Commercial photographer Patricia Rayner ABIPP, wins international award (or how to make a boring underground tunnel look fantastic)

Image 2 Photography was commissioned by VolkerFitzpatrick to record the final stages of the construction of the new Thameslink station below St. Pancras International. The challenge was to make some parts of the station look as finished as possible as there would be very little time later to take finished shots before the opening.

This was indeed a big challenge as we found ourselves working in a dirty dusty underground environment with men working in grubby high visibility clothing. Added to this was the complication of passenger trains passing through the construction site every few minutes which required complying with additional Health and Safety requirements necessary when working close to a live railway track. There was very poor lighting on the platforms and so we had to use radio controlled portable flash units all along the platform! – exercising great care to ensure they were not triggered in front of passing trains.

The client was particularly keen to show one of the disused tunnels at the end of the platform as you can see it is just ……a tunnel! With a flash of inspiration, we decided to do a shot within the tunnel and to use a figure backlit by flash for scale and using a long exposure to record the one mile long tunnel and add some colour.

This shot was well received by the client and subsequently went on to win a prestigious award in The British Institute of Professional Photography National Photographic Awards. Good publicity for the client and great publicity for Image 2!

The British Institute of Professional Photography is the qualifying body for professional photographers in the UK. President of the Institute, Graham Rutherford, commented: “The standards set in our awards is extremely high. This picture by Patricia is an outstanding example of the best in British photography.”

Photographs can be seen at

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