Monday, 21 May 2007

A humbling experience...

This Sunday I was over at Oaklands College Campus in St Albans, Hertfordshire to photograph a dressage event. I didn't realise until I was there that it was in fact a whole day event run by RDA-East which stands for the Eastern division of the Riding for the Disabled Association.

I was only there for a few hours but managed to get quite a few shots of the younger riders going round the obstacles in the indoor arena. The atmosphere was fantastic but also very humbling, to see kids, some with severe physical disabilities, with beaming smiles as they rode their horses around the arena. These kids quite clearly go through life with a positive attitude and give it their all as their devoted parents look on with nervous excitement.

I could go on about their attitude and zest for life alot more, but needless to say it was a very humbling experience and an event I felt quite priviledged to be at.

I've attached a couple of the photos that I took during my time there. I would normally charge for photographs that I take at events, but how could I on this occasion? Instead I've emailed the Chairman of the RDA-East and have offered free use of any of the photographs for their newsletter / magazine.

For those interested, the lens I used on this occasion was the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR which was recommended by Matt Kloskowski of the NAPP (an excellent lens although not cheap; but then nothing that good is!!!)

Friday, 18 May 2007

One more ...

Here's another of the photographs of Sean taken indoors. Again, the light came from a large patio window just to the side of where Sean was sitting but in addition a white lastolite reflector was placed on the opposite side of his face to put a little light back into the shadows.

Once in the computer, I've just boosted the contrast a little to give a slightly different feel to the other images.

My good friend, Sean...

Well it seems to have taken forever and a day, but yesterday I finally managed to get some time with a close friend of mine, Sean, and get him infront of my lens.

I'm sure Sean will admit that he was at first a little anxious about having some photographs taken, but soon relaxed as we just chatted away whilst at the same time pressing the shutter; heck, he even started making suggestions, which I must admit worked real well.

I think it's real important not to go into a portrait session with a fixed plan on what you're going to take. My aim is to be just me, and the only difference is that I'm holding a camera. This way I've found, helps whoever I'm photographing to 'chill out' that much quicker and enjoy the session.

As well as indoor shots, we also took some outside on a decking area. I think it was about 2pm at the time, and as I didn't have a diffuser with me to block out some of the sun, Sean understandably was having to squint. This is something I certainly wanted to avoid, so I asked Sean to close his eyes and to open then when I said. This way, I took the photo as he opened his eyes, before he had time to react to the sunlight and squint again; seemed to work pretty well :o) I'll post some of the outdoor shots in a later post, but for now here's a few of the indoor ones using nothing but natural light coming in from a large patio window.

Thanks Sean ... we'll take some more again soon, if you're up for it :o)

Friday, 11 May 2007

A bit of 'down' time ...

Thought I'd post this image up of a single white Rose I photographed today during some 'down' time. The photograph was taken in our conservatory because of the soft lighting through the side windows and a piece of black material was held up behind. (You can click on it to enlarge it)

I've been real busy lately putting together my website which I'm sure will change dramatically over time, but I needed an online presence asap. I've had quite a few emails from friends who have critiqued the site, so a thankyou to all of you for taking the time to do that; it's a big help.

Right ... that's it for now ... must go, as there's a glass of white wine calling out to me :o)

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Walking on air !!!

Well last night I went round to see the now Mr & Mrs David Gurnhill, who's Wedding I photographed on the 14th April 2007. I mentioned on a previous entry that I took just under 800 photographs on the day; being mindful not to shove the camera in everyones face but to discretely catch the mood and feeling of the whole day. I edited down to around 100 and presented them to a very 'tanned' Dave & Christina round at their house, set to the music of their first dance, "Amazed" by Lonestar and also a favourite of mine, "Over the Rainbow" sung by Eva Cassidy.

I'm always very nervous when I present my work to cos I so want them to be happy with them, but the nerves soon disappeared. Both Dave & Christina were 'over the moon' !!! The idea was for them to select around 60 or so images to be put into a Wedding Book but they both said that it was impossible to choose as they loved them all. I tell you, getting that kind of reaction means so much; it gives a feeling that money simply can't buy.

Having also made an unplanned visit to Christina parents to show the slideshow to, I then made my way back home "walking on air"; on the way receiving a text from Dave....."We both just said that we both wanted to cry but not in front of you! Got an image to keep up! Thanks again so much mate. We are truly touched at the quality of your pics. Better than we could have hoped for. Thanks again"

Dave & Christina...Thankyou for trusting me to 'capture your day'; it means alot and I'll NEVER forget it!!!

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