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Documenting Shine Manchester 2010 in a slide show video

Towards the end of 2009 I saw some intriguing billboard posters in Manchester city centre.They were night time views of Manchester with a river of white, purple and purple lights flowing past some of Manchester's most famous landmarks. The image was skilfully put together in Photoshop. These ads were promoting a fundraising event called Shine, set to take place on Saturday 17 April 2010 from 10pm onwards.


Click to view a larger size version of the video on the YouTube site

After seeing the billboard ads, I remember thinking I'd perhaps like to photograph this event and that I really ought to contact the organisers. But those pro-active publicity people at Cancer Research got to me first!

In an email, they suggested I could write something about the event and take some photographs. How could I refuse? It's a great cause. It's locally based and I have something to repay. My father Bertie O'Rourke (1908-1979) was a patient at Christie's in the early 60s and was cured.

And so on Saturday 17 April I joined the participants on Shine 2010 from Whitworth Street as far as Christie Hospital, Withington, a distance of about four miles. I used 215 photos taken on my Sony Alpha A350 digital camera and placed them into a slide show using iMovie on the Macintosh.

Using my Roland Edirol MP3 recorder, I gathered background audio including the walkers' footsteps, snippets of conversation, passing traffic and other elements. I edited the audio in Audacity on the Macintosh, and tailored the audio track so that it would fit within the 5 minutes and 18 seconds of the video.

I then combined images and audio, and exported the resulting video to YouTube.com

It's an experiment in movie-style capture but using still images. Many of the images are deliberately blurred, dark or out of focus. I wanted the visuals simply to capture a sense of what it was like on the night, including the rapid pace of the walkers as they made their way down Wilmslow Road.

The locations I photographed are as follows:

Whitworth Street West, near the former Hacienda.
Cambridge Street
Oxford Road near the BBC
Oxford Road at the corner of Grosvenor Street.
Wilmslow Road Rusholme on the Curry Mile
Withington Village
The Red Lion Pub Withington
In front of Christie Hospital

Through this rapid sequence of images with the accompanying audio, I hope I've captured a sense of movement and physical energy that was such a strong feature of the night.

Thousands of people took part, raising a large amount of money for Cancer Research. One thing that struck me was that there were many more women taking part in the event than men.

Some participants took the whole night to cover the full 26 miles. Due to my availability and other commitments, I was only able to stay tilll 1.20am. I used my car to travel down the route and take photographs at five different locations.

I had originally intended to record the event using stereoscopic 3D photography, but unfortunately the equipment wasn't ready for me to use in time for the event.

The posting of this video was also delayed due to technical problems. It was uploaded on the evening of Saturday 24 April, about one week after Shine Manchester took place.

Many thanks to the people at Cancer Research for inviting me to cover this event and I hope to return again in the future.

Find out more about Shine and further events around the UK by visiting this web address: http://shine.cancerresearchuk.org


Below is the route map

The Shine route map is subject to change

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2010-02-24

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