Interactive Surfaces & Tables: truly 3D gaming at Lancaster University

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I attended the latest of the ongoing Brunch Bytes sessions at Lancaster University’s InfoLab21 this week – this was about Interactive Surfaces and Tables. I’m always interested in the intersection of design, technology and interactive content; and found this session particularly informative and inspiring.

After the session, I caught up with John Hughes and Chris Bull, the two PhD researchers who’d delivered the seminar. While their main focus had been on the ‘Coffee Table‘ project, they also briefly referenced another research piece – an interactive table gaming application – during the talk. Their enthusiasm was infectious, piquing my curiosity, so I asked if I could take a look and shoot a panorama.

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Bobbins, lace and frilly knickers: heritage and modernity at Headen & Quarmby

Headen & Quarmby production facility, Middleton, Greater Manchester

A small selection of images from a recent shoot at the Headen & Quarmby production facility in Greater Manchester. Recently featured in Mary Portas‘ new show on Channel 4, “Mary’s Bottom Line“, the building’s filled with reminders of the rich heritage, skills and traditions of clothing production in the north of England.

Headen & Quarmby production facility, Middleton, Greater Manchester

Trading for almost eighty years, the building is full of materials, fabrics, machinery and memories which harks back to the glory days of British textile production in the mid 2oth century. There are reminders everywhere of a close-knit community of skilled workers. Now, as the machines operate here once again, age-honoured manufacturing techniques sit cheek-by-jowl with modern computer aided design.

After a decade when the machines were mothballed and production moved overseas, once again the factory is resonating to the sounds and sights of undergarment manufacture, staffed by a group of new apprentices tasked with making Kinky Knickers in Blighty. And right now, these knickers are hot

Headen & Quarmby production facility, Middleton, Greater Manchester

Lovingly made using authentic Nottingham lace, the new Kinky Knickers collection flies the flag for British manufacturing. Championed by retail guru Mary Portas, each pair is handcrafted by local apprentices, and comes in a gorgeous vintage-inspired gift box. Leading retailers… including Liberty, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, House of Frazer, ASOS, Boots and others… have embraced the chance to carry the cheekily retro, 100% British underwear. Public demand for the new lines is incredibly high, and everyone was working flat out (though not getting their knickers in a twist) when I was onsite.

Headen & Quarmby production facility, Middleton, Greater Manchester

Acclaimed creative agency Mill Co are delivering a new Headen & Quarmby website and brand development, and Anti Limited was commissioned to photograph the detail and character inside in the company’s headquarters in Middleton. As well as a range of intimately observed stills, taking full advantage of the natural light and unprepared working environment, we also captured a 360° panorama of the production floor. This gives vistors a chance to see the story behind the knickers…

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This is a superbly positive project; a great story of British talent and optimism, and it provided an evocative selection of details to capture and highlight. The subject matter gels closely with many personal and professional projects we’ve worked on, and it’s always good to support a scheme which promotes locally made, quality products. There was a tangible pride and professionalism with everyone I met – deservedly so, judging by their products – and I hope they maintain their position as a successful, well-respected British manufacturer for the next few decades. Thanks to all the staff at Headen & Quarmby for their unbridled co-operation and enthusiasm.

Headen & Quarmby production facility, Middleton, Greater Manchester

You can view a larger gallery of photographs from the day’s shoot here on Flickr

Sunset, snow… and the ‘Rude Stone’

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I only found out about this old stone cross last year when I was researching for another project. It stands on the hills between Todmorden and Cliviger, near the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. There’s some debate about how old Mount Cross actually is, with locals suggesting it may originally date from the 7th century, although other estimates date it from the 11th or 12th century. Either way, it’s the most ancient religious monument in the area, and may have stood weatherbeaten and resolute looking down the valley for close to a millenium. Pre-Schism, pre-enclosure, pre-industrial – there were still wild boar and wolves around back then – I imagine even in those days the silhouette of this priapic religious feature may’ve raised a smile or two, earning it the nickname of the ‘Rude Stone’.

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Since shooting the video below (a short HDR timelapse of the sun setting here last year) I’ve harboured the desire to get back and capture a really stunning sky. One late Saturday afternoon, as the sun set quicker than the temperature, I grabbed a couple of DSLRs and set off up the hill. First I shot some bracketed stills, then, just as the sun dropped over the hills, captured this HDR 360° panorama.

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Brighter than ever: inside Radiance again for 2011

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This is Radiance, a gorgeous lighting and craft boutique in the small market town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Radiance is owned by designer/maker Hannah Nunn: as well as creating her own acclaimed range of lighting, Hannah has a keen eye for the beautiful, showcasing and selling other talented designers’ work too. The result is a truly magical shop, filled with a wide variety of carefully chosen, high-quality craft products.

It’s the third year in a row I’ve worked with Radiance  to carry out a 360° photoshoot: you can view the 2009 version here (in the previous shop unit), and 2010’s version here (interesting to see how much the shop has changed in just one year). I was commissioned to return to Radiance, a year on, to illustrate this evolution, and to create a more comprehensive 360° view of the store, to compliment Radiance’s newly redesigned website. I also captured a series of high quality shop interior and exterior for press and marketing purposes.

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Bonfire Night across Manchester from MediaCityUK

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Here’s a sneak peek at some footage I shot on Bonfire Night, as part of a wider collaborative project. I’ve got a long tradition of shooting timelapses of November 5th (here’s a link to an epic one from 2006) but this was particularly fun to shoot.

A grandstand view, 22 stories up in an apartment in MediaCityUK, using 2x Canon EOS DSLRs, and 3x GoPro Heros. The panorama above gives you a better idea of the location, and the attachments for the GoPros. Below are two of the timelapse videos I shot on the night: there are full descriptions of both on their respective Vimeo pages.

View this location in Google Earth by clicking or tapping this icon…