Archive for the ‘Derby’ Category

FORMAT Submission Preview

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

If you’re from around Derby, or are especially into photography and live in England, you may have heard of the FORMAT festival.  It is a supposedly annual photography festival, based in Derby, England.  It took it break last year whilst the organizers had new premises built, but it’s back this year and it is the biggest yet.

I’ve been doing some stuff with QUAD, the festival’s organizers, for the past year or so.  As part of this I’ve been asked to contribute towards an exhibit in Derby Museum and Art Gallery during QUAD.  I’m working with a group of four, and together we have chosen the FORMAT 09 theme of ‘tension and suspense’ and have based our pieces around the sub-theme of masks.  Each photographer is creating a series of three images.  Here is an in-progress version of the final frame of my piece.

I uploaded it here because I wanted to gauge perceptions before I went further.  I showed this to the youth officer at QUAD and she was pretty disturbed by it.  I’m guessing the vibe that people get from this is going to be fairly varied according to the viewers’ attitudes and life-experiences.

This frame is actually a composite of two separate images.  Yes, Nat really is bound with duct-tape and stuck under a park bench. I took shots of Nat in multiple positions under the bench, and Phil in various positions on and around the bench.  This gave me a wide choice of positions to choose from for the final images.  Obviously this means that the shot above is actually a composite of two separate shots.  This is actually an easier process than trying to get both subjects to pose perfectly for the same picture, but did throw up some problems.

Firstly, although I shot this with the camera on a tripod with a remote shutter release, the flash – which was being held high above the camera on a coiled cord – pulled the camera in such a way that the images were slightly misaligned.  Much harder to fix was the differences in white balance, due to me forgetting to set manual white balance settings, and harder still was the variable output of the flash, which I had also forgot to set to manual.

But anyway, let me know what you think.

Rhianna Page

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Last Monday was the one year anniversary of Rhianna Page’s death.  Rhi was a student at Landau Forte College in the year above me.  I knew her from hanging around with her in a group of mutual friends at the square, walking back home through Morley with her, and her supporting The Lowlifes before we quietly faded into the background.

I’m not going to pretend that she was my best mate, that I think about her every day, or that I presume to know what she’d want people to do now she’s gone, because frankly I think all those things are an insult to her memory… although clearly she touched the lives of many people.  What I will say is that she was an immensely likable, gentle but fun girl of wholesome character, without whom the world is a slightly darker place. (more…)

James Warner Prophecies album launch

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I’ve just returned from the James Warner Prophecies‘ album launch. Those of you who couldn’t make it/didn’t know/didn’t care, you have no idea what you missed.

JWP have been around for a while now – I first saw them at the legendary Vic back in 2004 or so; I guess this completes the circle. Despite only knowing two of their oldest songs, the atmosphere was electric to the point where the deliberate self-control required to prevent throwing oneself around the crowd like some drunken prick was almost consuming. This is how music should be.

Their genre is the intellegent lovechild of I suppose hard rock and folk and is surely universally irresistable. The audience ranged from kids of perhaps 13, to teenagers, to twenty-somethings, to my English tutor, to the perhaps 60-year-old father of the vocalist. He wasn’t bad in the pit either; he was marginally more energetic than us sprightly students. It was nice to be able to make out individual notes, too; those of you who stopped gigging at the Vic because of the frankly painful cheap and aging PA will be glad to know that the new Mackie system is holding out.

Admittedly, I was at the Vic by chance, on a whim, on the off-chance hope of meeting up with a friend who happens to be JWP’s photographer. Aside from being a good friend who I haven’t seen for far too long, attractive, and someone to geek about cameras with, I’m in the process of buying an unwanted contract mobile off her dad and wanted to find out what was going on. Despite her absence (she missed an hourly bus by five minutes) the Vic was packed out, aided I suppose by publicity from playing a set at Derby’s popular Markeaton Park Fireworks display last week.

Joe can certainly get the crowd going, too: I haven’t bounced and jigged so much since Fintroll at Bloodstock. Their crowds rival those of Zenith. If you haven’t experienced them yet, I advise you to listen to a couple of tracks off their MySpace and catch them at the Christmas Lights event in Derby City Centre on the 18th. If you miss that, definately go see their Christmas gig on the 19th and perhaps I’ll catch you at the all-day event at the Vic on Dec 1 with Zenith and others.

More gigs like this, please.

A Monopoly of the Guildhall

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

As many visitors to this website may have realized, I am amateur (but very enthusiastic) photographer who showcases his photos on Flickr. I live in a smallish city in the middle of England called Derby, and make a point of carrying a camera with me wherever I go; as such, a have a huge collection of photos from around my hometown.

I realized a few days ago that a search for ‘derby guildhall’ in Flickr returns results almost exclusively from myself and people with whom I am acquainted.

The first result is a HDR image from JonnyFez, a photographer that I met a fair time ago through a Derby group, and with whom I correspond fairly frequently. The second picture was taken by myself, and pictures 4, 5 and 6 were taken by the founder of the Derby Flickr Group (of which I am a member), dexter_mixwith.

There are a a couple of photos on the page by three photographers that I don’t know, but apart from that the photos are from Jess Payne (a fellow student and friend), Rose Akers (another fellow student), and Jyoti Mishra (a very friendly photographer and musician that I have contact with every other day – visit his blog).

The photos on the second page are exclusively by dexter_mixwith (real name John, I believe) and I, and the third is exclusively my photos – except for one by Rose.

I thought that was pretty cool. Of course, I also have very little else to post.