behind the page v :: variety is the life of spice…

For this behind the page, I thought I’d talk about the last couple of days, so it’s right up to date, and just give a couple of quick illustrations of how mixed and interesting life as a freelance can be…

Today I was at Sheffield Hallam University again for a royal visit (Sophie Countess of Wessex meeting with SHU alumni & ‘Delicious Alchemy’ founder Emma Killilea to look at Emma’s gluten free food products). I’ll hopefully post some shots of that visit at some point, but this is me with my hairnet on waiting for the Countess to arrive. Luverly…

That thing on top of my D700 is an SB800 Speedlight with a dual light modifier – a Gary Fong lightsphere, which is OK, but not perfect, and a Honl Photo Speed Snoot (8″) wrapped around the back to give it some direction. It works, but soaks up the f-stops… Think a BigBounce may be almost exactly as effective, but can’t really bear to part with any more cash for light modifiers, which are one of the three impossible perfections that all photographers are constantly searching for (of which, more later, inevitably).

In the background, fired by my Pocketwizards, is a Lumedyne head firing into a big brolley – not rocket science (as I like to call lighting with my big softboxes), but much, much nicer than on-camera flash. Self-portrait taken on a Nikon D3 on the 14-24mm f2.8. Note the elegant ‘press’ badge to complement the tasteful clothing…

me & hairnet

me in hairnet

And yesterday I spent a day with BigVoiceMedia working on the Shipley Archive project up at Bingley Five Step Locks – beautiful engineering and a lovely day out on the Manchester-Leeds canal with Paul and Yvonne.  We decided to push some of the intervalometer settings of the Nikons, and mounted some of our cameras in very odd places to get shots that worked.  The one I was most worried about was clamping a D700 to the steering column of  Trevor’s canal boat:

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steering with the D700

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Trevor and my wobbly-cam

All a bit stressful, watching my beautiful cameras out on the edges of boats… Anyway, we had about 7 Nikon SLRs running all day – on my 3 (D3, D700 + D40 taking these reportage shots), I shot over 7000 frames, which is a record even for me. We ended up running them at 1 frame per second to produce a sort of super hi-def video effect, and scrolling through the images afterwards, they’re looking great – really cool effect, particularly from the camera mounted on the front of the boat as we went through the locks:

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not wet D3

It was hooked on by the strap round that wobbly looking lamp – I was fine until we hit the bank at high speed (well, for a canal boat – must have been all of 3mph, but made me worry…).

Great day out, and hopefully great videos. Once Paul’s done his thing on them, I’ll post results here on Vimeo.

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out on a limb

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just enough...

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after the locks

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down the step

And in between (ie last night) I’d done a quick portrait before a public lecture. And now I’m working on my VAT return, having processed all these jobs, and seen my family a bit too. This variety is what makes it such a great job. But VAT – got to do it. Now.