A mixture of the stolen, the studio-lit, and the improvised, this selection of portraits all work towards the editorial goal that I set for myself by reflecting my interest in people – where they live or work, what they do, why, and how these pieces join up to shape their lives. As I've said on the Places page, my editorial approach means that there's often a complementary fit between the pictures I take and the words I write.
In some cases, this 'fit' is as literal as the composition of a shot – like this picture of Angus Ross here – to suit the proportions and layout of a magazine double-page spread. In others, it's just a response to the person or the place, or both...
Jay Blades, co-founder of the social enterprise Out of the Dark, uses the medium of furniture refurbishment and upcycling to teach life skills to youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.
...or Mr Shakespeare, as he calls himself. This is the face of an out-of-work felucca captain, becalmed by the disastrous downturn in Egypt's tourist trade
Man from Rajasthan:
I met this chap in the Mehrangahr fort in Jodphur, India. Dignity personified, wouldn't, you say?
Nelson enthusiast David Burton, and part of his collection of oak salvaged during the restoration of HMS Victory, some of it still with the smoke of Trafalgar in its grain
While passing through Bahktapur, Nepal during the celebration of Holi, I spotted this chap, who – for all his festival colour – struck me as a rather lonely figure, unlike...
...these two, who were part of a rumbustious water and powder-paint fight being waged up and down the streets of the town
Twenty nine years ago, Badr's carpet shop in Luxor's bazaar was a bolt-hole for tour leaders wanting an hour's break from their groups, a glass of kakade tea, and a slice of Badr's antic philosophy. Nothing much has changed since then, except that those tour leaders have all gone, "and I have more dust and junk!" says Badr
When it comes to bog oak - the 5000-year old amber-and-black brindled bounty from the peaty heart of the English fenlands - Hamish is the leading authority. He's been excavating these
sub-fossilised trees and working their timber for 25 years.
This shot is of a freshly milled load, which is being kept wet until space becomes available in the drying kilns. To me, the glistening blue-black bark looked like the scales of a prehistoric creature - which, in some ways, of course, the oaks are.
Michael Marriott. I couldn't resist the Mondrian-like arrangement of this shot, and found myself seeing the same pattern half a world away when...
...I took this shot of one of Akshai Varde's team, at his station in the Vardenchi motorcycle workshops
Ingenuity and Dexion:
Andrew Hardman, part of the Lancashire tradition of innovation, that stretches from Arkwright to Wallace
Nothing is bigger than the brand:
I knew them before they were famous:
Tutor and impressario at a school of his own founding. There was a reference to business strategy in the chess board, but I loved the way that the clouds were also playing the photo's DPS layout game, and that little stand of trees charcoal'd on the skyline, which is like something from an Alan Garner novel
Anselm Fraser II:
There's something wonderfully 'down the rabbit hole' about Anselm's furniture school, which he built from the ruins of a crumbling farm
Taken in Angus Ross' studio and using the watery light of a rainy Scottish morning, this was actually shot while we were chatting as I was setting up – and is all the better for it, I think. Angus was completely at ease, and his pose sets off his chair wonderfully.
I tend to think that this 'maker and his chair' makes a pair with...
...this one. One of the grandees of British furniture making, David says that, “One of my great sadnesses is that I live in an age when our art is conceptual.” The mirror is his way of sneaking up on works in progress, and catching their reflection unawares
Model Technics I:
Those who believe in the imagery of TV commercials might be disappointed to learn that beneath Model Technics’ roof – from where its fuels are exported to more than 50 countries – there are no expanses of polished surfaces and laboratory glassware; no, not even so much as a white coat. Instead, the warm scent of castor pervades the crowded spaces that are filled with boxes and bottles, their labels a foil-printed babel of languages, chemical samples and test rigs, and all of it threaded about with the viscera of pipework that carries fuels, oils and additives from storage tanks to mixers and on to the bottling machine
Model Technics II:
The utter East – east of England, that is – where John, Phil and Terry run an alchemist’s workshop where ‘What’ll happen if…’ ideas are transformed through the heat, light and noise of experimentation into useful fuel developments. Well, either that or a sticky puddle…
Akshai Varde is the man behind Vardenchi Motorcylces, a custom 'shop whose work combines elements of both East and West, and whose customers include Bollywood directors
Of Flug Werk's endeavour to return the silhouette of the FW190 to the skies over Germany, Claus says: “It’s about the technology; in only three years [Germany] designed an aircraft that was able to fly faster and carry more ordnance than others, and all this under constant bombing raids. This is the way people find their reason to say, ‘What a beautiful aeroplane’.”
Heather's spectacular works have brought international recognition for her equestrian art, which began 40 years ago with paint, but has found its voice, she believes, in these driftwood sculptures. Though their textures and shapes are largely dictated by the materials, she manages to select from that palette the pieces whose lines perfectly describe, say, the tension in a line of muscle or sinew
It's that man David Burton again, this time with the ghost of his (and Britain's) hero, Admiral Lord Nelson
This shot of Deluxe Material's John Bristow formed the opening spread of a feature describing the molecular mojo that goes into the company's brightly labelled bottles and tubes of wonder glues and adhesive solutions
Under the arch:
Rajasthan framed I:
In a desert village outside the city of Jaisalmer, this girl strikes a classical pose for the camera, while her brother...
Rajasthan framed II:
...goes for something less formal; I liked the way, though, that the pair were united by colours
Simon Pavey takes it easy during the Green Raid, about which you can read a little more in the Features pages
Aircraft restorer extraordinaire, and all round fascinating chap, as you'll discover if ever you have the chance to talk to him. In the meantime, there's a quick sketch in the Features pages
“Having a bit of space, a bit of time, and some things to play with,” is how Marc defines creativity. “And if I’m romantic about anything,” he says, “it’s about creativity; it’s the one thing that excites me.” Somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, however, many people lose the facility or willingness to explore; to find materials that they like - whether it’s clay, paint, charcoals, wood, words, or whatever - and simply to play with them, and see where it leads.