Two Helpings of Pannack

By Weenson Oo on 08:12

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I spent part of last Friday afternoon checking out Parkopedia's site about where best to park on the edge of the City though within reach of Victoria Embankment. My first visit to Somerset House was scheduled for last Saturday you see. I had a very special invitation to a discussion hosted by Save The Children on the subject of child poverty, a subject close to my heart.

About two years ago I came to know of Laura Pannack through an email from Canon about her winning entry in the category of portraits at the 2010 World Press Photo Awards. It was a stunning image by someone so young though with an obviously burgeoning talent. Music lovers can tell the style of a composer just as you can easily discern Laura's very distinctive signature. There is a great clarity of subject which is perfectly exposed. Her pictures have soul and offer the viewer not only an essence of being there but more importantly an opportunity to bear witness to a story being told. From arrangements  of simple backgrounds to landscapes with a watercolour effect and she does it in analog!!! I remember when I began to follow her blog that she was very attached to her ' Baby Bronny '. Now of course she has moved onto something else since the Baby Bronny has seen it's best days. I first met Laura at Vision 11 in Olympia when she was part of a panel discussion on career development. She spoke with the natural eloquence of a practised professional and seasoned orator, with charming humility and in an inclusive manner.  Thus I was specially delighted to have spoken with her on that occasion and remained in touch since.

On Saturday last in company with Liz Hingley, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Carol Ann Storey and Simon Roberts, fellow photographers who were jointly commissioned by Save The Children to spend a year working with families around the country to tell the story of children in the UK who live in poverty, Laura participated in a discussion panel at Somerset House recounting their experience in assisting the charity on this campaign. During the duration of their commission, much time was spent with several families and images from their assignment are in an exhibition entitled Our Lives, on show at the Embankment Galleries until 20 May.

Laura Pannack with Abbie Trayler-Smith, Liz Hngley, Jess Crombie of Save The Children, Carol Ann Storey and Simon Roberts

Laura was also presented two days earlier with second prize in the advertising campaign category at the Sony World Photo Awards, again at Somerset House. Her pictures were for a German charity highlighting the plight of children caught in marital discord. This is art, fact and the capture of truth before your very eyes. As you would expect, in time-honoured style, they raised interest  with their ability to shock


provoke thought


and encourage comment


Again you have until the 20th of May to catch this exhibition. I was there for three hours yesterday and probably need to go again. Somehow I can't remember what was first prize. Surprising? Not to me, since I came for two helpings of Pannack.




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Cathedral Calm

By Weenson Oo on 14:52

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The calm at the start of the Easter Triduum has a special solemn attraction for me. After years of service on the altar, being out amongst the congregation makes way for those moments of quiet reflection. I think this too is quite possibly the first occasion in a long while that I've visited the Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday in the Catholic tradition joining in with worshippers after The Last Supper. Yes there were many worshippers coming and going but that didn't detract from the sense of occasion.



The quiet moments of Holy Thursday extend into Good Friday where at Westminster Cathedral a long almost unending queue forms after The Celebration of The Passion  for personal  veneration of the cross. It is a very solemn and dignified event lasting almost an hour and a half as the line makes measured and tranquil progress towards the sanctuary. It is a day where even the most casual of observers would I expect not failed to be touched by the calming nature of the proceedings.





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Getting something out of this

By Weenson Oo on 13:37

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Delving into the archives as I seem to be spreading myself thinly of of late. There are times you have to dig deep to get something and it reminds me of a Thursday afternoon last June when I had the privilege of accompanying the Lower Sixth Biology department of Ellesmere College on their field trip to  Preston Montford where the Field Studies Council runs a learning center set in 12 hectares of woodland and grassland by the River Severn near Shrewsbury. Very picturesque let alone inspiring it was too.

One of the IB students from Germany was explaining to an A-Level student that those of the IB course had to get something out of their time at Ellesmere as the pictures here show.




With their IB course now over, it wouldn't surprise me if indeed they did get something out of it and their time at Preston Montford.







Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Twelve on 2K and counting

By Weenson Oo on 14:40

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It is the twelfth year following the second millenium as the Paschal Triduum reaches it's conclusion with The Easter Vigil, the first of the celebrations of Easter Sunday.


Built between 1895 and 1903 and finally consecrated in 1910, Westminster Cathedral as mother church to the Catholic community in England and Wales was dedicated as Cathedral to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.  Currently enjoying a glowing passage into it's second centenary it remains lit as a beacon in celebration of the Risen Christ amidst the glassed environment of Victoria Street.




Happy Easter Everyone




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