Education

First sight

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We peeked inside the firstsite art museum in Colchester - one of those places with a silly name that you're supposed not to capitalise. Or maybe they just can't write English properly.

Anyway, fabulous space. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, probably its most striking external feature is a golden cladding - actually an alloy of copper and aluminium - which catches the light in a lustrous fashion. Inside, the space is essentially a long banana shape - in plan, not unlike a scimitar. The curving wedge of the roof is highlighted - literally - by long strip lights at intervals, as you can see. 

This fine, uplifting effect helps to mitigate the ugly outlook at the back of the building - which is primarily over a bus station. The tussle between these two public spaces has been something of a controversy locally.

I offer this photo as a sample, taken before I was told, "You can't take photos in here". Oh dear oh dear. You can however find numerous fine pictures of the place taken by Richard Bryant. All the others I took - whoops what a giveaway - will have to remain secret.


Day job

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Spent a very pleasant morning photographing in a primary school on commission for an organisation that wants to remake all its promotional materials, printed and online.

They had asked my advice about imagery and I recommended they commission a photographer to shoot just what they wanted in a consistent style.  I think it's important to keep reminding people of the benefits of this in a world so swamped with stock images they sometimes don't even think of it - or do not realise how competitive the unit costs can be. 

The trouble with stock images is that they tend to look like ... stock images. In particular, in my experience, pictures of schools and schoolchildren have a tendency to look mid-Atlantic at best to British eyes. 

I'm pleased to say they entirely took the point and asked me to shoot in a primary school and a secondary school.  

The result was that they got dozens of images of real youngsters in real classrooms of just the sort they wanted, exclusive to themselves. Not only that but by arrangement with the client I am also able to offer a special deal for the schools involved. That's a win win win. 

Feedback? - "Thanks for this – the pictures really are marvellous."

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