I don’t think there will be another day like yesterday. Put it this way, the chances of me shooting a naturist in the morning and then shooting my mouth off on national radio in the afternoon are not likely to come round again.
A while ago, a naturist – Stevie B – asked if I could take some photos of him; naked, of course, as a 50th birthday present to himself. Stevie approached me as he had seen my images of a musician friend of mine, Ian Neal, taken in a Derbyshire wood. He told me this as we drove to the location I had specially chosen for the privacy it would give us. By a spooky coincidence, it was the very same wood.
For obvious reasons, I can’t show you the images of Stevie but I can show you the wood through those images of Ian Neal. By day, Ian lectures in History of Art and Design at the University of Derby and has just completed his PhD on Victorian art. At night, from his studio nestled in the Derbyshire town of Belper, Ian works on his music art, carefully crafting intricate and inspirational instrumental works combining acoustic and electric progressive rock with swathes of classical orchestration, often using recited poetry and prose to produce soundscapes that are variously delicate and dense, intimate and epic. I would urge you to check out his two albums All In A Golden Afternoon and Through The Woods. You can do so through his website:www.ianneal.com It was because of the album title Through the Woods that I offered to do Ian’s publicity shots. I also wrote an impassioned letter to Classic Prog magazine about Ian’s music and they not only gave a glowing review of the album but also ran a feature on Ian, using one of my images. Here is the original shot and then how it appears in the magazine.
As for the naturist shoot, I quite enjoyed it, not least because the wood I chose is so verdant and overgrown at this time of the year. This enabled me to take pictures which I felt really expressed Stevie’s freedom as a naturist, a man at one with nature. Adam in Eden, perhaps?
Just before we entered the woods, Radio 4 rang… as they do. I had sent an email to the PM Show about my beloved squash not being an Olympic Games sport – see previous posting on this weblog – and how much it was hurting. It now hurts a bit less with the iPM show broadcasting an interview with me alongside squash’s number 1 player Nick Matthew. It’s on this Saturday, August 4 at 5.30 pm.