Monday, July 12, 2010

Tom in Nottingham

Here are some photos of Tom, in Nottingham.
Some of these turned up on Tumblr, so you have seen half of them already. Nevertheless (or neverthemore) I thought I may as well ram them down your throat some more, because I haven't taken a photo of anything else in a while.

Tom was extremely patient while I fiddled about with the flashes, camera and so forth and generously didn't mind that my directions mainly involved saying things like "Er... ah... turn your erm..." or "Look to the light. No, don't. No, do." etc.

There were two main reasons for this exercise; one to have someone stand there while I snapped away, so I could get more 'practise' (for what, God alone knows) and also because I had a particular shot in mind...

Not this one. I think Tom was waiting while I muttered something like "Just need to check the flashes are working" or whatever, for the millionth time.

Among other things, Tom does some free-running, or Parkour. To my utter surprise, 'parkour' doesn't seem to be a part of a wider lexicon - well, Alex claimed not to know what it means anyway. Parkour is an energetic street sport, in which participants leap and tumble over whatever they can find in their path - ranging from rubbish bins to Big Issue sellers. Apparently it was invented in France, with historic influences from Africa and Indo-China - undoubtedly first practiced by Foreign legion soldiers as part of escape and evasion tactical training.

Since the glory days of Dien Bien Phu and Kolwezi however, parkour has become Starbucksized into a watered down, wishy-washy consumer culture shadow of it's former self. No longer do participants undergo a strenuous jugement par combat by way of initiation, instead DIY guides and t-shirts proliferate on the internet, while an 'Official' Parkour network has been established, along with events sponsored by Red Bull, and probably Audi or something. In fact, you may recall that bit at the beginning of Casino Royale where Daniel Craig sprints around a building site - a scene so far removed from the original spirit of parkour as to be almost parodic. About the only nods to authenticity were the guns and explosions. And the bulldozer. And the Hawaiian shirt. Actually, that scene is about as close as Hollywood or you will ever come to le parkour authentique.

Hang time

If you're going to complain that I've cropped the hands/feet off then it's Tom's fault for not jumping high enough. He only got to about 10 feet off the ground here, which in my view wasn't really trying. I quite like the shot though, so it doesn't matter what you think.

First curtain flash. Dammit, should've gone for the rear curtain.

This is kind of the shot I had in mind. Not really, but sort of.

Anyway, Tom was a great subject and I can put you in touch if you have any parkour that needs doing. Normal programming will resume shortly, ie a blog post every three months.

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