Paul Hands Photography

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.

Photography Adventures

Immersing in Photography

Photography is so yesterday

Surreal Photography Art

I covered a roof top party for Mode Transport Planning at their head offices in Birmingham during the Summer and towards the end of the night, my wife Lisa discovered these cool stairs.  This week I hand delivered a framed print for them and was proud to hang it on the wall in their office.

Mode Transport Planning
Mode transport Planning

I've managed to raise £1500 for a photographic project around my home town, involving 60 local business owners.  The project is to create environmental portraits of each self employed business owner. 

I'm running a niche workshop on Monday evening, creating low light urban photographs.

The documentary styled short I've been working on for Diabetes UK is finished and we're awaiting news of a release date.  I'm looking forwards to sharing this with you, it's been one of my favourite assignments this year.

I can't forget graduating from university as a mature student this year.  Studying photography has been a long old slog in the establishments.  I've loved every minute of it, even the minutes I wasn't that tickled about.

Bradgate Park Leicestershire

Bradgate Park Leicestershire

I've enjoyed getting creative with my camera, learning to create photographs out of the ordinary that make me feel good about them.  Most of the time, just for the hell of it.

Old John, Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Old John, Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Jigsaw Man, Steven Faulkner

Jigsaw Man, Steven Faulkner

Danger High Voltage from the series 'Sublunary 1'

Danger High Voltage from the series 'Sublunary 1'

I'm working on getting some of my best work printed and made available in my online shop.

Art of Photography Workshop

Since starting the Art of Photography Group, this is the first physical workshop I've ran.  I've ran many other workshops but have improved as a practitioner and have learned how to teach people in a much better way.  So I ran a mini workshop for the group on Wednesday night and it went really well.

This was a rescheduled event because the first date was a wash out, it chucked it down and then I had to try and co-ordinate 9 peoples diaries.  In the end we got there, and it wasn't easy watching the weather on the run up to the rescheduled workshop!

The day before the workshop was terrifying (well maybe I'm being a little over dramatic), the Met Office predicted rain all morning and a little shower in the evening.  The workshop was to take place between 6:30pm and 9:30pm.  On the morning of the workshop, the Met Office said it would rain until midday and be dry for the rest.  Then at lunch time they predicted rain all day and all night, until 2pm when they said it would dry up at lunch and then give us heavy showers between 7pm and 9pm.  

I couldn't take this anymore!  So I didn't look for another hour and they said it would be dry all evening.  That was it, I shut down my mac and accepted that.  It wouldn't change again!

I know from experience of watching the skies as a photographer that rain followed by a sunny dry spell usually gives a dramatic sunset.  This is just what I would have ordered for my group, dry weather and a dramatic sunset.

Some of the people in the group were complete beginners and some were amateurs and all were looking to either improve their photography skills or to learn how to use their camera properly.

Each one left my workshop knowing how to use a camera on manual properly, how to set up their camera to give them complete control over their images.  

What's more important with my photography group is that they all have a common interest.

I run the group in the evening once a month.  It's called The Art Of Photography and we have a Facebook group that you can join if you like.  We share information about photographers, styles, have workshops, will be visiting exhibitions and have artists come along to talk to us about their photography on occasions.  You can visit and join the group by following the above link.

If you'd like to learn more about the group and or my workshops, please contact me here.

Sublunary 15

This is it!  I've been working on this body of work since July 2016.

Sublunary 15 is a series of futuristic, metaphorical landscape photographs that follow the narrative of an imaginary alien invasion of the planet Earth.

I've created all of these pictures in single exposures and no photoshop manipulation using a Nikon D610 and a tripod.  In some of the pictures, I've added my own light from a speed light covered in a red gel as well as the occasional car brake lights.

Please enjoy the photographs, they've taken me a long time to produce.

Some of these pictures will be exhibited at De Montfort University and Freerange, Old Truman Brewery (London) during June.  Keep an eye out for information relating to a private view invitation, or subscribe using the box below.

If you would like to see the slideshow that I've created as part of this project, it comes with my own narration against my own sound track in the background.

To follow my work and keep up to date with news of exhibitions etc, please subscribe using this box below.

Album Review for Saal Digital

I have been given the opportunity to test a new book publishing company out.  Saal Digital have created a portfolio book for me and this is my honest review.

At first I was little skeptical as always with a new supplier.  However, I downloaded the software for designing a book with Saal Digital.  Their communication was always by email and was simple and straight forward and very clear to understand.  T

he software download was smooth and opened up easily.  I was already familiar with creating books, so their designing software was easy to get to grips with.  If you've never designed a book before, then you may need one additional support.

Quite quickly, I became frustrated with the software as I felt it was too restrictive as is most other reputable book designing software.  I felt that some of the ideas in my head for how I'd like my book to look wasn't met by the templates already supplied by Saal Digital.  I did manage to overcome this by settling for one of their page templates and managed to create by book in the way I'd like.

Once I'd designed the book, ordering was very straight forward and the speed in which the book was finally delivered was astounding in comparison to companies like Blurb.  My book was designed, submitted, published and delivered within one week.

Upon receipt of the book, it was very nicely packaged and protected well.  My immediate thoughts were how nice the extra padding is.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with the padding but it impressed me and has a nice finish to the book.  It adds a nice quality feel to it that sets it apart from a Blurb book.

As you open the book, the lay flat pages that come as standard are printed on a good quality paper that feels like thin card and doesn't bend easily, so it feels safe and easy to turn the pages.  

My photographs really work well on the paper and it felt nice to look through.  Overall, I'm impressed with the book.  

I'd definitely look at using All Digital for future books.

Stratford Upon Avon Street Photography

My wife Lisa booked herself on to a photography workshop in Stratford Upon Avon and took me along for a stay in the local Youth Hostel overnight, to accompany her.  I wasn't going to sit around in the hostel all day on my tod. So I'd planned a whole day of shooting some street photography to kill some time.

Armed with my new Fuji X-Pro 1, 2 full batteries and a 32GB card; I began by searching for a free parking space, alas... Free Parking and small jaunt in to the town centre.

As any Street Photographer will tell you, it's probably the hardest form of photography known to man and alike a sport for us photographers.  The best way to get in to your stride is to sit and look through some of your favourite websites at some of your favourite photographers to get some inspiration before you set off.

Make sure you've got some good footwear on because you're gonna walk for a long time and quite far.  Have money on you, so you can stop and get refreshments along the route.  I prefer to find small cafes in interesting areas, so I can watch the world go by while I'm eating and drinking for fuel.

The entire evening before, I was somewhat absent minded because I was thinking hard about a theme that I'd like to make some work around in Stratford.  I even spent all morning before arriving; considering what I might find and what style I'd like to shoot in.  I asked myself questions like; What kind of people visit Stratford?  Should I make something around tourists? Should I make a satirical view or be more serious?

I'll be honest, once I was there on the street, everything went out of the window and I just took what I could find.  I did find it very difficult but here are some of the results from my days work.

I also shot some in colour and as you guessed, it became satirical.  I like to play and add some humour in to my work where I can...

Of course these are my favourites from the day and you'll never see the ones that didn't make it!  There's always pictures that stay hidden.

If you liked my work, please leave a comment.  I'm open to critique as well.

A Tough Job with SSAFA (Armed Forces Charity)

I've left it a week before I wrote this blog because it's taken me this long to come to terms with the assignment I have just completed with SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen's Families Association), who have just become a new client for my professional photography business.

If you haven't heard of SSAFA, you can follow this link to see who their charity helps.  They were formed and designed to help the armed forces, Veterans and their families with a number of issues.

They support the British military at home and abroad and are the oldest and longest running military charity.

The assignment I was given, was to make a photographic reportage documentary about an event where the Parents and families of the fallen military men and women, come together to remember them and to help provide support for each other.

It was a very difficult assignment because it felt like being a photographer at a funeral.  The families were sometimes very emotionally upset and to point a camera at the parents of a fallen soldier didn't come naturally.  I truly felt their woes and shed some tears for them the following day, once what I'd done sank in.

I'm a firm believer in the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, so no more from me, have a look for yourself...

Click on images to enlarge.

Thanks for reading and looking through this project.  As you may have noticed; it was very emotional for the families and difficult for me to document.

I welcome any new enquiries about working with me on any assignments, so if you'd like to discuss any future photographic projects with me, please follow this link to get in touch.

Jewellery Quarter

I was invited to talk to a photography club in Birmingham earlier this week.  I spent a few days organising my presentation about my own photographic journey and especially around my documentary photography.

It was nice to meet so many pleasant photographers showing an interest in my work because lets face it, photography is an industry where your work is created from the heart.  Recognition and being able to show your work is what it's about for the most part.  

I think the majority is more to do with understanding yourself and your own practice.

Prior to doing the talk, I spent a couple of hours walking around the Jewellery Quarter making some photographs.  I did some Street Photography and made a few Urban Landscapes.

Click on each image to enlarge...

In other news;  I've picked up a fantastic new client that I'm really proud of.  SSAFA is the Armed Forces Charity and have requested that I cover some very emotional events for them and the families that they support.

Gorman's Fight Club Documentary Film

Following on from my recent book 'Behind The Gloves', This short documentary film is about a Gypsy Traveler, Jerry Gorman and his group of hardened unlicensed boxers, set in the middle of England.

The entire production from start to finish has been created by myself but with verbal guidance from Senior De Montfort University lecturers; Nick Lockett and Laura McGregor.

Please click on the image to play the film and leave a comment for me afterwards (beneath).