Nathan Myhrvold, Dan Snow, Humphry Ker & Robin Hood Gardens

Nathan Myhrvold photographed in Claridges, London

I shot these two portraits (above and below) for the Independent on Sunday magazine. Although, Nathan Myhrvold is best known for his 13 years at Microsoft where he was the Chief Technology Officer, he also worked under Stephen Hawking at Cambridge, is a prolific inventor*, professional cook, and wildlife photographer. He recently came to London to promote his new cookery book which has just been published. It’s called Modernist Cuisine and is not your average cook book. It comes in 6 volumes, is 2,438 pages long, costs a small fortune and is claimed to have pushed the boundaries of cooking. It also contains some amazing food photography, where they have gone to great lengths to illustrate his techniques, such as laser cutting a saucepan in half to show food in the process of cooking.

I did the shoot of Dan Snow and Humphrey Ker last week at the Imperial War Museum. They are photographed up against a World War II German tank. I’m sure many of you will know that Dan Snow is a TV historian and son of presenter Peter Snow. When I was doing a bit of research on him before the shoot, I discovered he was a highly accomplished rower when he was a teenager and in his 20’s. I rowed a lot when I was younger too so I was very impressed to read that he had rowed three times for Oxford against Cambridge in the annual Boat Race, which is no mean feat.

Humphrey Ker is a comedian with a nerdy obsession with Military history and has become good friends with Dan. He won Best Newcomer at the Fosters Comedy Awards and will be starting a new show ‘Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!’ at the Soho Theatre, from 26 January to 4 February 2012.

Humphrey Ker & Dan Snow at the Imperial War Museum, London

I have been continuing with my new series on regeneration and recently paid a visit to the Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London. It was designed by the famous architectural couple Alison and Peter Smithson and completed in 1972. It has courted controversy over the last few years and has been labelled a sink estate in need of demolition. However, despite arguments by Tower Hamlets Council and many residents that it is an unpleasant place to live, there has been vocal opposition to its planned demolition and architectural heavy weights such as Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid, have argued that it should be listed for preservation. I went to check it out 2 weeks ago and took an initial series of reccy images and I’m planning to return there again shortly. I have also lined up some interesting interviews over the next few weeks – with an architect who designed one of the most controversial council blocks in London and with an academic who led the charge against large scale modernist housing schemes in the UK…more details to follow.

Robin Hood Gardens, London
Fifth Floor, Robin Hood Gardens. Turn to the right and you will see the towers of Canary Wharf.

I went to the launch of the Hereford Photo Festival a few weeks back and saw some fantastic work on show. The festival is coming to an end on the 26th November, so go check it out while you have time. You can see a few of the highlights (including a pic of mine) on the Guardian Website here.

Finally, check out this great multimedia piece A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan by Irish photojournalist Seamus Murphy on Media Storm.


* It’s worth noting that Myrhvold’s company IV has been accused of being a patent troll. I will reserve judgment, but read this article if you want to find out more.


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