Truth be known, I was a little nervous about this shoot. The plus side is those nerves, it keeps me on my toes. I’d read and heard Mr Gehry doesn’t favor being photographed. I mean, he’s nearly 90 and still runs a huge architectural firm. After a cold start, I thanked him for being my Valentine’s Day photo date. After that, we had a good banter and flow. Once the camera was down, he grabbed my arm and took the time to show me around his vast office showing us his under wraps projects, how he was inspired by the commission and the way the structures work with light. Now that’s a great day.
A couple of stills from the up and coming TNT suspense drama, I Am The Night starring Chris Pine, India Eisley and Jefferson Mays. Directed by Patty Jenkins and written by her husband Sam Sheridan. I don’t think I’ve worked with a method actor with such an intense scene to shoot. Chris limited dialogue with anyone other than Patty and Sam. Certainly left me with an intense character to play with all day.
Eric Idle - Comic, actor, songwriter…
There are few on screen comedians who stand out from my earliest memories of comic entertainers. Saturday nights watching the box with my folks and sister. My list is typically British for a nipper.
Tommy Cooper, Jasper Carrott, the show Are you Being Served along with the legends of Monty Python.
Cut to a few years later, ha ha, and the bright man Eric Idle walks in for our portrait shoot.
Cuppa tea I ask? Yes please. None of that Earl Grey stuff he says.
Had a marvelous time photographing the new Tesla Mk III for Automobile Magazines March/April Issue. We only had a few hours to find a location and shoot the nippy electric jet. We ended up finding a aggregates quarry tucked away off the i580 just north of the Fremont Factory. The smoke was created using a military grade smoker. The devices can be a little hit and miss but after two releases we found this frame showed the vehicle just enough for Automobile Magazines 'Design Of The Year' award cover.
Over the years people who have more interest than in just iPhone photography ask me how I started out. There are the obvious moments where I took the first step by buying a camera. Then there’s the less obvious. I’d bought the camera to photograph my graffiti on local tunnels and the general hip-hop scene in the 80’s. I can’t remember any of those images being ‘cool’ or ground breaking. Maybe if I can find them in the depths of my old darkroom back in the UK, I might find something. The pursuit of spray was discontinued by the influence of the boys in blue. Naturally, I grasped to the photography and at some time later when I was seventeen years old, I walked into Insight Photographers. It was a small group of well accomplished, award winning reportage photographers who worked out of their office on Coronet Street in Hoxton London. Check out the hair... Yikes.
There’s a part to my story that precedes those big steps into the world of photography. I’d like to go further back; back to recognizing my grandfather Nicholas McConville born 10th Dec. 1913. He grew up in Kilkeel, Co Down, a small town which once boasted the largest fishing fleet in Ireland. Grandad was a barber, just like his father. To boost his income he was also the local town photographer. He had a wife and four kids to support. It’s said he was one of the first news photographers in County Down and surely the first person to influence my path to being a photographer.
The rest of the story is a little cloudy. I’ve asked family about the finer details of Grandad being a photographer. When he started, the equipment he used? No one’s quite sure. I know he shot passport images in his little studio at the back of the barbershop. The rest of what I know is from what I witnessed while I was growing up, hanging out with him. As a family, we visited my grandparents once or twice a year during the school holidays. When Grandad wasn’t snipping away at the heads of the town’s gents, he would take me on his assignments for the Belfast Telegraph and the Mourne Observer. These commissions were to photograph the usual activities of a small town such as weddings, Golf tournament winners, the town show, a large catch of fish at the harbor. However, most of what I find interesting seemed to have happened before I was born. I say that because I found these glass plates in his loft shortly before he died. Grandad made his own plates, mixing up the orthochromatic material, painting the mixture onto little 3x4 glass plates. Apparently there were hundreds. Unfortunately, many had been damaged by damp or just thrown out not realizing the historic value, even if was just for this small towns records.
Once I began showing an interest in photography Grandad advised me that I should only do it as a hobby. I guess It’s been a full time hobby ever since.
Some of you may know I love working with stunt professionals. One of these professionals is Luci Romberg. A champion gymnast and US representative in the American Ninja Warrior competition. Luci allowed us to photograph her on fire for #RedBulls #RedBulletin Magazine. The very accomplished gang from Action Factory provided the fire along with their brilliant safety team. All fire in this image is real. The only retouching was to remove the harness crease and suspension cables. Outside of the time it took setting up our lighting and fire tests, this has to be one of the shortest photo shoots I've completed. About 8 seconds. To show good will and that I'm no chicken, Action Factory gave me a little dose of flame so I could feel what it's like to be set on fire. See snappy video below.
Do know, these are award winning professional stunt practitioners. They have the best safety equipment and products on the market. Even if you're a seasoned Burner, you'd do well having Action Factory at your side.
Here's Luci's submission to this years Red Bull's Art of Motion competition. Six Free Runners, three men and three women will compete in Greece this coming October. If you like her brilliance, please go ahead and vote for her in the three categories of Creativity, Execution and Technical difficulty. The six athletes chosen from the online qualifier will join the eight finalists from last years event.
Let's get Luci to Greece so we can see her amazing moves kick up the dust in this ancient land. By voting, you're entered into the hat to win a trip to watch the competition on Greece.