The 44th Annual Saddleworth Rushcart - 25th August 2018

Whenever the diary permits, I always enjoy a visit to the Saddleworth Rushcart festival. Having recently got back from an assignment in China, it was a welcome break from processing over three thousand images of Chinese culture to immerse myself in some closer to home culture. I followed my usual routine, parked up at my studio in Tanners Mill, Greenfield and enjoyed a pleasant  thirty minute walk in the late summer sunshine to where the festival starts in Uppermill. As per usual, there was a great turnout of people to see the start of the Rushcart, lots of families, their dogs and everyone it seems taking pictures and shooting videos on their mobile phones. Really interesting to see how photography and videography has boomed in terms of the numbers of people participating in the visual arts since the advent of digital cameras and smartphone technology.

As with the majority of personal work, I favoured my trusty Leica MP240 camera and a choice of three lenses, the Leica 21mm SE, the Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH, and the Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux  ASPH. Everything set to manual and naturally with the Leica M, that also means manual focusing. A big challenge in bright sunshine, harsh shadows and moving subjects, but very rewarding when it all clicks into place.

In what is becoming increasingly a common occurrence, most of my work was shot with the 35mm Summilux, one of the most amazing lenses I've ever worked with and owned. The micro contrast, the size, the weight, the image quality, the bokeh, can all be rated at 5 star plus and in all honesty, I can't fault it in any aspect. I also turned to the 21mm SE for a few shots where I needed the wider perspective and didn't end up using the 50mm Summilux at all.

I walked alongside the Rushcart on it's journey from Uppermill to Greenfield where it was nice to see the villagers and their children lining the streets to see the walk and showing their appreciation to the numerous Morris Men who participated in pulling the Rushcart and the musicians accompanying it. Here's a few pictures from my time in Uppermill and Greenfield, great to also catch up with old friends Martin Stimson, and David Trinder. Thanks for looking.

Ps My China Diary Blog pictures should hopefully be posted here in the next few weeks so watch this space.

The Importance of RAID 1

Just had one of the two 4TB drives fail in my @G-Tech Thunderbolt RAID. Thankfully I had it set up as RAID 1 so that in the event of this happening, all your data is protected. Well worth losing half the overall storage capacity for. Great tech support from G-Technology. No images were lost or harmed in the making of this blog! #DiskFailure #NothingLost #Sorted

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Capturing Villains.......and Superheroes!

The weekend of July 30th and 31st saw the streets of Manchester bustling with intergalactic superheroes and villains attending the MCM Comic Con in the heart of the city at Manchester Central. I spent the Saturday afternoon with friend and fellow photographer Ian Southerin on the streets outside Manchester Central documenting some of the amazingly dedicated fans of characters from the world of comics, movies and science fiction.

The following are my images taken with my favoured Leica M-P 240 with either the amazing Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH or the awesome Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. Raw file processing was handled by the trustworthy CaptureOne Pro with black and white conversions undertaken with Silver Efex Pro. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much I enjoyed shooting them and if your organisation has any future events planned, please get in touch to discuss how we can work together to record some memorable and valuable moments.

A Very Big Thank You...

.................to all the amazing musicians at The Boarshurst Silver Band for helping me to achieve my Fellowship from The British Institute of Professional Photography. Special thanks also to Janet Payne, Linda Finan, James Garlick and the Board of Trustees. Great working with you, hope you liked the book and will see if I can get an exhibition at the new Saddleworth Museum or Oldham Art Gallery.

Back in the Frame

Well, after spending most of the last six weeks in plaster it was great to spend the day in the studio yesterday. With the help of crutches, a comfy office chair with wheels and a smooth laminate floor I managed to whizz around and shoot some pack shots of the amazing new vinyl album from the UK blues singer Kyla Brox, Throw Away Your Blues. I also started to do some black and white printing for part of my forthcoming social history project ‘Brass and Glass’ about the Boarshurst Silver Band based in Greenfield, Saddleworth. Busy few weeks ahead so plenty of physio, ice, foot exercises and painkillers for the foreseeable future.

James Garlick - Musical Director, Boarshurst Silver Band

The Saddleworth Band Contest

Sad to be missing the Whit Walk and The Saddleworth Band Contest today due to a somewhat inconvenient broken leg and ankle. It doesn't seem like more than a couple of days ago since I was 'embedded', in true photojournalism speak, with the fantastic Boarshurst Silver Band from 9am to 11pm. It was an honour to spend the day with such a fantastic group of people who were incredibly warm and friendly. I was amazed how much stamina and committment they had from first thing in the morning to the last thing at night. To accomplish a substantial Whit Walk around Greenfield and then successfully compete in the Band Contest from 3pm to 11pm is a remarkable achievement and has my upmost respect.  

I decided to shoot the event with my new Leica M240 rangefinder camera system. This proved to be a great learning experience for me as throughout my thirty plus year career I've shot with almost every camera system around including large, medium and snall format film systems followed by 35mm dslr and medium format digital formats but never with a film or digital rangefinder. The M240 is an amazing digital rangefinder that produces outstanding image quality through the Leica lenses that are the best in the world.  I'll publish more later on my experiences with the Leica and also the work I've done with the Boarshurst Silver Band.

 Boarshurst Silver Band Musical Director James Garlick. June 2015

Boarshurst Silver Band Musical Director James Garlick. June 2015

Coming Soon...

My website is currently being revamped so apologies if there's content missing. I'll be updating my portfolio page asap, lots of exciting new editorial and documentary photography to be uploaded and news on my new awesome Leica rangefinder system that I recently introduced to my workflow. I also need to start my new blog so thanks for the visit and please keep dropping by.