paul abbitt

Once a year caravan racing is held at ST Day, Cornwall.  It’s the highlight of the racing calendar, after the banger and stock-car racing. With the amount of debris afterwards, you can understand why it’s the last race of the day.

About 8 years ago I undertook a small photography project on the race and always wanted to come back and do a project solely on the drivers and the caravans. The idea behind the project was to show the drivers with the interior and exterior of the caravan and to capture the decor and sprit of banger racings.

All the glass in the caravan is removed before hand and the interiors are ripped out to leave a carcass of a shell, which means less debris on the track.  However, it no doubt also helps with there destruction. The caravan race never lasts more than a few minutes, they literally explode on the track when hit by other racers, quite a sight! 

One of the caravans was donated by an owner, who had it for 40 years and was at the race to see the final destruction of it. A fitting end.

H3D, 28mm lens, one Elinchrom and a human light stand, (thanks Steph, couldn’t have done it with out your help).

I love undertaking these type of personal projects. I really enjoying meeting the people involved and find the subjects interesting. I really need to start shooting more personal photography projects again. These last few weeks have been good fun, photographing a different (maybe darker) side of Cornwall.  No Cornish pasty or beautiful scenery insight. My next project will be on plane grave yard in Cornwall.  

A disused warehouse in Camborne Cornwall.  A place that was once used for go-carting and before that for mining; according to locals the place is currently under threat from developing (probably housing). To help give you a size of this place, the yellow stick man is the size of a man.

Derelict buildings have a large appeal to me at the moment, with so much development going on in Cornwall (I’ve been away for 6 years and you can certainly see the changes).  A building of this size has little hope of survival, not from nature, but from developers and the original shape and purpose of a building like this will not be there much longer (some may argue that’s a good thing).  However, there’s a real beauty to these places.  There’s something nice about photographing nature trying to take back what was once its own, before man has a 2nd attempt at reshaping it for profit. The vastness of this space was very refreshing, (dirty and grottey and probably a bit of a health hazard), but refreshing in the sense of openness for an interior space. On the surrounding areas either side of this space there were a couple of  new housing estates, no doubt this site will become one soon (more like its own town it was so big).

I will upload these projects at a later date, when I return to NZ.

Room With A View.

While in England I am doing a few personal projects.  This was a small project on an abandoned motel in Cornwall, that squatters and vandals have made a home. 

I wanted to light the interior whilst balancing it with the  exterior light as I wanted to show the views that are still  attainable from each rooms. Hence the title of the project.  Yet while shooting the project one of the squatters turned up and the project took on a little bit of a diversion.

This is the image is of the squatters bedroom, where he sleeps with a hammer by his side. 

Taken with an H3D & Elinchroms 

Photo of Anzac Poppys

Poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his  ‘In Flanders fields’.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Charlotte Dawson was one of the first celebrities i photographed when i moved to New Zealand. It was a quick fashion/editorial shot in a small room, i didn’t get to speak to her much as she was answering interview questions whilst the shoot was taking place, but from what little we did speak, she was down to earth, professional and was a pleasure to work with. RIP Charlotte.

In May I did a promotional shoot for TNZ (Tourism New Zealand), thanks to Emma at Canvass. The brief was to follow a Stray bus around the north island for a week and to show the backpackers having fun, whilst keeping the shots natural and realistic. The shoot was a lot harder than it sounds.  I had to turn up on the bus unannounced and ask the backpackers if they were willing to take part and if they were happy to sign model releases.  Thankfully the majority did  and I was lucky to have a bus of great willing backpackers. Naturally the weather made it a lot harder, it poured down for half the trip and the trip got shortened by 2 days, which will hopefully take place in the not two distant future.

Now that the images have been chosen, I shall add a few images over the next few weeks. Overall it was a great assignment.

The attached images is from a stay over at the Maketu, a cultral retreat.