Princes of the Universe Exhibition

A BMW garage is probably the last place I would expect a photography exhibition, and yet a Friday in October I found myself scouring a showroom floor full of tour imagery by Denis O’Regan of the band Queen. I have been brought up surrounded by Queen music, thanks to my parent’s obsession with the band, and enjoy a lot of their music so I went into this with an open mind (and mother in tow).

Flay lay of the princes of the universe programme inside

This exhibition, presented by Off Beat Lounge in association with Dick Lovett, displayed tour imagery from Queen’s golden years, the mid 70’s to their last ever tour with the original line-up in 1986. All by Denis O’Regan who was Queen’s favourite live photographer at the peak of their career.

Denis O’Regan is a fine art photographer who I actually got to meet on the day, which if you read my photography show blog post, you know I don’t do well at. Even my mother had to say I was a photographer. A lovely man who took the time to answer everyone’s questions, whether they were long or short.

His favourite image, after he struggled to pick, is of Freddie Mercury in front of a crowd at Wembley. An iconic image which just highlighted Freddie’s and the rest of the band’s ability to captivate an audience.

Queen photograph by denis O'regan

You can see in the exhibition how photography at the time was changing, with the introduction of colour film you see this come through in the imagery as time went on, which in my opinion was made for the Queen Magic Tour.

Selfie with denis o'regan at the princes of the universe photography exhibition

However, in this world of smartphones and selfies its hard to believe that colour photography at the time was seen as a fad, a phase that would never take off and no photographer would be taken seriously using it. But, I love that Denis ignored these opinions because if it was possible colour catches the euphoric atmosphere even more. Saying this to him, he complimented my ‘professional’ opinion – that makes me a happy lady!

If you have the option to visit this exhibition in it’s last few shows I would highly recommend, the music is so loud it makes you fall in love with the songs all over again and the imagery is just fantastic, it’s time to appreciate film again people! All this is associated with the mercury phoenix trust too, so all for a great cause.

The Photography Show 2014

“I’m an absolute tart when it comes to lighting!” – RANKIN 2014

It’s probably a bit late to post about The Photography Show but I thought as it was such a great day, why not? Practically Christmas in fact!

On 1st of March 2014, I went to The Photography Show at the NEC, and what a show! If I was let loose and wasn’t on limited funds I’d have the entire exhibition in my bedroom! Exhibitors from Canon and Nikon to rogue Stormtroopers, it’s safe to say it included everything for everyone.

Black and white storm trooper posing

I began with a lovely little stall by The Disabled Photographers society, they were so lovely and welcoming and had all types of photography equipment of all ages and models up for grabs. This is where I happened to stumble across a Kodak Pocket Camera, for £10 he was mine! How is that possible? You can never have too many film cameras in my opinion. And they then reinforced my “lovely” opinion of them by kindly showing me how to collapse it, without laughing too much.

Old Kodak Camera

This is Albert – Yes, I name my Cameras.

Unfortunately for my future savings, I decided I had to go talk to the lovely people at Canon, where so many encouraging people were equipped Canons of all models. HEAVEN! I held a 1-D for the first time, one hell of a tank in comparison with Leeroy my little 1000d, and discussed how it wasn’t for me and what I should go onto instead. Which led me onto the 6D mark III. Beautiful, that is all I have to say, and with the lens I wanted it’s a worthwhile £2000.

After several laps of taking in the whole two halls, I literally bumped into someone, apologising frantically I realised who it was, RANKIN. I had bumped into my favourite photographer, then proceeded to shout “You’re Rankin!” in his face, like a complete idiot! He quickly replied with “Yes” and walked off. Being a social media slave I had to tweet my embarrassment, which I might add he “favourited”, which softened the blow a little.

Humiliated, I did another lap of the hall and came across a little pop up bookshop called Book Axis, where a lovely man helped me pick several books to add to my future basket and one I couldn’t leave without at a discount price called “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it.” Full of new lighting inspiration if you’re struggling from a slight block.

A bit happier I strolled over to the Super stage where Rankin was giving his talk for an hour and a half, only two seats from the front! We had a slideshow with Fire by Kasabian in the background and went through it with Rankin explaining the motives behind each shot. Asking about tips and techniques he came out with the quote of this post of “I’m an absolute tart when it comes to lighting”, what a way to describe it, no tripods involved just one strong assistant making the light mobile. The talk began to come to a close and the security were directing us out while Rankin had just told everyone to go and see him.

After I tackled with the crowd and with “Fuck you Rankin” to be released later this year, which includes a compilation of his works with his models giving the finger, I managed to remind him that I was the one who humiliated myself, which he responded with “Yeah, I know, I just favourited your tweet, I then managed to get a “Fuck you” selfie, and got him to sign my Hunger magazine.

Safe to say I was overwhelmed!

Rankin_selfie_photography_show_2014Autograph for beth roach photography by rankin