Weekend Of MTB

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

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One of many scrapes picked up on the steep sections while getting to a good position for photographs

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Start of the crash 1
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Danny Hart World Champion
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Two trees one bike

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Lying it down as you head round the berm

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Table top clearance

 

 

Bring On The Dancing Girls

I was asked to take some images at a burlesque and drag/comedy night.For Dukes Cabaret & Showdolls, I am always looking to expand my photographic experience, so how could I turn down the opportunity. So we arrive at the venue about an hour before it is due to start, just to check out good vantage points and see how good the lighting would be, the venue was quite good but the lighting consisted of six spotlights with different colour gels on them quite away back from the stage and throwing really poor light out, I noticed that there were two white spots not on so I asked the venue in the hope that they would say the two spot lights would be switched on for the start, but as I suspected no that was all the light I was getting, so it was basically High ISO, and a low a speed as I dared go with out getting any blur or minimal in arm and leg movement. So the night progressed the acts were brilliant and I really enjoyed photographing the show, as with all things new learned a lot, so am looking to do some music and other entertainment events, and who know the lighting can only get better. Hopefully.

Just a few images from the evening

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Stings Like Bee Beautiful As Butterfly

I am always looking for new challenges with my photography, I like shooting action images but I do shoot other subjects and genres as well. 

After a conversation with a Francis Jones a boxer I asked about taking some images of him while training, unfortunately Francis was already working with another photographer but he said he knew someone and he would put me in touch with them, to see if they would be interested in working with me on what I will call a project. The boxer he put me in touch with was Hannah a twenty-two year old, one of the first things that struck me when I met Hannah was the smile that puts you at ease as soon as you meet her. So we go inside the boxing club and sit down to talk, about what I am looking for in images, and to find out a bit more about Hannah, and one of the things that struck me is how focused she is and driven towards her goals. We talked for about forty-five minutes and arranged to meet the following week to capture some images, I asked whether her coaches would be fine with me coming along and taking pictures while she trained and with that she said “yes it will be fine”, so I said we better check with your coaches that they are happy for me to attend a training session, in walks one of the coaches you can tell he is a boxer, not saying I was nervous maybe a bit apprehensive as he might just say no get out and don’t come back. But my fears were unfounded he was very pleasant and happy for me to come along and take photographs of Hannah training. 

So the day arrives for me to go to the evening training session the gym is not far from where I live so a short car journey is all it took I pull up outside and I can see inside the club lots of bodies moving around, nerves take a hold a little bit, not long after I arrived so did Hannah with the infectious smile she says hello and I follow her inside, there is a lady on the door collecting subs for training , Hannah pays her subs and I say hello to the lady and walk in then the voice pipes up “are you here to train”, in a joking voice I say do I look like need the exercise which I probably do and quickly explain that I am there to take some photographs of Hannah training. So I am through the door and I feel like all the eyes are focused on me a stranger in the camp but I think I was probably being very self-conscious, I say hello to the coach I had seen the other night and quietly say hello to other people not wanting to look out of place but with a camera bag it was hard not to stand out I was getting a few quizzical looks from people probably wondering what I was doing. So it’s time for training feeling like I was intruding on the club a bit I moved around watching my every step so I made sure that I didn’t get in the way of anybody’s training session as I thought that would be the quickest way to get ejected from the club, but as time went on I felt like they were accommodating me by making sure they didn’t get in my way. So the first photographic session went well, I have to say I have never photographed anything quite as hard, as one minute you are focused then like lightning Hannah has moved to a different spot throwing punches and working as hard as the men in the club. I have to say a big thank you to the boxing club for allowing me in and I thought it was very nice for them to invite me back anytime I want, so I will be doing another session with Hannah on Monday night, and will be looking to do some other photographic work with Hannah, in the coming months.

More images can be viewed at http://www.sdbphotography.uk/

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Inside and Out

When you get asked to photograph a very expensive house you don’t say no. I was asked by http://bunglebugestates.properties to photograph a very nice property for them which was going up for sale. The day started of warm and the light was getting harsh so i wanted to get the outside shots done before the sun rose to high and the light became to harsh. Once I completed the outside photographs I decided to start upstairs and work my way down to the ground floor. I knew the temperature outside was rising as the heat i the house start rising and the light coming through the windows was becoming very harsh, and unforgiving. So it was a case of trying to balance a good exposure against the light coming in from the windows I didn’t want to under expose the images by a huge amount as this would have caused more problems in post processing. So it was a case of getting an exposure that was sitting nice in the camera histogram that I could work with when processing. I tried a few shots with the lights on but didn’t like the way the lights were shining I thought it would look nice with the lights on in the chandeliers, but soon scrapped that idea as the brightness was harsh and did not enhance the photograph, or do justice to the magnificence of the lights.

So here are a few images from the shoot, on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year.brantingham-drive-dim8307brantingham-drive-sdim8297brantingham-drive-sdim8326brantingham-drive-sdim8338brantingham-drive-sdim8364brantingham-drive-sdim8366brantingham-drive-sdim8390

Ae The Sun Was Shining

The latest NDH* mountain bike event was held at the Ae Forest in Dumfries, what a great location and place,a bit of a hidden gem. To be honest I had never heard of the Ae Forest before so was relying on the sat nav and postcode given plus the directions to get us their which it did. An excellent turn out for the event and the big bonus the sun was shining, and it’s February, can’t complain about that. The track was not overly long but it was fast with plenty of jumps, so leaving me spoiled for choice on where to situate myself to capture the riders as they hurtled down from the top to the bottom.

*Northern Downhill

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Dawning Light

It was July the weather was warm and the nights were long, being a photographer capturing the early morning light is one of the great things I like to do, but have never really caught a stunning sunrise they have always whimpered out from a promising start to heavy cloud destroying any chance of great colours. The evenings sunsets had been an abundance of colour so I decided to get up at 3am and drive through to South Shields and be set up ready for the breaking dawn light at just before 4am and catch the dawn through to sunrise, even if the early morning colours didn’t show I was sure I could capture some nice early morning images at the beach, even if it came to doing long exposures of the waves gently lapping onto the shore. I have had so many promising mornings in the past which have not gone to plan, but mother nature won’t be told when to give you the the skies you want. The early mornings can be hard when that alarm goes off, but the need to capture a sunrise and the way it fuels your passion and drive, gets you to pull yourself out of your bed for you know one day you will capture that dawn and sunrise that will make you go wow. And this was that morning after getting their and setting up, I could see the light starting to appear and the colours slowly starting to arrive in the clouds as the first rays of dawn light woke the early morning, starting with mainly reds and turning to pinks and other colours as we venture from dawn to sunrise as the sun started it’s lazy early morning climb from behind the pier wall to eventually take all the wondrous colour from the sky to leave a sky of clear bright light only to be witnessed by those who were about at this time of morning. So this is why my passion and dedication to get up early in the morning watching mother nature reward me with the sunrise I had been chasing for so long.

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Autumn Colours

It was Autumn the trees sing in all colors, and a perfect time to get a good image of High Force waterfall, from above as we had been having quite a bit of rain so I knew the thunderous High Force would be exploding over the top making for a magnificent view. So an early start was required to get there before the sun became to high and and effected the light. It is not a long walk but it can be a difficult walk when you have medical conditions so I always allow extra time for more stops on the route to rest. But I have to say it was worth the walk, as when i viewed High Force from above all the fatigue and tiredness disappeared and was replaced by excitement at the wonderous autumn colors and and the power of the water coming over the fall.

High Force -005 I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market and their #VantagePoint project.

Flash, Camera, Pose

Just received my Pixapro Lumi 400 800Ws studio flash kit, to use at home and in other places. So decided to test it out on my oldest son theses are just a few of the images taken with the flashes.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market. and their #VantagePoint project.

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A Summers Evening

A summers evening, my son practicing a few tricks on his BMX, perfect time to get the camera out and practice a bit of movement and action photography, I decided to share this image.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market. and their #VantagePoint project.

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Nikon D90

ISO – 100

F3.8 – @24mm

1/200 sec

Flash

Photographer Shooting The Photographer

An Iconic landmark that is the Angel of The North, standing tall looking out over the valley, I had wanted to photograph the Angel for quite a while, but had never really put it as a priority. We have been getting some lovely sunrises on the October mornings, so decided I would get prepared the night before pack my camera and tripod ready to set off in the morning.” We had been getting some lovely sunrises on the October mornings, so decided I would get prepared the night before pack my camera and tripod ready to set off in the morning.”in the morning. I like to get to places with plenty of time to get set up and wander around, so I can check out different angles and shooting positions, as the alarm clock stirs me awake at 5am knowing that I would be there around about 6am or a bit earlier, I  arrive looking at the sky thinking to myself that maybe the sky is not going to be as nice as it has been the last few days, but one always hopes as the cloud cover was quite heavy but it could break to give that lovely morning warm glow. So I set up shoot a few images of the Angel from different angles, looking hoping for the sky but it becomes clear that today is not the day for the warm colors of a sunrise. I had been there for a couple of hours as time just goes so fast when you are engrossed in a passion such as photography, I notice this group of people wandering over towards the Angel, and notice that one of the group has a camera in her hand as I stand and watch her move around the Angel I can sense she is looking for a good angle to get a photograph. I have the camera set up and I just stand there and wait and hope, she is going to take a picture, but I also hope she stands long enough for me to capture her taking the image, as I was shooting on  very low shutter speed for the time of the morning. So the sunrise might not have appeared, but I had the fortune to capture this image of a young woman seeking her own version of the perfect shot. I became the photographer shooting the photographer.

I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market and their #VantagePoint project.

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Photographer Shooting The Photographer

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Sigma SD 1 Merrill, 17-50mm Lens

ISO 100

F22