Monday, 24 May 2010

Project 52...50

Project 52 is finally drawing to a close. I started out on this journey over a year ago now and I am delighted to be almost at the finishing line.

This is Chris. Chris is a Structural Engineer whom I have worked with on and off over the last eight years or so. A very talented man, he also collects old Rollei cameras!

Chris #1

Chris #2
I have been meaning to photography Chris for the last six months or so and have had to cancel for one reason or another - totally my fault - but we finally managed it just a week ago. Chris works from home in an office he built at the back of his house. Never having seen it before, I was expecting a shed. Wrong. I encountered what is known in Chris' family circle as the Svenhut, christened, so I am told to coinside when it was built and the world cup when Sven Goran Erickson was in charge of England.

Chris #3
The garden itself is amazing with its meandering pathway, water feature (over which there is a bridge)  - . Structural engineer - bridge, fair enough, well manered borders and the odd mature tree. Then a shed camouflaged amongs well tended shrubs. Then two of Chris' inventions. Yes, I did say inventions. One a wind turbine that he built twenty odd years ago, the propellor whittled from timber, and another hydraulic device for splitting logs.

Chris #4
Keep going, straight past another trellis, a vegetable patch, some nettles on the left and there is the Svenhut.
This hut was not only designed as an office but also a darkroom. There are two windows, square, and there are two panels, timber that fit over the windows to block out all light. When not in use they are fitted to the side of the office in line with the windows, it almost looks, well, designed...
Chris #5
The first two shots were taken in the Svenhut. An SB800 was fired at about 1/4 power into a partialy closed reflecting umbrella very close to Chris. The object in his hand in #2 is a slide rule. If you don't know what that is, ask your dad, or your granddad... Shots #3 and #4 were taken on the bridge in the evening sun, which was a little harsh, so we dropped the ambient and then added the SB800 zoomed to 105mm. The last shot shows the Svenhut, with Chris outside. Again the ambient was dropped, a Vivitar 285 was triggered in the office and a bare SB800 was fired from camera left. the camera setting were iso 100, 1/250 at f5.6 and I tweaked the f-stop now and then and the flash power to taste.

Thanks Chris for letting  me into your garden and showing me the way out afterwards... Chris was a great sport and does a great moody look. And, by the way we are still waiting on those structural calcs and the other Chris want his roof drawings!


  1. Hi Noel. I like the top two mono shots - the fact that there's just a hint of background / environment works well with the controlled light on Chris.

    A feather on the cap for you for completing your Project 52. I'm sure like lots of other people who take on photo project commitments, you must have learnt a lot over the past year. Perhaps you could do a posting on reviewing what your experience has been, what you aspired to achieve when you started to it, did you achieve these goals etc. I'd certainly be interested in understanding what it's been like for you.

    All the best,


  2. Hi David,
    The mono ones are my favourites as well. I have learnt so much over the last year and a bit, its been a hell of a ride and very much worth it. I have met new people who I now count among my friends and been let into peoples lives- even if only for a hour or so.

    I intend to write about the experience when its finished!

    Thanks again,

  3. Hey Noel - nice work, particularly when viewed as a series. I feel like I know loads about Chris, his environments and his passion. Pretty good for a blog post and a few portraits!

    I'll certainly be continuing to check in on your blog in the forthcoming months.



  4. Hey Dan,
    thanks for commenting and the nice words too! I do like to try to tell a story with my photographs, usually one shot is not enough for me. I get really excited about showing a different side to people. Almost telling their story. And it is very rewarding when it works.

    Thanks again Dan


  5. Noel,
    Beautiful lighting! I click onto your blog every time with a hopeful heart and am never disappointed. I always see beautiful images and feel I get to know you a little bit more every time. Of course 1 and 2 are my favorites also.

    I'm really looking forward to also hearing the details of your project. I will keep clicking on!! Keep up the wonderful work.

    Warm regards, Kelley

  6. Good morning Kelley - what a great way to start the day with a comment like that from yourself! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and click on the blog. And you're right; blogging helps to get to know people from all over the world - should have done this years ago!

    The project was great fun if a little taxing, only one more shot to go!, hopefully in the next week or so.

    Thanks again Kelley,

  7. Ok so I'm going to be predictable here and say that my faves are definitely #1 and #2 ... great job there Noel.

    It's been interesting seeing the variety of shots you've done throughout your Project 52 and a pleasure to see how it's progressed. I really like the idea of what Dan suggested re writing about your experiences but also I'm very much looking forward to the book you'll be putting together.

    Great work as always my friend!
    All the best to you,

  8. Hi Glyn,
    thanks for dropping by. Yes, my favs are #1 and #2 too. But the evening was great fun and I had to get a shot of the Svenhut!

    I shall definitely be writing about the experience and the book will be available in all major bookshops... I wish... Only one more shot to go!!

    All the best