Friday, 6 August 2010

Fourty-eight hours till I head off on shoot so I figure it's about time I resurrected the on-the-road blog.

This summer I'm off to the land of my birth; Yorkshire, and very excited I am too.

Although I grew up elsewhere, I moved back to Yorkshire to do the university thing and I have many happy memories from my time there; daytrips to the dales, weekends in the North York Moors and jaunts to the region's most captivating museums.

My favourite haunts were Otley Chevin Country Park, the National Museum of Film and TV (now the National Media Museum) in Bradford, Whitby Abbey plus I still have a rather vivid memory of a moonlit sky over the craggy wavecut platform rocks at Robin Hood's Bay after the biggest mixed grill any pub has ever provided.

Sadly, none of those places are on my list. One question I get asked a lot is whether it's up to me to decide what to photograph or if it's prescribed. Oh yes, it's very much not up to me and a lot of people have input into the list. First of all, the author comes up with a suggested shot list. The text editor then revises it a little and passes it on to the picture editor whose job it is to turn the picture list into a shot list based on what other sources we have available and what might've been shot before. My picture editor went to great lengths to ensure the list was diverse and useful and I think, despite her Australian roots, she has learned a great deal about Yorkshire in the last few weeks! The list then goes back to the editor who might check a few more things with the author and eventually the list makes its way, via the picture editor to me.

My list consists of sixty shots, most of which are in different locations.I have three weeks so that is roughly three shots a day. That means quite a lot of driving! As anyone who knows me is already more than aware, the current love of my life is my 22-year-old Ford Transit campervan Betsy who will be my rock (and wheels) during this trip. I've already managed to put 2000 miles on her clock since April so I do hope she's got enough in her for another 1500+ in the next few weeks!

Shots I am most looking forward to are Sylvia Plath's grave at Mytholmroyd (if only a good excuse to investigate wallowing in some Plath poetry for a day or so), the Yorkshire Sculpture Park following my new-found appreciation for Henry Moore post-Tate Britain exhibition, a Bradford curry house (especially if I can persuade them to make me some free food!) and Rievaulx abbey (because the foot and mouth crisis of 2001 thwarted my attempts to visit and the gothic anticipation is still with me). There are no shots I am not looking forward to – and I am very glad my picture editor decided to opt for a stock shot of snooker at The Crucible in Sheffield – but I am certainly less keen on the prospect of spending Sunday emailing and/or calling every single place to persuade them to let me in for free and that I am not stealing their souls/livelihoods/children's innocence (as perhaps the Daily Mail might have you believe anyone with a large camera might be up to).

Wish me luck! (But I AM taking you with me......)

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