I had been asked to photograph an abseil fundraising event for the Butterwick Hospice. This was an exciting prospect because it took me out of my comfort zone in so many ways. The abseil was from the Tees Transporter bridge, one of the iconic features of the Teesside skyline. I’ve driven past it so many times, I never expected to be standing at the top of it!
The Transporter was built in 1911. It uses a ‘gondola’ to transport cars between Middlesbrough and Port Clarence. It is painted blue, has a clearance of 225 ft and is 851 ft in length.
I’m not keen on heights, so preparation for the shoot was important, deciding the types of shots I would need. An abseil has a very clear and simple narrative to it. The key features are introducing where the abseil is taking place; climbing the bridge; at the top; and finally the descent. Having looked at various examples of abseil images on the web, for example on fotosearch.com, I drew up a list of the types of photographs I would need. These included:
- setting the scene – wide-angle view of the bridge from a distance and close-up
- participants making their way up the bridge
- high-angle to show the ‘drop’
- low-angle to show the height of the bridge
- close-up of expressions – showing concern and relief!
- abseilers descending – view from the top of the bridge and from the ground to show different perspectives
- the Hospice logo
Having completed the photo shoot I thought I would include them in this post.