Friday, 26 February 2010

The Offset Printer

Visited Trafford Park Printers tonight to photograph Chris who works on the printing presses.  I’ve chosen the top one.  There is a concern I have about the images which is that when they appear on the internet, they are a couple of shades lighter so I have had to darken them especially for the internet.  I have no idea why this happens, but it is worrying, especially when going to print.  The top picture here is one I have darkened for the internet.


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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I've done some more ringing around this afternoon with the following outcomes:
  1. Royal Mail - unfortunately, they don't work at night any more.
  2. Bolton at Home - they couldn't help, but said they may need photographers on occasions, so I have emailed them with my details.
  3. Youngs Pest Control - they were too busy.
  4. The Coastguard -  I have emailed them at Crosby.
  5. Trafford Park Printers - apparently I had been ringing the wrong night phone number, so will try again with the correct one!
  6. Bolton Council - they will look into street cleaners for me and said that my photographing the gritters was fine, and I will be contacted by Sean shortly about this.
  7. Merseytravel - I have emailed them about my project.
  8. Blast Away - they have no orders for night work at the moment, but I have emailed them about the project on the off-chance.
  9. Green Flag - unfortunately, they were unable to help, so I will contact the AA and RAC.
  10. Arndale Centre - I emailed about the possibility of photographing a cleaner or anyone else who works there at night.
  11. BBC Local Radio - I have emailed the BBC asking for permission to photograph a DJ at BBC Radio Manchester.
  12. I had a look at Radio City in Liverpool as Key 103 haven't replied yet.  I think I know why - they have the same radio presenter - Matt Wilkins - on both shows!  Contacted Matt on his own website instead.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Street Angel

I spent time with the Street Angels in Bolton tonight.  Street Angels are volunteers who provide a safe place to go for people (usually young women).  They also provide care and first aid for anyone who needs it.  While I was there, a young woman was brought in whose friends had left her on her own and she was a bit worse for wear.  She was very distressed and had a fit while I was there.  They looked after her, called the paramedics and sent her home in a taxi when she had recovered enough.
I only had time to take a few pictures, as the Street Angels were one down and were going on patrol, but I have a couple that I really like.  It was difficult to find a good spot to shoot, using my lights, so I set up outside the chapel where Street Angels operate as there was more room there.  I wanted ‘The Late Club’ sign in the background too.
I think the top picture stands out best.  With the bottom picture, my right-hand flash didn’t fire, but it adds a certain mystery…

Saturday, 20 February 2010


I’ve been really busy this week due to work, so I haven’t had time to ring anyone, but I did find someone else to photograph.  I have been on four photoshoots, however, and will be photographing again tonight.  The situation is as follows:

  1. McDonalds - DONE
  2. Student Nurse – DONE
  3. Salvation Army – DONE
  4. Warburtons – DONE
  5. Shakespeare Foundry – DONE
  6. Mountain Rescue - DONE
  7. Sainsbury's – DONE
  8. Street Angels – Tonight
  9. Bus Driver – Tue 02 Mar
  10. Highways Agency - Mon 22 Mar

Supermarket Shelf Stacker

I went to Sainsbury’s last night and photographed a shelf stacker there.  This was shot slightly differently than the others because I couldn’t position the lighting at either side of the model.  Instead, I put them as close to him as possible and as wide as I could manage.  I also found out that the person I photographed used to work in the Shakespeare Foundry, which was a bit of a coincidence.


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Mountain Rescue

I really enjoyed this photoshoot.  My mountain rescuer drove me near Rivington Pike and posed for me in the middle of a blizzard.  Originally, I wanted the lights of the town in the background, but there was a sheer drop on the other side of the fence which  didn’t give us much room to manoeuvre.  Anyway, if I would have fallen down the hill, I was in the right company!
The photograph is very much like the firefighter picture, but I am happy with it this way.   

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Went to the Shakespeare Foundry in Bolton on Tuesday.  It is a great place for photographs and I’m very happy with the result.  I picked two photographs out:


The first picture works much better.  This was just a test shot, but I like the way he is standing and also his gaze.  The metal smelter in the background is also visible in the first picture which gives you more of a clue where he is.  It was moving backwards as I was shooting.


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Went to Warburtons on Monday night to photograph a Bakery Op.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed inside the shop floor (food preparation health and safety), so I photographed him in the reception area.
I would have preferred to go inside the factory, but it would have been too complicated for Warburtons and I and my equipment would be in danger of contaminating the food.
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I haven’t looked at this picture since Monday and think it could work.  However, I would like to photograph on a factory floor, but I will have to find a non-food producing factory.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

I've just come back from the Safe Space Cafe in Crown Street, Bolton, where the Street Angels are.  I'm going to photograph one of the Street Angels next Saturday, probably in Bank Street, as there are a lot of neon signs down there (for atmosphere) and it is a street where they work.

Salvation Army Night Security Porter

I also visited the Salvation Army hostel in Bolton on Wednesday night.  I photographed two of the night security porters separately.  I think the top image is the more successful of the two – it’s more ‘punchier’ and seems to communicate better.


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The Student Nurse

Photographed a student nurse on Wednesday night.  I wasn’t allowed inside the hospital, so I chose a suitable location.  The reason for not shooting inside was that I wasn’t allowed to photograph any of the other patients which may have been in the background.  I thought it would be good to photograph a student nurse, as she is just starting out with working nights.
I would like to photograph a nurse inside, but we’ll see how it goes. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


  1. McDonalds - DONE
  2. Student Nurse - Wed 10 Feb
  3. Salvation Army - Wed 10 Feb
  4. Warburtons - Mon 15 Feb
  5. Shakespeare Foundry - Tue 16 Feb
  6. Mountain Rescue - Wed 17 Feb
  7. Sainsbury's - Fri 19 Feb
  8. Highways Agency - Mon 22 Mar
Got a call from Sainsbury's and they are happy to help me with my project.  I need to contact the Night Shift Manager on Friday, Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

  1. I called in at the Royal Mail sorting office in Farnworth today and spoke to a fantastic woman who was extremely helpful.  She gave me a number and email of a woman who I should speak to.  Unfortunately, my timing was abysmal as the programme Dispatches did a rather scathing portrait of the Royal Mail last night on TV, so I will wait a week or two until everything has died down and then speak to her.
  2. Whilst at the sorting office, I met a woman who knows someone who works nights for the council, so I gave her my card and hopefully something will come of this.
  3. I emailed Mike Toolan, the Breakfast Show DJ at Key 103 who I was told might be able to help me with this project.  I didn't get a reply from Matt Wilkins who does the nightshift there, but I was told they would be good to contact.
  4. Spoke to Clare from Street Angels, a charity who help clubbers at night by providing help for people who have been out clubbing at night,  which I thought was a great idea.  I will pop round there on Saturday night to have a chat.  Clare is happy to be photographed which is great news! 
  5. Emailed Dave at Urban Outreach and Winter Watch - these are charities which carry out important work protecting homeless people and street walkers.  Received a reply today and he seems very positive about it.  We need to have a chat first.
  6. Phoned the Alliance & Leicester press office.  My mum used to work in Girobank in Bootle (which was sold to the Alliance & Leicester in 1990) and she mentioned that people work nights there to sort cheques.  I know the office moved to Wigan, so that's where I'm hoping to go.  I know this might be impossible as there is a lot of sensitive material about, but you never know.
  7. Left messages with Silcoms, Green Flag, Bolton Hospice, Sainsbury's and ASDA.  Hope they get back to me.
  8. I will be photographing a nurse at Bolton Hospital tomorrow night.
  9. I am photographing Martin at the Salvation Army tomorrow night too.

Monday, 8 February 2010

  1. Finally got in touch with Tracy Merger who is the manager of the gritting operation in Bolton.  He took my number and said that someone will phone me tomorrow about the possibility of me taking a picture at the gritting station.  He is also in charge of the upcoming maintenance work on St Peter's Way so I will ask him about that too.
  2. I also emailed the manager at the Holiday Inn to see if she would agree to a reshoot inside the hotel this time.  I photographed her outside last time for continuity as all the other workers had been photographed outside.
  3. Left a message on David, a Bailiff's phone, so I'm hoping he rings me back.  If not I'll try and ring him again.  It is difficult to know what time of day to ring people who work at night.  I don't want to ring them too early, as they probably sleep during the day.

Friday, 5 February 2010

  1. Rang Heather at St John's Ambulance today and she seems positive about being able to organise someone for my photos.
  2. Rang Gail at Trafford Park Printers and she told me to ring the Night Managers in the Press Hall tonight, after 7pm.  It is all depending on if anyone is willing to be photographed.  Let's hope they do!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

  1. I visited the Shakespeare Foundry in Bolton this morning and it was fantastic.  Very atmospheric and I think I'll get a good shot in here.  There is a health and safety issue as there is a lot of hot metal flying about.  I've found an area I'd like to shoot the photograph from and the MD is very helpful and will accompany me whilst photographing to ensure mine and the other workers' safety.  I will be photographing a worker there on Tuesday 16 February.
  2. The Highways Agency got back to me today and I will be going there on Monday 22 March to photograph the workers in the control room and also those out on the road.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

  1. I spoke to Michael Stanlea at the Shakespeare Foundry today and he has some workers there who do nightshifts.  He is going to speak to a few people and I need to ring him back tomorrow.  He wants some product shots done in return, which will be fine.
  2. Phoned J2 nightclub in Bolton who flatly refused, not giving me time to ask them about the project, but there are plenty of nightclubs out there, so this shouldn't be a problem.
  3. Spoke to Gail Williams at Trafford Park Printers, who sounded positive.  I have sent her an email with the details and will contact her at the end of the week if I haven't heard anything back.
  4. I have emailed Matt Wilkins at Key 103 who works between 1am and 6am on the radio.  
  5. Telephoned the Salvation Army Hostel in Bolton and left my number with them - I will chase them up at the end of the week if I don't hear anything.
  6. Spoke to Thomas Wicks at Green Flag Press Office, who was very positive.  I've sent him an email with the details.
  7. Emailed Blackpool Airport Press Office (I just sent the last one to general enquiries) and will ring in a week for follow up.
  8. Contacted Paul who works at Shaws Funeral Directors. He's going to run it past his manager, but he doesn't think there'll be a problem.
  9. Phoned Pure Gym in Manchester which is open 24 hours a day.  Unfortunately, they won't let photographers in due to an incident that happened previously.  There is The Gym Liverpool near the Pier Head, so I think I'll give them a try - 0844 412 8135.
  10. I spoke to Jonathan who works in a plastics factory nearby and he said he won't know when he'll be working nights next - I said I'd ring him in a months' time to arrange the shoot.  I'm not too hopeful about this one.
  11. I have written to the HR Manager at Sainsbury's.
  12. I have written to the Governor of HMP Hindley.  
  13. I spoke to Paul who works at Warburtons and he will let me know next Wednesday if this is OK.  I'm not expecting them to say 'yes' as I've asked  couple of people who work at Warburtons and they weren't given permission. If this fails, I will go to Rathbones!

Monday, 1 February 2010

I spoke to the Highways Agency today and they are happy to participate and I'll probably shoot the pictures in March. They are currently trying to raise the profile of the work they do and suggested that we work together on this.  They will get back to me shortly about this.