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’! 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.
Since my last post I’ve now uploaded ‘North Africa’ and ‘Scandinavian icescapes’ with , Animals , New Zealand, Brazil, Cuba, Trains and Bloomsday to follow soon. Here are two from ‘North Africa’ and ‘Scandinavian Icescapes’.
I’ve uploaded some new galleries on http://www.kelvinhudson.com of archival work Archive worldwide landscapes b/w, Archive worldwide colour landscapes, Archive people and African life with many more to upload to other new galleries.
Just uploaded this new image to https://kelvinhudson.com/portfolio-one Its less than half the price of a traditional launderette, only takes 30mins with non bio detergent included. The 18k is ideal for heavy loads. I could mention the company but I have to charge! Still not every one likes to wash their dirty laundry in public.
In the year of 2000 I was commissioned by Young and Rubicam, New York to shoot an ad campaign. One of the 5 ads was to photograph the Long Beach lighthouse located in Orient, NY known as ‘Bug Light’ .
Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse helps mariners navigate around the hazardous sandbar located between Orient Harbour and Gardiner’s Bay, its bright beacon welcoming them to the protected waters of Peconic Bay in the Long Island area.
The original structure was built in 1870 on screw piles which left an opening beneath the structure and inspired its nickname “Bug” Light, because when the rocks were covered at high tide, the lighthouse looked like a giant water bug.
Weather conditions and tides were going to be significant. So under my direction our lighting crew with equipment, assistants Maura Shine and Francis Catania, Tom Hayes and his assistant from ‘Spotty Dog’ productions, Art director Dan Fallon, creative director Robert McDuffy from Y&R, His friend ‘grabo’, an account exec along with agency producer Karen Meenahan and not forgetting the clients, set off on a hired fishing boat to recee and prep the location. It included working out where our final shooting place would be after shooting various polaroids in various view points. Lighting the interior and exterior with 20 and 50K Ari HMI lights which had to be determined with various lighting set ups with emphasis on balancing the light values between the exterior and interior. Weather and tide conditions were taken into account, returning the following day with our working lighting crew and agency based in the lighthouse whilst myself, Maura, Francis and Tom waded a couple of 100 meters to our chosen position on a sand bank . Our window of opportunity was short so we had to work fast with reports of a storm. Our fishing boat captain wasn’t going to wait until its too late! Once we were set up and ready to shoot I was then able to direct the lighting positioning, light intensity and colour by communicating via walkie talkies. The tide was surging and rising , so paying particular attention to protecting the sheet film and camera equipment from the sea water we made a mad dash back to the boat.