Warming up at the start.
I love supporting local charities and one of the most active and interesting charities in my local area raises funds for the local Hospice.
Cynthia Spencer Hospice provides specialist palliative care services for South Northamptonshire..
At Cynthia Spencer Hospice they provide inpatient care, outpatient services, Hospice@Home, lymphoedema service and palliative care clinical nurse specialist service. They have two specialist Consultants in palliative medicine, a team of doctors and specialist nurses working within the Hospice and the community as well as in Northampton General Hospital and Danetre Hospital in Daventry. Referrals for their Hospice services are usually made via a patient's GP, district nurse or hospital Consultant and nurses.
Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity works in partnership with the NHS to describe the services that are needed and to jointly fund them, and the services are funded by both the charity and the NHS.
The fundraising events organised by the Cynthia Spencer Charity are great fun and often visually spectacular.
The Colour Run this year was held on May 12th at Overstone Park.
For those not familiar with Colour Runs, these area loosely based on the Indian Festival of Holi, where coloured powder or corn starch is thrown to celebrate the Festival. Having photographed Holi a couple of times I can tell you that it can get very messy and not a little dangerous for the camera!
The Colour Run involved about a thousand people running a 5K route. Generally it is not a race and indeed I saw at least one runner go round on her crutches this year.
As people progress found the course they arrive at paint stations where they are liberally dosed with a coloured corn starch powder. There are stations along the route for Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple, Pink and Orange. The volunteers on each station, which is sponsored by a local business, really get into the spirit of the event.
The Green Station
The Pink Station, (c) Andy Fitt
To capture this fabulous event I had the help of Andy, who wanted to get some really nice images for his own portfolio, and of course my creative director - my wife Sarah.
One of the critical issues for us all was protecting some valuable camera kit. I had chosen my Canon and a lens which together would cost me the price of a small car to replace. After looking around on the internet I worked out how to tape up every opening and potential way in for the corn starch. Then I made a transparent tarpaulin cover that was taped to minimise access except for shooting.
Of course I also wore very unimportant clothes.
Then we all went into battle and shared the route around. We all covered the build-up and then we moved to designated stations with Andy covering the Purple and Pink Stations and I covered Green and Orange. Yellow and Blue were covered by another photographer, Rob.
Andy got some great photographs including the one here at the Pink Station.
It all went off really smoothly and I it was great fun as well as raised a lot of money. Of course this was not a paid commission, but hopefully our images will have helped the Charity publicise itself and promote more people getting involved.
Their next mass-participation event is the Cycle for Cynthia, starting at Althorp House, on the 23rd September and we hope to be there again to cover the route and the start and finish for the Charity. There are 5, 25 and 50 mile routes to follow - I did the 25 a couple of years ago - and more details are at cycle4cynthia.co.uk
Anyway, after very carefully unwrapping the cameras and cleaning them thoroughly we seem to have not permanently damage, but it is amazing how much the coloured starch permeates the air and gets on clothes and equipment.
The Colour Run is due to take place again next year and I hope to be able to get even better images then