Monday, June 25, 2012

My neighbourhood

Waiting Outside Asda
Outside ASDA
Across the road: last trace of the riots

I might use these pictures to make illustrations.


dusty dinosaurs

dusty dinosaurs

I just can't seem to get this dust out of my scanner. It's INFURIATING. At least now it's mostly just fluffy bits, and less crumbly bits.

I love my dinosaurs, anyway.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ceremonial Photos

This is what happened when I poked the Rolleiflex at people at the Cilip Greenaway/Carnegie awards.
One of my books was nominated but didn't win (because the awesome "A Monster Calls" won EVERYTHING, deservedly) and I was there to have tiny cakes and be interviewed by children.
A good opportunity to practise my photography skills, I figured... Here you go:
Hey Ben! I found the close-up lens! No don't look! Just be natural!

The Barbican serves EXTREMELY SMALL CAKES. I took several away in my handbag.

it's a jungle
After the ceremony everyone relaxed in the greenhouse.

Happy David
David is happy because Walker Books totally dominated the awards.
Or maybe it's to do with his hat.

Hello Camera
Hello, official photographer!

Looking for signatures, and people to interview.

Greenaway Smiles
Happiness all around.

Rollei Profile

it was just like that

There's a second roll which I haven't had developed yet.
Next thing I need: anti static dust wipes for my scanner. WHERE IS IT ALL COMING FROM???

I just got the second roll developed... the light wasn't as good any more, and I didn't have a tripod, so it's all a bit meh. But I like this one:
walker do 02.jpg
Tea and cake at the Barbican

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pinhole Pride

I can't believe I did this. First I bought one of these:

A lovely cheap medium format film camera from the 80's. I hacked out everything I didn't need, made a pinhole using a drill and a pin and sandpaper, measured it with my scanner...

...screwed it all back together with some new parts...
And went out and took a roll of pictures with it!
Here's a self portrait.

I'm not sure I can!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Did you know you can buy actual hand-drawn  bits of my books?

Have a look  >>>>>here<<<<<

All the best bits of "A Place To Call Home" to be had, and even some of "There are No Cats in this Book".
Original Title Page Artwork!
Tiny Sleepy Hamsters!

This one took me ages to work out...
Anyway, head over to Children's Book Illustration and see what's to be had...

More Camera Happiness

Rollei slide film. So exciting to open the envelope and hold it up to the window!

I had no idea what the Agfa box would do, or even if I had managed to fix the shutter (hence the blurry ponderous self portrait). I think it would like slower film.

I found a case for the Rollei and had a sturdy shoulder strap fixed.

A Diana, a Coronet Cadet, an Agfa Clack Pinhole, an Agfa Box and the Rollei. And an Olympus that needs fixing peering down from the top shelf... They stare at me while I work until I stop and take them outside into the sun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Another camera I have is an old Diana... I didn't expect any pictures to come out at all, even the film roll looked a mess once it had passed through that rickety plasticky thing.
But as it turned out, the pictures are Just Right. I have exciting plans for these.

A Small Piece Of World

More Thereof

Now I only have one last camera left to try out - a Coronet Cadet that cost me one pound. I cleaned it out with cotton buds and glued on the parts that should be fixed and loosened the parts that should be moving and loaded it up.
I think this is my favourite project ever. Shall tell you what it is all about eventually. But not quite yet.


Quiet Time at Home.
I met a cat on my way to the studio and tried out the close-up lens.
A rainy day by the Thames.

Some Peckham Graffiti.

Cilip Greenaway, one

This year's Cilip Greenaway/Carnegie awards were my favourite event ever. Normally I am not that interested in awards, but this year there was a chance of something very exciting happening - and it did!! The book I wanted to win won BOTH awards, for best novel and best illustration: "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness, Jim Kay, and Siobhan Dowd who began it but sadly died before she could actually write the thing. It's a masterpiece.

I cheered rather a lot, and then celebrated with the Walker Books team, eating many tiny cakes and drinking copious amounts of tea. We did well this year.
I took a good lot of pictures, but they haven't come back from the lab yet. I'll post them when they do.
In the meantime, here is a picture of myself at the awards, having an excellent time.
copyright CILIP & Terry Richards Photography
I did a fair bit of signing and being interviewed - my favourite question was: "So, are you from that country where vampires are from?"
("Nearly," I said.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Novels, and Toy Cameras

Hello there!
I'm just taking a break from novel-writing for a cup of tea and a stretch. I've eaten half a packet of chocolate chip cookies and drank most of a bottle of milk. The scene I am writing is one of those I planned very early, and it took forever to get to it. Somehow these scenes tend to be hard to write, maybe because they seem so important.

Another project I am working on involves photography, and so I am buying very cheap old cameras to experiment with... an old Diana with a plastic lens, a beaten-up box camera with a mold-speckled viewfinder. I also picked up a Corona 20-12 for a tenner. Now I am looking for a cheap Agfa Clack to hack into a pinhole camera. Apparently it's a great camera to convert, and I found detailed instructions. It's even got tiny in-built colour filters to flick on and off. I'll spend some time making a very neat hole and measuring it out perfectly - pinhole pictures can be great, nothing else quite gets everything in focus that way.

My aim is to find a camera that takes just the right kind of picture, something that looks imperfect but lovely. It's brilliant fun - neither the cameras nor the film cost much, and I am learning useful things about  light, composition and observation.
I'm completely in love with those old cameras, the way they still work fifty, sixty, seventy years on, and the precise and clever construction. There are so many solutions to the problem of making a cheap, functional camera for amateurs. I'm quite obsessed.
Some of those cameras curved the film to get better results from a fixed lens, some have shutters in front of the lens which leads to vignetting but keeps the lens clean and dry. Some have only two focus settings: far, and close. Some have aperture settings with pictures of possible weather conditions instead of numbers. Some have several view finders depending on what way up the camera is held, showing the picture flipped sideways, or even upside down. Most of them have two speeds: fast and infinite. How fast the "fast" is varies between models, but generally it seems just fast enough to shoot 400 ISO on a slightly cloudy day (I'm still experimenting with film speeds).

I am dreaming of cameras, this week.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Shard

I can see this building everywhere I go.
It looks into my windows in South London and East London and peeks over the edge of the park in North London. At night it has red eyes.
Here I am standing right underneath.


I'm learning how to use analogue cameras... it's hard! I messed up most of them for lack of a light meter, and then I lost the end label of one roll in the camera so I have two completely scratched rolls of otherwise good photos.
I'm determined to make this work, though.
Here are some pictures from the Queen's Jubilee weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pigeons in the park

I took this with my grandfather's Rolleiflex. My first attempt at analogue photography in over a decade... I used to build my own pinhole cameras, but this is even more fun.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wear My Doodles

You can now wear my doodles as shirts. Order them here!
In other news, I am having a lovely time. This new regime of reduced social networking is brilliant. Back when I have something else cool to say. Don't hold your breath.