Tag Archives: photographer

Behind the camera: Simon Ayre

You may have noticed that the We Are Cardiff website features some rather wonderful photography. We’ve decided to run a series of posts introducing you to our photographers, who volunteer their time to keep this website looking as amazing as possible. Please meet the lovely Simon Ayre!

One reason why Cardiff is an ace place to live

One of the things that makes Cardiff so good is one of the many reasons why people often leave: it’s such a small place. This means that you’re no more than a 15 minute walk (if you bump into friends along the way which you probably will) from one end of the town centre to the other. As a town centre it caters for all sorts of people, at daytime or night. Outside of the town centre there are so many things going on it’s just a case of finding what’s right for you. Or you can be a hermit.

Favourite place to eat out in Cardiff

Anywhere that isn’t my house, pretty much. Probably Wagamama, maybe.
“Ooh but it’s a chain.”
“Oooh but I don’t care.”

I don’t eat out that often and when I do it’s usually in the Rummer Tavern before a gig (despite their peas). I love their food but have no idea why.

Favourite shop in Cardiff

Well, I rarely shop. I never have any money, so pretty much the only shop I really go into is Spillers, if they’re REALLY lucky.

Favourite Cardiff venue

Clwb Ifor Bach. We’ve got some great venues in Cardiff with the likes of the Globe and Buffalo, but the gigs and nights out I’ve had at clwb are consistently great.

5. Best Cardiff memory (can be a gig or show or exhibition or anything you like)

Too many to mention. Actually, my friend Gareth drunkenly getting the members of Broken Social Scene to draw pictures of him in his passport instead of getting autographs will go with me to my grave.

Book/s you’re reading at the moment

Press Gang: 3. Checkmate

Yes, a book based on the kids ITV series. Following a conversation on Twitter (with someone I’ve only met for about 10 minutes) about the books/ series around 6 months ago, I got a message last week asking for my address. I had no idea what it was for but gave her my address as I occasionally like to live my life REALLY on the edge, and it came in the post yesterday with a really lovely note. Also, given that it’s essentially a book for kids, I’m kind of at roughly the right mental level.

Film/s you’ve recently seen and likes

I probably haven’t been to the cinema since Scott Pilgrim. I recently bought Submarine for some inspiration for an engagement shoot for friends and really liked it. I generally like Shane Meadows’ stuff, a bit of horror and some older classics… Singin’ in the Rain is the best film ever. North By Northwest, Blow Up, Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Bonnie and Clyde… er…… . My film degree is absolutely wasted on me though to be honest. No concentration for films – I always feel like I should be doing something.

Band/s you’re into atm

If I was asked this three years ago I could have reeled off countless names. Things have changed a lot for me since then and I’ve found myself so out of touch with music as a result. I always wondered at what point my parents stopped listening to new music and I think I’ve reached that point in the last couple of years, due to various circumstances. Having said that, the newer releases (as in bought in the last few months, not released last Monday) I’ve been enjoying recently include Howling Bells (The Loudest Engine), The Horrors (Skying) The Sons of Noel and Adrian (knots) , Evan Dando (The Hotel Sessions) and Neil Young (Live Cow Palace 1986) … that’s pretty much it I think.

Any projects you’re working on at the mo you want to big up…?

Got a music based photography one underway which will probably go live on a website in a couple of months, once momentum picks up with it, but I’m not saying any more as I want it to be associated with me and not some other copycat!

What camera do you use? Any favoured lenses for portrait photoshoots like the We Are Cardiff shoots?

Canon EOS 5D mk2 and a Canon EOS 7D. I don’t necessarily have a favourite lens for the shoots as all the portraits are different, so what is suitable for one story isn’t suitable for another. Generally I probably use a 50mm or 24-70 most, but If I get the chance I’ll get my 100mm out because it’s lovely.

Your favourite We Are Cardiff photoshoot

They’ve all been really good to do for one reason or another and it’s nice getting to find so much out about people while doing a shoot. The shoot with Zoe Howerska earlier this year was great for that reason, with the added bonus of an amazing dog!

Thanks Simon! Simon Ayre online: flickr / twitter

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Behind the camera: Amy Davies

You may have noticed that the We Are Cardiff website features some rather wonderful photography. We’ve decided to run a series of posts introducing you to our photographers, who volunteer their time to keep this website looking as amazing as possible. So please meet a lady who makes this all possible – the lovely Amy Davies!

amy_davies_web

Give us one reason why Cardiff is an ace place to live

Cardiff is an ace place to live because it’s small enough to get around most places super quick, but also big enough to have loads of different things to do. I love the beauty of the place, and that includes things that people don’t seem to notice, like the architecture, the roofs of buildings and so on. I’ve lived here for seven years now and still see things I’ve never noticed before on a weekly basis.

Favourite place to eat out in Cardiff

Ummm… I don’t know if I have a favourite place to eat, I’m not a massive foodie, but I do like to pick up fun things from Wally’s Deli of course. I’ve been impressed by the performance of the Potted Pig and I’m really thrilled for them… although it does mean I can’t get a table even though I live next door (literally!).

Favourite shop in Cardiff

My favourite shop changes from day to day, I’m a big fan of The Pen and Paper though as I love craft and the owner there has helped me with various things – including finding some sticks and sawing them up for me during a mad project to create props for a photobooth party I was having… so props to him!

Best Cardiff memory

I’ve got so many Cardiff memories, it’s hard to pick one. I had such a blast doing my postgraduate degree here though and I’ve made friends for life through that course. I also met my boyfriend here and now even though I work over in England I can’t bring myself to leave this wonderful city… too many memories to go into really!

Favourite books

I’m ashamed to say that I’m always so busy reading magazines and blogs etc (partly for work and also for pleasure) that my book reading has gone downhill in recent years. I’ve got a lot of craft books on the go though, my favourite one is probably the Everything Alice: Wonderland Book of Makes.

Favourite recent films

I’m probably more of a TV person (love my American dramas… hello Mad Men season 5!), but I am unashamed to admit that I’m really looking forward to watching Titanic 3D… I saw that three times at the cinema when I was 11, it’ll be great to see it on the big screen again, haha!

Band/s that you’re into

I firmly believe I was probably born in the wrong decade as I spend very little time listening to modern music and a lot of time listening to a variety of bands from the 60s-80s. The Beatles are a really cliche answer, but I do love them. I’m also very much into Northern Soul and Motown … impossible to pick a favourite!

Any personal projects that you want to big up?

I’m always working on the Cardiff Arcades Project … I’ve had my ups and downs with that, but I’m still keen to keep it going. I want to have a solo exhibition and a book … but of course it all takes time (and money), which I’m short of at the moment… one day, one day …

What camera do you use? Any favoured lenses for portrait photoshoots like the We Are Cardiff shoots?

I’m very lucky that because of my job I use all kinds of different cameras on a weekly basis. I own a Canon 60D and an Olympus PEN E-P3 though. With my 60D I have a 50mm f/1.4, 60mm f/2.8 macro, 10-20 Sigma and 30mm f/1.4 Sigma lens. However, recently I’ve been shooting with a Nikon D800, Nikon D4 and Canon 5D Mark III (which a couple of my WAC shoots were done with). Like I say… I’m very lucky!

Most memorable We Are Cardiff photoshoot?

One of my favourite shoots was with Sarah, who I photographed on the roof of St David’s Car Park. It was one of my favourites because I’d never been up there before. Other than that, I also enjoyed Rachel Kinchin’s shoot (not published yet) because she’s just so damn pretty! 🙂

Thanks Amy! More on Amy Davies here: web / Arcades Project / twitter

 

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