Posts Tagged ‘sheffield’

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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.

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

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

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 17.01.01

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.

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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.

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 14.25.52

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

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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.

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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

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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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I love Barcelona but my ♥ belongs to Sheffield

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, and the Q-Park ‘Cheesegrater” & St. Paul’s Tower, Sheffield.

The honeymoon is over. No, really, I got married earlier in the summer and we spent our honeymoon in Barcelona. It’s something of a treat for lovers of architecture and the Catalonians are very proud of their artistic heritage. I loved every minute of it; the architecture, the food, the culture, the weather. How could you not love Barcelona?

Part of the Olympic Park, Barcelona, and the new South Street Park, Sheffield.

However, I prefer Sheffield. I ♥ Sheffield. I was not born here but I grew up nearby. I’ve lived in Sheffield since 2003, but I wish I’d moved here earlier.

The Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, and The Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield.

What’s more, we have a few architectural gems of our own. Here are some high dynamic range (HDR) photos taken in both cities.
welcometosheffield.co.uk

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No photography please – capturing the elusive

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

I have just completed a commission for Museums Sheffield. I was briefed to shoot a timelapse video of the creation of a new wall painting by Paul Morrison, as part of his new solo exhibition, starting 7th June 2012.

Given the amazing contrast between the previous show, The Family in British Art, a traditional touring show of mostly dead artists, and the new one, a sparse contemporary show by a living artist, I suggested that as well as recording the wall painting it would be a great opportunity to shoot the transformation of the space from one exhibition to a radically different one.

Sounds like a great idea? Well, it is. However, not only had I offered two edits instead on one, but I had more than doubled my shooting schedule.

Anyway, it was a great opportunity to not only record the transformation, but also show just how much work it takes, and how many people are involved, installing an art exhibition. There are many problems associated with photographing works of art, not least the technical. You are probably familiar with the ubiquitous “No photography please” signs in galleries, and that is because of intellectual property rights.

Music by Laurence Alexander.
As an opportunist, documentary photographer I want to shoot everything.
No really, EVERYTHING! But it’s not that simple.
We were able to negotiate specific permission from the National Portrait Gallery to photograph The Family of Sir Thomas More, (c. 1594) by Rowland Lockey (after Hans Holbein the Younger), but many of the other works on loan could not be photographed except in general wide shots.

Working in observational documentary filmmaking I have only been asked not to photograph a person on two previous occasions. Most people are not that bothered but as a professional I have to respect the wishes of the subject.
You could not meet a more friendly and accommodating person as artist Paul Morrison, but he doesn’t like to be photographed, at least not closely. That is his right but it makes it hard for a commissioned filmmaker documenting his activity. The compromise we came up with is the single long-shot which I have varied a bit in order to make the video engaging for the audience.

Music by loshea.

Another elusive element was the action itself. Although I was given unlimited access and information about the the hanging of the Paul Morrison show, it was impossible to predict exactly what would happen each day, although at least I could rely on which wall was going to be painted.
I am particularly interested in behind-the-scenes action and the video has a lot of activity in it that was happening in the gallery at the same time as Paul’s painting. Also there are some very satisfying symmetries such as the projector being almost coincident with the painting’s black sun, and the backlit moments where the artist and technicians look like they have become part of the artwork.

There were all kinds of technical problems to overcome despite the shoot being a single viewpoint. I had two cameras fail – my backup SLR (aka main timelapse camera) and also my “A” compact backup – hence in the picture (top) my “B” compact backup and the “C” backup to the backup to the backup. Light levels changed constantly and a mixture of lighting technologies made white balance a real problem. I had to move the cameras on a number of occasions due to other work happening in the gallery that was nothing to do with me.

However, this all comes with the territory of non-critical, observational documentary filmmaking. I was accommodated very generously by Museums Sheffield who found me a desk to work at so that I could edit on-site. Also, the technicians who you see fleetingly in the videos extended me the utmost courtesy. I knew they had accepted me once they invited me to join them for coffee and teacakes, and also when they started making personal insults.
Despite the technical difficulties, it has been a real pleasure to work on these two videos and I could not have been more welcomed by the technical, front-of-house, management, curatorial, catering and maintenance staff at Museums Sheffield.
It’s just a real shame that I have been paid out of transition funding, provided to soften the blow of the loss of their major funding, and similar opportunities to capture this kind of activity in Sheffield are going to be more and more elusive.

Auctorum by Paul Morrison continues until 4th November 2012.

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The Family in British Art – last chance to see?

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Me with my mum and dad at The Family in British Art at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, UK.

Museums Sheffield is the umbrella organisation that runs the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery, Weston Park museum and Bishops’ House museum. You may or may not be aware of the significant loss of funding that they have suffered. They have already had to reduce staff numbers and the opening hours of their venues.

Having installed art myself, and having spent a lot of time behind-the-scenes at many arts  and event venues, I am vary aware of how much work, and how many people, are involved in organising, installing and invigilating an art show.

Here is a single-shot timelapse video of four days of installation in the Millennium Gallery, as part of Art Sheffield 2010, and shows some of what’s involved in hanging just one of the exhibits.
http://artsheffield.org

Since opening, the Millennium Gallery has had a very broad programme of exhibitions including traditional, contemporary and popular work. The gallery have hosted some of the most memorable shows I have seen in Sheffield, including a Francis Bacon retrospective, John Martin: Painting the Apocalypse, and my personal favourite, Ian Breakwell’s “The Other Side”.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/past/ian-breakwell-the-other-side

Another factor that is easily forgotten is how many people benefit from art exhibitions. The fuzzy mobile phone phone is my family in the Millennium Galley, Sheffield, UK, during the current show, The Family in British Art. The final day of show is Sunday 29th April and I urge you to see it before it closes. It’s free and this may be your last chance.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/current/the-family-in-british-art-1542-2003

Ironically, I have been commissioned to make a timelapse video of the installation of the next show at the Millennium Gallery. This will be payed for out of transitional funding to help Museums Sheffield become a smaller organisation. This means fewer shows, fewer staff and fewer chances to see.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/

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How many professional photographers does it take to get a decent photo?

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , ,

Myself and Susanne at the artist's talk by Laurie Anderson at Sensoria 2012, Sheffield, UK

More than two, apparently.

In 1981 Radio 1 DJ John Peel played the eight-and-a-half minute single “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson. This was the first time I had heard her name and also the very first time I had heard the term “performance artist”.

Since that time Laurie Anderson’s work, marrying words, music and visuals, has been a seminal influence on my own creative and production technique. However, it never occurred to me that I would actually get to speak to her, never mind make physical contact. Consequently, confronted by an unexpected meeting, I delivered the brief eulogy of an awkward seventeen-year-old, recalling my first exposure to her work in 1981.

Myself and Susanne Palzer, also an artist and professional photographer, managed to get a sum total of three poor mobile phone photos due to us being absolutely star-struck. I have worked on events for many years and have met many famous people. On one occasion Henry Winkler called me “sir” and on another I directed Morgan Spurlock to the toilets, but this is the first time I was actually giddy.

More than 30 years later, I was present at the UK premier of Laurie Anderson’s new performance work “Another Day in America” at Sheffield City Hall as part of Sensoria 2012.

Fortunately Jacqui Bellamy aka Pixelwitch Pictures was at the gig to cover the official photography.

Sensoria is Sheffield’s annual festival of Film and Music, named after the track by iconic Sheffield band Cabaret Voltaire.
http://2012.sensoria.org.uk/
http://www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk/