Highlights of 2015

The year 2015 is almost over and it is time to summarise. The biggest change was that my old research contract ended in April. After it finished I decided to take some time off, and stay in Cambridge for a few more months to photograph, before moving back to Stockholm at the end of June. In August I visited the Fringe festival in Edinburgh, and during the autumn managed three visits to Cambridge. In Stockholm I took a job as a consultant, and currently work at a bank together with one of my brothers, quite a change from neuroscience. I am slowly building a network of people to photograph with here in Stockholm, so it will be interesting to see what adventures will come in 2016.

Here are a few glimpses from the past year’s adventure. It is really hard to pick the photos, I am barely scratching the surface of all the blog posts. If you want to see more, click on the photos to get to the corresponding blog post.

ADC Theatre

It is impressive how the stage in the ADC Theatre is transformed from week to week. It is like a small Christmas every time you walk into the auditorium to see what is on offer for this week.

Dress rehearsal for RENT, directed by Gabbie Bird. Here in the foreground Oli MacFarlane.
Blood Wedding had a forrest on stage, and at the end of the play there was real rain coming from the roof. Ben Walsh and Lauren Brown.
Emma Blacklay-Piech, with Gabriel Cagan and Sam Keen in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. The play featured a real pig’s heart in the end scene. Sometimes you need to go the extra mile.
Mark Milligan, Jonah Hauer-King and Bea Svistunenko in Tribes directed by Robbie Taylor Hunt. The magnificient set in the background was built by Jack Parham
Behind the scenes of Equus. Max Roberts and Matilda Wickham.

Corpus Playroom

The Corpus Playroom puts the actors on the same level as the audience, which gives the theatre plays there a much more intimate feel. The space also puts the audience on two sides, which means the stage is designed so it looks good from both directions. It also usually means that it is easier to move around on stage as well, allowing me to get the best frame possible.

Will Bishop and Toby Marlow in Himmelweg. Corpus Playroom usually has a simpler lighting setup which gives me more creative freedom. Quite often I tend to photograph from the back of the stage, to get more interesting shadows.
Rose Reade and Gabriel Cagan in Lean by Isley Lynn, a play about eating disorders. With small means they told a powerful story. I had a phase when I was paying extra attention to shadows and trying to incorporate them into the photos as the one above.
Ed Limb and Ellen McGrath in Ondskan (The Evil) in the autobiographic story by Jan Guillou.

Most visited blog post: King’s College laid BARE
(click on photo below for link)

I had made it my mission to try and get on as many rooftops as possible, and for the last three years I had tried to get up on the roof of King’s College Chapel. Somehow Emily Newton managed to make it happen for the poster photoshoot. In this photo, Ed Limb and Joe Pitts, on top of the chapel roof.
BARE dress rehearsal at the ADC Theatre. Joanna Clarke, Joe Pitts, Olivia Gaunt and Thomas Taplin. A moving story, great singing and a beautifully lit stage.

Location photoshoots

One of the fun things with photography is that it gives you an excuse to visit places you might not have gone otherwise.

Here Steve Bywater and Daisy Russel joined me on a trip to a derelict church about an hour by car from Cambridge.
One of the most epic locations was Castle Rising not far from King’s Lynn. Helena Blair and I took the train there, which provided a beautiful backdrop for our photos.
Katurah Morrish and I did a sunset photoshoot on the roof of the Cripps building at St John’s College.
Catrine Sageryd runs a repair workshop in Stockholm for power tools, which turned out to be a pretty awesome location for a photoshoot. Lots of fun props to play with.

May Balls

In Cambridge the end of the academic year is marked by May Week, which for some reason takes place in June. This year I had the opportunity to attend and photograph several of the May Balls (link to all blog posts).

St John’s May Ball

Edinburgh Fringe

Another highlight was the Edinburgh Fringe, which takes over the city for an entire month. After a few quiet weeks in Stockholm it was great to once again be around thespians. I was only there for a few days, but managed to meet up with most of the Cambridge theatre groups in town. There were lots of really good plays, but my personal favourite was Pippin.

Anna Clart, playing the waitress in Midnight Café.

To see more photos from the shows at the Edinburgh Fringe click the link for a list of all blog posts from Edinburgh.

Portrait photography

One of the things that have developed during the last year is my understanding of light. Big light sources give soft light, while smaller light sources give a sharper transition between light and shadows. Cloudy days are great for portraits.

Film Noir photoshoot with Hannah Taylor in Pembroke College. The dramatic light and shadows, combined with beautiful vintage style clothes, make for some great photos.
One thing I am working on now is to create more depth in the photos. Here Kat Karpenko from a TCS fashion shoot.
Disney themed photoshoot with Kaiti Soultana. This was a different but very fun photoshoot, where we placed Kaiti in a set of different pictures from Disney movies.
The wettest photoshoot must have been “Raining Kate and Dogs” with Kate Stevenson and Will Bishop. It started raining while we were up on St Mary’s Church video filming, and rather than seek shelter we headed down to Bridge Street, where we knew there would be some serious puddles.
Rosanna Suppa and Bea Svistunenko during the poster photoshoot for Comedy of Errors. One of the messier photoshoots, thanks to a generous use of cranberry juice.

Projection photos

The living room in my old flat in Cambridge had big white walls. I borrowed a projector from DAMTP where I worked, and teamed up with different actors and friends to do a series of projection photos. In this particular photo Lili Thomas is puppeteering a ship in a storm, and we have taped strings to the wall to break the barrier between the projected image and Lili.
Laura Waldren inset into a painting by Paolo Hayez Pensiero.

Dance Photos

Who knew it could be so difficult to put on your shoes? Hao Feng photographed on top of a parking garage in Cambridge.
Joanna Vymeris and I spent a day walking around in London doing dance photos in different locations. As we were heading out of the museum we heard a security guard talking on his radio “I am not sure what they were doing, but they are leaving now.”
Back in Stockholm I got in touch with a group of dancers from the Ballet Academy. One of them was Jacqueline Sogell. We did a series of flour photos lit by one flash in a garage.
Autumn has beautiful colours, and so do sunrises. If you combine the two with a bit of weather luck and a group of dancers, then you have a recipe for some great photos. Here Hannah Copeland at Christ Piece at the crack of dawn.

A huge thank you to everyone who joined me for photoshoots throughout 2015. Let’s find out what 2016 holds in store!

— Johannes

For more nostalgia, why not have a look at Varsity’s Theatre Highlights from 2015.

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One Comment

  1. simone
    January 4, 2016

    Nice to read your update… Good luck with your new career and photography projects
    (ex comms person at postdoc centre)

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