This set of images was from a recent street photoshoot in the city of Leicester on a very warm Sunday afternoon in the middle of the 2018 Summer heatwave. I love using urban areas in cities because of the wide range of backdrops that can be used – walls, doorways, factory entrances etc. I use my small speedlights to mix artificial lighting with natural lighting to provide a dynamic looking image. The side streets of a city are generally quiet on a weekend afternoon, so we can get on with creating a great set of images without too much interest from passers-by. It is a great way to capture fashion and portrait images with a little difference.
I managed to spend a few days in Finland in March, 2018 and grabbed a few hours at the end of each days to capture some images of the very cold winter climate around Turku.
Turku crossroads in the city centre.
Turku building lit with the late afternoon sun.
The snow is piled up on the sidestreets, and stays around for some time.
The setting sun providing backlight for the snowpiles.
Turku cathedral (1276-1300) with the frozen River Aura in the foreground.
Turku Cathedral is reported to be the most important religious building in Finland, rebuilt after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827.
Cracks in the ice of the frozen River Aura. The locals were quite relaxed about walking on the river, so when in Rome…
The setting sun on the frozen River Aura. A great way to exercise.
Local ships converted into restaurants and bars surrounded by the frozen water.
I started off 2018 with a few more trips to Norway, when the weather was still cold with snow covering the higher areas. I used my Fuji X-Pro1 with 18mm, 35mm and 56mm collection of prime lenses, as they are easy to pack in my carry-on baggage and provide fantastic image quality.
Traditional grass roof homes at the edge of a Fjord in Alesund.
Alesund harbour at night. It is amazing how much light in the sky there still is in the evening, captured with a camera long exposure, which has also smoothed out the water.
The mountains around Alesund. Shot whilst waiting for my colleagues to finish skiing in the area.
An aerial view of the harbour from Aksla viewpoint in Alesund
Residential properties are dotted around the base of many mountains in Norway, the glow of orange light giving away their position.
Industrial buildings on the edge of the water in very cold conditions.
Aksla viewpoint after a gentle dusting of snow the night before.
Residential and commercial properties at the waters edge in winter.
Alesund harbour lighthouse at night with a long exposure.
Alesund fisheries museum in the harbour, with the yellow building of Aspoy School in the background.
Local Norwegians depend on ferries for their day to day transportation.
A residential area against a backdrop of a wooded area signalling the start of a lovel walk back to the centre of Alesund.
A walk through the woods can be slippery in Winter without the right walking gear.
A view of the mountains through the trees. there are great viewpoints along the walk back to town.
Even though the snow and ice in town has disappeared, the slightly higher ground on the scenic walk showed the difference in ground temperature.
The statue Mot Havet (Seaward) in Alesund town centre overlooking the docks.
This large cruise ship appeared on the Saturday morning, providing activity for an otherwise very quiet weekend for Alesund.
Snow capped mountains lit by the morning sun.
Alesund at dusk, with the gorgeous blue light.
Alesund harbour at dusk.
I was fortunate to be able to make three separate trips to Norway as 2017 came to a close, and I took my fantastic Fuji X-Pro1 with my collection of 18mm, 35mm and 56mm lenses and a small mini tripod. I was working during the days in Norway, but managed to find some time to capture some of the scenery with my photography. I had never been to Norway before, but it has left a lasting impression on me – the people are very friendly, the scenery is awe inspiring, the food is of a very high quality, and everything is very expensive. I am looking forward to further trips in 2018.
Getting to Norway is not as easy as you might think, certainly not from the UK. Each trip included two transfers – I certainly got to see a lot of European airports.
Flying into Norway gives you a taste of the wonderful scenery, especially in Winter with snow on the ground everywhere. The water was starting to freeze over here.
A quick 5 min walk from the office in Alesund, and I found this little gem of a scene.
Another couple of minutes walk, and another great scene, although this was taken on the second trip when snow had fallen.
The time was midday, but the sun is already very low in the sky.
A very cold and frosty Magdevagvegan !
The dark evenings were another opportunity for more photography – in the cold. In the background you can jsut make out the ‘Town Mountain’. 418 steps to the top and there is a great viewpoint of Alesund waiting for you.
Alesund has some great architecture and sculptures.
Another view of the Alesund archipelago at night on a clear starry night.
Lovery architecture on a dark night. There are very few people around the streets during the evening in the winter.
A quick iPhone capture on the road at dusk.
The rugged landscape looks even more dramatic with snow on the ground and a cloudy sky.
Another iPhone 6 capture with the sunlight falling on the snow capped mountains.
Travelling past a farm on the way back to the airport at dusk.
The landscape feels like the edge of the world.
Oslo airport lit up at night on a clear night.
Over flying the warm lights of the Norwegian highways snaking through the cold landscape on my way back to the UK.
I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in Florida this summer with family and friends, and even managed to meet up with an ex work colleague from 20 years ago. I do enjoy staying in the USA, with its weather, service orientated culture and fantastic facilities. Everything just works. This is my third time in the state of Florida, and we had a truly amazing holiday. I cannot wait to go back again.
We stayed with friends during our 3 week visit, away from the traditional tourist hotels and rental areas, but close enough that we were never more than 30 mins away from the main tourist hotspots. This is the communal lake and walkway used daily by residents for relaxation and exercise.
The American flag, flown proudly outside a lot of residential homes.
Lizards, a daily frequenter of the pool netting.
On route to Jetty Park Beach at Port Canaveral. Car owners Obsessive Cat Disorder.
The white sands of Florida, even on the east coast. Jetty Park Beach on a hot hot day.
A favourite spot for sea fishing at Jetty Park.
A great day for sailing at Port Canaveral.
Lazy Sunday at Jetty Park.
Looking out on the east coast of Florida. There are lots of well built coastal management solutions on view.
The weather turns quickly in Florida. Darks clouds threaten heavy rain in the sunshine state.
Fitness must be the number one pastime in the USA. Surely…
…and eating must be number 2. Or maybe its the other way round.
And there is always a Starbucks just round the corner, wherever you are.
Palm trees tower above almost everything in Florida.
There is always something to do in Florida, morning day or night. Waiting for a table at Kobi’s.
A memorable meal at Kobi’s. Chinese food cooked in front of you by the resident comic.
This moment in time could not have been more American if it tried. Standing outside an ice-cream vendor at 11pm in t-shirt and shorts, surrounded by Taco Bell and all sorts of famous American brand signs, the Doobie Brothers’ Listen to the Music playing in the background, and then on cue a bunch of Harley motorbikes drive by. It was definately an inner peace moment.
The big parks of Universal and Disney certainly know how to make a moment. We had experienced the Disney parks on a previous visit, so decided on Universal this year. The Skull Island Reign of Kong ride was very well done. The mountains in the background are just a set made of wooden panels. It looked very real.
We spend a highly recommended day at Discovery Cove, a water park where you can experience swimming with the marine life.
Beer and steaks. What else do you need ?
Steak ‘n Shake – possibly the cheapest meal of the whole trip, and it was pretty good for the money. Must be doing something right – the company has been in operation since 1934.
Dusk by the lake. Watch out for the ‘gators.
The residential amenities are pretty impressive – pools, outside gym and tennis courts are just a few.
I had never driven in the USA before, but I very quickly came to enjoy it. General speeds are much lower than the UK roads, and most people driver at a more leisurely pace than what I am used to. Roads are big, clean and well signposted.
I recently spent the day with the event planning company helping them with their first outdoor cinema event in the wonderful grounds of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. Although a full summer’s day event with three screenings, the most interesting light for photography came at dusk with fantastic colours in the sky, the moon out and the glow of the lighting from the screen and vendors making the whole scene wonderfully atmospheric. It is hard work setting up an event like this, but everyone had a great time with lots of applauds at the last song of the film Grease when the light really had faded.
I think one of the best subjects for a photoshoot is a person with lots of dimensions to their character. Luke has this in abundance, with tattoos, a very well looked after beard which I am sure has been grown with great pride, and penetrating eyes to focus in on. Nose ring and shiny necklace add to the richness of the look.
Luke was almost picked off the street to model for a small group of photographers in the Leicester studio, and we used a dark background with minimal light to create a moody portrait.
I spent a few days in London recently and used some of the time taking in some street photography with my Fuji X-Pro1 and 18mm, 35mm and 56mm lenses.
I find street photography in London easier than some other places because there are so many visuals to work with, there are lots of other photographers (tourists) around and everyone is so busy going from A to B that you do not look out of place and can get on with taking photographs without apprehension. The weather was fantastic with the start of summer, and I used my morning and evening walks to take advantage of the fantastic light.
1. Street seller at Westminster Bridge. Prime spot and unbeatable footfall for the tourist market.
2. Cranes standing to attention across the River Thames. London is constantly changing, as much of a living and breathing city as the people who occupy it.
3. Trafalgar Square, looking at St Martin-in-the-Fields church. I sat my Fuji X-Pro1 on a mini-tripod with a 3 stop ND filter for a long exposure to capture the movement within the scene.
4. Nelson’s Columns, Trafalger Square. Watching the comings and goings since 1843.
5. Earl Haig Memorial, Whitehall. A bronze statue in silhouette.
6. Protesters opposite Downing Street. The dog is taking a great interest in something.
7. Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament. Red and blue is the order of the day.
8. Makeshift memorial for the victims of the recent terrorist activities on the bridge.
9. Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament is a popular location for foreign bride wedding photography.
10. The remains of the evening sunlight falling onto a building in shadow.
11. A waiter outside a cafe at Trafalger Square.
12. Nelson’s Column in silhouette. Everything is standing to attention.
13. Muriel at Southbank. Lovely colours in the sunlight.
14. A morning walk on the south side of the River Thames. Walking is so much better than using the tube when you have a camera and the weather is sunny and warm.
15. Red and black are a great combination at the National Theatre.
16. Wooden pier with a backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral and the modern world.
17. There are over 100,000 hotel rooms in Greater London.
18. Under the bridge in the morning light.
19. The Tate Modern Gallery, Bankside.
20. The Millenium Bridge, which started off as being affectionately known as ‘The Wobbly Bridge’. It was closed for two years whilst the issue was fixed.
21. The Millenium Bridge, with St Paul’s in the background. The bridge provides easy access for commuters travelling between Bankside and the City of London.
22. The Shard, 95 storeys in total and 310 metres to the tip.
23. Morning commute through the ancient streets of London.
24. Morning trains passing through Southwark.
25. Commuters in reflection
26. Heathrow is not far away.
27. I love the sharp anglesand straight lines that modern hi-rise office buildings can provide.
28. Statue near to London City Hall
29. The Shard sandwiched between two office blocks.
30. Construction on the North side of the Thames. The Gherkin is in the mix.
31. A commuter walking towards Tower Bridge. Tower of London in the background.
32. Sunlight reflecting off a modern building.
33. The Shard backlit by the sun.
34. Pedestrians passing through developed office and shopping areas in Southwark.
35. Red is the colour in Piccadilly Circus.
36. Victoria Memorial, The Mall.
37. Bronze statue in silhouette, Victoria Memorial, the Mall.
38. Buckingham Palace in the evening. The Mall was closed off the traffic for military parade practises in preparation for the Queens Birthday celebrations – Trooping of the Colour.
39. Union Jack and the London Eye at dusk.
40. Relaxing on The Mall with no traffic.
41. Practising for Trooping of the Colour down The Mall. British tradition in all its splendor.
42. Trafalger Square at dusk.
43. You are spoilt for choice for nightime entertainment.
44. Big Ben poking up above the treeline at dusk.
45. The London Underground, a city all by itself.
46. A 30 second exposure brings life to a nightscene.
47. The night time lights start to appear on the banks of the Thames.
48. The London Eye in all its glory.
49. Lights a plenty in the evening.
50. An old ship commandered as a drinking venue on the waters of the Thames.
I was fortunate to spend some time in the Leicester studio with local model Charlee recently, trying out some different lighting setups. Charlee has a great look and is a pleasure to work with.
All three images were shot on a white background, but controlling the amount of light falling on the background to keep the background as light or dark as required. The addition of coloured gels on a light helped create a different look to the same setup.