2015 Tour of Friendship, Stage 3

Waking up with a dodgy tummy and knowing you have to spend hours on the back of a motorbike was a worrying thought and I stayed in my hotel room for as long as possible before the race started.  It was also a transfer day so once I checked out there was no going back and that was an even scarier thought!  Once the race started I felt better and was luckily able to concentrate until we got a flat tyre.  I was then stuffed into a water wagon until I got a new bike and driver.  It didn’t take long before I was on another motorbike and back shooting the race.

Today’s stage was flat with a final 1km climb up to Khlong Tha Dan dam and I accompanied the 30’s, 50’s and master men. There was a small flurry of attacks at the start of the race but it settled down and pretty much stayed together to the final climb.  As soon as the peloton hit the bottom of the climb, there were a couple of crashes and this split the group.  I positioned myself further up the climb to capture the riders on one of the steepest sections and also to try and capture some of the other race categories as they came through.  We had to wait until the last riders finished the climb before the support vehicles were allowed up to the dam and that made for a very long hot day and by the time we transfered to the new hotel I was cooked.  Below are a few photos from the day and you can see my race gallery here.

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Out onto the open highways with the old guys.

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Some very nice bikes in this group.

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Well…it smelt good…..

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A welcome sight at the end of the stage, at least for me.

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These guys escaped the crashes at the bottom of the hill and raced hard up the climb.

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It was a short climb but it hurt.

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It was a long lonely walk to the finish line for some.

2015 Tour of Friendship, Stage 2

Stage 2 started and finished in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya.  I hadn’t really paid much attention to where we were, due to a few hotel room issues in addition to editing Stage 1 photos, so I was pleasantly surprised when we re-entered the city for the closing few kilometers. The temples and elephants were quite distracting.

After a short neutral zone at the start the attacks started and eventually a group of 4 got away.  I stayed with the peleton for a while before moving up the road to the break.  To my surprise there was a rider in no-mans-land trying to bridge across – Jimmy Butler was that man and he was flying! I really thought he was going to make it. He was within sight of the break when he came upon an over-bridge and this must have been what cooked him as after that the gap to the break began to grow.  I really wanted to give him a draft behind our motorbike but thought better of it and we left Jimmy to battle the heat and small breeze by himself.  If only we had stayed with him for a few more kilometers – there was a left turn where the tour signage was hard to spot and Jimmy (and a couple of others) missed it and ended up 80km from the finish after he had already ridden 110km chasing down the break – bugger!

Once I caught up with the break – after getting a bit lost ourselves – I stayed with them to the finish line. This is where the race came a bit unraveled and got very confusing.  I’m not sure if we were supposed to do laps of the city center but we did about 4 before heading to the finish.  To our surprise the peleton had already finished, after having dramas of their own, and they had agreed amongst themselves to neutralise the stage.  In typical Thai fashion it was all sorted out without any fuss and it was on to stage 3.  Below are a few images from the days racing and you can see the Stage 2 gallery here

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Sunrise over Ayutthaya.

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The first attacks start.

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Small groups tried and failed to get across to the break.

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The break worked well together.

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The break rolls through at speeds around the mid 50km/hr mark.

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Jimmy Butler going full gas to get to the break.  The break was so close…..yet so far.

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The break races past the elephants.

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Ayutthaya Temples were impressive (yet distracting).

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Tough day in the saddle for some!

 

2015 Tour of Friendship, Stage 1

It’s hard to believe the 2015 Tour of Friendship has been and gone and entries are being taken for 2016.  I was excited to return this year as there was supposed to be a new course for the ITT and a new district for the remaining stages, however when the circumstances changed beyond the organisers’ control they were forced to revert back to the 7km ITT and a district visited back in 2011 for the rest of the race.  As usual Bangkok put on a scorcher of a day and it was super hot out on the course.  This was my fourth visit to the tour and it was a real challenge to get some new angles of the course and avoid melting into the asphalt.  I was pretty happy with the images in the end and here are a few from the days racing.  You can view the Stage 1 Gallery with the remaining images here.

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JEM – ICN Design International

A recent commission by landscape architects ICN Design International of Singapore had me shooting their landscaping scheme at JEM shopping mall in Jurong, West Singapore.  My first visit to the mall was a write-off due to the downpour that soaked me but I was able to have a look around and get an idea of what shots could work.  I had better luck on my second visit with blue skies and no rain in sight.  I’d been on site about an hour when I was approached by three police officers and got asked to stop shooting and explain what I was doing.  Apparently a member of the public reported someone taking photos of the nearby MRT station.  Long story short I let them look at what I had been shooting and explained what I was doing and who I was working for and they were happy to let me continue.

The brief for the shoot asked for shots to be populated with people but due to the hot weather and the sun, people were sticking to the shade or just quickly transiting the space to get to the shade.  I had to spend time taking multiple shots so I could blend the images in post production.  I ended up having to make a third visit with someone from ICN Design to get access to the upper floors and the roof garden.  Below are some images from the day.

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Wellcome Collection Stair – WilkinsonEyre

Part of the transformation of the Wellcome Collection by WilkinsonEyre is the dynamic stair.  The location of the stair has been strategically positioned to help increase the circulation of the public between the 3 public floors of the building by encouraging visitors to visit the refurbished Research Library, existing and new gallery spaces and a restaurant.  I was asked to shoot the stair with people using it as intended and replicate the angles of a couple of images I had shot when the stair was under construction in the factory.  Having seen some of the actual stair construction it was a pleasure to see it finally finished and people using it.  Below are a few images from the days shoot.

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Wellcome Collection Development Project – WilkinsonEyre

This is the third commission I was asked to do for Wellcome Collection Development Project by WilkinsonEyre. The Wellcome Collection building was designed by Septimus Warwick in 1936 and the development project comprised of some complex refurbishment of over half of the spaces in the building – all whilst remaining operational and open to the public. My commission included shooting all of the refurbished spaces including a new entry sequence, new and refurbished gallery spaces, a new restaurant, a flexible Youth Events Space, the refurbished Wellcome Library with new entry space and stair, refurbished Reading Room and a collaborative open working space on the fifth floor. I also shot the new dynamic stair which can be viewed in a separate blog here.

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Private Residence – Base Associates

This was my first commission for Base Associates and it turned out to be very satisfying but lots of hard work.  I had to plan this shoot around the weather and also around a very busy schedule of the home owners.   I ended up having to do four visits to finish the shoot including the recce.  Luckily the only day it was cloudy and dull was the day I was scheduled to do the interiors.  The property is located on a private estate in London and is south facing.  Base Associates were commissioned to restore and extend one of the largest corner plots on the estate into a modern family home. Some of the bigger works included a basement courtyard and a series of external gardens.  It was a fantastic project to shoot and it would be nice to re-visit in the summer months to see how the gardens have matured. Below are some images from the shoot.

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CF Architects – Studio

I was excited to finally get a weather window to shoot CF Architects new studio in Reigate, Surrey.  It was a freezing day but blue skies meant I was able to finish the shoot in one day.

The new studio was design by and for a young architectural practice on the side of the home of one of the Directors. It is a simple, elegant extension boasting a lot of space and light in a small space. I enjoyed doing this shoot and spent a large portion of my time lying on the floor of the studio making the most of the underfloor heating!

A write-up of the studio, along with some of my images, was published on Dezeen and you read it here.

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