Wednesday, 1 July 2015

In Fog and Falling Snow

In Fog and Falling Snow opened at the National Railway Museum last week. The play tells the story of the rise and fall of York's 'Railway King', George Hudson and of those around him, wrapped up in the race to expand the railways in the 1800s.

I have been part of a group of photographers capturing the build up to the production, from the initial volunteers meeting held at York Theatre Royal on the last day before it closed for refurbishment, right through various skills workshops, rehearsals, choir practice and costume design to the final dress rehearsal last Thursday.

Below is a small gallery of some of my photos from the rehearsal, and these form part of a group on Flickr combining the photos from all photographers involved. 

It has been a real pleasure and privilege to have been involved throughout, getting to meet the various cast and crew members and watching the play come to life. It was a challenge photographically, trying to capture the key moments as they play out in front of you, reflecting both the detail of the scene, but also the wider context, especially as the performance takes place in around the wonderful exhibits of the National Railway Museum. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

London Underground photo challenge

I recently set myself the challenge to visit and photograph every station in Zone 1 of the London Underground. I only visit London occasionally but always have a camera with me and so inevitably take a few photos while I'm there. After talking photos in the Underground the first 3 or 4 times I realised I'd started a pattern which kind of self-perpetuated itself until I found myself having to make various detours and strange routes just to get to stations I hadn't been to yet.

It took quite a few months, but here is the end result...every station in Zone 1, all 63 of them...

I regularly posted progress on Flickr and also set up a group there for people to post their tube photos and take up the challenge:

Friday, 8 May 2015

In Fog And Falling Snow - first NRM rehearsals

The In Fog And Falling Snow rehearsals moved to the National Railway Museum for the first time this week, ahead of the production opening there towards the end of next month.

The first half of the play moves around the museum's main spaces and exhibitions, and it was great to see the scenes in their intended destinations - the trains and railway exhibits provide such an authentic and innovative backdrop that really brings the characters and story-line to life in a way that doesn't seem possible in a traditional theatre environment.

It was also fascinating to see how the play itself started to evolve during the rehearsals, with the direction being so much more specific as the actors marked out the scenes 'in the flesh'. Some of the lines were changed on the fly to better reflect how the script was playing out and even previously unnamed characters had names given to them in order to ensure the dialogue had the right feel and flow. 

I'm really enjoying seeing the production come together and, having just bought my tickets, am looking forward to switching over to being part of the audience mid way through the run. You can see the rest of the photos I've taken over on my Flickr page.

Friday, 1 May 2015

York Triathlon

I teamed up with New Pixels Photography last weekend to help cover the York Triathlon, part of the UK Triathlon Series.

It was great to be parts of a sports photography team, working to a specific role covering the transition between the swimming and cycling legs. Although this was much more specific brief than I usually work to, I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to get sharp photos of all the 600-odd participants, where you've only got one chance to get the shot, and I learned a great deal from going through that discipline. 

Here are a few of my shots from the day, participants can get their photos from the New Pixels website by searching for their bib number. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

In Fog And Falling Snow - Cast workshop, update

I've been to a couple more cast skills workshops for the In Fog and Falling Snow production since my previous post and it has been great to see not only the play itself slowly start to unfold - the characters, the storyline and so on - but also see the volunteer cast and crew develop both individually and as an ensemble. 

It's been great to see people's personalities start to shine through as they become familiar with each other and the task in hand, and to start thinking about who is going to move into which roles. On which note, the cast skills workshops ended last week and we are starting to move into rehearsals proper, with people being allocated distinct roles or areas they'll be working on. 

Photographically, I am aware that I have moved on from the initial, more mechanical challenges of trying to capture the action, deal with the lighting, try not to get in the way(!) and so on, into thinking more about the play and its story, and the people and their personalities. I'm now concentrating more on trying to capture the key moments that help build up the overall narrative, focussing on quality over quantity. Here are some of my more recent photos. The full set is on my Flickr page.