The Alpha Invention key art by James Gourley

The key art for 'The Alpha Invention', a short film starring Billy Boyd (of Lord of the Rings fame) and William Hope (famous for his role in Alien) has been released, featuring images I took.

This film was fantastic to work on and it has an absolutely brilliant script. I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea by James Gourley

In late September I travelled to the DPRK (North Korea) for a third time, this time exploring the rarely seen North Hamgyong Province which is in the far North East of the country

I started my journey in Tumen in North East China, and crossed by foot to Namyang in the DPRK, a border crossing which has only been open to Western visitors since late 2012 and has only been used by about 80 Westerners.

The Tumen-Namyang border crossing bridge

The Tumen-Namyang border crossing bridge

Waitresses at a restaurant in Hoeyrong which was opened to non-Koreans for the first time look awkwardly at Western visitors. 

Waitresses at a restaurant in Hoeyrong which was opened to non-Koreans for the first time look awkwardly at Western visitors. 

A newly completed set of statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Chongjin. They were unveiled on September 9th to mark the DPRK Foundation Day

A newly completed set of statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Chongjin. They were unveiled on September 9th to mark the DPRK Foundation Day

A young student playing Solitaire on a computer at Chongjin Library during a study session

A young student playing Solitaire on a computer at Chongjin Library during a study session

I was offered a computer to use to explore the software available to students. This is what greeted me. Eventually I found a working computer with software including Adobe Photoshop

I was offered a computer to use to explore the software available to students. This is what greeted me. Eventually I found a working computer with software including Adobe Photoshop

The 'English language' section at Chongjin Library

The 'English language' section at Chongjin Library

A food production line in Chongjin. None of the rooms were air conditioned, so had open windows, probably compromising cleanliness

A food production line in Chongjin. None of the rooms were air conditioned, so had open windows, probably compromising cleanliness

A worker rakes the dirt track to smooth it out between passing vehicles

A worker rakes the dirt track to smooth it out between passing vehicles

A UNICEF rehydration packet seen on the road between Chongjin and Chilbosan 

A UNICEF rehydration packet seen on the road between Chongjin and Chilbosan 

Korean People's Army (KPA) Air Force Antonov AN-2 bi-plane flies low over people harvesting corn

Korean People's Army (KPA) Air Force Antonov AN-2 bi-plane flies low over people harvesting corn

Korean People's Army (KPA) Air Force Antonov AN-2 bi-planes fly low over corn fields. The Soviet made plane is specialised at low and slow flying and is mostly made from wood and canvas making it difficult to track and target which means it is ideal for special forces insertions behind enemy lines

Korean People's Army (KPA) Air Force Antonov AN-2 bi-planes fly low over corn fields. The Soviet made plane is specialised at low and slow flying and is mostly made from wood and canvas making it difficult to track and target which means it is ideal for special forces insertions behind enemy lines

A street in a North Hamgyong village

A street in a North Hamgyong village

Driving from Chongjin to Hoeyrong at night, we passed many towns and villages devoid of electricity, people wandering the roads, only some with torches to illuminate the way, here we passed a group resting by a revolutionary slogan, lit only the lheadlights of our bus.

Driving from Chongjin to Hoeyrong at night, we passed many towns and villages devoid of electricity, people wandering the roads, only some with torches to illuminate the way, here we passed a group resting by a revolutionary slogan, lit only the lheadlights of our bus.

Young guard dogs and their owner watch over the entrance to the Inner Chilbo scenic area

Young guard dogs and their owner watch over the entrance to the Inner Chilbo scenic area

The Inner Chilbo scenic area

The Inner Chilbo scenic area

A shed near our Mt Chilbo hotel and the light-pollution free night sky

A shed near our Mt Chilbo hotel and the light-pollution free night sky

A driver works on his bus on a road towards Gyongsong

A driver works on his bus on a road towards Gyongsong

Locals rest at the side of a road, one woman covers her face to avoid dust from passing vehicles.. North Korea only has 724km of paved road, the rest, like most in North Hamgyong, are simple dirt tracks.

Locals rest at the side of a road, one woman covers her face to avoid dust from passing vehicles.. North Korea only has 724km of paved road, the rest, like most in North Hamgyong, are simple dirt tracks.

A group of children react with shock after realising the passing vehicle had westerners in, many locals assumed we must be Russian, owing to the regions proximity to Russia. Most people that saw us starred in shock, as most had never seen westerners in the flesh before

A group of children react with shock after realising the passing vehicle had westerners in, many locals assumed we must be Russian, owing to the regions proximity to Russia. Most people that saw us starred in shock, as most had never seen westerners in the flesh before

A woman and child share a bicycle in the town of Gyongsong. It is a common sight to see two or three people sharing a bicycle as cars and buses are so rare

A woman and child share a bicycle in the town of Gyongsong. It is a common sight to see two or three people sharing a bicycle as cars and buses are so rare

A train travels through North Hamgyong. Trains are rarely seen in the province as electric supply is infrequent.

A train travels through North Hamgyong. Trains are rarely seen in the province as electric supply is infrequent.

Children chase each other wearing masks in Onsong County

Children chase each other wearing masks in Onsong County

Children play in Hoeyrong City next to a road filled with Chilli Peppers and corn which is dried after harvested. Scenes like this were common as the harvest was under way during my trip.

Children play in Hoeyrong City next to a road filled with Chilli Peppers and corn which is dried after harvested. Scenes like this were common as the harvest was under way during my trip.

As with all visits to North Korea, I was escorted by two local guides, Mr Cher (pictured above) and Mr So (pictured below)

As with all visits to North Korea, I was escorted by two local guides, Mr Cher (pictured above) and Mr So (pictured below)

Mr So looking out over the Sea Chilbo area

Mr So looking out over the Sea Chilbo area

A picture of a North Korean soldier, the son of the home owner is held in a Disney frame in their house in Sea Chilbo

A picture of a North Korean soldier, the son of the home owner is held in a Disney frame in their house in Sea Chilbo

A young girl takes photos whilst her Mother watches on at a Homestay in Sea Chilbo

A young girl takes photos whilst her Mother watches on at a Homestay in Sea Chilbo

A view of the house of the Chief of the Sea Chilbo homestay village

A view of the house of the Chief of the Sea Chilbo homestay village

Traditional Korean wrestling between men of a village in Sea Chilbo

Traditional Korean wrestling between men of a village in Sea Chilbo

A young boy in traditional Korean dress looks longingly at everyone drinking beer

A young boy in traditional Korean dress looks longingly at everyone drinking beer

A father lets his son try some of his beer

A father lets his son try some of his beer

A dog eats scraps of crab outside a house in a village in Sea Chilbo

A dog eats scraps of crab outside a house in a village in Sea Chilbo

A revolutionary student holds a red flag whilst leading a group of students to a monument 

A revolutionary student holds a red flag whilst leading a group of students to a monument 

A young boy plays in the street of Gyongsong

A young boy plays in the street of Gyongsong

Chongjin portraits

Chongjin portraits

Chongjin bus stop. On the left children and a soldier read the newspaper Rodung Sinmun, the Workers Party of Korea's mouthpiece newspaper

Chongjin bus stop. On the left children and a soldier read the newspaper Rodung Sinmun, the Workers Party of Korea's mouthpiece newspaper

School children perform at a Chongjin Kindergarten

School children perform at a Chongjin Kindergarten

A young girl drops her rings during a synchronised performance

A young girl drops her rings during a synchronised performance

We saw a performance of the North Hamgyong Art Troupe in Chongjin where we were held as guests of honour on the Presidential row.

We saw a performance of the North Hamgyong Art Troupe in Chongjin where we were held as guests of honour on the Presidential row.

Celebrating the DPRK's relationship with China

Celebrating the DPRK's relationship with China

A tale of two female North Korean soldiers helping an old couple struggling to carry boxes 

A tale of two female North Korean soldiers helping an old couple struggling to carry boxes 

North Koreans react to a western visitor being picked out of the crowd to dance with the performer (video below...). Which was a genuine highlight, I have never seen a crowd react with such joy (except the one lady in the photo above).

North Koreans react to a western visitor being picked out of the crowd to dance with the performer (video below...). Which was a genuine highlight, I have never seen a crowd react with such joy (except the one lady in the photo above).

As many of you will know, the DPRK closed its borders to tourists at the end of October to prevent the spread of Ebola, so these will likely be the most recent photos from North Hamgyong available. Once again I travelled with Young Pioneer Tours, who are the best budget North Korean travel option. For any more information please get in touch with me. 

Tokyo by James Gourley

A month ago I arrived In Tokyo for the first stop on a 9 week trip through East Asia, which took me through Japan to Beijing, up to North Korea, then to South Korea (where I currently am) then to South China before heading to Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and finally Thailand. Here are some of my photos from my time in Tokyo.

Tokyo Tower seen from the Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Tower seen from the Tokyo Skytree

Shibuya scramble crossing

Shibuya scramble crossing

A train guard watches as a Shinkansen Bullet Train leaves Tokyo Station

A train guard watches as a Shinkansen Bullet Train leaves Tokyo Station

The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

Cats at a Tokyo Cat Café

Cats at a Tokyo Cat Café

Finally, in Tokyo I had the pleasure of visiting the famous Shinjuku Robot Cabaret restaurant. A truly mind boggling experience, and one I recommend to anyone visiting Tokyo.

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The Alpha Invention by James Gourley

The EPK for The Alpha Invention, a short starring Billy Boyd which I shot the production stills and behind the scenes video for, has been released. Here are a few from the set.

Billy Boyd as Guy

Billy Boyd as Guy

William Hope (as Walter) talking with Director and Writer Mark Towers

William Hope (as Walter) talking with Director and Writer Mark Towers

William Hope, Mark Towers (Director/Writer) and Billy Boyd

William Hope, Mark Towers (Director/Writer) and Billy Boyd

The cast and crew (minus me)

The cast and crew (minus me)

The film is a single location Neo-Noir film, which is why all of the photographs are from the same room! For more information watch the behind the scenes video which I shot (on a 5d Mark III) and edited using Avid Media Composer and Symphony.

Coldplay at the Royal Albert Hall by James Gourley

Last night I was at the Royal Albert Hall to photograph Coldplay for one of only three UK shows this year.

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As always, none of these photographs are to be used for any reason, including non-commercial blogs, without written permission from me or Anadolu (licensing also available through Getty). Any unauthorised uses will be billed.

The Alpha Invention and things by James Gourley

Recently I was on set for the production of an upcoming short film called The Alpha Invention starring Billy Boyd, shooting both the behind the scenes video, and the production stlils, the first of which has just been released.

Billy Boyd on the set of The Alpha Invention

Billy Boyd on the set of The Alpha Invention

I have also been commissioned to shoot the behind the scenes video for a major British TV drama series, which I will release more information on when I can.