As some of you might know, I am very privileged to be a member of an invitation only community of some of the best wedding and portrait photographers in the country, MV Photographers. The community strives for all of us to continually improve our work and stay ahead of the game by challenging ourselves creatively, taking ourselves out of our comfort zones and experiencing something new. In this spirit, a group of us went to Guernsey this year, to capture a range of aspects of Guernsey life. Each of us was given an assignment to photograph the day of a specific individual. The brief was to concentrate entirely on the activities of the individual, then return home for an evening of critiques (up until 5am!) to then go out on day two and improve on what we did on day one. There is more information about how the workshop works here.
My assignment was to document two days in the life of James Manning, member of the White Watch of Guernsey’s Fire Service. The images had to be shot in JPG and only a minimal amount of photoshop (basic density adjustments – no b&w conversions either) were permitted. I have to admit that a couple (though not many) of the images I prepared for the blog had a minor amount of dodging and burning, but that’s it.
It was an amazing experience, and I can’t thank everyone at Guernsey Fire Service enough for allowing me the level of access to their activites that they did. I learnt tons about Fire Protection and my personal fire precautions in my own home will certainly be far more effective thanks to all my new found knowledge. And of course, special thanks go to James Manning, who even came in unpaid on his day off to work with a different watch, because the watch schedules were out of synch with our final workshop dates.
Not all of the following images were chosen for our final slideshow of images, but these are some of my personal favourites from the two days. At the end of the day, it is not really about the final images, but about the learning experience and the personal development. But I worked hard for these images, so I thought I’d share them anyway.
I didn’t realise how much time Firemen spend working on maintainance of existing equipment, cleaning and testing it to ensure it’s in perfect condition when needed.
Guernsey Fire Service also provide a range of services for the community when they are not busy with emergency shouts, and one of these services is to help the local acquarium maintain adequate water levels in their tanks for their marine life. So on Day One we went to pump some salt water.
Back at the station, time for a break before a rescue and recovery exercise on site at the Fire Station.
The next day it was time for a real fire incident…
After the incident we returned to the station and White Watch asked if I would take a team photograph of them. Of course I was delighted to!
Time for the end of the shift.
So again, many thanks to James and Guernsey Fire Services.