Lincoln Christmas Fair

I gave myself a day off yesterday for Christmas shopping at the Lincoln Christmas Fair. Being completely disorganised and not sure who I needed to buy for let alone what I was going to get them, I spent more time taking photos than I did actually shopping.

It was a lovely day, not too cold, there was lots of Christmassy food to try and the air was filled with all kinds of Christmassy smells. The entertainment was good and my favourite character was a man standing on a corner in a lit up Christmas hat selling ‘Big tissues.’ It took me an embarrassingly long time to work out the joke.

These are a few of the photos I took at the fair.



Colchester Carnival

Photos from this weekend’s carnival in Colchester

The last time I went to Colchester carnival I think I watched it from my Dad’s shoulders, so it was a real treat to be in town when the parade went past this year.

Sadly I didn’t realise that the naked bike ride was also passing through the town an hour or so later, so you have been spared the photos of that event!

National Armed Forces Day 2016 Part 2

Some photos of the people that attended #ArmedForces Day this weekend #AFDNEL16

The whole point of going to the Armed Forces Day this weekend was to take some photographs of the crowds and of the people that attended the show, and between the displays that is what I tried to do. Here are a few of my favourites.

National Armed Forces Day 2016

After a week of tonsillitis, resting and not speaking I have been going stir crazy, so I thought a bit of fresh sea air might aid my recuperation. My train pass is going out of date at the end of this month so to make the most of the last few days of it at the weekend I jumped on a train and headed to Cleethorpes.

It happened to be National Armed Forces Day and while I had headed there with the intention of photographing the people watching the displays I was so impressed with what I saw going on over the sea that I kept getting distracted.

As I arrived, a team of Marines were invading the beach but the crowds were too deep for me to get much of a view but the noise and gun smoke drifted all across the promenade.

Armed Forces Day-32

I found myself in a better position to watch the Falcons Parachute Display Team although I couldn’t quite see them landing. There was some low cloud so they jumped from 5,000 feet did one of their famous stacks and landed on the beach in front of the leisure centre.

It was the Red Arrows Display Team that impressed me most though. They performed all manner of acrobatic displays at 400 miles an hour or more and in some cases at around 6 g force. Listening to the wows and sharp intakes of breath of those around me really added to the atmosphere. The cloud was beginning to clear and they were able to perform their full display.

After a fish and chip lunch I hung around to watch the Chinook display before getting the train home again.

It was good day and I could happily have stayed longer but thought I shouldn’t stay out too long after being poorly.

Bolton-Tillbrook Wedding

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing the wedding of the new Mr and Mrs Tillbrook at a beautiful setting in Oxfordshire. I had visited them at the end of last year to visit the venue and take a few engagement photographs in order to familiarise myself with the area and to help the couple be comfortable in front of the camera. Just a couple of weeks before the big day the bride asked if I would bring a second photographer to the wedding in order to photograph people arriving at the church and take some of the more candid shots so I arranged to take along a friend that I have worked with previously.

We arrived in Oxfordshire in time to go to the rehearsal at the church and speak to the parish priest about where best to stand. The bride was asking guests not to take photographs during the service – only the official photographers, so we wanted to get the usual shots but also didn’t want to be intrusive and distract from anything that was going on in the church.

The next day, my friend went to the church and I spent some time with the bride.

These area few of the photos I took at the bride’s home.

These are a few of the photos we took at the church.

There were a few formal photographs taken at the church, but most were taken at the reception venue. The bride and groom were a very willing couple and I perhaps took longer doing these than I should have done. There are a few improvements I would like to have made but on the whole I am actually quite proud of these.

The speeches were very good and had the bride and all the guests laughing one minute, crying the next and then laughing again within moments. More guests arrived in the evening and the party went on much later than I could stay up for.

We took so many photos that it has been very hard to select just a few that tell the story of the day. When Tom Arran came to visit us in class he said that he uses short bursts of photographs so that in at least one of them everyone should have their eyes open. I tried this and it is a technique I will use again but it does mean that there are loads of photos to sort through.

I also need to remember to synchronise the times on all cameras so that when I drop them into Lightroom they automatically sort into time order.

I spent a lot of time editing the photographs, not because they needed lots of editing but because I wanted to give all the photographs a uniform romantic look. I started by doing a large batch and then decided that I wasn’t happy with it. I also spent time creatiScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 13.10.18ng a vintage look but again I didn’t think it really suited the feel of the wedding. In the end I set up presets in Lightroom, one that simply boosted the vibrancy and softened the clarity of the colour photos and another that gave me the black and white settings and a slight vignette that I liked.

I have spent a good 30 hours editing the photos just this week and I shall need to build that editing time into the fee that I charge for future weddings.

The bride was impatient for the photos so I have used WeTransfer to send her copies. Feedback has been very positive so I can breathe a sigh of relief. I have been unable to afford to keep my Smugmug account this year so I have also uploaded the best of the photos to a Photobox free gallery that she can use to share and order prints with friends and family. Since doing that I have also come across 3XM which is a kind of pay-as-you-go service for photographers. As a trial I have uploaded a few photos onto a gallery there and will perhaps use this for my next wedding in a couple months time.

Disability Games

I spent a fun packed day at the Disability Games in Scunthorpe, hosted at The Pods Leisure Centre by local and regional Rotary Clubs. It was a fantastic event with hundreds of people there from as far afield as Sheffield, Hull, Cleethorpes and Boston.

My friends and I were there to help run the New Age Kurling competition but as there were plenty of us I was able to spend some time around the venue checking out the different events.

This is a short video of some of the photos taken.

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