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The Lamplighter Festival, Todmorden

After the overwhelming enthusiasm and participation which greeted last year’s Valley of Lights events in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge came a spectacular new nocturnal experience: The Lamplighter Festival, Todmorden.

On November 23, after the Christmas lights were switched on, Tod – a town with an individual character and strong arts heritage on the Yorkshire / Lancashire border – was illuminated with performance, parading, participation, pyrotechnics and passion. I positioned myself to capture some of the excitement of the procession with some elevated panoramas.

The town centre was lit up with a lantern parade, spectacular fire performers, illuminated installations and sculptures, shadow puppets, glowing show bands and belly dancers, and night markets.

The event was produced by Handmade Parade CIC, supported by Todmorden Town CouncilCalderdale Council and Thingumajig Theatre.… and enjoyed by most of the town. A great, memorable night for all involved!

You can view these as a set on 360Cities here, or click on the individual images below)

Large format print: a gigapixel view inside a studio at Islington Mill

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

A test piece, shot in Maurice Carlin’s studio in Islington Mill, comprising a 1.33 gigapixel, HDR panorama. My first attempt at a gigapixel HDR pano, using 721 x 24 megapixel photos.

Great for highlighting small detail (check out the plant growing on the inside of the window, amongst other features) but slow and challenging to work on, with some visual quality issues. Definitely a technique I’ll continue to progress…

Technical info: shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, Nodal Ninja 5, Promote Remote Control. 7 bracketed exposures per image.

Maurice Carlin at Castlefield Gallery

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser. 

Having previously documented several exhibitions at Salford’s Islington Mill, we were commissioned to capture Maurice Carlin’s excellent solo exhibition ‘First… Next… Then… Finally’, which ran at the acclaimed Castlefield Gallery in Manchester.

The variations in light, detail and texture was both a challenge and an opportunity to capture realistically: so we shot the exhibition with a range of high dynamic range techniques to capture the exhibition in as natural and balanced a manner as possible. Using 360° panoramic photography allows the viewer to enjoy the scale, relation and context of the pieces in situ.

A range of detailed still photographs of artworks featured in the exhibition can also be seen below. These have featured in a range of publications including Frieze Magazine.

[Edit: you can now also view an ultra high resolution gigapixel panorama of Maurice’s workshop here]

Here is some background about Maurice and the exhibition, reproduced from the Castlefield gallery press release.

After completing an art foundation course in 2007, Carlin actively stepped out of the formal education system by co-founding Islington Mill Art Academy, a peer-led experiment into alternative forms of artist education, recently featured in Frieze, A N and Corridor 8 magazines. Respectively Carlin’s practice has developed from a unique context within the vibrant independent art and music scenes in Manchester.

“I often site the production of my work in the public domain, which becomes for me a form of ‘publishing’, drawing attention to the underneath and overlooked elements within the day to day world that largely go unnoticed. My practice explores spaces of transition, a stage where one thing has yet to become another. ‘Crisis’ as described by the writer Umberto Eco[1] is a productive “moment of transition in which something that held before doesn’t hold any longer and there is not yet something new”.

Major works in the exhibition will include Corrupted Images – analogue relief prints of surfaces referencing the first print/publishing techniques developed in ancient China – produced on a busy high street in Manchester which served as a temporary studio. Blue (Sleep Mode) a collaboration with renowned artist David Medalla, depicts Medalla wandering through the streets of Salford at night with a mobile projector, illuminating details of the walls and surfaces of the city. In Screenscans, glitch snippets of television programmes are collected on a handheld digital document scanner. These captured moments of day to day broadcasting are outputted as large, filmic, storyboard like prints, both suggesting and distorting narratives.

Carlin’s work has a beguiling simplicity and directness, often belying a complex web of ideas, explored through a variety of media and approaches. An openness to the possibilities within an arts practice is evident in his work, something almost certainly arising from the independence and freedom of a non University education.

Brittle Crazie Glasse at Islington Mill, Salford

Contemplating Veronica
(featuring Mark Dean’s The Veil of Veronica (offset Halo). 2012)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 15.2mm / f 0.42
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Defying Logic and Absenting Certainty
(featuring Alistair McClymont’s The Limitations of Logic and The Absence of Absolute Certainty. 2008)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 18.5mm / f 0.52
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Details and elements of the current exhibition at Islington Mill in Salford, showcasing work by a series of artists represented by Man & Eve, and curated by Lucie Newman Cleeve.

After shooting a 360° panorama of Susie MacMurray’s Stratum in July, I was smitten by the attic space in the mill, so was more than happy to accept an invite to come along to Brittle Crazie Glasse to capture a further series of detailed photographs. With such a range of scale and media across the exhibits, it’s a fantastically diverse collection.

As with before, I was as taken by the space which the pieces were exhibited in, as by the works themselves. The contrasts of texture, light and volume across the fifth floor and attic are striking and compelling… and chime perfectly with my interests in capturing light, form and texture.

The title comes from a line in George Herbert’s poem ‘The Windows’. However the section of the poem which resonated most with me was…

Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one
When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and awe…  

The exhibition is well worth visiting, and runs until November 4th 2012. More info at the Islington Mill website. Thanks to Shereen at Islington Mill for all her help.

Look up, duck down: Stratum by Susie MacMurray at Islington Mill

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

This installation, Stratum 2011 by Susie MacMurray is made up from around 80 kilos of feather down, carpeting the floorspace of the attic in Islington Mill in Salford in a dreamlike film of feathers. As you clamber up the steep wooden staircase, you emerge into a veritable cloudscape of soft textured down, providing a curious sense of weightlessness. Talk about having your head in the clouds. The contrast between the infinite bright lightness of the feathers, and the textured wooden beams, cobwebs and dark shadows around is incredibly powerful.

Feather and duck down everywhere

The piece celebrates ten years of Islington Mill as a cradle of creativity, performance and inspiration, and draws on MacMurray’s time as artist in residence a decade ago, when she created a similar installation. I’d originally heard about this when working at a client’s in the Mill late last year, and knew it’d make an amazing subject for a panorama. I’d already seen a short video by Ed Baptist, concentrating on the attic’s entropic decay and detail, so the prospect of shooting the exhibit in such surroundings thrilled me even more. I love capturing contrasts in texture and light in my panoramas.

It’s only viewable by appointment, so when found I had two food photography shoots in Salford booked on the same afternoon, with a spare half an hour between them, I contacted Shereen at Islington Mill to arrange a flying visit. I’ve since spent much longer looking at the photos than I had to drink in the detail in person onsite. A good thing, as I’ve since spotted a lot which I’d never have taken in at the time…

However I’d recommend arranging your own visit if you can… while this high resolution 360° photograph gives some idea of the scale, scope and otherworldliness of the installation, only being there and experiencing all the sensory stimuli can really capture the full impact of the exhibit.

Incidentally, one of my friends told me about him and a few others visiting the original installation a decade ago. Despite copious signage, and their protestations, they looked on in horror as one of their friends cast off her shoes and ran, barefoot, amongst the feathers. Obviously I did not do this…

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