When The Drum caught up with Bil Bungay recently, the BMB founder revealed a lesser known aspect of his creativity as he proudly showed off this photograph taken at a
Red Arrows display.
Despite his protestations that the camera did all the work, it got us thinking whether the inventiveness of advertising creatives regularly finds its way into their holiday snaps. We asked around and convinced a few other creatives to show us the best photo they’ve ever taken.
Bil Bungay, founding partner, Beattie McGuinness Bungay
First, let’s get one thing clear. Whilst I have had the privilege of working with some legendary photographers over the years including Nadav Kandar, Jim Fiscus, Rankin, Mary McCartney, David La Chapelle, even the great Terence Donovan, sadly that doesn’t make me one.
So imagine my surprise when the brand new Canon 6D I was road testing for an upcoming pitch for Canon presented me with this image of the Red Arrows at the rarely seen climax of one of their air displays.
To be honest, I couldn’t believe my eyes. For starters I broke the first rule of photography and shot into the sun, and as The Reds burned off into the distance, hit their smoke trails and powered vertically directly up into it. I just kept shooting. One of the joys of the digital era I guess, I wasn’t going to run out of film.
It was the best I could do to frame up the unfolding scene despite the burn on my retina. Through the lens all I saw was a painful white ball of light and the barest hint of smoke trails silhouetted against the sky.
Having used film in a Nikon F3 for years, I was expecting nothing but the said white ball with solid black at its fringes, but then this surreal one eyed, tentacled alien later appeared on my iPad – yes, Wi-Fi is another joy of the digital era, as is ‘Digic’, the Canon digital imaging brain that I assume was responsible for making all the instantaneous corrections required to produce this incredible image.
Thanks to my 6D, ‘Red Arrows Sunburst’ has now raised thousands for the Normandy Veterans and been presented to The Reds at their base in Scampton. It has also won me a second Canon DSLR in a competition chaired by Eamonn McCabe, making me look like I could hold a conversation with any pro. Who’d have thought?
Sadly this passionate film and photography fan never got to pitch for the Canon business due to a technicality. But hey, now that I have inadvertently cracked their brief and subsequently solved their structural issue – like shooting into the sun with a Canon 6D – you simply never know.
Nicolas Roope, executive creative director, Poke
Over a few years I built up a series of images called ‘People in Cars’. We feel protected inside our vehicles, and subsequently the hardened emotional guard we throw up in the street is softened within the car’s shell and our true expressions and feelings emerge unedited onto our faces. So I hid behind posts, doorways and phone boxes snatching glimpses of these feelings as drivers sped past oblivious. This picture, taken in Las Vegas a few years ago, captures a deep fatigue and a kind of sadness in the subject. The crop makes it look like the car’s door frame is a futuristic exoskeleton and helmet propping him up and protecting him.
Wayne Deakin, executive creative director, formerly Engine and Jam
Not the best technical shot by any means (I am a writer, that’s my excuse) but it’s a picture that for me captures an emotion and a moment on holiday with my son in North Queensland. Taken in a hotel swimming pool on a cloudy day – he couldn’t care what the weather was like and just wanted to enjoy the freedom of water. I like the carefree nature of this image. It feels a bit like a painting but it’s just a different view on a slice of real life through the fixed lens of a mobile. I’ve always been a big fan of the brilliant Martin Parr and his documentary photographic style, but I think Mr Parr’s job is still very safe.
Jonathan Sands chairman, Elmwood
Impossible to choose the best shot you’ve ever taken but often chance plays a big part in my best photographs and this is no exception. Taken on the Mornington Peninsula the southern most tip of Australia, next stop Antarctica, people say that you get four seasons in one day here and so was the case this day. Beautiful sunshine one minute, hail the next. Playing golf with one of my very best friends, suddenly as he was putting the rainbow appeared. I grabbed my iPhone and snapped. No Leica or Hasselblad. I really love the casualness of the flag and Steve’s wedge laying on the green coupled with the vivid contrasts in colour and light. And just to show there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, he sunk the twenty foot putt which pretty much sealed his win.
Paul Kitcatt, chief creative officer, Kitcatt Nohr
A few years ago I went to Kenya with my then client, VSO. We visited places where volunteers were working with local people, one of which was a communal cattle grazing area outside Isiolo in the north of the country. This teenage boy walked in with his herd of about a hundred cattle. He was a nomad, from Lake Turkana, even further to the north, where some of the earliest human fossils have been found. He was happy to let me take his picture, and found me at least as exotic as I found him. Alongside his various traditional adornments, the pink plastic whistle, with its look of having come from a Christmas cracker, is a perfect touch.
This article originally appeared in the 3 September issue of The Drum, which can be purchased via The Drum Store.