Wierd & Wonderful

by José Navarro

I say ‘weird’ with a deep affection for my country of adoption. No matter what the weather throws at them, the British will take any opportunity to celebrate exactly that: being British. The summer months are packed with a plethora of events, from the iconic Glastonbury Festival to lesser known ones such as local WWII reenactments. They are the perfect excuse for people to assert their British identity, that often controversial and elusive concept.

This gallery is dedicated to British stoicism and idiosyncrasy, which one can only fully appreciate by joining in.

So I do; I join in and, oblivious to the caprices of the weather, celebrate being alive.

José Navarro

I was born in Spain and moved to the UK in 1996 with the idea of pursuing a career in professional photography. In 2004 I successfully finished an MA in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport. My current professional practice covers social (weddings & community development programmes), commercial (stage photography), travel (stock & editorial) and documentary photography. My photographs are held by AGE Fotostock and Alamy; I have also worked on assignments for Visit Britain. My photographic projects include features on Egypt’s Western Desert, Mali’s Sahel, India’s Thar Desert, and the High Atlas mountains. I have worked on a project covering a year in the life of crofters in North Uist, in the Hebrides. Recently, I accompanied a group of Spanish semi-nomadic shepherds on their annual migration. During their 3-week journey they walked a flock of 5,000 sheep across 250 miles, from depleted summer pastures in the north to greener hillsides in Andalucía. This project has been shortlisted for the 2008 BJP/Nikon Project Assistance Awards.

I am also a photography tutor at the Open College of the Arts (OCA) and CityLit College in London. As an extension of my photographic practice I am a keen traveller and outdoors person. I have trekked and cycled in rugged areas such as the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Pyrenees, Alaska and Iceland. I was expedition photographer on Raleigh International’s 4-month expedition to Guyana. I am a keen cyclist and have gone on award-winning cycling expeditions to the Andes (Wilderness Award) and Mali (Millennium Commission On the Line Award 2001). When I’m not holding a camera or teaching how to use it, I volunteer for Sustrans, the UK sustainable transport charity, and run bicycle repair workshops for the cycling charity Life Cycle UK.

More pictures and further details can be found at www.pangeafoto.com

What’s in the bag?
I have now stopped using film completely. The problem is that in this digital era whatever is in my bag is not there for very long. At the moment I’m using Fuji S3 and S5 Pro cameras with Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 HSM DG EX & Nikon 35mm f2 AF lenses for my documentary work. My commercial work is done with two Nikon D2X cameras and Sigma 30mm f1.4 DG & 18-50mm f2.8 DG EX lenses.

All images copyright © José Navarro