Occasionally I get asked to shoot promotional material for the school I teach at. Mostly it’s based around the school or head shots of teachers, but on this occasion I was asked to take general shots around Cambridge. The photos will be used as part of an accommodation brochure about how great a place Cambridge is to study and live in, although the I’m sure the photos will resurface in all sorts of documents over the next couple of years.
In the past I’ve taken photos while walking summer school students around town, so I know where to go to look for pleasant pictures of Cambridge. I also got to try out my new super wide 10-18mm lens. I ended up taking lots of slow shutter speed shots of cyclists whizzing by famous landmarks, although I’ve only included a couple in this edit. It can be hard to be inspired by the city I’ve lived in most of my life, but I think you can get good shots anywhere if you look hard enough.
Cambridge Wide Photography
I was in New York during the blizzard a couple of weeks back. I was there on business – the business of looking after 40 international students in unseasonable weather. The first alarm bells rang before I left, when I checked the weather app on my phone. It was -6°C during the daytime… in March! Perturbed, I packed an extra pair of long johns and off I went.
It was great to be back, 13 years since my last visit. It’s hard not to be impressed by the place, even if they have crap weather, which is saying something as a Brit. They described the incoming blizzard as a Nor’easter, which is a bastardisation of the word northeaster, meaning the direction of winds that create these conditions. It is quite possibly the ugliest word known to man, and discombobulating when it comes in mid-march, shortly before Easter.
One of the best things to do in New York is to traipse around the place and take photos of whatever comes your way, in keeping with the historic street photographers (Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Vivian Maier spring to mind). It is the best playground for a photographer. The light creeps between buildings, creating amazing shapes and shadows, and the people of New York seem so busy they don’t have time to be offended by your camera. However, the wintry weather created an unusually quiet Manhattan. Our hotel was three blocks from the Empire State Building, and the only people outside were the shop owners desperately trying to keep their stretch of pavement clear of snow.
The weather was harsh on the poor students, who were supposed to use their free time to visit museums and galleries connected to their subject specialisms, but couldn’t because of the snow day. As a photographer, all I had to worry about was my feet getting wet from the slushy puddles forming around intersections.
We explored the city a lot during our free time, but it felt like I only scratched the surface. It would be nice to return without the responsibility of looking after students, and with the sole intention of taking photos.
New York in a Flurry
New York in a Flurry
Bonnie & Clyde – Wilburton Theatre Group’s latest show, is about such a well known story it barely needs an introduction. What is less known is that there is a musical about the story, which follows the couple from childhood through to their grizzly end (spoiler alert!). The set is of a minimal design, but there is a great on-stage 1930’s style car, and newspaper print from the time decorates the stairs at the back of the stage.
Bonnie & Clyde is a violent story, which obviously means that there is lots of blood and guns. To chime with the minimalist theme, the guns are wooden cut-outs, but are made to the exact size and shape of the originals.
What really sets this show apart is the quality of the singing. All of the cast have done really well with what are very difficult songs to sing. I was very impressed by the harmonising in the multiple duets throughout the show.
If you are interested in seeing the show, you may be out of luck as all of the tickets are sold out online, however there are one or two available on the door if you fancy taking a chance. For now, you can see the photos from the show’s dress rehearsal below:
Bonnie & Clyde – Wilburton Theatre Group
It’s been over a month since I photographed Annie The Musical – Cambridge Operatic Society at Cambridge Arts Theatre, so it’s high time these pictures were shared on the blog. The delay was mainly down to prioritising the sending of DVDs to cast members, but now that’s done I can freely post my favourites.
I was fortunate enough to be asked by CaOS to photograph the rehearsals due to the work I have done for Cambridge Theatre Company (CTC) and Wilburton Theatre Group (WTG). Acronyms aplenty! Photographically speaking, the fun part of this show was the size of the cast – there were two groups due to the amount of children required to put on this show. It was deemed unfair to put so much pressure on one set of kids, so they had two teams – Hooverville and Washington. This meant that there were nearly 30 cast members in all! It also gave me two shows to photograph, and two chances to catch decent shots of the performances.
Having not photographed in Cambridge Arts Theatre before, I was a little unsure about how to go about photographing the show. The lighting designer needed to have a pretty clear view of the stage most of the time, so I was very conscious not to plod about in the middle for too long. This also meant I bashed my legs into the arm rests a lot, as I rushed between the different rows. Suffering for your art is part of the job!
As far as I could tell, the dress rehearsals went without a hitch. The lighting looked great, and the singing and acting was of a high standard. The show has finished its run, but CaOS will be putting on a new show around this time next year. You can keep an eye on their latest productions by clicking here. The photos have been split into three sections – Early rehearsals, Washington Dress Rehearsals and Hooverville Dress Rehearsals.
Annie The Musical – Cambridge Operatic Society
Julie and Hendrik chose to have their wedding right at the end of the year, in the picturesque village of Kings Sutton, near Banbury in Oxfordshire. On the morning of the wedding, while driving from our hotel to take photos of Julie getting ready, a beautiful mist had settled amongst the hills, which was illuminated by the low-rising sun, casting a warm glow across the fields. Light like this always makes for interesting compositions.
Once we arrived in Kings Sutton, we noticed that the frost had created a white carpet around the church, reminiscent of something out of a children’s fairy tale. This idyllic scene was complimented by the white horse that stood waiting for them at the end of the confetti line!
The white horse was a nice touch, but also has added meaning. The pub Julie and Hendrik own and manage is called the White Horse, and is situated across the green from the church. You really couldn’t ask for much more, and both the bride and groom looked picture-perfect. The bridesmaids had pastel blue dresses that matched the wintry conditions outside, and made for lovely group shots on the whitened grass.
Holding the reception in their own pub, they were able to decorate exactly how they wanted, and combined the natural warmth of oak beams, a roaring fire and candlelight with contemporary touches like photo boards and sweetie jars. While the guests ate the delicious food, there was an excellent performer playing stripped back piano versions of modern classics, which the kids were fascinated by and enjoyed dancing to.
Julie and Hendrik capped off the evening by hiring a DJ to play into the small hours. Meanwhile, I managed to sneak out to take a couple of long exposure shots of the pub and the church, which were enhanced by the returning mist. All in all, you couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque and romantic winter wedding. Julie and Hendrik, thank you for asking me to photograph your wedding, and I look forward to putting together a lovely wedding book for you!
Banbury Oxfordshire Winter Wedding – Julie and Hendrik