Thanks again to Art Director Rob Milton at Cyclist for a gorgeous feature on the Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic with writer Trevor Ward. I am always thrilled to be part of Cyclist magazine. The ride was based on a sportive created by Francis at Cycle Classics which will run on Sunday 11th June 2017 (link below). It’s an incredibly beautiful but tough 100, mile sportive featuring twelve cobbled sections including The Corkscrew (45% gradient makes it the steepest climb in the UK) & the famous Swiss Hill where Team Sky train. Full link to the 8 page feature can be found on Francis’ site:
The Peak District is like the Lakes without the crowds, just beautiful, great cycling and trail running too. Our support vehicle was the very beautiful Hettie a Citroen H van owned by Andi of Urban Cycles offering amongst other things event support. Hanging out the back of the van and forcing a number of 3 point turns on tiny back roads (I was scouting locations kept losing my map reading thread) was fun (for me!)
Huge thanks to Trevor Ward for all the assistance on my first UK big ride. This man is so groomed I had to up my game after shooting this feature.
I shot two features for English Heritage magazine, commissioned by Andy Tongue at ILN. Both were based in the North of England at English Heritage sites. Firstly, a shoot at the gorgeous Chester’s Fort, part of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. A team from Sheffield Hallam University are designing innovative interactive ways of accessing information on the artefacts in the museum & the Fort.
Secondly, a location shoot with a lovely member of EH, Thomas, who had nominated the striking Shap Abbey in Cumbria as his favourite EH location.
I had a fantastic time shooting the dancers portraits for Northern Ballet with the lovely Lauren Godfrey. It’s such a gorgeous job to do getting to meet all the new dancers and existing dancers and to take their portrait. We shot & edited on site with the dancers choosing their headshot immediately after shooting. We try with the portraits to get across a sense of personality rather than being too formal. Hopefully we’ve achieved this. It’s a fun day & I get to practise some of my languages as it’s such an international company. As always the dancers are very modest. And stunning.
A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of shooting world renowned choreographer Akram Khan for The Times at the Palace Theatre in Manchester commissioned by Portia Webb. I was fortunate to work with the lovely Jamieleigh Hargreaves of the Manchester International Arts Festival & equally lovely Robert James of the English National Ballet.
Akram Khan was hugely personable and easy going despite being just days away from the world premiere of his reinterpretation of the classicly romantic ballet Giselle.
A few days later I was delighted to be invited to the premier by the ENB. Akram Khan’s Giselle was out of this world. Absolutely stunning in every way possible. If I could watch it every day I don’t think |’d ever tire of it. The score by Vincenzo Lamagna was amazing.
It’s currently touring: Bristol Hippodrome (18-22 October 2016), the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton (26-29 October 2016) and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London (15-19 November 2016).
More than a bit of catching up to do with the blog…. ten shoots in December alone. The Rapha Supercross at Shibden Hall is a good place to start. I had an amazing time shooting the lovely Grace Lambert Smith of British Cycling and Marta Gut of Rapha getting stuck into the course at Shibden Hall in Halifax at the Rapha Supercross event. It was before all the rains so the ground was dry and so no mud. A really well organised event with all the beautiful Rapha graphics & flair that you would expect. Thanks so much to both Grace & Marta.
Tour of Tameside, Sports Tours International & Portrait Salon
In June I shot the return of the Tour of Tameside; a three-day event consisting of a fell run, half marathon trail run and a road race with 500 runners. The Tour of Tameside was put on by Sports Tours International after a fourteen year absence. It was originally set up by the legendary runner Ron Hill MBE in 1983 and consisted of six days running. Ron Hill was on the start line to start the event on the first run at Copley Reservoir.
The Tour was a tight knit running community event and I imagine would be fantastic to run and be a part of. It was a great introduction to the runners of the North West running scene.
I met the original photographer of the Tour, Ralph Goodyear, on the finish line at Hyde and enjoyed the exhibition staged of his work. Ralph shot the Tour every year it ran for twenty years and has the most amazing back catalogue of work. Sadly Ralph passed on this week which is a great loss.
On the day I found out about this I got word that an image of runner Tom Charles that I’d submitted to Portrait Salon had been selected over four other images to be exhibited in London & Tokyo as part of the exhibition, which is a nice nod to the Tour & to Ralph I think. Tom is the first image in this post and was shot on day two after a trail run half marathon.
WE LOVE MANCHESTER 10K SPORTS TOURS INTERNATIONAL
Last Sunday 12th July I had the pleasure to shoot the We Love Manchester 10k at the Etihad Campus, Manchester for Brendan Fox at Sports Tours International.
We Love Manchester 10k was a huge running event starting out at the Etihad campus with 3000 runners and 400 toddlers doing the Toddler Trot afterwards. The Etihad running stadium is a stunning venue. The track is really beautiful; great colours and all clean lines.
It was excellent to meet some of the runners again whom I’d met at TOT. I was amazed (again) by Mohammed Abu-rezeq who won the race while fasting during Ramadan. With all the events I’ve shot it’s been amazing to see Dr Ron Hill. 77 and running every day of his life.
There’s a gallery of images on my site for We Love Manchester 10k and Sports Tours have published a lot via their facebook page.
Looking foward to Salford and Aintree in September and building this body of work on the North West running scene.
BERNARD HINAULT PORTRAIT SHOOT FOR CYCLIST MAGAZINE
I recently shot Bernard Hinault’s portrait for Cyclist magazine on the eve of the Tour de Yorkshire. Rob Milton, Art Director at Cyclist magazine asked me if I would like to shoot his portrait and I was pretty honoured. As I was doing my research I got to the point where I thought, enough, reading all this coverage might start to pysch me out. I want to go in prepared and knowledgeable to an extent but to maintain a bit of naivity about someone and not have too many prejudged ideas so you can make your own call is a good balance.
Immediately my friend Gareth, an art director, offered to come on the shoot, which was great and Bernard happily signed a casquette for his son at the end of the shoot.
Our venue was the Cedar Court Hotel, a beautiful hotel in York. The weather was changeable and the sunshine and blue skies shifted to grey & a chill by the time of our portrait shoot so I picked an area with some nice north light in the corner of the main bar, which would give us a gentleman’s club, patronesque type of feel.
I speak French & our first interchange went like this:
‘Je parles francais mais tu parles anglais Bernard?’
‘Pas un mot’
‘Vraiment, pas un mot’
It was funny. He is really quite funny. No need to speak any English despite being a major world ambassador for cycling.
I took the portrait set that was chosen to appear in Cyclist magazine across nine pages in five minutes. Twenty two frames in five minutes.
He was charming, direct and funny. I had learned that he had lost the feeling in two fingers and I wanted a portrait showing this. I asked him which fingers and he told me the main ones, the index. I told him about the photo idea and he flicked me a double bird quickly and laughed. It wasn’t something that felt right to shoot then but it was funny.
I was really excited to see the Bernard Hinault story on the cover page of Cyclist magazine. I also feel it’s quite unusual to see a pure set of images with no drop ins or archive shots just the portrait session from that day sitting there page after page. Thank you to Rob Milton for another stunning layout.
http://www.gwdandp.com/ - Gareth Williams/Art Director & Badger body double
TOUR DE YORKSHIRE MEN’S CYCLE RACING
Sunday May 3rd 2015
After spending the day shooting the women’s racing team Pearl Azumi Sports Tours International on the Saturday I stayed for the finish line of the men’s Stage 2 in York.
On Sunday May 3rd I went to Leeds for the final stage of the TDY to shoot some extra imagery for a feature I’d done for Cyclist magazine on the eve of the Tour (coming soon). It was nice to say hello to the lovely Brian Robinson again after shooting his portrait in December for Cyclist magazine.
Thanks again to Lara Thornton and Dee Marshall for media access.
PEARL IZUMI SPORTS TOUR INTERNATIONAL
DAME SARAH STOREY & BARNEY STOREY
On Saturday May 2nd I was fortunate enough to spend the day shooting behind the scenes imagery with women’s cycling race team Pearl Azumi Sports Tours International managed by Barney Storey.
Pearl Azumi Sports Tours International is a nine strong women’s cycle racing team and all the women are amazing athletes led by Dame Sarah Storey. I met them at 7am at their hotel in Leeds and followed them through to their press conference after the first Women’s Race during the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire Saturday May 2nd 2015, run by Welcome to Yorkshire.
The team were very successful on the day with Katie Archibald and Katie Curtis both getting onto the podium.
The overall atmosphere at the race was collaborative and exciting. The crowds were out in force and the overwhelming support behind women’s racing was evident.
Huge thank you’s to Barney Storey & Brendan Fox at Sports Tours International for allowing me to shoot, Lara Thornton & Dee Marshall at Welcome to Yorkshire for hurrying through media accreditation.
Only a few images can currently be shown on my site, more will follow.