30 November 2010

A world exclusive

The location was a freezing cold personal training gym in deepest darkest North London.  My subject for the day was Antony Tagliamonti.  It was so cold that even after several hours of having 2 mini fan heaters going, it still wasn't warm enough to take gloves or fleece jackets off.  Brrr!

These first photos from the shoot feature an invention by gym owner John Fortey (john@innovation-fitness.co.uk 07719 566 126) , and over to him to explain a bit more about it.

"Core Fighter is the ultimate piece of equipment for dynamic sports conditioning. As any Combat athlete knows, it doesn't matter how hard you hit a punch bag or focus pads, it will only improve your technique but do very little to improve the power of a punch or kick as you're not working against any resistance.

Modern combat athletes move in many different directions and have a multitude of directional forces that need to be overcome to generate movement strength. Core Fighter offers the versatility to load those movements in a safe and relatively risk-free manner. Core Fighter also allows the user to generate fast, explosive movement without the need to emphasise to much control on the deceleration phase."

Apparently I am the first photographer to shoot with it, so by default it's a world exclusive!

Here's a quick snapshot taken with my mobile phone showing John and his invention.  Whatever you do don't ever press the big blue button!  Rumour has it that he's going to try and get the machine featured in the next edition of the Angry Birds game!  ;-)

Anyway, enough with my lame attempts at humour, and back to the serious photos with a few more of Antony showing the many ways that John's invention can be used.

27 November 2010

A Christmas card

This is about as Christmassy as I'm going to get this year.  One of my photos has been used on a Christmas card being sold by St Mary Magdalen church in Bath.

The picture was taken during a wedding I photographed there last year.

Please excuse the crappy mobile phone snapshot taken on the arm of my armchair.  I'm warm and comfortable and couldn't be bothered to move.

26 November 2010

Photographing bodybuilder, Helen Lindsay

My first shoot with Helen Lindsay was 12 days after the NPA British Natural Body-building Championships (which she won the womens' body-building heavyweight class AND the overall) and a week before she competed on stage at the INBF Worlds in Manhattan, New York City which she won amateur women's body-building.

Big congratulations for both achievements H!

We shot at Castle Gym in Windsor.  Over a cup of tea prior to the shoot Helen told me she wanted a "dark, dirty" look to the photos.  This was a good thing, as it meant I didn't have to drag my lights out of the car and trail mains cables around the rather busy gym for everyone to fall over.  The shoot was to be done with natural and available light, always my favourite way to shoot.

Thanks Helen for a wonderful shoot, and also special thanks to Jerry her boyfriend and tea boy!  I've never drunk so many cups of tea on a shoot before!

18 November 2010

Dungeness is weird

I made my first ever visit to Dungeness over the weekend.  It's a weird place.  To be honest I didn't know what to expect, other than it had a thumbing great big nuclear power station there I knew nothing about the place.  I'd done no research, and looked at no photos.  I've found this to be a better way of living life than knowing what to expect all the time.

It looks like no where else I've visited in the UK, or indeed anywhere else for that matter.  It doesn't even feel like you're still in England.   The only places "open" were a greasy spoon cafe, the Britannia Inn pub that collects keyrings, and a rather weird, but rather cool mystical gift shop.

It was a grey overcast day, with rain only a few minutes away, so I've taken and processed my photos to reflect that.  I'm probably painting quite a depressing picture of Dungeness, but truth is that I really liked it, and I'm hoping to return in 2011.

17 November 2010

Photographing Sarah Donohue, a James Bond stunt women

Recently I had the pleasure of doing a photoshoot with Sarah Donohue.

Although you may not know the name, the chances are you've seen her.

If you remember the scene at the start of the James Bond film, "The World is Not Enough".  There is a boat chase down the River Thames that ends at the then Millennium Dome (now O2).   Sarah is driving one of the boats and is the stunt double for actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta.

Extracting a little bit from her bio, "Sarah holds the titles of European U.I.M Powerboat Champion and A.P.B.A American National Powerboat Champion as well as being the World's most accredited Female Powerboat Champion."

All rather impressive really, and as such I think she's my most famous subject to date.

15 November 2010

Bodiam Castle

On a grey Saturday morning I paid a quick visit to my favourite castle. Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is everything a castle should be, with a perfect moat around the outside, turrets, and not too many people visiting it.

If Carlsburg made castles, they'd look like this.

Rye bonfire night

I was out on a photo weekend with a couple of fellow photography geeks in the Kent / East Sussex area, and by chance, as we were driving from Bodiam Castle to Dungeness via Rye we noticed that a week later than everyone else they were having their bonfire and firework evening.  That was our evening sorted then.

I've seen big bonfires before, and of course I've seen firework displays, but never before have I witnessed anything quite like the Rye bonfire.

Thousands of people had braved the cold wet evening, and after a flame lit torch carnival through the town, everyone assembled around the huge bonfire (pallets stacked about 3 stories high).

We half expected them to make a human sacrifice (with so many chavs in the town surely no one would miss one?).  This was obviously a tradition that had been going for a great many years.

I don't think Rye have heard of health and safety because the bonfire was lit by everyone throwing their torches onto the bonfire.  Accompanied by the sounds of hundreds of stupidly loud "bangers" the bonfire was lit.

A few minutes later the firework display started, and shortly after the heavens openned and down came the rain again.  The heat coming from the bonfire was amazing, even some 30 metres away it was too much to take.

It was an amazing spectacle, one that I think I'm going to have to return to next year.   We left about 30 minutes later after the chavs started throwing bangers just a little too close to the crowd for comfort.

Update: My photos are now featured on the official Rye Bonfire website!

11 November 2010

Photographing Sunseekers

Yesterday with the help of some contacts from the model I was working with, she managed to get us a couple of very nice Sunseeker boats to do the shoot on.  While she was getting changed and doing the normal girly stuff, I took a few minutes to take a few photos of boat of the boats.

We had two boats, a Sunseeker Manhattan 68, and a Sunseeker Predator.

These are just snap shots, the boats were not staged, neither were they spotlessly clean (dust & fingerprints you'd miss with the naked eye are much more visible on camera).  I didn't use a tripod, was shooting at a higher ISO that I normally would for this kind of job, and I only spent 5 minutes max taking the pictures on each boat.

Although all that said, I'm quite pleased with the results.  Now to find a paying job taking photographs of sexy boats in a hot place.

08 November 2010

Wedding photography in Lichfield

The weekends wedding ticked a few "first time" boxes for me.  The first time I've travelled and stayed overnight in the UK for a wedding, my first civil ceremony wedding, and the first time I've photographed a wedding for a friend.

I've become friends with people I've done weddings for, but shooting a wedding for one of my oldest friends was a first.  I've known Tina since college, which is a tad over 20 years ago.  We lost contact for much of that time before finding each other a year or so ago thanks to the power of Facebook.

When I found out that Sam & Tina were getting hitched, I volunteered my services.  They accepted, and the rest is history.

The drive up from Southampton, via a fitness photoshoot on route in Windsor, was awful.  The M40 in the pouring  rain, filled with numpties all driving too close and braking every few seconds is not a fun place.

With the weather the evening before being so bad, I can't have been the only one worried what it would be like on the big day.  It turned out to be a perfect Novembers day, a tad chilly maybe, but the sun shone from sunrise to sunset.

The venue was Packington Moor Farm, just a few minutes outside of Lichfield in Staffordshire.

I'll let my pictures do the talking for the rest of the day...

Huge congratulations to Sam & Tina!  Enjoy your honeymoon in the sunshine girls!

Update:  Apparently the funky green shoes are from Iron Fist - I've been told by someone that they're "the best wedding shoe choice ever!"

04 November 2010

Fitness & yoga with Noy Alexander in Las Vegas

After a two year break I got to work with one of my favourite models, Noy Alexander, again during my recent trip to Las Vegas.

We did two shoots, both in very nice houses with beautiful pools.  For the second shoot we almost ended up shooting in a famous boxers house, but apparently he was at the bank and not answering his phone quickly enough.  Next time Noy?

It was during the first shoot that I accidentally broke a wooden chair with my face after falling on a step I hadn't seen.  It hurt like hell, but it was rather amusing, and after dosing myself up on painkillers the shoot continued.  Sorry Angie for breaking your chair!

We shot lots of outfits, some bikini, some lingerie, and of course the fitness shots you see here.   My fingers are crossed that some of the shots of Noy will again be published in a magazine or two.

Thanks Noy for two great shoots!