Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Saturdays wedding of Kevin & Wendy 19.05.2012

I was recommended to Kevin & Wendy via friends of theirs , who's wedding i photographed a year or so ago . They have been booked in now for some time and i was looking forward to doing this wedding .As it was a a venue i haven't been to before . The whole day was held at the Harben House in Newport Pagnell , Buckinghamshire .

I met the Groom , his Best Man and Grooms Father in the pub a short distance away from the venue . Normally the town of Newport Pagnell is easy to get around on a Saturday . But this day was different !!! You may know that Newport Pagnell is the home to Aston Martin cars ? And on this Saturday there was a big auction being held . Selling Aston Martins !!! You could not move for them .

So , after a few shots of the men having a quick pint before the ceremony , just to calm nerves of course ! It was back to the venue to get shots of guests arriving . The Bridesmaid arrived and really confused me as i wasn't aware that she was a identical twin of the Bride , LOL . Various members of the families arrived and i got about taking some shots of them greeting each other and generally being happy and smiling .

Everyone was sent up to the room where the ceremony was to take place , as the Bride was due any moment . Just after they had all gone ,Wendy arrived in a wonderful white classic 1920's car called Alice . The door was opened and Wendy looked stunning in her dress and her gorgeous red hair looked amazing . Some shots were taken of Wendy and her Father .Then it was onto the room for the ceremony . It was a really relaxed atmosphere in the room . Lots of laughter and smiling faces . We were told to all stand for the arrival of the Bride . Wendy's sister Katie led the way , followed by Wendy and her very proud father , Neil .

It was a very relaxed service and also informal in that everyone was allowed to take photos during the service . This is becoming quite common now and makes for some special photos from the guests as they see things that myself as the official photographer wouldn't see . Mainly due to me not being able to move around during the service . The service went well and the marriage was sealed with a few kisses . Then it was time for all the group photos . There was a list that Kevin and Wendy had given me that they wanted following . The venue itself is a bit restricted for nice backdrops for the group photos . So we all took a trip to the local park , which is next to the river Ouse . I was lucky to squeeze into the bridal car as there was a seat at the front going spare . Lets just say that 1920's cars were not built for people of my build !!!

The weather was kind to us, in that it wasn't raining . But it was overcast and a tad on the chilly side . So the guests were keen to get the photos taken and get back to the venue to warm up . I'm sure they just wanted a tipple to warm themselves ;-) All the photos were taken , all the guests smiled and were happy to be in the photos with the happy couple . The guests went back to the venue . But Kevin, Wendy and myself jumped back into the car for a little trip to find a nice location to do some shots of them and the wonderful Alice (the car).

After a short journey back to the venue we went and done the cutting of the cake photos . This being a mock cutting . They told me that a good friend had made the cake for them . And as a surprise they had made a few extra layers and different mixes . So in all they had 6 cakes !!

I left the party to have their Wedding Breakfast . And as i only live a short distance away , i went home to upload the photos . I am always keen to get them uploaded as soon as possible , get them on a external hard drive and copied onto a couple of discs as well . That way i know i have all areas covered , should one system crash !! A quick bite to eat and a mug of tea .One little extra that i like to do if i am able to , is print of a couple of photos from the day and take them back to the reception . That way the evening guests get to see some photos of the bits they didn't get to see . I use a HiTi 510s Dyesub printer for this , asa i know that the print quality is fantastic . Then it was back to the venue for some evening photos and the real cutting of the cake .The photos that i had printed went down a storm , everyone loved them and said how good they were , considering that the weather wasn't exactly sunny . That always makes me feel good that people are happy with the end result .

The first dance was wonderful , the newly weds looking so much in love and so happy together . As usual , the children had been up on the dance floor having a good boogie to the music way before anyone else had stepped foot on the dance floor . No doubt the Children would be asleep before 10pm as they were all having a whale of a time .

Once the first dance was over with . I slipped away to leave the newly married couple to enjoy the rest of their day , with all their friends and family . Time for me to upload the evening images , back them up and make a few copies !!! You can never be too careful , computers do go wrong !!
So here are a few photos from the day . In all i took well over 1000 images !!!

Hope you have enjoyed this wedding blog . If you have any comments , please feel free to pass them on . Also , if you would like to know about my wedding photography packages , please look at my web site or contact me for details . I will always try my hardest to build a package around YOUR
budget .

Many thanks Mark.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Fox & Barn Owl Pictures .

Yesterday i spent the day with my good friend , Steve Magennis . This time we were photographing a Red Fox , Barn Owl , Kestrel and a Little Owl .

The day started with the Barn Owl being set on some wonderful old barn doors . Real rustic looking and just the place where Barn Owls love to spend time , watching for unsuspecting food to come wandering past , in time to be a tasty lunch !!! As the light was getting stronger , we had to be quick , as the contrast between the Barn Owl and the wood of the barn , make exposure quite difficult . I was under exposing by around 1-1.3 stops . And still , i have had to make some adjustments in Photoshop !!!

Then it was on to Annie the Red Fox . She and her siblings were rescued around a yr ago when her mother was killed nearby .They were too young to fend for themselves , so were hand reared . Annie was offered to Brian , the keeper , to keep as a tame Fox . She really is the cutest thing when you get to see her closer than you normally would . But still we had to be tucked away in a hide , out of sight , as she Will spook easily if she was to see one of us . For this reason , the workshop is kept to a max of 4 photographers . That way we are not clambering over each other . And Annie is nice and relaxed .

As you will be able to see from the photos . The hide is dug into the side of a pond . So we are at eye level !! It really does make for some amazing images . With wonderful reflections of Annie in the water .

Annie was given a nice fresh Pheasant as a treat . She did what all foxes do with birds and duly pulled its head off !!! Then burried it for later !! While she was burrying it , i just watched what she was doing as that part of the day didn't make particularly good photos . Due to the fact that all you could see was Annies side and a bit of dirt being thrown up in the air . It really was a great thing to watch , as i never knew that a Fox would bury its food . i thought that they would chow down and have a good feast . You learn something new every day :-)

So far i have only processed a few images of the day . So there are a few of Annie and a few of the Barn Owl amongst the old barn . But as my back is now killing from sitting at the computer , i need to have a rest and take some magic pills to help out ;-)

Thanks for popping by and having a read of my blog . Hope you have enjoyed it . Please leave any feedback and comments . They are always welcome .
View more of my images on my website
Have a good week , Mark .

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mad Dogs and an Englishman

Just wanted to share a small selection of the photos I have taken of my dogs.

The first has to be our Dog Izzy, a liver and tan Doberman who we sadly lost last year to a heart condition. 

Next we have Mabel our 11 month old Doberman, she is totally nuts !!

And Mabel being slightly more sedate

We have a new puppy, Maya, also a Doberman but we have only had her a few days so I am yet to subject her to the studio lighting and setting, pictures to follow when I can get her to sit still !!

I have also taken many portrait images for clients of their pets, I will endeavour to add some of these photos in the coming week, but for a start we have Bud, a boxer pup taken on a location shoot for the owner out on his walk.

For now I wish you all a good weekend, lets hope it is a dry one at least !!
View more of my images on my website

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A day photographing birds of prey .

I spent yesterday photographing 4 different birds of prey in a woodland . As i am not yet finished editing them all (over 800 images taken lol) i will add a few of the first bird that i photographed . This was the beautiful Barn Owl .

The day was a workshop that was organised by my good friend Steve Magennis . The idea was to get the various birds using the wonderful Bluebells as a nice backdrop .

For info on the Barn Owl look here  .

We had four birds in total to photograph on the day . Barn Owl , Kestrel , Buzzard and a Little Owl . As i have said i only have some images of the Barn Owl at the moment . But the others will follow.

We headed into the woodland at around 10.30am. And the Barn Owl was the first bird for us to photograph. We had about an hr and a half , placing the bird on various fence posts and well selected fallen tree branches . The display of  Bluebells was incredible , even though they were not fully out . The Barn Owl was really well behaved , sitting for us and making some amazing images . The sort of image that you would need to sit in a hide for a very long time to , maybe, get a decent image . So although these are not wild birds , it provides people like me , who don't have a hide or the patience to sit for a few days in a hide :-)

The Barn Owl was given a mouse as a treat , but didn't seem interested for a good while . Then when we headed further into the woodland , it decided it would put on a great show for us , by hanging onto the mouse and just 'showing off' !! You will see the photo attached .

There were a total of 5 of us that attended the workshop . Plus Steve and the falconer , Brian . The one bird that we had to keep a safe distance from was the Buzzard . Not because it was vicious . But it has a tendency to try and land on peoples heads if it wants to go for a little flight . And with talons that are very sharp . We all decided that it's better to be safe than sorry !!

If you are into your Bird photography and would be interested in attending one of Steve's workshops . I would highly recommend it . You will not be disappointed !! You can not fail to get good photos , even using a compact camera . If you have a decent digital slr camera , with a couple of good lenses , upto 300/400 mm . You will come away a very happy person . Just remember to take lots of memory cards , spare batteries and a good tripod . The tripod will be needed as the light level can drop quite a lot once you get deeper into the woods .

So here are a few of the Barn Owl . The others will follow over the next few days . Probably Tuesday onwards , as we are picking up a new puppy as a buddy for our Mabel . This i am very excited about :-)

 Bluebells look lovely in the background .
With the very dead mouse in it's beak . Posing for the photographers .

Thanks for looking in . And i hope you have enjoyed the images so far . My eyes are square from looking at the monitor all day . So it's time to shut the computer down lol .
View more images on  my website

Cheers Mark.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A day inbetween the Monsoon !!!

It's been all over the Television and on the radio about the awful weather we have been having here in the UK . One months rain fell in 48 hours !!! This ment that i have been stuck inside and unable to get out with my camera .

Yesterday however the sun came out and the temperature went up a few degrees . So i went out for an hour or 2 around my local area to take a few photos . There are several allotments within 10 mins of my house . And on one of them someone grows a huge amount of Tulips !!  I never see anything else growing on there . So i imagine that they just love Tulips . I took a few images of the wonderful splash of colours .

I then went for a short drive to see what the Rape seed fields are looking like . They do look wonderful . But i always find they give off rather a strange smell !!

One of the roads i went down had a road closed sign , due to flooding . But as i drive an old Land Rover , i went for a nosey to see how deep it was . It was around 2' deep , which is easily passable in a Land Rover . So i went through , just to give the old girl as wash of her undercarriage !!!
Talking to a friend of mine, who is the local policeman , he wasn't too happy that i had ignored his signs that he had put up earlier that morning !! Still , i do believe that i have never grown out of childhood , as most men will agree , that we never grow up , just our toys get bigger :-)

Later that afternoon i went to walk Mabel in the local park and see if it was possible to do any of our normal walk along the river . I would have been ok if i had taken a 2 man canoe and a couple of life jackets !!! The water level was well above my wellies . So it looked like Mabel was going to have a very short walk . The our friend Jackie appeared with her Lurcher called Izzy . So Mabel and Izzy had an hour running round after each other , through the flood water , knocking hell out of each other and knocking each other into the flooded field .

So below are a few of the photos i took . I was hoping to go out again today and venture further afield . But the rain has returned and the water levels have risen even higher !! The flooded road that i went through yesterday was deeper . I was unable to get through as someone had attempted it in a almost brand new Honda CRV . They didn't make it half way !!! So their vehicle is now stranded in the middle of the lane , going nowhere !!! I did get out to see if anyone was still in the vehicle . To offer a tow out onto higher ground . But they had abandoned the vehicle and must have got very wet and soggy feet !!!

 The wonderful splash of colours from the Tulips .
 The same Tulips with a small greenhouse . I desaturated the colours on this.
 Rape seed field .
 Love the cloud formation on this one .
Again , the clouds are wonderful in this image . I always look for clouds when taking a landscape . As plain blue skies are just boring .

Hope you enjoyed this short blog . It's difficult to get decent photos when it is raining 24hrs a day for a few days running !!!

View more of my images on my website

Thanks , Mark .