The last 14 months have been a challenging time for everyone, especially if like me your income depends on live events, social functions, or anything that involves human being interacting with each other.
As we move in to the summer of 2021 and lockdown eases, there is now more freedom for people to enjoy their lives, so I was delighted recently to photograph my first public event in well over a year.
‘Cars At The Castle’ is an annual car show staged by Hertford Town Council in the grounds of Hertford Castle, featuring modern and vintage cars. The event was cancelled for 2020 so this year is the first time in two years that the show has gone ahead.
Fine weather and a thirst for public entertainment meant that the event was well attended, with people queueing to get in to the castle grounds.
The following images were taken with a Sony RX100 VI that I recently bought second-hand to replace an RX100 II. The image quality is outstanding for a one-inch sensor and the 24-200mm zoom covers most situations. The images were edited with Affinity Photo and Nik Color Efex Pro 4.
During April I worked on a series of postcard-like images of villages in the countryside around Hertford. These photos included local buildings, village ponds, rivers, churches and pubs.
Locations include Little Amwell, Chapmore End, Sacombe and Stapleford.
The photos were taken with a Fujifilm X100S using the Fuji Velvia film simulation. The border was added with Nik Collection Color Efex Pro (Type 1 width 20%). Tone and colour were processed with the
Nik Collection Analog Pro Classic Camera 2 filter. Finally the titles were added with Affinity Photo using French Script font.
The X100S is a recent acquisition and I’m delighted with it. Not only is it a gorgeous looking camera but the image quality is excellent, especially when combined with Fuji’s film simulations. This is my first Fuji camera (my pro gear is Nikon) but I suspect I’ll be tempted toward their interchangeable lens range at some stage in the future.
I’ve since bought a lens hood and filter adapter, allowing me to use my favoured polarising filter with the camera.
I find that Spring is an ideal time to photograph the countryside, just as the sun is higher in the sky and leaves coming out on the trees,
I’m pleased to have provided photographic services for a number of local neighbourhood planning initiatives over the last couple of years. This includes imagery for websites and social media illustrating such subjects as traffic, parking, housebuilding, education, business, health, sport and leisure.
I’ve also covered events such as exhibitions, presentations and announcements for press, media and promotional use.
Neighbourhood plans provide the means for communities to have a say on planning policies in their local area, adding detail to Local and District Plans formulated by district and unitary authorities. A large part of the process involves groups of local residents engaging with their local communities in drawing up policies that guide development in their locality.
Photography can play an important part in highlighting local issues and communicating the aspirations of everyone involved. It can also illustrate how local residents engage with the process and help policies evolve over time.
If you’re looking for material to help with a Neighbourhood Plan I’d be delighted to discuss offering affordable services to help make your project a success. To get in touch just fill out the contact form.
Despite not being a full-on wedding photographer, I do cover a handful of weddings every year. These functions typically come my way by word of mouth – from people who know my photojournalistic style and informal coverage of family functions and events.
Jade and Martin’s wedding was the largest wedding I have covered recently, and included preparations at the bride’s father’s home, travel to the wedding location, outdoor ceremony and both afternoon and evening receptions.
The day started mid-morning, where I photographed a team of of stylists and markup artists preparing the bride, bridesmaids, maid of honour and bride’s mother at the family home.
A few weeks ago I took some promotional shots for a local theatre company who were promoting their latest production Agatha Christie’s The Hollow.
The brief included a series of posed shots from the play featuring the performers in costume with props. The photos were then used in promotional materials including posters and the programme for the production.
The shots were taken in a rehearsal room at the company’s headquarters using my mobile studio.
Interestingly, the crab shown in the last image was actually a flat printed cardboard cutout, but through the magic of photography appears very real and three dimensional.
In addition to the posed shots I was also asked to provide some informal black and white images of the play in rehearsal. Other theatre companies have also asked for these in the past and I’m more than happy to provide these. The rehearsal shots were taken handheld using ambient lighting.
Along with the posed shots these images also appeared in the programme.
If you’d like to know more about the photographic services I offer to theatres and drama companies please click the link below.
Last week I covered Hertford’s first Food & Drink Festival – a two day event featuring markets, demonstrations and exhibitions.
As well as the usual Saturday charter market there was also a Farmers’ Market of local produce such as fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, cakes and locally brewed beers and cider. In Market Place Andrei Lussmann and Mat Gomes presented creative kitchen cookery demonstrations whilst the museum staged an exhibition titled A Brief History of Food & Drink.
There were plenty of photo opportunities during the weekend and food makes a very appealing subject! In addition to the food photography, the displays and demonstrations were fun to capture.
The gallery here shows a small selection of some of the photos I took. The creative cookery demonstrations were aided by an overhead mirror which provided some excellent views of the chefs at work.
Last month I spent a couple of hours working with a friend’s daughter Becca, producing a selection of studio and location shots for her portfolio. The studio shots were taken using my portable background and lighting whilst the location shots were taken around a local church.
The aim was to produce a selection of both colour and black and white images featuring various angles and poses, and Becca was very easy to work with.
We spent a couple of hours with different seating arrangements and lighting configurations using the studio before moving out to the church. Luckily the weather was on our side and the outdoor shots were all in the shade, so there were no issues with bright sunlight.
A couple of interesting edits to the colour photos included the removal of a wheelie bin (I noticed this before shooting but wasn’t able to move it) and the recolouring of Becca’s hair.
Our two hours together produced over 20 finished images and I’m very pleased with the results, as was Becca.
I had a great day photographing Rock At The Castle on Sunday. The event is one of the bookends of the Hertford Music Festival, this year marking the start of the three week festival with a line-up of bands that included The Ghost of Samantha, The Huxleys and Suburban Dirts.
Despite a worrying forecast of prolonged showers, the afternoon turned out to be mostly dry and sunny, with just a five minute flurry of rain.
As usual, I cast my lens around to capture the atmosphere both on stage and in the castle grounds. As a sponsor I was also able to take advantage of a backstage pass that allowed me to take shots from the back of the stage as well as in front.
You can either click on the images below to scroll through the gallery or view an on-page slideshow.
I have two more music events to photograph this year – Rockin’ The Car Park at The Farmer’s Boy in Brickendon and the fantastic Wilkestock, which this year is a three day event (after which I’ll probably need a few days off!).
Earlier in the week I photographed a show home at a new development of 13 spacious town houses.
This was my first time photographing interiors, something I’ve been interested in getting in to for some time. I had the run of the show home so there was no pressure and I could take my time choosing the best angle and compositions.
The property was ideal material, being large, finished to a high spec, beautifully presented and with lots of light.
I used a tripod for the vast majority of shots and set the ISO to 100 and aperture to f11. In many of the shots I boosted the EV, in some cases by up to 2 stops.
A handful of shots required a bit of a tweak in Photoshop but the vast majority were fine straight out of the camera.