Last year I was commissioned by Wizz Air Magazine to produce a series of photographs to go with an article on the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was a fun couple of days going to places I often go but meeting new people and having interesting conversations. There’s also the challenge of trying to create a new image of something you know so well.
Recently I was commissioned by Grazia to photograph an event at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool. The event is called Bongo’s Bingo and it’s bingo but not as you know.
The idea is you play bingo a bit as you’d expect but the prizes vary from giant teddy bears to boxes of Coco-pops. Every so often music kicks in and everyone dances. I’m making it sound tame. It’s just bingo with 90s music. It’s really not tame. It’s absolutely bonkers and a real assault on the senses. I had a migraine by the end of the night and could hardly see out of one eye. I’ve never had that from covering an event before. It’s proper bonkers.
It’s that annoying time of year where the clocks have gone forward. Sunset at 6:30pm is now sunset at 7:30pm. Sunrise, for the time being is back to an ok time at around 7am. For me it’s annoying because I know I’ve lost that beautiful morning light while taking the ferry into town. During the winter sunrise can be at 8:20am. I get this amazing walk to the ferry with all the colours and that crisp winter air. But soon the sun will be ridiculously high in the sky and producing dull average light.
I’m mainly annoyed that I haven’t carried my Hasselblad much over the winter to use on the ferry. It’s a great camera to use, though a bit of a bugger to lug around. So I’m annoyed with myself for not carrying it and I now have to wait 6 months for the good light to return.
So for now here’s some I took about a year ago.
It’s been a while since I went to Chinese New Year as a normal every day human. I’m often commissioned to photograph it so it was nice to experience it in a more casual light. This meant I was free to take any photos with any camera and so I took my Leica’s in an attempt to better understand them. They are interesting beasts.
Looking at my results in Lightroom and I took 351 photos in total. After my review process I ended up with 19 from the Leica Q and 6 from the Leica M240. I constantly ask my self was the M240 worth it? I haven’t found an answer to that yet. But that’s a discussion for another day.
So. Chinese New Year. I’ve been visiting for a while and I had hoped that armed with new cameras I would produce fresh new photography. What I found was that I so easily slipped into old habits. Get close up to the main thing and photograph the action. I was basically doing my job. It’s good that I can easily slip into that mode when needed but I didn’t need to. I wanted to do something new. I bought my flash as I’m really enjoying using flash outdoors now but I just couldn’t get enough light from it. It wasn’t until later on that I noticed the darn diffuser was on. No wonder I wasn’t getting much light. Still, the shots when that worked looked good. I discuss the process and results of photographing Chinese New Year more with images in my latest vlog.
Chinese New Year in Liverpool has always been a crowd pleaser and this year the council and the Chinese Community really went all in. I missed the light up dragons in the evening (late lunch break) but they had light up dragons! That’s very cool. The whole event was really a step up from last year and very well done. The fireworks off the arch were pretty amazing too. I think, for me, I preferred the projection display from last year but that could simply be because it was the first time I’d seen such a thing there so I’m a bit more attached to that. Either way it’s great seeing this sort of event in town and I look forward to next year.
I occasionally worry that I should live in the big city. That I should be close to daily life there to better document it. It’s harder to make good photos in the “suburbs” where it’s quieter. That said it’s sometimes more important to try. I guess modern day fear of missing out makes me think I should be living in a big city. Plus, living on the other side of a river means you always have a bus to catch to get home. There’s no nice long walk from the cinema or restaurant. It’s broken up by an anxious bus trip home filled with noisy humans. Read More
Monday morning. It’s dark. Darker than it should be. I grab my camera, iPhone, put my AirPods on and leave the cafe. It feels strange out. There’s something not quite right with the light.