Following my ongoing involvement with Hitchin Historical Society, I was asked to record their latest book launch “Fire Fire” held on the 25th October 2014 at the Pitcher and Piano in Hitchin. Shooting Hitchin Historical society book launches is become a regular affair for me now, with this being the third shoot they’ve asked me to cover.
Fire Fire, by Phil Howard is the latest of Hitchin Historical Society’s publications and Phil is one of a small number of Historical Society authors to complete the “Double” of publishing 2 books (Phil’s other book is “Take the train from Hitchin”, 2006). Fire Fire is the unofficial diary of a fire-fighter (believed to be Frank Fisher) in Hitchin between 1926 and 1929.
This was a location shoot involving both candid and posed shots of the author, the book launch itself and the opportunity to take some photos of both current and historic fire men and their engines. 25th October dawned as a bright (if chilly October morning), and following a brisk stroll into town I saw that the Historical Society has organised 2012 and 1938 Dennis fire-engines to promote the book launch. The bright sunny day was a mixed blessing making for some wonderful light and a beautiful blue sky, but also creating challenges with shadows, however as with most location portraits careful posing and the use of fill-in flash allowed me to overcome that problem easily.
Having 2 very different fire engines and matching fire men gave me quite a few opportunities to set-up some portraits and some record and arty shots of the machines themselves and some of the other equipment, before heading into the Pitcher and Piano in Hitchin Old market square for the formal book launch itself.
Inside the Pitcher and Piano I initially though the sunlight streaming through the massive skylight would be a problem, however the a little light cloud softened the light allowing me to use mainly natural light with just a little flash to get some very please portraits as the various speeches and presentations were made. What was most surprising was when my name was read out to receive a thank you gift from the Historical society.