#26) Monday 29th December 2014
Well that's the Christmas and birthday festivities done for another year! I had a birthday trip out to watch Peterborough Phantoms play a home match at Peterborough Ice Rink so I tried out the 50mm lens there instead of the usual 18-270 Tamron. The lighting isn't great so thought I'd go for low ISO, less grain and sharper images. I think it worked. This is my lens of choice for basketball as well, as it is F1.8 and lets in plenty of light. Much needed indoors! They came out quite well considering they were shot through smeared glass! Images now up on the FB page and in the gallery on this site.
Next up: New Year's Eve and setting of a new year resolution. Haven't quite decided what mine will be, but it will most likely involve skating in some way!
Happy New Year!
#25 Tuesday 23rd December 2014
I would just like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
#24) Monday 8th December 2014
One year ago Hunstanton beach was a different scene to what it was on Saturday.
One year ago Hunstanton beach was in the grip of a tidal surge, not seen since 1953.
One year ago high tide was 6ft above its normal height.
One year ago I was on the top of the promenade taking photos of it as the sea water surged and took all in its path along with it into the cold depths.
This weekend was a different story however. Calm, sunny, crisp and cold. I left the pub after a slap up lunch, I said my farewells to them and headed down the beach to catch the sunset. I wasn't dressed for it I soon realised! The wind was gently whistling across the sea as high tide approached. I made my way through the part-dismantled funfair which is on its usual winter lockdown, and hopped over the 4ft sea defence to see the sunset in all its glory. The firey-red sun and sky didn't make the rawness of winter leave me feeling partcicularly warm, but I marched on down to the water's edge which was creeping in. A number of Oyster Catchers and Seagulls sat waiting at the edge with me for their dinner. I, of course, had my camera in my (very cold) hands and so snapped away quite merrily. For about 3 minutes until my hands were too cold to move! It wasn't much above freezing, frost still laying in sheltered spots on the journey home!
My lesson of the day? I need some fingerless gloves so I can still operate my camera. Think that's going on my Christmas list!
#23) Monday 1st December 2014
I've had a few really busy weeks since my last blog. I've had 6 images published in the local media, been busy at the rink and went to a Gary Numan gig (again!) So this blog is going to be Gary Numan influenced! I managed to bring my camera into Hammersmith Apollo with much success, and got some fairly good shots. The place was rammed but we were about 10 deep from the front so not too bad. The gig itself was amazing to say the least. Gary had caught a cold from travelling over from L.A. and by Friday he had tweeted that his voice was gone - not good news for us fans or him. Fingers crossed that he'd be OK for the big gig of the year. My friend Rob and I were interviewed in the crowd by a TV crew who were getting footage for a TV documentary on Gary. Awesome! We were hoping that Gary would be OK for his gig. He burst on stage in his Splinter regalia looking really smart for one song at least! He immediately threw his top hat into the crowd and slowly got rid of the posh stuff to be in his usual black jeans and t-shirt gig-wear. After the first song he announced with a croaky voice that he'd had a steroid injection in his bum (prompting much reaction from us!) then flew into the rest of the two-hour set with the agility of a 20-year old. We all sang along with our idol and helped him out when he needed it. The acoustic song of Joe The Waiter with Gary on stage on his own allowed him to fully hear his fans singing along with him. The finale of Are Friends Electric was supported by us once more and he bade us an emotional farewell, but not before bringing his three lovely daughters on stage to introduce us to them. A heartfelt gig from the best performer of electro-pop-rock. This is why I love him!
#22) Saturday 22nd November 2014
Another action-packed weekend done! Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters had their first home race meeting last weekend and won a lot of races and many of them finishing on the podium. They took away an impressive haul of medals and trophies. I'm their official photographer (as well as member of the team) so I took photos galore! Some are on the gallery page and all are on my facebook page. There are a few with me in them. I had to thrust my camera into the hands of a willing volunteer who took those! I wrote a race report and submitted it to the press along with a selection of the best images and two local papers published them. I'm very happy with this - my aim is to get the club the much-needed publicity that they so deserve. I will continue with my endeavours. They plan to have more home races in the future, which is good because the participating clubs are from Birmingham and London and the not-so-far-away Ipswich!
Today I'm back at basketball for the evening and tomorrow in Newark at the Roller Derby Hertland Series finals. My life consists of skating and basketball!
#21) Saturday 15th November 2014
It took me a while to choose the right camera for me. I visited camera shops, I read online reviews, I sought advice from my photography friends. I need a quick camera in order to take fast-paced action shots at various sports events. I inititally went for a 50d (second hand), but it soon proved to be the wrong choice. I struggled with it on many occasions. It was sluggish when focussing, especially with my 270mm lens, and at full zoom it simply wouldn't focus. I got fed up with it in the end and reverted back to my old 1100d which performed far better during sports events. The 50d showed its age, having been released in 2008, whereas the 1100d was released in 2011 with newer technology. So, I decided to sell it on, it just wasn't suited for sports photography, although good for other types of photography such as landscapes and portraits. Even though it was a far superior camera to my 1100d, it just wasn't up to the job.
So after much careful thought and testing one out in the showroom, I opted for the newly-released Canon EOS 70d. It's the most expensive thing I've bought except for my house and vehicles! But it is totally worth splashing out on! It's a beautiful camera, has so many more functions and abilities compared to the older models and the images are far better. I'm really pleased with it.
I'll write a full review after the weekend. Today we're off out to the Wisbech Inline Speed Skating race meeting at our local rink as I'm the official photographer. I hope to get some decent shots and hopefully give the club some much-needed exposure. More soon.....
#20) Sunday 9th November 2014
Just realised that the battery pack in my camera is an aftermarket one, not genuine Canon. This might explain why it drains fairly quickly! I always like to have at least two spares, especially when I'm out with the camera all day. A couple of new batteries are on the shopping list.
#19) Friday 7th November 2014
I've been fairly busy over the last few weeks playing with my lovely shiny new EOS70d camera. The first set of images I took were of the high waves at Hunstanton when ex-hurricane Gonzalo hit Britain. One of which made the local papers, so a good immediate result!
It had it's maiden run out with the basketball team last week too and I'm happy with the results. I'll write a review on the camera when I get more time. This week my laptop has been plagued with a few viruses so it's been away to be fixed. I'm off out tonight for Bonfire night, but alas, it's raining and windy, so my lovely new camera will be staying in the dry and warm and my old 1100d will be coming out with me!
#18) Saturday 25th October 2014
After much deliberating, I finally made a decision on which camera to buy. It was a choice of either a Canon EOS 7d, which is fairly old now, or a brand new EOS 70d with new technology. I plumped for the latter. So now I'm learning how to use it! I've also spent quite a few hours updating software as mine was too old to read the data from the new camera. Typical! But we're there now and I can't wait to take it to the next basketball game to try it out. In the meantime, my twin nieces turn one year old this weekend, so a birthday party is in the diary for tomorrow.
#17) Monday 6th October 2014
Well Roller Derby was an experience! I visited Norwich UEA Sportspark to witness the first bout I've ever seen. I went mainly to learn about the game with a view to bringing it to our local rink, but I took my camera in (of course) and took some pictures while I was there! They're not the best images because I used the wrong lens, but they do show you the different facets of the game. They're now up in the sports gallery and Facebook page so check 'em out!
#16) Monday 29th September 2014
Our local basketball team, CWA Fury, have got their season off to a flying start winning their opening home game in the National Shield against Anglia Ruskin University by a whopping 50 points! Photos now up in the gallery. Check 'em out!
#15) Saturday 27th September 2014
What a fabulous summer! Jam-packed with well-supported outdoor music and sports events and beautiful weather, each year just gets better and better here in Norfolk!
Now we move into the Autumn, with a Hallowe'en weekend at our local skating rink coming up, a new season of basketball with our local team, CWA Fury, has just got underway along with a new season of ice hockey at Peterborough Ice Rink and Inline speed skating moves indoors for the winter.
I also have the tricky decision to make with which new Canon camera I should invest in (funds allowing of course!) Decisions decisions!
#14) Wednesday 17th September 2014
CWA Fury got off to a flying start at the weekend winning their warmup game against Fury Legends. Their next match is on Saturday 27th for the National Shield, playing at home at Lynnsport from 6pm. Come and support your local basketball team!
I've added a new page to my site as you may have noticed. Someone mentioned recently that I always seem to be meeting famous people. I'm not really, but it got me thinking that it's quite a nice thing to show everyone, so have a look on my rubbing shoulders page and be suitably impressed (I hope!) A quick shout-out and "thanks" to my friend Arienne who took some of the photos.
Looking forward to Lifestyles Festival in my home town, Hunstanton, this weekend, and then travelling to Birmingham for more Inline Speed Skating action!
#13) Monday 8th September 2014
I attended my first inline speed skate race event this weekend in Felixstowe, hosted by Ipswich Skating Club. The weather was fabulous, overcast in the morning which was perfect for those all-important outdoor shots as well as not being too hot for the competitors. Wisbech Inline Speed Skating Club made a clean sweep in most categories coming first and second in all races that they took part in, claiming gold and silver medals. A small selection of my photos are on the sports gallery page, the rest are on my facebook page.
This week is the calm before the storm as the town prepares for CWA Fury Basketball Team to surge into action starting this weekend with a free outdoor exhibiton at the Tuesday Market Place from noon and then kick off the season at Lynnsport later in the day for the Legends game.
#12) Sunday 31st August 2014
This weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to Silverstone for MotoGP. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, I only managed to get to the circuit for the Friday free practice sessions. Not wanting to waste a moment, I still managed to get over 700 shots in various positions around the track. They are now up in the Motogp gallery on this site, and also on my facebook page.
#11) Tuesday 19th August 2014
I've been pretty quiet on the photography front lately due to having had wrist surgery to correct an old injury. It's healing well, so last week I took a trip out to Wells Next Sea for a breath of fresh air. The tide was in for once and luckily I took my camera so had a few nice shots from the day. They can be seen on my facebook page.
A busy couple of weeks are looming as I plan to go to Cadwell for BSB and then off to Motogp at Silverstone. Then soon after that the basketball and ice hockey start. Can't wait!
#10) Sunday 13th July 2014
Another entry in the local paper, this time a chance shot of my cat Jack, while we were palying in the field one evening. I managed to get him sitting in front of the sunset, resulting in a striking photo which I sent to the Lynn News. You can see the clipping on the media page. The photo was featured on a Norfolk Facebook page and it received over 1,000 likes and loads of positive comments which made my day!
Last week was a pretty uneventful one for me due to being struck down by an illness all week, but I managed to venture out on Saturday for the final night of Festival Too. The Tuesday Market Place was rammed! Local bands Addisons Uncle, Jake Morrel and Under The Influence warmed up the crowd before Scouting For Girls headlined. Photos are now live here.
Talking of galleries, I took the opportunity today of updating the sports and music galleries. Looks a little tidier now!
#9) Monday 7th July 2014
Hello everyone, I had a manic weekend again this weekend - It was the start of King's Lynn's Festival Too in the town, a free event, and one very well supported by us locals. The first weekend hosted local band The Shae Dons followed by Katrina (and the Waves fame). She was very much the professional, even when her set list blew around the stage! The following night was again kicked off by local bands and then followed by Jaki Graham, and then Aswad. A fabulous line up and the band got us all bouncing with their deep bass grooves and funky reggae sounds. My Festival Too pictures are now released on the music gallery page.
During all these shennanigans, I managed to also squeeze in a ten year olds birthday party and a christening!
#8) Friday 4th July 2014
My little cat Jack has gone viral! We were out playing in the field last night and there was a lovely sunset and Jack decided to plonk himself on the floor between me and the sunset and he sat admiring it for ten minutes or so. During which time, I brought out my iphone and snapped away. I posted it on a Norfolk facebook page and the photo has received over 1,000 likes, loads of comments and quite a few shares! I'm so proud of him!
#7) Friday 27th June 2014
Big event for me this week - seeing Gary Numan at Norwich Waterfront! A fabulously intimate venue and ideal to see such a great icon of 80's synth pop/rock. What a performer. Despite his 56 years of age, he rocks his stuff round the stage with the agility of a 40year-old. His set these days is a lot edgier, even the old tunes like Cars and Are Friends Electric? have a far heavier sound nowadays, a sound which I fully welcome! It was a gig full of electronics, lighting and energy, as well as the impromtu moment when Gary's mic flew off the stand into the audience as he sang Everything Comes Down To This. Luckily the mic setup on his synth was close to hand, so he didn't miss the chorus! Funny moment, especially when that mic packed up too! Thank goodness for road crew!
I've released a few of my photos, but they are watermarked due to breach of copyright on my last GN pictures. Vultures! The gallery is now updated as well as my facebook page.
#6) Monday 16th June 2014
Spectacular weekend at Snetterton watching lots of bikes go round in circles a lot. Some crashed, a few won, a few didn't start their races. There was a pit lane walkabout where I managed to rub shoulders with a few of the riders. I even got a few selfies with them! All in all, a top day out, and it's right on our doorstep! Bonus! All of my pictures are in the gallery on my facebook page and a few of my favorites are now up in the gallery page of this site.
#5) Monday 9th June 2014
Mega busy weekend this weekend sports-wise. I went to see my nephew play in the Football Tournament held in Wisbech St Mary. It rained. A lot. They got wet. They lost. I managed a few shots with my make-shift waterproof cover (made out of 3 freezer bags!)
On Sunday I was invited to the Norfolk 3x3 Basketball Tournament held in Norwich. The sun beat down on us all day. It was very hot. We cheered when the ice-cream van turned up. All the teams played their hearts out despite the heat and it was a brilliant tournament, and well supported. I took over 400 photos and spent 3 hours editing them and whittling them down to the best shots. They are on my "Rock Click" facebook page and will be in the gallery on this site when my eyes return to round from square!
#4) Friday 6th June 2014
I need a new external hard drive! The trouble with being a photographer is that you're reluctant to delete even the most dire of photos from your hard drive, so saving them onto an external hard drive is important due to the file sizes. The average photo on my laptop in RAW format is 20mb each. That's a lot of file space needed! My little 120gb one is now full so more investing needed...
#3) Thursday 29th May 2014
This has been an eventful week so far! The team photo I took for Wisbech InLine Speed Skating Club a few weeks ago was published in one of the local rags. It gives me a great sense of achievement seeing my work published, as well as giving this great local sports club some much-needed exposure, which is what it's all about. I'm also planning to attend some of their outdoor training sessions, and their race events. More on this soon...
My sister and I took a trip over to London to see our teen idols, New Kids on The Block. I don't care what anyone says about them, they are the original boy band of the 80's. They are well-rehearsed, well-established, well-coreographed singers and dancers. Note perfect in fact. And despite them now being in their 40's, they're still full of energy as if they're still teenagers, and they don't look too bad either, all of them having aged really well! Some of my photos will be up in the music gallery once I've chosen my favorite pictures!
#2) Tuesday 27th May 2014
After seeing loads of sunset and landscape photos plastered all over facebook over the last few weeks, I felt inspired. So off I went last night to capture a few landscape images around our beautiful North Norfolk coastline. I visited Holme and Thornham, and on my way stopped at Wolferton. The rhododendruns looked beautiful, so I couldn't resist!
The best bit was as I left Wolferton to continue my coastal journey. There on the side of the road was a small deer grazing in the long grass! I didn't get out of the car for fear of scaring him away, so I hung out the window as best I could and managed to get a few snaps before he disappeared. I felt quite lucky and glad I went out. I also managed a few sunset shots!
#1) Saturday 18th May 2014, BMF Show.
OK so perhaps you think this is an unlikely event to be attending for a sports photographer - a motorcycle show - but you'd be wrong. There's loads going on at the show all weekend long, both inside the arena and around the showground - including bands playing, product demonstrations, moped racing, speedway, stunt riding. There was even a Birds of Prey demonstration! Go figure that out! I even had time to do some shopping at the show too.
I located myself at the edge of the arena to get some shots of the sidecar racing. It was a really hot day and so after every three races, the tractor came out to water the muddy track. Therefore, whenever the sidecars went belting round the corner I got covered in lumps of mud, and so did my lens. Good job I had a tissue on me!
There was a stunt display team there called Moto Stunts International, and they were fab. A mix of trials stunt bikes, quad bikes and even Suzuki Vitara 4x4's, which they wheelied around the track to their hearts content. Their piece de resistence was a bike riding through a wall of fire. Pretty spectacular and I got a pretty good shot of the bike just as it blasted out the other side. Check my pics out in the sports section of this site.