Articles

20×20 art exhibition at 35 Chapel Walk, Sheffield UK, 5-8 February 2014

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2014 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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20×20 2014 at Access Space, Sheffield UK

After several months at Access Space, the 20×20 open art exhibition moved to 35 Chapel Walk for a few days in a different location. I helped to re-hang the show, and here are a couple of quick timelapse videos of staff and volunteers taking down the show at Access Space and re-installing it. 35 Chapel Walk is a for-hire ex-shop unit in Sheffield city centre.

Now you see it…

Now you see it again.

Articles

Magnetic Atlas – Tracey Holland’s exhibition at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe UK

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2014 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Synchronized video in suspended lamps. From “Ordinalia” by Tracey Holland.

I have been working on a documentation video (as yet unfinished) of some of the installation of artist Tracey Holland’s “Magnetic Atlas” exhibition at 20-21 in Scunthorpe UK. Actually, my involvement was not documentation but technical advice and configuration for the audio-visual elements of the show, and you can see me in the video also doing some of the physical installation. For me, the brief started out quite straightforward but developed into a real technical challenge in the end.

I’ve known Tracey for a long time but have never worked with her before. I’ve always liked her work and it embodies what my ambition is for my own work, to make art that has both beauty and meaning and can be approached in a number of ways.

When we first talking about my involvement in this project, it was just a bit of advice on the audio-visual equipment that would play back Tracey’s video inside custom-made enclosures to be hung in the 20-21 gallery. However, when it cam to the final spec, two sets of three screens needed synchronized three-channel video and this put a very different complexion on the whole job. What’s more, one of the triple-screen works was to be hung from several meters up.
Magnetic Atlas v5

In the foreground, Tracey Holland, the artist, & Dominic Mason of 20-21. The venue’s technician, Frank, is up the scaffold tower, and I’m the one in the background scratching his head.

Those of you who have worked with multi-channel video will understand that to go from multiple single channels of video to multiple SYNCHRONIZED channels is not just a little extra work, it’s a whole order of magnitude increase in complexity. I’m not going to go into the subtleties of it in this post but will write an additional post that discusses the technicalities, strictly for the geeks.

After much thought  and discussion, we decided to implement all the video playback using Raspberry Pis because they are low-cost, low-power and can playback Full HD video at 25 frames-per-second. There are lots of media players on the market but the domestic versions are a bit of an unknown quantity and cannot usually be synchronized.

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My Raspberry Pi & Lilliput multi-screen test bed.

I would have to admit to a being a bit too confident with something I had only limited experience with, and the RasPis were very fiddly to set up, especially seeing as not all the lamps needed the level of sophistication available. However, they proved me to be correct about the reliability and flexibility of Linux and the Raspberry Pi hardware platform.

20-21 is an amazing place to be showing your work in. It’s a converted church, but not the damp and gloomy space you might think. It’s very well-endowed, warm and dry, with multiple exhibition spaces, offices, café and education rooms, and the character of the building has been preserved. The staff are exceptionally helpful although the team seemed very small to run such a busy programme and large building. They seem to do a lot of overtime.

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Tea and biscuits during installation, courtesy of 20-21.

Unfortunately, due to the ambitious nature of the work and the limited installation time, we didn’t finish for the opening day but the public were very forgiving. I have worked with a lot of artists and Tracey is one of the most rewarding people I have ever worked for. Despite many stresses, frustrations and setbacks, she was always a pleasure to be with. We laughed a lot and there was no shouting or bitter recriminations. At least, not yet.

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Artist Tracey Holland.

The show continues at 20-21 until 18th 11th January 2014 and I highly recommend you see it before it finishes.
http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/tourism-museums-and-the-arts/20-21/20-21-whats-on/20-21-exhibitions/

Tracey’ website is here:
http://www.traceyholland.co.uk/

Articles

A documentary film worth supporting about still-born children & their families

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2013 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

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A friend of mine is trying to raise money to make a film about the loss of still-born children and their parents. Her name is Debbie Howard and her film company is Big Buddha Films. It’s a one-woman-band, rather like my own one-man-band Richard Bolam Digital Media, but the modesty of our organisational structure does not limit the scale of our ambition.

All she needs is £5k, raised via Kickstarter, and she is nearly there. If she doesn’t get the whole amount, she gets nothing, so please pledge something between now and Sunday 30th June 2013.

You don’t need to get involved, just give a little money so that film can get made.

Articles

New Year, New View

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2013 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

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2011 was a bad year.

However, in 2012 I got married, honeymooned in Barcelona and moved into a new house in Sheffield, UK. Above is a 3-shot HDR taken out of the window in the spare bedroom.

2012 was a good year.

We didn’t buy the house for the views, but it is at the top of a hill, the garden is south-facing and the front room looks out over Sheffield, our chosen home city. From the point of view of a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist, things could be worse.

What’s more, 2012 started with an amazing couple of sub-freezing temperatures that gave me a rare opportunity to shoot the Sheffield Roundwalk in very frosty conditions.

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So here’s to 2013. Expect more lots HDR photography and timelapse video, some of it shot from the comfort of my own home.

Articles

Mr. Magic Hour strikes again!

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Norton Cemetary, Sheffield, UK

Isn’t Sheffield brilliant! In cinematography, “Magic Hour” or “Golden Hour” is that time of day when the sun is low in the sky and produces warm tones with low contrast shadows.

Graves Park, Leeshall Wood & Norton Lees Golf Course, Sheffield, UK

These were all taken close to where I live, and I’ve shot these places many times. However, it’s hard to resist given such fantastic conditions.

Carr Wood & Graves Park, Sheffield, UK

Some of these are single shots, adjusted to create silhouettes, and the others are high dynamic range (HDR), processed with Photomatix Pro from 3 exposures. Lots more photos of Sheffield and many other places on my Flickr account.

Articles

MADE in one day – timelapse video of The Entrepreneur Festival

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

I was commissioned by Seven Hills PR consultants to shoot a single-shot timelapse video of people arriving for the MADE Entrepreneur Festival in Sheffield on 20th September 2012. The example I was asked to emulate is an existing video of large window graphics being applied to the outside of a building.

However, there was not going to be anything similar at Sheffield City Hall and, because of other events happening in Barkers’ Pool, a similar shot of the main entrance was obscured. So, the brief I had was to create something impressive to communicate the size and energy of the event, and shoot and edit it in a single day so that it could be shown online the following day.

This kind of open brief is both good and bad. I prefer to be given creative freedom, but with great power comes great responsibility, and I had to come up with something.

My solution was to capture the size of the event in terms of the number of delegates, and to end with a bit of a tease as the Oval Hall fills up, the lights go down and the event starts. Instead of a single shot, I used five cameras around the building but only used four in the final edit.


Sheffield City Hall is managed by Sheffield International Venues, and is one of the finest venues in the country with a huge capacity of 2,271 in the Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall. MADE was a sell-out event with a number of high-profile guest speakers including HRH The Duke of York and Dragon’s Den regular Peter Jones.

I’ve over-achieved a bit on this one, and it was a lot to get done in one day, but the client was delighted and it was shown to the audience during the last day of the festival.

hospitality.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk
wearesevenhills.com
madefestival.com

Articles

Club Culture at the Culture Club – Shooting the Stars of Sheffield, UK

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Under The Stars is a night club for people with learning disabilities. It is organised and run by Sheffield-based social enterprise Reach 4 The Stars, and provides a safe and friendly environment for people of all ages (over 18) to enjoy a bit of Sheffield’s nightlife.
underthestars.org.uk
reach4thestars.org.uk

Here is a timelapse video I shot at their 5th birthday celebration event at The Hallam Union Building of Students (HUBS), Sheffield, UK, on 19th April 2012.

This week, Reach 4 The Stars / Under The Stars will be presenting at Sheffield’s regular Culture Club event, which is a platform for cultural organisations to publicise their activities and services. On Wednesday (19th September) the fifth Culture Club event will take place as part of the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. The theme is “Diversity” and is organised by Sheffield City Council and The North Marketing Agency. The event is free and you can still book via Eventbrite.
nrth.co.uk

Hosted by the University of Sheffield, the “Festival of the Mind is a celebration of ideas, culture and collaboration. It’s open to everyone and it’s FREE“.
festivalofthemind.group.shef.ac.uk

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