31 May 2012

Astro Photography...

... well kind of.

Last night I was invited by a previous attendee of one of my Photo Experience Days to visit a friend of his who has a "proper big" telescope set up in his back garden.

His rig was all computer controlled, and at the click of a mouse button he was able to automatically move it to view the moon.  Impressed I was.

Not nearly as impressive was the clouds that had magically appeared just a few seconds after we arrived, however patience paid off and about an hour later we got 20 minutes of nearly clear sky.

Not having got a lens attachment for my camera (to enable camera and telescope to connect and work as one) I had to hand hold my mobile phone and camera up to the eyepiece of the 12" telescope and hope for the best.  Results were a bit hit and miss, but given the limitations of how I was working I was really rather pleased with some of the photos.

The first photo here is taken with my Blackberry mobile phone, and the second with my Fuji X100.  Neither photo has been cropped.  The third photo is of Saturn, and it's been very heavily cropped. 

I don't think I have the patience to take up astronomy as a hobby, but it was a very interesting experience.

23 May 2012

BodyPower 2012

The highlight of BodyPower 2012 for me, I'm almost ashamed to admit were the buffalo burgers that I might have eaten 3 of over the 2 days I was there.

Friday was fairly quiet, I think it had been set aside as an "industry" day, which in effect means not much was happening in the way of events, but it was much easier to walk around and chat with people.

Saturday on the other hand was insanely busy, with so many people the phone networks gave up working and it was all but impossible to find the people you were looking for asides for meeting accidentally, which of course never happens when you're actively searching for someone!

I don't really do crowds, so I had to retreat outside of the halls for a couple of hours around the high point of the day.  I ended up in Wetherspoons where I sat for an hour with a few friends waiting for food we'd ordered that never actually turned up.  I was only disappointed for as long as it took to get a refund and realise that it meant buffalo burger number three!

The show itself was bigger and better than ever, with lots of different stages and event areas for all kinds of sports from Brazilian Jui Jitsu, Strongman, Arm Wrestling, MMA and of course Body Building.

Top stars included Mr Olympia Phil Heath, and Arnold Classic winner Branch Warren.  With other big names like Kai Greene and one of my favourite models I've had the pleasure of shooting twice, Larissa Reis.

Dates for BodyPower 2013 are already set - all the details on the website.

13 May 2012

It's a healthy baby girl...

... but only just.

I was out on one of my New Forest Photo Experience Days earlier today with a group of 14 eager photographers when half way through the morning we discover a cow sitting quietly on her own.  It took us a few minutes to notice that she was in labour.  That was when I had to tear up the days itinerary.

Not sure what to do I phoned someone in the know for advice, and they simply said give it some space and leave it be.

We stayed and watched until our stomachs got the better of us and lunch at the Lyndhurst Park Hotel beckoned.  One of the group wanted to stay with the cow, so we left them both together.  A couple of hours or so later the group returned.  The cow had moved a bit but still no baby.  Forty-five minutes later and the status quo had not changed.  It was time to call an end to the Photo Day and we all went our separate ways.

Several hours later after a meeting about a wedding and then an ice cream in Lymington I returned to Lyndhurst and trekked over to where the cow had been.  One of the Agisters and the local farmer who owns the mother were there, and the calf had been born just 10 minutes earlier.  It had needed help from the farmer, and when I told him that the labour had started before lunch they were really surprised the calf had made it.

Asking what I should have done, their answer was if you have any doubts, report it to the local police who'll get in touch with someone who can help.

The farmers granddaughter named the calf "Lucky".  I'm really glad I decided to pop back, and so very pleased for the happy ending.

08 May 2012

Rush Hour on the M27

30 seconds on the M27 near Southampton.