Posted on May 3, 2013
We’ve come to the end of a large commission, spanning two years, for the University of Liverpool. We were asked to photograph different departments and produce photographs for use on the University web sites. Our brief was to make the images colourful, visually interesting and student focused. Every department posed different challenges because the range of subjects varied enormously from “clean labs” and very high tech equipment to blank seminar rooms. We were also working out on location around Liverpool. One day we were photographing an operation on a horse and the next a discussion on Post Modern Theories of Marxism as applied to Malthusianism and Scenario Analysis ( or something like that !).
We were using students as models and most were very helpful. We often had to work very quickly, because the students and staff were taking breaks from lectures (maybe the students felt if they were paying £9000 a year they didn’t want to waste any course fees on modelling !). We made time, however, to set up the lighting kit to compliment the available light and wanted the images to have a natural feel.
In the lab spaces we exploited the available light which in many cases was highly coloured, but we had to solve complex lighting and compositional problems very swiftly. And we definitely wanted to avoid the cliche of gelling up the lights to make the images look “more scientific”.
We found that because most department staff, although highly intelligent, were not always visually literate, so we often provided the ideas for photographs in the pre-production meetings.
It was a pleasure to work in the University, solving visual problems and to work with a variety of dedicated people. There are a few photographs here, but a gallery is viewable on our photoshelter site.