July 13, 2015

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a big fan of cars - new, old, fast, slow, big, or small.  I've a special fondness for the Mazda MX-5, and am now on my third one.  You can see it in the post Happy Birthday Little MX-5 and more MX-5's photographed at last years in the post MX-5 Owners Club National Rally.

So when Mazda ran a competition for tickets for the Goodwood Festival of Speed I had to enter... and won!  This was made even better by Mazda being the main event sponsor and launching the new (mk4) MX-5 in the UK.

All of the major car manufacturers were there, as well as areas for racing and F1 cars, old classic cars, and of course the Goodwood hill climb.  On the day I went it was possible to get passenger rides in all sorts of cars up the hill climb.  But not for me.  It seems for most of them you needed to register beforehand.  A lesson for next time!  

It was an expensive day too.  As much as I was tempted, I didn't buy a new car.  But trying to get photos correctly framed in between the crowds of people with a high quality prime lens made me realise I needed a better quality short range zoom lens.  So as a result of the day I ended up buying a new Olympus 12-40mm lens.  Future blogs will feature photos taken with that lens.

The centre piece of Goodwood was this amazing feature,
two Mazda cars reaching for the sun.
The official UK launch of the new Mazda MX-5 was at Goodwood.
In the Goodwood Stable Yard Mazda ran Raise the Roof, live bands throughout the day.
This was Karima Francis from Blackpool - very good music that entertained the crowd.
The Tag Heuer Drivers Club rolled out the red carpet for their members.
The 1985 Renault 5 Maxi Turbo shows what rally cars used to look like.
The 2015 Mini All 4 Racing is anything but mini.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car, which had just been put into place...
the cars from Ferrari, Red Bull, and Williams were being prepared too.
No car festival would be complete without some supercars... like this Lamborghini.
The Ford stand had a GT40 dangling in mid air.
From the Sky F1 stand interviews were broadcast around the event...
it must be hard to be 
interviewed and see yourself on the live stream in the background.

July 04, 2015

The Christening of Gregory

A couple of months ago I was invited to photograph the christening of a little chap called Gregory.

It was the first christening I'd been to, so wasn't too sure what to expect.  Most of the photos were taken with the 25mm f1.8 prime lens to get as much out of the light as possible as the environment was quite dark.

For me, photographing events like this are not just about documenting the day but also capturing people's emotions.  Sometimes this is best done from a distance with a long zoom lens so you're not interrupting the goings on.

Gregory seems happy to take in the world around him.
Gregory gets christened.
Gregory's parents receive a candle.
Gregory with his sister, mum, and dad.
Gregory not enjoying this photo with his parents and god parents.
Gregory gets a silly face from his aunt.
Another silly face to entertain Gregory.
A hymn book.
Everyone wants a photo of Gregory, even his mum.
As with any good event this one ended with sugary goodness.

July 01, 2015

A sunny Sunday in Manchester

My day job has recently taken me to Manchester a few times.  The usual routine being get into Manchester, get work done, get home.  But on this occasion I had a little free time to explore the city, with the camera of course.

Walking around Manchester with no plan was unlikely to lead to any good photos, so with a bit of research I found a website called Ready Steady Pro which had published a Google Map route for a photo walk

Luckily I was staying in a hotel just off the photo walk route, so picked the nearest point and had a six mile anti-clockwise walk around the city.  For those that don't know Manchester, it has a reputation for always raining there... but it's not true, the weather I had was good and I even caught some sun.

Manchester has some stunning architecture and does a great job of embracing the old and the new.  

The Bridgewater Canal runs through Manchester.  By the Dukes 92 pub you can
get a view  of the canal, train and tram lines, and Beetham Tower.
It shows a real contrast of old and new Manchester.
One of many buildings of The Co-operative - the exoskeleton makes this one stand out.  
The Avenue North had several human-esque figures hanging above a walkway.
This one looked suspended against the blue sky.
The Peveril of the Peak - yes it really is that green and tiled on the outside! 
Redevelopment in progress.  An old building is ripped apart with a machine blowing water mist to stop dust spreading.
Sky bridges between buildings seem popular in Manchester.
The view down the River Irwell gives a good impression of various architectures.
Look carefully and you'll see this isn't all brickwork, it's actually a printed sheet covering a wall.
The mirrored windows of the Express Building make for a great reflective photo.
The Beetham Tower - the lower half of the building is the Hilton Hotel,
the upper half apartments.
The top two floors are owned by the architect of the building.