Today I started my week of work experience at the Lancashire Telegraph, Blackburn.
The day started at 9am where I met Neil Johnston, He showed me that he used a paper diary so that if the systems crashed he wouldn’t lose what they were doing. One half of the page was for the Burnley newspaper and the other half was for Blackburn. I was then introduced to Tim Bradley the photographer and one of the reporters and we drove to our first shoot.
We arrived at Dorothy Perkin’s house; an 82 year old active theatre director and was an actress in her day. The interview began, it was all about interacting with the client, making them laugh, getting them at ease to get the right information out of them and for the best shot.
Tim got started by looking at the natural light in the room, seeing what backgrounds and props would look best to go with the story. We started with Dorothy sat at her desk with her scripts. He knew then that he wouldn’t use these photos; the background and the way he had set her up didn’t work for the photograph although he kept shooting at her desk to get her at ease, before he would move onto different poses. He used a remote trigger on his flash to rest behind her to bring her away from the background making her stand out, highlighting her hair. He said he preferred the landscape shots that included the background as they added character, said more about her, and would add to the story.
We then got Dorothy standing up, and searched for a plain background. There were no suitable plain backgrounds in the house and they seemed to distract from the subject so we tried moving outside. At this point Dorothy was more responsive to directions and had her notepad in her hand and was waving around her directors notepad and pencil, her glasses tinted in the light, so Tim thinking quickly asked her to look over the glasses at the camera, this instantly lifted her eye line and enhanced her smile towards the camera getting the desired photograph.
Tim always shoots in manual and uses and long lens and wide aperture to get a shallow depth of field for a portrait.
We then reported back to the office, to be given another job, The story was about how the county are cutting back on funds and withdrawing 1,000 bus timetables from stops around Lancashire. They needed a ‘prop’ to photograph at the bus stop phoning the new bus timetable number, and the ‘prop’ was to be me. It was an interesting experience being photographed for the paper as I learned how the photographer worked more by being behind the camera.
We then went on to an unkept graveyard in Blackburn to photograph for a story about how the council are letting the grass and trees grow wild over the graves due to cut backs.