Top Photographer Reveals Technique Used In Charity Annual Review Snaps
Leading photographer Phil Meech has supported The Prostate Cancer Charity's work in tackling prostate cancer, a disease which kills one man every hour in the UK, by taking pictures for its 2006/07 Annual Review.
The photographer's stunning, dramatic black and white images of men, most of whom have been affected by prostate cancer, feature throughout the Charity's latest Annual Review, highlighting the organisation's work and achievements during the year.
Phil said: "For me the biggest challenge was striking the right balance of tone in the photographs. The pictures needed to convey a certain mood due to the importance and seriousness of tackling prostate cancer, and yet remain positive enough to reflect these people's strength. I hope the images achieve that.
He continued: "These days it is unusual to be asked to shoot in black and white, but from a design point of view this felt very appropriate for the subject matter. The boldness and simplicity of black and white made it the perfect medium for the mood I was trying to create.
"I used lighting to help me achieve the feeling I was looking for. For the outdoor location shots, I used artificial light in conjunction with the natural light to give the pictures a slightly surreal quality."
Speaking of his picture of football player Phil Marsh, Meech said: "This was taken during the summer's terrible spell of weather when many parts of England were flooded. It was to be used in the fundraising spread. The Charity had booked a local football pitch for the shots but it was raining so hard that was impossible to shoot in the open.
"We despondently drove around Hammersmith, West London, thinking the shoot would need to be called off until we remembered the Westway Sports Centre with its pitches underneath the elevated section of the A40, which I had used for a shoot years ago. This was an incredible location because it was under the stark concrete flyover, giving the image very interesting background lines and a raw urban feel. It was a real find and meant we could work in the dry! "
Meech then described photographing Robert Oldroyd, a retired Charted Librarian, who has been treated for prostate cancer and now helps the Charity decide how to spend its research money.
He said: "When we returned to the library where Robert used to work, I felt that he had been missed greatly because his old colleagues kept rushing up to speak to him. This demonstrated what a lovely guy he is and I could see why the Charity had chosen him to help review their research grants. His dedication spoke volumes. "
"I chose the central framing of the photo to emphasis the natural symmetry of the setting and take advantage of the visual effect of the books. It is one of my favourite photos because it is a simple and striking image."
The shoot took place in the Hallward Library at the University of Nottingham.