Like all the Regional ITV Stations, Anglia TV served their ‘local area’ with a regular output of local programming, now sadly missing from television. For this reason we went off frequently to do Outside Broadcasts around East Anglia and also well into Lincolnshire beyond ‘The Wash’, as far as The Humber. Mostly these were weekends away covering a Saturday football match and a Sunday church service, as both could be done by the same OB crew.
However Anglia took a very big gamble and decided to make a regular drama, a ‘soap’ called ‘Weavers Green’….and to do as much of it as possible with an expensive Outside Broadcast Unit, shooting in video.
Weavers Green was about a vets practice and their dealings with local community. Shooting was mainly undertaken around the real Norfolk village of ‘Heydon’ with occasional visits to other locations, as we shall see.
I thought it was about time that I talked a bit about my early working years and when I can, put in photos from my time in television sound. Those of us that were around in the 1960’s still remember what a primitive technological world we worked in but there are not many reminders of that around now.
I started in the summer of 1966 when Sid Denny, the Head-of-Sound at the ITV broadcaster Anglia TV, took a big gamble and let me join the Sound Department in Norwich. He didn’t have much to go on as there were no college courses at that time…I’d just showed an interest in sound and had been tinkering with tape-recorders, but Sid set me off on a really great career.
George Wright is a freelance photographer living near my local town of Bridport in Dorset. On the 23rd January, at the Bridport Arts Centre and accompanied by the writer Horatio Morpurgo, George gave a very interesting talk, in a relaxed, fluid style, explaining his influences and photographic career. This was to coincide with an exhibition of George’s recent work upstairs at The Allsop Gallery
After returning from a posting in Germany, my father ended up at a pretty boring RAF camp in Norfolk. This was RAF Feltwell, once a wartime bomber base that now had no aircraft, just three enormous Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles. The Thor’s…just sat there. Well when in ‘firing position’ they did, otherwise they lay down in their enormous concrete housings, masking their fearsome nuclear capabilities. We moved from an RAF quarter at Feltwell and bought a bungalow at a nearby village, Weeting and I started at Thetford Boys Grammar School, a somewhat long bus ride away.
It was at this time, when I was 12 going on 13, in early 1960 that I fell in love with ‘planes’. Alas with none immediately nearby, I started cycling to visit the US base at Lakenheath and subsequently continued on the few more miles to Mildenhall.
I’m a film photographer again….having been through the ‘digital phase’ …and come out the other side. I love shooting film in my 30 year old Hasselblads. But V Series Hasselblads come with wonderful interchangeable film backs of course…and they can use digital backs instead of film and yes I do now also have a digital back. Not a Hasselblad CFV-50C or a Phase One, but very old Leaf Aptus 22MP model from way back in 2005. Even I know there are many advantages to digital…as sometimes I want to see or use an image immediately and it’s great for portrait work. So lets see what was required to change the old dead internal battery in my Leaf Aptus 22.
For a few years I have been scanning film, originally my old negatives and more recently my new Hasselblad film images. I started with an Epson 4870 flat bed and soon learned that it wasn’t giving me the quality of scan that I knew my negatives deserved. There was a trouble with a flat bed like that, it didn’t have any accurate focusing instead relying on a pre-set focus. That required the negative to be at the exact focus point the manufacturer had pre-set. Alas the Epson holders weren’t engineered accurately enough and my images were not ‘grain’ sharp. Just as in the old dark-room printing days I judged the sharpness by the film grain.
Driving past Chichester on Wednesday last week, I couldn’t help dropping in to see more of Michael Kenna’s prints at the superb Bosham Gallery.
In my previous post I talked about my delight at the ‘Michael Kenna – 45 Retrospective Exhibition’ that was showing through the summer. They had followed it up with another featuring his work called ‘New and Rare Works’ running from 2nd to 28th September…so just a few days left to see it as I write this.
I was able to chat with the owner Luke Whittaker, who had obviously set up a very good relationship with Michael to get more prints personally produced by him to show. There were indeed some ‘New’ ones but also some that had ‘sold out’ of the artists 45 print editions. For these Michael had released ‘Artist Proofs’ from his archives.
I was bold over by one of his images taken in Hokkaido back in 2002. A picture I had never seen before.
I’ve finally made it to the wonderful 45 year retrospective exhibition of Michael Kenna’s work at the lovely little gallery at Bosham, near Chichester.
It was pleasing to see the care with which the owner Luke Whitaker and manager Angus Heywood had put into choosing and hanging the 42 prints from Michael’s years of image making since the 1970’s through to this year.
Michael has always been the most intelligent and thoughtful of photographers and you can’t help but notice how consistent his photographic style has been since his earliest days. Quite remarkable in fact to have distilled your ‘vision’ into something so long ago and not feel the need to change it, only to refine it.
I’ve been shooting long exposures of the moon ‘rising and setting’ ever since I went back to using a film camera, a few years ago now. I was taken with an image by, once again, Michael Kenna, of the moon rising over the Chausey Islands off the French coast. I realised that over the years I had photographed the moon many times, but never as a really, really long exposure. The magic that happens during an excessively long exposure is quite wonderful and Kenna had started a whole ‘minimalism movement’ in monochrome photography with his ‘frozen water’ and also his many images by moonlight. Others had done long exposures before but Kenna did lots of it and made some outstanding pictures…as he still does.
My last post was about the recent Hasselblad product announcements and particularly about the slim little ‘body’, that Hasselblad is calling the 907X.
The Hasselblad press announcement stated that it would be able to take, in addition to the obvious XCD lenses from the X-1D camera, the H Series lenses and also the ancient V Series.
Here’s a look at what I think that means. Hasselblad, along with others like FotoDiox, Klipon and Cambo, have all been making Hasselblad lens adapters for sometime. But let’s start with the Hasselblad adapters currently for the X-1D camera.