The man from the Highways Agency; he say YES!

Not so long ago I included in a post a comment that I’d like to do a photo assignment of some road construction works.

I wrote to the Highways Agency asking if there was any chance of having access to construction sites to get some pictures. After a week I had not received any acknowledgment of my request so I wrote again. I blogged the email I sent and asked if anyone had some tips for this kind of thing.

Well it turns out I did quite well on my own. The Highways Agency had forwarded my email onto their contractors who got in touch with me today. One of their community relations people has written to say they are willing to escort me round a major construction project going on just a few miles up the road from my hometown. Still to fix a date but I’m feeling pretty pleased with the development.

I think maybe they are a bit wary I might use the pictures I get to portray roadworks in a bad light i.e. have I any links with road protest organisations and so on. I have not.

Whilst I don’t think much of the way North Kent is being concreted over I have no intentions of doing anything with the pictures other than as I described in the email.

Now whether I get any *good light* when the time comes to take the pictures is another matter. Hears hoping for dry weather and interesting skies.

6 Comments

  1. Great news!

    Someone (can’t remember who, but it’ll probably Google) advised never to photograph after 10 and before 4 in the summer. Know it’s not summer any more, but maybe that’d help?

    Good luck, sounds like fun. 🙂

  2. Thanks B. I’m really looking forward to it. Extra bonus is that they are supplying me with the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) so I get to be kitted out in a Hi Viz jacket and safety hat for the day. I’m gonna OFF ROAD. Yay.

    They also want to look at my *portfolio* so I’m gonna sort through some pictures tonight and review and update what I have online. I think I’ll make it standalone from anything else I have. If you have any more tips I’d be made up to have them. Thanks again.

  3. Alex, having just read your latest, a couple of additions.

    Fog is fantastic. It acts like a huge diffuser and the light goes all soft and luminous (um, sounds like tautology but you know what I mean?) Rain is superb, you get lots of lovely wet reflections. Martin Parr used to make a habit of only going out in the rain, it’s especially marvellous if you can slow the shutter speed right down.

    Top tips:
    Tripod essential.
    If you’re shooting b&w use a polariser.
    Colour you are great at anyway, but look up my blue hour tips and spend all of that time shooting if you do nothing else.
    Use some different points of view: really low down is always a good one. You could shoot off the ground, literally, if you take a bean bag or similar.
    Forget about straight horizons.

    Suggestion: If the blokes are working on these roads, you could try a long exposure to capture their movements. High vis does some lovely things in the near-dark, but it works well in daylight too, stopped down to say f/32. I’ll post something just now with the exif, if I can find it.

    You’ll be fine. 🙂

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