art conaghan photography | The photos that tell the story of my summer
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The photos that tell the story of my summer

September 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I was commissioned to take a series of photographs for a book that is being published next month, called Icons of Northamptonshire. The image below of the Francis Crick Memorial did not make the final images for publication, but nevertheless, I always come back to this photo, time and time again. It is fitting that it is a statue in memory of discovery. Discovery is about exploration and exploration is about freedom, and you need freedom to discover and I see this monument as a strong symbol of freedom. There isn't a day that when I pass Abington Street that I don't look up at it. It is a such a strong landmark of Northampton town centre. The Francis Crick Memorial, Abington Street, NorthamptonDedicated to Francis Crick, a son of Northampton and a co-winner of the Nobel prize for Medicine for the discoveries of the structure of DNA

 

Sessions House in Northampton was built in 1645 after the big fire that destroyed the town. It was the judicial centre of the county for the next three hundred and fifty years. To take this photo, I had to hump all my equipment up a medieval circular staircase in the pitch dark of All Saints Church Adjacent the old Court House. When I finally reached the roof I found I was on the wrong side of the building and had to scramble over a number of unsteady gangways to reach the spot to take the photo. Still, it was worth all the effort.

Sessions HouseThe Home of Northamptonshire's Judicial system since 1645. It is now the headquarters of Northamptonshire County Council As you may gather my summer photography has had a strong Northamptonshire feel to it and you can't get more Northamptonshire than shoes. Northamptonshire still produces some of the finest shoes in the world. Church's, Crockett and Jones, Loakes, Barker's, Edward Greens and John Lobbs are just some of the many prestigious manufacturers still located in the county. Below is an image I took of a craftsman from Church's shoes. They take immense pride in their work and hand shine all of their shoes before they go onto the world marketplace. There probably isn't a footpath in the world that hasn't had a Northamptonshire shoe cross its path.

Church's ShoesChurch's produce some of the worlds finest shoes and are based in Northampton

 

And from one Northamptonshire icon to another. The 50th anniversary of the British Grand Prix took place in Silverstone this year. It was a momentous day and a script that could have come out of Hollywood. Starting from 6th place and against all odds, Lewis Hamilton outwited and out performed his teammate Nico Rosberg to win the 50th British Grand Prix. That day had the weather, the crowd and the drama and made Silverstone one of the most memorable of the competition.

Trumpeting the 50th British Grand PrixBands and dancers festooned the party atmosphere amongst the crowd MarshalsMarshals wait as the race was delayed after a crash on the first lap Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton in his Mercedes AMG car that scorched his way to first place Grand Prix fans
The whole day was a mix of champagne and petrol fumes, the thump of DJ's mixing dance music and the whirl of the helicopter filming the race from above.

Throughout the morning, the sky was log jammed with helicopters ferrying in the rich and famous. The carpark was heaving with Bentley's, Ferrari's and McClaren's amongst the more numerous and more modest cars of the majority of passionate racing fans.

 

The photographer becomes the photographed The photo above shows one of the rare times that I get photographed. When I go to various family or personal events I almost always become the photographer which means I almost always am the one that is never photographed.

It was taken at my brother and sister in laws wedding anniversary party in Lincolnshire. It was a 70's and 80's themed gathering and as usual I was collared to take the photos. Not that I complained. It gave me a good excuse not to embarrass myself on the dance floor.

Last year, I saw a band from Melbourne, Australia play on the streets of Cambridge. They were a superb group and I leaped at the chance to see them in concert this year. They were playing in Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth's music venue, The Stables.

The group are called, The Wishing Well and I had a ball listening to them. They remind me of The Waterboys and I grew up on the music of the Waterboys. They came complete with violins and a cello for good measure.

But the highlight of my musical summer had to be Jools Holland and his Orchestra. They played at kelmarsh Hall, the venue for the annual Shambala Music Festival. They certainly know how to entertain an audience.

No blog entry could be complete without representing our bi-annual weekend in Norfolk. Every winter and spring we make the pilgrimage there, but this year we were a little late and ended up spending our weekend in the summer.

It's an opportunity to take our dog who originally bodes from North Norfolk. It's all about deck chairs, coffee and cake and long danders on Brancaster beach. It's the place in England I really get to unwind.

Well, that was my summer. As autumn rolls in I will have a few interesting commissions to complete and I can't wait for my winter travels to Southern India again. This time, it is Kerala.


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