Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Professional Night Photography In London, Derbyshire And Northamptonshire

Photography is often assumed to be a seasonal industry, and depending on what your product or service is you may well assume that professional photographers go into some kind of hibernation state once winter is upon us, emerging only as spring starts to creep over the horizon. However for some of our clients winter is the very best time of the year to get as much photography done as possible. Dusk and night photoshoots are much in demand at this time of year, sometimes because of their aesthetic nature, and sometimes simply because that’s the only time that the activity being photographed actually happens.

If any of you have tried to take photographs at night time you will know how difficult it can be, low light levels and slow shutter speeds are not for the faint hearted! Professional photographers bring not only the necessary equipment to a shoot, but also the benefit of detailed knowledge and years of experience in how to tackle photography at night and achieve the very best results.

In the last few months we have been kept very busy covering night photoshoots. Early February found us on location airside at Gatwick Airport. The shoot started in the late afternoon, and then continued through dusk and into the night. Our brief was to show the lighting in the area in it’s best … well … light if you’ll  excuse the pun. This assignment took a great deal of time and effort to organise, but when everything came to fruition on the night the resulting images were stunning.

A little closer to home, in Ilkeston Derbyshire, we were asked to photograph the newly refurbished railway station. On the run up to the shoot the weather forecast was dubious and rain looked like a possibility, so a dusk shoot was suggested. Rain obviously isn’t generally the photographer’s friend, but combined with nightfall and effective lighting it can be used to really enhance a photograph and provide dramatic effect.

Another benefit of a winter timed night shoot is that night falls a whole lot earlier than in the summer. Whilst many of us are bemoaning the short days and long winter nights the professional photographer is welcoming the chance to get started at 5pm, instead of 11.30pm later in the year.

Sometimes though, there  is no choice. Many industries carry out their activities overnight to ensure minimal disruption during the day, e.g. road and rail repairs are frequently undertaken in the early hours of the morning. Because Peter is well known for his transport photography, and carries a Personal Track Safety Certificate for his rail industry work he is often commissioned to photograph these projects as they are happening overnight. It’s a real privilege and absolutely fascinating to be asked to document this world of busy industry which many of us are totally unaware even exists.

Of course the clocks will be changing soon, and the days will start to draw out again. Hopefully spring and summer will bring us some sunshine and bright blue skies for our daytime location shoots, but we’ll still be carrying out our night assignments, just starting them a little later than at the moment!

Michael Portillo opens refurbished King’s Lynn railway station

Michael Portillo opens refurbished King’s Lynn railway station

Former minister and current TV presenter Michael Portillo officially opened King’s Lynn railway station which has been refurbished in a heritage style by First Capital Connect and Network Rail.

Official Photographer for event: Peter Alvey

Mr Portillo, who presents BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys, was joined by the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, local councillors and project contributors to celebrate the station’s makeover as well as the town’s railway history.

The work, which cost just over £1million and was shared between First Capital Connect and Network Rail, is in keeping with the station’s heritage status and includes new British Railways signs, Great Eastern Railway inspired benches and vintage-style lanterns as well as a new royal blue and cream colour scheme throughout.

The local community was at the heart of the project, providing advice and opinions on the design of the new-look station. The Fen Line Users’ Association was heavily involved in design aspects including the Victorian era colour scheme of navy, cream and red which reflects the livery of Great Eastern’s steam trains, while the gold indicates King’s Lynn’s role as a royal station.

Norfolk-based foundry East Coast Casting Co Ltd supplied 10 new heritage-style royal blue benches and the station signs have been replaced with signs in the style of 1950s British Railway ‘totems’.

The work also included a full rewiring of the whole station, the booking hall roof being completely replaced and the platforms being resurfaced.

First Capital Connect Managing Director David Statham said:

“It was an absolute honour to have Mr Portillo open King’s Lynn station on our behalf today.

“Community groups have been heavily involved in this project and this event was about paying tribute to all they have achieved in delivering this fantastic project.

“It is a station with a rich history and we feel that that this refurbishment is a great way to celebrate and give the King’s Lynn community a station to take pride in.”

Richard Schofield, Network Rail Route Managing Director, said:

“The work carried out at King’s Lynn station is part of our ongoing investment programme to upgrade the rail network.

“The improvements made, including refurbishing the booking hall and providing better lighting, will give passengers a much better environment to travel to and from.”

Train Wrap – mobile photographic studio

Train Wrap – mobile photographic studio

We were commissioned to shoot some publicity images for the SkyHD series “All Aboard: East Coast Trains”, the final images were to be used as a train wrap.

We took our mobile photographic studio up to York and shot the participating staff on a white background so they could be cut out and put on the train wrap.

All the people taking part in the programme were East Coast Staff, not actors. We had a fabulous fun day and the resulting train wrap image looked amazing, the print quality was superb, capturing every detail.

Thameslink Class 700 Train Unveiled

Thameslink Class 700 Train Unveiled

I was the official photographer for the unveiling of the new Thameslink Class 700 trains last week.

Speaking at the unveiling of a full-scale mock-up of the train at London’s ExCeL Centre today, rail minister Stephen Hammond said: “We are transforming our railways through the biggest programme of rail investment ever.

“These exciting new trains, combined with the wider Thameslink programme, are a real boost to UK Plc, creating thousands of jobs in construction and across the supply chain, which is driving forward our economy.

“Once operational they will provide a huge benefit to the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel into London every day. It will vastly improve train travel providing fast, reliable and more frequent services.”

Steve Scrimshaw, managing director of Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “Over £80 million has been invested by Siemens in the design and development of the Class 700. The innovative design incorporates the feedback of UK train operators, train crew, cleaners and maintainers, as well as dedicated passenger research, helping us turn proven technology and expertise into a state-of-the-art train of the future.”

First Capital Connect operates the current Thameslink franchise and has worked closely with the government to develop the new trains.

Managing director David Statham said: “This new fleet will give passengers more trains, more carriages and more capacity which our passengers desperately need.

“The Thameslink Programme will deliver more than double the number of carriages across the heart of London. At London Bridge alone the programme will deliver 60% more carriages in the morning rush hour. There will also be exciting new journey opportunities along the route – from Cambridge and Peterborough across the Thames to Blackfriars and beyond.”

PTS Photography in Ipswich

PTS Photography in Ipswich

Being a photographer with a PTS certificate I’m able to undertake track work for clients. These images are of OHL works in Ipswich.

Railway electrification provides traction energy to electric trains, which may be passenger or freight, or consist of electric multiple units, where each passenger car receives it own power and no locomotive is needed. The electrical energy is conveyed to the trains by transmission lines to the railway, and then distributed within the railway network to the various trains, via OHL (Over Head Lines). These OHL carry 25,000 volts!

The trains have a pantograph mounted on the roof, which enables the power to be transmitted to the electric motors, providing traction for the train.