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  • The Egg Chasers

    A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a couple of portraits for the Daily Mail's sport section. Up first was Bath Rugby's Dave Attwood who is currently enjoying a fine season with the team just off the top of the Premiership table. I'd set everything up ready for Dave after his interview, however when he came out there was some quick adjustments and heightening of light stands - the man is huge! He was a complete gent as we went through a few locations - I love doing jobs at Farleigh House (Bath's training ground), it's an amazingly grand setting making my job alot easier. Funnily enough I liked doing shots against a brick wall best on this occasion and obviously I did the obligatory rugby posts shot. 

    Next up was a trip to Bradford on Avon RFC's training ground where ex England captain and World Cup winner Lewis Moody is now plying his trade as Director of Rugby. Now it's not every day you meet an English World Cup winner, so it was an absolute pleasure to get to meet and photograph Lewis. A few quick portraits later and Lewis went to oversee training. 

  • Eurotrip

    This summer I embarked on a three week mini trip of Europe, taking in Bratislava, Vienna, Hungary (Budapest and Lake Balaton) and Croatia (Split, Brac, Sibenik, Krka National Park, Pag and Zadar). Sat back in not so sunny England i've compiled a few of my favourite shots from the trip, all shot on the trusty Fujifilm X100 and X10 travel combination. 

    Bratislava Bus Station - a haven for street artists

    The amazing classical architecture of Vienna: 

    Riding the Hungarian rail network, a throwback to Communist times 

    Room with a view, Esztergom Basilica, Hungary 

    Atop of which is an incredible view of all around - Hungary sits to the left of the RIver Danube with Slovakia over the bridge on the right

    The brilliantly vibrant and lively city of Budapest as viewed from Gellért Hill

    Late light on the Hungarian Parliament building

    The serene shores of Lake Balaton

    The night train between Lake Balaton and Split, which takes in some amazing Croatian scenery on the way (one advantage to an awful nights sleep is being up early enough to see it) 

    Diocletian's Palace, Split

    Typical weather on the Dalmatian coast, getting the ferry to Brac

    The beautiful island of Brac, Croatia

    Bathers enjoy the waterfalls of Krka National Park

    A man stands on his boat during sunset on the Croatian island of Pag  

    The final night in Zadar, which involved a Sea Organ and watching 6ft+ men dunk each other whilst playing water polo

     

  • Dublin Day Tripper

    This week saw me sent slightly further afield than usual to cover a story - all the way to the Emerald Isle (otherwise known as the Motherland). As the job wasn't until the afternoon I had a bit of time to cruise around in my rented Citroen C1 toy car and check out the sights of Dublin. I took a few pics along the way.. 

  • West Country World Cup Fever

    Every two years comes the time when (almost) everyone gets excited about the England football team playing at a major tournament. With the country going World Cup mad, so do the papers. This means that a) I will spend most of the games with my back to the TV watching fans and b) the contents of my boot look like a homage to St. George. England's late-night opener against Italy had me searching the streets of Bristol for an early image for the next days papers - thankfully one street in Bristol went seriously all out supporting the team:

    Prior to kick off England fans started to make themselves known, in various fashions...

    Before the inevitable highs and lows of the game itself

  • A Gray trip to Krakow

    Last weekend me and the family went on our first ever holiday together to visit Krakow, Poland. Having been before, me and the brother did some off the beaten track exploring of the city, whilst the ladies did the usual sites which the region is known for (Auschwitz and the Salt Mines). Here's a few images from the trip, all shot on the Fuji x100 which is lovely for travel. 

  • Fashionable Fillies, Ladies Day at Cheltenham Festival:

    Fascinators, fedoras, furs, feathers... when it comes to women's fashion i'd be the first to admit that i'm slightly out of my depth. Thankfully having three fashionable sisters gives me some general idea of what looks good on the ladies. My vague knowledge was to be tested as this week saw me dispatched to cover Cheltenham Festival - a four day event of horse racing, and for the non sports photographer's of us, people watching. As a large-scale social event this includes the obligatory royal watch (Cheltenham regular Zara Phillips and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall), celeb watch (from A-Z) and fashionable / quirky people watch. The second day of the festival is 'Ladies Day', with fashionable ladies the order of the day. Using my portable backdrop (the back of a van) I set about photographing the race-goers:

    Naturally I didn't spend the whole day cowering in the lovely shade of the van: 

    It's not all ladies:

    A quick spot of 500mm royal watching:

    The ever-present Zara Phillips (taken on Day 1)

    And some gorgeous light to finish the day:

  • Great Barrels of Fire

    Every year on November 5th the sleepy Devon town of Ottery St Mary comes alive with the sounds and sights of people running through the streets carrying flaming barrels of tar on their heads. It's as mad as it sounds. According to the official site "The Tar Barrel tradition is hundreds of years old. The exact origins are unknown but probably started after the gunpowder plot of 1605. Various alternative reasons suggested for burning barrels have included fumigation of cottages and as a warning of the approach of the Spanish armada." Thankfully it still escapes the grasps of the Health & Safety brigade, which makes viewing it (and photographing it) a pretty exciting / petrifying affair. There's nothing quite like watching someone run at you screaming with a flaming barrel on their heads, whilst you both try to get a photograph and get out of their way. As the night goes on, the barrels get bigger - as does the crowd - to the point where you literally cannot move. Which makes getting out of the way even more fun. Luckily myself and Getty photographer Matt Cardy were allowed into a lovely blokes window which made it a much less stressful affair (and kept the singes on my neck down to just four or five).

  • A Monumental Winter Solstice

    Whilst December 21st was the officially the shortest day of the year, Monday's sunrise at the ancient monument of Stonehenge was the closest to the moment when the North Pole was tilted furthest from the sun. A 3am alarm call got me to near the site around 5am with my colleague Jon Rowley, leaving a few hours wait until the revellers, pagans, druids and media were let in at 7.30. For the third time in a row my wait for a sunrise was unfruitful with dark grey turning to ever so lighter grey. Maybe next time. Thankfully the amazing location that is Stonehenge and the character's that Solstice draws ensures that there are always photographic opportunities. Here are a few of the pics from the day:

    I was pretty pleased to share the Guardian Eyewitness centre page spread with Press Association's Ben Birchall , along with pics in The Times and Daily Telegraph the next day. It always makes the 3am starts worth it!