• Helen Wykes

Challenges and trickery!

This is probably one of the most challenging locations for me I've ever shot!


To begin with the hole in the top you have to fit through is not easy and then the ladder down into this location was less than sturdy, only around a foot wide, very slippy and vertical..and about two hundred feet high! As somebody who struggles to step onto the lowest ladder how I ever stepped over the edge I will never know.. I never once looked down!!!


Then there was the huge logistical problem of setting lights up in a pitch black underground Victorian reservoir with a concrete floor worn shiny smooth with water over the years and we may as well have been shooting in an ice rink with the lights out.


To get the ordinary shots with the rope we had in our head would have been enough for most, especially when it involves the photographer hanging off the ladder over 100 feet up and focusing, but I always had another idea for a levitation shot in here, but getting anything to stand on in here was never going to happen.


So out came the ropes again! We tied a top and a bottom rope between the pillars to make a tight rope. Tbh I really can't remember how I got into position but I will never forget posing this shot with my feet together on tip toe on the swinging rope twenty feet up above concrete, and trying to relax my fingers and feet while hanging on for grim death and trying not to feel sick from the swinging. We actually decided to take the hands and feet from another image eventually as it proved almost impossible but dam it was worth it, and the image reminds me of something from a movie!!


I was very glad to safely see daylight after this one..