Photographing Ghosts

I’ve just updated the feature image on this website’s Home Page – something I try to do at the start of each month.  I always try to choose something special, an image which reflects what I do. This month I’ve got a good feeling this is an image you might just be seeing more of.

Please have a look at my Home Page and then let me know what you think. I’m fairly modest when it comes to blowing my trumpet, but I’m very pleased with that image on a number of levels.

It was photographed as a joint personal project and client commission. My client has the licence to manufacture products for sale from a number of images taken of the statues and I can’t wait to see them being supplied onwards. At this point I’m not going to be splashing the images about, so enjoy seeing it here.

Like all images there’s a story behind it. In the case of the images from this particular stable, there’s also a certain amount of pain, cold, lack of sleep and general hard work that’s gone into the images. Obviously I haven’t lost an ear in the process or anything, but I must admit to feeling a bit of righteous pride when I consider my images alongside some of the other offerings being displayed of what is fast becoming one of Liverpool’s most recognisable landmarks.

My relationship with these particular statues and their story started in July 2014 when I was commissioned to photograph a corporate celebration dinner of The Beatles ‘Hard Days Night’ at Liverpool’s magnificent Town Hall. At that time plans for the statues were unveiled, along with bronze miniatures. Two years later the full-sized statues were on display at The Adelphi Hotel during the City’s International Beatleweek Festival. Later in 2015 they were formally unveiled in Pride of place, looking out over the Mersey.

The images I’ve captured are the results of two dedicated visits to the city. It was near essential for the city to be deserted, and I also wanted that awesome twilight lighting – so an early start it was both times. For me that means an hour journey and making sure I arrived and set up an hour before sunrise. Even in mid-winter that meant a 6am journey. At that time it’s near impossible to really know if it’s going to be cloudy, clear, wet or dry.

The first trip gave a glorious red sky sunrise with some high clouds to add a warmth and colour to the images. I wasn’t content though and wanted just that bit more, so made a second trip.

Just as I was parking the car the first few drops of rain fell – but after an hour journey I didn’t want to give in, and it wasn’t raining too much….  That was my logic anyway. I was using my professional, weather-proofed cameras, lenses and stand mounted flashguns. They stood up against the testing conditions, during the hour or so of shooting the rain did definitely bounce down, but several thousand pounds of equipment and I dried out in the end.

So the results of my labours are a set of images, or more precisely four or five sets. The light changes so quickly at dawn that a set of contiguous related images have to be rattled off before the light changes, followed by some more which can look completely different even just a few minutes later.

So, why the title of this post as Photographing Ghosts, when two of the Beatles are presumed still alive? It’s really just the look of my favourite image (see it on my Home Page) – four Beatles walking through the rain, from Brunswick Street trying to comprehend the changes Liverpool has undergone in the last 50 years – the changes they have shaped.

(Update Feb 8, 2016 – Here’s what Julia Baird, John’s sister has to say about the statues:

“I was honoured to unveil this fantastic representation of The Beatles today. It is a gift, from the Cavern Club, to the people of Liverpool and beyond.

The bronze statues are 8 feet tall, very imposing…and almost seem to be on the move, they are so lifelike. They are facing out to The River Mersey and hence to the sea, mirroring what the city of Liverpool itself does. The boys are off to conquer the world and at the same time, they have come home, to their roots. They join a series of statues along the riverfront, depicting many peoples who have made their own contribution to making our city develop and flourish. The Beatles have been inimicable in their recent benefit to Liverpool, expanding tourism and all the good that follows that trade. Come and see it.

It is called ‘The Legacy’.

love Julia x”

I really hope you like the picture as much as I do!

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you commercially or for any other type of photography please don’t hesitate to contact me.



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