For me the humble bench on Norton Green has upped its game considerably and the distanced coffee conversationalists that sit edge to edge have filled me with admiration.
We were park bench heroes, Nearly De Niros, Nought to zeros, We’d come and dream…Paul Heaton
Walking through the village in the summer of 2020 and seeing The Green and surrounding benches hustling and bustling with the chit chat of toeing the line Nortonians, filled me with local pride. Human interaction is essential for emotional and physical health, catching up with friends is one of the great essential pleasures of life (avoiding some people is sometimes necessary too). So I needed to photograph the now not so humble bench, but I didn’t want it to get ideas above it’s station. After all as soon as the pubs and cafes are open again the bench will be once again reserved for old people who need a breather whilst out walking.
First things first I need to find a bench with a view, but without an ugly sidekick bin, so armed with my iPhone I wandered around the village to find my VIP bench and take some quick snaps to get an idea of the best composition. Once I’d found my hero bench I returned early the following morning with what us professionals call a proper camera, (mine happens to be a Canon 5D III).
Other essential kit included a tripod, 2 flashguns, one with orange and one with blue cellophane taped to them to change the colour of the light, a torch (so I could see what I was doing) and my don’t leave home without headphones (I do love a podcast).
The idea in my creative mind was to make the bench shine and jump out from its surroundings. It needed to look more than your average, ravaged, urban bench, whilst remaining true to itself (I definitely need to get back to work).
I love it when everything falls into place, 40% planning and 60% luck. A passing bus provided me with coloured light trails, firing my yellow flash on the ground and the tree behind, firing my blue flash at the bench and up into the trees branches with a base exposure of the street lights with some early morning daylight. Throw all this into a photographers version of a Kenwood blender and there you have it…
The Norton images printed and framed today, will become part of our unique history and heritage tomorrow…Gary Walsh
MY PRINT SHOP IS NOW OPEN – browse – peruse – buy…
I’m using my skills to produce a unique set of images which you can now purchase at discounted prices (desperate times call for desperate measures).