Dean O'Brien's Blog

Day 12: Working at the Coventry Telegraph 20/4/11

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As with each day I head into the office and straight to the diary.  It looks like a fairly busy day so I wait to see which jobs are being allocated to me.  Whilst waiting I look through previous copies of the paper to look at how the images are shot.  The way that the photographer’s at the paper compose their images is important if I am to continue to work here.  I need to shoot in the required style.  Feedback has been good so far, so I’m on the right track.


I am heading to a Gipsy traveller site with reporter Cara Simpson and photographer James Balfour.  The site is council owned and travellers are complaining about no hot or cold running water and no toilet facilities.  When we arrive we make contact with one of the elders living on the site who shows us around.  The conditions are shocking and I start taking images.  I focussed mainly on the poor electrics and filthy conditions which are what the residents on the site are complaining about.


I head into town with Warren Manger who is the Health Reporter for the paper.  I am to photograph a demonstration outside the Coventry City Council house by the Dr Raj Mattu reinstatement Committee (DRMRC).  The weather is fine en route to the demo I ask Warren what type of shots he is after.  As this was a large gathering I shot wide so I could get everyone into the image.  There does seem to be an art to photographing groups of people and I am very much still in the learning process.  The shoot goes well and better than expected.


I head to University Hospital with Warren Manger where A&E consultant Gary Ward and Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman are urging people to go easy on the booze over the forthcoming bank holidays.  We arrive at the hospital where a few other photographer’s were gathered.  One of the other photographer’s takes control and places the subjects in a variety of positions.  His named is Richard and he previously worked for the paper a few years ago.  He is fine with me taking images of his set-up and it made my job a hell of a lot easier.  I wait for him to take his images then step in and take mine.  This again, was another opportunity to watch how other photographer’s work.  How they see things.  Again, creativity plays a massive part in making the image work.


Whilst at University Hospital we are to head to the Children’s Ward where a large amount of Easter eggs had been donated to the ward.  This time there is just me and Warren so I am to arrange the set myself.  A boy is in bed with a broken leg so this makes for an ideal picture.  I do a solo shot first with the boy and some eggs.  Main focus on the subject and use a shallow depth of field so the eggs are blurred.  Next is the group shoot and I shoot wide to get everyone in as the space is confined.  We head back to the office and I inspect the images.

In todays paper I managed to get a large picture printed on page 7.  This was of the tv screen being placed near Millenium Place to broadcast the Royal Wedding.  It’s quite a large image and had a byline naming me as the photographer who took the image.  I am still looking into the best way of storing these pages from the paper so that they can be added to my portfolio.


Written by Dean O'Brien

April 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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