As part of the 4am Project I organised a photo event on 6th December which was held at the Bodies Revealed exhibition in Birmingham. The 4am Project my global photography which asks people to capture their view of the world at 4am.
Thank you to everyone who took part! I’ve had lots of great feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed the event.
Lots of amazing photographs have been submitted to flickr!
I took the opportunity to ask some of the photographers how they heard about the 4am Project and if they enjoyed the event! Thank you everyone who took part in the video.
And there is more! Being a world wide project, lots of other photographers from around the world set their alarms and headed out in the wee small hours with their cameras to capture their world at 4am. Take a look!
If you would like to take part in the next 4am Project event, put the 4thApril in your diary! Maybe get some friends together too! You can keep up to date with all the 4am Project news on the website, and you can follow the project on twitter too @4amproject
UB40 came back to their roots and played at a pub venue at The Rainbow pub in Digbeth. A far cry from the stadium gigs they usually play to these days.
UB40 gave their support to The Rainbow because it is under threat as it has received a noise abatement order from local residents (or resident). Although the landlord Kent Davis has agreed to build a noise insulating roof, there was still more funding needed. UB40 stepped in, and the sales from the tickets and takings behind the bar will go towards the new roof. Digbeth is a vital part of Birmingham’s cultural scene and the music in and around the area plays an important role. I hope that tonight, The Rainbow has managed to raise all the funding needed. As the local saying goes “Keep Digbeth Vibrant!”
I’d known UB40 were playing an intimate gig for a few weeks now, but wasn’t 100% sure I could make it to the gig until earlier today. I made a phone call to The Rainbow and although I wasn’t guaranteed a chance to take photographs I was told to come along and if they could accommodate me they would. I deliberated momentarily and sent a tweet out…what to do? I could get my kit ready, travel to the venue only to find myself turned away. I really don’t like wasting time as I have so little of it. OR I could go there, see what happens and perhaps get to photograph the gig…..
I remembered a saying. I probably have it wrong, but it goes along the lines of “you can only regret the photos you don’t take”. If I decided not to go, it would be certain that I wouldn’t be able to photograph the gig, but if I turned up then the chances would increase by quite a lot. So off I set. I arrived at the venue, introduced myself to the people who were in charge, a phone call was made and I was inside the venue. I thought I was home and dry. However…. as I approached the photographers area in front of the stage I spoke to a security guard who asked me for my wristband (I wasn’t given one as they couldn’t be found when I came in). I kept calm, explained that I had received permission even though I hadn’t got a wrist band (but all the time my heart was racing and I was thinking “I’m so near…yet so far!”). The security guard made another couple of phone calls to verify who I was and the good news came that I could take the photos.
So as well as being able to photograph a unique gig, I’ve learnt some more about photography…..
If you have the opportunity to photograph something you really want to, if there is a chance, go for it. And if you meet a security guard, keep calm and explain your situation.
The chance for photos was over before I knew it. We were allowed three songs (which is the norm). As luck would have it, the first three songs where my favourites of UB40: 1 In Ten, Here I Am, and Wear You To The Ball…..
Tomorrow night I am shooting (in the nicest possible way) Andrea Bocelli at the NIA. From reggae to opera in the space of 24 hours!
“ This Exhibition–which features actual human specimens–allows people of all ages access to sights and knowledge normally reserved only for medical professionals. Take the opportunity to peer inside yourself, to better understand how your elaborate and fascinating body works, and how you can become a more informed participant in your own health care.”
I had done my research before attending. I knew the subject matter, but I was more concerned with the technical aspects of photographing the ‘bodies’. What would the lighting be like? Would I need a tripod? I’ll bring one just in case. What lenses will I need? I filled my flash unit up with fresh batteries (but as it was I never used the flash). I made sure I had spare memory cards… all the sorts of things that go through a photographers mind before taking out the camera and clicking the shutter.
When I first walked into the exhibition, I was quite at ease with the ‘bodies’ and body parts surrounding me and got on with the task of taking great shots. However, it wasn’t until someone asked me to pose with one of the body’s that I started to feel a bit uneasy. It took a minute or two to get the shot (see below) and whilst I was looking the body in the straight in the eye, the strangest of feelings came over me. I could see every eyelash of the body in front of me. The combination of that, and the sweet chemical scent I could smell, made me realise what I was actually face to face with. It’s very hard to describe. I didn’t feel disgusted. I didn’t feel ill. It was more of a “Wow. This person was once living and breathing. Had friends and family. Had stories to tell. And now I am studying his eyelashes and looking inside of his body”. Surreal I guess you could say.
Admittedly this was one of the hardest shoots to edit. What images to include, and what to leave out. So I present you with a taster of images of the exhibition.
Would I recommend the exhibtion? Absolutely. It’s a chance to see the human body how you would never get to see it ordinarily. It is facinating, informative and something very, very different.