Ed Miliband in Swindon a Photojournalist’s View

Part of the reason why I like being a photojournalist is the press scrum. It is fun and funny. Pushing and shoving some of the time. Other times we all let each other take prime spot and change around.
Yesterday I was photographing Ed Miliband who was visiting Los Gatos in Old Town Swindon as part of the Election trail and to show support for Anne Snelgrove the local Labour candidate for Swindon South. Los Gatos was just heaving with customers and Labour supporters before the media got in there. It was heavily controlled by the Police and Labour party officials and so we had to be in before he arrived. Not only that, all the media had to be behind the bar!!!!! So we were all pretty much going to get the same shots. I was too late in grabbing a chair to stand on and at first all I got was the backs of all the rest of the media. (See photo). After that I just moved around a bit trying to get something different. I don’t think I managed to achieve it. I did manage to get Ed Miliband being interviewed by the Swindon Advertiser journalist. Only because the Labour official in charge thought I was with them so I didn’t tell him otherwise 🙂

My point in all of this is that news photojournalism is all just a matter of luck, being at the right place at the right time. Pushing and shoving and standing your ground at times. Being really nice and accommodating at others.

Fun though, either way.

Holmes Music Store Vinyl Record Weekend

Well, here I am back again. It has been a very busy few weeks and hence no posts for quite a while. Not the least I ran the London Marathon last Sunday. I wasnt happy with my time as I got tripped up at mile 5 and face planted the road. However I was very very proud of Kirsty Heber-Smith who ran it in a time of 3.44, exactly as we had planned it and also raised £2.5K for the charity Goldenhar which is one close to our hearts. If you dont know what Goldenhar is please chaeck it out, it’s worth it.

Anyhow back to photography. I spent several hours over two days at Alan Holmes Music shop where they were celebrating Vinyl Record weekend with lots of live music by local bands and artists. I wont list them all out as there were too many to mention, but I was impressed with all of them. Have to say the lighting was a nightmare as they had a back drop of the window and day 1 was bright sunshine, day 2 was dark clouds and rain!!! good old British Easter eh!!!! However the good thing about situations like that is firstly it is good to work in difficult situations that are out of your control and secondly you can get up close and personal and nobody minds.

It was a good weekend. I have also a very busy week coming up this week, lots of photographic jobs on so should be posting a lot in the next week and less rambling on 🙂

Swindon Regents Circus Progress

Every time I pass Regents Circus, which is quite a lot these days, it seems that the construction site and the building itself has doubled in size, it is really impressive how quickly the site is progressing. So as today has been such a gloriously sunny and warm day I thought I would take the camera and take a couple of shots. Now these are from outside the site as I do not have permission (yet) to go on site, but I am working on that one.
However it is balanced out by the really old part of the Old College which is a lovely old building and will be preserved but as yet nothing has been done and it just looks very sad. However it is far more photogenic (in my opinion) than the new one at this point in time. And so I ended up taking more shots of the old building than the new. What I would give to go and have a wander around inside the building as it is before the developer gets in there and it all changes.

Swindon Farmers Market Returns

Well for a number of reasons I have not blogged for a while. I have been in Spain for a couple of weeks and since being back I have carried out some photo shoots that I am not contractually allowed to use yet. But I am back now and will be blogging again on a more regular basis.

This shoot was for and about the first day of the return of the Farmers Market in Swindon. The market has not been held for about a year and was greatly missed. The market has now been reinstated and will be held every Thursday from now on.
It was interesting from my point of view as the stall holders were very friendly and happy to pose but it was so good to see how positive they were about the economy and the future. The bread sold out in the first few hours and the vegetables were not far behind either. I had heard that generally people are starting to spend a little more on quality rather than quantity and from what I could see they could be right.

So get yourself down there on Thursdays and get not just fresh but really tasty (yes I did try everything whilst I was there)!!! fruit, veg, bread etc.

Reading Festival the Mosh Pit

A random selection of images from the Mosh Pit at Reading Festival. It was absolutely fascinating watching it and if I had have had an older camera with me I would have gone into it and shot from within the Mosh Pit.

It looked a lot of fun.

Reading Festival some of the crowds

A small random selection of the images from shooting the Reading Festival this year 2013.

Reading Festival behind the scenes.

Just a few images from the three days of shooting at Reading Festival this year 2013.

These are a randon selection of shots taken behind the scenes, the areas that the general public does not get to see.

Swindon Pride nearly got my eye poked out !!!!!

I love my job and Swindon Pride on Saturday was no exception. I love being in the pit at concerts and festivals, you feel and are so much closer to the acts sometimes you feel part of them. However one particular act on Saturday I nearly got my eye poked out by being so close to the stage. For those of you who were there and saw the bloke then you will know what I mean, for those of you who were not then take a look at the last photo. Jeez it was positively dangerous being in the pit.

All that aside it was a really great day and I enjoyed it. Everybody was really friendly and just well getting on and enjoying themselves. I think there was a bit of trouble at one point but quite minor I believe but other than that a fun day.

I only have one criticism and it is a small one and it is both mine and I spoke to a few others who thought that it wasnt Gay enough. For me it sometimes felt more like a festival rather than Gay Pride and I and a few others would like to have seen it ‘more Gay’

A good day out.

Wyvern Theatre Charity Canal Clearance Day

I spent a fun and funny couple of hours with the team from The Wyvern Theatre at their charity clean up day (not the first time they have done it) at the Wilts and Berks Canal at Shrivenham. Was an overcast but warm day and they soon worked up a good sweat and got very tangled up in all the undergrowth. They all enjoyed it though and it was all for charity.

Jessie J, Paul Weller, Jools Holland a good weekend at Westonbirt

I spent a very enjoyable and tiring weekend covering the Westonbirt Arboretum Forest Concerts.

Friday was Jessie J, Saturday was Paul Weller and Sunday was Jools Holland. All of the concerts were excellent but for me Jessie J and Jools Holland take top spot. Both were so good and both interacted with the audience so well it just made it them so much better. Paul Weller I have to say didnt interact with the audience very much at all.

It was also very interesting to observe the audience over the three nights. Jessie J was very much mum’s and daughters, Paul Weller was very much middle aged men with hair cuts made to look like that of Paul Weller and quite a bit of drinking going on. Jools Holland was very refined mixed sex, mixed age group.

I took close to 1600 images and found it really difficult to choose which ones to use so these are a fairly random selection from the collection.

All in all a good weekend and lots of lessons learnt being a photographer at big gigs rather than the more local ones I usually cover.