Behind the scenes at the Royal College of Music

Simon Grange on stage for the student auditions for Britten's Albert Herring. Image copyright Edmond Terakopian

Edmond Terakopian is used to covering hard news, chasing the latest political story, reacting to events and capturing the moment through his lens. Yet his latest project takes him a long way from this, behind the scenes at the Royal College of Music. Here he talks about the work.

With long-term assignments sadly becoming a thing of the past, I was on the lookout for a something I could work on, and, following a chance meeting with a tutor at the Royal College of Music, a door opened for me.

My timing coincided with an upcoming staging of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. With Britten being a former pupil of the Royal College of Music and the theatre there being called the Britten Theatre, everything was aligned and I felt that it was meant to be.

My idea was to document every aspect of this opera, especially the parts no-one sees: auditions, set-building, costume fittings, rehearsals, lighting and the dressing rooms.

Image copyright Edmond Terakopian
Image caption Elspeth Marrow, Natasha Day and Timothy Connor rehearse in Opera Room 01

My favourite imagery soon came from what was going on backstage during the dress rehearsals and performances so I spent a fair amount of my time photographing these beautifully silent and introspective moments.

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The beauty of car parks

Salford - New Bailey car park Image copyright Phil Burrowes

Car parks don't usually feature high on the list of photographic assignments, yet, following a chance meeting at Henley Royal Regatta, photographer Phil Burrowes found himself commissioned by NCP (National Car Parks) to produce images of 20 of their car parks across the country.

Burrowes spent three weeks of long days photographing these often overlooked pieces of architecture.

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Before They Were Fallen

Before They Were Fallen, photographer Louis Quail's collaboration with journalist Katy Regan, explores loss and remembrance, combining portraits with personal stories of those who lost a loved one in the 13-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Quail recreates an existing family photograph, yet this new version is missing the person lost in the conflict.

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Daybreak in Myanmar

Circle line train in Yangon, 2011 Image copyright Geoffrey Hiller

Photographer Geoffrey Hiller has been documenting the people of Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1987, and has made a number of visits to the country since military rule was replaced by a new military-backed civilian government in late 2010.

Hiller's pictures focus on the everyday lives of the Burmese people, shots captured while walking the streets or over a cup of tea at a roadside stop.

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Mini adventures with toy cars

Blue VW Van - Into the blue - Cala joncols, Catalunya, January 2013 Image copyright Kim Leuenberger

Kim Leuenberger is covering the Goodwood Revival, which starts on Friday, where she will be photographing some of the most expensive cars ever produced, as well as capturing the nostalgia of motoring. Yet she is more used to shooting far smaller models - toy cars set in the landscape.

The series, called Travelling Cars, began more than four years ago when, having received a camera for her birthday, Leuenberger took some pictures of toys, including the blue van as seen above, for a project to raise awareness about autism that was running on image-sharing platform Instagram.

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Photo students explore war games, migration and climate change

Students on the postgraduate documentary photography and photojournalism course at the University of Westminster present their final projects at an exhibition in London on 21 August.

Here we present a selection of the projects that will be on show.

Travelling Light by Kiki Streitberger

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The Stilwell Road 70 years on

An idol of Kali stands under a tree on a World War Two airfield

Over a period of four years Findlay Kember made a number of trips along the length of the Ledo-Burma Road - also known as The Stilwell Road - which runs from Ledo in India's north-eastern state of Assam, through Myanmar and ends in Kunming in the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan. Here he recounts the journey to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.

This project was born out of a desire to provide a tribute to the sacrifice of those who laboured through the jungles of South Asia and to understand how the population of the present day are now using the road.

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Ten steps to improve your photography

Photographs hanging on pegs

Whether you take pictures purely for your own pleasure or have ambitions to build a career for yourself through photography, there comes a time when you have to stop snapping and start making pictures. Here, professional photographer, writer and lecturer Grant Scott explains how you can take your photography to the next level.

We all take more photographs than we have ever done or were able to in the past. We post images on social networks, share them with friends and use them as a form of visual shorthand to communicate where we are, what we are doing and often how we feel. Yet few of us would describe ourselves as photographers. Even fewer would describe themselves as professional photographers or understand what that job description means.

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Loggers captured at work in Larry Fink's Opening the Sky

Loggers, Grisdale

During the 1970s, photographer Larry Fink documented the clubs of New York, camera and flashgun in hand, capturing what Max Kozloff described as "the 'me first' narcissism" of the time. In contrast, a new collection of work produced by Fink soon afterwards has just been published, showing the lives of loggers on the West Coast of the United States - and as you would expect, the images are a delight.

The project began in 1980 when the Seattle Art Museum contacted Fink with the offer of a grant to photograph anything he wanted in the state of Washington. At the time Fink was living on a farm, cutting wood for the fire having hauled it up the valley. He describes how this made him feel like a logger, so what then was more natural than to take his camera and document the "rugged breed of men who selectively pillaged the deep, virgin forest".

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North Vietnamese veterans stories

Pham Xuan Do (right), 77, buttoning his original uniform in the presence of retired captain Le Quang Kieu (left), 68, and retired lieutenant sergeant Hoang Ding Li (center), 73, at Friendship Village

The conflict in Vietnam ended 40 years ago, with chaotic scenes in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on the heart of power, its tanks ploughing through the gates of the South Vietnamese presidential palace on 30 April 1975.

On board one of the tanks was Pham Xuan Do, who is seen in the picture above proudly wearing his uniform from the time.

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