HE photographed Princess Diana, Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and Liverpool’s very own sharp suiter, Derek Hatton. Now international snapper James Morgan has been getting a trio of queens ready for their close ups.
To celebrate the founding, 175 years ago in Liverpool, of Cunard, Morgan was commissioned by the shipping line to spend 175 hours aboard their flagships, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2, producing 175 photographs.
It meant criss-crossing the globe to rendezvous with each of them as they sailed the seven seas.
The result is OneSevenFive, an exhibition of the work which can be seen this week in a makeshift gallery at the Cunard Building, adorning Cunard’s former first class departure lounge on the ground floor.
From the serving of afternoon tea in Queen Mary 2’s ballroom to the storing of ropes below decks and the view from inside Queen Victoria’s funnel, the OneSevenFive collection features images of the ships’ masters and crew at work – and relaxing – on their ships. Preparations for Queen Mary 2’s theatre productions, the ritual folding of Queen Victoria’s flag and crew members shooting hoops on the basketball court beneath the funnel are all on display.
The show is open to the public each day between 10am until 3pm until Thursday afternoon. It will give many local people the nearest chance they will get to experiencing life aboard a luxury liner ahead of the trio's visit to the Mersey this Bank Holiday weekend, but more interestingly, life below decks on a floating palace.
London born Morgan, 46, who now lives in Australia, said the assignment had been incredible, but it's not over yet. He will be capturing the Queens on camera by hanging out of a helicopter over the Mersey as they sail for the first time ever in formation towards the Pier Head.
James Morgan 'launches' his show at the Cunard Building
Morgan worked for many years with The Times, travelling the world on photographic assignments, but this is his first ever visit to Liverpool.
“I have photographed Derek Hatton and Paul McCartney but until now have never visited this incredible city. It is going to be a spectacular weekend, and I guess I will be one of the few to have a Liver Bird view of the three magnificent ships from a helicopter,” he told Liverpool Confidential.
The exhibition has so far had just one outing, in Sydney, making Liverpool its first European port of call.
Here's something of what you can expect.