At last, the chance to finally shoot a puppy.......but he had to bring his best mate & 'partner in crime' Ralph.
These 2 adorable dogs were a pleasure to shoot although capturing a puppy had far more challenges than a normal dog shoot. Firstly, Stanley was a 'people magnet' and everyone wants to pat a puppy which isn't ideal when trying to get a shot. Secondly, because he is only young his walks have to be limited so as not too damage his joints during his growth, therefore I had to be quick. And finally, everything for Stanley was a massive game......he would decide mid shot that it was time to fight Ralph.........then he saw me lying on the grass ready to take a photo and decided it was time to fight me and spent the next 30 seconds jumping on my head!
Luckily for me I love all that daftness, so whilst this was a big challenge the shoot was a massive pleasure and the boys did really well.
Here are some of my favourites from the day which I hope you will like.
If you would like your dog shot (with a camera) then please get in touch :-) xx
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO SEE THE LARGE VERSION
I have done quite a lot of photos for Chloe over the years, now she all grown up, driving a car and studying dance at college in the UK. Whilst back on rock for the summer hols Chloe asked me to do some shots for her 'dance portfolio', here are the first batch which were all taken under the harbour in St Peter Port.
Looking back I remember that at no point did Chloe get out of breath or even look remotely warm, meanwhile I was hyperventilating in a big sweaty heap whilst doing all the hard work........like putting batteries in a flash and adjusting a tripod!!! ;-)
Hope you like the shots, there should be some more in a few weeks once we have done a sunset shoot.
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Back in May myself and my lovely other half Kelly took to the roads/dirt tracks of Iceland for our 2nd Icelandic road trip in 6 months. The first 1000+ mile road trip was brilliant whereby we circled Iceland on 'road 1' which is pretty much all tarmac & a very civilised route. During trip 1 (last November) I was armed with my trusty Canon 5D Mk3, a tripod and a selection of lenses. My photos came out well and my only regret was not having more time due to loss of daylight.
This time things would be very different, this time we were going to take on the might of the West Fjords where tarmac was a rare commodity and tearing through the mountains on a dirt track with no safety barrier would become the norm.......no place for the feint hearted. On this occasion we were again armed with a hefty 4X4, the 5D (but only a tilt/shift lens) and my recently acquired Fuji XT1 together with the 14mm, 18-135mm & 100-400mm lenses. My game plan was to use the Fuji for everything except for long exposures whereby I would revert to the Canon and Lee Filters.
For me this was a big risk as I had become extremely comfortable with the Canon and I knew the results it could deliver.......could the Fuji do justice to the staggering beauty of Iceland......would I do it justice and not make a pigs breakfast of it.......would we survive the roads of death and, most importantly, would there be plenty of places to eat cake en route???
Well we survived the roads, just, and my waistline is certainly still in good shape, after all 'round' is a shape! So how about the photos, how about the Fuji, would I forever fall in love with Fuji or would I launch the bloody thing into orbit with a size 10 boot and a big dose of swearing??? Only time would tell!!!
Of course I fell in love with Fuji, it is an awesome bit of kit and the weight difference is staggering. Whilst i love my Canon, and will always own one, I have to say that NOT carrying round something that felt like an optical rocket launcher was quite liberating, even with the big Fuji zoom lens. At the time of writing this Fuji have now brought out the XT2 which is a pretty major upgrade and very much on my 'wish list'.......along with the other billion quids worth of gear that every photographer wants :-)
I am delighted with the results and feel that the XT1 certainly conquered the west of Iceland, it's a little camera that can certainly play with the big boys. Ok, enough of my waffle, here are my favourites together with a little info on each of the days travels.
Thanks for reading :-) x
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO SEE THE LARGE VERSION!!!
Day 1 - Keflavik Airport to Borganes (73 miles)
Short drive upon our arrival to our first hotel in Borganes, quite possibly the first time I have ever checked into a hotel where the old lady on reception was about 134 years old and wore one pair of glasses on top of another pair, oh well it put a smile on my face especially when she announced it was her 1st day on the job!!! Managed to grab a few shots after dinner :-)
Day 2 - Borganes to Vogur via west coast (196 miles)
This was a day of 2 halves, the first half was fairly flat with a tarmac driving surface and the sun was shining with a clear blue sky. Several hours later and the roads became unpaved whilst the clouds began to build. A real contrast of shots on this day as we gradually worked our way north via the west coast. This day was our first encounter of the lovely road signs warning us that we could be crushed to death by a boulder anytime during the next 5km!!! Talk about 'running the gauntlet'.
Day 3 - Vogur to Holmavik (but drove north of Djupavik) 124miles
We drove a long way through the mountains before getting to the area around and north of Holmavik, completely stunning scenery but with a lot of unpaved roads that shook the fillings from our teeth. The little town of Djupavik has a population of around 50 and the disused herring factory & shipwreck are very cool & eary. To round off our day we had dinner in a Wizard & Witchcraft museum which also trebled as the local restaurant and visitor centre in Holmavik, we were the only 2 in there and the owners were very excited about the Eurovision song contest.......surreal to say the least but boy could that guy cook, top draw nosh :-)
Day 4 - Holmavik to Patreksfjordur via Isafjordur (260 miles)
Ok, so this was the biggest and scariest drive of the entire trip via the extreme north west of the West Fjords. It was on this day that our hearts missed a beat when our vehicle hit a larger than normal pot hole and suddenly changed direction towards the edge of the 'safety barrier free' mountain.......large amounts of colourful language and unintentional flatulence were delivered in equal proportion. Once our pulses had lowered back below the 1000 beats per minute level we were able to enjoy the rest of the trip and the peace & tranquility of Patreksfjordur was a welcome relief at the end of the day.......as was a generous dose of alcohol.
Day 5 - Patreksfjordur to Mosfellsbaer (239 miles)
Another big drive lay ahead as we were to complete the West Fjords and head back south to just outside Reykjavik. This was going to be an exciting day for me as we were heading to the famous bird cliffs and, at long last, I would get to see a puffin in the wild. Armed with a lens capable of capturing the dark side of Saturn we headed to the top of some pretty immense cliffs........and what did I see........4 seagulls and a bloody sparrow! Not a puffin in sight, gutted! Oh well, that's nature for you. Not too many photos on this day but the drive was lovely, even if the Sat Nav did try and take us to a ferry crossing that didn't have a ferry.
Day 6 - Mosfellsbaer to Reykjanesbær via Gullfoss area
The last day before flying home is always a bit of an anticlimax, so we headed inland to capture a last few sights before finishing off in Reykjavik. One thing you notice when back in this area is the massive increase in the number of coaches and tourists causing total chaos with their selfie sticks and, one of my biggest gripes, taking photos with a bloody iPad! I know it is nice to have photos of people in places but personally I dont feel that my face in a photo does the beautiful scenery any justice whatsoever, in fact it just reminds me that I need to go on a diet! Seeing my photos of the scenery is the memory I want and not reminders of 'how I used to look 2 stone ago'. Each to their own I suppose ;-)
Firstly, Iceland is a magnificent country that never fails to take your breath away. To explore this wonderful place outside of the normal 'golden circle' is a must if you are to ever fully appreciate it. I am addicted to Iceland having seen so much of it yet knowing that there is so much more yet to explore. And as for the Fuji XT1 & lenses........well I will let you be the judge as to whether you feel it had done a good job from all the images above. Personally I love it and am now a massive Fuji fan, it did not let me down one bit and it is an extremely capable bit of kit. Apologies for those who may of been expecting any technical blurb, there are far more qualified technical guys out there than me so I would rather just throw the photos out there with the odd chuckle to lighten things up.
Thanks again for reading and I hope you like the photos :-)
A couple of weeks back I was asked to to a 'dog shoot' by a friend who wanted to give the images to her other half as a surprise birthday present. Luckily for us the chap in question travels a fair amount so we planned a day when he would be away then smuggled the dogs to Grand Havre........... I would be lying if I said they were easy to capture!!!
Rosie, Harvey & Pepper were great fun, they had their own ideas of what they were going to do whether anybody liked it or not. For me that is the beauty of dog shoots, they always look their best when they are doing their own thing however you have to take one heck of a lot of shots to ensure some good ones.
The weather on the day was lovely but the light was seriously harsh, not to worry as at least it was dry. That said the dogs weren't dry given they spent half their time in the sea. All of the photos were taken with my Canon 5D MkIII with a 70-300L f4-5.6 lens.
Dogs are without a doubt my favourite subject from a 'photographic work' perspective, they don't care how they look and they don't make demands to remove 3 chins & dose of acne in Photoshop, what you see is what you get. Below are a few of my favourites from the shoot, I hope you like them;
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO SEE THE LARGE VERSION! :-)
During one of the only dry Sundays in January we took my other half's nephew Toby (aged 4 and a half!) for a run around The Guet and Grandes Rocques. Whilst out and about I thought I would give my new Fuji XT1 a run for it's money with some portrait shots. Given that the average 4 and a half year old covers the same mileage as a Premiership footballer it would be a challenge to nail anything decent, especially whilst trying to get used to a new camera.
Having seen the results I am delighted with the Fuji, it certainly delivers cracking quality shots without straining any neck or shoulder muscles due to the massive weight difference.
I hope you like the shots below, and don't forget to click on each image to see the large version.
Jamie :-) x
Dear Followers & Friends
2015 was an amazing year in which I was fortunate enough to do extensive travel, during the year I visited a foreign country every month with a total of 9 different countries on 4 different continents..............and yes I do know how lucky I am.
As a photographer you have live with the constraints of 'limited time, this means that the dream shot you envisage just doesn't happen because you are not there at the right time. It would be lovely to spend 3 weeks on location in one place waiting to nail the perfect shot, however most of us have to get what we can when we can and hope for the best. The consequence of this is that you have to take the rough with the smooth, that said I am a big believer that the world will throw in a few nuggets of unexpected luck to counter balance this. Personally I think I am a very lucky photographer and more often than not the conditions work in my favour.........that has probably put the kiss of death on 2016 :-)
I have chosen my personal favourite photo from each month of last year, this was very tricky as some months I hardly got any success whereas other months I was spoiled for choice. Interestingly the same 'little monkey' AKA Ella just happens to cap & collar my favourites by featuring in my January & December shots.
A SPECIAL MENTION to my lovely other half who, unbeknown to me, was taking photos of me all the way around Iceland in November, the shot at the top of this blog is one she took of me disappearing off with my tripod.
I hope you like the shots below and I look forward to plenty of snapping in 2016.
All the best and thank you all for your support, James :-) xx
REMEMBER TO CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO SEE THE LARGE VERSION OF EACH SHOT!
During the 1st week of November myself, and my better half Kelly, embarked on an adventurous road trip with the intention of driving around Iceland in 4 days. With a fair amount of advanced planning we set off from Reykjavik for a 1400km journey into the wilderness, whilst we had created a detailed schedule there was no guarantee that it would go to plan! Oh well, what's the worst that could happen? We were armed with warm clothes, plenty of drinks, lots of sweets/chocolate and 5.7L V8 Grand Cherokee Jeep which had plenty of grunt, a loud exhaust and an unhealthy thirst for fuel.
Day 1 - Reykjavik to Nupar (274km)
This was, on paper at least, the most challenging day as there was so much to see in the limited hours of daylight. Ahead of us were waterfalls, windy cliffs, a mobile fish & chip van, lighthouses, a 1973 DC3 plane wreck and the Northern Lights........should be enough to keep us busy! Everything went to plan and the day was a success, the Northern Lights however did not make an appearance. We were sharing our hotel in Nupar with a huge bus tour of Japanese tourists, in fact there were only 2 other people and the staff that weren't Japanese that night. The Japanese, bless them, were so determined to see the Northern Lights that they spent hours running around aimlessly in the grounds of the hotel using torches to try and find 'natures spectacle'!!!! :-)
All of the photos are displayed in the order in which I took them, remember to click on each image to see the large version.
Day 1 - Reykjavik to Nupar (274km)
Day 2 - Nupar to Neskaupstaður (433km)
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we set off in the direction of the East Coast, this was scheduled to be the longest drive of all but with less to see it would be a doddle............or so I thought. As with all of Iceland the scenery was extremely dramatic and we saw our first ever glacier, followed by another glacier and several dozen glaciers after that! Even so, it was hard not to be impressed by their magnificence and the mountains that surrounded them. As the day wore on we suddenly noticed that the windscreen was starting to steam up, the aircon had packed up in the car.......just as it was about to get dark.........just as we were about to go through the only unpaved part of the ringroad.........just as we headed up into the mountains...........JUST AS IT WAS ABOUT TO POUR WITH BLOODY RAIN! Ok, this was going to be a challenge and never in my life have I had to concentrate so hard whilst driving. In all this confusion we missed our turning and ended up an hour north of our next hotel, so we stopped for fuel and bought some stuff to clear the windscreen before heading back south.
For all of you who believe in fate you will appreciate that the above happened for a reason, as we headed back south the Northern Lights started to put on a show. We quickly found somewhere to park the car and admired the spectacle from high up in the mountains. Had we not missed our turning we would have been sat in our hotel eating dinner, given that this was the one and only time we saw the Northern Lights during our trip we were extremely grateful of the unplanned detour :-).
Day 3 - Neskaupstaður to Akureyri (337km)
Still on a high from seeing the Northern Lights we woke to a very frosty morning in Neskaupstadur. At this point I would like to mention the incredibly warm welcome and hospitality we experienced at the Hotel Hildibrand........and the food there is great. The guys who run this place are fantastic and this was easily our favourite hotel whilst touring around, quite some achievement as all our hotels were spot on. Overall Day 3 was probably the nicest drive of all, such varied and beautiful scenery all made better by the aircon in the car being brought back to life using the power of swearing alone. Mountains, snow, harbours and waterfalls all lie ahead with us finally arriving in Icelands' beautiful 2nd city of Akureyri. The highlight of this particular day was the sunset at Godafoss waterfall, this was the only sunset we saw but I will always be very grateful for the timing of it.
Day 4 - Akureyri - Reykjavik (380km)
The final drive south was expected to be the most boring and monotonous, even the locals said that we wouldn't see anything interesting. From my point of view this couldn't have been further from the truth, it was a wonderful drive. Being able to stand in the middle of a road, set up a tripod and take my time is heavenly from a photographers perspective. You could see a mile in each direction so at no point was to doing anything reckless! We saw many wild ponies on our journey but day 4 was the day that we saw the most and had the best photo opportunities. They are a little nervous but as long as you are slow, gentle and dont do any sudden movements they are very friendly (and I am not a horse person!). When we finally arrived back in Reykjavik we felt a huge sense of achievement, even if we were greeted with a huge downpour.
Day 5 - Reykjavik to ...........Reykjavik!!! (0km.....but plenty on foot)
It has to be said that Reykjavik is a very cute city and the best way to see everything is on foot. All of the main sights are within 20 mins walk, nothing is overly commercialised and the people are extremely friendly. The restaurants are superb, at no point during our entire holiday did we experience dining that wasn't tasty and fresh. My only regret was getting on the plane to come home! In fact, we enjoyed it so much we are thinking of going back next May to explore all of the areas that were inaccessible in November.
To summarise, Iceland is a place for adventure, time your trip to avoid the crowds and explore beyond the golden triangle. Personally I cannot recommend this place enough and to my mind this was the best holiday I have ever had :-)
Earlier this month some old friends of 'my better half' Kelly visited Guernsey for a few days to catch up with friends and family. Angie & Holly (mum & daughter respectively) returned to Cornwall over 10 years ago.
Given that our summer has been less than impressive the girls managed to time their visit perfectly with the sun shining for the entire time they were here..............ok so their trip was only about 5 days long but all the same 5 consecutive days of sunshine in Guernsey is about as good as we have had this year!
Whilst they were here we decided to do a short but sweet photo shoot around Rouse & Port Grat, even though we only had an hour, mixed in with some very harsh light, I think the shoot was a success. We have been trying to do these photos for years but every time they have visited Guernsey in the past I have always been away on holiday. All the shots were taken with my 85mm f1.2...............delighted I didn't sell this lens after all.
Here are a few of my favourite shots which I hope you will like, don't forget to CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE IT IN FULL SIZE!
Please come back girls........the weather has been rubbish since you left!!! :-)
This month I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling for work, in the space of 10 days I have done 9 flights landing in 6 countries and covered 16500 miles...........whilst this is fun it is also very tiring........especially when it is for work!
However I was not going to waste this opportunity to smuggle a camera, small tripod & a couple of lenses in my case and whenever time allowed I would head out in search of a shot or 2. The main bulk of this trip centered around Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok & Hong Kong (in that order), I managed to get shots in 3 of these cities but as I am going to Bangkok on holiday next year I held off from taking shots there.
These cities offer a huge variety of photographic opportunities including cityscapes & street photography, makes a nice change from heading to the coastline of Guernsey!!! Below are a few of the shots that I would like to share, the first 5 were taken in Singapore, the next 2 in Kuala Lumpur (I only had an hour!) and the remainder were taken in Hong Kong.
I hope you like them and please remember to CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE THE LARGE VERSION!
James :-) x
This is Benji, a 15 month old miniature Yorkshire Terrier...............and boy can he move quickly!
This dog belongs to my mums friend and she thought it would be good to get some shots of Benji showing his full character. Benji had never been off the lead before so when he was finally released he was like a hound possessed!!! Personally I love doing dog shoots, they are natural performers and providing you get down to their level the results are normally good. As you can see, Benji is so small that getting down to his level meant that I had to be flat on the floor, combine this with him charging around at great speed then this made for a very challenging shoot.
Whilst enjoyable this was certainly the hardest dog shoot I have had to do for all the reasons mentioned above. Big thanks to Canon for allowing me the facility to take 6 frames per second on my camera, this combined with a very fast lens ensured that I could nail a few decent shots. Below are some of my favourites from the day, I hope you like them.
Remember to click on each image to see the larger version of the shot! :-)
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