Photography springing into life

Spring brought a flurry of activity for me including a six-week solo exhibition and a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society about my helter-skelter ride from being a BBC news cameraman and director to an unpaid street photographer who takes photos from a light weight mobility scooter.

Miles on stage Rewired2017
from BBC cameraman to Scooter Shooter

The talk was part of Rewired 2017 for Movement for Hope who create art-science events supporting research and people with neurological conditions (click here for a “The Lancet” review of Rewired).

It’s not the only public speaking that I’ve been asked to do this spring. While my solo exhibition was at Worcester Arts Workshop I was asked to give a talk for the Worcester Visual Arts Meetup. It was nice doing that surrounded by my photography on the walls. There’s something very special about seeing your photos printed, framed and up on a gallery wall – so much more satisfying than pixel peeping on a monitor!

Miles talking at WAW for Worcester Visual Arts Neetup
speaking at Worcester Visual Arts Meetup

The six weeks of the exhibition were truly memorable for me – From the sheer number of people from all walks of my life who came to the opening night and the fantastic response the pictures seemed to have, to the friendliness of the Worcester Arts Workshop / Café Bliss staff, to the support of my great friends who hung the pictures for me because my MND wracked body made it impossible for me to do so. Thanks so much everyone – you know who you are!!!

A few people who couldn’t get to the exhibition have asked me to show the photos online so here they are in the order they were up on the wall:

(Click on the first thumbnail to enter a light box gallery – all pictures © Miles Pilling).

All but the first of the 17 photographs were taken in Worcester (which is a fairly small Cathedral city) so I was apprehensive about the reaction if local people recognised themselves in the candid images. In the event, several people were recognised and in every case there was a very positive response! It was really very heart warming as in the process I found out who some of the previously anonymous people in my photos were.

The reactions made me think that maybe the vast majority of people are quite OK about being photographed candidly as long as the pictures “are respectful of their subjects” as one visitor remarked mine are.

So now I know the background to some of the people in these photos, I might be telling their stories in future posts. Why not click “follow” so you don’t miss them.

See you again soon 🙂

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driven to abstraction

In 2014 (while I could still just about get around with crutches) I captured this image of a lady in Venice who looked like she’d joined in a conversation with two figures in a street mural:

Street conversation

I really liked how she seemed to have become part of the painting giving her an abstract anonymity.

Here are a couple more photos from the trip with the same kind of feeling:

Glass street sculpture

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I’ve been exploring this theme closer to home more recently. While driving around on my mobility scooter I’ll look out for scenes where humans merge with the urban landscape almost becoming abstract objects themselves.

These were taken on a cold morning this December….

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…and early morning sunlight shining through condensation at a bus stop created these lovely patterns and shapes making this figure very anonymous.

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Being forced to use a mobility scooter to get around because of my disability can make me feel anonymous but having a camera with me drives me on giving each trip much more of a sense of purpose.

It’s a pleasure to share what I see from my wheels with you!

© Miles Pilling

Exhibiting in Notting Hill

I was recently asked to exhibit some of my street photos for an exhibition at Tabernacle Arts Centre in Notting Hill.

After much soul-searching, these were the five images that made the selection –

(click on photos in this post to see in a lightbox)

These two colour shots nearly made it but financial restraints and not knowing how much space I’d have caused me to drop them –

I was also tempted to include this film noir style shot. It’s one of my all time favourite photos but I took it when I could still get around on two feet. It was taken using a Canon 7D held above the unknowing subjects head. As the exhibition was celebrating the creativity of people affected by neurological conditions, I thought including it may be cheating a little. I’ll post it again here though just because I love it so much. I hope you do too –

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The exhibition was a great success and raised money for the neurological Art / Science organisation Movement for Hope – www.movementforhope.org. As you can see from these snaps of the private view, there was even an unexpected visit from Russell Brand who seemed to genuinely like my pictures!

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© Miles Pilling

The photographs on my website, Scooter Shooter, are all shot from the mobility scooter I use because of disability caused by motor neurone disease (known as ALS in the US).

This was shot on an Olympus OMD EM1, 12-40mm f2.8 pro lens @ 26mm, iso 200, 1/1000, f7

Click on the menu links for my “about” story and many more pictures. Do visit again soon, the site is regularly updated.

My other site, Mindful Photos, contains photography that I’ve tried to approach mindfully and explores how slowing down because of illness has, in some ways, been a blessing that’s rekindled my “beginners eye” for life.

You can find it at http://www.mindfulphotos.org

Pass me that blackberry

© Miles Pilling

Shot with an Olympus EM5ii, 12-40mm f2.8 pro lens @12mm, iso 100, 1/1000,f6.3

Click on the drop down menu (top right of the page) for links to my “about” story and for many more pictures. Do visit again soon, the site is regularly updated.

The photographs on my website, Scooter Shooter, are all shot from the mobility scooter I use because of disability caused by motor neurone disease (known as ALS in the US). They are street photographs of moments that catch my attention and are nearly all candid.

My other site, Mindful Photos, contains photography that I’ve tried to approach mindfully and explores how slowing down because of illness has, in some ways, been a blessing that’s rekindled my “beginners eye” for life.

You can find it at http://www.mindfulphotos.org

 

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© Miles Pilling

I was interested in the morning light falling through a side window onto the landscape painting on the wall in the pub when a fellow mobility scooter user happened to pass through the frame. To me it adds poignancy to the photo. There’s an ironic disconnection between the two people in the shot – they are unaware of each other but we are aware of them and seconds after I pressed the shutter they moved into each others view.

The sunlit picture of rolling hills hanging on the wall in the pub at a slight angle and in a rather shabby picture frame seems like a distant fantasy. To me there is a sense of symbolism in the photo, much of which came together spontaneously as I took the photograph.

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take most of my photos from a mobility scooter or propped up using a crutch as a monopod. I’m disabled after developing motor neurone disease, but I’m determined that won’t stop me enjoying my passion for capturing life through a lens. I hope you enjoy my photos too.

Click on the pages in the site menus for my background and more of my pictures, and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated.

This candid was taken on an Olympus OMD EM1 with 12-40mm f2.8 lens at f5, 1/320, iso 320

Super dry

super dry

© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take most of my photos from a mobility scooter. I’m disabled after developing motor neurone disease, but I’m determined that won’t stop me enjoying my passion for capturing life through a lens.

Click on the pages in the site menus for my story and more of my pictures, and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated.

 This was taken on an Olympus OMD EM1 with 12-40 f2.8 lens

Miles 🙂

Wind swept

wind swept

© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take most of my photos from a mobility scooter. I’m disabled after developing motor neurone disease, but I’m determined that won’t stop me from enjoying my passion for capturing life through a lens.

Click on the pages in the site menus for my story and more of my pictures, and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated.

 This was taken on an Olympus OMD EM1 with 12-40 f2.8 lens

Miles 🙂

Stop frame

Colours of life

© Miles Pilling

I loved the lines and colours in this moment. To me there’s also something a little bit cartoonish about the way the subjects are walking and the “timelessness” of their clothing. It’s like a single frame taken from an animation.

Peep and show

 

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© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take pictures from a mobility scooter because I’ve become disabled after developing motor neurone disease.

Click on the other pages to the left for more of my photographs and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated.

Miles