Clemenceau – PART 1

This is the first part of a 3 part blog post about a recent job I have been involved with.

I wanted to explain a job and the process I followed in order to take the job from the initial idea all the way through the planning and research to the taking of the photos and then the subsequent output of the story to the media and the results.

As I write Part 1, I am unsure as to which newspapers, if any, will use my photos. I find out tomorrow!

Below is some initial background information on the job…

The Clemenceau is, a 238 metre long French aircraft carrier. It was one of the main vessels in the French Navy for many years before the decision was made to decommission the ship and send it to the breakers yard.

Launched in 1957, the Clemenceau was the mainstay of the French naval fleet until it was decommissioned in 1997 and when fully loaded weighs 32,700 tonnes. The vessel, affectionately known as ‘Le Clem’ was named after Georges Clemenceau who served as the French Prime Minister between 1906 – 1909 and again from 1917 – 1920.

The Clemenceau is highly contaminated with asbestos and has previously been turned away from Turkish, Greek and Indian waters and environmental groups have opposed the decision to bring the vessel to the UK.

Able UK specialise in the demolition and dismantling of large facilities and marine vessels and have secured the contract for the dismantling of the carrier.

I first heard that the vessel was going to be towed into Teesport on a very brief, local TV news report about 2 weeks ago. I always listen to or watch news reports, both national and local, to try and pick up on possible stories that I might be able to get involved with. Sometimes the smallest piece of information can generate an idea for a story. As a freelance you have to be prepared to source your own stories, and determine which stories offer potential, you don’t always have a picture desk giving you the stories to cover and you want to cover stories that result in some financial success – especially when, as a freelance, your covering the expenses!

This initial part of the process really appeals to me and when you come upon a good idea it does generate a good buzz as the ideas for the story take shape.

This was one such story and I realised straight away that there was potential in covering it. In Part 2, I will go into my planning and research leading up to the day of the shoot and the shoot itself.

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