The last 25 years of photographing buildings and landscapes has taught me that being in the right place at the right time helps define the quality of a photograph.
My camper van gets me into places at times that I wouldn’t normally be able to access. I can now stay over on sites to monitor the local conditions and light levels throughout a full 24 hours.
I’m cut free of the bonds of ‘out of town’ accommodation and site access logistics.
Travelling in the van has been a revelation for me – it feels like a constant pilgrimage, and my photography has been impacted by the diversity of time and place.
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My Van: VW Transporter T6.1
My Van is a VW Transporter 6.1. It was converted by a specialist company. At my request they made modifications to the van for secure storage of my equipment.
The van sleeps two, has a loo, a two hob burner, a 65 litre fridge and a thermostatic heater. It has an electrical hook up and wind-out awning. It has an inverter that charges the leisure battery during driving – so that I can keep “juiced-up” with electricity whilst stationary.
During the day I have a ‘lounge’ set up with access to a portable desk for post-production. With just a couple of clicks the seats fold down into a comfy bed.
Of course, having a camper has increased my roadside responsibilities – at the end of the evening, as well as making sure the headlights are switched off, I also check the fairy-lights.
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Camper van photography studio
“I work all year round in the van and I’ve slept in conditions nearing -10 degrees celsius.”
Van Culture - Food and Leisure
Good coffee is key. There’s nothing like hooking up after a long day’s driving and firing up the hob to heat a coffee pot full of freshly ground coffee. I carry the beans in a sealed tin and grind them down with a compact grinder stored at the back of the van.
Outdoor Pursuits. I work all year round in the van and I’ve slept in conditions nearing -10 degrees celsius. As soon as the spring arrives, I create an outdoor space by winding down the awning, putting out the table, breaking out the fairy-lights, and maybe – if the weather’s good enough – toasting a few marshmallows.
All Spiced Up. I carry all the essential spices in magnetic tins. They fit perfectly at the side of the rear window next to the hob. I make sure I’ve got spices to make a good curry or a mediterranean pasta. I also make sure I carry lots of eggs to make a quick omelette on the go (especially during a twilight shot), or – if I’ve got more time – a frittata.
Van Life Details
St. Mary’s Llanfair Kilgeddin, Wales
Whilst working on photo commissions, I’m lucky enough to get permission to access private land – so I get to stay in some unique locations. St. Mary’s lies in the gorgeous countryside of Monmouthshire and has a remarkably atmospheric interior. I worked from sunset until sunrise capturing the church in every nuance of light.
“Whilst working on photo commissions, I’m lucky enough to get permission to access private land – so I get to stay in some unique locations.”
Stowe House, Buckinghamshire
I’ve been recording the conservation of this architectural masterpiece for almost seven years. Recently, I’ve been time-lapsing, filming and photographing the conservation of the Dining Room and Temple Room at Stowe – but, perhaps, my favourite room of all – is the Marble Saloon.
“I’ve been recording the conservation of this architectural masterpiece for almost nine years.”
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