Chris O'Dell

Photograph Archive

Portraits and People

Greg & Sue Dyke
Sue and Greg Dyke have a beautiful holiday home right on the edge of the sea near Ballydehob.
They take a great interest in local affairs and have supported such events as the Fastnet Film Festival
for many years.  Greg was Director General of the BBC during the furore over the misinformation about weapons
of mass destruction and the findings of the Hutton enquiry into the BBC's reporting of the Gulf War.

John Holman
Our good friend and neighbout John Holman is an expert builder of stone walls and terraces, and skilled at refurbishing
bathrooms and similar improvements as he is doing in our house at the moment.  He is also a very gifted musician,
and can be seen here playing Bach on his 'cello during the demolition.

Richard Rutherford Moore
This is Richard Rutherford Moore, the military advisor and armourer on the TV series "Sharpe".  He is wearing the uniform of the Chosen Men.
This was taken in the Crimea, at a museum near Sebastapol, dedicated to the Russian troops that fought there in WW2.
I had scoured the local markets in Yalta for old cameras, and had purchased an ancient Zorki typa A Leica copy, in reasonable condition.
I purt a roll of film in it and took some shots on a trip to see Balaclava, Sebastapol, and the Valley of Death, that Richard had organised.
When I returned to the UK (1995) I put the camera into my collection, and forgot until this week (Feb 2018) that it had a film in it.
I  developed the film (Fuji Neopan 400) yesterday (after 23 years in the camera) and found the negatives printable (although quite a high
 fog level) and here is one of the shots.
The lens  (Industar 50:f.3.5) is remarkably crisp and contrasty, in fact a really nice image.  Good for Zorki and Fuji!

Taken on Christmas Day 2017.  We went to Schull to watch the intrepid swimmers jump into the freezing sea. 
We were too late and they were all going home; so did we.  Patricia is wearing her Christmas Hat.

Schull swimmers
These are some of the swimmers just emerging from the freezing water of Schull Harbour, taken in 2016.
Somehow they enjoy the plunge and raise a lot of money for local charities.

Marianne Faithfull (left, wearing sack and titfer) before the pop predators moved in.  In the centre is her friend Sally Oldfield, a very
gifted musician, and sister of Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame.  On the right is their close chum Jenny Churchill, wearing her school
uniform, that of the Convent School, Reading. I used to take them around the Berkshire and Oxfordshire pubs in my battered old
Austin 10, where they entertained the customers with Joan Baez numbers.

John Kinsella
John Kinsella
John Kinsella is Ireland's most distinguished and prolific composer.  This photograph was taken duing the
West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 2009. 
Every year this festival attracts many of the world's best
performers to
the little town of Bantry in West Cork 

Vanburgh Quartet
The Vanbrugh Quartet
The Vanbrugh Quartet is Ireland's best known chamber group.  Based in Cork, it is one of Europe's most successful quartets.
The musicians are founders of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.  Here they are rehearsing in the library
of Bantry House, where many of the concerts are held.  This was taken during the 2008 Festival.

The model
The Model
Taken in the studio of the Berkshire College of Art photography department located in the Technical College Building in
the Kings Road, Reading.  The facilities were not purpose built as studios but were adpted classrooms.  The teaching at this
college was top notch, and has stood me in good stead all my working life.  We were given a thorough grounding in the physics and
chemistry of photography, as well as excellent
practical sessions.  My portraiture tutor was Gilbert Adams, a distinguished portrait artist
and the son of Marcus Adams, who took
many of the most famous pictures of Queen Elizabeth when she was a child.  The department
occasionally borrowed a student
from one of the other separments in the college for us to photograph, and perhaps this pretty girl
came from the secretarial or the catering
school.  (This was 1960!).  Fortunately for her, I don't think any of us had the courage to
chat her up (see below)..

College Group
Berkshire College of Art 1961, four chums in the photography department.
We took a 2 year full time course in photgraphy in this excellent college in the times when further education was free.
Left to right, Ray Blythe,  Philip Langton, Peter Hutchinson, and Chris O'Dell.
The half-plate Thornton Pickard in the middle was not a historical prop, it was used every day in our practical work.
 All of us had careers, but not all of us careers in photography.  We have kept in touch over the years.

Sean one

Sean is a very clever Swiss gentleman who is also my freind and neighbour.
He is a successful entrepreneur in the IT world, and is a
notable collector of original art.
He shares my taste for whiskey, particularly the fine Irish kind, and we
have regular sessions
where we try out new (and old) bottles.
I have given this portrait a warm tone to reflect his character.

Dido one
Dido in 1968

Dido was one of my favourite models when I was at college.
Several years later I took a series of pictures of her for her folio, of which this is one;
by this time she had trained as an actress but was still doing modelling work to
keep body and soul together.  She had remarkably long pitch-black hair.

Anthony Rooley and Emma Kirkby
Anthony Rooley, Lutanist, and Emma Kirkby, Soprano

Emma Kirkby (now Dame Emme Kirkby) is a renowned English soprano and early music specialist.
Anthony Rooley is a world famous lutanist and director of the Consort of Musicke. 
In 1979 I was employed by the British Council to shoot a documentary called "Like as the Lute"
which traced the history of the instrument back to its middle eastern origins.  We travelled with these two
remarkable muscians as they toured Egypt and Jordan.
 This photograph was clearly taken back in England, but I can't remember the location.

Nikon FM2 24mm Nikkor Ektachrome

Gillian Palmer
This was taken in a studio in the beautiful old Victorian Art School in the Old Steine in Brighton before the vandals demolished
it and built a concrete bunker in its place.  Gillian is a very talented painter who now lives and works in her studio in New Zealand.
Taken in about 1965 with my Asahi Pentax, 50mm Takumar Kodal Tri-X.

To see more photos of Gillian click here

Mick Jagger 2      Mick Jagger 1
The Famous Lips of Mick Jagger

When I was a student I was occasionally hired by Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones manager, as a freelance photgrapher.
These pictures were taken in the dressing room of the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, before the opening show of the
Rolling Stones Tour on the 5th September 1964.  A few of the pictures I took that day appeared on the back of one of the Stones' early
albums.  Mr Loog Oldham was not particularly speedy in paying his photographers, so I hung on to the negatives, which I still have
to this day.  Maybe one day I will receive the cheque.
Asahi Pentax 50mm Takumar  Kodak Tri-X

Engine Driver
Driver of Locomotive No. 6302, Reading Main Line Station, 1959

This photograph was taken on the Reading main line platform in September or early October 1959. This was the first field trip of my first term of my
2 years full time photography course at the Berkshire College of Art, and was the first photograph
I took that was considered by my tutor to be good
enough to make an exhibition size print.  (I still have the original 16” x 12” print).  It was taken on a college Microcord 6x6cm roll film camera, and fortunately
I still have the negative.
  Locomotive No 6302 was built in the Swindon Works in 1920.  It was a 4300 class engine, designed by George J Churchward,
layout 2-6-0, weighing 62 tons plus a 40 ton tender, powered by two 18” x 30” cylinders.  It appears to have spent most of its working life in the GWR service
based in Reading.  Its last shed was Didcot, and it was withdrawn in March 1962, and eventually cut up back in the Swindon Works in 1963.

Microcord, 75mm Ross Xpress, probably Plus-X

Anthony Powell
Anthony Powell in his study

Anthony Powell, renowned author of the series of novels "A Dance to the Music of Time", was the subject of a South Bank Show television
documentary that I shot in 1978 called "Keeping the Ball Rolling"  I took this photograph in his beautiful Somerset home during the shooting.

Nikon FM2 24mm Nikkor, Ektachrome

Chris O'Dell - Isherwood & Bachardy
Don Bachardy and Christopher Isherwood in their Malibu home

I shot a film for the LWT arts series "The South Bank Show" in Los Angeles about the English writer Christopher Isherwood, author of "Goodbye to Berlin",
the book on which the musical "Cabaret" was based.    We set up this scenein his house in Malibu using the famout painting by David Hockney as the
model.  Everything was the same as in the painting, but we had to buy some fresh fruit.  Christopher and his partner the artist Don Bachardy were in a happy
frame of mind, and they look more cheerful in this photographthan in the hockney painting.  A print of this picture is in the permanent collection of the
National Portrait Gallery, London.
Nikon FM2, Nikkor24mm, Ektachrome

Chris O'Dell - Colin Dexter
Colin Dexter - creator of Inspector Morse

I was the cinematographer on several of the later Morse television series, including the final one "The Remorseful Day".  Colin Dexter
usually made an appearance in the films when we were on location in Oxford.  This picture was taken in O'Sullivan's Bar in
Crookhaven, West Cork.  Colin was appearing at the West Cork Literary Festival at the time, and we took him out to lunch.
Nikon D300s

Chris O'Dell - Burt and Dexter
On the Morse location - Producer Chris Burt and Morse creator Colin Dexter

 This was taken during the shooting of the final Morse film, "The Remorseful Day".  The photograph was taken in the quad of Exeter College, Oxford.   This is where the scene was set when Morse has his final heart attack.  There is a story that when we came to shoot this scene, where Morse collapses on the grass, the cameras jammed, seemingly to prevent the sad scene being shot.  I was operating "B" camera, high on the roof looking down into the quad, and I can confirm that my camera did jam on the cue to roll cameras.  I cannot confirm supernatural intervention.
This photograph captures a rare moment, as it appears to depict a producer offering someone some money.  Colin is in costume, so must have been making an appearance, Hitchcock like, as was his habit.  Perhaps the small coins represent his fee.  Chris Burt, the series producer, is dressed in a producer's outfit.
Nikon D300s

Chris O'Dell Coogans
Martin, Brendan and Steve Coogan,  with Auntie Patricia cleaning up.

It is quite difficult to get all three brothers together in the same place at the same time  Here, they are staying with their Aunt in West Cork.
Bronica ETRS, Zenzanon150mm, Ilford HP5

Chris O'Dell -  Galvins
My friends David and Venita
Bronica ETRS, Zenzanon150mm, Ilford HP5

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