I have to confess to being a bit of a waterfall geek, I just love the way water flows over a waterfall, majestic and at the same time powerful as it heads towards the ground and then flows on into a stream or a river. What I like most about waterfalls is finding one’s that have not been photographed to many times or at all. Don’t get me wrong I do like photographing popular well know waterfalls as everybody interprets the waterfall in their own way, but finding one’s that have not been photographed or I haven’t seen any images of really excites me. So here I was doing what I like to do when not shooting for clients, is wander around places and see if I can find a waterfall sometimes off the beaten track and sometimes not so much. The trick is to look around you when out walking as it is easy to just walk looking in front and not surveying or taking in the natural beauty around you when out. And as such this is how I came to spot this small waterfall, by looking around and as luck would have it I spotted it of in the distance on the far side of the beck in Hamsterley Forest, it would have been easy to miss if I had not been looking around as a few more steps and I would have been past it and out of my sight line. So I head over to the other side and trek through the trees looking and thinking I am sure it was just around here and starting to doubt myself, but I carry on and eventually set back I come across the waterfall, full of excitement to have found it I set up my tripod and camera and get ready to shoot a couple of test images. What I notice is a branch that has flowed down over the fall and is stuck sticking up out of the water, I thought I would remove the branch from the waterfall by grabbing a long fallen branch and hooking it over this one that sticks out and dislodge it. Oh for not a really well thought out plan as I put my foot on a rock that is of course slippy I feel myself falling and falling I did getting soaked down one side, but on the plus side I did remove the offending object. Yes I could have removed the branch in Photoshop but where would be the fun in that, there is nothing like getting wet on a cold early morning to add to the fun of capturing something great. So here are a couple of shots from the that morning.
Yes it’s been snowing how could we not notice, as they called it the beast from the east, so driving up into the dales was a no go as a lot of the roads were blocked. And I would probably spend more time sitting in the car going nowhere than I would travelling. So challenged myself to just explore around my door step, and see what I could come up with image wise that really appealed to me and was not just taken for the sake of taking images. (Not that I ever just shoot for the sake of taking a image) An image when I am shooting for myself has to have substance to it telling some sort of story or have some visual impact that people can connect to, in some way.
I attended my first Motorcycle trial for the first time in a few years hosted by Middle England Classic Vehicle Club.
The weather was promising to be quite good for this time of year, and not to cold, with a slight chance of rain, the event held at Dean Howl, near Castleside in Consett, I arrived parked up and introduced myself to Peter one of the organisers of the event, who pointed me in the right direction to some new sections that had not been ridden before. The ground was still frozen in places, making it slippy underfoot. I managed to navigate to the sections while also walking with veteran Marshall Dave Thompson, who’s enthusiasm for the events was amazing and he gave me some background into how he ended up doing marshalling for these and other motor sport events. So the time arrives and you can hear the first bikes making there way through the woods to the section, stopping at the top to walk down and check which would be the best line to take so they could hopefully ride a clean line through the section. It has been a long time since I have photographed a trials event so trying to get my eye back in for the best shots proved to be quite difficult, what I did notice was how many young ladies were riding, as I say the last time I photographed a trial event I think there might have been two ladies riding, and the amount of very young riders was impressive as well with their adult helpers running along to help and encourage them through the sections, and also being encouraged by the older riders, as the young are the future blood of any sport. I have to admit to be fascinated by the fact the very young were riding electric trials bikes, it felt a bit eary as the bike glides along and everything is so quiet no noise, but think that is a testament to how far technology has come.
It was a great day had by all that rode and so friendly with great respect shown to the marshal’s as each rider finished their 4 laps thanking the marshal’s for marshalling the section and keeping score. I must thank everyone who made me feel so welcome and I did recognise one or two riders from when I photographed trials all those years ago and they are still going strong. I can only see this event going from strength to strength as time goes on.
It doesn’t matter what size your dog is they can all participate in the dog event called flyball. This means basically you have an obstacle course where the dog runs down and over the obstacles, and retrieves a ball at the end and runs back up over the hurdles where another dog goes till the whole team have retrieved a ball.
I was asked if i would like to come along and photograph an up and coming band know as Black Nevada at the 02 Academy in Newcastle, with support from other local bands. I hadn’t done much band photography and I am looking to photograph more bands. I also received my first official pass for a gig that would allow me to go where the public were not allowed, so giving me access to places that meant I could get really close to where the band were performing and move around freely without any obstruction, as the room we were in did not have a *Pit, The light was challenging to say the least, but the night was excellent as was the music. The other bands use the drums of Black Nevada as they were the headline group and the others were supporting acts.
*PIT A place where photographers can stand to take images usually at the front of the stage.
Bands : Black Nevada : Singapore Safehouse : Fallen Mafia.
So I have done my first dog portrait session for a long time with, facebook.com/Heavenly-Pets-supplies-and-Woof-Cutts-Events-page-1429293124030487and to say it was fun would be an understatement. There is that old saying “never work with children and and animals”, I have to say I don’t take much notice of these sayings as it was great fun working with the owners and their dogs trying to get them to sit where you wanted them and looking at least in the right direction and staying put long enough for you to take a picture and the owner holding a ball on top of your head, to get the dogs attention, and just hoping the dog doesn’t decide to make a leap for the ball so we all end up in a pile on the floor with the dog on top of me while trying to keep my camera in hand, fortunately this scenario never happened but it might one day.
This is just a small sample of the images from an entertaining day photographing dogs.
I had the opportunity to try a wall decor product from “@SaalDigital” for free I had heard of Saal Digital but never tried one of their products.
After looking at their wall decor products I decided to try the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish print in a 40x50c size.
As this can be used for wall decor, in the home or office and is for indoor and outdoor use. With the direct UV printing, it is especially sun fade and water resistant, so if you hung it in your house you would not have to think about hanging it somewhere where the sun would not hit it directly.
I had just done a wedding dress shoot with Atusa at Hardwick park on the Monday and thought this would be a good type of image to try on their product, as it was something a little different and also it would give me a sample to show clients who were wanting a different type of print from the regular framed with glass. So I loaded the image into photoshop and downloaded the colour profiles supplied by Saal so I could do a proof check on the image once I had it to how I wanted it to look .
So once I was happy with the way the colours and image looked with the proof I saved the image and moved to the Saal website to order my print, and the ordering process was very easy to follow.
I ordered my print on the evening and I was suprised to find an email the next day to say that my print had been processed and and sent out, I ordered it on a Wednesday night and it arrived on Monday morning and this came from Germany. That is good service. I must admit when I recieved the email to say that it had been processed and printed that night what type of quality was the finished product going to be like with that sort of fast turn around. So I waited with trepidation to see what the quality was going to be like and also the colour quality and finish of the product when it arrived. So the package arrives it is well wrapped and protected from damage so the next stage is to open it and see what the print looks like. Well I am absolutely thrilled with the finished item, the quality of the materials and printing are excellent, the image looks excellent on the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish, it has a slight surreal look to it and when you look at it from different angles it feels like the image has a movement to it. The construction is quite thin with it being of a sandwich type material an aluminum then a a type of foam board then aluminum, but is very strong and sturdy, it can be purchased with different types of mountings , but I chose to go with no types of mounting as I am wanting to use it to show clients, so decided I did not need to be able to hang it. The price it isn’t cheap, but then again I go from what my mother taught me “if you buy cheap you usually get cheap”. The mounting would have added a bit more depending on the type of mounting you went for but at the end of the day the quality is excellent and it looks really good. You could go for a smaller size or for an even larger size as long as the Mega Byte was good enough to give you the quality of a bigger print.
There a lots of labs out their offering all types of products but not many giving you the chance to try one of their products for free, it shows they have great faith in their workmanship, will I use Saal Digital in the future, I can quite honestly say yes, I have been impressed with the whole process from their website to delivery, I might have to test some of their other products to make sure they meet the same high standards but I am confident they will. So “@SaalDigital” if you would like me to test some more of your products for you I would be most willing, and it looks like I have found a new supplier for my printing work.
I have included a link to the Saal Digital Page for the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish and available mounting types.
We love a bit of sunshine and a nice day especially when doing head shots for a client outdoors, but that is the thing about British weather you can never guarantee you are going to get what you want. So unfortunately we had to do this head shot session on a wet day, as the client was needing the images and we had had to move both our schedules round to get a day that we could both do. With being a Durham born person she was keen to have the head shots done in her local city of Durham.. It may have rained but we managed too get the images we wanted and keep on smiling through.
It was the Kingud/ Borderline DH Series Rd1 at Hamsterley forest at the weekend. Unfortunately the weather was not going to be as nice as the weekend before with the temperatures failing to break higher than 5 degrees but it was dry. The track best way to describe it in some places it was nearly impossible to walk down with the steepness, rock drop offs and tree roots, to ride a course like this was going to take some nerve, I managed to talk to one rider and asked how do you get down here and he said “go as fast as you dare and don’t brake”. Saturday was a day of practice and offered many a good photo opportunity with many crashes on one of the steeper parts luckily all riders seemed to bounce well and after picking themselves and the bike back up rode on. Sunday started of promising with the sun showing itself and some light cloud, but with in an hour the cloud had swallowed the sun and any warmth that was there had now totally gone, it was going to be a long cold day. By mid morning we had a few spots of rain and it kept on threatening to rain but held off until it was race time by then it was just raining and raining, making the rocks slippy but the riders did not let off the pace, still managing to get plenty of air and the braver ones taking the line between two trees after clearing the table top in one massive leap. Danny Hart* the new owner of the Descend bike park was also racing in the elite category and can these people ride you never heard there bikes approach it was if they were floating on air as they picked the fastest line and flew past.
*Danny Hart 2016 World Cup Downhill Champion
I was offered the chance to come and take some photographs at a local bands practice session, as I had said I was wanting to expand my music photography portfolio. This is just a few of the images from the session.
Band Members, Colin Lynch, Geoff Rose, Micky Pearson, Peter Atherton, Neil Nattris