Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 20/07/2012

All Hail To The King

Crowned Crane, originally uploaded by

I hope, Dear Reader, that you enjoyed reading the tooings and frowings of my trip to Africa as much as I enjoyed writing them; I was on a complete high after posting the final journal yesterday not out of relief but out of pure enjoyment at recounting my adventures. I’ve found, over the last 18 months, that my writing is as important to me as my photography and at various stages of the trip I was compelled to jot down my thoughts.

It’s been an eventful few weeks since I returned; as you may have read as an aside to one of my posts I am now a featured artist on Getty Images, probably the most prestigious photographic agency in the world ( you have to say that in the same voice as advertises Carlsberg lager). Out of the blue, I received an email from them saying they’d seen a number of my photos on Flickr and that they would like to represent me if I were interested. Well, I could hardly say no, could I Dear Reader so you will find some of my word for sale with them if you were interested (they don’t license the images for personal use, it’s really more for the commercial world).

One of the other exciting events that has taken place since my return from Africa was watching a friend of ours carry the Olympic Torch through the streets of Winchester as recognition for all his hard work with the children’s football club that he set up and now runs each work. Starting the club only four years ago, so that his son and a number of his friends had somewhere they could play football, the club has expanded so that there are now four age groups running, and over 80 children who play each week with a waiting list running for eager children. The whole ethos of the club is for the children to play football AND have fun, so when you see how even if they’re losing the children are still smiling in stark contrast to other clubs who don’t even smile when they’re winning… well, it does the heart good. Jonathan (our friend) hand one of the main legs, running up the high street in Winchester and we went along to lend our support and also as reinforce our feeling regarding all his efforts for the club. We arrived two hours before he was scheduled to take part, but even then people were starting to commander places along the route to ensure they had the best vantage point for the spectacle. Having lugged all my camera gear with me (well, not exactly.. the 600mm stayed at home – though a number of people still marvelled at the size of the Sigma 150-500mm) I took up what I thought would be a good vantage point 90 minutes before the main event. Crowds started to gather along the route but I held fast, with a great view of the street. The atmosphere was incredibly convivial as is often the case in these state occassions, but for me that wasn’t going to last. Up until the last few minutes I was right at the front of the crowd with an uninterrupted view of the High Street, people around me knew I knew the runner and wanted to take a good photograph of him, for him – but at the last minute, a woman who had been stood behind me pushed through with her tiny cell phone held out in front of her so that a number of the photos I had featured her hand and phone in the centre of my frame. To say I was annoyed was a bit of an understatement, especially in light of what camera was being used (I’m not a camera snob, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear… and this camera wasn’t even good enough to be a sow’s ear!), but mostly it was the rude manner of the person that annoyed me as much. Having said all that I did manage a lovely photo of my friend that they were more than pleased for… and that’s all that matters when all is said and done.

Photographic-wise, things have been pretty quiet otherwise in the two weeks since I returned but I have quite a few ideas that I will be trying out which might well take me into new avenues of the discipline so watch this space.


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