This job for the Sunday Times used in Business yesterday is a neat example of how press photographers work day in, day out. Especially with a sunday paper there is a huge amount of content not directly news related. Anyone walking to the newsagents and carrying the Sunday Times home knows just how much there is in it. In the era of the £4.00 pint of lager I find it staggering this paper costs only £2.00. Think about it, all those journalists, photographers, editors, art directors, sub-editors, printers, lorry drivers, etc. etc. bringing all that together every week (or day in the case of the smaller but no less impressive The Times). Why some people think it should be free staggers me. It almost is!
Anyway, this shot is of Colin Moir, a former professional footballer who has grown a successful business manufacturing and fitting metal chimneys and ducts. Forget your modern ideas of a professional footballer, this gentleman was playing for Notts Forest to 60000 people in 1959 for just £9.00 a week. He left because he married and needed to support a family. His company just fitted £500,000 of ducting to The Shard.
The job for the press photographer is to create a visually striking image from often not very promising sounding subject matter. Here, after a few minutes scouring a factory for ideas I came up with four different shots. Of course only one will be printed but we need to create a choice of images and shapes to fit a page. This shot was achieved by placing a piece of steel duct on a trolley at head height and moved it to a steel door as a background. Being a factory, most backgrounds were cluttered with equipment and strip lighting. Colin is lit with a flash through a translucent umbrella to his left and to add colour a red gel on another flash saturated the door with red. Both flashes are fired by radio triggers so there are no wires trailing anywhere. Changing lenses created different shapes within the tube rather like a hall of mirrors. It was difficult to know when to stop!