It's almost Christmas. It's almost the end of the year. And I'm almost closing up until 2011.
My beautiful Christmas cards are stuck in a container somewhere in Medway - the couriers won't even let me go and pick them up. Trains are cancelled, roads are hazardous and it seems unlikely that I'll get to go on my holiday on Boxing Day.
But.....it's CHRISTMAS! And despite all the hassle it brings, snow is still beautiful.
It seemed appropriate to share one more image from the one where it snowed as picture of the week.
As I've said before, every day my life gets more Rock and Roll.
Here's Kevin from top boyband "Vice" performing at the Clothes Show Live last week shot from the press pit in "challenging" conditions. I was there for the fashion show but had absolutely no objection to warming up the cameras with some pop stars.
You can check out more about the group and even sample their music on their official site.
I won't even tell you about how I missed a photoshoot with Gok Wan due to the snow...
Finally made it to the Clothes Show Live yesterday to shoot the Fashion Theatre/Catwalk. Catwalk photography is always a little bit pot luck. The scene is lit for me and it happens in real time - there are no do overs or adding an extra light to light shadows or even direct where people will walk.
Pretty much all I can do is watch the patterns of light, make sure everything on the camera is running properly, that the exposure is spot on and keep shooting!
Still, it makes my job pretty easy when the show's this dramatic.
A slightly unusual picture of the week for me - since you can hardly see the people at all!
As well as weddings and portraits and fashion and all the stuff I keep going on about on my website, I also do some commercial photography for companies looking to build their brand.
Elizabeth Gall from Simply Elegant contacted me about a very cool project recently. She wanted me to shot off her amazing venue transformation services. After several lengthy chats we came up with a project that can only be described as "ambitious". I'm documenting the transformation of a garden into a sparkling, glittering, FABULOUS venue for a wedding. But not just in pictures. That would be boring! I'm using a fusion of traditional photography, HDR panoramas, time lapse and video.
Here's an image from day 1 of the build by Perfect Day - there are over 4,000 more images.... I'll be back on Friday to cover the "dressing".
Update: video of day 1 of the build. Complete with guitar music!
[pro-player width='530' height='253' type='video']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQAu8wNLXPc[/pro-player]
Take 3 beautiful models, an historic railway station, some gorgeous dresses and a whole boat load of sparkly stuff and what do you get? A very special location fashion shoot for Tantrums and Tiaras.
I was delighted when Kelly asked me to photograph her soon to be released collection - but even more thrilled as the ideas built and built. Last Thursday we all got together in a freezing train station in Buckinghamshire. And we took pictures. Quite a lot of pictures actually.
There will be a grand launch of the collection "soon" but I couldn't resist asking Kelly to be allowed to show you a sneak peek.
Model: Victoria Basford, Makeup: Makeup By Katy, Gown: Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories: Tantrums and Tiaras.
I don't just photograph weddings. I also make portraits, children's portraits, shoot catwalk and fashion. And go to the odd party.
Last week I was asked to photograph a party in one of those huge warehouses in Fulham. It was a fantastic night - lots of fun, very noisy and very dark.
In situations like that you pretty much fall back on flash and aim to blend it as closely as you can with the ambient lighting. This can create some very cool effects. But flash is no use when the hosts suddenly start a slideshow of pictures on the wall. Flash would tend to perfectly light the heads at the front and completely wash out the pictures on the wall. Or you could work at blending it and risk losing the disco lighting which makes up so much of the atmosphere.
Or you can grit your teeth and rely on keeping your camera as still as possible and the latest science fiction style cameras. Two years ago this image would have needed extensive post production to print at a large size. As it was, it came out of the camera just fine.
For the tech heads: 1/100s / f1.6 / ISO 6,400. No noise reduction.
For everybody else: don't worry - I'll create great memories of your event no matter how dark it gets.
You probably realise by now that I love my cameras. At the last count I think I had about a dozen...
There are 3 that I use day in day out. The Nikon D3S for pretty much everything, the D3 as a second camera when I need two and the Hasselblad H3D-II for high end portraiture, fashion and babies.
But there's always room for one more. So when I heard it was possible to get hold of a Fuji IS-Pro at a realistic price I jumped at the chance. This was a special model of the Fuji S5 made for military and law enforcement purposes which sees far beyond human vision into infra red and ultra violet. I had to fill out forms and make certain promises to Fuji to even be allowed to buy one. (Including that I wouldn't use it for the creation of weapons of mass destruction. For real.)
But it's going to be a lot of fun. The documentation says clearly all kinds of filters and special processing you need to use with it. But of course I didn't have any of those. So I just whacked a macro lens on it and went out into the garden. Above it one of the beautiful lilac flowers in our border.
In time I'll learn to use it properly for specialist portraiture. And I might even buy the filters. But for now it's playtime.
I've spent the last couple of days at the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate. This is a twice yearly, industry only bridal show featuring the best in upcoming design. It gives me a good view of what's going to be popular in the next couple of years.
Two days of in depth meetings, analysis and discussions. Ok it was mostly parties.....
One of the highlights was the designer catwalk preview showing the newest, hottest and flat out best in bridal design. Security is very (very) tight and cameras are strictly forbidden. So I was delighted to get special permission from both the organisers and one of the designers to photograph a collection as it came down the runway. This is a small part of the Madeline Isaac-James 2011 collection.
And everybody was there. Everybody. Including the entire Madeline Isaac-James team. Unfortunately they were in a royal box a long way away and it was pitch dark. Far too difficult to take a picture. Fortunately I have a new camera that pretty much has night vision......
After a lot of shooting through the month, I finally took a day off on Sunday. And what do I do on days off? Um, take pictures...
This was down at the Military Odyssey at Detling showground. With horses charging everywhere, explosions going off and lots and lots of people with guns, they like to keep the public at arms' length. It would be easy to take a long lens and shoot from the sidelines. But where's the fun in that? I took my 24-70 mid range zoom to make sure I got in close to the action.
Like this picture of a couple of members of Regia Anglorum ready for a marching display which sadly got pretty much rained off.
Mind you, it was all I could do not to shout "Romanes eunt domus" at them....