Sunday, 30 October 2011

Team Chasing, Andoversford 30th October 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

MudRunner @ Eastnor Castle, October 2011

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Our time in the USA

31st July 2011 saw the last day of our time living and working in the US.  Throughout this period we photographed (nearly) everything to help us and our children, who had grown up so much during these 4 years, to remember the whole experience.

This 4 minute video capture that time in nearly 1380 days, 900 images - it is quite personal but I make no apologises for that - our journey, our time.

video link here

Our time in the USA

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I have had plenty of practise photographing swimming events recently.  Both of my children are members of the local swimming team (Douglas County Stingrays).  Swim photography is not as easy as you may think, the splash of the water can upset the autofocus in the camera taking the point of focus away from the subject.  Lighting in swimming pools can be very low and trying to freeze the action can be another real issue. 
My tips are to use as long a lens as possible and try not to shoot at less than 1/500th sec, unless you are trying for the artistic motion type shot.
I've added a few football (or soccer) images from my boys weekend games just to break up the sequences. 
click the image to see the video
Swimming and Football slideshow

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

"900 miles to watch a movie, you must be mad" - I don't think so

900 miles - the distance from Atlanta to New York, thats the distance we've just driven to attend the special week long screening at the Village East Cinema of Senna, the movie of the life and death of the three times world Formula 1 champion who died at the age of 34 during the San Marino Grand Prix on the 1st May 1994.

Why?  From the moment the movie was first mentioned I felt that I needed to see it as soon as I could.

My interest in in F1 began properly during the 1990 season.  I'd always been a casual viewer, usually watching the races with my Sunday lunch balanced on my lap, but whilst wandering through my home town of Cheltenham England, I spotted a local travel agent advertising a trip to the 1990 Monaco Grand Prix, 4 nights accommodation and race ticket for £100 - seemed like a bargain not to be missed.  They forgot to mention the 36 hour coach journey, that the accommodation was a 4 berth caravan and the race ticket was for a vantage point high on the hill overlooking the harbour but the whole experience, sound and atmosphere was enough to hook me in. Just for the record Ayrton Senna took pole position and the win this weekend.

Being English and proud of it (as I still am), Nigel Mansell was my driver of choice but Senna was always there, always pushing.  I remember being sat in the stand at Silverstone a year later watching qualifying for the British GP, Mansell went quickest, Senna went quicker, Mansell went quickest again, Senna went quicker again in what was clearly a slower car, the look that Mansell gave his engineer at that point was captured by the TV cameras and said everything, "how the hell does he do that?".  Mansell finally took the pole and race win.  But do some digging and find the footage.

Since the movie Senna was released in Japan, October 2010 I've spent numerous hours scouring the internet, emailing independent cinemas in and around Atlanta trying to obtain release detail for the US, then the big announcement - the movie is to be premiered at the Sundance festival in Utah.  Surely the US release can't be to far away now?  The reviews were appearing, all saying that it was a 'must see' movie and still no detail on the national release date.   I even pestered the movies director Asif Kapadia on twitter who, much to my surprise and delight, replied to me but also admitted it unlikely that the movie would get to Atlanta.  Then I spotted a tweet saying that the movie was to get a weeks screening in New York, the same week my wife had asked me to book off work to go somewhere hot - New York in February, hot....? My wife and I began our relationship the year my interest began in F1 and so she knows me.  She knew how badly I wanted to see this movie, and so that was that.  We looked at distance on Friday, loaded the children into the car on Saturday morning and finally arrived in New York early Sunday morning.

This movie shows everything that keeps my interest in Formula One alive, the speed, technology, personalities, politics, racing and spectacle.  For those who are casual spectators it adds the emotion that perhaps only the avid fan can really understand.  The behind the scenes footage such as the drivers briefing adds a dimension that few ever see.

Ayrton Senna could have easily been one the 'died too young' heroes who's legend becomes bigger the longer he's been dead, but he isn't.  It was clear before his death that he had an extraordinary talent for driving but its easy to forget that the guy was only human and had a life away from the track, although I'm not entirely sure it was ever very for away from his mind.

The movie was everything I needed it to be and was worth every one of the 900 miles driven to see it.  Even my wife, who gave up her week in the sun to let me watch it, thought the film was 'fantastic' - her words not mine - surely that says it all.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Douglasville Train derailment, January 2011

We woke up this morning to news of a train derailment in downtown Douglasville
With my New Years resolution of trying to remember to carry my camera everywhere I decided to take a look on my way to work without realising quite how big a mess I would encounter

The images below were shot at around 8am in the morning of the 4th January, decided to return later in the evening to see how the clean-up operation was going. In the evening the police would not allow me access to the trackside - quite understandable really