Tag Archives: Queen-Elizabeth

Ocean Liners Speed and Style – V & A Exhibition 2018

The romance of the golden era of cruising is something most of us can now only imagine. So, I was honoured and thrilled to be invited to the private view of Ocean Liners Speed and Style at the V & A last week.

This new exhibition is being sponsored by Viking Cruises, and gives an insight into the history of some of our most loved ocean liners through the decades. If, like me, you love the elegance, grandeur, opulence and extravagance of cruising, you will be in your element.

It’s not all about the glamour though. The curators have also shown the dangerous aspects of cruising in those days. Items on display include belongings that have been recovered from wreckages or salvaged before disaster struck. These include a Cartier tiara saved from the Lusitania which sank in 1915, and the the exhibition’s final piece is a panel fragment from the first class lounge on Titanic, where the ship broke in half. (See bottom of page for video)

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

As you step inside the V&A’s Ocean Liners Speed and Style exhibition it feels like you have travelled back in time.

The collection consists of over 250 objects spanning the years 1850 – 1970. A simply mesmerising exhibition that covers all aspects of the ocean liner, including engineering, safety and design, promoting and advertising through the eras to high society lifestyle and fashion.

Ships featured in the exhibition include; Queen Elizabeth, QE2, Titanic, Bremen, The Great Eastern, Canberra, Normandie, Queen Mary, Olympic, France, Lusitania, Mauretania, SS United States and more.

Advertising and Promoting The Ocean Liner

An enviable 1:48 scale promotional model of Queen Elizabeth made for Cunard in 1949, is the magnificent centrepiece of the first room at the exhibit. The walls are adorned with posters advertising grand voyages. This one (above) offers a first class return ticket to Australia for £140. Sounds affordable until you realise that would be over £7000 today. The ports of call from London would typically be, Gibraltar, Toulon, Naples, Port Said, Suez, Colombo, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane. So that is proof that cruising is much better value for money these days as for as little as £3,000 more you can see the whole world.

“The Largest Steamers In The World” poster for Olympic and Titanic, White Star Line 1911.

A selection of posters adorn the walls of the exhibition. Our obsession for the ill-fated Titanic is well catered for with plenty of pieces to capture the imagination.

Eerie: This poster advertising the first sailing of the Titanic that tragically never happened.

The Geeky Bit

If you are more interested in the technical side of things, there is a lot for you to get your teeth into. An entire section is dedicated to shipbuilding materials, engines, propulsion, hull design, speed, safety and comfort. Detailed design drawings and models of engine systems will captivate and fascinate you.

Politics and War

Footage of Adolf Hitler walking the decks of the Robert Ley in 1939, and details of how ships were designed to be able to quickly convert into armed merchant cruisers, serves as as a reminder of how important these vessels were in times of political unrest.

Glamour and the Grande Descente

The Grand Staircase on Olympic, with the Honour and Glory Crowning Time panel in situ c.1911

Making an entrance was an important part of the cruise culture for the First Class passengers. The Ocean Liners grand staircase leading into the dining room, was the perfect place for them to show off their most fashionable evening wear. This pre dinner ritual was often referred to as the Grande Descent.

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

There is so much to see at the exhibition that I haven’t even touched half of what is there, but go and see it for yourself. This really is a charming, fascinating and enjoyable exhibit that will appeal to all ages. I am already planning a return visit with my son.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will be open from 3 February until 17 June 2018, at the V&A in London. It will then move to the V & A Dundee opening on 15 September 2018 until 24 February 2019.  Please purchase your tickets in advance to avoid disappointmen and are available at vam.ac.uk/oceanliners.

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

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Steve Dunlop – Photographer

Steve Dunlop – A Proper Photographer

I don’t know the official statistics, but whenever I have been to a significant cruise event, Steve Dunlop always pops up out of nowhere like a stealth meerkat. By the time you’ve noticed him, he’s halfway across the room. When flicking through the weekly trade magazines, you can guarantee to see his name credited to the big events photos. So let’s find out more about the man of mystery.

What was the first cruise ship you photographed and when?

P&O Oriana at the naming ceremony in 1995.

You have been the official photographer for many naming ceremonies. Have you ever met one of the Royals? If so, which one(s) and can you tell me about it?

Her Majesty The Queen on three occasions; with P&O Cruises in 1995 for Oriana and 2015 for Britannia, and with Cunard for the naming of Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

Also there was, Princess Anne at the naming for P&O Cruises Aurora in 2000, The Duchess of Cambridge  at Princess Cruises Royal Princess naming ceremony in 2013, and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall for Cunard Queen Victoria naming ceremony in 2007.

You can’t chat with the Royals so they’ve never had the benefit of hearing about my favourite Draught Bitter.

Many years ago I was photographing The Duke of Edinburgh at his Awards scheme. He unexpectedly asked me directly if I was certain I wouldn’t get the rather voluptuous Rubenesque figures featured on the paintings in the room in any of the shots I took of him.  I didn’t.

Steve in the media throng at the Britannia naming ceremony

Can you name other Celebrities you have photographed? Do you have a favourite to work with and why?

I love Jonathan Ross because he once said I looked like a proper photographer!

As Brucie would say (and I’ve photographed him at The P&O Cruises Britannia Naming), ‘They are all my favourites.”

In cruise I’ve been fortunate to have worked with all the P&O Cruises Food Heroes; Marco Pierre White, Eric Lanlard, Olly Smith, James Martin. Attul Kochhar.

I’ve also photographed many guest celebrity chefs in the Cookery School onboard P&O Britannia, such as Carluccio and Alex James.

Marco Pierre White and Eric Lanlard are wonderfully nice people. I’ve enjoyed many days at sea over many years aboard P&O ships with each.

I once spent a day with Marco, island hopping en route back from a promotional shoot in the Caribbean.  We had 8-9 hours to spare in Antigua before our transatlantic flight. My wife who was also out there working, sourced a beach bar nearby. We  spent the afternoon eating chicken wings and drinking cold beer. He’s great company. At the airport he insisted on sitting with us in the main terminal instead of seeking refuge in the Business Lounge.

I’ve met many famous people attending as celebrity guests at all of the Naming ceremonies.  I’m a  big Corrie fan so meeting Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) at the Cunard Queen Elizabeth naming was a biggie for me.. nearly outstripping being part of the Royal Rota photographing the Queen for that ceremony.

Twiggy at Seabourn Sojurn Christening 2010. I had to report to Twiggy’s cabin so that she could OK the pictures I’d taken of her.   Sat with her going through the shots and chatting. I told her I was great fan and that she reminded me of my Aunty Diane. She looked at me (not surprisingly) in a quizzical manner. I had to explain that looking like my Aunty Diane was a good thing…

Some ship Namings:

Dame Kelly Holmes, P&O Cruises Arcadia 2005

Dame Helen Mirren, P&O Cruises Ventura 2008

Darcey Bussell CBE, P&O cruises Azura 2010

Dame Shirley Bassey, P&O cruises Adonia 2011

Nina Barough Celebrity Cruises Eclipse Launch 2009

Emma Pontin  Celebrity Cruises Eclipse 2010

Dame Joan Collins, Uniworld Joie de Vivre Christening 2017

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

Deadlines are usually easy to meet. You can send images immediately so unless someone wants it before I’ve taken it then I should be ok.

Biggest challenge is keeping up with ever changing technology

Is there an occasion that you have worked on that you are most proud of?

P&O Cruises Britannia Naming and being on the Royal Rota for Cunard Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria Namings.

Do you have a favourite photograph that you have taken?

A portrait of Marco Pierre White taken way back in 2006 which was first time I’d met him. The photo was taken at his restaurant in St James’s Street and was used throughout P&O promotional / marketing material for years and years. I still see it in use now. I think it was  because I managed to capture him smiling.  

The Queen smiling at P&O Cruises Britannia naming.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Southampton from a helicopter.

Steve’s feet in a helicopter taking a photo of Queen Elizabeth arriving Southampton 8th October 2010

If you could do any other job, what would it be?

A gardener.  My younger brother is a gardener by profession. I’d be hoping that I could look as fit, lean, sun kissed & healthy as he does

What is an average day like for you?

If I’m at home in Bayswater like to start at 6.30am with walking our two Tibetan Terriers in Kensington Gardens. It’s the most relaxing start to a day. I take my iphone and shoot the sunrises and misty mornings for instagram & Twitter as I go.

I try to clear as much of a shoot off my desk on the day I shoot it. After a Big Awards Night this can mean working through to 4 or 5am. The incentive for doing this is to start the day relaxed in the park.

Most days I have a shoot during the daytime but  if I don’t then I’m usually at my desk updating social media feeds and website. Equipment needs preparing ready for the next shoot. The dogs will need an afternoon walk… sometimes to the local pub.

Is there a ship that you would love to photograph that you haven’t done yet?

I feel as though I’ve been on the best. I’ve certainly had the Best of Times on the ships I’ve photographed.

Do you cruise yourself?

Yes . I’ve been on two cruise holidays. Both with Celebrity Cruises. 

What was your last holiday

Long weekend in Mykonos in May with my wife.

Do you have your next holiday booked? If so, can you tell us about it?

I will be cruising up the Mekong on AMA Waterways AmaDara River cruise ship. I am travelling with my wife and four other friends we all work in the travel and/or cruise industry. I don’t usually take my camera on holiday but will be making an exception on this occasion.

Do you have a dream destination or cruise?

Would love to cruise the Antarctica or Alaska.

By Andrew Mandemaker

Do you have a funny or embarrassing story to tell?

Not a cruise story but it is water related.  I was shooting Sir Steve Redgrave for the Leander Club Henley Regatta brochure. It was in the days of shooting on film . I think he only had the two medals at the time.  It was FIVE in the morning in Henley. I’d just driven across London from Greenwich. Oooof.  Got some great shots of Steve training on the river from a launch following them tight in their wake .  On reaching dry land I was busy chatting away with them – probably not concentrating enough.  The roll of film dropped from my hands as I unloaded , rolled slowly along the jetty, and dropped into the Thames.  He looked at me with a smile and said “see you here tomorrow then”.

Can you give any tips for people to help capture great moments while on their cruise?

Don’t take too many photos or videos. Enjoy the moment. Live it in real time.   Failing that – step up to your subject and think about what it is you are photographing. That will help you frame & compose the shot to best effect. Don’t just shoot away hoping. Don’t use filters!

Visit Steve’s website for more information stevedunlop.com

Steve Dunlop

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