May 20, 2013 by Tony
It’s been a manically busy few weeks so I’m not going to write much today, just share some photos from some of the engagement sessions that I’ve photographed recently. In no particular order.
Rachel and Dan are getting married later this year in Cambridge. We went to a nature reserve near Basingstoke for their photo session.
Sarah and Marcus are getting married next month. For their photo session we revisited the site of their first date, and where Marcus had proposed. Right there on that very bench!
Andrew and Callum are getting married this week. When I went into their flat and saw the rows of Doctor Who DVDs on their shelves I knew we were going to get along. We went to a Doctor Who location for this photo session.
Lucy and James got married at the Tithe Barn in Petersfield, but we went to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park for their engagement photo session. The morning sun poured through the mist and created some rather special lighting.
May 13, 2013 by Tony
It was a great pleasure to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company again last week. They are currently touring the UK with their show “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) (revised)” before they take up residence at the Leicester Square Theatre over the summer. This was the third time I’ve seen the Shakespeare show, albeit the first time in the “(revised)” form.
I’ve seen some of their other shows (I wrote about seeing the Complete World of Sports last summer) but have always had a soft spot for the Shakespeare show: It’s funny, but in an incredibly endearing way. The central concept is simple: Three people (Americans! Shock, horror) try to perform all of Shakespeare’s plays in an hour and a half, without realising how impossible their task is.
You don’t have to be familiar with Shakespeare to enjoy the show, although a little GCSE-level knowledge of a play or two helps. For the most part the updates in this revised version are subtle, work well and make sure that the show appeals to everyone.
I was lucky enough to get plucked from the audience by Matt Pearson (right) to run around on stage like an idiot. This means I can chalk up playing Ophelia’s ego alongside a pig and a urine tester in other RSC productions. As I got onto stage Matt Rippy (second from right) managed to work into the melee of dialogue that was flying around that he recognised me from Twitter!
I chatted to the guys briefly afterwards, and got to recommend a local curry house to Gary Fannin (left). One of the great things about RSC shows is that they differ depending on who is performing in them. This cast are great guys and work really well together, so get along to see them.
May 6, 2013 by Tony
The story chosen to represent the Peter Davison era of Doctor Who at the BFI’s 50th anniversary screenings was Caves of Androzani. It’s an odd choice, as it is unlike other stories being produced at the time. It’s a excellent story, an excellent script and very well directed. But it’s not fun. The few quips and jokes in the script raised only muted laughter from the audience and, apart from the two leads, every character is flawed. There are no heroes in the story and almost every character dies, an ignominious end awaiting each of them. There are no blazes of glory here. The Doctor doesn’t influence events particularly, he doesn’t right any wrongs. He just wants to cure Peri and get out of there alive. Even then, he only half manages it.
The story was introduced by Mark Gatiss. Half way through. composer Roger Limb talked about his time at the Radiophonic Workshop. By a happy coincidence, the music from Caves of Androzani has just been released on CD.
The discussion panel afterwards was lively. To say the least. After his brief appearance at last month’s screening, I hadn’t expected to see Matthew Waterhouse this month, but there he was. The BFI even showed Adric’s death scene while the panel was on the stage. There was a fair bit of good natured ribbing between Peter and Janet, and some less good natured ribbing of Matthew. But things settled down and Matthew raised some interesting points. A refreshing number of questions from the audience were directed at Graeme Harper, and a fair few people who thanked Peter for being “their Doctor”.
Afterwards a small group of podcasters gathered in the by-now-traditional car park stairwell to review the story and the panel. It will be available from The Doctor Who Podcast Facebook page very soon. You can still download our review of “Robots of Death”, the 4th Doctor BFI screening.
April 29, 2013 by Tony
A few weeks back my friend Lucy sent me a message asking if I would be prepared to spend some time talking about photography and sharing some techniques. Lucy studied photography at GCSE (proper “wet” photography) and has been getting into digital photography recently. Of course, I said “yes” and on Sunday we met up on the South Bank. It’s a great place to explore, with plenty of colour, shade, textures, areas and angles. That’s even before you look at the collection of street performers, which on this particular day included a fire-belching euphonium and a man stood in the Thames playing electric guitar.
I’ve never tried to teach anyone photography skills before, even in an informal setting like this. I’d been thinking through what I wanted to talk about beforehand, but kept feeling overwhelmed by how much detail I found myself including. It was reassuring to me that I understood all the technical stuff in that depth, but an interesting challenge to pick and choose the most important bits. Lucy wanted to focus on the technical stuff, so we didn’t talk about interacting with people too much. Hopefully next time!
We started by working through the “exposure triangle”, the mixture of shutter speed, aperture and ISO that gives the perfect exposure. I made Lucy take photos of me (poor thing!) until we had a good exposure, then varying one setting and adjusting the others to compensate. We also talked about the artistic impact that each setting has on an image, using aperture to separate a subject from their background and shutter speed to freeze or harness motion. Oh, and I also managed to blather on about direction and quality of light, metering, white balance, focal length, composition, angle, patterns.
Lucy posted some great images after our walk. Hopefully my witterings were of use, but I enjoyed catching up with Lucy and talking about my favourite subject with her.
April 22, 2013 by Tony
This weekend was the fourth of the BFI‘s Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations. It was the turn of the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, and the story chosen to represent his era was Robots of Death.
After a brief a introduction from Steven Moffat, who described the story as “perfect” and this era of the show as “the best era, apart from all the other eras which are equally as good”, there was a surprise guest: Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) read a speech about his love of the Tom Baker era. A brief clip of Lis Sladen from an earlier BFI event was shown, a touching way to make sure her presence was felt.
“Robots” itself was cracking. I’ve seen it lots of times before, but the presentation on the large screen was great. I hadn’t realised how downright cheeky Leela is in this story, she’s almost cocky. The costumes are fabulous if utterly impractical and the robot masks spooky. The tension really ramps up in part three as the body count gets higher.
Halfway through the story, Mat Irvine gave us some insights into how the visual effects were managed in the BBC at the time “Robots” was being made.
The panel afterwards was fantastic. The smallest panel of the season so far, it featured Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Louise Jameson (Leela) and Tom Baker (The Doctor). Tom was on grand form, his stream of conciousness was hilarious and random. He also talked a little about his relationship with Lalla Ward, which I haven’t heard him do before. Philip and Louise both managed to get more than a few words in edgeways, which was no mean feat.
Afterwards a large group of podcasters reviewed the screening for another special episode of the Doctor Who Podcast, which will appear on-line soon. Chatting and sharing pizza with other fans makes the screenings even more fun. The Doctor Who Podcast special recording from the “Mind of Evil” BFI screening is still available.