Up in the attic, in the Boho zone…*

* with apologies to Joni Mitchell (The Boho Dance)

 

Down in the cellar, in the boho zone,

I went looking for some sweet inspiration…

It’s Newcastle Fashion week.  What began as a graduation show for students at the University of Northumbria has expanded in recent years to become a week-long series of events including catwalk shows at a variety of venues, industry expert speakers, and VIP events.

At the city’s “World Famous” Bananastudio, Eric Murphy and his team have been heavily involved, both from a photography perspective, shooting promotional materials and covering events, and through their associate business Boho, providing models for the events.

Despite the pressures of keeping on top of what must be one of their busiest weeks of the year, they still managed to host the Creative Talent Circle last night, a fortnightly opportunity to network with photographers, models and make up artists.  Eric and co are always very welcoming to novice and pro alike (though the pro’s tend to get more abuse!). With three models each shooting in two outfits, there is plenty of opportunity to get good imagery, and though the evening was about fashion and therefore geared to full length shots, I couldn’t resist shooting some tighter images.  Today then I’ll share some of those instead of my customary street shot.

The three models working last night were Abbey Bryce, Laura Richardson and a débutante called Lauren who had just signed with the agency.  She worked hard and produced some good poses.  Laura has an individual look that makes more close up work a must, and Abbey, a trained dancer, appeared to be the most at home in the fashion genre as well as possessing the ability to defy gravity!

Here is a slide show of some of my shots from last night, together with a larger portrait of Laura.

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Sandblasted

Another afternoon where the beach was virtually deserted.  It is after all the last day of the football season, and one where a surprising number of games still have a potential effect on the season’s outcome.  Not for Sunderland directly, who couldn’t be much more mid-table, but for their opponents today, Manchester United, who could clinch the title here if other results go their way.

 

The other factor in the shortage of people is probably the wind.  After a couple of days without rain even at 20 mph or so it is enough to lift the dry sand into a fine mist of stinging particles of shell, quartz, and limestone. 

 

To be fair the mist is largely confined to a shifting layer about 6 inches from ground level so it doesn’t pose too much of a risk to eyes or camera lens, although the constant movement plays havoc with the camera’s autofocus which can find anything solid to fix upon.  So no problem if you’re reasonably tall, but if you’re a small dog this can’t be much fun; this group were disappearing in and out of view as I watched them.

 

Most people think of sand as either the wet stuff that the best sandcastles are constructed from, or the fine dry stuff that runs through your fingers as in this exchange from the film Local Hero:

 

 

Cover of "Local Hero"
Cover of Local Hero

MacIntyre: [desperate to make the deal] Look, how much do you want?
Ben Knox: [fills his hands with sand] Would you pay me a pound for every grain of sand in my hand?
[drops some sand]
Ben Knox: Ah, well, that saves you some. Well, would you do it?
MacIntyre: No. Of course not.
Ben Knox: Ah, well that’s a pity. You missed out on a good bargain, for I can only hold about ten thousand grains of sand in my hands. Did you think it would be more?

 

Sand has more to it of course and takes on textures like ripples as it is moved on by the force of wind or sea, or more interesting sculptures as the wind erodes layers that have solidified in calmer conditions.

 

We rely on it for building, making glass, improving soil drainage and the manufacture of textured paint so it’s a wonder we have any left on our beaches, though of course Mother nature is forever manufacturing fresh supplies.

 

Finally it’s great for walking on, so that if you like a bit of wind to blow away the cobwebs today was actually a perfect day to be out, and for Lauren, visiting the area from Somerset, a great way to pass the time while her boyfriend was with the thousands of others watching Sunderland lose to Manchester United.  Lauren’s response to being asked for a picture was to claim that she wasn’t at all photogenic.  Hmmm.  Technically she was also way too slim for this blog, with all this talk of sand I should have found someone with an hourglass figure!