A major part of this project is to shoot a variety of cricket teams in a proud gladiatorial style. Having shot numerous groups in this style over the years. It’s always a challenge to get everyone looking ‘right’ in limited time as the cricketers had often finished their match with food, drink and a change of clothes being their main concern. Invariably a few have either been blinking, laughing and smiling or looking in the wrong direction. I have been shooting a variety of positions along with variations of holding different items of equipment. This often creates tough decision making when editing, for example the cricketer in the foreground might look perfect but the one to the right’s bat would be at another preferred angle or another cricketer has moved resulting in him being obscured. Also when shooting, consideration is given with the changing light with cloud and sky variations. It’s very much ‘work in progress’ as I have many more team set ups to achieve next season such as women, male and female juniors with more emphasis on arranging the full team (as you can see only 9 in some) and wardrobe (no shorts!).
The images below are of The Theatrical Cavaliers at the St Columba’s school.
Set at the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Its has the oldest original pavilion in the country. Inside has a list of all school teams dating back as far as 1850 to the present day.
During this summer I’ve been shooting a personal project ‘Irish cricket’ which has often been dismissed over the years as a colonial sport in Ireland. Overshadowed by the more popular Hurling, Gaelic football, Association football (often known as Soccer so as not confuse with Gaelic football) and Rugby. Cricket was never my sport but visually it was what attracted me to this ongoing project. The helmet, the pads, bat and ball, stumps/bail and of course the stylish ‘Cricket whites’. I have been compelled to create ‘set up’ team portraits as well as individual ones. With the help and co operation of Merrion and St Columbas in Dublin and numerous visiting teams.
The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket club
Merrion CCThe Theatrical Cavaliers CC at St Columba’s Cricket Ground.
Fascinated by the behind the scenes at the matches in and around the pavilion, I shot documentary style images of the cricketers especially the batsmen, (I will be shooting women’s cricket next season) who are waiting in turn to perform. Also the scorers, friends and family watching. Pets included. I didn’t want to shoot as a sports photographer with the usual action shots which have been done so well. The history is interesting which I’ll feature in the next post. With the increased presence of multiculturalism, the impact of South Asian communities has enriched Irish cricket and has contributed to a revival of the sport. Its rarely been seen on Irish television nor would you see a village green match or hear the equivalent of John Arlott (BBC tv/radio) or the wonderful GAA RTÉ commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Cricket in Ireland is organised on an all-Ireland basis. Following the team’s success in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the sport’s popularity increased. The country was, until 2017, an associate member of the International Cricket Council and played in tournaments like the World Cricket League and ICC Intercontinental Cup, which are qualifying rounds for associate teams for the Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20. Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2010 ICC World Twenty20. In the 2011 World Cup, they beat England in the group matches. This major upset caused a wave of nationalistic pride resulting in the newspaper headline ‘England toasted by Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien’ which references these cricketers with their namesake, the name of a well known Bakery!
In 2017, domestic cricket in Ireland was recognised as first-class cricket for the first time. In recognition of their progress as a cricketing nation, Ireland were granted Full Member (and hence Test) status for the men’s national side. Ireland played their first men’s Test Match against Pakistan in May 2018, losing by 5 wickets. Ireland’s women cricket played a test match prior to full membership in 2000, coincidently also against Pakistan.Cricket Ireland announced the recipients of six part-time professional contracts for members of the senior women’s national team, in what is a landmark step forward for the game’s development. This year The mens test team played England at Lords. Despite a great start the experience of the home team proved too strong.
part 2 Next Week.
The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket team at St Columba’s
Today on a Facebook page I was reminded of the Brooklands Museum in Surrey which I had visited a couple of years ago. An activity-filled heritage museum on the site of the world’s first purpose-built motor- racing circuit – which went on to become the largest aircraft manufacturing centre in Europe. Despite the site’s pioneering role in aviation history – during the second world war and, later, when Concorde was part built here – the museum seems to fly under the radar of most tourists.
Brooklands was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation and the site of many engineering and technological achievements throughout eight decades of the 20th century. The racing circuit was constructed by local landowner Hugh F. Locke King in 1907 and was the first purpose-built racing circuit in the world. Many records were set there. Many aviation firsts are also associated with Brooklands, which soon became one of Britain’s first aerodromes. It attracted many aviation pioneers prior to World War I, and was also a leading aircraft design and manufacturing centre in the 20th century, producing a remarkable total of some 18,600 new aircraft of nearly 260 types between 1908 and 1987 (see McSwein, D R).
I have shot many shadow images, some of the shadows are part of the image or the image itself. They can be mysterious, often abstract and can be open to interpretation, and thus more interesting. Many shadows are intentional, achieved with artificial lighting or natural light. In film noir cinema they often employ a heavy use of shadows to add more drama, mystery and danger to the movie. In this series ‘Charlemont Shads’ I was attracted to the shadows from the sun shining through
a large tree. The first session was in November with still many remaining leaves creating patterns on the wall, as the sun was shining through the trees behind the camera position . The second session was the following year in spring time with a total absence of leaves, just the branches. Whilst working with nature I shot these images at a similar time and height but at a different angle which is the difference between obtaining the desired ‘effect’ and not.
In my previous post ‘Trains’ I had mentioned how my personal work can lead to being commissioned for work that is closely (or even vaguely) related. Here are some colour train images with a selection of train related ads .
Press ad Saatchi & Saatchi London AD Casey Grady.
12 sheet & press. BMP DDB Needham London. AD Henry Rossiter CW Mick French
96 & 48 sheet posters BMP DDB Needham London. AD Henry Rossiter CW Mick French.
Press AD. DDFH&B Dublin AD Peter Snodden CW Ronnie Troughton
As I’ve just up uploaded a new website gallery ‘Trains’. Here is an account of some of the images.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of photographing trains both commissioned and for my personal portfolio. In 1988 whilst on a portfolio project in New Zealand I stumbled upon a preserved railway station in Lake Wakatipu, which housed a steam train by the name of the ‘Kingston Flyer’. There it was adjacent to the water tower in its full glory . I needed a break from just shooting landscapes of which New Zealand is extraordinary blessed. The Kingston Flyer was my muse. The romance of a steam engine in a beautiful landscape beckoned. I knew I could create a nice image at the station but the real challenge was to find the perfect position with a stunning background with a mass of sheep! or maybe a few flocks. After walking up and down the 14km preserved line with my equipment, shooting 5×4 polaroids I found my ideal spot which happened to be a 2 or 3 hundred yards from a farm house. Even better, a sheep farmer. After a mug of tea and a nice chat (about sheep shearing ) I explained my project with the farmer and his son who were willing to provide 50 – 100 sheep, but when I showed them my polaroid they pointed out that it was not their land and that I would have to be 100 yards further up the line . That 100 yards would compromise the aesthetics of the shot in that the railway line curved and would not see so much of the mountains, so I ditched the idea of the sheep, which I believe was the correct decision. Not only would they be a distraction and as I wasn’t hiring the train, it was only going to stop for a couple of minutes so my ‘focus’ would be on the train and the man on horse with the dogs , so getting a hundred sheep to position themselves in that time limit was too risky despite our shepherd’s skills.
Polaroid Type 55
Once the train driver was happy with the plan I had to wait a few days for repairs to the train. Upon my return to organise the shoot, he wasn’t to be found (no mobiles then) but while waiting for his possible appearance a coach load of Japanese tourists turned up on the platform and started to arrange photos of me with various groups, so whilst a bit confused I suddenly realised they thought I was the train driver!
The next day was to be successful . I shot the train in the landscape, exposing ,5×4 sheets of colour transparency and black and white film. Then shot the ‘Flyer’ back at the station by the water tower. I used the train in the landscape as a promotional poster which was delivered to all the creatives and art buyers in all the major ad agencies in London and worldwide. It was selected that year for the noncommissioned landscape in the Association of Photographers awards. Whilst showing my portfolio to a nameless art buyer and giving her a copy of the poster she preceded to call me ‘Lake’! (she was serious) as in the title of the poster ‘Kingston Flyer – Lake Wakatipu’ causing great amusement to the an art director who still to this day calls me ‘Lake’.
Type 59 Polaroid
Promotional poster. Original soft and moody version AOP awards book
On many occasions a portfolio or a particular image can create a commissioned job and with the ‘Kingston Flyer’ image, it attracted Art director David Bell at Young and Rubicon Advertising agency London to choose me to shoot 2 British Gas ad’s. One of them was to shoot a steam train. After a bit of research and with a lighting crew and a generator truck from Samuelson Lighting in London, we travelled to Haworth West Yorkshire, my favourite county for many commissioned ads during this early period of my career. The main commissioned shot for this press ad was for British Gas showers, so you can see the association of the steam train shot being replenished by the water tower along with the steam. The raking low sunlight mixed with our HMI daylights was a sight to behold . Once David and myself were happy that this brief was achieved nothing was going to stop me from shooting more at different angles and viewpoints which was now in darkness . Only the lighting crew could stop me from shooting masses of sheet film in which they did eventually politely ‘pull the plug’ as overtime fees would be required.