Its strange how at times you plan a photographic ramble with a fixed idea of what it is you’re after and where to find it. At other times its a happy accident that you find yourself in the right place at the right time! That’s exactly what happened with the ‘British Firefighter Challenge’ pictures taken on the De-Montfort University campus on Saturday.
Having worked at DMU for 37 years before retiring last year, I often cut through the campus to see what’s going on and noticed a colorful poster and picked up on the words ‘Firefighter’ and ‘Challenge’ as well as the date, a few days earlier. Come Saturday and the weather forecast being none too great I decided to stay local, so camera in hand it was off to find a suitable subject, then I remembered the poster at DMU. Being late morning a sizable crowd had already gathered as well as a large number of entrants and judging by the range of languages I could hear, from all over Europe. A huge scaffold tower had been erected on site together with two fifty meter tracks and the action had already started with pairs of firefighters, in full kit, undertaking a range of strenuous tasks.
A few minutes watching the various tracks gave me a rough idea of what was going on and it reminded me in many ways of the ‘World’s Strongest Man Tour’ you see on TV. The main difference being that this was a mixed gender event open to ALL firefighters.
There is a certain pleasure in recording an event just for yourself without the added pressure of HAVING to get pictures for a specific purpose. OK it does force you to stay on the crowd side of the barriers somewhat limiting your shooting angle and view, but you do have unlimited time to shoot without a deadline. The challenge is to do the best you can under sometimes difficult circumstances. Having said that, spend a few hours at any event with a large camera and inevitably someone will approach you asking ‘why or who are you shooting for’ followed by ‘where can we see the pictures?’
Hence my very first attempt at a blog!