Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dame Wendy Hall for The Sunday Times Magazine

Dame Wendy Hall photographed for The Sunday Times Magazine

I am sometimes asked to tell visual stories about something that is just not visual - its a fun challenge. If I'm asked to make a story about a sailor, or a cook, or a carpenter then there are so many ways you can use their surroundings to create interesting images. But a computer scientist who just needs a laptop to do her work is more of a challenge. This is exactly what I was asked to do for The Sunday Times Magazine.

Dame Wendy Hall is a fascinating lady who is researching the internet in a way that not many others are. She is currently making the Web Observatory which aims to track trends on the web and the spread of information and ideas in a way that nothing currently is. The only problem for me is that is basically impossible to show in a single photograph of her.

However, when you meet Wendy you soon realise why she is so successful. She is full of energy and enthusiasm and it suddenly made sense what I needed to do. Out came the coloured gels for my flash lights to show the high-tec part of her life and very soon she was telling me all about the internet, the challenges of her job and the excitement of the Web Ovservatory. All I needed was a moment showing her entusiasm and the hint of a computer and the message came across well.

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Find out more about Wendy here: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/wh/
Find out more about the Web Observatory here: http://webscience.org/web-observatory/

A huge thanks to Wendy for being wonderful to photograph and to The Sunday Times Magazine for sending me to meet such an interesting person.

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