Middle East

10 Jan 2020

I took a trip to Jordan at the end of 2019, a much needed holiday after a busy year and most importantly a big change in culture, weather, light, colours and textures. I took my trusty Canon G7x which I've grown to love using. It has full manual controls and shoots RAW, giving me high-quality files to work with when I get back home. It's also compact and light, perfect for travel and makes a change from lugging a heavy, conspicuous DSLR around.


Here's a handful of snaps from the trip, focussing on the amazing colours and textures I found along the way, mostly in the city of Madaba which is just south of the capital Amman.


- Sal


Above: city of Madaba


Above: old Mercedes and a pile of pomegranates in Madaba.


Above: gltizy hookah pipe shop in Madaba


Above: a roadside stop on the Desert Highway


Above: More old Mercedes - Jordan is full of them.


Above: Metal door in Madaba. Love the layers of paint.


Above: Carpets for sale in the backstreets of Madaba.


Above: Parking and nighttime colours in Madaba. 


Posted in: Photography, colour and texture

The Lost Guitar

11 Sep 2019

In the Autumn of 2017, I started to photograph the making of a guitar by local craftsman Tim Williams as a personal project. By luck, he had just begun working on a custom-built acoustic guitar for renowned folk singer Ralph McTell, who has a home near the south Cornish coast. I photographed the project from the guitar mould being made right through to listening to Ralph sitting in his kitchen playing his new guitar. I found it an absolutely fascinating process to see up close, the range of tones that can be produced from different types of wood to having my mind absolutely boggled by the amount of work that goes into making a mother of pearl inlay.


I shot the portrait of Ralph with his beautiful new guitar at the end of November that year. Just a few days later I was involved in a fatal road accident that kind of derailed me in lots of ways and meant that this small body of work got pushed to the back burner. A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of the project and I felt that two years on, it must be about time to bring it out in the open. I'll admit, I found it slightly difficult to revisit, particularly the portrait of Ralph, as it reminded me of a very happy time before the incident. I find with some personal projects, it's hard not to have an emotional attachment and they can act as powerful reminders of certain times in your life, this being one of them.


Overall I'm happy with these shots as a collection and it feels good to finally send them out into the world! 


With thanks to Tim Williams for his patience whilst I occupied the workshop with my camera and to Ralph McTell for letting me sit in your kitchen and drink tea.


- Sal


You find Tim's beautiful guitars here


Above: Tim Williams's well organised workshop. 


Above: The mould for the guitar - thin pieces of wood are steam bent, fitted into this and then clamped to hold. 


Above: Steaming the wood. A laborious process!


Above: Filing down sections of mother of pearl for the decorative inlay that goes around the sound hole.


Above: Finest details, every millimeter matters!


Above: Ralph McTell, with the finished guitar. 

Posted in: Personal projects, Photography

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