I have been involved in doing firework displays off & on for about 20 years now. Mostly running one of the firing teams for Brighton Fireworks. Over the last few years I have been busy on other projects & have not done so many. So it was nice to get down there & see the guys at Brightfire Pyrotechnics (as they are now called). To shoot some photos of their Nevill Road Fireworks Display.

This is their own organised display rather than a commissioned display for a client. Over the years it has become our season ending big display & as such tends to be an absolute belter!! When we arrived the team were already well into the setting up process.

Ground effects were all staked out in 7 stations across the display site. Next it was time to set up the mortar shell racks

3″ & 4″ mortar shells of varying effects were then loaded into the tubes. The fast burn fuses all carefully laid out before the electronic igniters were inserted.

In no time at all the pyro was out, close to 2000 individual fuses connected. Mike & Tom from Brightfire Pyrotechnics ran the computerised firing systems through the check procedures & signed off, good to go.

As the light started to fade, the camera crew were taking ‘cutaway’ sequences to add into the video later.

…4 …3 …2 …1 screamed the crowd & Mike hit the button. What followed was 17 minutes of some of the best choreographed firework display I think I’ve ever seen…. & in over 20 years, I’ve seen quite a few!!

I’m pretty sure I had the best seat in the house…

If you would like a photographer to record your firework display events. Get in contact & we can create great images like these for your website!!!

“Like buses… been ages since a Royal Wedding & then we get 2 in one year!!!”

As soon as the news broke with the date for The Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank, it went straight into my diary. The carriage procession route wasn’t going to be the same as for Prince Harry & Meghan, so my fantastic balcony view point wasn’t going to be available this time.

The Two Brewers pub sign news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Definitely not the worse place to use as my base for The Royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in Windsor

This time the carriage procession would be much shorter. It would leave the castle & come along the High Street before turning left through Cambridge Gate & back into the castle. Next door to Cambridge Gate is the lovely Two Brewers pub. We have been there a number of times for Sunday Lunch & their Christmas Carol singing. They decided to have a special menu for the Royal Wedding… so it seemed rude not to book a table & secure myself a good camera spot!!

Princess Eugenie and Prince Andrew arriving news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Princess Eugenie and Prince Andrew arrive up the Long Walk in a Rolls Royce

The Two Brewers opened nice and early to provide ‘refreshments’. It wasn’t a bad spot either to catch the arrival of the Bride before the 11 o’clock ceremony. The pub had the TV on for those that wanted to watch it. I couldn’t risk losing my place by the barrier, but the landlord kept me up to date. Stuart came out to say that “the carriage was about to leave the castle…they’ll be in view very soon!” Right on time the crowd down on the High Street started to cheer & wave their flags.

Police Officer waves a flag at royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A female police officer waves a union flag during The Royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in Windsor

In no time at all the lead horses were coming down Park Street towards me. I recognised the Head Groomsman from Harry & Meghan’s procession. It was clear he recognised Stuart too !!!

Lead Groomsman in royal wedding carriage procession news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Beautiful Windsor Grey horses lead the The Royal Wedding carriage procession

Princess Eugenie royal wedding carriage & groomsman news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

The lead Groomsman sends a wink to his friend at The Two Brewers

I had a split second to fire off a few frames before the carriage was past me through Cambridge Gate.

The Royal wedding of Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank in Windsor

Princess Eugenie waves from carriage news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A wave for the photographer …..

Then they were gone, back into the castle to start their celebrations with the guests. It was time for me to put the camera kit away & head into The two Brewers to start our celebrations & toast the happy couple! Ohhh & enjoy a rather lovely Beef Wellington…

So when I got asked to do the photography for my future son-in-law Stag Party, I thought “uh oh..that could be tricky”. It then turned out that it involved clay pigeon shooting & grass track buggy racing… much better news! Add to it I would also have the chance to take part …. how could I say no!! As you probably have gathered, I don’t mind a bit of motorsport. In fact having thrown rally cars around many moons ago, I’ve spent half my life sideways.

Guest during clay pigeon shooting stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

…that’s it…now squeeze the trigger

The day started with clay pigeon shooting. The group was split into 2 teams & would have 10 cartridges at each of 3 different stations.

Guest clay pigeon shooting stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

See it…catch it…under it…squeeze!!

Guest during clay pigeon shooting stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

YESSssssss

Guest getting instruction during clay pigeon shooting stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

….you might find you’ll hit more if you pointed the gun up here!!!

All the guests had a great time & the banter was starting to flow. We left the clay pigeon venue & headed off for a spot of lunch before the Grasstrack Buggy racing.

Red rage buggy on grass during stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

These Rage buggies were pretty nippy when you got them wound up…

2 rage buggies race on grass during stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

…focused on getting past

Red rage buggy on grass during stag party photography by Ian Skelton Photography

….fastest time of the day

A fantastic day was had by all…. & Andre beat me to Fastest Time in the Buggy Racing. No matter how had I pedalled it, tried every trick I knew!! That red buggy was definitely quicker than the green one :)))

to see more photos from the Clay Pigeon Shoot & Buggy Racing

If you would like a photographer to accompany you on your stag party activity events. Get in contact & we can make it happen…. record all the fun & embarrassment maybe for the wedding speeches!!!

“Anybody near Manchester & available to cover the Saddleworth Moor fires?”

Saddleworth Moor Fires, was the attention grabbing title of an email that landed in my inbox one evening from Spacesuit Media.  They were casting the net to see if any of their photographers were able to cover this ever developing story. “….I’m not, I’m down here in Ashford, but I’m up for a different challenge…I’ll go!”

I had heard the village of Carrbrook near Stalybridge being mentioned on the news. The firefighters had been working a for a few days trying to hold the fire back from reaching properties. So I entered Carrbrook into the SatNav & was soon on my way up the M6, back to where I grew up. I was born in Ashton-Under-Lyne & up until I was about 18, lived in Denton, about 8 miles from Stalybridge.

You have reached your destination…

Working on the theory that, if I aimed for Carrbrook, as I got close I would start to see & smell the smoke from the fires. I could then form a more detailed plan once I had a better idea of the scene. My plan couldn’t have worked any better. Approaching a crossroads, the SatNav said “You have reached your destination!” Just as a Fire Engine (Pump, the lads say it’s called) came down the road from my left & stopped at a stand-pipe…RESULT. I went over & introduced myself to the crew, told them who I was & what I was there to do. “Well, in that case let us fill this water tank up first & you can follow us up…. we’ll show you where is safe to park”

A fire engine drives through Carrbrook quarry during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A Fire Engine heads back up to the fire line with another 1000 gallons

There were 6 Pumps & crews working out of this isolated quarry above Carrbrook. Being up the middle of the moors there was no water mains to hook into, so any water to fight the fires would have to be carried up. In relays they were having to drive down into Carrbrook, fill their 1000 gallon water tanks….

Drive back up to the quarry side & then ‘pump’ water up the sheer rock face to another Pump on the ridge. From there firefighters were running out hoses to the fire line & dousing down the charred moorland. A well ‘oiled’ logistical machine was in full flow & pretty impressive to watch it was too!

Pumping water up quarry side during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Water pumped from one truck up the quarry face to the fire line high on ridge

Up on the ridge…

Water was being moved (Sorry….Pumped) around to where they needed it. The constantly changing wind direction was creating an additional challenge for the firefighters. One crew pumps it’s 1000 gallons of water up the rock face, to another crew on the ridge to fight the fire

2 Pump crews were working different ends of the fire line. While one crew were putting out small flash fires, another crew were continuing to douse down the hot peaty ground.  One firefighter described it as “….been like playing ‘Splat-A-Rat’ for days! No sooner we put an area out, the fire travels underground through the peat & pops out somewhere else”

A fire fighter hoses down flash fires during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A firefighter hoses down flash fires on Saddleworth Moor

I hadn’t fully understood what our amazing firefighters actually have to do to deal with a fire like this. The ground itself was so hot in parts, that it was burning through the hoses!! While firefighters are at one end of the hose fighting the fire itself. Another is going along the length of hose watering down to keep it cool.

A fire fighter cools hoses during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A firefighter hoses down hoses to prevent the hot earth burning through them during the Saddleworth Moor Fire

This only works as long as you have water & once that 1000 gallons is all used up, the ground gets hot again!!! Those hoses have to be dragged back in to protect them, until the next Pump delivers it’s load. Then the whole process starts over & the firefighters drag the hoses back out again….

Firefighter drags hoses over hot ground during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Hoses going out again over the hot lunar landscape

The firefighters were doing some really long shifts. The usual end of shift ‘relief’ crews were busy fighting the moor fires themselves in other areas. Extra crews where being brought in from surrounding areas, a massive team effort. Tired & exhausted they were but you can imagine the ‘out of area’ banter that was flying around….absolutely hilarious!!! Finally they had time to sit, have a brew & wait for the ride home to arrive!

Firefighters take a break during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Fire Fighters take a well earned break

A fire crews change shifts during Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Crews brief over a cup of tea

The job for the new crews was about to carry on, many had been here the days before too. Hand over briefing done, there was no time to look at the stunning sunset that was developing (…that was my job) It was straight on with pumping that water up on to the ridge.

Photography is quite literally about ‘drawing with light’. This light is often especially magical during ‘Golden Hour’ around sunset… the scenes up on those moors were a photographer’s dream. Out of destruction & devastation there was stunning beauty…. No, not you Green Watch!!!

A fire fighter against sunset on Saddleworth Moor Fire news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A firefighter hoses down the hot earth as the sun sets on Saddleworth Moor

I have to say that it was an honour & a privilege to be able to spend a few hours up on the Moors with these firefighters. They kept an eye on me in case my artistic head took over & I put myself somewhere stupid!! A massive thank you to all the crews but especially Wythenshaw – White Watch, Jean-Pierre for letting me get right in the thick of it & keeping an eye on me. Not forgetting Steve from Eccles  – Green Watch for the lift.

I hope I caught the feeling of what it was like up there fighting the Saddleworth Moor fire. I tried to tell the story from your side…. there are enough photos of burning heather!!!

A larger collection of my photos from the shoot can be seen by

“What are you doing on Saturday 19th?” That was the opening line over a Sunday lunch with friends one afternoon. At the time we didn’t realise it would be the end of a crazy mad 8 days of photography for me.

We, that is myself & Mrs S were very lucky to have been invited to a party by friends that live on the Long Walk in Windsor. Their house had a prime spot on the route for The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. “Bring your camera with you….I’m sure you’ll get a nice photo or 2!!” Well, it would be rude not to…wouldn’t it 🙂

I had kept an ear on TV & radio reports in the run up to Saturday. Windsor was quite clearly going to be packed with estimates of more than 120,000 people lining the route. To be safe we caught the 7am train to be sure of getting in to Windsor with time to spare. It was a good move & on the walk to the house we could see plenty of people were in position early. Once we arrived, I quickly set up & checked the view point to lock in my camera settings. It wasn’t a bad spot was it?

The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle photography by Ian Skelton Photography

My view of the Royal Wedding route

We then had time to chill. Help prepare food & maybe a cheeky glass in readiness before we watched the build up on TV. It’s quite surreal being in middle of such a big event & watching it live on TV all around you. It was funny watching Prince Harry & Megan say their vows & listening to the cheers of the crowd at the end of the garden watching it on the huge screens. Before long it was time to take up my position on the balcony…they were leave St Georges Chapel.

The crowds twitched below me in expectation. Then up at the corner, to a Mexican Wave of cheering & Union flags, the lead troops of the Household Cavalry came into view. My view of the newly weds was totally blocked. I now knew I would only have a few seconds as they made the slight right bend in the road.

Household Cavalry lead procession Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Life Guards from the Household Cavalry head the procession

Sure enough the cavalry lead the way around the bend & Prince Harry & Megan finally came into view. I fired of a burst of frames, at almost 11 frames per second!! Thank goodness the Nikon D4 is built with Press & Sports photographers in mind.

Blues & Royals follow Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

The Blues & Royals from the Household Cavalry follow behind the carriage

Then a magic moment I had hoped for. Prince Harry spotted something or somebody on a balcony & pointed it out to his new bride.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Prince Harry points out something to Meghan

Megan noticed it (I heard it might have been a dog wearing a wedding veil fancy dress outfit) & her reaction was a photographer’s dream.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Meghan sees what Harry was point to …. I believe it was a dog wearing a bride’s head dress

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Awwwww…. Meghan sees the dog in the bride’s veil

As the carriage continued along the road, I quickly repositioned so I could track them from the side now. Another quick burst of frames & I captured my favourite image of the day.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Meghan smiling as she waves to the crowds

black and white close up of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Black & White – Prince Harry’s black uniform dress coat – Meghan’s white wedding dress

close up of the bouquet Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Meghan holds Prince Harry’s hand with her bouquet on her lap

In literally seconds (34 to be exact looking at my data) they were passed me & heading down towards Albert Road. I had a few moments to get off the balcony & into the 2nd position I had recced earlier that morning. I wasn’t sure how it would look until they actually came up The Long Walk. I thought it might be a nice image to see all the cheering crowds in the foreground as the came by in the carriage… I think it worked out quite well in the end.

spectators wave flags for Prince Harry & Meghan Markle royal wedding news photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Well Wishers wave British & American flags on The Long Walk as the carriage passes by

What a week…

7 days earlier I had been trackside at probably the most iconic race circuit in the world. Achieving a lifetime ambition to see F1 cars on this track. Working as a motorsport photographer at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. I flew back into Heathrow on the Monday & got straight into finishing the editing of what ended up being over 6000 images!! A small gallery from the final collection can be seen by just clicking here.

On Thursday I had attended Richmond Park to photograph the planting ceremonies of 6 sponsored Elm Trees. It was a very pleasant surprise when I found out a few days before that 1 of the trees was sponsored by Sir David Attenborough.

So, Monaco Historic Grand Prix…. Sir David Attenborough ….. & now hanging off a balcony at The Royal Wedding!! Not a bad week as a snapper I’d say.

Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course

It has been a little time since I was at the Dominic Toms Golf Academy. The last time was to come over to take some photos ready for the launch of their Dominic Toms Golf Performance Studio. This week I was there to take website profile photos of the Dominic Toms Golf Academy Coaching Team.

The shoot took place in some lovely sunshine at their Sandown Park Golf CentreHQ. I arrived as I like to do well ahead of our 1:00pm start time. A couple of the coaches were still in the middle of golf lessons on the driving range. So I took the opportunity to have a little look around their new Horse Racing themed Adventure Golf Course that was nearing completion. This wasn’t there the last time I was down there…it looks like it will be great fun!

The workman were still hard at work finishing off the landscaping of the gardens around the 12 hole mini golf course. It was already looked really good & some tricky holes by the look of it. As you can imagine I couldn’t resist having a little fun & taking a few photos while I waited in the sunshine.

Golf lessons completed, it was time to get on with some work. Firstly to take a few photos of the full Dominic Toms Golf Academy Coaching Team. There were 2 new members, Neal & Stuart who had joined since I was last here.

Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course

Once these were safely in the bag, it was on to the golf course for the individual profile photos. This is always good fun with the these guys & in no time at all we had a good selection of everybody. These images had a variety of backgrounds to allow for website refreshes whenever they need to through the year.

Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course

Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back to see the finished Mini Golf Course…..

I am always honoured to be asked to shoot the photos for somebody’s wedding. It’s their special day & to be trusted to capture these moments for them is a privilege. So I had that same lovely feeling when the email arrived enquiring if I was available on Friday 23rd February for Karin & Steve’s Wedding Day. “It probably won’t take an hour, just some natural photos at the Hillingdon Registry Office ceremony & a few afterwards is all we want. We don’t want any fuss!” was their request.

I was free that day & emailed straight back after saving the date in my diary. The replying email from Karin was a first & caught me a little by surprise I must admit. “Do you work alone or do you have an assistant? Because we need 2 witnesses too! To say it was a small wedding with no fuss was exactly that. Just the Bride & Groom, the Registrar, her assistant & the 2 witnesses… How could I refuse!

My wife Julie had to work sadly or she would have been there like a shot. So my friend Cath was available & came along as the 2nd witness for the day. We arrived at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge with plenty of time in hand…thankfully as it turned out! Karin & Steve then arrived & we sat chatting to the lovely young couple before they went in for their pre-ceremony meeting. The Registrar came out to check we were the 2 witnesses …”oh but we don’t have a photographer yet?”  “Yes…it’s me, I’m the photographer too!!”  It was then the Registrar dropped the bombshell….”You are not allowed to be photographer & a witness, one or the other but not both!”

PANICCCCccc!!! 10 minutes to the allotted time for the ceremony to start & we were now a witness short. A mad dash outside to the main Civic Centre court yard resulted in drawing a blank. There wasn’t a sole in sight!! Then the Registrar had a brainwave. A few minutes later the ‘cavalry’ arrived in the form of the Head Registrar who was happy to step into my spot. This was until he suddenly had a thought, checked & found that he too wasn’t allowed to be a witness either! Karin & Steve came out of the meeting totally unaware of our fun & games going on. They were so relaxed & said not to worry about the photos until after the ceremony then…. how could we do that to them!! The Big Boss made a quick phone call upstairs & a few moments later a very puzzled but delighted Penny from Admin arrived. We had our 2nd witness… play the music!!!

Karin & Steve Vickers Wedding at Hillingdon Registry Office

They were such a sweet couple & so chilled out, took absolutely everything in their stride. I think we were all a lot more worried than they were, it was a bit of a whirlwind for us behind the scenes :)) I guess that’s how it should be too, nothing should spoil their special day.

Karin & Steve Vickers Wedding at Hillingdon Registry Office

Karin & Steve Vickers Wedding at Hillingdon Registry Office

Once the ceremony was over we had a little time outside in the courtyard for a few more photos. It was bitter cold so we got on with it as quickly as we could be fore leaving the very happy couple to head off & enjoy the rest of their Wedding day.

Karin & Steve Vickers Wedding at Hillingdon Registry Office

To Karin & Steve, many congratulations. Thank you for asking me to be a part of your Wedding Day, it is certainly one I won’t forget. Note to my Photographer friends out there if you ever get asked to be Witness & Photographer….YOU CAN’T.

Hope you enjoyed a small collection of some of my favourite shots from their day.

The main Gallery of photos can be

 

Hampton Court Palace was the glorious venue for some of the world’s rarest and most incredible cars on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017. The 3 day weekend of Concours will see some of the most incredible cars ever produced gather in one of the UK’s most spectacular settings.

Friday…

Friday morning saw the Grand Arrivé of the main Concours of Elegance display. A absolutely fantastic sight to see the cars make their way through Home Park and into the Palace grounds.

1926 Bentley 3 litre Speed Model Vanden Plas arrives at the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1953 Ferrari 340MM Vignale Spyder arrives in style to the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

The Ferrari 340MM Vignale Spyder – complete with eye-catching white and blue livery – entered Hampton Court Palace today having never been seen before in Europe!

Friday at the Palace also saw the arrival of a selection of Jaguar’s D-Type Le Mans legends, finishing the 1957 24 Hours race in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. All podium-finishing cars arrived in convoy alongside D-type XKD 504, which went to Le Mans in 1955 and 1958, and XKD 605 which finished 6th at Le Mans in 1956. A glorious noise they made too!!!

1957 24 Hour Le Mans race Jaguar D-Types on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1957 24 Hour Le Mans race Jaguar D-Types on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017

There were a number of ultra-rare vehicles, some of which have never been seen before in the UK. An incredible Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport ‘Baillon Barn Find’. Sitting there as found with the faded and cracked paint it was discovered with when it was unearthed in a deserted French barn in 2014.

Incredible ‘Barn Find’ Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

The owner has left the car pretty much in the condition he found it after more than 40 years in a barn. I’m no expert…but I don’t think that’s going to polish out!!

Saturday…

I arrived in good time on Saturday morning, to clear media accreditation & make my way into the Palace to the grounds. Lined up along the garden wall there were Aston Martin Owners Club cars as far as the eye could see!! ….007 would have been in heaven!!

Aston Martin Owners Club on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

Among the line-up are some modern Concours cars of the future. The totally unique Koenigsegg Agera RS ‘Naraya’ With a body made of blue-tinted carbon fibre. Then highlighted by genuine 18ct gold leaf, both inside and out…including the exhaust!!! With Koenigsegg’s 1160hp twin-turbo V8 underneath the bonnet, the ‘Naraya’ is one of the most powerful cars on the road.

Koenigsegg Agera RS ‘Naraya’ & its 18ct Gold exhaust on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1995 McLaren F1 GTR on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at

Sunday…

Sadly as promised the rain was forecast & looked likely any moment. Lovely blue & fluffy clouded sky was replaced by a flat grey one… but we can’t have everything. The cars were uncovered & looking wonderful again, so I busied myself finding lovely details to photograph.

1935 Hispano-Suiza K6 Cabriolet by Brandone on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on display during the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1934 Bugatti Type 57 Gangloff Stelvio. Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

Sunday concludes in the Grand Depart. The sight & the incredible sound of those 60 classic engines firing up before making their way back down the gravel road out into Home Park. The rain sadly meant that some of these priceless cars weren’t going to be risked & stayed in the grounds. While some drivers weren’t going to miss a 2nd chance to drive their cars on roads normally reserved for Royalty!

Riley leaves in the rain at the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

1954 Siata 208S Motto Spyder departs the Concours of Elegance 2017 at Hampton Court Palace

If you like beautiful classic cars, this really is the event to attend….don’t forget your camera!! I shall just have to do it all again when Concours of Elegance comes back to Hampton Court Palace for 2018.

Please enjoy a larger collection of photos from the event in Galleries just

I enjoy my corporate event photography as it gives me different challenges to my trackside motorsport photography. This week I had pleasure an event with a slight twist… Corporate event clay pigeon shooting on the River Thames!

Our day started nice an early at the Tower of London where we boarded the William B (Built in 1982 as the Sir Thomas Moore) & set sail down the Thames. It was a lovely day & we were soon sailing past some of London’s famous landmarks.

After an hour or so of steady sailing we were heading through the Thames Barrier towards Thamesmead. Our destination to drop anchor ready for the shooting.

The clay pigeon shoot was organised by Thames Leisure boats, who have specialised in this type of event for many years. The crew onboard are not only great instructors but also really good fun.

As ever I was looking for the angles to add something different to my photos… I knew where I wanted to be, but Health & Safety has to be kept in mind especially around shotguns!! The guests looked to be having great fun on the practice rounds under expert guidance from the instructors. Soon they were taking down clays coming in singles & pairs!! After competition shooting had ended, everybody had a go on the different types of guns the instructors had brought along. My client insisted I had a go too….I hit 6 out of 10 clays thanks to John & his expert tuition!!

As ever they reserved a ‘one off’ for just one guest to try out the old Naval boarding Blunderbuss…always goes down with a bang!! (sorry, couldn’t resist!!)

As we turned about ready to start sailing back, we were joined by an unexpected visitor!

Steven (Seagull) ….I know, sorry again!! Was a young sea gull who had clearly become exhausted. He landed on our deck & try as he might couldn’t get the energy to take off again. He wandered around the deck clearly not grasping the concept of shotguns & birds!!

He eventually settled down on a seat behind one of the instructor’s bags for a rest to regain some energy. It was then that one of the guests had an idea & dragged a bin close to the handrail. Steven was then able to make a much shorter hop from the seat to the bin. From there he was high enough to fly over the rail & glide towards the river bank. We watched him happily bobbing on the river with the other gulls. Panic ye not…no seagulls were harmed in the making of these photos!

Shooting over, a well earned lunch break was followed & the bar opened for the guests. As a photographer it’s great to see people enjoying themselves & the images that can be created by just watching quietly from a distance to catch them all. The weather had remained lovely & warm all day. In fact so hot that I was burning my knees on the metal deck trying to get low behind the shooters arm!!

As you can see, we weren’t the only ones having a great time out on the River Thames today.

A great day, I for one thoroughly enjoyed myself & I’m sure all the guests did too. Now time to get editing down the shoot & polish my client’s images ready for delivery. I hope you enjoyed a little taste of our day on the Thames.

This week I got the chance to shoot a slightly different form of horsepower to my usual motorsport work. I got a call to attend & shoot some of the fun & atmosphere at Windsor Racecourse 3 Day Festival.

My brief was to capture guests around the course having fun both during the racing & after race entertainment. Having only ever been horse racing once before, I was really looking forward to it & seeing what images I could make for them. The images are for use on their website & marketing literature etc.

As ever I can’t help myself, if i see something I have to take the shot even if its not part of my brief for the day. So here are a few extra photos that I hope you like…

I’ve never really been a ‘horsey’ person for want of a better word, but these were stunning looking horses. They were beautifully turned out & clearly couldn’t wait to be let loose to run.

WAIT…. I’m having my photo taken!!

Showing a clean set of heels…. ok hooves but you know what I mean!

A Racecourse has so much colour around it, a photographer’s dream if you take time to sit & look around you. Then of course there’s all the action on track…

There was plenty to catch my eye off the track after the races had finished…

Time to cool off with a lovely hose down

So alert…he caught the sound of the Thames River boats the other side of the hedge!!

Vernon Kay played the night away with a great DJ set.

I had a great time at Windsor Racecourse, I hope they liked their collection of images & I look forward to seeing them on the website. In fact I enjoyed taking photos of the horse so much, I may ask if I can come back again just to take photos of them!