Cafe Nero


One thing I’ve noticed about the Cafe Nero I tend to frequent in Bluewater is the photography on display. It’s really quite a lovely collection that’s thoughtfully presented and displayed, something unexpected from such a large chain. From my observations, they look like Vandyke Brown type (style, digital renditions unfortunately) prints, where by the emulsion is applied by hand and the print exposure made through contact printing using UV light. It’s a similar process to salt, palladium and platinum printing, just slightly cheaper and renders the wonderful wan brown tones present in the ones on display. I’m a sucker for an earthy, “real” feeling print, so the messy, brig stroke-laden black edges really only add to the prints (though these can be avoided through more careful application of the emulsion).

Another important aspect of these shots for me is the positioning and print size (both individually and in relation to the paper/frame size). The images appear to be around 4×5 to 5×7 on paper around A3 in size, on frames around 2-3 inches in thickness. In an original print of this type the shot would have to have been made on a negative the size of the desired final print (i.e large format) due to the inability to enlarge using this process. Modern technology has enabled the use of digital negatives, printed on acetate to the desired size which can then be contact printed from.

I love how the colours of the prints suit the dark wooden frames (not in shot unfortunately) and that these pieces as a whole suit not only the specific decor of this particular Cafe Nero, but also the very idea of a coffee shop. Well done Nero.

I think I’ll experiment with this presentation method (equidistant spacing top, left and right), using my paper as my border/mount with some silver gelatin contact prints. Perhaps I could make a few paper negative on the 4×5 to make the prints from. I plan on making some salt prints next year, should should be able to produce even more accurate results.

Apologies for he poor picture quality and bad pictures of nice pictures!

– Peace



I had an appointment today to deliver the results of my 24 hour sleep test. I made a short series in the style of Jing Huang during my stay at hospital for this series, which I’ve mocked up together above. 

It came as quite a shock today to be told I have Epilepsy. It became hard to get a straight head for the rest of the day, yet one thing was able to remain clear and ordered in my head, and that was photography. Not so much taking images, but refining an image I’d taken a while ago on a Hasselblad H1D of a farming scene. The H1D is a great camera, really quite formidable even with the standard 80mm. Lugging it round with the ImageBank is a bit of a chore and really not for the weak jointed (like myself) but it really is a fantastic system for enstowing confidence and removing any opportunity for blaming the gear for any imperfections. Ill post up a more comprehensive overview soon, but this isn’t really a great time for me to right now.

Hope you’re all doing what you love,

– Peace


For some time now I have been trying to get back into my street photography, trying to re-kindle my love for this kind of work and create more work that I could be proud of. It has taken an while, but its finally struck me – I’m not a street photographer, nor will I ever truly be. I have wondered why its been taking me so long to “reengage” with the people I encounter on the street, or why Im just not enjoying the craft as much as I used to. Could it have been University? Studying photography all day then going out and shooting street would exhaust anyone, but I was convinced otherwise as the other work I was doing for projects was still enjoyable. Was it that I was outgrowing my gear? Certainly not, now I have access to a plethora of equipment through my BA course. Then I realised that I was asking the wrong question. Instead of asking myself what was wrong with me now, I should have been asking “what was right with me before?”. I realised very quickly that my best work, in terms of street, had been from New York and the states in general, not just “the streets”. I have come to the thinking that maybe I am instead more suited for travel photography (inspired, no doubt, by my successful sale and publishing of two of my images to James Villa Holidays), photographing people and places in order to create true atmospheric representations of them. I love portraiture, and feel like I am quite natural at portraying an accurate representation of my subjects and find that people are what really interest me in photographs. Charlie Kirk has acted as one of the catalysts for this latest “epiphany”, when he spoke to me about thanking people for being a subject in your photographs. He said quite simply (this is a rough paraphrase, he will probably (hopefully) pipe-in and correct a few areas of my quote) “dont thank them if its not sincere, as it shows. Only thank someone if you are genuinely grateful – its not right or wrong to do so or not – its just you. I thank people and interact with them because I am genuinely interested in them..” – this is what really inspired me, the notion of photographing someone because they interest you and because your fascination will only be tamed with a photograph you, and your peers/audience, can study for as long as desired.

Shark Hunter

"Shark Hunter, Anna Maria Island, 2011"

A couple of images of mine sprang to mind instantly as he said this, depicting a shark fisherman in Anna Maria who was preparing to set out on a tag-and-release project when I met him. I was initially drawn the the enormous fish he was pulling out of his pick-up truck, and when he said they were just bait I was extremely intrigued. We stood and spoke for a while and just chatted, he turned out to be a very interesting man, and I got some shots I would have never usually have taken along with a life experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. This encounter has been one that I have shared with almost everyone I have spoken to about my trip to Anna Maria Island – testament to how truly inspiring it was for me. I think one of my key problems with street photography is the speed. I struggle to make a real connection with my subjects as I jump infront of them or as I pass them by. I understand many can do this, some dont want this and others are just out for visual puns (which, im sorry, do nothing for me what-so-ever). There are plenty of incredibly interesting people living around me so I think this is something I need to practice before attempting to travel extensively. In terms of visual inspiration I love the work of Alec Soth, Ross Mantle, Joel Meyerowitz, etc with a keen appreciation for Bruce Gilden and Charlie Kirk’s work too.

I’m going to keep this blog (as well as the academic one I must keep for my bachelors course) as a forum for me to offer advice and personal experiences. I want to make sure I don’t turn to preaching too much, as this is not a healthy way for me to write nor would it be beneficial to those who read it. Anything I write here is my own opinion and is based on my personal experience and, as YouTubes own bodybuilding twins would say “it’s only advice, you can do whatever the f*** you wanna do”

– Peace

Re-leathering a rangefinder…

So today I woke up motivated. I was going to take my old film rangefinder (Canonet 28, not that old I know), rip it apart, clean and re-solder the innards and make it work like new. That didnt work out. I didn’t make it any worse, i=I just couldn’t fix it (meters pegged). Then I thought, well, since this cameras pretty much a bookend now, unless I fancy shooting at 1/30 all day, i may aswel make it a pretty one, so i grabbed the leather i salvaged from the inlay on my girlfriends desk im helping renovate and went to town.

Its pretty easy to strip down most cameras with the help of Google, so that part was a breeze. I then took a chisel and razor blade to the existing leatherette and 10 mins later had one ugly cam on my hands. using the old leatherettes as templates i simply traced the outside of the components and cut them out with a sharp blade. some UHU and a lot of jimmying later and i had what i consider to be a pretty darn handsome camera. Might just start wearing it as an accessory!

OllieGapper Photography.jpg

Thoughts and such are treasured for all eternity.


Drawing a lot of inspiration from seeing how photographers work, so im going to start emanating their working styles to see what i get. Names on my mind right now are Bruce Gilden, Joel Meyerowitz, Diane Arbus (I know, I’m a 6-6 broad shouldered male, not a great start), Chuck Close (for studio) and some others who’s names are somewhere in my head i don’t know right now.

Stay safe and motivated


Week 3, notes on Daguerreotypes

So this week i decided I’d try to make some useful information stick by writing it out in detail. It worked! I can, and do, tell complete strangers the ins and outs on how to create your very own Daguerreotypes! Yeah, i know, maybe i should write more useful stuff down, but this is what I love and what I’ll be doing when I start on the dream course at UCA.

Have a read

Day 7, Week 2: Notes on Daguerreotypes

Week 2 of my Moleskine adventure

Well this is proving to be both very easy, useful and fulfilling, something that really has been no effort at all…yet.
Got plenty if stuff to go into this thing, I’m just using it as a notepad for my photographic side with some quotes and stuff i like, if you don’t understand something, ask me, it’s a personal thing so im not thinking (that much) about how others will read it.

Thanks for keeping me motivated

– OG

Day 3, Week 2: Experiments