Week 18 of FMP: New collaborator and first interviews (25th – 2nd March)

Two of my scheduled events took place, , one was cancelled and another grabbed, and a new collaborator was recruited and fully enrolled.

Monday began the week poorly. An interview I’d had scheduled had to be cancelled at the last minute. However, I went across the road and was fortunate to catch Jonathan Myall , who I’d unsuccessfully tried to catch last week. One of his staff who knew me and told me he was very busy. However, after explaining how short the interview would be Jonathan very kindly agreed that I could come round at 4pm that day to conduct the short interview, my first.

The previous week I’d identified the Croydon Buddhist Centre on the High Street, not very far from the centre, as a possible collaborator. So I picked up my courage and entered to find out if it was there was a suitable proprietor who would be interested in taking part.

Croydon Buddhist Centre, 25th February, 2019  Graham Land

Croydon Buddhist Centre, 25th February, 2019

Graham Land

The door from the High Street takes you into a gift shop. The lady on the till was a volunteer but she quickly introduced me to their long-time manager of 30 years, Carol. After explaining my project and showing some prints of shots from the project portfolio I was delighted to find she said yes. I was given a quick tour, as well as the gift shop on a lower level there was a meetings are, with kitchen, a small zen buddhist-style garden and a large meditation room.

I was even more pleased when Carol said she was happy to give me an hour of her time on late Friday afternoon. Even though i’d explained there would be a 5x4 tripod-mounted camera shot, a small walk-through video and an interview, with a few DSLR shots thrown in. Excellent.

The interview withh Jonathan went well. I’d acquired a portable audio recorder, a Wireless Lavalier microphone and a high specification short shotgun mike. This would be my first time using them in earnest. I recorded video., putting the Lavalier audio track directly on to the camera via it’s hot-shoe mounted remote unit.

Jonathan Myall, taken by Graham Land whilst setting up the equipment for an interview.  25th February, 2019

Jonathan Myall, taken by Graham Land whilst setting up the equipment for an interview.

25th February, 2019

Unfortunately Jonathan was unable to give me a slot for the 5x4 shots that I wanted to take, though said he would be happy to do them if I caught him again at an opportune time. Several of my other collaborators had said the same the week before.

The afternoon of the next day was very busy, with two collaborators agreeing to have both 5” x 4” shots taken with a separate video/audio recorded interview.

The first was with my south Croydon Italian Cafe/Delicatessen proprietor, Giorgio. Cafe/shop business continued during the shoot, several of his customers engaging in conversation. Although people did go quiet for my interview It was unfortunate that the door was open, one of February’s exceptionally warm days. The result was that much more background noise from the busy road was picked up than I’d recognised at the time. The 5x4 shots went ok, but whether they will be as good as the excellent digital shots I’v already captured of Giorgio I wasn’t convinced. I’d also lost one negative as I must not have loaded it properly and the negative came out when the dark slide cover was lifted. If the others are ok will await me taking the negatives to Falmouth University’s Photogrpahic Institute next week when a workshop takes place. Develop and scanning them whilst there..

Giorgio Rafaelli of La Spezia, sat awaiting the commencement of an interview, taken by Graham Land.  26th February, 2019

Giorgio Rafaelli of La Spezia, sat awaiting the commencement of an interview, taken by Graham Land.

26th February, 2019

Georgio had been delayed and there was just enough time to get to my next shoot. Nick, co-proprietor of Ludoquest. Carrie, his wife and co-proprietor, could not be there. I had noticed on passing that their new business was going from strength to strength.

I conducted the interview first and then finished with the 5” x 4” shoot. Again, one negative was lost. I clearly had to revise me procedure and make sure this did not happen again. At over £6 for one sheet of Kodak’s Portra 160 5x4 film these are expensive errors. The interview itself went well, though I later discovered one of the Lavalier units had been accidentally switched off, the other audio recording was fine. Must check more thoroughly., even if time is pressing.

Nick of Ludoquist, taken whilst setting up one of the video cameras by Graham Land  26th February, 2019.

Nick of Ludoquist, taken whilst setting up one of the video cameras by Graham Land

26th February, 2019.

The working week finished with a very full shoot with my latest collaborator, Carol, at Croydon Buddhist Centre. This went really well, but I did find setting up an interview in her office area tricky. I’d boughr some LED lights with me and they proved necessary. I’d began with my walk-through video and finished with a couple of large format 5x4 captures of Carol at her desk in the gift shop. Again, lighting was difficult though this time I decided to rely on ambient. All-in-all the combined shoot took over 90 mins. A lot of this time was assembling kit and chacking all was working. Too long?

Carol, Manager of The Croydon Buddhist Centre taken by Graham Land, digital full-frame capture.  1st March, 2019

Carol, Manager of The Croydon Buddhist Centre taken by Graham Land, digital full-frame capture.

1st March, 2019

Earlier that day I’d taken the opportunity to follow-up on the advice I’d been given about securing a place at The Photogrpaher’s Gallery Folio Friday, an event I wanted to show my project portfolio at. Advice accurate, the opportunity to book came up on the web at noon. Within 20 minuted my place was booked, later confirmed secured.

March is going to be busy..