Derventio

The Big Frog was once a photographer with a Derbyshire housing association and produced some high quality work for their magazine Derwent Life.

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

This photograph was of the CEO Peter McCormack (pictured far right) visiting a centre for work experience in gardening and horticulture in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Ghost Hunter

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

Another photograph taken for the front cover of Derwent Living Magazine, this is professional ‘ghost hunter’ Richard Felix in his garden at Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

Terry Christian

I knew Terry, who has had a varied career as a broadcaster on TV and radio since the 1980’s, via a friend-of-a-friend.

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

He was happy to pose for a feature in Derwent Living Magazine about his early connections with Radio Derby.

Judith Hann

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

Judith Hann used to present a programme on the BBC called ‘Tomorrow’s World’ from 1974 and early 1994. I knew her because her brother taught me maths at school, and she invited me to her Oxfordshire home to take photographs of her pursuing her love of cooking with herbs from her own garden. Whilst I was working at Derwent Living I took some portraits for a feature on her Derby connections.

Dad’s Army

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

When working at Derwent Living, some of my colleagues and customers dressed up in Dad’s Army Home Guard uniforms to symbolise the ‘fight’ for the ‘Homes for Britain’ building campaign. We shot the images at Crich Tramway museum, Derbyshire.

Red Monroes

© Derwent Living – kindly allowed to be featured here

A photo taken whilst working at Derwent Living as a favour for a member of staff who was in a band called the ‘Red Monroes’

Marston’s Coopers

This image was taken for a Marston’s brewery company report cover in Burton upon Trent in about 1995. The older man in the image (who passed away in 2017) was retiring, leaving the only surviving cooper in Staffordshire, his apprentice, who in turn had just finished his apprenticeship.

The photo is taken in the ‘Union System’ room at the brewery, all those huge barrels in the background having been built or maintained by the men pictured.

Levis / Pentax Competition

This image, pre-photoshop once again, was hand coloured (with diluted Parker ink!) from a 16″ square fibre based print (on Agfa Record Rapid paper, hence the ‘warmth’ of the whites).

The original capture was on Ilford Pan F via a Hasselblad 500cm. As the rules stated that the image had to be taken on a Pentax, I also took a Pentax 6 x 7 camera to the shoot and exposed one roll, but the (cropped) image that won the prize was from a ‘Blad.

Note that the negative was printed through a glass carrier in the enlarger, which gives the ‘rustic’ full frame film-edges.

The Model, Lena, was a photography student at Derby University at the time; the image won the photographer a Pentax camera and the model a pair of Levis jeans and a Denim Jacket!

Fuji Professional Portrait Awards

This image won the ‘digital’ category of the Fuji professional portrait awards in about 1997, when Photoshop was still in its infancy.

To create the tableau, I obtained a sheet of plasterboard and cut an aperture in it with a jigsaw, then fixed that picture frame around the hole with a couple of screws. The young woman was an administrator in the office at Derby University, where I was working at the time. I asked her to stick her head through the frame, photographed her in colour on a Pentax 6 x 7 rollfilm camera and produced a colour print.

I scanned the print, then using Photoshop, dropped in a snow-scene background, desaturated everything within the wooden frame, but blended the colour outside the frame so that it appeared the woman was reaching out from a black and white photo. It would take 20 minutes now, back then it was about a day’s work.

British Journal of Photography Feature

This image was taken by The Frog in 1999 as part of a series of portraits of people who had attended his infant’s school, back in 1968. The colour is deliberately ‘cold’ and was scanned from a 16″ square EP2 paper  exhibition print.

This particular image was featured as a full page in the British Journal of Photography as a feature on the Photography Masters Degree course that The Frog was attending at the time.