But now the question is where to start... It's been a rather interesting couple of weeks since my last blog. Numerous enquiries, meetings, ideas been thrown around; so plenty to do and places to see despite the rain. It makes me smile when I hear people panicking about drought when here in Yorkshire it's been raining for what seems like months! I don't think I have seen the sun in weeks...
The weather meant that I couldn't go out to shoot some of the pictures I had in mind. So, I updated the gallery here instead, with some previously unpublished images. These can be found in the 'Recently added' section.
I have also been tinkering with some of the more well-known images - different ideas and crops, just basically having a good session seeing how much I've improved my editing skills since, say, a year ago. The resulting images have been re-uploaded with a different crop.
Another meeting happened on the coldest April weekend I've known in years! On Saturday 14 April, I met the lovely couple whose wedding I am shooting in May - Carrie and Nathan, to discuss various shots they wanted, order of the day and to see the Church where they are getting married, in Allerton Bywater.
As you can also see from the image above, I've also taken a renewed interest in B&W photography, with a degree of success so far.
Recently I also had to fulfil a very difficult unpaid commission - and believe you me, this one client is a tougher customer than all my paying clients put together! My other half had asked me if I could do a story-board type design for her, using the 'Cherry Blossom' image I took last year. The story-board was to feature the same shot three times but in three variations going from Black & White on the left, a red-toned effect in the middle, to the original, colour version on the right. I also added a sly flower pattern to the white border to give it an even more spring-like feel. We'll come back to cherry blossom shortly as it proved to be somewhat of a...sign!
Next on the list, we had a brief trip to London last Tuesday. Not for photographic reasons, but I took the camera anyway, hoping to get some shots in.
I was next to Buckingham Palace when a Nimrod and two Euro fighter Typhoons flew over head. Thinking I had a missed a good opportunity I mumbled to myself as I started preparing the camera for the shot below, only to find a SECOND set of jets flying over me 30 seconds later.... Now many say to keep a camera with you at all times as you never know what you might find but in this instance I was caught out not once but twice, to my embarrassment. The skies were dark, overcast conditions, so not the best to capture Jets so high up; at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
The two images you see here are of the same statue, part of the 'Gift from the people of New Zealand" group, but having taken advantage of different angles, they look like two different statues.
On Thursday I was in Barnsley shooting a commercial brief for Kelda Water Services. Quite an experience - my first commercial shoot for a major company apart from Harewood House. I have to apologise to the lovely Emma, who drove me to the assignment in the pounding rain down the M1 - I am not too good with car travel! I must have been a rather quiet and green-looking companion!
I was quite pleased with the results of the day's shooting and some of the shots taken on the day can be seen in the 'Commissions' folder, in the Gallery.
Just when I thought I had finished for the day, I checked my emails to find out that my entry for the Photographic Competition organised by the 2012 Harrogate Spring Flower Show had won 1st Place in the 'Spring into Life' category... It was then I decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air and clear my head, but it wasn't to be: as I was walking, my phone rang - it was the organisers of the competition asking for some personal information to pass on to the local press!
I had a feeling at least some of the images I entered would do well, but funnily enough the above photo was a late addition, at my wife's insistence. Anyway, I was not prepared for it to win the category. The prize is a 30"x20" canvas of the image... which will be posted to me as soon as the Show finishes on Sunday 29 April - it's now being displayed at the Show. A brief mention was made also in today's Yorkshire Post (28 April). My wife and I went to the show today and it was an emotional moment when the canvas came into view, and even more so when I caught a glimpse of the laminated sign underneath, bearing my name and the word "Winner".
They say good - and bad - things come in threes. I had happily counted my threes and was ready to turn in for the night on Friday, when my wife gave me another piece of exciting news in the form of an email from The Queens Hotel in Leeds, asking how much I'd want for The Queens to use for advertising an image I took at 5am on Christmas Eve 2011 from the balcony of the Bridal Suite at The Queens. The image has been in the Gallery here for a while, and was taken on the morning after our wedding. As a wedding present from my Dad we had spent our wedding night in the lovely Suite and we woke up very early to be greeted by this rare, beautiful sunrise over Leeds: