Dean O'Brien's Blog

Coventry Conversations: Nick Owen Presenter of BBC Midlands Today speaks at Coventry University

with 2 comments

When I was growing up there were always those faces that were familiar on the television.  Nick Owen was one of them.  He has worked in regional television since the late seventies and is a household favourite.  Long before the days of 24 hour news, people would come in after work, sit in front of their television sets and wait for the regional news to come on.  Yes indeed, Nick is proper ‘old school’.

John Mair kept the talk and banter lively as usual.  During the talk, Nick emphasised about how he looks into people eyes when talking and that this needs to be transferred when he is trying to bring you news through your television.  Not as easy as it sounds as obviously he is staring straight into a camera.  Talks like this are essential for students to attend as it gives them a chance to ask questions and pick up a few inside tips on the industry.  It was also mentioned in the talk that with with many of the younger presenters, the news reporting seems to be more about ‘them’ than the actual news itself.  Yes indeed, things are changing and not always for the better.

At the end of the talk Nick was given the honour of unveiling a plaque at one of Coventry Universities television studios.  He’s been in the game long enough and was more than happy to chat to students face to face after the unveiling and answer any questions.

I was responsible for taking shots of Nick whilst he was here.  The main image being the one shown here.  It may look simple to look at but there was only a few minutes to get the shot.  I left the talk early and wandered down to where the plaque was located.  This was so that I could set my camera up properly and  check where I was going to bounce the flash from.  Mixed lighting in these hallways is never ideal but I think I managed a decent shot out of it.  On reflection, this kind of work shows me the kind of pressure that photographers are under to get a shot in only a very short amount of time.

The learning outcomes from doing shoots such as this are ongoing. This was the third shoot now that I have done for Coventry Conversations and I am seeing an improvement in my practice. I am more relaxed and know to stand back and keep in the background. To only engage with the subject when necessary. Keep things simple and only include essential elements in the image. Editing of the images had to be done quick, as it would be if I was shooting for a paper or magazine. This showed me the kind of pressure that I will be under when I leave university.

I spoke to Nick after his talk and he came across just like he does on television.  A genuine nice person.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

October 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Did you just bounce the flash off the ceiling? Did you change the angle of the flashhead and any accessories used?

    Chris Alford

    January 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  2. Flash bounced off the wall behind me. That was all really

    Dean O'Brien

    January 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm


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