Illuminate York 2016

It’s that time of year (2 months late) where I take out the camera gear and take advantage of some brilliant lighting installations that York put’s on as part of illuminate York.

If you read this blog you’ll know this comes around each year and I’m a kid in a sweet shop, using all sorts of camera tricks to really capture the experience of the installations.

I have to say I struggled a bit this year, the first part is my fault on the night I said I’d go take photos. I was delayed by about an hour so didn’t have loads of time to devote to the night. This meant I didn’t take my normal glut of photos, but hey I’m a dad of 2 and getting free time is a challenge.

The second issue is…it just didn’t seem as much as an event this year, admittedly I didn’t go to the paid Minster light show but in previous years avoiding the paid for part wasn’t so much of a pain, this year it was. Some installations were nothing short of lights against buildings…we’ve come along way from that and we deserve better.

The third issue was the toy/mech re-sellers. Me and Pete met outsider the Minster, at which point 9 (NINE!) hawkers were congregating selling flashy light wears. The problem with selling these at a light festival where people attempt to take stunning images is that that amount of rapid flashing green and pink light actually impacts the image. As it was this was only an issue in this location and and installation wasn’t good enough to be captured but my goodness it was just too much.

The fourth little thing was the tidiness of it all, take a look at the roman walls with the cross on. Try as I might, without significant editing I can’t hide those light sources, all it needs is a black cover but it didn’t get that and so I left it untouched to show you what I meant…anyway enjoy the trains and look forward to next year!

The railway museum provided a great platform yet again (no pun).

Illuminate York 2016 - Duchess of HamiltonIlluminate York 2016 - NRM Warehouse warp driveIlluminate York 2016 - Cross on wallIlluminate York 2016 - Steam under bridgeIlluminate York 2016 - The DuchessIlluminate York 2016 - EurostarIlluminate York 2016 - Mallard


Working at the NRM

While putting some of my recent work on my back-up hard drive I came across some old pictures I took on my then amazing ‘smartphone’ Nokia N95. These shots are from my time working at the NRM, I hope this gives you a little snap shot into my time working for such a fun and active museum.

I’ve picked out a few highlights here:
What would brian do??
This is Brian and he was taken from a press cutting after turning up to the museum for a party after over 50 years in the fish frying business, me and Ms Senior then made a little area for him. When puzzling over a marketing idea we would ask ‘what would Brian do?’

Tornado in paintshop with tony

This is Tony who was the guy who painted everything in the Museum – his skills with a paintbrush were on another level, if you look around the Museum all the locos are hand painted mostly by HIS hand… mental. This is him next to his new project just a brand new full size steam loco!

DofH at York 3

This shot is Duchess of Hamilton arriving at York Station, this one had a special place in my heart as a Friend of the NRM first suggest that this project be undertaken and I’m pleased to say he made it to the launch of the restored loco but then sadly passed away a few months later. Ian Smith was head of CMS Ireland and a wonderfully enthusiastic man, a kind warm and gentle man, when he saw this in the Great Hall he had a tear in his eye and hugged me. He was a great man and I miss him, so this shot is for him.

Everyone on train

This is the Marketing and Press department for the museum circa September 2008 (with me behind the camera). We had some good times…

The rest of the photos are below so enjoy the little snapshot into my working life at the NRM.

Yorkshire wheel down (3)Yorkshire wheel down (2)Yorkshire show - DawnYorkshire show (4)Tornado in paintshop with tonyTornado before the public got to seeTornado before the publicTornado arrives 09Steam train at NRM June 2010Snow at workYorkshire wheel downOppsFlying Scotsman wheel dropLinolnshire show 08KGV arriving from swindon 09JP's back (5)Ian HislopGreen arrowGreat reunionGreat reunion (7)Flying Scotsman bolier test fitFlying scotsman 09 (2)First deltic modelDofH at York 1DofH at York 2



Blackpool has miles of lights towards Christmas time, they become a sort of Mecca for the over 50’s and children dragged to see the wonder. York my home city has a different way of doing lights, we have Christmas lights, sure, but we also have York Illuminations over a few days a few artists are invited to transform the city at night and create light art.

This is great for 2 reasons, number 1 I get to enjoy my city in a very different light, second I get to practise some low light photography. The first place I visited was the National Railway Museum to see their offering as part of York Illumination 2010, it was on the whole very good, the southern C1 was lit very well and as the ugly duckling of the National Collection it did well to look pride of place.

My second choice as part of York Illumination2 2010 I went to Dean’s Park (the park next to the Minster). Here I saw the craziest light instillation, a globe with projections on all sides showing a mixture of different (odd) images. These odd images included archive footage of York, and Eye, a globe, crazy colour changes and various artistic shapes. So enjoy these York Illumination images, all taken using a Nikon D3000 as always and used a tripod on all shots to get the image stability during long shutter speeds.