Sunday, 23 February 2014

Up the Cheese Grater


This job was fun. "Charlie, we need you to go to the 45th floor of a half-built skyscraper and photograph a portrait there."
Yes please, me please. 

Of course you don't just rock up to the building site and wonder up a staircase until you are high above London. No it takes quite a lot of organising and a good bit of high-vis material. You see when you are 45 floors up in a building with no windows and wondering around on a busy building site you have to follow procedures so that you don't fall out or drop something out off the side. Thankfully Laing O'Rourke, who's magazine I was photographing for (designed by the awesome Wardour), made it really easy for us - they gave us all the equipment (see silly picture below) and someone to make sure we weren't putting ourselves or anyone else at risk - but at the same time they let us get on and do our job.
We had all the safety gear

You don't just hop in a super fast lift and 5 seconds later you are way up in the air when a building isn't finished yet. No on a building site you use the temporary lift that clunks it's way up very slowly. It took about 3-4 minutes to get up to our shoot destination. Once their I quickly made my way to the nearest window without glass and looked out - the view was just incredible. We had got so lucky with the weather as it was beautiful sunshine with great clouds to add detail to the sky. London looked fantastic 200 meters below me. 

The View from the Leadenhall Building
View of London from the 45th floor (click to see bigger)
We had about 30 minutes to scout around and find a location that would show the view and the men working on the site in the background. Our subject, Simon Jenner, then turned up and was brilliant. Standing relaxed whilst the wind tried to blow us all over the place he looked great floating above the London skyline. Massive thanks must go to Ian Kirby, my assistant, who managed to hold a softbox steady in these conditions.

To be honest my trip up the Leadenhall Building (otherwise known as the Cheese Grater) was all too quick, it felt like one minute I was taking photos and the next I was going back down to the ground. All the same it was amazing to have this opportunity and so much fun to take photographs there.


Thanks so much to David and Johanna at Wardour for offering me this great commission.

Find out more about the Leadenhall Building here:
Info on Laing O'Rourke here:
See more of Wardour's great work here:

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