Just one picture: a group of people whom I have tremendous respect for*.
A few weeks ago, someone asked me if I’d do some promo shots for a charity event he was organising—for free, of course. My instinct was to say “no”: doing work for no pay gets to be an expectation. But everyone has (or should have) one or two particular charities that they’ll always do work for. For me, it’s cancer research: both of my parents died of cancer (ridiculously early—in fact, at the age I’ve now reached), so anything that helps research into fighting this most insidious of diseases is fine by me.
So, the picture. Here we have a group of local businesspeople who did a sponsored 5km run at PureGym in Altrincham. At the time of writing, they have raised nearly £2,000, but there’s still time to increase that amount by making a donation here.
To all those who answered the call and did something for a worthy cause, I salute you.
*Yeah, yeah. “…for whom I have…”. Blah, blah, blah.
Ever looked at a photograph and thought that it lacked something, but you’re not sure what? In many cases, the thing that’s lacking is a point to the image. Why was it taken? What is it saying? What, when all’s said and done, is this picture about?
I recently did a publicity shoot for Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving community funding programme. The group involved was the Friends of Denzell Gardens and Devisdale, who are concerned with the maintenance of the grounds of Denzell House in Atrincham and of the nearby Devisdale.
I was in Manchester helping out at an event at the Manchester weekender festival, as part of which I ended up wandering up and down Oxford Road a few times. With the weekender on and MMU’s open day, the place was pretty busy and lively.
These are some of the things I saw whilst wandering around.
Onosa’i Auva’a is a rugby player currently with Sale Sharks, but he’s also no mean guitar player.
He recently performed some of his songs at The Boardroom in Wilmslow, so I took my camera down to try to get few photos. Continue reading “The Axe”
I’m displaying some photographs at the Dark Satanic Mills exhibition this weekend (9th-12th December). There will be two (possibly three) sets on display:
The big Bridgewater picture and book that was my contribution to the Mid-Cheshire college end-of-year exhibition. I’m also hoping to include a set of pictures taken in Ancoats back in June – these have been on Flickr for a while, but it’s the first time they’ll have appeared on a wall (apart from in my house).
Finally, I’m featuring a new set of portraits, taken specifically for this exhibition, called This Is My Face. From the blurb for this set:
This is my face is a kick-back at the convention that ‘flaws’ and ‘blemishes’ in the skin should be covered over and denied. The pressure to conform is especially strong for women, as evidenced by how difficult I have found it to persuade many women to agree to be photographed in this style. And yet there is much beauty in the natural textures of the skin: an endless fascination for the body’s largest organ, the one that suffers the most to protect the rest from the worst that the environment can throw at it. Rather than deny its reality, let us rather relish the amazing job it does and celebrate the scars it bears from a lifetime of service.
It’s interesting how my description of what I was doing has been received by men and by women (I deliberately did not ask fellow photographers). I think every man I spoke to thought it was intriguing and sounded like a good idea. Even those who were in two minds about how they’d look were appreciative of the final result. Also, when I put out a general call for volunteers to pose, only men responded.
When I asked women that I know to pose, there was almost universal refusal (and some reactions of shock that I’d even suggest it). The three that do appear in the set took a lot of persuasion (‘Look, it’s art!’ was, I think, the phrase that sealed it).
Does this split in reaction support my contention? Are societal pressures so strong on women that they continue to succumb to them, even when invited to highlight and comment on them? And how much is it age-related? (I didn’t have a significant sample in that respect.)
I now (nearly) have a mini portrait studio in my back room. It’s only big enough for torso shots at most, but it’ll do me for now. The big Velux in the roof and the large window give a lovely northerly light, which I can supplement with a brolly’d flash if needed. I now need to figure out how to add blackout curtains to further increase lighting potential.
I tried it out using the only available willing model (me):
This came about by accident. I was playing about in a hotel room and pointed the camera at my wife. She doesn’t like having her photo taken, so put the magazine up in front of her face. I took the picture, anyway, and decided it looked quite good, so I set up this triptych.