Welcome to my blog - the ramblings of a photographer!

#50) 13th December - Paper Gods

The long-awaited new album tour of my favorite band, Duran Duran, got underway at the beginning of December. I took a trip to Birmingham for their home-coming gig. Biased as I may be, I have to say they were awesome! I've adored this band and their music since the early 80's when I watched the video for Is There Something I Should Know for the first time.

The set was flawless. Well-rehearsed as a band at the top of their game since the late 70's should be! The critics slated the choice of Love Voodoo in the middle of the set, claiming it was too slow and created a "lull", but I think it's a very sensual, sexy song with a bass line to make love to. The set was littered with their new material, which went down well with the crowd, as well as old favorites such as Girls on Film, Rio and Wild Boys (my favorite). The highlight of the set was when they dedicated their track, Save A Prayer, to the Paris shootings and asked that we all put our lights on our phones on during the song. Which we duly did. The sight was amazing! Gone are the days of lighters, its now mobile phone torches. How times change!


#49) 30th November 2015

Winter is now upon us, which for me only means one thing - no motorbiking. So to console myself I took a trip to the annual NEC Motorcycle Show in Birmingham to gaze at the shiney new bikes the motorcycling manufacturers have to offer. I was not disappointed. There were bikes galore! From small ones to big ones, to matt black ones to colourful and shiney chrome ones. From road bikes to pure race bikes. Two highlights for me were seeing Valentino Rossi's 2015 Yamaha M1 in all its carbon fibre glory, and meeting my favorite British racer, Scott Redding. I mingled with the stars, took selfies with them and many photos of the various bikes on offer. It was an exhausting day, but well worth it. Can't wait for the spring time so I can get my bike out of mothballs again as well as see the start of the bike racing calendar of 2016.


#48) It was worth it...

After my great efforts the previous week, one of my images from Fawkes in the Walks was published in the local paper, the Lynn News, this week. I feel very proud of this because I know there were several photographers at the event, and although I didn't make it on the official event report, my image was featured in the letters page, so I'm happy with that. Especially as I received messages from various people who had seen it in the paper and portrayed their appreciation for my hard work.

This week, as November rolls on, the country has been dogged by high winds direct from the North. So I got togged up with various layers and my wellies on, and ventured out to Hunstanton to try and get some high tide images (which was 2pm). Below are a few results. The tide, as it turned out, wasn't as high as I was expecting, but the size of the waves more than made up for it!

#47) Firework night!

After two days of solid rain, the clouds parted ways and exposed a night-time sky of stars on 6th November above King's Lynn. A perfect night, weather-wise, for a firework display. On went my wellies and coat and off I trudged with tripod and camera in hand across the squelchy field which is King's Lynn Walks, the park in the centre of town. I think half the town had turned out to eat hotdogs, listen to the live music, have a spin on the fairground rides and of course watch the fireworks. I nestled amongst the large crowd of people and set my camera up, did a few test shots and was ready for the onslaught. Unfortunately my camera had other ideas, and the 1-second exposure time I had set it on was too much with the bright lights of the fireworks. I hastily disposed of my tripod, lowered the exposure time and clicked away merrily hoping that I had captured a few nice shots. The show was spectacular, the event well-organised and there was no trouble that I saw. The only gripe of mine is that there are never any extra toilets provided for the event. One which I find inexplicable given the sheer number of people there. Anyway, below are my favorite shots of the evening.


#46) A beginning and an end!

As the title suggests, I saw a beginning and an end in the last couple of weeks. The end of the 2015 outdoor inline speed skating season (and an end to outdoor training sadly) but a new season of basketball has just started!

Fury basketball started their new 2015/2016 season afresh with new players added to the team. Sadly they are without their star player, Eivydas Aleksa, who shone all the way through last season and helped the team on their way to the play-off finals. Their first home game was exiciting, the scores were neck and neck throughout the game, but when all hopes seemed to fade in the last dying minutes, Fury trailing by just a few points, the team levelled the score at full-time, forcing the game into extra time where they won by 3 points.

Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters participated in the final outdoor race of the 2015 season, at the London Velopark, for the British Inline Marathon Championships. The track is very hard for the inexperienced because it has hills, this is where I raced back in July, and as we live in the Fens we don't train with hills because there aren't any! The younger members of the club competed in the support races, 3k and 5k (depending on their age), and just one member competed in the full marathon. I couldn't face the hills again, so I didn't register to race, so I was there with my camera and I took my skates with me so was allowed on track to get some photos and have a cheeky skate round. After a long slow-paced race, the final lap saw a sprint finish for the men's seniors category with local favorite Mike McInerney finshing the 26 laps in third place.

My photos for both events are now up in the sports gallery and on my facebook page and the media reports are up on the media page.


#45) Silverstone MotoGP

As a sports photographer and lover of all things motorcycle and long-time Valentino Rossi fan, the event of the year not to be missed for me personally is the Silverstone MotoGP. So off I trekked to Northamptonshire to check out my hero on track for the umpteenth time. I ended up in the same general spot throughout the weekend because it was close by, but depite this, I still managed to walk my legs off it seemed! I wandered around the entertainment zone and paddock area and bumped into a few famous faces including Moto3 rider John McPhee, a podium finisher in the previous race in Brno. I also saw Randy Mamola, Nicky Hayden, Scott Redding, Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl, but alas, no Valentino (no suprise there!)

I chose to go to the track on Friday for a few reasons: less people, less money and more freedom to wander! As a photographer you need to find good positions trackside to get the best shots. I found the perfect spot at the pit lane exit - capturing the riders coming out of pit lane as well as coming round the first corner after the start/finish straight.

All around Silverstone there are 10 ft chain link fences with a 3 ft barrier in front of it to prevent spectators from standing against the fence. This isn't good for photographers because if you stand 3 ft away from a fence, the fence will be in the shot. So I managed to sneak myself right against the fence and not get told off once! I'm pleased with my resulting shots which were all taken on the Friday. On Saturday the security staff were on hand everywhere and were making sure us errant photographers kept away from the fences (grr) so all the photos I took on Saturday were no good due to the fence being in the shots.

It was a great weekend, the weather was good on Friday and Saturday, with just a few clouds and sunshine. It rained on Sunday so I didn't go to the track, but watched my hero Valentino Rossi bring his bike in first place over the line in soaking wet conditions. Only his second ever rain-soaked win in almost 20 years in his career. He now leads the championship and is going to be an exciting last few races of the season. I would love to see him win his tenth title so I'm cheering him on from my sofa every race weekend!

This image below is my favorite from the weekend. My shots from Friday are all in the sports gallery, so check them out.


#44) My first race!

Last Saturday I set off early for my journey to London. Registration was at 10am so I didn't want to miss that, so I arrived at 830. Nice and early in true Tidman fashion! So I took the liberty of checking out the Velodrome where a few cyclists were time-trialling around the track. I ventured back outside to check out the cycle track which was to be the skate track for today, and much to my horror, there were hills. Yes! Actual hills! The one mile circuit has many corners and reminds me a little bit of Assen in shape. We were allowed a few warm up laps and the hills were as challenging as I'd feared. Don't forget, we live in the Fens where there are no hills of any kind and especially not where we train. Eek!

After two warm up laps (which was challenging enough) I had the bigger concern welling up inside me - how was I going to do this for 5, maybe 6, times! There wasn't just one hill to struggle up, there were 5 (if memory serves me right).

My team-mates and I assembled on the start line and were ready to race. They, of course (being only 11-12 years old) bolted off the start line and headed down the straight and into the first dip. I was concentrating on not fluffing my start and keeping myself upright! The nerves were jangling, my starts are weak, but my determination to complete the race was high up on my priority list - my goal was 6 laps.

After the first lap I had familiarised myself with the corners and hills, two were particularly challenging - an up-hill incline with a long left hander at the top, then it dipped down (great - a chance to relax!) then a slight incline onto the back straight, then a steep hill. With a head wind. At one point I had a tremendous urge to crawl up the hill rather than skate as it seemed it would be quicker! The water station was at the brow of the hill and we were all grateful for being able to drink and skate, although I was so out of breath I had to skate a quarter of the way round to catch my breath and be able to manage a few gulps before the next up-hill climb! The temperature was hot, a lovely sunny day, but it made me feel sick now as my heart beated so hard and my breathing so heavy I could barely hear the crowd and marshalls urging us on all the way round the track.

The time ticked by and it was a timed race - 30 minutes - which at times felt like it was never going to end! But it eventually did, and I ended up in 11th place. I wasn't last to finish which was a bonus, and I ended up second in the Women's Masters category which was most unexpected because I got my first ever trophy!

As I said, my goal was to complete six laps, which I did. I wasn't event bothered if I came last, so long as I finished the race. Which I did.

The atmosphere and encouragement was amazing - not just from my team mates and friends, but also from other club members who are becoming my friends too. The skating fraternity is a very mixed one of different ages and abilities, but we are all joined together by our love of skating. A sport which I have loved since I started when I was about 10 years old. I just wish I'd discovered speed skating earlier on in my life!


#43) Wisbech Skaters were competing in the London Inline Marathon last weekend, and as I was invited to come along as one of the official event photographers, I thought I'd take along my own skates and race in the Endurance Race as well! The day was awesome, fine weather, a great venue, friendly faces, great team spirit and support from everyone - competitors and volunteers alike. Our team did particularly well and brought home 5 more trophies to the club's name (including one from me after I came second in the Women's Masters category.) I've sent off a press release regarding the event so hopefully we will be in the local papers again.

This weekend they are off to Belgium which I sadly can't attend but good luck to all competing!


#42 Friday 31st July 2015

Since I took on the mantle of club Media Rep once again for Wisbech Speed Skating club, we had some good news - team skater, Eve, would be skating for Great Britain in Belgium. This was a cause for much jubilation so the club asked that I write a little piece for the local papers in the form of a press release. We scheduled a hasty photoshoot during training, and wrote up an article. I'm happy to say that this was published in (so far) 3 local papers. My intention remains to let the world know of the achievements of this great club. They deserve the recognition and praise bestowed upon them. The articles are uploaded to the Media page on this site. Well done to Eve for her selection and good luck next month!


#41 Sunday 26th July 2015

Things have been pretty quiet on the photography front of late. Which is just as well really because my favorite lens decided to break on me at Cadwell Park, leaving me to manually focus on bikes speeding round a race track at 100mph+. I managed to get a few decent shots, but as soon as I got home I started on the hunt for a replacement. It was my Tamron 18-270mm lens and is the one I use for all my outdoor photography, so I was pretty upset that it broke, and it really did break. There's a piece rattling round inside the lens and the lens won't extend at all unless I actually pull it out! A 2-week long hunt on ebay and I've managed to pick up a newer model at a good price, so we're back in business once again!

Last night I was asked to take a few photos at the rink for their School's Out summer party, and with traditional English weather in full flood (literally it seems), it's rained continuously since then, thereby calling off the planned outdoor basketball event that I was supposed to be attending today. Stupid weather!

I was asked to take up the mantle once again of the club media rep for our Inline Speed Skating club, due to a serious lack of race reports in the local press, despite the club attending many events this season. My aim is to promote the club and get the team members the recognition they deserve. So it's all systems go! Keep an eye out for announcements on this as we go throughout the rest of the outdoor season...

Happy holidays!


#40) Sunday 14th June 2015

Despite the dreary weather, the annual Downham Games was held today and by chance I was invited to be the event photographer for the day. The day was well supported by local families, and even had a suprise guest appearance by Norwich City footballers (and twin brothers) Jake and Joshua Murphy. I didn't manage to rub shoulders with them and get my picture taken with them unfortunately, but it was nice watching them sign autographs and have photos taken with everyone and they even took part in the tug-o-war competition! The event was well organised with games all day long, and due to the weather, the tea and do-nut stall was a welcome addition! My images are all edited and released on my Rock Click facebook page, and will be on here later on.

Last weekend I attended another local sports event, the football tournament in Emneth. My nephew Declan was playing for Swaffham under 11's, and they managed to win and proudly received their trophies. Sadly I missed the trophy presentation, but congratulations to all who took part and particularly Swaffham U 11's! (Proud auntie moment!)

Next event is British Superbikes this coming weekend at Snetterton which should be a good day out. James Ellison is looking strong this season, and I shall be cheering him on!


#39) Friday 29th May 2015

I've been fairly quiet on the photography front lately due to work commitments and lack of events to go to. However I did manage to get myself over to Snetterton race circuit this week for the British Superbikes official testing. I have to say, it was a brilliant day, a relaxed atmosphere, hardly any spectators/crowds were there and the paddock was open to all. I wandered around aimlessly for a while until after the first BSB session, then saw the top riders in their garages, downloading info, de-briefing to their teams, relaxing in their garages, and in Shane Byrne's case, explaining how he managed to bin his bike during the first session! Chris Walker apologised to me for the state of his hair as it needed cutting! And James Ellison happily played with a remote controlled helicopter in his garage which promptly crashed into his stationery bike! I managed to get a few dodgy selfies with some of the riders and took loads of general photos both on and off track which are now up in the sports gallery.


#38) Sunday 10th May 2015

Feeling a sense of achievement this week. I was awarded "Volunteer of the Year" for my photography work with CWA Fury basketball team. Sadly I was away on holiday so missed the ceremony (typical!) but it got a mention in the Lynn News along with the fabulous work of the team members and other members of the Fury Family. It's nice to be recognised for the work I do. Sometimes it goes un-appreciated by some, so this means an awful lot to me. I have to say I've enjoyed every minute of it and feel part of the team! Thank you!


#37) Saturday 18th April 2015

Today was the day that CWA Fury have been fighting for. Another road trip, this time to Sheffield to take on Oxford Brookes University in the NBL Div 4 play off final. A coach load of fans went with them and sounded their support throughout the whole game. And despite Fury dropping to almost 20 points behind at one point, they clawed their way back to just a two-point difference in the final minutes of the game. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. The underdogs and their fairytale win was off the cards as the opposing team won two fouls on the bounce and claimed their win by 5 points. CWA Fury have proved their worth, however. A strong team finishing as runners up in Division 4. Congratulations to the team and coaches and all the fans and supporters. I'm proud to be part of the fury family.


#36) Sunday 12th April 2015

What a weekend for the CWA Fury family. We all piled onto the coach which took us to London for an away game with Barking & Dagenham Thunder. This wasn't just any old game, it was the NBL semi final play offs. An important game for our basketball team. The game was the most tense and exciting game I've witnessed so far (and I've been to a fair few of them now). Throughout the game the scores were level pegging, both playing very defensively. But as the game drew to a close the teams were dead level so they went into extra time (5 mins). This proved to be the most tense and exciting part with our fabulous team winning by just two points to take them into the finals in Sheffield next weekend. The coach journey home was a raucous and musical affair with the players singing their hearts out! So happy to be a part of it!

My images now released in the gallery section of this site and on my Rock Click facebook page.

Congratulations to CWA Fury! See you next weekend!


#35) Monday 6th April 2015

STATEMENT:

I wrote a race report for the Inline Speed Skating event last weekend and it was submitted to the press. Unfortunately, some of the information in the report was incorrect. The report went to press and I was unable to get it amended in time. I also failed to mention other members of the team who also competed. This has seemingly caused some members of the club great distress, for which I apologise. The report was checked over by two members of the committee before I submitted it, but as we're all human we make mistakes. My sole intention is to raise the profile of the Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters, and I was asked if I could write the race reports as well as provide photographs for each race event as no-one else was doing so and the great efforts from all members of the team was going largely un-noticed. This is purely voluntary and I aim to continue to do so whilst still holding down a full-time job and keep up with my own training, unless I'm told otherwise. Once again, I apologise for getting it wrong.


#34) Saturday 4th April 2015

Finally my feet have touched the floor and my eyes have returned to normal after staring for many hours at my computer screen editing over 1,500 images after last weekend's British Indoor Speed Skating Championships. What a weekend! There were crashes, wins, losses, tears, laughter and cheering that raised the roof! The competition was fierce but our team came home with gold, silver and bronze medals and we have new British Champions in our club.

In other news, our basketball team, CWA Fury, made it through the play-off quarter finals and I've been invited to accompany them to their next away game in the semi finals in London next weekend which I'm really looking foward to.

During my busy week of editing, I managed a trip over to Norwich to see Jake Morrell at the Waterfront, supported by local band Common Youth, a synth based rock band playing original songs. Just my cup of tea being a Gary Numan fan! Neither band disappointed, playing flawless sets. Keep an eye out for both bands, they are going places! I'm still editing images from the Norwich gig, but a selection of my images from the race meeting are now up in the sports gallery.

Well done and congratulations to Wisbech Inline Speed Team and CWA Fury for their hard fought wins this weekend. Can't wait to do it all again soon!


#33) Saturday 28th March 2015

This weekend is the one that counts. CWA Fury basketball team are in the last 8 in the playoffs and play at home tonight at Lynnsport. This will be the first home game I've missed this season and feel torn between supporting them and the Wisbech Speed Skaters who have a very important British Championships to compete in at home at Skaters roller rink in Walpole Highway. It kicks off tonight with time trials for all competing, and then tomorrow from noon the action starts. I shall be there with camera and pen and paper to record the day's events and get some words and pictures together for the media next week.

I want to wish both Fury and Wisbech Skaters the best of luck. Two fabulous teams who have the passion and ability to win. Good luck everyone!


#32) Sunday 22nd March 2015

Another Gary Numan gig attended! This is my 5th since 2012 and I'm never disappointed. He played some tracks from his newest album, Splinter, and threw in a variety of older tracks including some from my favorite album, Exile. His performance was flawless and his singing was pitch perfect. A joy to both listen and watch as he rocked out on stage. The gig was packed, and this time we were blessed with a seated venue, somewhere to put our coats and rest our weary bones (us Numan fans aren't getting any younger!) The only trouble with us being in seats is that I couldn't wander round and vary my camera angles, so the shots I got were all from the same position. But I'm pretty pleased with how they came out. My images are now up on the music gallery page on this site.

In other news, CWA Fury basketball team made it through the first of the play-offs and their next game is this saturday at Lynnsport. Sadly, I can't make it because Skaters are holding the Indoor Inline British Championships on Saturday and Sunday and I am committed to that as the official photographer.


#31) Sunday 15th March 2015

Another successful game last Saturday for CWA Fury who won their game in spectacular fashion and won a place in the play-offs. Their next game is away so I'm unable to attend, but wish them every success, they deserve it.

They got plenty of press coverage last week as my images featured in the local papers three times along with great write-ups. The atmosphere at the game was intense, the fans cheering the home team on all the way, and I think my image of team captain Richard Milbourne scoring a basket with the enthusiastic crowd behind him captures the essence of the entire game! This image made it into the Lynn News and is featured in the gallery of this site.

My next photography event is the FISS Indoor Speed skating event which is being held at Skaters in Walpole Highway on the weekend of the 28th & 29th March. My skating isn't up to speed yet, so I'll be concentrating on taking those all important images and putting a few words together for the press the following week.

With the basketball season now over, my attention shifts to events outdoors as the weather warms up and we welcome summertime with open arms. It's been a while...!


#30) Sunday 1st March 2015

It was a beautiful sun-shiney day on Friday but, alas, I was stuck at work! The nights are drawing out now so I decided to go straight down to the beach after work and catch the sunset. Hunstanton produces some of the most amazing sunsets - the only place on the east coast where the sun sets over the sea!

Saturday was another basketball game for CWA Fury, held at Lynnsport. Wow what a performance! They took on Cambridge Cats and led from the start. They were scoring 3-pointers all the way! The final score was 93-59. The play-offs looking tempting with just one more game to play next Saturday to see if they get through or not. This game will be electric and one not to be missed. (I'll try and remember my drum this time to liven up the atmosphere!) My images are now released on my facebook page and a few of my favorites are now up in the gallery page of this site.


#29) Saturday 21st February 2015

Every cloud has a silver lining....

Well it did last weekend. I was all prepared for another basketball game for CWA Fury, but just 24 hours before, it had been cancelled due to the opposing team being unable to get players together. So this enabled me to go to the rink instead for speed skate training. It just so happened that it was Skaters first birthday under new management, so there was a birthday event on. The skating community were out in force and the rink was packed, with young and old skaters enjoying the atmosphere. There was a celebratory cake and cookie presented to the manager, Mike McInerney and his faithful underlings! I took my camera of course, and we managed to get just about every single person in the building onto the rink for a group photo. This made it into the Fenland Citizen the following week. I have to say, I am very proud ot be part of the team at Skaters and long may their success continue.

Happy birthday Wisbech Skaters!


#28)Thursday 5th February 2015

Another achievement for the Wisbech Speed Skaters this week. They had their first race meeting of 2015 over in Ipswich. There were club members competing in each category, and they took home 3 gold medals, 2 silver and a bronze. As the official Media Rep for the club, I took photos galore and wrote the race report which was published in the Fenland Citizen, much to the delight of the club members. Flynn McGurk, getting the recognition he deserves after his 4 race wins and gold medal, managed to get his photo in the paper. I feel a great sense of achievement as this is my intention for them. They train really hard and are all fabulous skaters with true grit, stamina and determination. I'm very proud to be a member of this great club.

Next up is the return of basketball this weekend, where CWA Fury hold their first home game of 2015, and are coming off the back of two match wins with over 100 points in each.


#27) Sunday 18th January 2015

In the absence of anything better to do I decided to have a tidy up on this site. I've archived the blogs and will organise them by year as time goes on. So the old stuff can be found in the links at the bottom of this page. If you're really bored, feel free to peruse them!

I still can't get rid of the scroll bars that appear on the home page when using Internet Explorer, so I strongly recommend the use of Mozilla Firefox for it to display properly. One day I will solve this mystery...


2014 blog archive