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Sunday Times Driving

Here is a video for The Sunday Times featuring Mary Walker, a 100 year old still driving after almost 80 years. My photographs are embedded in it but look out for the footage of me taking Mary for a spin in my car. As we hit 9000rpm she wasn’t perturbed in the slightest (unlike most of my passengers). Then again, she used to ride 500cc Norton motorcycles!

Night Bus

While I was waiting on the rooftop at Brettenham House (Camelot’s office) by Waterloo Bridge for six massive glowing inflatable balls to appear on the Thames (see blog post below), I took this shot of a London night bus crossing Westminster Bridge towards Parliament at 2.05am. Really pushed my luck with this one. Shot info: Canon EOS 5D Mark 11, 300mm f2.8L lens, 4000 ISO, 1/40th sec at f2.8 using my new Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod. I could go on and on here about high ISOs, noise and the benefits of shooting in RAW. However, what I find interesting about this is how well it shows the optical phenomenon of increased depth of field the further away the subject is. Here we can see that virtually everything from front to back is in focus despite using a long telephoto lens at its widest aperture. Hungerford Bridge in the foreground to apartments beyond Vauxhall Bridge in the background are all sharp, a distance of about two miles.

 

Rolling On The River

Spent midnight until dawn on Wednesday photographing these giant lottery balls on the Thames in London for my old pal Adrian at imagewise.co.uk to mark the launch of the new National Lottery. This shot was taken from the balcony at City Hall as the balls sailed through Tower Bridge at about 12.30am. Adrian was positioned on a tug shooting the scene along the journey and Oliver followed the balls using the riverside footpaths on a cycle. Great to see the shots used well in the papers and online this morning. I might even enter this week’s lottery as I’ll feel a total numbskull if these actual numbers win.

For those interested in technique this shot was taken in RAW format on a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark 111 at 3200 ISO. Exposure was 1/50 sec at f2.8 on a Canon 24-70mm f2.8L lens.

And here is the shot as used by The Mail 

 

Game Over

This is a rather poignant scene I came across on a rare visit to the town I went to school. This is the former sports field of Castle Hills School in Gainsborough. The school was demolished a few years ago but the rugby posts still stand on the abandoned pitch and ponies now graze where children once ran. By the way this wasn’t my school. The Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for boys still stands just down the hill from here though it has now morphed into the co-ed Queen Elizabeth’s High School (pah, I shall always call it Gainsborough Grammar just as I shall always refer to the (frequently taken-over) O2/Labatts/Carling/London/HMV/Eventim Apollo as the Hammersmith Apollo). Back to the picture. I chatted a while with a former pupil of Castle Hills who told me the cricket pitch was also somewhere under the tall grass. I couldn’t share the memory but it still felt a slightly haunting place. Strangely, this former “Cassie” still felt some rivalry with a grammar school boy and mockingly tugged his forelock (long departed) when I told him I was from the “one down the hill”. The eleven plus system still operates here today. At another time of year we could have thrown snowballs at each other for old-times sake.

 

 

On the beach, again

Out walking on Belhaven Beach, Dunbar and came across this surf school. Loved the way the surfers were arranged. Took this on my Fuji X100 (since broken and repaired) and cropped to a square which I think makes it look even more like an album cover. Given the sea temperature, probably more Coldplay than Beach Boys.