PxQB8 Pawn takes Bishop in five moves

Opening move P-Q4 (excitement)

I don't often receive portraiture commissions, so when I took a call from Liverpool Cathedral a few weeks ago I put the phone down in a state of mild excitement.

Justin Welby Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, is now Bishop Designate of Durham, and would need his portrait taking as Dean before leaving Liverpool.

Second move P-Q5 (inspiration)

The thought of a formal portrait filled me with some trepidation but on reflection I decided that if the sitting provided the opportunity of a more informal portrait in a setting of my choice, this was an opportunity not to be missed!

Third move P-Q6 (Reality)

The Dean's PA offered ten minutes for the whole shoot! I quietly pointed out that ten minutes 'would not be enough'. It was decided that to save time we would take the formal portrait in the Chapter House just before evensong when the Dean would already be wearing the correct vestments for the formal sitting. All I had to do now was introduce the idea that an informal shot somewhere of my choosing would be a great idea after evensong (fingers crossed).

Fourth move P-Q7 (Best laid plans!)

Choral Evensong is at five thirty every weekday and I had thirty minutes before the service for the formal sitting. Arriving at the Chapter House just after three in the afternoon would give me plenty of time to set up the lighting and take some test shots, that was the plan, but when I arrive at the Chapter House expecting the usual space I find that it's being used as the Choir changing rooms because of building work in the undercroft, no room to swing a cat!

Fifth move PxQB8 (Click Click)

After much cassock moving Justin arrives on time, he's in good form and relaxed, we quickly fire off several shots, reposition the lighting slightly and shoot again, a quick check and off to Evensong. Now move all my gear to the Lady Chapel gallery through the appropriately named Ambulatory whilst Evensong is in progress (why did I choose to wear leather soled shoes, noisy or what!) if you've never been to Choral Evensong at Liverpool Cathedral you don't know what your missing.

 The Very Reverend Justin Welby

The Very Reverend Justin Welby

Now, would Justin be OK to sit in one of the arches overlooking the Lady Chapel, no problem, it turns out the Lady Chapel gallery is his favourite place as well as mine, job done.

Promotion should follow!

 

Submerged logs and Sussex 'wiff-waff'

Dancing girls to 'wiff-waff' and everything in-between, must be that time of year again. Foundation for Sport and the Arts Annual Report 2010, or how to take photographs of very fast movement in large spaces with no light, easy.

And we're off, first hurdle the Rutland Morris Dancers in Liverpool.
Lots of young women standing on tiptoes and jumping up and down furiously, dressed in loud outfits with even louder music belting from an overworked and undersized raster blaster all contained within St John's church hall in Liverpool, bloody amazing.

 
 Rutland Morris Dancers

Rutland Morris Dancers

First straight (M62) approaching second hurdle, Skylight Circus Arts in Rochdale.
Does what it says on the tin, but not in a big top, instead a converted Victorian swimming baths, all on a false floor over the original swimming pool, somehow unnerving. Tons of ropes and ribbon hanging from roof trusses, diabolo, clubs and trapeze too many shots present themselves, safe landing in prospect.

 Skylight Circus Arts

Skylight Circus Arts

Downhill now (M5) approaching first water jump Evesham Sea Cadets at Croft farm water park.
Water sports with added water! Torrential rain did nothing to encourage me on the long drive to Tewkesbury, just after Birmingham conditions could only be described as a grey out. Great shots with the combination of the leaden sky with fill flash, and my feet are dry!

 Evesham Sea Cadets

Evesham Sea Cadets

Another water jump coming up Burton Leander Rowing Club, Burton upon Trent.
Forty or more people meeting at the crack of dawn on a sunny! Sunday morning, new cox in the eight, interesting. Beautiful light, really helpful people and a great safety boat to travel in, until we hit a submerged log at full speed! Nearly lost the outboard motor, thankfully the water part of the shoot was over.

 Burton Leander Rowing Club

Burton Leander Rowing Club

And now we're on the finishing straight, downhill again (M1) Atomic Studios, London.
Canon 5D lets me down in a big way, how can I soften the blow for Canon on this one..... er can't the mirror fell off.... terminal.

 Atomic Studios

Atomic Studios

Off to the last now, finishing post in sight Sussex Table Tennis Alliance, East Grinstead.
Still without the 5D but never mind over to the 1D Mk IV, first fifty frames not a ball in shot, this is really tricky! Lads seem to think it's great fun to bounce as many balls as possible off my head!

 Sussex Table Tennis Alliance

Sussex Table Tennis Alliance

Time to lie down in a darkened room for a while.