Sunday, 27 June 2010


Had a great location shoot with Lhotte, the location was Calke in the grounds of the tree avenue leading up the drive. I had a glamourous assistant called Eric who was in charge of the lighting. As it was a bright sunny day and we were shooting at 1pm I knew that shooting in full sun would be a no no, so I positioned Lhotte under the trees and bounced in reflected light, we had various types of reflectors we tried gold first but that was too much, white was too subtle so we settled on a mix, one of my Lastolite tri-flectors panels has a gold and silver mix and this seemed to work well. Lhotte came with a couple of dresses as I had briefed her on the style of shoot which was a sort of editorial, summer long flowing dresses kind of thing, she came with a make up artist, but we wanted subtle make up, a kind of natural look.

I was using my Canon 5D MKII with a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens as I wanted to use maximum aperture to blur the background.  the following images have been edited for white balance and a small crop only, I will be editing further when I get chance.

This first one started off leaning on the fence but the fill in was catching the fence creating and unnatural look. so we brought her forwards and this was the result

A change in location and pose on this one on the right, as the sun was in and out of the clouds we tried some fill in flash, I don't think it has quite worked

This one was taken from a series of shots where I asked Lhotte to stroll towards the camera this was in full sun with no fill.

Another change in tree with a better less distracting background and back to reflector fill.

A change of clothes and the other side of the tree away from any dappled light again with fill from a reflector which was about 20 foot away.

And finally a tribute to the dress, a lioness pose, Grrrr...! again making sure she was in the shade with some fill. Reminds me of the Austin Powers shoot video

all parties left happy with a suggestion of another shoot this time down by the lake/ ponds.

Ashend House Farm

We decided to have a day out to celebrate Imogen's 3rd birthday, which is on Monday, Paula had heard about this farm with lots of things to do.... like feeding the animals... and feeding some more animals and.... looking at animals. So as Amelia is Coeliac we made our own packed lunch, ham sandwiches, crisps and strawberries and cream all packed in a coolbox and off we set. Ashend Farm is at Middleton near Tamworth about half an hour away. the kids were ecstatic as we arrived.

Of course I took a camera, this time I used my Canon 450D at it was light and small, I also decided to use a prime lens for the same reason, my Canon 50mm f1.8 fitted the bill as the 450 has a cropped sensor 50mm becomes approximately 70-90mm, I'm not sure exactly. Because I wanted to remove any background images most on my images were taken with an aperture of f1.8, f2.8 and a couple of f4.0.

Feeding time

I'm not sure about this?

Yoda says let the force be with you!

strutting  her stuff
But some ones giving her the evil eye!

That old chestnut 

Wild hair 1

and 2

Picnic time

Wheres Mum

On the bench

A pig

Pull the Udder one!

Sleeping Beauty


 Time for home

and one last treat

A good day had by all and I think another visit could be on the cards as it's a good place to visit even when it's raining as most of the animals are in sheds.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A day at the races

Today's the day we!, well Amelia has been training for, It's the annual school sports day, Amelia's first.  I booked the day off, Paula was going to work late to cover her hours and Imogen.... we she was just happy to be out of nursery with her parents. Me being me I took my Canon 5D MKII and my Sigma 70-200mm set at f/2.8.

We dropped Amelia of at school for 9 and the three of us trundled round to the park, that is next to her school and were they were holding the sports day. the lines were marked and the markers were set.

With just enough time to take Imogen to the swings, 

The slide and the climbing frame

and a quick run around
Before the start of the races at 9:30 

out they came the children on one side and the spectators on the other, there were cheers from the parents, I though at one point there was money on the game the way they were egging their children on! 

There were bean bag races and jumping through hoops , for a moment I thought I was back at the office!

then time to relax and applause at the next batch of competitors...

and a wave goodbye from little sis back they went thought the school gate. 

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Stag, Hen and Fathers day

Well the Stag night arrived for my future brother in law. Unfortunately the best man didn't.... so on we soldiered to ‘The Mill House’ and finally to the hip and happening’ ‘Beeches’ at Stretton. The usual copious rounds of lager, shots and Smirnoff’s were consumed followed by a few rounds of pool, and nearly ended the night with a fight between the locals and the newcomers, I wasn’t sure if they thought their women folk were more interested in us! I cannot think why they would consider this an option having seen their women folk even with our beer goggles on!

On the flip side, the next morning I had a meeting with Tricia the Bride to be at the Newton Park Hotel in Newton Solney. I arrived early and ordered a cup of tea with one lump of sugar, nursing a small headache from the previous night. I waited for the happy couple to arrive, Joe had agreed to be my second shooter (thanks Joe) and was coming to sit in the meeting, A total opposite to the previous evening, well mannered and civilised.

We discussed their photo requirements, special arrangements such as the Nan in a wheelchair complete with oxygen cylinder, and finally conducting a tour of the venue to specify locations. I must say you cannot beat a good venue; it definitely makes a wedding and definitely helps the photographer, plenty of space, plenty of location to take photos (weather permitting).

The Bride and Groom departed leaving Joe and me to have one final tour of the venue taking some test shots.

On arriving home, I was greeted by my two children, who I had left peacefully sleeping two hours earlier, who were now full of energy and mischievousness dragging me to see my presents of a jumper, some cards and a pile of half eaten home made cakes, swigging grape cordial from a previously emptied half wine bottle, arguing respectively when the other had a drink.

Lunch was provided on the patio, a visit to Branston water park, and Doctor Who on the telly finished off an eventful and pleasant weekend.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Tutbury Skirmish

After the BPS digital morning, which I thought was a reasonable success (well nobody complained and they were still awake at the end) I had heard that there was going to be a rumble at Tutbury Castle between the Redcoats and some others not in uniform, so off I trundles me, my camera in the trusty Picanto, running around 55 mpg and £30 tax, to Tutbury Castle to shout scramble then shoot the pursuing scrap. I though that it would be rained off looking at the oncoming clouds but it held off just in time for the skirmish and my battery failing on the last shots (mine and theirs).

Here's a few pics for those who didn't make it:

                           Jack                                           Time for action

Lone Watch

At Arms

   Go on men!

In my sights

Fire at will


The Queen Vic

Those left behind