Spaced Men

A New Feature Film

A fictional story written and directed by Lee Price.

Lee Price is an experienced filmmaker based in Hinckley and has created three features, filmed locally and has now sought and joined a talented team of creatives together to work on his more adventurous 4th film, Spaced Men.

The screen play has been written and read, then each of us has spent time wondering how to bring this to life. We’ve been out on a first scout of locations and even completed some test shoots. Now the ideas are really starting to flow and there’s an energy building for something that can become something quite special.

We have Lee Price as Director, Cameron Savage as Assistant Director, Myself Paul Hands as Director of Photography, Mark Hartopp as the VFX, technical expert, Matt Cobb as main character Matt and practical effects, Paul Mackanzie as a main character - Paul, Benjamin Swinton as drone pilot, produced by John Brookes and we have a wide network of creatives and professionals that are collaborating with us along the way.

We’re in the early stages of what is believed to be a lengthy estimated 18 months to bring this film to screen. There’s tons of stuff happening in the background, we’re making solid progress and it’s going to be really exciting bringing news to you about this as we go. You might even get some sneak peeks at some of the footage and trailers.

Mark is building a website where we’ll be able to update with news on our progress and provide a platform for information on the film and the team of creatives behind the feature. I’ll share news of that as soon as it’s ready.

You can learn more information about Lee’s 2nd feature ‘Frettin’, which is available on Amazon Prime and also has a Facebook page.

I’ll also be updating my blog as we move through the production, if you subscribe, you’ll get news by email as I share it.

Remember the name of this film, Spaced Men, it’s gonna be awesome!

Dreaming of Summer

Combe Martin Landscape Photographs

By Paul Hands

I set out to make artwork from the landscape, while on a family holiday earlier this year in North Devon.

The golden hour falls perfectly in the summer evenings where the sun sets right in the middle of the vista. So I had a play with the light and the environment.

As it’s colder today than what we’ve been experiencing recently, I wanted to push our memories back towards those beautiful summer months we had in 2018.

This is a curated series of photographs and are available as prints or canvas, please click here for more info.

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I'm a Photographer and Filmmaker but WHY?

What’s the point of making photographs and films?

There comes a time in any creators life when they question themselves.

I think I know the answer but then again, I’m not sure?

Derby Road, Crossroads, Hinckley, Leicestershire.

What do I achieve by making photographs?

Who cares anyway?

The above photograph was made on a whim. I’d always planned to make a picture from these bollards, knowing somebody had drawn a question mark on one. It attracted me because it’s quirky. I grabbed this photograph while walking home from a friends house late at night and while I a little worse for wear.

It’s a powerful picture and one of my favourites (of many)!

I made it because I like the look of it and fits with my quizzical mind. It doesn’t fit with any project and stands alone as a single image. Once I got home and did a little post production on it. I only ever perform digital darkroom techniques and never crop a photograph in post. This is simply because I have been trained to get it right in camera and it’s become a firm belief of mine, that if you have to alter the picture in post, then it’s not good enough anyway and I tend to just move on if I don’t get it right.

WHY THOUGH?

I posted it on social media and possibly got a few likes from people following my social pages but that’s it. That’s where it stopped! What was the point of that? Well, I’ve got a huge library of photographs that tell a story of my journey through life and it gives me a record of the weird things that I notice on my travels. A lot of my photographs also tell parts of other peoples stories and journeys.

Maybe he was walking home from the pub?

I like to think I can second guess peoples stories. Was this man walking home from the pub late at night? I noticed the difficulty in walking up this hill, so I flattened it for him, levelled it out.

My little doggy, Laila

I often take my dog for walks at night and with my camera, just looking for things that I find interesting. Usually it’s something different and more often than not, the photographs just pop up on social media and then sit on my hard drive. I always plan to print them and make a book one day (which is sooo expensive)!

So, going back to they why…

I wrote a post about this on social media and it went something like this…

Why do I bother making photographs? I mean what’s the point? Seriously, I could just sit at home and look at other peoples work on the internet or spend some real time going to see an exhibition.
Actually, I’ll tell you why. It’s because I have to. It’s a burning desire that cannot be ignored. I’ve become a creator, a storyteller.
Well I’ve always been quite good at talking up stories but now I know how to use a camera, I have to do that.
It’s like having a child and needing to have time with them, to see them and watch them growing. It’s not exactly like that but I can only liken making pictures to that with this level of passion.
Every day I see something that would make a great photograph, in fact I see things more than just once a day and it hurts when I can’t record that moment. It burns away inside of me.
I am a photographer and now I’ve said it, I can’t ctrl z that!
I must make, I must create, regardless of how many people like my work, regardless of who sees it and regardless of what anyone thinks, I still have to do it.
I know I could never stop!
— Paul Hands

I think this just about sums it up, although you’ll never get to understand how my mind works, I don’t think I’ll ever know, I just know it’s a little bit odd, a bit weird and not quite the same as everyone else.

Let’s just leave it at that shall we?

Brookside, Burbage

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Hinterland, A Journey of Discovery

Hinterland, A Journey of Discovery…

is a photo essay curated from a series of landscape photographs that lead the viewer on a journey through a compositional and bendy narrative with twists.

Join me on an exploration through the Hinterland in the depths of the East Midlands.

Follow the twisted path of yonder and discover the adventure that awaits any man or woman brave enough to wander alone.

You’re welcome to begin but you can’t stop once you start.

There’s an edge to this journey, you must run for your life for there are packs of creatures that have not been seen, yet traces of their existence and the loss of many brave souls lives and the limbs,, enough. Well, they’re real and they’re out there.

So you must fucking run ok!

No walking or your fucking dead, they won’t miss you if you walk.

Trust me.

It’s good for the waste line too!

So…

When you clear the clearing and reach the woods, breathe, you can relax there because it’s just magical in the woods. It’s pretty and you’ll see, it’s a furry tail!

Don’t fret if you’re spotted by the creatures after the woods, they’ll be on foreign ground and this is your time Bumble Bum, it’s a bumpy road but there’s a way out.

Now fucking run!

If you wanna keep up with my work, please sign up below, it’s easy, I’ll do the rest.

Moments of People

Celebrating life in Birmingham CIty Centre

This collection of photographs were created in 2014 during some of my exploration of street photography.

As always, I welcome your comments and chats about photography.

Feel free to subscribe to see more of my work.

The Combe Martin Landscape, North Devon.

Tourism Photography 

Showing off the landscape for travellers and tourists.

During a trip to Combe Martin in North Devon for our holiday and exploration of the area, I was overwhelmed by the naturla beauty that surrounds the resort and reacted by making photographs that I felt showed off the place in a promotional way.

This is a skill that I apply to my commercial photography.  I look for the shape of the land and work with how the light falls up on it, shaping the form and romanticising the landscape.  

I'm not strictly a sublimne romantic photographer and this genre is one that I usually leave for the photography enthusiasts but when I was faced with these beautiful scenes in Combe Martin, I couldn't refuse the exposures.

This is a small selection of the pictures that I made during this trip, I hope you enjoy them?

This kind of Landscape Photography can be used to help promote holiday parks, resorts and campsites as well as support the tourism board in promoting destinations.  If you'd like to make an enquiry about commissioning me for an assignment, please hit this button gently...

Hinckley Bid's 9th Annual Soap Box Derby Film

The Soap Box Derby

Hinckley BID (Business Improvement District) organise many social events in the small market town centre in Leicestershire every year in what is now becoming an historic tradition.

I was commissioned to create a short film of the whole event and arrived early on the Sunday morning of the race day.  The first thing I encountered was the huge numbers of entrants hanging around in the pits, tinkering around and putting the final touches towards their carts.

The Soap Box Derby is a timed solo race down Castle Street which is a large hill named after a small Mott and Bailey that centered in Hinckley many years ago.  Castle Street is a long downhill gradient and the course is manufactured with a chicane and a ramp with a large stopping and turning area at the bottom of the hill.

Thousands of people come to Hinckley from all over the UK to watch the derby and this film is a short tribute to everyone that takes part in both the racing and the organisation.

The commission was to create this short film with a focus upon the event and the crowds that flock to watch and for the purpose of showcasing the extent the BID go to, to bring people in to the town centre and to show how good for local business are the BID and the events that bring the footfall.

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Documentary Photography and Filmmaking

Public Relations Photography

Corporate Website Imagery

Landscape Photography

Documentary Photography

Clients: Charities, Local Government, Corporate and SME business

Events, promotion and storytelling visual needs


What Can Street Photography Do To Help?

Street Photography Skills Are Transferable

It's the hardest genre of photography to pick up!

Firstly, the genre of Street Photography is the single most difficult genre of photography to do, be good at and to practice because you're simply pointing your camera at strangers in the street.  In today's society, people are becoming more and more aware of their image appearing on the internet and usually, object to having their picture made by a stranger on the street.

Paul Hands (2013).

In this picture above, I noticed the man approaching this painting and realised that he looked incredibly similar.  The moment happened in slow motion and I couldn't believe what was happening at the time.  I was completely tuned in to the environment when I came across this scene in Artists Square in the Montmartre district of Paris.  I had to make sure the exposure was right, using manual controls on my camera, get the focus in the right place, frame the shot and make the picture, all without being creepy, obvious and with respect.

Paul Hands (2018)

I noticed this dog in the window, while scouting the centre of Birmingham, looking for street photographs and because there was a reflection in the window below, I had to position myself so that I wasn't in the picture as a reflection but wait until the right person passed the scene to get them in the picture.  This was a necessity for the image because the general consensus for a street photograph to be classed as that, there needs to be a human element in the frame.

Paul Hands (2018)

Most of the time a street photograph works best in black and white.  There's an old saying that when you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes but when you photograph them in black and white, you photograph their souls.   For a picture to work in colour, the colour in the picture has to matter.  The colours in this picture (above) matter because they're quite striking and demand attention.  In black and white, this picture would just be a very average one, even now, it's still an average picture by comparison to others work.

Paul Hands (2018)

Where I've said that Street Photography skills are transferable, I'll explain.  You see, to make a street photograph, you have to really tune into your environment, slow life down and watch humanity passing your eyes.  You're effectively people watching but looking at the world and these people with an artistic eye.  You look for meaning and a way of making sense of life.  You have to be very quick with your camera too and learn to move unseen around the city.  Using the skills of a street photographer, you can learn to apply them to a commercial setting.  For example, I do a lot of documentary photography for my clients, telling real stories with my camera for promotional and positive reasons.  I often get commissions that require my street photography skills because it tells a certain amount of truth as opposed to designing a photograph and this is a valuable commodity for certain organisations.

Paul hands (2018)

The above picture is purposefully blurred because it was made in Amsterdam and it was towards the end of the evening, with this demonstrating how I felt at the time.  There's a human element and it's not close up but I've photographed the environment and placed a person for the human element within the frame.  

Paul Hands (2018)

This picture is also blurry and was made in the red light area of Amsterdam.  The blur is from an intentional camera movement designed to create a hectic vibe in the picture.  Its design is to create tension in the frame, to make the viewer feel the chaos of the night in that place.  

Paul Hands (2018)

I made the above picture in my hometown of Hinckley Leicestershire at the end of the LOROS Colour Fun Run.  The light was low and casting long strong shadows.  The floor was covered in paint powder from the race and it made an interesting picture.  I stumbled across a child rolling around on the floor in the paint and loved the frame with the bollards, almost creating an invisible box.  

Paul Hands (2018)

The above picture was from the same fun run as the photograph before and catches a very unique moment in time where these three girls are holding hands passing through the place where they're doused in pain powder.  The paint itself is flying through the air and offers strong evidence of time stopping.  There's also an element of the environment in the top left corner for reference, it also provides context as opposed to the paint blocking out any visual reference as to where it is.  These are strong skills that can be applied to photographs for a commercial setting, especially within the events genre.

So in essence, Street Photography skills are the hardest to acquire and learn.  I remember the first time I pointed my camera at a stranger in the street.  I was so worried that they'd be offended and it wasn't until I learned how to do this properly without them realising and even noticing me that my pictures started to work.  It's all about getting close to the subjects and telling the real story or even making up your own.  To make a picture instead of taking one is the difference.  Anyone can take one but making one is the difficulty and why only some pictures work and others don't.

I don't shoot weddings anymore, I used to but fell out of love with it through some awkward clients being painfully interfering with the process.  My point here is that if you shoot weddings, Street Photography can really help your style, it's how you need to shoot a wedding really.  Once you've done all of the portraits and the time comes to make natural looking pictures of the guests and wedding party enjoying themselves, these skills come in very handily.

I've always found that by learning to shoot street, it's sped up my decision-making process and the way in which I think visually, happens so quickly now.  I can only put this down to the skills being transferable.

Try it for yourselves.

Paul Hands (2018)

New Website Photographs

Corporate Business Photography

Tailored photographs designed for your new or existing company website.

Most of my clients need my services to help them clean up their websites, to help support their brands and to promote their business to their own clients and potential new business.

The SFB Group - New Leicester Offices

The SFB Group in Nuneaton commissioned me to create corporate portraits of every member of staff from all of their UK offices in 2017 and then became a returning client in 2018 when they required new photographs for their website and for public relations in the local media. The above photograph was created so they have a strong photograph to use in their recruitment campaigns.

The SFB Group, Leicester Offices

JJ Churchill in Market Bosworth commissioned me to provide a series of corporate headshots of their Directors, working photographs of staff in situ, on site and operating their multimillion pound machines, which are used to create precision aerospace parts as well as product photography of their machined parts.

JJ Churchill, Market Bosworth

JJ Churchill, Market Bosworth

JJ Churchill, Market Bosworth

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council commissioned me to produce a series of images for public relations to help promote their tourism partnership project, starting with a new Bosworth visitors map.  The image below shows MP David Treddinick giving a speech to the local tourism businesses and other council dignitaries.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, David Treddinick

 Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond and Sajid Javid Home Secretary

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond and Sajid Javid Home Secretary

Morris Homes and the Treasury commissioned me to provide a natural candid style of public relations photography to help them promote the new Homes England campaign to support house builders throughout the UK.  These images were used in social media blogs and on their website, all in aid of supporting positive direction.

The commonality of my image making:

These are just some of the commissions that I've been working on during 2018 and the common theme between all of them is the platform in which the images will be published, as well as the fact that most of my photographs are about people and place and always with promotion and a positive end result.  

In the near future, I have a large commission for local government to produce a year-long series of documentary films promoting how the Business Improvement District support local businesses.  This will be heavily focused on the footfall of the town centre, the busyness and how the BID bring business to the businesses.

I'm a passionate photographer and filmmaker that specialises in storytelling and promotion. Check out my client list and services here, along with great examples of the finished product of my assignments.

This is just a small snippet of my client list:

If you're considering hiring a professional photographer to create brand-specific photographs for your website, social media or for newspapers and magazines, then make an enquiry to discuss whether your assignment and my skills & availability are compatible.

Alternatively, call me now on 07854 956 970

My phones in my pocket on vibrate, I won't miss your call.

Email: paul@paulhands.co.uk

Amstreetdam

A Street Photography Project in Amsterdam

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines landed me on a motorway bridge on the outskirts of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and with a short train ride to arrive at Centraal Station, taking in the track side views of rural, residential and industrial landscapes.

Paul Hands (2018).

Once settled in the hotel, I hit the streets ready to put my new Panasonic LX100 to the test.  Up to this point, i'd only used the LX100 a few times but not under any pressurised commercial situations.  It was only up on writing this blog that I discovered a fast AF setting within the menu's.  I'm kicking myself now because I spent the whole time in Amsterdam, anticipating photographs because I was worried about how slow the AF was.  I put it down to being spoilt using a dslr with almost instantaneous focusing and having owned a Fuji XPro 1 for a short part of its life.

Julie Hrudova (2015).

Julie Hrudova, a street photographer based in Amsterdam became a source of inspiration for me prior to my trip.

Julie Hrudova (2012).

Julie Hrudovae (2012).

When I first discovered the pictures by Julie, I was blown away by her presentation, modernity and classic style of street photography.  I recommend taking a look through her Flickr website.

Jonathan Higbee:

Jonathan lives in NYC and has recently collected the amazing recognition he fully deserves with his coincidental work around New York in what Jonathan describes as his love letter to New York.  I've included Jonathan here because his work is so cool that when I'm out on the streets looking and searching for scenes, backdrops, places and people to photograph, I always have some of his strongest images in the back of my mind but I never ever come across similar.  

I can only put that down to different minds and a different set of eyes.  Proof that it's the photographer that makes the pictures as opposed to the camera!

Don't take my word for it anyway, please head over to Jonathan's website and see how good he is for yourself... https://www.jonathanhigbee.com

Jonathan Higbee

Jonathan Higbee

Jonathan Higbee

I'm currently influenced by many photographers and with all good work, it's informed by others.  

 

So this is my Amsterdam project...

 

Amstreetdam:

I've created this work from a perspective full of influences from street photographers that I've discovered around the world.  Julie Hrudova, Jonathan Higbee from New York City and many of the artists showing their work with the Pure Street Photography collective.  These photographs are intended to show my view of the quirkiness of the streets in Amsterdam, day and night.  I've found myself being drawn to almost surreal, graphic and intimate stories at the side of the canals and narrow roadways.  Amsterdam really is a beautiful city and a giant habitat that just keeps on giving, which ever direction you walk in.  With a good eye for a a photograph, it's difficult not to find something you can make great photographs of.

So this is my visual story of Amsterdam.

Black and White Street Photography

I also made some in colour because Amsterdam is too colourful that I couldn't resist having a play with the beauty of the city.

Colour Street Photography 

I still feel like I've only skimmed the surface of Amsterdam.  There's so much to explore and I only had three days to look, learn, discover, feel the heart of the city and show that in my pictures.

As this was a test for me working with my new LX100, I feel compelled to tell you what I think of it.  Had I discovered the fast AF setting, I may have enjoyed this camera more.  I still enjoyed playing with it and am learning new ways to work the streets with it. I found the light meter to be accurate and I shot in RAW, knowing that I didn't fully trust the camera, I wanted that flexibility.  The manual controls are very intuitive and I found it easy adjusting the iso, shutter speed and aperture to suit each scene.  

The challenge as always with street photography is not so much the technical side, but more the story and visual impact.  You can't just make a good picture, a view of the world develops in your frame and if you're ready with your camera and become part of that moment in time.  It's an honour, especially if you can overcome the initial anxiety of pointing your camera at people on the street.  Breathe and feel the world living.

The photographs that appear in this blog can be made available as artwork and I've discovered new suppliers for my prints, who offer excellent quality.

Prints available poa.

Contact me.

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