father who was a Flight Engineer on Jumbo Jet’s. He’s now retired but flew over 6000 hours in the cockpit of a 747 and captured some breath-taking photos. Following in his footsteps, about 5 years ago I got my Private Pilot’s Licence, not quite a 747 but I would use every spare penny to jump in a light aircraft armed with my Nikon SLR and shoot some really stunning photos. I’d post them on social media and get hundreds of likes. It was then that I realised there was a demand for this kind of photoghraphy but I never really had the time or the money to pursue it. I continued aerial photography in this way as a hobby until last year when I attended a conference on aviation safety and one of the hot topics was about ‘drones’. During the conference I had a light bulb moment and as soon as I got home began researching different drones, licences and the process to becoming a professional drone operator. About a week later I took the plunge and bought myself a drone, strapped a camera to it and it all took off from there really (pun intended).

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (1)
James landing at Lee-on-Solent in G-BKDH a Robin DR400 (Photo Courtesy of Ian Haskell)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James’ Dad (Paul Harvey) in April 1994 at work in the cockpit of a 747-136 before take off for the return leg to Heathrow from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Flight Engineer in the middle).

Can you detail what is involved in flying a drone? Also what sort of height, range, etc?
To fly a drone you require much of the same skills as you do to fly a manned aircraft, good hand eye coordination, good reactions and good eyesight! The one new skill that flying a drone requires is the ability to maintain orientation for a remote distant object. For example a drone flying away from you has the same left or right as you do, but when the drone is flying towards you everything is reversed and this can easily catch you out if you’re not concentrating. Luckily drones are highly sophisticated bits of kit with lots of sensors and gizmos that make things a lot easier, we use the remote control to adjust height, speed and direction just like a manned aircraft. But unlike a manned aircraft, if you get in any trouble you simply let go of the controls and the drone will hold its height and position using GPS satellites. Another nifty feature if you have any difficulty flying or perhaps you lose visual sight of it, all you have to do is hit the red switch on the remote control and the aircraft will autonomously fly back to you and land safely where it took off from.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James flying a Drone.

The use of drones is not yet fully integrated into the rest of the aviation world so current regulations prevent us from flying more than 400ft high (manned aircraft are not allowed to fly below 500ft so this ensures a safe buffer between the two). We must also remain within 0.5km from the pilot or within visual line of sight (whichever is closer).

What sort of camera equipment, lens, etc do you use?
My current camera of choice is the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. This surprises many people, especially professional ‘ground’ photographers but when you compare it to a Digital SLR (for purpose of aerial photography) the GoPro comes out on top, everytime! The video quality is amazing, it shoots anything from 1080p HD all the way up to 4K (cinema quality), it can shoot video and take photos simultaneously and most importantly it’s small and light. Connected to the camera I have a 5.8GHz Video Transmitter which streams live footage from the aircraft down to me on the ground through an HD screen, this allows me to frame up shots and allows the customer to preview the footage.

My aircraft of choice is a DJI Phantom 2, this is the go to drone for many operators as it works straight out the box and only takes a few modifications and some soldering to get it photography ready.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (3)
James’ DJI Phantom 2 enjoying the sunset on the River Hamble.

Working commercially, what projects have you been involved with?
Using drones for aerial photography is a fairly new concept to the general public, we’ve been getting on fine without them for so many years so it’s not easy to convince people this is the future. Sometimes the word ‘drone’ doesn’t help because this often conjures up images of military drones with weapons but this is just something that will take time to get used to. Despite this I’ve been quite busy, mostly from home owners and estate agents. An aerial photo of a large property in all its surrounding is a real eye grabber. One of my first customers was for a lady in Brockenhurst who had an old aerial photo from years ago taken from a helicopter and she wanted an updated one. Back then the aerial photo would have cost hundreds but today we can use a UAV with the same results (if not better) for a fraction of the cost.

Other projects I’ve got coming up include an aerial survey of some flood attenuation in Newbury for a well-known infrastructure and construction company and I will also be providing aerial photos and videos of Wickham Festival.

Do you use the drone for fun too? What locations do you like to shoot?
Oh yes, I take every opportunity to fly! If I’m going somewhere I think might have some aerial potential I’ll always pack my equipment. My favourite locations for aerial work are the English heritage and historical sites dotted around the country. They are such great landmarks to view from the air.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (4)
Titchfield Abbey.

What is your favourite local location?
My all-time favourite location so far has to be Southsea Castle, it was one of the first aerial videos I took and I loved every minute, despite getting up at 4:30am to get the sun rise! I remember I had a massive smile on my face the whole time I was chopping and shaping it into a video. The site is truly wonderful from the air and has so much character. I also run a social group (Portsmouth Happy Hour) and recently 70 of us went to the Southsea Castle for their weekly summer champagne night and it was such a great night, if you haven’t experienced it I thoroughly recommend it.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (5)
Southsea Castle.

How do you see this type of photography developing in the future?
The future for aerial photography is very bright! Drones are getting cheaper and the technology is advancing at a scary rate, there is already technology on the market that can make your drone completely autonomous and hands off, i.e. you can plan a flight program on your laptop hit enter and the drone will takeoff, fly the route, circle and photograph landmarks and land autonomously. This has great potential for aerial photography but also opens up other uses such as aerial surveillance for security purposes. I have no doubt that aerial photography using drones will increase significantly over the coming years (the House of Lords has even recognised it’s increasing popularity and begun an inquiry into them). I do see them being a common sight in some key areas though; Fire Brigades will use aerial drones armed with thermal imaging cameras to help assist firefighters to efficiently and safely fight fires, Power Companies will use drones to perform regular safety inspection of pylons and electricity cables, News Reporters will use drones to obtain footage of natural disasters or other hazardous scenarios, Police will use them track criminals or find missing persons…the list is endless and it’s a really exciting time to be a Drone pilot.

See the photos from Southsea and Southsea Common (including the set up of the Southsea Show) below and to find out more about Hampshire Aerial Photos and see more of James’ work visit: www.hampshireaerialphotos.co.uk

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (7)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (8)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (9)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers

Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.

Check some of Matt’s photos below and over on our Facebook page for more plus be sure to take a few moments to check out Matt’s awesome photography over on his website: Matt Ankers.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (1)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (2)
Adam Hills
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (3)
Russell Kane
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (4)
Russell Kane
Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (5)
Dana Alexander
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (6)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (7)
Russell Kane

Port in a Storm by Andrew Whyte

We’ve seen some incredible storm photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook this morning, with many people capturing one of the city’s most violent thunderstorms in some time. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Andrew Whyte loves taking photos at night (as well as Lego…) and braved the weather to capture ‘Port in a Storm’, a timelapse of the lightning over Portsmouth. Have a watch below and be sure to take some time looking through Andrew’s great photography on his Flickr.

Created Local with Aerial Photographer Chris Brunnen

Photographer Chris Brunnen is a local professional photographer who works commercially under CJB Photography and provides a wide range of photography services, including something a little different, Chris specialises in aerial photography. We spoke to Chris to find out more about how he got in to photography and in to this particular specialist field:

Hi Chris, how did you first get interested in photography?
I was introduced to photography when I was about 12 by Neil, my friend and neighbour. He was a few years older than me and was taking lessons at his school when he came home one day with an envelope of black & white prints he’d made and it completely amazed me. I couldn’t comprehend how it was done, I thought the process had to be done in a factory or by a huge company, I had no idea this was something that could be done at home in a darkened room. From that day, I remember the feeling so well, I was hooked, I wanted a camera. I begged my parents but they weren’t about to buy me an expensive piece of kit at that age so they gave me an old Box Brownie. Yes really, that was my first camera! Fortunately Neil’s mum worked in a chemist and knew how to load the camera but he would take the films to school to process them. We would set up scenes in the garden and photograph them, we even re-created the moon landing with Acton Man.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (2)

A few years later photography became an option in art lessons at my school and I started using the school’s 35mm cameras and lenses. I learned to process and print them myself and went on to take ‘O’ & ‘A’ Level exams, that introduced me to the practical, theory and history sides of the subject. I also studied art, technical drawing, physics and chemistry, all essential subjects in this field of work.

I went on to study Graphic Design at Art College. I’d originally intended to study Fine Art but I had a falling out with one of the lecturers on the pre-degree course…so I went to Graphics, a department next door to the photographic department where I ended up spending most of my time. The training as a designer I found very useful in photography, composition and layout are similar skills, again very useful background work to becoming a photographer. I find many people get too hung up on the camera, expecting to get great results from buying a big expensive piece of kit, they won’t, any more than buying a Stradivarius will make you a concert violinist. It takes more than that.

What got you in to taking aerial photos?
My first job was at a design & photography firm, I was behind a drawing board one day, behind the camera the next. As that firm grew I found I was spending more time taking photographs than designing and eventually left, with their backing, to set up my own photographic business, CJB Photography, in much bigger premises with a huge studio. Studio work has always been the main stay of my business but aerial photography is my USP.

What was your first experience of taking photos from the air?
A designer client of mine was working for IBM and needed aerial shots of their site at Havant and asked if I could do it…. I said yes. Fortunately they had a significant budget for the job so I hired a helicopter and off I went. While I was up I took a few other shots around Portsmouth and later showed them off to my clients. They met with a great deal of interest and since then, 1987, I’ve been flying virtually every month.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (2)
Rare colour aerial photo of Portsdown Park.

Can you describe your go-to camera kit for aerial photography? Any specialist equipment?
With aerial photography it’s all about resolution, the higher the better. Remember the first time you went on Google Earth, I’m betting you went straight to your house and zoomed in as close as you can. Aerial photos are the same and unique in the way they are viewed, make a big print and people just want to get closer, you don’t view portraits or landscapes like that, you’d step back to admire it. With that in mind I use a high res Canon with a wide ranging zoom and image stabiliser, your average DSLR isn’t going to cut it.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (3)
Southsea Show from some years ago.

On an aerial shoot are you able to take photos for yourself in the time in the air?
Most of my work is on commission but I do take advantage of my time in the air to build up my Aerial Photo Library, to be found on my web site, where there are now thousands of images for sale.

Any near misses?
The pilots and helicopters I use are all on an Air Operators Certificate for commercial flying and as such subject to strict maintenance schedules and safety regulations so ‘near misses’ don’t happen but I was in a heli with engine failure once, just as we were coming in to land at the airfield so the pilot set it down on the end of the runway, could’ve been worse I guess. Funny thing is, this wasn’t a working flight, I was being taken out to dinner at a hotel by the operator with their other regular clients. All a bit embarrassing for them really.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (4)
Close up view of the Spinnaker Tower.

What sort of clients do you work with and where do your photos end up being used/shown?
I’ve been involved with some amazing projects. The construction of McLaren’s HQ at Woking, St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton and recently the Thames Gateway Project. Most other jobs are more mundane but it still gets me up in a helicopter on a regular basis.

Which do you prefer, helicopter or aeroplane?
I don’t use fixed wing, although cheaper, they have wheels and wing struts that obscure the view and are much more unstable. There are some companies that use them but they really are inferior, sorry about the cliché but you get what you pay for.

You can see lots more of Chris’ photography on his website and Facebook page, which he often updates with aerial photos challenging people to guess the location. All photos with this interview are copyright of Chris Brunnen and used with kind permission.

www.cjbphotography.co.uk

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (5)
North End from the air.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (6)
Low tide in Langstone Harbour.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (7)
Chris Brunnen.

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2015 Calendar is starting to take shape, the quality of the submissions this year is really high yet again, which is making the job of selecting a short list very difficult.

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jon Neil Bandstand Low Res
Southsea Bandstand submerged in the storms. Photo by Jon Neil
Todd Lawton
Photo by Todd Lawton
Katie Harvey
Photo by Katie Harvey

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Southsea Seagulls

How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…

Photography : Tristan

Aerial Photographs of Portsmouth

Webb Aviation have hundreds of aerial photographs to purchase from all over the country. Click the link to see the Portsmouth Aerial Gallery and view photos from over Gosport looking across Gunwharf, all the way down to the Hayling Ferry.

aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on from photos of The bandstand and Tennis Courts the other week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

Back before East Jet in the late 1940s, early 1950s people flocked to Southsea seafront. Check the beach huts near Canoe Lake. Dozens of them and the Paddling Pool which is now occupied by the Sealife Centre. Love the little train to the right of the picture. Click for a closer look.

The Tricorn

It’s fair to say that we all loved The Tricorn outside of it’s it intent. A classic example of people reinventing architecture far beyond it’s original purpose. This short film doesn’t delve too deeply in to the many uses and inspirations The Tricorn had to offer, but it’s still a nice watch.

“An imaginative portrait of a futuristic concrete experiment of a shopping centre (‘the ugliest building in the world’ according to Prince Charles), built in the 1960s coastal town of Portsmouth, England. Loved or loathed, it developed a passionate cult following of artists and skateboarders but has now lost the battle for life.”

Directed by David Ferrone and Martin Fickling.

Vintage Southsea Skatepark articles

Articles about Southsea Skatepark can be hard to come by, and articles from 1988 even more so. I found these on the ‘when we was rad’ website a while back. I remember having the picture of Tommy Guerrero pulling that slob torn out and on my wall for years. Sick.

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