It is safe to say that 2020 won’t go down as a vintage year for most photographers. Except, you know, the really creative ones who turned shooting empty streets into an artform.
While I can’t include myself in that group, the first three months of the year marked a busy period for me at work: I photographed Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 2.0 Semi-Final and Grand-Final events, in addition to Manchester’s inaugural Digital City Expo conference.
When the pandemic hit its stride in March, my enthusiasm to get out and take snaps waned. It felt odd to say that, just a month prior, I had been eagerly awaiting the release of Tamron’s latest zoom lens, which I was planning to pick up for shooting (physical) tech events.
Obviously, no events came. But I did still take a few photos that I was proud of, which I’ve picked out below. All of my photography can be found here.
A shot of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 2.0 competition winners, taken just as the last fragments of a gold tape bomb drifted to the floor. This photo marked the first time I ever felt pressure photographing an event, as the winners’ shot features in press articles afterwards. My camera’s burst mode played ball, thankfully, and everybody was smiling with genuine happiness.
This image was captured shortly after the prior one. For the first time, I had taken a photograph using a high shutter speed that I was pleased with.
I’ve discovered that it’s not always easy to take eye-catching pictures of event delegates wandering around. The clarity of Simon’s (from Cooperative Innovations) tee made this one stand out for me; it features an undeniably cool logo.
Jade, wearing her fluffy ‘Russian’ hat. I took this walking back from Warwick Cathedral on Christmas day. It was cold.
This photo was taken during a stroll during the first lockdown in March. Located along the Leeds-Liverpool canal, this underpass always manages to look ominous even on the sunniest of days. With a little Lightroom magic (me applying a preset, in other words), I think this photo captured its gloomy atmosphere.
The top of Leeds Town Hall, shot with a Dutch tilt in March.
I know, I know. This is, admittedly, a boring photo. But that’s the beauty of it. Here, we have a speaker taking an audience through slides tinged with corporate-speak and featuring an unnerving number of bullet points. If you hadn’t guessed it yet, this unexciting snap represents normality. It is from Manchester’s Digital City Expo, which marked my last tech event of 2020.
Appearance. Attitude. Confident manner. All qualities in abundance captured in a single photo, I’m sure you’ll agree. Billy Webber from Sunderland Software City would have been well within his rights to shout at me for not only taking this photo, but publishing it for all to see. Thankfully, he was a good sport – and he even gave it a shout out in front of a massive crowd at the Rising Stars Grand Final back in February.