Sunday, 24 June 2012

I'm wide awake

I am going to add new sections to my website to showcase my light photography I have kept pretty much to myself till now......

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Instagram ban is lifted!

Last week I posted about banning myself from Instagram. Well my week of not allowing myself to use my iphone to post pictures to instagram has come to a close. I let myself use my DSLR instead, and interestingly I took fewer pictures this week than before.

I don't know whether the rainy weather this week influenced my lack of picture taking, but thinking about it I came to the conclusion that it really is so easy to point and shoot with the iphone camera and banning myself really did actually cause me to stop taking pictures because it wasn't so convenient with my DSLR.

However, on Saturday I was walking round London with my DSLR and revelled in taking lots of photos with it, and I definitely get more enjoyment and a better sense of achievement from taking photos with it rather than my iphone camera.

I felt the whole process was more fluid and my photo storytelling was there again, which I was losing a teeny bit with just using the phone to take pictures.

The picture above is before editing, I never tend to edit much, and always aim to keep a picture true to what it the conditions of the day were, unless I am purposely going for a different look. I actually feel there is a better connection and appreciation of my photography this way too, rather than taking photos with the phone and sending them to instagram which I think has throw away connotations to it - once a photo disappears from the feed, in an essence it is lost. Taking photos with my DSLR photos are not forgotten and I appreciate them more.

I'm glad I did this weeks ban, and although there is a place for both types of photography, I have become increasingly wary of the popularity contest side to instagram, and I would prefer to take photos that I love with my DSLR :)


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Art is my friend, demon, and obsession!

A friend of mine had this status update this week: "Art is what drives my day- I see pictures everywhere. Art is the friend, the demon, the obsession, that lives in my head."

Deb proceeded to talk about how if you are not a visual person you may not understand how a visual person works. I know for myself it is easy to explain but I doubt someone could feel the same feelings of intensity I might feel and the massive pull to go and create something when it appears.

These pulls can be anywhere at any time, and today I just walking out the door of Fortnum and Mason's in London today I looked up and saw the torch you see to the left and had to capture it!

Very often my major inspiration comes from music videos, I could sit for hours and watch well put together music videos which have had fantastic stylists work on the singers, or talented designers and writers create cracking sets and storylines. Watching Lana Del Rey's videos is like heaven to me!

I watched picking up the pieces by Paloma Faith today, and the way my mind works is that with certain shots my mind freezes the video and I see the image I want to replicate and adapt. I get the massive urge to go and create it. Unfortunately life gets in the way a lot of the time, if you are at work for example, I can't just set up my easel over my computer haha.

To combat some of the lost creativity I take a lot of photography and like my Opa (German grandfather) I carry a camera everywhere with me. My eyes are constantly searching for the next photo composition. I have to go take photos, even today in work I took a photo of the skylight above me, I love seeing the changing colours and the water droplets on it when it rains. Who would take a photo of a skylight you say, well me! I see something I want to capture, and so I do.

Art is my dynamo, it drives me, but it also consumes me and I battle against it as well. I have urges to create, but getting the desired outcome can be frustrating if it doesn't work out how I imagine, or in some cases there just isn't the time, or I don't make the time because I am tired. I have noticed I become frustrated and I would almost say unhappy when I do not create, it is as if something inside me has to be let out.

Then there is the decision of; "oh my lord there is sooo much I want to create, what do I do first?"

I have taken a break from drawing while I settled into my internship and found somewhere to live, but now I am raring to get back into it. Excitttting, I feel a slight change in direction, I have bought new paper, and also some mounting board for a bigger project. I think it's time to grow my style in original works as well as my adaptations of celebrity pictures.

See you soon guys :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Banning myself from Instagram!

So, unless you've been living under The Shard, or a massive rock this past week you will probably have heard that instagram moved into the realms of android, and then there was the colossal 1 billion dollars that was paid by Facebook for the app this week.

I saw plenty of tweets flying around and they were definitely food for thought as the news of the purchase spread across social media; Tweets about topics such as we are living in an era where Kodak filed for bankruptcy a few months ago and won't be manufacturing cameras any more, (the original item that made it a success), while an app has taken the mobile photo world by storm and just been paid a massive fortune for, sure made me stop and think.

This all got me thinking more about my photo taking habits and how they have changed since i got instagram. Recently i have become rather confused as to what I want to use for my photography. In the past few weeks I have actually been out on occasions with my Nikon D60, small Canon video camera and my iphone with instagram on it all at once.

First and foremost I am an artist and photographer and have an eye for a photo or a scene. My Nikon D60 is my trusty old friend that lets me take spectacular pictures with long shutter speeds and so forth but it is bulky compared to my small Canon which I use predominantly for my YouTube videos to film with, but even that small camera is a total Tardis in the photo department! It can do tilt shift and all sorts of magic, you name it, it's got it!

Then comes the iphone and instagram, I can sneakily take a pic here and there without people visibly thinking i am taking photos as i don't have my massive paparazzi lens pointing their way. My phone is always with me as well making it handy and it's easy to use. I also love the fact that my photos can get shared with people instantly, that is what I consider to be one of the greatest points of being an artist in this digital age, I can share my work and people will see it all around the world.

However, every time I take a photo with my phone for instagram I feel a guilt trip for my Nikon D60. It should be the one taking those photos, and certainly I can upload Nikon photos onto my iphone and publish them on instagram but I don't feel that is how I use instagram, I use it more as a story telling platform and as an in the moment diary.

I also am dubious about the quality of the pics on instagram i produce, they are not always technically what I want, but people seem to love the ones I think are ok, and don't show much interest in the ones I think are great haha.... People commented a lot on the mood of the one with the taxis and rain....

Another concern is that we will have all these photos locked away on instagram and for record purposes in the future will the quality be up to scratch, and what will happen if instagram disappears to a future rival? Will people have saved those pics, or is instagram simimlar to the platform it was based upon, a Polaroid snap that people may throw away with time? - A snippet of life, not always intended for longevity.

I feel like I want to ban myself from instagram for a week! Ban the use of my iphone camera, and go back to my Nikon D60. There is something about the digital SLR, I don't feel a cheat as a photographer, maybe I am looking at in the wrong way, there is undoubtedly a place for the digital SLR and an iphone camera hooked up to instagram, it doesn't have to be one or the other, but I know one will prevail and become the preferred method of mine for taking pics on the go. I won't be so simple to get my Nikon out on the bus without some stares to take a picture out of the back window like the one of the taxis.

So starting next Monday I am going to give this a go and go back in time so to speak, and I will be taking my Nikon everywhere and not taking pics on my phone. It will be interesting to see how my photo taking alters! I'll let you know!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Instagram is my new Dailybooth

I recently got an Iphone, and one of the first apps i downloaded was instagram, ok maybe just cus my fiancé had it too, but I was intrigued. I take tonnes of photography so I thought this was going to be a perfect bow to my TKD-ART empire. It hasn't disappointed!  

It's great being able to share photos, and I'm enjoying utting the filters on the photos and getting that old school quality feeling to them that is one of Instagram's trademarks. I have been surprised at a few likes :) What I don't deem amazing photos, (they don't match my Nikon D60's quality), were getting a good number of likes and it's been a bit of a confidence boost in my photography composition! 

So I have been snapping away :) I'm loving it, sharing my daily scenes, and it's great for long distance relationships, it gives that bit more realism for your partner, it shows them what you have been up to, and helps them imagine they could be there too. 

I used to be a big user of Dailybooth but my Dailybooth days are over now. It had it's time and I met fantastic people on there, including Mark. I racked up 1008 pictures, pretty much always one pic a day and i very rarely double boothed. It's a shame the site has changed so much since it began. The community has gone, and has been replaced by spam, and bugs and it's just no fun anymore. It needs a revamp and owners who want to build it up again to a successful site, if it is to stick around and compete against the likes of Instagram.

Instagram has reignited that sort of spark for me that Dailybooth had which is awesome, and it's accessible anywhere on my phone. 

The only thing about my type of Photography is that I like to take photos and tell a story, so one picture never does it for me, I used to have a little series of say 5 or even 15 photos in the comments on Dailybooth below the main picture, and I would often make collages for the main picture! Instagram can't quite do this.. but I still love it.

Here are two pictures from my wandering of London this Sunday when the sun was out in force. They got filters applied and stuff on Instagram though to give them that je ne sais quoi too. 

It's interesting, this shift towards using my phone to share phtography, I wonder if someone might invent a feature for my Nikon D60 to share it's pics instantly, Now that would be cool.

The whole point of putting my artwork on YouTube was to share it with people and now I can do this with Instagram. I am not a fan of Flickr or Deviantart so this is great. I realy like that I can get perspectives from people all around the world, and today one guy I began following actually seemed to be taking pics in similar places around London today! It would have been funny if we had crossed paths....

You'll find me spamming Instagram on a daily basis :D

I'm TKD_ART on Instagram, Go stalking if you want to :) 

See you soon,

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Social Media Is My Life!

Today I went to take some video of Neal's Yard in Seven Dials - London. I was taking it for a friend called Jim, who lives in the USA and whom I have never met IRL, only on Dailybooth.

He had posted a photo he had found of Neal's Yard on Facebook, and tagged me in it asking if I knew of it, I instantly recognised it as the fabulous Neal's Yard! In my excitement of him posting that pic and me knowing it (I like winning hahaaa...) I offered to go video it for him and give him a little tour.

He loved the idea so off I went today, it was a gorgeous sunny day and I had just moved on Saturday into my new place in Bloomsbury and now I am in walking distance of the wonderful-ness :D

What struck me looking at these photos now is how much of my life is made from conversations and sharing of cool stuff on the internet.

This is one example, but I love to share everything I do on the internet, well you know, most things, not everything :)
I like to show people places they wouldn't normally go or things they would look past.

This is one of my main reasons for being on YouTube, people may think it is a popularity to many, and that is true for some, but for me I just want to share my artwork and vlogs out and about. I hate the idea that my art would sit in folders where no one would see it.... and when my YouTube took off it really brought me into the world of the internet.

I started my voyage into social networks and social media back in 2005 when I joined a Harry Potter fansite (JK Rowling I owe a lot to you).. and I still talk regularly to two or three people from there. They were the first people I told I was gay, and have stuck with me and even though we have never met I know one will be coming to my wedding.

This is the age of skype and without it life would be so different. My parents did long distance for 4 years, only using a pay phone in a telephone box!

Hey I met my fiancé on the internet and have been doing long distance for over 2 years and thank god for skype, Twitter, Facebook and Dailybooth.

Some people may think it strange to be friends with people you have never met.. I just say it's the modern pen pal!

I have been to countless YouTube gatherings, met people I had never met before, I've met up with people abroad I know off the internet...

It doesn't phase me in the slightest, if you build a good transparent relationship online there is nothing scary or dangerous about meeting people from the internet, and of course always using common sense, meeting in public places etc.

The internet has brought me some valuable friends, a lover, and it even offers me the chance to get to know people I sell my artworks too! 

I have now landed an internship in social media, never did I think I would be doing something to do with what is basically my life. 

Social Media is my life for now, and always will be a big part, but hopefully I will remove some of it by getting Mark - my fiancé in the same country soon :) Still I am bloody lucky to have been born in the internet generation!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Wandering The Streets Of London

There is nothing I love more while in London than having a good wander. Cameras in my bag and a good pair of comfy shoes and I'm set :)

I know people love their Google maps these days, but I just have my tube map in my head and a knowledge of where I roughly am, and off I go, searching for photo opportunities and a spot of people watching!

Today I went up to view a flat, and then came back down to Oxford Circus and wandered down to Liberty, Carnaby Street and through Soho towards Covent Garden. I had to duck into a coffee shop for some hot choccy to warm myself up though, cus it was freeeeezing.

What was really cool about being out before 10am in London on a chilly, Sunday morning was that there was NO ONE around at all.... Regent Street was deserted like I have never seen it, and Soho was empty too. I'll have to remember this for some good photo opportunities in the future if the weather is cool.

The brand new W Hotel is really cool, the outside actually films the sky through lots of cameras and then the outer skin of the building 'reflects' what the sky was like that day! (It wasn't purple) I've edited this photo but look it up :) So at night time it is all colourful and I think it's a sign of the new up and coming Leicester Square which has always been a bit shabby. It is all currently under renovation so hopefully it will look a lot better when it is finished.

One of the posh houses in Maida Vale! I went up to have a look at Little Venice which is an area with some canals, which were all frozen over and narrow boats were pushing through breaking the ice!

Next time you're out and about take a look at things you wouldn't normally and se what you can find! I like looking for alleys in central London, and this is one of my favs to look down. 

So tonight I might go out to the BAFTA's and celeb spot if I'm not too tired or cold :) We will see. So this week is gonna be getting stuck into work and flat hunting. 

See you all soon 

Jonny :)

P.S. Shop windows can make such good photo opps!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

I'm back in London! For Good.....

Well I am back in London for good!!

I moved back on Saturday, I used to live here for three years while at uni, but now I have a paid internship for 6 months and hopefully I'll find a job after that :D

Soooo eeeeeee I am crashing with friends till i find somewhere permanent, wahoooooh London is not cheap, I knew this of course but when you are on a strict budget, eeeee. It's gonna be bargain hunting, and lots of walkies all the way guys!!

It's strange to be back, partly cus I don't have a room to call my own yet...  and I am in a different part of London, and I won't have uni to go to, rather my new work :D ....Haha and I am getting used to hearing lots of sirens again and watching out for those evil cyclists who cycle through red lights when you are crossing the road and almost run you over if you don't look carefully... bastards...

It also snowed yesterday which was quite the welcome to London!

I can't quite believe I am going to be in London for the Olympics, the Queen's Diamond jubilee and the completion of The Shard!

I think this is gonna be quite a 6 months! Prepare for some vloggage!

See you soon. Jonny.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

London Skyscrapers: The Shard V Tower 42

London's skyline has been evolving a lot this past year with new skyscrapers rising up from the old city. Once it is complete The Shard - London Bridge will be the tallest building in Western Europe at 310m (1,016ft), something I am itching to see.

I have followed its progress from a concrete stump to it's current state of near completion. It should be finished in May 2012, and as with so many things in London it seems, a lot is aiming to be snazzied up before the Olympics and The Shard will be a real eye catcher for the world to see!

I really like The Shard's architecture, the jagged pinnacle, and the ideas behind it, it is said to be inspired by the railway line it is next to and also ideas of the all the masts from the shipping that used to cover the Thames. It is very close to the river so it essence it is a bit like a ships mast rising out of the river.. (Yeahhh I know bit arty and cliche there)

There is a lot of focus on the new skyscrapers that are popping up over London, some of dubious design I think! I am really not sure if the Walky Talky fits in with London, but I love its roof top garden conservatory thing! It's top heavy though and I don't think it will age well, I guess we can only wait and see. Hey the Barbican is pretty ghastly, but I am fascinated by it's strange design and empty ghost town like qualities, when it is in the heart of the hectic City.

With all these new skyscrapers popping up I still have a fondness for Tower 42 though. At first I didn't think it was that beautiful but it's simplicity of straight lines and unique shape has really grown on me, maybe I just like it because it was one of the first skyscrapers, yet it still has something about it!

Tower 42 and the Shard are two of my fav skyscrapers in London, but I think the Shard will come out the winner when it is complete and I can't wait to geo up it!

I hope that the skyscrapers that came before the new leaders do not get swamped. I remember going to new York and thinking it's such a shame you can't really see the skyscrapers from the ground, all the tall buildings crowd out the views, and you had to go on a ferry to The Statue of Liberty to actually the see the skyline.

London will always have its mix of old and new though which makes it so unique :)

Anyone got a fav skyscraper?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Gay Rights Movement

This is a brilliant video by Ryan who I fully support in his quest to make a documentary on discrimination against gay people. I have watched Ryan for years making videos and he is truly talented and has put a lot of his money into making previous music videos. He created these for other people's enjoyment as well as his own and even put himself into considerable debt to make them, but Ryan is a person who will try to change the world however he can and at whatever the cost, be that through making his weekly gaysoftheweek Monday video, through a music video bringing people amusement and joy, or as he seeks to now, by producing a hard hitting, moving and essential documentary to combat discrimination against gays. 

Some of you may think ohhhh another gay movement , and might even wonder why I am talking about it too. Some of those who watch me on YouTube do not pick up on my sexuality, others do in an instant, I am gay and there are many things I have to go through because I'm gay. These have shaped me and I wouldn't want to be anyone else but I want life to be easier for future generations. Our generation is changing thank goodness and on YouTubeI know young girls have often left comments in the aura of "I'm glad your gay" or the such like. I think being a gay male online is good because of the stigma of men on the internet being predatory towards young girls, that our generation has now engrained in their minds. 

Anyway I'm moving away from the point, what I think is important is that as a gay man I do not just watch this video and then do nothing about it, rather it is my duty to spread the message and do something towards ending or limiting discrimination, to help those teens stop themselves before they slit their wrists because of gay hate. We have to face it, discrimination will always be around but we can dampen it and strike out the worst of it.

Please go and support Ryan, even if it is just by liking the video! 

There are many countries who discriminate against gays, put them to death, put them in prison or deny them basic equal rights. We need to change this!

Find out more about what Ryan is trying to achieve at SecondClassCitizens 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Who said you can't put a price on love?

My life is taking new paths, all of which I have to make and work really hard towards achieving (time to get the choccy out).., getting engaged is one thing, but getting both of us into the same country will be a challenge with visa's, and of course England only recognises a relationship at a marriage level between two men, unlike the USA so Mark and I have lots to talk about and planning to do..

Visas are not cheap either so we'll be saving lots too! They say you can't put a price on love... Oh yes you can! Be it in a visa form... and all the conditions attached to a visa like having enough income and savings to support your partner.

Of course my main priority at the moment is landing a job, and it is vital to me that I can stand on my own two feet and pay my own way and also do a job I enjoy.

I don't want to talk much about jobs as I'm rather superstitious and don't want to jinx things :D Are you superstitious? I often see a lot of signs in things that tell me things are right now to do this or something, yes I know I sound a little loony haha, but seriously I get quite a bit of deja vu, it's as if something in front of your face has been lifted and you can see another dimension... and some of it I have seen years before, but I still remember it..... One time I remember it feeling quite unsettling and I was unable to pin down the feeling it gave me. I still can't now, it was almost foreboding but had good in it too.

Things are changing around me as I move into the next stage of life, and I have been thinking I would love to get into creating a painting that will take me a while to finish, learning new techniques and with varnishes and sparkly stuff :D

I like my pencil portraits but moving into the world of work it will be nice to have something less technical to do in the evening, and I want to express true feelings rather than base an artwork from someone's face. Saying that, I will never give up the portraits, maybe they will adapt over time too :)

I have it in my mind that I want to draw someone who really inspires me, (my problem is always making the time to do these while I job hunt), I can see it in my mind, not quite like my work so far and I hope it will look awesome. Getting that idea down on a surface and executing it as I see it in my mind will be another matter. I'll have to make a few plans :)

I hope 2012 has been positive for you so far :)


Thursday, 12 January 2012


If you live in England I am sure you will have heard of HS2!

It is the new high speed rail link that was approved this week by the government and is going in between London and Birmingham, for which there has been serious opposition.

Obviously no one wants a big and loud train zooming along in their back garden probably vibrating and blowing the poor little birds out of their trees and I sympathise with those who will have to move and be compensated.

I am also quite environmentally minded having studied Geography at university and so I am concerned about the environmental implications of the new line as it goes through ancient woodlands and SSSI's, but I also love my trains and I have travelled on the German ICE (high speed trains) a fair bit too and they are brilliant.

They are expensive to use however and currently having my 18-25 Young Person's railcard is the only way I can afford to use the trains in England and once I turn 25 that ability will disappear and I am likely to be priced out of using the train which is my fastest and easiest way to get to London.

Not only is price a concern but the cost of £33 billion to build the new line and then the time it will take to build the new line! Around 12 to 14 years just to build approximately a 100 mile stretch! If it could be done in 5 that would be great, but that just seems a bit too long! 

The chinese would have one built in 2 years if not a year! Mind you we have health and safety galore etc....

It has been suggested that the money should be invested in the current network. This is actually being done by Network Rail with investment taking place at Reading, Birmingham New Street and many other locations, but for example trains can't go faster on my local line because it is too bendy. High Speed trains need long straight lines to go fast on and so new lines are certainly needed. 

I do think the country needs high speed rail, and we have lagged behind mainland Europe too long and it should make a large difference to the country, but I do hope the environmental impact can be minimised and I do hope the new line will pay its own way and not have to be heavily subsidised in years to come, because then investing in old lines would have been much more beneficial.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


I don't know where to start, what to write :D

Lets just say this has been something I have been thinking of for a while and planned in my mind, with a few phone calls to my dear friend Becky to have someone to talk to about it :)

I'd asked Mark to go out to Slough Gundy some time with me, we'd been there the last time i came and we swam in the river and jumped off the rocks in the height of summer.

Now it being winter, there was no one there and with heavy fresh snow fall we wound our way to the rapids and rocks, drudging our feet through the thick snow.

We took photos and at the point we stopped at last time I told Marksy I had surprise for him.

I blindfolded him, and made him stand still in the snow while i made a Jonny heart round him and placed candles in the snow and lit them.

I then took off his blindfold and gave him a platinum coated rose, he had given me one for our 1st year anniversary and he had never seen it as it was bought online and directly posted.... I wanted him to have one and me to have one too :)

Then I said a few words, told him how much I love him...... I always thought he was hot from the first few times I saw him on Dailybooth 3 years ago, and then getting to know him we have shared a lot, and i'm glad we didn't ignore the feeling for eachother or put the distance down as a factor to stop us :D..... I took the plunge and bought a flight over the Atlantic to see him (someone I had never met face to face but was my boyfriend with the help of Facebook, Dailybooth, twitter and Skype), in the summer of 2010 and we hit it off :) He's my best friend and noodle.... and then got down on one knee in the snow and asked him to marry me with the rose in my hand :) ...... HE SAID YES !!!!!!!!!!

Total surprise to him and i'm really happy :D


We walked back over ice streams arm in arm grinning and made it to the car where we drove back in snow drifts and snowy weather :D


No there isn't a ring yet, hehe, I didn't know what size he is, and a guy normally only has one ring, so we'''ll see :D


Meep meep :) I feel we are going to have SOoooooo many questions from people now hahaa :)