Archive for March, 2011


Saturday, March 26th, 2011

There are very few landmarks in London that I don’t already have a proverbial ‘butt load’ of photos of, but the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey definitely fall into that category.  To be fair, I have quite a few shots of the HoP but most of them are from across the river in your standard tourist visiting the Thames style.  I wanted something different.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

I met up with Dennis shortly after work and we wasted no time setting up and peppering Big Ben’s clock tower with shots.  Generally, shooting things with a tilt-shift lens gives me a unique twist on some oft-photographed subjects, but it’s not always a guarantee.  That being said, I was pretty happy with the set of photos I ended up with.

From there it was on to the Abbey for a few more shots while the rest of the days light faded.  This church will be the location for the upcoming royal wedding in April, so it was a fairly topical spot to shoot.  I’m certainly not going to try to come down here and get a few photos on the day, as organizers are expecting several hundred thousand people to turn up and try to catch a glimpse.  I suspect I’ll stay home and watch it on TV…

Westminster Abby

Before calling it a night and heading to the nearest pub, we wandered past the south end of Westminster Palace for a few more shots of the building as well as the required portrait shots.

Houses of Parliament

Check out my sweet camera (and note the camera envy on my face)

There are a few more photos of our excursion here.

Thornbury Castle

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

AKA: Our engagement weekend.

As Danni was still in China for Valentines, I’d arranged for a weekend away for us as a belated Valentines day present.  This year it was two nights in Thornbury Castle’s Plantagenet room.

It was a stunning room filled with old wood, castle brick walls and large, warm tapestries that covered entire walls.  There was champagne on ice waiting for our arrival as well as some cozy sherry just waiting for a couple to relax by the fire with.

We had an amazing time in the hotel and the food was stunning, but the main reason I’d dragged Danni out to the Cotswolds was to pop the question.  I’d been wracking my brain for several weeks to determine the ‘how’ of it all, and the only thing I could decide with any certainty was that I wanted a photo of the moment.  Running with that idea, I took Danni out into the courtyard of the castle at dusk under the guise of wanting to do a few couples shots in the fading light with the castle walls in the background.

After a few shaky setup shots and a couple of just a few more adjustments, I set the timer, sprinted back into place and said ‘for this shot, we’ll need this’.  With a subtle flourish I was down on one knee, the ring held aloft for her to see through shocked and watery eyes while I asked her to marry me just as the camera triggered, capturing the moment forever.

At least, in my head this was how it worked.  The reality of it all was that I was so nervous and the box was large enough to get stuck in my coat pocket that I was a few seconds off beat and this was as close as it came.

If you look closely, there surprise is there on Danni’s face and I’m obviously about to get on one knee (that or I’m doing the worlds first run-by proposal).  It’s not what I had in mind, but photography is a game of chance at the best of times and we’re both pretty happy with the way this shot turned out.

Also, she said yes!

There are a few more photos from our weekend away in the gallery.

365 in Review, February

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

2 down, 10 more to go!  I wish I could say it’s been easy just firing off a few shots each day and then picking the best of the bunch, but I tend to spend most of my day trying to think of just what to shoot.

I haven’t missed a day yet though and I’m really hoping to keep that up throughout the year.  There have already been one or two days when I’ve realized at 11:00PM I haven’t taken my shot for the day and had to rush to meet my deadline.  Close yes, but still on track!

February was a good month for practicing my off camera flash techniques, something I’m really happy with and will continue to do going forward.  March will be a busy month for a number of reasons; I’m due to move in the next week or so which will consume a lot of my free time (and all of my patience).  There may be more snap-shot style images for that reason so don’t be surprised to see more of the Casio in the EXIF details.

You can view my most recently posted image here, or if you’d like to view the year thus far you can see the calendar here.