leicestershire

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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Croft Hill Photography Workshop

December is usually rich with golden hour sunsets during mid afternoon that bring the best light for landscape photography.  Sure there's the small risk of rain but often that brings drama in the skies as well, so it's hard to not find good photographs that have that ability to transport your viewers to see and feel as you did making the picture.

It's not all about the location, nor is it about your equipment.  Photography is a direct reflection of what you see.  So we choose locations that present us with enough material / elements and compositional promise to help inspire us.

Come and join me on another of my photography workshops but this time, on Croft Hill.

Looking towards Earl Shilton from Croft hill, 2016

The workshops are relaxed and always in the company of like minded people.  I'm always on hand to teach and guide you when you need support.  My manner is to give you what you need to explore this wonderful and accessible art form.

The things I can cover during the workshop are:

  • Exposure
  • Composition
  • Technical support
  • Ideas
  • Making art with your camera
  • Not limited to any of the above and I'll be on hand offering tailored support to each person.

The Ascent to Croft Hill

This is the last workshop for this year.  I'll be organising a more adventurous series of workshops around the uk next year.

Date: Thursday 28th December 2017, 1:30pm - 4:30pm.

Workshop Price = £35

To book a place on the Croft Hill Photography Workshop...

Why is your business headshot / portrait so important?

Professional corporate headshots / portraiture helps to put a face to your business and makes you and your employees appear human to your customers.

corporate headshots / portraiture, Leicestershire

Your image 

is so important in business

Did you know that when your customers view your website and come across photographs of the staff, the information they can get from a simple headshot is initially your look, style, type, age, occupation, professionalism, socioeconomic status, personality traits, and of course your brand, you're the brand!

So as you'd imagine it's pretty important to get it right and project the right image to prospective customers and those that already work with your business.

Some people might take their own photos and convince themselves that it looks good and if they've been trained professionally in the visual language of photography, there could be a good chance that it is but usually it isn't.

You often get photographers in my industry that haven't actually trained or qualified in photography, have just bought a camera and then watched some Youtube videos! That puts them on the same level as you, so why should you pay someone like that?  Is that what you think of your professional image and your beloved business?  

Cutting corners is always bad news in any industry.  Image making is no different.

If saving money is your goal, try to reverse your thinking.  Make yourself look more professional, get more work, make more sales and put extra money in your pocket.  That's the same as saving isn't it?  Perhaps better than holding what you have and collecting more instead!

Put the extra effort in to you!

Contact me to discuss my corporate headshot / portraiture service.

  • I have a fixed studio in the town centre of Hinckley, Leicestershire.
  • I have a portable studio and portable professional lighting if you want me to come to your business.
  • I'm qualified, have a Level three, HND and BA Hons degree in Photography & video.
  • I'm experienced and have a long list of incredibly prestigious clients of all sizes.
  • I have solid reviews, awards and fantastic reputation.

Here's some quotes from my clients:

Our company has used Paul Hands Photography on two occasions now; the photographs produced have been exceptional quality and Paul really helped our staff feel relaxed in order to achieve some really professional looking staff portraits. We will continue to use Paul Hands for his portrait services and in addition we have instructed some bespoke commissions in relation to obtaining high quality material for our website.
— David Frisby, Mode Transport Planning
We used the photographic services of Paul Hands for our Corporate Staff Photographs. We required photos for our new website. Paul was recruited as a last minute booking and he could not have been more accommodating. His attention to detail was a comfort as a client and we received great customer service. On the two days of shooting he was very professional and brought out the smile in every member of staff in his own unique way (a lego car and a gingerbread man helped with this too but I won’t let any further details slip and ruin his secrets to getting you smiling). We had the photographs returned to us within a matter of days and Paul had put each set of photo’s into individual files, per staff member, for ease of reference for us. These little bits of attention to detail really make the difference. The quality of the photographs were crisp and clear and were exactly what we were looking for. We would thoroughly recommend Paul’s services to anybody looking for a photographer, he is fantastic!
— Rosie Iliffe, Stuart Fletcher & Barrett Wealth Management
Corporate Headshots / portraiture, Leicestershire

This is me, hi

I'm Paul Hands

Let's do business together, contact me using the link below.

A Commercial Film Production To Remember

I was booked by Diabetes UK to produce a commercial film, a trailer and a series of documentary style photographs.  They came to me because they wanted the natural candid feel that I often produce. They wanted a sense of fun to help promote their Type 1 events to the children and parents who have to endure type one diabetes on a daily basis.

I jumped at the chance because I felt that working with such a genuine and helpful charity is how I want my business to be seen.  I always offer a generous discount to charities.  This opportunity was to work a a large group of 8-10 year olds who all have type 1 diabetes and these events are designed to help the children learn to manage the diabetes on their own, and to continue to enjoy a normal, healthy and active lifestyle.

They attend without their parents and love every minute of it!

Shooting this film and producing the documentary is up there with the best commercial project I've been commissioned to do.  The children were an inspiration and genuinely warmed my heart.

I'm currently at the proofing stage and won't be able to release the film until it has been finalised but rest assured, as soon as it is, I'll be sharing it here.

Maybe a sneak peak at one of the pictures...

You can click through the logos for Diabetes to go to their website and learn more information.

If you'd like to enquire about commissioning me for other assignments, please contact me here.

An Alien Invasion

A series of metaphorical, futuristic landscape photographs based on an imaginary alien invasion of the planet Earth.

I've spent the last 9 months creating this body of work and now I'm publicly publishing the results.  The work is not finished and will be continued throughout my career but this current collection is now ready for the first exhibition.

The challenge for this project has been finding locations and objects that fit within my criteria and also hold that metaphorical 'Je Ne Said Quoi'!

I now have a selection of images that can tell my imaginary story and are fit for purpose with regards to being hung in an exhibition spanning across two venues; Free Range at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London and De Montfort University in Leicester, both in June 2017.

This short stills film is pat of my submission and displays a series of the photographs made for this project, together with my own vocal narration and a series of sound effects.

You can see the stills from this film exhibited at the above mentioned exhibitions in June, which I will be notifying you about closer to the time.

Please watch and leave a comment on your thoughts because I've put so much effort in to making this, it would be great to hear your thoughts.

I will be part of a larger collective show that will see the students from De Montfort University's Photography and Video Ba Hons degree come together to exhibit and show off their talents, as a culmination of three years of studying the worlds best photographers and videographers and being lectured by some of the key figures in the industry today, like Laura McGregor, Nick Locket, Neil Dyson, Su Ansell, Dr Mike Simmons, Lala Meredith, Dave Soden, Martin Shakeshaft and visiting professor Paul Hill.

Exhibition Dates:

De Montfort University, Vijay Patel Building, Leicester, LE1 9BH 

17/6/17 - 22/6/17

Private View - 16/6/17 

 

Free Range, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL  

22/6/17 - 26/6/17

Private View - 22/6/17 6-10pm

If you'd like to be invited to the private view where hopefully there will be an opportunity to meet all of the artists, have a drink and some grub, then please drop me a line using this link.

UBL 17 Fight Photographs from The Athena

Welcome to the home of the boxing photographs from UBL 17 at The Athena in Leicester.

This page on my website has been specifically dedicated to the huge collection of photographs, from the unlicensed fighting that goes on between some of the hardest men in Britain.

To view the pictures, simply click on the photograph, then choose the fight collection that you wish to look through.  You will even have the option to buy and have a bespoke book designed for you as well prints and a dvd slideshow with music.  You can do this directly through my website.  Payments are secured and guaranteed through Stripe.

 

Professional Photographer Leicester, Leicestershire, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Coventry, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Midlands, England, UK, United Kingdom, Great Britain.

Commercial, Business, PR, Public Relations, Landscape, Street Photography and Documentary photographer available for commissions.


UBL 17 Highlights

Boxing Photographs, Leicestershire, Midlands

What an incredible night of unlicensed fighting.  A large group of hardened men avoid going completely underground to fight on the shows put on by Gypsy Jerry Gorman and Elvis Hopkins who runs Kings Gym in Leicester.

The shows are that good, there'll be no time wasted on idle chat.

Watch this slideshow mother fucker...

Oh, and turn your volume up!

Tough hardened fighting men go to war against each other in an unlicensed night of brutal gloved boxing bouts. Jerry Gorman and Elvis Hopkins of Kings Gym in Leicester put on such a good show that only viewing it will tell you what it's about. So get on with it...

Futuristic Art in Landscape Photography

I'm in the process of creating a 9 month long body of work for my Bachelor of Arts degree at De Montfort University and in preparation for an exhibition at Freerange, an Old Truman Brewery in London.

I've spent quite a bit of time with the paintings of the German Max Ernst (1891-1976).  This body of work is heavily influenced by some of his works, like this example below.

Max Ernst

As well as the german photographer Erasmus Schroeter (below), known for illuminating nazi war bunkers and putting such tragedy up on the stage for an audience.

I've taken a blend of what these artists have created and been playful with my camera and mind.

The intention behind my work is to almost create a new category of photography; Futuristic escapism within landscape photography and by using nothing but what is available in the environment and with zero impact upon the landscape.  

I'm creating a series of fine art sculptural photographs that herald the subjects at night against dramatic skies and using light to make the scene almost like a theatrical stage for the presentation of the subjects.

My plan for this work is to create a wooden light box from mostly reclaimed materials and to display the work backlit.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the imagery that I've been producing, please feel free to add comments on my work, good or bad.  After all, I'm in the process of making this long body of work and could use your thoughts?

You can comment here and also on my Facebook page.  Please don't pass by without leaving a comment, they really are appreciated.

Paul Hands

CALM Night at Karns

CALM stands for Campaign against living miserably and is a charity that's set up to raise awareness and offer support to males who have to deal with mental health issues that can lead to suicide.

Steven Faulkner organised this event in memory of Michael Rose who lived in Hinckley for all of his short life until he passed away at the age of 37.

The bands that donated their time and performed this gig are:

If you have a man or boy in your life, then please don't be afraid to talk about mental wellbeing. If you are worried then contact your doctor, speak to a family member or call a charity like CALM or Mind.

DMU Student's photo chosen as one of the best pics of the year

This is a nice accolade to start 2017 with.  If you're not aware, I'm studying a photography & video Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree at De Montfort University while running my photography and video business, which is now in to its successful fifth year.

I entered a national student photography competition last year and missed out on £12K worth of prizes by a Gnat's nut.  However, my work was highlighted as highly commendable.

You can read more about my success with this nationwide competition here... 

This was my entry chosen by the judges as significantly good in their opinion.

 

I also have some even more amazing news to share with you.  My wife Lisa and I had a little too much Paella and Red Wine at one of Lisa's exhibitions last year.  This ended with the most incredible experience of my life.

Emma Leigh Hands was born 31/12/2106 @ 17:29 weighing 4lb 15oz.

My world has just turned upside down and my outlook on life is so very different to that of a couple of weeks ago.  It will be interesting to see if this moment in my life has an impact on my photography style and outlook.

So, 2017 promises to bring around a completely different lifestyle for myself.  I'm sure I'll be working even harder this year.  I'm hoping to get some more work creating films like the last two with R-Tech Performance and Gorman's Fight Club.  I'm happy to make commercial styled films that have a backline story and add a commercial context to be different to the typical advertising style.  I like to create documentary styled films that have high impact and hook the viewers straight away.

I'll also be looking for new clients regarding my still photography side of the business.  I'm hoping to be working with many more (PR) Public Relations Agencies, Commercial and Corporate clients as well as potentially get involved with more charities like SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity).

What is important to note is that I will be graduating from my degree course and will then be applying myself to my business completely on a full time basis.  This can only mean that my clients are truly going to get the best of me from here onwards.

Happy New Year

If you'd like to get in touch with me, please click on this link.