Just though I would include a small collection of videos I have recently shot.
The videos include AMICI Dance Theatre Company the first Inclusive Dance Theatre Company in the UK that used dance and drama to integrate different people with autism, Down’s syndrome, blind, cerebral palsy with professional dancers and actors.
I have for some months now been working on one of the most inspiring projects I have ever had the privilege to be associated with – the integrated (disabled and non-disabled) AMICI Dance Theatre Company based at the renowned Lyric, Hammersmith – London UK.
AMICI the first Inclusive Dance Theatre Company in the Uk that used dance and drama to integrate different people with autism, Down’s syndrome, blind, cerebral palsy with professional dancers and actors.
May 2020 sees AMICI celebrate their 40th anniversary. I have been recording the rehearsals and performances of this incredible group under the artistic direction of Wolfgang Strange.
In the coming months, running up to AMICI’s 40th anniversary show in May 2020, I will regularly release some of the images that I have had the privilege to take introducing company members to you all.
AMICI operates on a charitable basis, so I will also include a link to the AMICI crowd funding page on their web site. AMICI travels all over the world giving stunning performances. Rehearsals also attract some of the most internationally renown artists from all disciplines of dance including ballet and music who work with and encourage the amazing AMICI dance theatre company. AMICI also includes Young AMICI which meet weekly at the Lyric, Hammersmith and I have been photographing their workshops as well.
I hope, like me, you’ll be inspired and want to come along to their full company 40th anniversary show in May 2020 at the Lyric, Hammersmith.
Designing for strength states there is a story to be told. High impact image also use of highlights and strong shadows. The use of multiple images is legitimate if it enhances the message. The message it what’s important the camera is only a tool a paint brush. To be creative lateral thought carries great importance. Many great artists only became successful after their deaths only when people realised how far lateral and radical thought had taken them and what it had given society. Nothing advances when restricted by convention.
The question is how far an image should be pushed to achieve impact?
There are many ways to enhance an image for impact and not all in the camera post shoot production is legitimate in achieving the goal of the image creator. The camera is part of the mathematical workings part of a process towards an outcome that achieves the required result. The result is what takes the creator to the next step in the process toward reaction and development. Its rather like saying any publicity is good publicity. Few people understand why they are drawn to an image. It can be because they don’t like it unhappy with it or the cuteness is drawing the viewer in.
The image panel below uses black and white to take the eye from the colour of blood and costume to focus the eye on the detachment of the spectators using highlights throughout the gallery keeping the action dark, the action is secondary. This detachment could be a synonym for our society’s attitude to violent issues throughout the world note the child.
The colour image draws the spectators and Matadors together in their detachment to death. Even though in colour the image reeks of death yet the detachment is stronger.
Why does an image have impact the colours because it’s black and white the tonal values, highlights shadows, sharpness. Professional photographers often talk about the black point strong blacks that still carry definition can make an image bounce. Landscapes can come alive when colours are pushed to an unnatural level or the design becomes extreme. Many viewers will say I really don’t like that image. This thought process means the image has already done its job. Shock tactics have been used by the advertising industry for decades. The big photo libraries talk in terms of strong and soft images they understand that it is impact that sells, there is nothing like profit to concentrate professionalism. Laypeople will often say I need to think about that photo this secondary thought process means the moment has passed the impact is a momentary spontaneous reaction not a thought process an impulse sale. It is the initial impact that stops the viewer and commences the creation of the thought process. This dictates that the image deserves further scrutiny and understanding however without the first impact the image will be bypassed. The great master painters were masters of shock in use of colour light extreme design. Many of the great artists moved from realistic depiction to extreme or abstract design seeking that step further in impact and thought process, great photographers often use distortion to emphasise a visual point. Picasso is a great example of an artist taking the step into the dimension of lateral thought experimentation in understanding. This is what made them professionals masters, art is about causing a reaction to a statement and photography is art the word comes from the Greek a combination of two words Phos or Photos (meaning light) and Graphein (meaning to write or representation by means of lines or drawing, together meaning drawing with light). Size can have a bearing an image with little impact at A5 can come alive at poster size.
Tightly cropped shot using strong blacks to contrast the lace of the senoritas a gentle separation of the carriage groups. An image that reeks of tradition.
The Opal miner in Lightning Ridge becomes part of the wall and mine that he spends most of his day working in.
The strength of the Ocean is the dominant force below enhanced by the black and white and the highlights. Use of black and highlight.
Three women in happy fiesta dresses yet totally bored with the festivities the focus in on each woman emphasising her state.
The light entering the shed from your left makes this image and it emphasises the clarity of the wool. Use of strong light creating a strong highlight but still containing some detail.
The death of an icon a symbol for the disappearance of the motor industry in Australia and the jobs that went with it. The image is one of a mausoleum surrounded by headstones. The black and white is in keeping with the somber subject.
The women who follow the Nazarenos at Semana Santa a sombre occasion but still a fashion statement. Strong black with a hint of the lace subtle use a light touch with the highlights brings out the lace. A careful balance between black and highlight.
Concentration on the faces, pride of participation.
Thefamily participates in a great and culturally diverse city London
The World over
Waiting for the action to start
Getting rid of the evidence a suggestion by action.
Reading the Music focused use of light. The white keyboards with the white sheets draws the eye in. The shot derives its impact from the lighting. Concentrating on the action with an indication of the participants.
The work continues getting it right position and action.
Portrait of a Miner. The black and white emphasises the darkness of the world he works in the tight crop his personality.
Portrait of a Cocky and Drover. The stiffness almost gives a painted portrait feel making the image clear and focused on the subjects. They are what they are men of the land of the outback. The Drover is on your left, the Cocky or station owner your right.
The Bullock driver tight crop and action give this shot its impact.
The metomorphosis colour to black and white or vice versa changing the atmosphere.
The power of the highlights and the blacks.
Creating an atmosphere the organist’s concentration is only drawn to the music he exists only in his own bubble
The tight crop creating character
Shoot in high resolution reduce for the internet the image will always have more impact than a small censor phone. The phone image can be well constructed however the reduction from high to low increases definition strengthens shadows and highlights moving from a good well-constructed snap to professional quality. The advertising industry is the master benchmark for understanding impact and industry based on reaction. Cameras in the full frame to medium format giving TIFF files of 50MP plus are the choice for high impact imaging by professionals. Most people react to an image without knowing why and rightly so it is the job of the layman to react and the job of the professional to understand and to draw out the reaction.
For the last few months a team of talented people under the guiding hand of Mike Maslen of Halo Records UK has been locked away in a converted barn in the Yorkshire countryside owned by the Grammy nominated English musician John Parr best known for his 1985 US number one hit single ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ and for his 1984 single ‘Naughty Naughty’.
The team has been working on a project that will bring La La( Dolores) Brooks the one-time lead singer for the highly successful 60s American girl group the Crystals to the UK to work on two singles backed by three local talented Yorkshire girls. The Crystals an American vocal group from New York were considered one of the defining acts of the girl group era in the first part of the 1960s. The Crystals one of the most proment groups during a historic defining era that saw the assasination of JF Kennedy, The Vietnam War, Martin Luther King, Cuban Missile Crisis, death of Marilyn Monroe and of course from the UK’s North the Fab Four the Beatles.
Why the UK’s North and why three vocalists from that part of the world? The UK’s North has had a long history of producing talented rock musicians many of the industries greatest inspirers have come from this region including one of the most successful groups of all time the Beatles. Today the region can boast being the birth place of such successful artists as, Joe Cocker and the Grease Band (Chris Stainton Shefield); Def Lepard (Sheffield) genres Hard Rock, Heavy metal, Glam Metal; Jarvis Cocker front man for Pulp (Sheffield); Artic Monkeys first download single release in history no hard copy/CD it made NO1, winners of Brit awards Best British Group and Best Album three times; Marmozets rock band from West Yorkshire, Nominated Best British newcomer have sold 10 million records worldwide, and 1981 hit version of ‘Tainted Love’, Tasmin Archer born in Bradford Brit award 1993 Her first album ‘Great Expectations’ was the prelude to the UK and Ireland number one hit ‘Sleeping Satellite’. Also the North’s contribution to modern trends Grime/Rap/Hip Hop; Phychosis, Holochaust are good examples of the Sheffield club scene and the North’s financial contribution to the UK’s economy. Don’t forget John Parr you can see where this is going. This line could go on and on the region has inspired and produced some of the most talented musicians in the world and made an enormous contribution to the Economy of the UK.
The project is intended to be an introduction to a series that offers aspiring young musicians in the UK the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the greats of yesteryear hopefully continuing the tradition of great contempory music being created in the British isles.
There are essentially two main products being produced by the team
2 singles released with La La (Dolores Brooks) and the 3 Talented Yorkshire girls selected for the project in a re-creation of the Crystals line up from the 1960s’.
An initial 40 min documentary film covering the history of the Crystals the life of La La
(Dolores) Brookes the historic era and how it relates to the devlopment of music in the Midlands a simile, the background to the girls who will back La La on the 2 singles. The initial documentary will follow the release of the first single and follow La La and the girls as they promote the music. There is hope that the first documentary will precursor a series following the release of the next two singles
La La (Dolores) Brooks
Mike Maslen Halo Records UK
Scott Ford Musical Director a Yorkshireman. Trevor Staniland Producer from Yorkshire
Vocalists all from the UK’s North
Haley Victoria Leeson
Jessica Aziza Ayaven
Filming Richard Weaver
Voiceover and Link Jane ledsom Actor Vocalist and Musician
Shane Aurousseau Photographic Stills promotion
Song Writers Carmi Latham -Last Night, and Valeri Simpson – I’ve got a Man.
Over the years I have produced many portraits for clients and projects. I would like to share some of these with you. It is also a taste of the life and the culture that surrounds us. I intend to create a series of blogs just called ‘Portraits‘ starting with:-
There is so much young talent playing the streets and the clubs of major cities I thought it is worth producing a photographic repotage of what it feels like to be a busker an entertainer. This reportage will up date from time to time.