The modern architecture of Cambridge - Storey's field centre

Before visiting Cambridge, Cambridgeshire , I somehow already had a predefined picture of this city. I imagined it to be really dark due to dark brick buildings everywhere. But actually, it turned out to be the complete opposite: It was a lovely very multifaceted, lively, modern and green city. The city centre is a beautifully orchestrated harmony of classic architecture in symbiosis with modern and trendy stores, cafés and restaurants.

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The outskirts of Cambridge are in sharp contrast to that, consisting of entirely newly built districts, with no cafés, restaurants or any other services. It’s a classic example of de-urbanisation: Families live in the outskirts of the city in order to live in a calm neighbourhood with lots of free space, at the cost of commuting to the city centre for services. Still, this new district of Storey’s Field has not been finished and some more sub-districts have to been built, but I loved it already. The architectural landmark in this area is clearly the Community Hall, which I had the pleasure to photograph.

One day before the shoot, I already scouted the location, to figure out the optimal lighting for the front of the building. So I used the augmented reality function of my Photo Pills app to check at which time the golden sunlight was about to illuminate the front of the Community Hall’s building. That way, I could perfectly plan ahead my shots for the next day, without wasting time on-location waiting for the perfect light.

The Community Hall itself has been designed to become a more important place in the new community at Storey’s Field, to become its civic centre or town hall. It offers opportunities for weddings, music concerts, funerals, political debate, which gives it a significance above and beyond a space for hobbies, exercise, local groups and kids parties. To address this enhanced symbolic value for the community, the architects stepped the building side wards to address a longer view in the masterplan, and set it back to create a gathering space outside the Hall and a parents’ drop-off space outside the Nursery. To complete the sense of civic pride, the external walls of the Hall are lined with comfortable seats to stop and chat to neighbours while you wait to enter.

Fading away - Visual storytelling to lyrics.

The moment I listened to the song "Fading away" by Ollie, I knew that one day I have to capture the lyrics in images. I feel strongly connected to this song, as it is an honest and true self-reflection. The author has very similar problems and socially analytical perspectives as I have. I have not drunk much alcohol myself for a longer period of time; I went to parties and did not consume much alcohol, just observing what a huge impact it has on people consuming it. But even then, I could enjoy the party seeing everyone around me gaining more courage and power like after drinking a supernatural magic potion of Panoramix. But as soon as the magical power disappeared people lost control and physically or mentally broke down. Well of course, it is nothing new, everyone knows the consequences of overdosed alcohol consumption. But it opened my eyes! And since then I really reconnected to this song by Ollie. Another important part of this song deals with Instagram. It caused me many troubles, stress and discomfort, as I mentioned in a previous article.

Now, after being on a sick leave for 3 weeks, not able to leave the house - as by Polish law, I am obliged to stay at home during my sick leave - I definitely did turn endless circles in my head. Questions, over questions and questions. Once my head started to sincerely hurt, I knew it was a wake-up call for action! So I set myself a new challenge: shooting indoor with artificial light sources. Something, I have never done before. And for sure, I wanted to implement my thoughts of the last weeks into those images. So I immediately messaged Theo, the first model I could imagine to fit to this series, shared my plan with her and invited her to my home.

The moment she entered the flat, she probably came to the messiest shooting set-up of all time: dirty dishes all over the place, open bottles of beer and vodka, food leftovers and trash. Pretty messy concept for a first indoor shooting, I have to admit. It was actually very difficult for me to create such a mess. I'm way better at making order, which I could do for sure after the shoot. But the work was definitely worth it aa things worked out perfectly. After two hours of shooting we had all images we needed.

Have you ever based a visual story on a song? Or just single images? What were your experiences?

To summarise my experience: 
This new challenge encouraged me to go a new path, even though I was afraid of failing at it. It gave me more confidence, released the mental stress in my head and fostered my creativity. As I constantly seek to grow as a photographer and artist I keep focussing on my goals only, forgetting what I have already achieved. And now, I finally came to this point looking back at my achievements. Only one year ago, I started shooting portraits and I can finally say that I am proud of myself and my hard work! I would have never considered to be able to take such images. I love them! 

Thanks to Theo for helping me with my challenge. 
--
Model: Theodora Căpruşu - @theocaprusu

Relationships today, what can I say?
They are like a joke or just something all the players can play. Like let's get drunk and find somebody. Maybe then we'll get laid. And we don't care about relationships or people we break. I had some high school friends that turned into snakes. They just wait for you to turn so they can take take take. Turn back around and they're reaching out their hand for a shake. It is kinda crazy looking back at all the people who fake.

And listen, you won't find no love at the bar.
Just a bunch of broken people out to cover their scars.
Who drink and drink and drink just to forget who they are.
Find some temporary love that only tears them apart.

 

And now the person you used is in the place that where you were.
So they go drink and drink and drink and find themselves at a bar.
It's such a cruel cycle, leaving us all on the brink.
But we're too caught up in ourselves that's why we never can think.
Made a puzzle out of life that I can never solve.
I guess that's why I'm at the bar with another drink.

 

And I don't get this Instagram shit.
Like is your self-worth based upon the likes that you get?
I guess that's why you post the pictures when you're looking your best. So maybe dudes can fantasize over your ass or your chest.
It's like we needing approval, someone's constant attention.

 

It's kinda funny, right? 'Cause I'm guilty too.
I'm just simply one of y'all try'n'a make it through.
But on my way I'm try'n'a help a few of you.
Cause damn it helps seeing things from someone else's view.
We're slowly losing connection.
While try'n'a find some reception.

 

I'm so sick of faking things.
Masking life with all these drinks.
And I can't find no other way.
So I'll sit here and fade away.
I'm so sick of faking things.
Masking life with all these drinks.
And I can't find no other way.
So I'll sit here and fade away.
Yeah I'll sit here and fade away.
Drinking all this pain away.
And I'll sit here and fade away.
'Cause I can't find no other way.

 

See, today, everything's about sex.
It's the reason you at the bar always spending your cheques.
Hoping there's someone there so you can take your mind of your ex and go claim to someone new that you are not like the rest.
But really you just wanna cover a scar.
And tomorrow you'll wake up and just forget who they are.

 

I'm so sick of faking things.
Masking life with all these drinks.
And I can't find no other way.
So I'll sit here and fade away.
Yeah, I'll sit here and fade away.
Drinking all this pain away.
And I'll sit here and fade away.
'Cause I can't find no other way.

 

And honestly, all these things are causing us tension.
We think we moving forward but haven't made no progression.
And after all this time you would think we learning our lesson.
And I fucking hate it, stupid phone world.
People walking around inside of they own world.
Never focused on the things that actually matter in life.
They're too busy checking pages about their old girl.

 

It's sad that photoshopped girls are representing perfection.
We're not lost, I just think we needing direction.
To focus on what matters not our likes and our mentions.
And I'm not perfect, but I swear I make this music for you.
I ain't rapping 'bout my money.
I just give you the truth.
Cause life's hard and everybody's dealing with issues.
I just hope my music helps you all escape for a few.

 

Damn it's such a tragedy ain't it?
We're stuck inside this cycle that we fucking created.
Then we take to Twitter and tweet how much that we hate it.
And then go out the next week and keep the cycle remaining.

See I'm the sound of the truth.
Tearing up all of these booths.
I'm try'n'a heal a bunch of people feeling empty and used.
I understand your position.
So turn this up and just listen.
And maybe we can make world where hurt and pain is all fiction...

Ollie