26 miles and three years in the making

Tuesday August 14th sees the start of the social media campaign leading up to my good friend the editorial photographer Cris Barnett running the Tallinn marathon in Estonia on September 9th.

26miles MP and CB photo

Over three years the two of us have been travelling across England and over into Scotland collecting portraits and stories of people whose lives have been touched by motor neurone disease.

We’ll be publishing a portrait and story each day on social media for the next 26 days.

The aim is to raise awareness of MND and also funds for the fantastic Motor Neurone Disease Association.

A talented designer and editor are making our collection into a book that will be available for the MND Association’s 40th anniversary in 2019.

Instagram is the first stop to see each of the portraits and keep up with how we are doing:

Click here to get to our Instagram page!

Or copy and paste this https://www.instagram.com/26miles4mnd/

Donations can be made by texting ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Or click here for our Just Giving page.

Thank you all 🙂

 

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Between the posts

The Stronger Together exhibition lasted less than a week at The Tabernacle and I sold fourteen framed pictures! That’s a good scoreline by anyone’s standards.

Together with co-exhibitors Sarah Ezekiel and the late David Shaw we have raised over £10,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Of my photos two stood out as being favourites. Each had 3 red dots by the end of the show! No surprise about the first – “Suit Event” – which has always proved a seller, but I was made very happy that “Backhander” – an abstract black and white “street” photograph – was so popular. It’s fuelled me with energy to continue the “abstract street” project I began a while back.

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Suit Event
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Backhander

The private view was a fantastic success with some famous names dropping by and buying pictures.

Here’s an (ever so slightly embarrassing) snap of yours truly with Jeremy Vine and Kim Wilde:

Miles, Jeremy Vine and Kim Wilde

and a few more pictures from the evening:

 

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Thank you everybody who helped in so many ways to make Stronger Together the success it was (you know who you are).

I’m now itching to get back out on my TravelScoot taking photographs again and having more adventures.

Watch this space for updates.

Miles 🙂

 

“Stronger Together”

A date for your diaries –

September 12th to 17th, I will be exhibiting at “Stronger Together” an exhibition raising funds and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Stronger Together - poster - final

This is a really exciting opportunity for me to show a lot of my work including new pictures that have not been exhibited before. If you are in London at the time do pop in and have a look. Better still, bring your wallet and buy some of the exhibits – all the proceeds will go to the fantastic work of the MND Association.

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 🙂

Blowin’ in the wind

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This image was shot from the new mobility scooter I use because of the disability caused by my motor neurone disease (known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease in the US). Sponsorship from Movement for Hope helped me buy a lightweight scooter that’s enabled me to continue roaming the streets with my camera after my old one broke.

Movement for Hope’s aim is “to encourage the advancement of art and science to raise awareness and support for neurological conditions and the full scope of multimedia art.”

They organise events that merge the boundaries of art and science and I’m really excited to have been invited to talk and show my photography as part of their “Rewired: The Brain, Art and Innovation” evening on March 10th at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

As well as downsizing my scooter, over the last year or so I’ve downsized the weight of my camera equipment to compensate for my decreased strength. For this shot I used an Olympus OMD EM1 with the 12-40mm f2.8 pro lens.

Tickets for the REWIRED event can be bought here.

© Miles Pilling

Child’s play

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© Miles Pilling

Anonymised 3

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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

Anonymised 2

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© Miles Pilling

Taken on a Sony A7 with a 35mm f2.8 at 1/500th, f8, iso 100.

Like the “Frozen Pigeon” picture from a couple of posts ago, this was a photo from the Sony A7’s only outing with me. I ended up sending the camera back because the build quality made it feel like a toy compared to my Olympus OMD cameras.

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

 

Anonymised 1

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© 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 links in the menus for my story 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 1/1000 sec, f7 at iso 200 

Thanks for looking.

Miles.

Frozen pigeon

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In the small Cathedral City where I live, I often see people feeding pigeons and seagulls in the city centre. The birds are viewed by many as a nuisance and there have been schemes such as poisoning the eggs and introducing birds of prey to cut down their numbers. However, a small group with kind intentions like to make sure they have enough to eat.

By the time I’d got my scooter into position to photograph this kindly lady her bag was just about empty, I’d noticed a pigeon from the corner of my eye hoping for some last tasty bird seed morsel and as it flew into shot I pressed the shutter. The camera was on single shot mode. I really did time it just right!

As the bag says – “frozen” for posterity.

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

Please click on the pages in the site menus for some background info’ on the Scooter Shooter project. There are also more pictures that are in light-box galleries, and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated. Thanks for your interest 🙂

This picture was taken with a Sony A7 and Zeiss 35mm f2.8 prime lens – 1/500th sec. at f8.

Words and images © Miles Pilling

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

No entry

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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

“I’m telling you”

 

I'm telling you

© 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 candid was taken on an Olympus OMD EM1 with 17mm 1.8 lens at 1/160, f5.6 and iso 1600 (these dark grey days have been pushing up the iso!)

Miles 🙂

Self composed

High Street portrait

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

Miles 🙂

Stonewalled

Stonewalled

© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take street photos from a mobility scooter as I’m disabled since developing motor neurone disease.

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 🙂

Shuttered

Shuttered

© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take street photos from a mobility scooter as I’m disabled since developing motor neurone disease.

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 🙂

Pole position

 

Pole position

© Miles Pilling

After years as a roaming photographic biped, these days I take street photos from a mobility scooter as I’m disabled since developing motor neurone disease.

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.

Miles 🙂

blue framed thoughts

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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 pages in the site menus for more of my photographs and do visit again soon. The site is regularly updated.

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.

laughter building

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© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

dog-leg

crossed

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for theMotor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

barging past

barging past

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for theMotor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

off the grid

off the grid

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for theMotor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

they’re behind you!

it's behind you

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for theMotor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

disarm – rests

arm rest

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

lost you there for a second

lost you there

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease and takes pictures from a mobility scooter.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

concrete helter skelter

helter skelter

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

Dancing for his life

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© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

lean, two

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© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

You can help – Donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Have a look at the 26Miles4MND blog here: http://twentysixmiles.co.uk/

Thank you 🙂

hidden plant life

café triptych© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND / ALS and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

Please see the main “26 Miles” site here, you can donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00 (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Thank you 🙂

ice cream and stare

ice cream

© Miles Pilling

The photographer, Miles Pilling has motor neurone disease.

“Scooter Shooter” is supporting 26 Miles 4 MND – a photography based campaign raising awareness of MND and creating much-needed funding for the Motor Neurone Disease Association; the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

Go to the main “26 Miles” site here, donate directly on our Just Giving Page or donate by text: Text ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Thank you 🙂