Friday, July 11, 2008

All New Blog for 2009 edinburghfringe2009

New fringe blog for 2009.

All the news reviews and photos from the Edinburgh fringe festival 2009.

The new blog is

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bored -Well take a look at some Eddie Photos.

Not having done any work on any of my blogs recently. I thought I'd at least add a little something.

A few images of Eddie Izzard I passed on to Lyn at "Cake or Death."

so here's the link.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

When Someone Says No.

The beauty of photography on the High Street during the Festival is the people you meet. Everyone going about their business performing, promoting their shows.

There is always something happening, something to take photographs of. It is just a case of looking. You can spend all day in one spot or move around checking every opportunity that may just make that great photo.

My collection is full of opportunities found or images that have come to me.

What my collection is not full of is the celebrities that on occasion frequent the High Street. I have a rule. One rule, for celebrities only; no exceptions!

I ask if I can take their photo, if they say no, I’ll not trouble them again, ever!

Paul Merton and Bill Bailey are two I’ve asked and turned me down. A pity to because I do like Paul Merton. But alas I can’t ask again.

Bill Bailey, I’d thought of as a reasonable guy, possibly open enough for the chance of a photo, but instead I found him rude and totally unapproachable. He had his personal stereo on and he just gestured to his headphones, shrugged his shoulders and carried on walking.

I’ve always been sensible in my quest of that celebrity photo. I’ll not stop someone and ask them if there are lots of people around. They just want to get from A to B like everyone else. I’ll “pursue” discreetly until a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle appears. Paul Zenon I got using that approach. Jerry Sadowitz too.

Paul Zenon I happened to spot as I was having a coffee in The Chanter on a Sunday afternoon. He walked past the window. I grabbed my camera and a flashgun, asked if they’d mind if I left my bag for a few minutes and set off after him. Crossing Lothian road we headed off towards Morrison Street, a moment or so away from the crowds I stopped him and asked quickly for a shot to which he consented.

Jerry Sadowitz too I didn’t stop in the full public glare of a busy street. I was surprised when he said yes and I ‘didn’t get my head bitten off or tell me to f**k off!
Being taken by suprise that I had the opportunity for a photograph meant I’ve probably got my worst celebrity shot.

James Nesbitt I caught with luck on a Sunday afternoon while once again I was in The Chanter enjoying a coffee. He was filming just outside The Chanter, at a point in proceedings when they’d stopped for a coffee I rushed out and grabbed a couple of shots. He asked me who I worked for seeing the photographic equipment I was carrying.

These photos are mine and mine alone, however much I could get from sale of these images, you’ll not find them splashed over the pages of any newspaper, unless of course I’m asked by my subject to do so!! As mentioned before I was offered a large sum of money for my Baryshnikov photo, which I turned down.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

An Eddie Izzard Update!!!

I've just finished scanning around 400 shots from the two shows performed in the wire works square during the Fringe.

So over the next week or so there should be another collection of Eddie shots to keep everyone (the Eddie Izzard fans especially)happy.


It's not funny, unless it's been said by Eddie.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Red Dress (kiss of The Spider Woman)

I had to put these shots together in one place, because in the book of photos I carry around I only have two and people always pass comments or look bemused. So here is the whole picture.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Eddie Izzard and other stories

It has taken me a good few months to finally get around to getting my celebrity photographs ready for use on my blog.
I have also put one or two celebrities on this page who I've not met during the Festival, but I did meet because I was in the Hog's Head.

My first celebrity I ever managed to photograph was Mikhail Baryshnikov.
A few years ago I was in 1 Stop Photo getting films ready for processing, the staff were busy and I help if I'm about. He came in a wanted some films processed. I recognized him right away. Before he said anything I said was "I'm going to have to ask how to spell his surname. He smiled and said "why don't you put down Mr Smith."
I asked if he'd mind if I got a photograph. And was so pleased when he graciously consented.
Later that day on the High Street I ran into a press photographer, he asked me if I'd seen anyone famous. Told him I'd got a photograph of Baryshnikov . He offered me £500 for it and I turned him down. In the years since I've been asked if people could buy the print they've seen in 1 Stop Photo. Only to tell them they would have to pay me at least as much as I had turned down previously.

Jayne Middlemiss and Mariella Frostrup I got around the same time. I noticed a group of professional waiting around outside the Fringe office. Knowing one or two I found out Jayne and Mariella were about to arrive for a press call. So it was a case of just waiting.

I got some shots this time rushing back to 1 Stop Photo who managed to rush the film through. I then headed right down to the BBC on Queen Street almost the same time as Mariella Frostrup was getting out of a taxi, so I gave her a set of my photos, she thanked me and I headed back to the mile.

Eddie Izzard and the three free shows, I managed to catch two of them.
It was the last year the square behind the fringe office would still be there. A nursery school was to be built. It wasn't publisised it was a word of mouth only show. So glad I heard. Armed with as much camera kit and film as I could carry I headed for the square. Over the two days I managed to get some reasonable shots of Eddie, John Fealey, Alex Danridge, Vince Henderson and Sophie Aldred. Two shows I just could not have missed.

Alan Cumming, Arthur Smith and Andy Gray I met and photographed in the Hogshead (The Chanter) Alan Cumming of The High Life, Goldeneye and X-Men2 he was in Edinburgh for the Film Festival and had stopped off at the Hogshead for a meal before moving on to the film premier.

Arthur Smith I almost missed, he was taking one of his Festival walking tours and he'd stopped off at the pub with his audience.

Other celebrities caught at festival time and others around Edinburgh have been Goldie, "Bond villan from Goldeneye", Paul Zenon, Paul Daniels, Ross Noble,Andy Gray and Amber Benson, Tara from Buffy The Vampire slayer. (as a Buffy fan, nice shot to get)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sorry for the delay

Nearly at the end of 2005 and it's been a while since I've added anything to my blog.
Got caught up in other projects.
But News for 2006 is that I hope to be back on the street.
I should know sometime early next year.

If you are on the Mile 2006 I should be there.

Thanks to everyone who passes through.

Keep in touch.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Biggest Show on The High Street

On Friday of my last week on the mile I was heading down to the Hog's Head. I had been down there earlier in the day to drop off all my kit, except my Nikon F100 and 80-200 lens.

I'd had to head back into 1Stop Photo to pick up some work I wanted for that night.

I ran into JP, he was about to start his show and he was chatting to one of the Fringe staff.
I was greeted with a "hello" from them both, then I was told that Vince, Herbie and a whole load of others were about to, or had just started a 15 man show!

Thoughts of not being prepared came to mind. Very unlike my normal fully loaded with kit self.

I took up position center stage, planting myself front row at the feet of people standing. My camera was rushing through film. Amazing!

I shot the show Hockney style, random shots to be "stitched together to create a whole image.

A few minutes from the finale I managed to get Cheeky Pete's attention.
"Can, we get everyone in to the middle of the space, I'll get a group shot."

He passed the word and a mass of bodies vied for position in the centre of the space.
Camera set to continuous, I ran off the last of my film.

The show ended to probably the biggest cheer heard on the High Street. I said my thanks and headed back to 1 Stop Photo.

Just in time I got my films in. Processed and printed. Still hot off the press I was back on the street.

I ran into Shep, he was sitting relaxing on the kerb just across from 1 Stop Photo. I handed him the multiple packs of photos. The look of amazement at seeing photos from just twenty minutes or so before!
He grabbed a couple of shots, told me that everyone was meeting in the Tron and he was just heading down. I tagged along.

Almost everyone was sitting round a table, enjoying a well deserved drink. The packs of photos passed on for everyone to look through.

My work as always appreciated by one and all I left them with the photos, after being supplied with a few Bud's for my troubles.

These were images that would not make the exhibition, well not this year anyway.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Plucking Great!

Once again it happened. You get caught up in the euphoria of the crowd and you take lots of photos.

This year was another year when Pluck managed to get a reasonable amount of attention, from me and my camera. Adrian, Sian and Jon, always on the High Street. Always early, handy for them, especially when other acts that should be on stage don't turn up, allowing them extra time promoting their show.

They still manage to hold the biggest crowd round any High Street stage, only Slaughter House Live come anywhere close.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An Axe, A Whip and Kenny the Koala

With the presence of a star of some Hollywood movie, JP strides across the High Street. It could be a scene from any Clint Eastwood Western.

"He tells me he's just done a show where he just stood there entertaining the crowd, like another performer Anthony Living Space."

JP his normal every day High Street show revolves around whipping a cigarette out of a Koala's paws; a stuffed Koala, I'd better add.

Then it's on to the serious and have to say dangerous part of his show his juggling with axes. One is a double headed battle axe something akin to those seen wielded in "Lord of The Rings.

The height he achieves is amazing, it makes it incredibly difficult to get great photos, because the axe keeps disappearing out of shot!

Amazing show, amazing showman!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

From bored to Bond girl.

From bored to Bond girl.

Every day on the High Street you see hundreds of people giving their all. Promotion of their show. The key to them being in Edinburgh for the Fringe.

Some shows, even though Fringe could survive I'm sure without the constant taking to the high street stages. Or the need for flyering. Pluck were at Glastonbury this year I was informed by Emily the Manager of the Hog's Head. She had taken a few day's off to help another ex- Hog's Head member of staff in her corporate duties as a "Seagull." Pluck are probably one of these High street sucess stories. Their antics on the stages with Adrian at the lead have the crowds they gather in uproar.

This year he even started to compete with the cheers and clapping of the larger street entertainer crowds.

"Wow, back to how the High Street used to be, before some money grabbing High Street trader got her fingers in the High Street Traders Association.

" No street performers at the bottom of the High Street, No amplification on the High Street. It drowns out the Scottish music seeping through her always open door. If she had her way, the high street would be open to traffic every day her shop was just to get the business. Maybe the Fringe should transfer down the High Street to the Cannongate. Or maybe not even bother with a Festival in Edinburgh I'm sure all the businesses everywhere else would love to have crowds outside their door.

But I digress. This is about faces in crowds and on the street.

Three years or so ago I spoted early on day one a group of girls walking down the High Street. I wanted to photograph them then, but they were not part of a show as far as I colud tell, they wern't flyering for shows, just three girls. Two weeks had almost past and I thought "what's to loose." I stopped them told them what I was doing and that they'd become part of an Exhibition, as corny as it sounded. They agreed, I took some shots. Was delighted to have some of the most beautiful women I'd seen on the High Street in my collection.
"I beleive I was even more right, when I heard later that they had been in to the pub, got the shots off the wall, and had sent them off to a modeling agency. One of made it to, and with one of the countries top agancies. Select Model Agency, London. (Now I know I have a good eye.)

People always pass comment that there are more women in the exhibition than men. As a man I think it's my duty. There are enough female photographers out there to shoot the men. Anyway if I was promoting a show I'd not use me to do it, oh wait we did, ah that was the problem then this year.

The bulk of the guys you see on my boards are probably street performers. If there were more female street performers then the numbers of men could drop again.

The High Street seemed a little quieter this year, the whys and wherefor's were as varied as the performers on the street it's self.

There were day's when it did seem as if the only thing I was photographing was the same as the day before. Maybe I just needed to keep looking.

Then in the final week of the Festival I was introduced to probably the second most beautiful woman on the High Street this year, although most of the people who'd met her would say she was number 1. The number of people who asked me for copies of photos I'd taken of her could have made me a small fortune, but I was not parting with any of them.

So who was this girl. Julia from La Clique.

So the title of this blog header. From Bored to Bond Girl, Julia is up for a part in the new Bond film. Lets hope she gets it. At least I know I have a load of photos.

Monday, September 12, 2005

trying to make use of anything free on the web

I certainly don't understand "compuspeak."

If it's free and I can get photos on it, I'll give it a try. So if you end up in some uncharted part of the web I do apologise. But if it hosts photos for free.

Just keeping up the on going work.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Eddie Izzard Stole my Photographs

Three years ago, there was a street show with the most amazing line up. John Fealey, Vince Henderson, Alex and Eddie Izzard.

It was back to his roots for Eddie Izzard, I believe he started his career on the street. Progressed from there to comedy clubs, now to film stardom.

I managed to shoot two of the three shows they did. How amazing was it to see four of the best from the street performing together.

I rushed off after the show loaded down with film. Had them processed in 1 stop photo put them into an album, and rushed out in search of Vince, John, Alex and Eddie.

Tracked them down and left them to have a look at the photos, I'd get them back the next day.

I didn't get them back. But I've always wanted to use the tag line "Eddie Izzard stole my photos."

He didn't by the way. There was a little bit of an understanding. And I found out recently who has them and if I wanted them back.

Vince Henderson has them, they're sitting in a cupboard. His wife Sophie asked if I wanted them back, she kept insisting I give her my address and she would send them back to me.

Sitting chatting to Sophie, that's Sophie Aldred aka Ace from Dr Who, at my party night. I told her that I'd wanted to call my exhibition "Eddie Izzard Stole my Photos." She thought it was a great idea and I should have done it. So I've called this blog that instead.

When you photograph everything that goes on on the High Street during the Festival, loosing a couple of hundred photos to someone is just a drop in the ocean. This year has been a little quiet. The High Street seemed to be lacking the "vibe"from previous years so the number of photos I shot was slightly down. Somewhere round the 4500 mark. Still shoot film. film is trustworthy, film is tangible.

It's amazing who knows who on the street. Eddie Izzard I believe started his career as a street performer. Vince Henderson was a television presenter and became a street entertainer. John Fealey producer/ director of some of the countries top comedians. Has found life away from the comedy club circuit as a gloriously funny street performer.

Ask almost any street performer what they did before they became or returned to the street and you'll get a fair range of occupations. TMG was a computer programmer. Now he juggles chainsaws. Ask him if he'd consider going back to his previous occupation. "no way." his loud reply.

The Digital Debate?

Film or digital cameras. With the advances in technology, what should we choose?

Well I'm old school, and therefore a film user. I'm not a professional, don't have the need of instant images. I don't sell to the press or anyone else. I don't have the time to sit at a computer every night and correct my work before I send the images to the lab or burn to CD/DVD.

Professionals need the power of digital cameras now. They need that instan gratification. The man on the street with his mobile phone as a recording device really does need a real camera.

I've sold cameras for just under thirty years. I see where we're going. I'll carry on selling them old or new because photography I love is still photography, even if in todays world a little more fragile.

Film has had it's advantages I get 36 images good or bad, hey it's a nice surprise to see what has worked and what hasn't.

Digital is too new to have all the bugs and errors ironed out. Horror stories still frighten me. CD's not opening. Computers crashing. Cards failing. How often do you have to archive your archive, or do you just resign youself that 5 years is as far back you can go to get digital files. I have negatives from 1979. Cd's will be pretty soon on their way out, as will DVD's. We'll be on Blue-ray soon!

Fire flood and act of God. Are the only things I fear for my images. In twenty five years I think I've lost only five or six films over the years I've been taking photographs, through stupidity, or too much to drink.

Ok so advances in technology will get better, storage will become more stable and longer lasting. Film is still there 100 years plus. Prints the same.

I also like the fact that with film you handle images. Prints are what photography is about, "my sister hasn't seen pictures of her Grand children for a while, except for the images seen on the back of peoples cameras."

If film cameras ever ceased to be. I'd give up photography. One of my friends is a Kodakchrome 25 user. Which was discontinued by Kodak a few years ago now, but he still has a good few rolls stored in his freezer.

I'd probably do the same. Stock up my fridge/ freezer with all I could get my hands on.

Who's to blame for this revolution? The media, the camera and film manufacturers, the public.

Having just read an article on the "net" I thought I'd let people know what I use.

Nikon F5 and F100 are my two bodies I rely on during the Festival.
Lenses Nikon 80-200 f2.8 AFS, Nikon 85 f1.4, Nikon 500 f8 reflex and a Sigma 24-70 f3.5.
For the best part of twenty five years of taking photos I've almost always owned a reflex lens. The Nikon 500mm f8 is a fantastic piece of kit. Small and unobtrusive, giving you the edge on it's ability to work at not recommended shutter speeds; I've shot hand held at 1/60th of a second.
With the 80-200 mounted on one camera and using the 500mm on the other people have no idea of quite what your shooting or how close cropped the shot will be. The circular out of focus highlights are something I love playing with in the background of pictures, and purposely pursue images where I know I can have them as part of my final result.
People say it's a very limited lens to use, but it's only limited if you don't see the world in 500mm reflex terms. I've shot portraits with it. I've done landscapes with it and of course extreme close-ups. It's only slight disadvantage is it's extremely short focus area. But with practice and paticence it's as good any lens on the market.

Revolution. Some have been good, some have been bad. This I think is one that I'm glad I'm not caught up in, I'll just continue on the side lines and laugh at everyone who is .

Remember if you have a child and you take photos at it's first birthday party. And you think you would like to embarasse it when it's 21, then you probably wont be able to do that with digital.
At 6 years old your child wouldn't care or be bothered what it was doing when it was 1.

But if you do use digital, maybe you don't care enough about photography to be bothered about past pictures. I was supprised to hear this from a photographer I met during the Festival he said if he'd printed something from a couple of years back and it wasn't there again it wouldn't bother him. It would have had it's run. Time to find new images

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

rory and mr spin

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send me lawyers guns and money

Could this be my last year. I said and thought it was, Will I be around next year, I'd hope so. If I was how do I keep the standard as high as only I can perceive. What do I expect of myself, as much as I can give. Did I deliver this year, no. Why? to much pressure. Pressure from who? Only me.

I was invited places I didn't go to. Because my place was in the exhibition space at night. I invited people along, but they were tempted by the Speigletent and it's 3am licence. The uniqueness of it's apperance during the festival outshawn even my photographic reputation.

Next year to make it happen to really rock. Open till 3am is the key. Good looking girls flyering. Every trick in the promotions book. Entry in the fringe guide. A venue number and a place on the map. Even a bad review is better than no review.
Buy one get one free, everybody does that at Festival time, bums on seats and people through the door.

Next year who knows how things will go.

"Send me Lawyers, guns and money, the Shit has hit the fan."
Warren Zevon forever.

When the work begins

The planning that gets put into putting on my exhibition, is not something that starts in August. In reality it starts in September as the Festival is being disassembled on the High Street.

To take the sting out of the cost of stageing such an event. I normally start buying film, batteries everything I need on the street in bit's from then right up till the event.

Then there is the small matter of designing flyers. Ok for photoshop wiz kids, but for me I don't do digital manipulation, don't like digital photography and where it's taking the industry. But that's another story.
The closest I get to digital manipulation is resizing images to use on my blog.
So once again if you got this far it's time to move on to the third section of my blog world.
Like my photos. Want to use them. Give me a photo credit and a link and they can be yours.
All photographs © Andrew Brown