On Day 5 of our Yorkshire Dales trip we decided to visit Bolton Abbey, it is located just off the A59 in between Skipton and Harrogate, easily accessible from major roads and railways. If you are using a satellite navigation system, please use the post code BD23 6EX. This brings you to Bolton Abbey village for access to Priory Church & ruins and walks to the riverside. Car park charge is £10 per car and includes all occupants of the vehicle.Read More
Day 3 of our trip we decided to drive the hour and a half journey into the Lake District. We headed for Windermere , found a car park and headed to the lake. We made our way back up into town for something to eat and drink before deciding to drive into Grasmere.Read More
We recently stayed up in the Yorkshire Dales in a little village called Grassington. On our first full day we decided to go visit the scene from Harry Potter and the deathly hallows at the limestone footpath at the top of Malham Cove. Parking for this is down in Malham itself at the visitor center car park or on the road just outside if you get there early enough. The Parking was £4.50 for over 2 hours and £5 for 24 hours, not sure of the difference !Read More
Just returned from a ten day break in the Picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos on the Greek island of Crete. We stayed at the Miramare Resort and Spa in a Superior Room with Seaview and Private pool.
But it was not all plain sailing………………Read More
All packed and ready to leave for the airport in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Got a 06:20 flight for Santa Ponsa in Mallorca. Camera gear all charged and packed and now just waiting to leave.
Hope to get plenty of images from our travels to share with you on return.
Just got back from a short five day break on Dartmoor National Park. We have been to Dartmoor on a few occasions but never stayed in Dartmoor itself. We stayed in a cottage just of B3212 near Darcombe. We arrived at around 14:00 hrs and were greeted by the owner who allowed us in an hour early. Lovely lady , very friendly and down to earth. She showed us in and then left us to it. There was all the tea making facilities all laid out on the table along with cup cakes and fresh cut flowers, very nice welcome. Once we had a short rest, we then unpacked and got ourselves settled in. Due to it being later in the year than we normally visit the light was already starting to fade, so we decided to just wander around the ten acres of land we were in.Read More
This years holiday was to Santa Ponsa in Mallorca. This is our fourth time to this resort and the third time staying in the same hotel, the H10 Playas De Mallorca , formerly the Hesperia. The hotel is a basic three star hotel which is conveniently situated on the beach front at Santa Ponsa. The hotel is clean and the staff are friendly and helpful. The rooms are very basic and to be honest really need some modernisation if they intend to continue attracting repeat visitors. This is not meant to be a review of the hotel , you can find out all you need to know online with a little bit of research.Read More
Tonight i head off on Holiday to Santa Ponsa and of course i will be taking a small amount of camera gear to try and capture some of it. I hope to be able to post images when i return but until then i am ready for Cocktails and Summer Sun !
Read more about our day out and see more of my images from the day, don't forget to like and if you click on a image it will open in a bigger version. Please feel free to share the link,like and commentRead More
Today i am four weeks and two days post op! I am starting to be able to walk further and further, i am getting stronger as the days go by and hope to be back to full fitness soon.
I managed to get myself down to Broadstairs and took my camera. The first time i have been out shooting in over a month.
Well the weather is slowly improving and there were some making the most of it today on the beach at Broadstairs, Viking Bay. Summer is just around the corner.Read More
You may have noticed that i have been a little lazy lately and not much in the way of new content being posted. Well today i attended a pre op appointment for a procedure i have to undergo next week.
I am due to have a total left hip replacement which means i will be a little restricted and not able to get out with my camera. I hope the surgery will , in time, mean i can get out more often and to places i could not get to due to my current condition. I have been in constant pain for the last few years and hope that after a short period of rest i should be much more mobile and pain free. I am trying to remain positive as i know its the best thing long term.
Hope to resume normal service as soon as possible....................................................
This week was a mix of emotions for me because i was asked to do a wedding. Nothing much unusual there for some, but for me i have never done wedding photography before so i was very nervous about the whole thing. I was asked by my oldest , and i mean that in a nice way , best mate. It was a very intimate affair and as such there were no other guests. He was also fully aware that i had no experience of being a wedding photographer and so i was doing it for the experience, and boy what a experience!
I arrived at his house two days before the event , along with my wife. We stayed with him and his now wife, for the first night and on the second day we headed out to The Alexander Hotel and Utopia Spar, Sussex. We were met by several members of staff who must have seen us coming on cctv. We had our bags taken in and when we checked in, taken to our rooms. The big thing that struck me throughout our stay was the first class service we received from the staff who are one of the biggest assets of the hotel.
We spent our first day looking around the grounds and checking out some locations for our photos the following day. From the moment i was up on the day of the wedding i was thinking about settings etc, do i shoot manual , in AV mode and use exposure combination , flash or natural light, as i discovered the answer is yes to all of them. My settings were changing all day long. Natural light window portraits and outside with the groom early in the morning, with and without fill flash. You really have to think on your feet as the locations you shoot change all the time. I have had to rescue a few images in post but as this is my first wedding i am happy to allow myself some errors.
As this was a very intimate affair i also didn't have all the normal formals to do but i still wanted to get lots of different images for the couple. So i found myself trying to enjoy the day but also thinking of shots and locations all day long. I have a new found admiration for weddings photographers lol !
Here are a few of the shots from the day, well from the ones i have processed thus far, i cant bring myself to batch process , if i was doing this everyday and needed to speed up my workflow i can understand sometimes this needs to be done.
I did learn a valuable lesson as i set up a four foot octabox outside in full sun with just a single speedlite , was not really powerful enough to use in such a large light modifier at the distance i had it. Good experience and once i had a few shots under my belt i was feeling happier and relaxed into the role a little more. I am now thinking i wish i had done this or i should have done that but i guess that is the learning curve you only get with experience.
Great couple of days with a great couple, i hope you have a few images you like to remember your day by. Here is wishing you both all the happiness for the future .
We arrived at the hotel on Thursday 31 July at about 11.30 am . We had hired a private taxi to drive us direct to the hotel after last years experience of spending about an hour and half on the coach driving to every hotel on the island! The taxi was waiting for us at the airport and took a little over twenty minuets to arrive at our hotel. This is the Sentido Punta Del Mar Hotel in Santa Ponsa which is located on the south west coast of Mallorca. We had booked a week in this hotel in one of their thirty seven Junior Suites.
On arrival at the hotel we walked into reception and while waiting at the desk we were approached by a member of staff who welcomed us to the hotel hoped we had a nice stay with them and offered us fruit juice as a complimentary welcome. The check in process was very quick and when complete our bags were taken and we were shown to the lift and taken to our room which was on the seventh floor. This was only one floor up as reception is located on the sixth floor. This is due to the hotel being built right on the cliff top and most of the rooms are below what would be pavement level. We were allocated room 714.
When we booked the suite we found it very very difficult to find a image of what to expect. Sadly i think we were looking at the executive suite when we booked. After staying at the hotel we realized that there is only one executive suite which is the only room on the eighth floor Room 801. The lift will take you to the seventh floor and you have to walk to the eighth. I hope that at least someone finds this image useful in knowing exactly what to expect. The suite itself was pretty spacious had a fully tiled WC with a walk in sower and no bath. We had a wall mounted flat screen tv with satellite freeview giving us access to some English channels such as BBC , ITV E4 and a few others. We had what was a mini bar with nothing in and would be stocked upon request. The plus side of this is if you don't request it stocked you can use it as a mini fridge for milk and cold drinks etc, which is what we done. You also get a kettle with cups and basic tea making facilities. There is also a seating area and coffee table to relax and watch the tv.
The balcony was the largest we have ever had with room for two chairs and a small table and two sun loungers! The balcony was overlooking a bay and the sunset directly in front of the balcony every night. This was not only a great view but a great photographic opportunity.
The room had adequate wardrobe space and a safe that could be rented from reception. This was at a cost of fifteen euros refundable deposit and three euros per day. So for a one week stay you pay thirty six euros upfront and you get the fifteen euros back when you return the key.The safe was large enough for us to house a large dslr camera , flash second lens , passports and various other possessions.
When we had unpacked and got ourselves settled in we went back down to reception to sort out the safe and also the WiFi.
The WiFi is free to use and everyday you have to pick up a ticket from reception that has a user name and password. You need one for each device. The wifi is very hit and miss and i am nit sure if it can be accessed from every room although we seemed to have a better connection on our balcony. From here we decided to have a look around the hotel which seemed to have some great vantage points to see the views.
The hotel has two bars the one on the first floor which is on the same level as the pool area and the second is on floor five, The Blue Bar. The bar is small but the area itself is very well laid out with a choice of table and chairs, stools or double bed loungers. The whole area has a glass wall so the view is maintained as much as possible, and as the bar is situated on a corner of the hotel the view is spectacular, especially at sunset.
This post is not meant to be a review of the hotel but as i have stayed here i will say that the Breakfast was very good with a large selection. The dinner however is a little different. I did read reviews before we went that complained about the main meal but i just assumed that most people would only ever write a review to complain so i disregarded these comments. Sadly i find myself agreeing that the main meal was not really what you would expect of a hotel, especially as they have a dress code for males. You have to wear long trousers and a sleeved shirt. We found ourselves eating out more than we wanted. We also found after a week that the location of the hotel was a little far from the main beach. It took us about twenty to thirty minuets to walk down. Some days we found ourselves walking down in the morning back to the hotel after and back down again in the evening so there was a lot of walking involved. This may not bother some but its something to bear in mind.
There is a nice area at the back of the hotel which is accessible via the pool area and leads down to the sea. You walk down some man made steps with a rope baniste. At the bottom is a steel ladder straight into the sea. You can not touch the bottom and has a little cave, this is a great location for swimming and snorkeling.
If you have never been to Santa Ponsa and are thinking of a trip, i find it hard to believe anyone would regret a holiday here. Its a beautiful island and Santa Ponsa doesn't disappoint.
If you are ever in Santa Ponsa , Mallorca, stop off and say hi to Rubio. He stands on the seafront by McDonalds where you can arrange day trips on boats or hire jet skis etc. He is a great character and very friendly. He has been part of Santa Ponsa for the last 35 years and i hope for a long time to come. We arranged a great trip on Submarine Visions Tropical Delfin.
We had a short two hour trip which departed Santa Ponsa at 11.15 and made its way out to The Islas Malgrat where the boat stopped to feed the fish and for those that wanted snorkels where provided for you to swim with the fish.When you look back towards Santa Ponsa from this point you get to see Croc Isand, Pictured below'
If you preferred to stay on board then the lower deck was submerged with windows for you to see the marine life. Food and drinks where also available but these were at additional cost. After the snorkeling we then departed for the second leg of the journey to Camp De Mar, where we dropped off and picked up other passengers. This looks a great location and one i will be tempted to look at in the future. Claudia Schiffer and a formula one driver, who i cant remember, have places here.
Then we departed again for two stops in Peguera before ending up back at Santa Ponsa.
When you board the boat you are asked to pose for your picture which during the journey you are presented with at a cost of 5 euros should you wish to purchase it.
Great way to spend the morning, highly recommend it and if you fancy longer journeys other options are available.
Thanks to Rubio for allowing me to take your picture i hope to get some prints and will get them out to you in September when my parents come out there thanks again and hope to see you again soon.
Today was Fathers day here in the UK and this is my dad. This is the first time i have photographed him since i have been doing portraits. He agreed to allow me to take some images and these were some of the results. I used a single speedlite in a 16" beauty dish to fill the shadows.
I had the beauty dish on the end of a small boom arm which is much more stable when using outside in windy conditions.
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Just got back from a short two night London City Break with with my wife. We had a great time just relaxing and shopping, i had no idea you could get so tired on what should have been a break !! We arrived on Monday and made our way to the Hotel i had booked. I used lastminute.com to book what was advertised to be a luxury 4 star Hotel in the Kensington and Chelsea area. Sounded ok so i went ahead and booked it. It was one of them secret hotel deals and when i paid it revealed its identity and location.
Turned out to be Millennium & Copthorne Hotels At Chelsea Football Club , great if you are a Chelsea fan or even a football fan, i am neither ! However as we arrived on a Monday there were no matches to be played and no other major events being held at the stadium during our stay i hoped it would all be quiet and ok.
When we arrived at Fullham Broadway underground station we made our way along fullham road towards the ground. You could see the entrance to the stadium almost immediately.
We walked past the first entrance and made our way to the second entrance where you could see the hotel from the main road. This hotel was separated in to two building , one was the Millennium and the other was the Copthorne Hotel, we ended up staying in the latter , which i think is the older of the two buildings.
We made our way to reception and the check in process was very quick and simple, however i did have to give a debit card to reception for them to charge me a £30 deposit refundable in three to five working days after our stay as long as there was nothing taken !! I am not sure if this was because of the usual clients or if it was that i just looked a bit dodgy !
We were checked in and the deposit taken and we were then given our entry cards to the room. We had requested a double bed as when i paid for the room i was told it would be a double or twin room depending on availability , but in the special comments for the hotel section i asked if it was possible and available the double room was preferred. This they mentioned when we checked in and that they had granted our request.We stayed in room 403 which as you can see from the image is a nice size room with all the basics, en-suite, bed, tea and coffee, smart tv, wardrobe with iron and ironing board etc.The view from the room was not great but i did not expect anything other especially staying on the outskirts of London in February. If you were to stay in the summer the room was also air conditioned.
We decided that we were going to head out onto the underground and head for the Southbank and at some point find somewhere nice to sit and have a meal.
We ended up getting off the underground at St James Park and made our way round in front of Buckingham Palace, from here we made our way down through St James park and out by The Houses Of Parliament.
From here we managed to grab a take away drink from Nero and headed across Westminster bridge towards St Thomas Hospital. Made our way down the stairs, once across, by the new London Dungeon site. The southbank was busy as usual with a mix of locals, commuters and holiday makers all in a rush to get somewhere.
The time was getting on a little and the light was fading fast but we managed to find a bench opposite the London eye , which has recently been renovated. We sat for a while before heading off to find somewhere to eat.
We made our way further along the southbank looking at various menus of places along the way but by now we were heading towards the OXO tower , again we stopped here as the area is such a nice place to sit , and grab a couple of night cityscapes.
I had brought a tiny tripod with me which is the Slik Mini Pro III . I had my Canon 5d mkiii and grip with a canon 17 - 40 F/4.0 L USM attached. The tripod was strong enough to hold this set up which i had sat on the wide railing along the river.
After this we made our way past the Oxo Tower and found ourselves outside looking at the menu of Doggets Coat and Badge public house. The menu looked very nice so we decided we couldn't wait any longer we were both starving and tired.
We were shown to the restaurant area which was upstairs and once we were seated our order was taken. The view was lovely, sat at the table in front of a large window overlooking Blackfriars bridge and looking out over the Thames with the city lights on the horizon, was a very nice place to sit.
The meal did not disappoint either with it being made fresh to order and not bulk bought and microwaved on request. The food was all freshly prepared and you could tell care had been taken with the preparation and the presentation. We only had a main meal and no pudding but we both had a drink and the total cost of the meal was £30 , i think this was very reasonable and look forward to going again, maybe when the weather improves as they have a nice looking terrace area. After dinner we headed across Blackfriars bridge and towards the underground where we headed back to the hotel.
They next day we decided to visit Camden. I wanted to take my wife here before Christmas but due to various reasons we found this had not happened. We made our way to Camden and on arrival we headed up the high street towards the lock. I love walking through Camden the smells from all the street food vendors is unbelievable.
We walked around the whole market stopping to browse and look closer at various places along the way. Always makes me think about the state of our high streets, if Camden can make a success of its high street with small boutiques and various independent trades why do so many other places struggle with empty properties and decaying high streets, its such a shame.
We found a place we could both sit and have breakfast which was a place called The Dinner , a typical American Style Dinner. After breakfast we made our way around the Marketplace and high street area and made a few purchases along the way.
From this point we had no other plans so after a little deliberation we decided we would head off to the posh part of town and decided on going to Knightsbridge . We negotiated our way out of the underground and emerged right outside the world famous Harrods department store.
We eventually made our way into the store and we were greeted by a doorman who requested i remove my backpack and either wear it to the front or carry it, i can only assume this is a way of helping you not knock anything off a shelf etc.
I have to say i did feel a little out of place here and a little uncomfortable. We browsed several areas of the store, mainly with our chins on the floor at complete disbelief that even the mega rich would pay such over the top prices for the items on sale.
We did find our way to the food hall where you are able to purchase a selection of hand made chocolates, a selection of loose tea and freshly ground coffee mixed to your requirements and suitably charged.
We did manage to find a little something for our granddaughter which was not to over the top priced. There were several areas where you could sit and eat or be served a selection of the worlds finest champagnes.
When we had finished looking around we left and headed of to Hyde Park where we sat and had a drink outside in the fresh air right by the lake . We then made our way back to the hotel for our last night before getting home today. Had a great time but feel really warn out after just two days walking around, must be getting to old !!
Been a little busy lately so photography has taken a back seat for the time being. This little angel is the reason. My grandaughter born just over a week ago but has had a few complications and has already seen three hospitals in the short time she has been around. She is being very well cared for at St Thomas Hospital London, with Mum and Dad by her side. They say she is improving and we hope this continues till the day we get a phone call to come and collect you all
I would like to wish them all a very Happy Christmas, we will be thinking about you all and looking forward to seeing you very soon, and hope more than anything you come home soon xxx
Well back at home after a great week away in Santa Ponsa, Mallorca. Shared our week with my old mate Paul Addison and a new mate Maria. We had some great laughs and a certain amount of alcohol may have been consumed really sent me CoCo - Loco !
Lucky for me i have another week to get over it but everyone else will be back to work by tomorrow. I will endeavor to keep the holiday spirit alive for you all, that's just the kind of mate i am !
The image above was taken with my point and shoot Panasonic Lumix TZ-10, as i didn't want to lug around my great big slr. However its times like this you really wish you had!
Weather looking so much better today already. Had a good time last night out for a meal a few drinks and a late night walk across the bay.
The only problem was a broken chair on the balcony and it assent ours. Ill say no more!
Today's plan is beach day so sun bathing snorkelling and swimming .