I’ve always wanted to witness the London Marathon in the flesh, either as a spectator or a runner, and despite being a Londoner, I’ve never got around to doing it until this one.
I’m so glad I did, albeit as a spectator. It was a fascinating and overwhelming experience to see so many people running for different causes, and I managed to see all of my friends who were running themselves and give them a wave, which was a bonus.
The marathon is special for so many different reasons, whether it’s the experience of running it and the story behind the cause, to seeing someone you know in the flesh and their elation at your support. The crazy costumes, and how some people manage to complete the run in them, and just how many people do that, is utterly amazing. And then there’s the spectators themselves, whose support in this one, no matter the level of the runner, was something special and I’m grateful to have been a little part of that.
This showed off the true spirit of London beautifully. I can’t wait to go back.
I was honoured to be asked to take the photos of artist Alice Shirley’s magnificent painting for Forest Glow, who are a new company specialising in mulled wines. The photos were converted into labelling for the launch of their first bottles during 2015, which I can confirm is very tasty indeed!
Product photography like this is always interesting and challenging – it has to be done in a controlled manner and you have to ensure you capture the details that are faithful to the materials, in this case the oil painting on high quality fine art paper, but also ensure that the final reproduction has balanced lighting and is as neutral and faithful in tonality and colour as possible.
It was people and emotion that first drew me to photography and this was one of the first moments I captured that gave me what I was looking for over five years ago.
The story behind it is simple. A sweet old Italian man and his middle aged son were awaiting one of the biggest games in their countries history – The World Cup Semi Final between Germany and Italy. Like me, they had arrived early and had proudly placed their Italian banner in a vacant spot.
But trouble soon erupted when a nasty Italian Ultra emerged out of nowhere and put his own banner there, ripping theirs down. At the time, he had looked around weighing up whose it might be before deciding he didn’t care. But no sooner had he done it, the sweet old man confronted him and tried to prevent him from removing their banner and then all hell broke loose with the Ultra being horrendously threatening.
I hesitated at the scene. The Ultra was very aggressive and intimidating and the situation that unfolded was extremely uncomfortable. I was sat in the row behind, with nobody else blocking my view. I was just enjoying soaking up the atmosphere at the time but I knew I wanted to capture this as it unfolded.
I was nervous as I rose my camera to my eye and waited. Had he looked in my direction, he may have got cross with me too, but I was willing to take my chances and as the confrontation progressed I realised he was completely in his zone and totally unaware of my presence. I knew then that I had my shot and I just waited for the right moment, exactly when the sweet old man’s son thought the Ultra was about to strike his Dad and begged for mercy.
Some stewards eventually realised there was a lot of tension and called for help and he intimidated them too, before they eventually collared him for not even having a match ticket for this area of the stadium. He was ejected from our area, but later found his way back to the same spot during the game.
Italy went on to knock Germany out of the World Cup Finals at the Semi Final stage and then went on to win the 2006 World Cup.
I was there for that too.
Venue: Bristol Cathedral, Bristol
I was at the Ceremony for the Conferment of Awards for the Bristol Business School held at the stunning Bristol Cathedral earlier in the week.
Graduands from the University of the West of England became graduates at this ceremony in categories including Accounting and Finance, Economics and International Business Economics.
There’s something really fascinating about watching parents, family and friends embracing the joy of their loved ones and I was really drawn to capturing some of those moments in this beautiful cathedral.
A big well done to all and here are some of my favourites I grabbed on the day.
Venue: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London
I was at the Golden Joysticks, which was held at the brand new Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, where gamers get to vote for the awards across several categories over the year.
The event was hosted by American comedian Rich Hall, who was in fine form on the day and a big well done to all the winners and nominees too!
Golden Joystick Awards 2010 Winners
The Action/Adventure Game Of The Year in association with Nuts
Winner: Assassin’s Creed II
Runners Up: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Red Dead Redemption
Download Game Of The Year in association with Green Man Gaming
Winner: Plants vs. Zombies
Runners Up: Battlefield 1943, Call of Duty: World At War: ZOMBIES
Fighting Game Of The Year in association with Official Nintendo Magazine
Winner: Street Fighter IV
Runners Up: Tekken 6, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny
Music Game Of The Year in association with Total Film
Winner: Guitar Hero 5
Runners Up: DJ Hero, The Beatles: Rock Band
The One To Watch in association with MSN
Winner: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Runners Up: Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: The Old Republic
Online Game Of The Year in association with CVG
Winner: League of Legends
Runners Up: Aion: The Tower Of Eternity, Farmville
Portable Game Of The Year in association with Habbo
Winner: Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Runners Up: Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, Plants vs. Zombies
Puzzle Game Of The Year in association with NGamer
Winner: World of Goo
Runners Up: Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, Scribblenauts
Racing Game Of The Year in association with T3
Winner: Forza Motorsport 3
Runners Up: Need For Speed: Shift. Colin McRae: Dirt 2
RPG Of The Year in association with GamesRadar
Winner: Mass Effect 2
Runners Up: Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition, Final Fantasy XIII
Shooter Of The Year in association with IGN Game On
Winner: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Runners Up: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2
Soundtrack Of The Year in association with Metal Hammer
Winner: Final Fantasy XIII
Runners Up: Brutal Legend, Assassin’s Creed 2
Sports Game Of The Year in association with Mousebreaker
Winner: FIFA 10
Runners Up: Wii Sports Resort, Skate 3
Strategy Game Of The Year in association with PC Gamer
Winner: Plants vs. Zombies
Runners Up: The Sims 3, Age of Empires III: Collection
UK Developer Of The Year in association with Edge
Runners Up: Rockstar North, Codemasters
Here’s a few shots from the day.
Venue: Broxbourne Civic Hall, Broxbourne
Testimonial: “The photos are absolutely fantastic!” – Jayne Jarvis
Hertfordshire Sports School Partnership held their annual sports competition awards evening where winners walked away with awards for categories such as the most successful competitive school, school participation award, Primary Link Teacher of the Year, Adult other than a Teacher, Coach of the Year, among others.
It’s always really cool to see people picking up awards for their hard work, graft, dedication, passion and skill for what are a really worthy set of causes and a lot of these folks are going beyond the call of duty and have rightfully seen their effort recognised – well done to all!
Here are a few shots of some of the entertainment, in the form of group dancing from both teens and kids and freestyle football, as well as the Mayor of Broxbourne, Mark Mills Bishop, who handed out all of the awards to the lucky winners.
Imelda Michalczyk’s Photography Exhibition
I met Imelda Michalczyk at Europe’s first ever Nikonian Academy i-TTL Flash workshop in London, and just a few days later I was thrilled to be able to shoot her first ever photography exhibition, which was held at Bar Solo in Camden Town.
Imelda is a professional photographer who concentrates primarily on shooting gigs and bands, both on stage and backstage. Her recent clients include Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson and Faith No More, although she does love promoting relatively unknown and new bands too.
The party also played host to two great performances, which included the mesmerising belly dancers Tina Stamou and Helen Savery from Le Midas Dance Company and The Penny Black Remedy, who performed to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
Imelda’s exhibition is due to run till 3rd November 2010, so check it out if you get the chance. She’s a lovely lady and so passionate about the work she does. I’ve really enjoyed talking photography with her and was delighted she secured some sales of her work on the night too.
The party was great too and here are some of my favourites from the day.
The Down Tow Up Flow 1/2 Marathon is an annual event that takes place in the UK in Windsor. This was the first time I’d been to it as my other half Ceryl and her best friend Holly were also running in it to raise money for charity too.
It was interesting to shoot such a prestigious event, from both the start, middle and end positions and it’s really honourable what these runners put themselves through in order to raise money for important causes they believe in.
Holly clocked in at an impressive 1:51 and Ceryl wasn’t far behind at 2:04.
Here are some of my favourites from the day. For the photographers out there, these were shot with my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens on my Nikon D700.
I shot backstage in the Montgomery Ellis Gifting Lounge at T4 on the Beach 2010 in Weston-Super-Mare. It was an all-day event and was jam-packed with celebrities and full of energy – especially when Jedward turned up and they definitely weren’t camera shy!
I shot many celebrities on the day including the likes of JLS, Dizzee Rascal, Alexandra Burke, Jedward, The Saturdays, Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz, Gok Wan, Alesha Dixon, Example, Paloma Faith. Louie Spence, Diana Vickers & Pixie Lott to name a few!
Here’s a few I grabbed on the day.