Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Olympic Golden Greats 2 -Dick McTaggart

Dick McTaggart won a Gold medal for Lightweight Boxing at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games and the Val Barker Trophy as the games most outstanding boxer.

In his career of 634 bouts he was only beaten 24 times.

Truly remarkable.

Lucinda and I set out to shoot environmental portrait in locations that were of significance to the Gold medalist or failing that somewhere impressive.

We really wanted to shoot Dick in Glen Coe, but that was a long, long winter drive from southern Scotland, and Dick was understandably not quite so keen on the idea.

So we started to explore alternatives and came up with the Isle of Arran, which is sometimes dubbed 'Scotland in Miniature' and had the added advantage that it was only a short ferry ride away.

Sure enough it lived up to it's beautiful reputation and we found the perfect location of Glen Rosa, which has featured in a number of fashion shoots.

But the weather played its part and seemingly jeopardised the entire shoot as the whole of the UK was hit by an icy blast and heavy snowfall.

How on earth were we going to get a man in his early 70's to this beautiful but challenging location?

Enter Kate Samson of the National Trust who very kindly offered to assist us.

Without her is would simply not have been possible.

It was around minus 14C....bloody freezing.

We drove by LandRover as far up the glen as we could and then walked for a mile or so.

So it was now a matter of walking with all the gear up the Glen, bring not to fall through frozen streams.

Lucinda was pregnant at the time so I carried most of the gear, which weighed a lot.

I was feeling quite wobbly by the time we made it to our chosen location and I'm not sure how much further I could have gone.

I make no apology for the iPhone footage, as dodgy as it is.

When we found a spot to shoot, time was of the essence and due to the extreme cold we did not hang around very long at all.

Just as long as it took to set up the Elinchrom Quadra, Gitzo tripod, tethered set up for the Phase One and we were away.

Lit with one Elinchrom Quadra from the left, modified with a Chimera medium Softbox, shot with a Phase One DF P65+ 110mm LS Schneider at F2.8

Dick did well but the cold was clearly taking its toll.

We literally shot for a few minutes and we turned tail.

The sense of relief knowing we had pulled it off without any injuries to any of the participants was quite something.

It is part of my 'Golden Greats' exhibition which starts on 5th March in the Stadium Suite of John Lewis at the Westfield centre, Stratford.

Manfrotto are sponsoring the show and I will be speaking about this project and much more besides at 'Focus' on Imaging'

I'm printing the show right now on Canon IPF printers, with their latest and greatest media.


Andor said...

Nicely done - especially considering the weather! Great job and good story behind again!

Yui Sotozaki said...

Ah, that's an absolutely lovely location! I'd love to one day be able to do shoots outdoors like that.

Unknown said...

Thanks Guys

I will be with Phase One and Manfrotto at Focus on imaging and will be talking about location lighting and this project



Dblock said...

Nicely done as always. I must add that the headline had me a little unsettled - rather than reading it as "olympic greats 2, Dick McTaggart" my brain read "olympic greats, 2-dick McTaggart". Lol.