Silverscale Photography: Blog en-us (C) Silverscale Photography (Silverscale Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT Silverscale Photography: Blog 106 120 Summer Preparations I am so pleased to be having a very productive time at the moment here at Silverscale.  I finally feel like things are coming together, and I'm really excited to take them on. 

Firstly, I signed up to be one of 1000 faces and raise money for cash for kids (number 919 to be precise).  I'm so excited and this has really given me the inspiration I need to put myself out there.  Hopefully, I will be doing plenty of Speedy sessions, where I not only get lots of great family photos, I can also make a difference to some lives down here in the south.  Win-win for everyone! 

On top of that, I have also offered my services for the River Hamble Games this year.  Its another event that makes me so proud of my local area, and all the more keen to be involved with it.  Water sports, games on the quayside, you will never see Hamble-le-Rice so busy or crowded.  Sometimes, its hard to believe that all these people actually live here!  I had a blast 4 years ago at this event, and cannot wait to do it again.  Sunshine or rain, bring it on!!

Hamble River Games, beach, event, summerLooking downstreamTeeming with people, these were only the spectators!

I'm currently working on some other projects that I hope to launch this year, such as Pre-prom sessions, and sporty family shoots.  It's going to be a big year, and I can't wait to get my teeth into it. 

If you are interested in helping me out with any of these projects (as you've made it this far through my blog) drop me an email/facebook message and we can sort out some dates. Contact me

So whilst this is a short blog, I'm hoping to be writing a few more of these soon.  In the meantime, thank you for getting this far, and thank you for visiting my website!! 





]]> (Silverscale Photography) plans preparations summer Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:02:40 GMT
Out of the Whirlwind Annnnnnd breathe.  The past 6 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind.  A flurry, if you will, of activity.  It's amazing how much can happen at once, and if there has been only one thing I've learnt from it (trust me, there's so much more than one thing) it's that I have to be ready to go and do it.  These events happen literally once a year.  If I miss it, that's another year I have to wait until it rolls round again.  And nobody knows what will happen in a year. 

So here's just 3 of the things that happened all in 2 days :)

30th June - The prom.  I know I wrote a blog about just how excited I was to do this prom, and all the preparation I had done for it.  Well, not surprisingly, the unexpected happened.  Just after running my tests on the flashes and putting one out of the way, a gust of wind bought own my other one and smashed the umbrella to pieces.  Its not that big a problem, but it did make me change the plans a bit.  Instead, I used the floor to bounce the flash and get some Hollywood-esque lighting.  I was expecting to have to fight against the sun (hence the extra lights) but luckily the clouds helped me out there.  And when it came to the big picture, my lights then decided not to talk to the camera, so I had to improvise there as well.  Luckily, the images turned out great, and so I didn't need to drastically edit them.

  No flashesNo flashesThis was the group without the lighting With FlashWith FlashExtra light I think adds a Hollywood feel to the evening

I was very grateful to have such a tolerant and patient group. After this photo they did all go downstairs, to eat, drink and dance the night away.

July 1st - AM - Pretty Muddy Run in Southampton.

Pretty Muddy-90Pretty Muddy-90One of my many willing groups. They start so clean! Southampton Common is a great place to go and visit.  Its basically a giant park, with runners, dog walkers and families using it daily.  Its also the location for the Race for Life 10k (which happens the day after Pretty Muddy), and lots of other events and concerts.  Last year, I had a friend running in the race, so I promised I would go down with my camera and cheer her on.  As it turned out, I took photos of her and her teammate all the way round, taking pictures at every obstacle.  Knowing where the obstacles are is a great bit of knowledge for photographing them.  After watching the 10am runners head off, I headed up the hill to one of the obstacle stations.  Not only did I witness many ballerinas balancing across the beams, I was also surprised and delighted by the amount of people who were very willing to have their photograph taken, whether as a group or on their own. I did see my friends go past.  Hoping to see them cross the finish line, I headed away, and somehow made it to watch them emerge, muddy, from the final obstacle.  Time had run out for me this year, but I did get caught having some muddy hugs on the way home!  

Pretty Muddy-178Pretty Muddy-178At the finish line! Pretty Muddy-213Pretty Muddy-213And they hadn't finished yet!

July 1st - PM - Hedge End Carnival

After a brief and super speedy download of images from the morning, I was back out again at my village carnival.  Again, I know I've written a blog about this one too, and I'm still very proud of the local community for what they managed to achieve.  Never have I seen such large lorries negotiating their way down our streets, and I'm still astounded by how many people turned out to see the carnival go past.  All the people that took part deserve a pat on the back, whether it was the balloon seller, the organisers and the volunteers who just helped make the afternoon pass smoothly. 

Hedge End Carnival-7Hedge End Carnival-7Big noise community samba band Hedge End Carnival-56Hedge End Carnival-56

But life didn't stop there, I have since done two "firsts" for me.  A family session with some great friends, and a pre-prom session, which was the most relaxing prom session I have ever done. 

The momentum has slowed a bit as I went on holiday (more on that next time), but I am planning now for the future. If I can have the time of my life over 2 days like this, then I don't want it to stop.


]]> (Silverscale Photography) busy events photography Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:44:19 GMT
Hedge End Carnival Hedge End Carnival-1Hedge End Carnival-1The carnival parade begins The sun was shining, and crowds lined the streets.  Distantly, the drumming could be heard. Coming closer.  A lonely unicorn floated up into the sky, caught in the drifting winds, pulling it higher and higher.  People chatted animatedly and youngsters ran in circles on the grass.  The drumming was getting louder, the sound of trumpets filled the air.  Vendors sold balloons and long fuzzy worms on sticks.  Over the tops of heads came the flags, always born by the local Squadron.  They were the beginning.  Hedge End Carnival-7Hedge End Carnival-7The drumming!

This is Hedge End Carnival.  Not unlike most carnivals that happen at this time of the year, but all the more important because it is my local carnival.  This is my village, my home.  I went to the secondary school here, have a job here, know most of the people here.  Normally, quite a sleepy place, pretty much a crossroads.  The traffic lights are the main attraction for anyone passing through.  And yet, on carnival day, I am always surprised by the huge amounts of people our little village has.  The streets are full to bursting. Everywhere you look, there are families, couples, people of any age, lining the streets, cheering on the carnival. The traffic lights are ignored: the road is closed.   This year was probably the biggest parade I've seen, a huge amount of effort goes into it.  Not only do we get musicians, dancers, stilt-walkers, steam rollers and ancient vehicles, we also get the local groups getting involved.  From pre-school to the local church, dance clubs to circus skills, pretty much every aspect of Hedge End comes out to show off. Hedge End Carnival-56Hedge End Carnival-56

Hedge End Carnival-61Hedge End Carnival-61Its all for a good cause Never before have I been so proud of my local village as I was this year.  That parade gave me goose-bumps.  A lump in my throat.  And I could tell there was a lot of love for our village.  Children dressed up were so proud to be carrying the donation buckets.  Spectators, myself included, were so happy to donate to those children and the causes they represent. 

Once the parade has gone through, a surge of people (almost everyone!) heads to Greta Park, to spend the remainder of the afternoon watching a choir rock out to pop songs, whilst mooching around the stalls that line the arena.  

Yes, I took lots of photos.  That's what I love to do, and after spending the morning doing it, I was on a roll and couldn't stop.  So if you are interested, the rest of the photos are here


]]> (Silverscale Photography) carnival end events hedge party summer Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:06:28 GMT
Getting Ready "Perfect planning and preparation prevents poor performance", is a saying that I learnt when I first started working for PGL back in 2005.  It is as true then as it is now.  I like to be prepared.  I like to know how everything is working and what is likely to happen.  In reality, that is about as hopeful as anyone can get.  Normally, everything except what you planned is what will happen. It's just one of those things. 

So why be prepared I hear you ask? What's the point?  

Deep inside every photographer is a desire to have complete control.  Whether we like it or not (or are aware of it or not), we are always striving to be perfectionists.  We like things to be "just so". And on top of that we are control freaks.  Imagine if we turned up to a shoot one day without a card in the camera (yep, I've done it)? Or that you got a bunch of images that were dark because the photographer forgot to take a flash? How professional does that look?  Lets be honest, its not a good look, and for all the inconvenience it causes you; the photographer kicks themselves for the rest of the year.  

Its not a pleasant experience to feel like a complete and utter fool because you left a bit of kit at home which you thought it was unnecessary.  Luckily for me, the day I forgot the memory card, a very kind co-worker drove back up to the office and picked it up for me.  I've never forgotten since - and the spares are in my camera bag permanently.  Despite how good we are as photographers, we are still human.  Just like everyone else.  We will make mistakes.  Hopefully, if we care enough, we will learn from them and never repeat them.  The best way I can think of doing this, is to simply know my kit and my working area as well as I can.  If I know what it's capable of, I know where I can push the limits, and plan for the 2 new speedlites just waiting to be tried and tested.Toys or Tools?These are my nice, shiny, new toys. inevitable unplanned event.

So, I am doing a prom next week.  I'm quite excited about it, and the best feeling is that the school I am doing it for have invited me back again.  This year, however it is at a new location. Being fortunate enough to have had a bit of free time, I have already visited it 3 times.  In my mind, I am already picturing the images I would like to get.  There are a few places where I can bounce the flash off the ceiling and more places where the ceiling is way too high to even consider it!  Its also very flat and level.  Great for dancing, partying and moving around - pretty challenging for a group photo.  Thankfully, I like a good challenge.  Pictured here are my new speedlites, which I have been testing all week.  I'm really looking forward to putting them through their paces.   



 There are some things in life you can really only do once, and for teenagers leaving school, dressing up nice, planning a really great night out; the least I can do is make sure they have some great photos to remember it.        

]]> (Silverscale Photography) Photography learning preparation Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:43:24 GMT
What a nice suprise! Do you know its been over a year since I last posted on here?  This is my own website, and I've not even been on here for over a year - not even looked at it!! For shame!

I've been lax -I'll admit it.  That's possibly the biggest understatement you've ever read. And yes, I know what you're thinking - how sad.  How terribly annoying that this person is lamenting what is undoubtedly something of their own creation.  I have no excuses for you.  This is my own responsibility.  My own problem.  So I'm not going to burden you with it (whoo hoo I hear you cry!).

The best thing about visiting your own website, especially when you haven't been on it for a long time, is looking back at the things you've done, and reliving them.  Actually, I'm quite proud of it.  I loved every minute of the things I have already done, and now that I'm travelling in a new direction, I'm looking forward to doing more. 

Today when I came on here, I was pleasantly surprised.  45 views this month.  38 the previous.  How lovely.  To those of you who have looked on my website this month I have one thing to say. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to drop by and have a look.  Thank you for giving my website that time. 

I hope you continue to visit.  Just knowing that you paused in your day to look on this site makes me feel awesome, and tremendously valued.  I am going to break my previous tradition of infrequently writing blogs and begin again.  After all, good intentions are nothing without action.  So whilst I am not planning on becoming a runaway train of photographic insight; I am planning on keeping going.

Exciting things are happening this month.  I have the honour of photographing the Gregg School Prom, which will be a highlight of my year.  I love that the Gregg always request an informal style of photography, so that the young adults there can enjoy the evening without spending all of it queuing for photos.  They look fabulous, and shock you into realising that they are grown ups (almost) but at the same time, will still boogie on the dance floor and pop the balloons.  

There will be a blog about it afterwards, so keep an eye out.

Until next time, keep snapping!   


]]> (Silverscale Photography) Photography future grateful positivity Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:57:53 GMT
Pretty Muddy - Pretty fantastic Back in March, one of my friends told me she had signed up for this run called Pretty Muddy.  Would I like to do it to? "No thanks, but I'll come and photograph it," I said.  Four months later, and that run happened last weekend.  And, as I'd said, I went to take the photographs. 

Getting ready to run After a week of rain, cloud and generally grey weather, suddenly, the sun decided to grace us with its presence, effectively drying up all the mud! But what perfect conditions for a run.  Not too hot, not too cold, and a fresh and pleasant wind to cool you off.  Now, I don't run.  I don't have the desire to do it, nor the inclination. I'm a walker, I am happier walking than running. I can take more photos walking than running. 

So as I arrived before my friends, I felt really out of place - everywhere I looked there were runners. Just running.  And these people were doing it just because they could - they weren't even part of the fun run!  Gradually, as I neared the start line, the green field of the common was slowly being overrun by a sea of bright pink t-shirts.  The music was pumping, the announcer on stage, the sun shining.  I felt for all the world that I'd stumbled onto a lesser known music concert. 

But I had time, so I decided to have a little scout of the course, and find out where I wanted to be. Normally, I expect runs to be boring routes, without any real goal except to run and constantly beat a personal best time.  This is why I struggle to find the appeal.  Within a hundred yards of the start line was the first obstacle.  A hurdle.  Over which you jumped into a pool of mud.  Interesting. 

After that, tyres.  Then nets to crawl under, nets to climb, spider webs to crawl through, space hoppers to bounce on, a mud puddle to swim through, inflatable swinging ball things, and a giant inflatable slide, which unless you're under 12 years old, is not normally allowed.  Oh, and at every turn, stewards with water pistols or buckets.  Just by watching I felt like an excited small child again.

  Just the beginningThe pink army began marching                    Space Hoppers!!The future of armies marching                  

This run was a women only run, but as I waited at the first hurdle, one of my highlights was watching the men run from the start point to the hurdle.  Whilst trying to push buggies, herd children, keep hold of handbags, spare clothes and take photos.  And shout encouragement.  What brilliant people you are.  Not only have you given up your Saturday to support your family and friends, you've also been left to guard over the belongings, little people, act as official photographer, and actually spot your pink wearing loved one from the crowds of pink wearing people.  That's a tough job, and I can say I was impressed.  High five yourself!

I followed my friends around the course, shortcutting so I could be in position before they arrived, and I even managed to walk some of the way with them.  The run itself, though set up for an exceptionally good cause, didn't feel as atmospherically pressured as other runs I have been to.  Here, there was no intention to beat a personal best time.  It was all about the cause.  And I loved it.  Good for you runners. Every person I saw had a great big smile on their face, you stopped and helped each other, you cheered each other on, and I'm pretty sure you had a great time to go with it. 

   TeamworkHelping hands along the way Bounce Finish Line

If you'd like to see the rest of the photos visit here:






]]> (Silverscale Photography) Photography army fun pink running Thu, 07 Jul 2016 10:33:46 GMT
Battling the "something" As you may have noticed, it's been rather quiet on the Silverscale front. Not much happened last year, well not much business related anyway. It all started out so positively last year; I was going to write blogs every month; I was going to go out shooting every day I could; and I was going to get known. 

Well, much like well intentioned gym memberships, barely anything came from it. Intention is one thing. Achievement is another. I will not tire you with excuses, as they are pointless. Suffice to say there is always something (occasionally a very elusive and pointless something) that will stop you from doing what you really should. Let's just say that last year, those "somethings" were plentiful. Like a stampede of wildebeest the "somethings" just kept on coming. And worst of all; those "somethings" took over my life. 

So this year (here I go again) I am planning to fight the "somethings". I will not allow them to take over my life again.   They will not stop me from doing what I love.

IMG_6962Getting readyPreparing for battle I'm sure there are plenty of us out there who struggle with the "somethings". So how am I going to battle them? Not, like something from a medieval computer game, with a sword and shield, valiantly defending my castle from the approaching hordes. As we all know, "the pen is mightier than the sword". And so I introduce to you, the most humble of all household items, a pen and paper. Truly, an undervalued asset in this day and age. Also, as we are talking of undervalued items, may I suggest one more? A watch. 

Put aside, just for a minute, your tablet, phone, internet enabled device. Turn off your radio. Take a deep breath, just for that minute. Allow yourself to listen to nothing, to the quiet that is surrounding you. Now make a list. What are you going to do today? What would you like to do today? What do you need to do today?  

That's half the battle won. I write myself a list everyday (yes, I am that crazy). That list gives me a purpose. That's all my "somethings" in one place. They are trapped now, confined to that piece of paper within that ink. Now the hardest part begins. Storming the castle of "somethings"!

Its all very well having that list in front of you, but at times it seems as long as your arm, or even as infinite as space. You think you'll never get it all done in one day, and maybe not, but at least its written down. Imprisoned. So how do you control the "somethings" now? The only way is to face them. Look at them straight in the dots on their i's. Allocate them a set length of time. And then stick to it. Balance the quick things with the longer things, the fun with the dread-inspiring.

Obviously, the best thing about storming Castle Something, is that after you have won your battle you can cross it off the battlefield in a big slice of inky greatness. The feeling you get at that point, that sense of achievement, that's what you've been working for.  Then you can indulge in a little self something time.  IMG_1084Summer day by the lake



]]> (Silverscale Photography) battles organization planning timekeeping Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:33:59 GMT
Technological Woes I don't like shopping.  The very prospect of going out to the shops is something both terrifying and irritating to me.  So when I need to get something new, it comes about after lots of long and careful consideration.  Spontaneity doesn't even come in to it.  Back in January I saw a new camera I quite liked.  Mine has been around now since 2008 and in the current trend of technology zooming ahead faster than we can keep up with it, I was considering an upgrade.  I resisted the temptation, deciding to research into what I wanted and armed myself with all the knowledge I could get. 

Two months later in March, I took a leap and bought the new camera.  It's exactly what I want, and it does what I need it to do.  The only problem now is that it appears I need to update everything else! Talking to my friends, they warned me about needing new lenses and filters etc etc.  I paid them no heed - thinking, well my lens is relatively new, there's nothing wrong with that.  Turns out I'm right. My lens is fine.  Its just my computer instead. 

Since the new camera, it turns out my Photoshop and Lightroom are too old to support the new RAW files.  I spent 3 days researching a solution to this, and although its not as efficient as I am used to, it works.  All I have to do now is convert all my RAW files to DNG files before I can move them into Lightroom.  It's not the best option but it seems to be ok. And it means I don't have to upgrade all my Photoshop software. 

Trouble is, whenever I put the memory card into the reader, Lightroom boots automatically and then crashes. Oh, how I love seeing the blue screen of death pop up when I'm midway through downloading something.

The camera is frighteningly quick, so quick that I can not find the photos I took on it last week.  I have no idea where they have gone! So, I'm spending this afternoon pulling out the manual (yes, they still come in book form!) and I will be trying to figure out where exactly said images are.  Hopefully when that happens, I will be able to add some photos and write some more exciting blogs. 

In the meantime, my computer is backing itself up like never before, I will be traditionally learning (reading) and technology will be heading one step closer to another megapixel. 

]]> (Silverscale Photography) Photography technology Sun, 10 May 2015 12:20:19 GMT
Arena Polo A few weeks ago, after surfing the web for something a bit different to photograph, I stumbled across the All England Polo Team.  What is this? I thought to myself, beginning to feel a little bit excited.  So, one rainy, early morning I headed up to Hickstead just outside of Brighton, and had a look.  More for the experience than anything else, as I had no idea of what to expect, and I had no idea of what was going to happen.  But I wanted to see for myself whether I'd be able to get any good photos.


Allow me to set the scene for you.  The sun had just decided to show itself.  One man on a tractor flattened the arena, smoothing carefully the sand. The wind whistled from the hills, gently freezing an already chilly day, and the grassy fields glistened with raindrops.  Then came the horses, beautifully groomed with plaited tails and glossy manes.  At a loose trot they entered the arena gently travelling round it, warming up ready for play. 

Enter the orange ball.  Smaller than a football, but bigger than a tennis ball, this bright orange object is what its all about.  Like an undisciplined football team the horses charge, tearing at full gallop towards it.  For a good while, I was so caught up in the action, I neglected to take too many pictures.  But then I really did want to take some snaps of this! Riders and horses, both so agile and fast, seemingly moving as one.                                                  


After the initial Chukka (game) I realised there is a lot more technique and strategy to this game than I could ever imagine.  You can bounce the ball off the walls, back to your teammates, and you can block players against it too.  There are plenty more game plays I'm sure but I was too excited to really notice. 

The chukka will last for about ten minutes or so, and after that the riders switch horses so they can continue playing without losing too much energy.  And its like a new game all over again! Fast paced and extremely fun to watch, these riders and horses are at the top of their game.  I can't wait to go see it again.  



IMG_8764IMG_8764 For taking photos, you will definitely need a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.  I will venture so far to say you won't need a long lens, as long as you are close to the action.  And generally the action comes to you.  I was using my 100-400m lens, but at times that was too big and I was too close.  Be aware of the sun - there was a lot of light bouncing around, making some very deep shadows.  Ideally, hope that the day is bright but cloudy, that way you have a natural softbox.  But, I know, this is the UK, so making plans like that are very hopeful!

I found the hardest part to be getting the riders with their heads up. They are so focused on the ball, like in most sports, that it is difficult to see their expressions.  I guess the best way to do this is when they are charging after the ball, or looking to see where it went.  I will be aiming to catch that next time I go.   

For the rest of the photos from that day click here



]]> (Silverscale Photography) Polo chukka horses riders Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:00:00 GMT
New Year, new experiments 2015 has begun, and already its February.  I can't believe where January went, but in the process of planning and playing it slid by in a proverbial blink. 

So, what's new? Well, after last years blog disasters (yeah, those 12 blogs I wanted to write became 3, forshame!!) I have come up with a master plan *cue evil, mischievous cackle* which will make me not only practice, but ultimately take better photos.  So, prepare to be nourished (and possibly bombarded) by a vast (carefully selected) amount of photos.  Ok, ok, I said something along those lines last year, but in my geeky, nerdy way, I have actually written myself a plan.  Don't be afraid, some of the things on there are things I've never done myself, so I will provide you with the disasters on the way.  It's all part of learning and improving. 

That's my mission this year; primarily to make mistakes and learn from them.  I'm all about learning, breaking the rules, and bending my limits.  Bring it on is what I say!

By the end of the month, I'll have another blog ready for you.  All about arena polo.

See you then 

]]> (Silverscale Photography) Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:23:36 GMT
Birds Of Prey I have a new fascination! Birds of prey (or B.O.P.s as I like to call them).  Spring is in full swing, flowers and trees sending out cascades of colour and small-fuzzy-floaty-things that make it look like its snowing on a sunny day.  And so its the season of country fairs (or fayres depending on where you're from), people descending on a small village or town to meet the locals and soak up a party-like atmosphere.  And with the country fairs come the opportunities for photography that do only come once a year.  But I'm not talking about that.  I'm talking about falconry.  Ok, so you could argue that these aren't wild birds, and that I have cheated.  But what better way to prepare for seeing BOPs in the wild than up-close and personal at a falconry display? 

What you will need:

Camera (obviously - hopefully you wont forget it)

Plenty of memory cards/one with lots of space

A good zoom (not always necessary depending what the BOPs are doing)


And that is about it.  You have to remember that these are technically wild animals, so flashes will probably upset them, and they might try to perch on your tripod if you decide to use one.

At these shows and displays the BOPs are generally kept at a little distance from you, mainly because of the sheer numbers of people trying to photograph them.  If inside a tent to keep them cool and relaxed, you may have to put up your ISO and open up your aperture.  Just keep an eye on your shutter speed, so that your bird doesn't blur the instant it turns its head away from you because it knows you're about to take a picture ;) 

I like getting portraits of BOPs, but I also love the challenge of getting them in flight On the huntOn the hunt .

Although they are less likely to look away from you (provided the food is in your direction) you then have to keep your focus on them as they approach.  Not so easy.  With a big telephoto lens, this is probably easier, but you do have to remember to change the zoom as the BOP approaches.  If you have a DSLR camera, switch your focus mode to AI Focus or SERVO as these will help keep the BOP in focus.  With any luck. 

You will need a fast shutter speed, and hopefully the weather will help you with this by giving you some good sunlight.  Midday makes the light very harsh, so if you are able, try and watch the display either later in the day or earlier. This is obviously very much dependant on the falconers themselves and the schedule for the show.  We can all wish for things like that, but sometimes you have to make do.  And it is possible to get photos at a midday show. Like these:

Hippity hop!Hippity hop!Just like a Disney vulture in every mannerism.                       Gyr FalconGyr Falcon                 Harris HawkHarris Hawk

Always the ideal is a late afternoon shoot, when the light is just softening off.  Also, the crowds tend to disperse at this point, so there's not so many cases of "elbow-wars" as you all battle to get some good photos. This is my favourite time of day, and if you are part of a camera club, you may even get a special visit to a falconry place, where close-up becomes something very special.

Coming to get you 2Coming to get you 2 MerlinMerlin

Lastly, there is a very special bird I would like to mention.  The Bald Eagle.  Pretty rare wherever you go and pretty special when you see one.  I have been lucky enough to see one in the wild.  It was around 6.00am, from the back of a speed boat in the USA, which prompted vast shouts of "America!!!" from all the children.  The first is the picture I snapped then, and the others are pictures of a captive bird.

IMG_9322IMG_9322            Bald EagleBald Eagle              Bald EagleBald Eagle

So, there are great benefits for you if you go shooting BOPs at a show.  Don't miss the chance to get out there and visit these places, you will find the falconers themselves are great sources of information and they really do understand that they are working with some very special creatures. They may even be able to help you get some great photos from the day too. 

Down here in the south of England, falconry is extremely popular, so if you're thinking of visiting some places, here's a few to help you out:

I'm sure there are plenty of other places too, so please do share with me and everyone else by posting them on my facebook page :)


]]> (Silverscale Photography) Birds of Prey Photography techniques tips and tricks Sat, 10 May 2014 13:34:21 GMT
Learning something new My original plan this year was to do a monthly blog. Well, so far that failed; February flew past in the blink of an eye, and March is currently true to its name.  Mid-February I was excited.  Glow in the Park was a new thing for me.  I am keen on night-time photography, but night-time and running seemed like something different.  And it was. You can't beat the sight of 500 runners all in hi-vis clothing, outfitted in headlamps and glow sticks.  It was like rush-hour without the cars.  Even the old Halloween costumes came out to play :)

Glow in the Park (46 of 55)Glow in the Park (46 of 55) Glow in the Park (4 of 55)Glow in the Park (4 of 55) Glow in the Park (40 of 55)Glow in the Park (40 of 55)

If you have never tried a night-time event, I recommend it! They are a lot of fun and you can learn a lot in a few minutes. I'll admit I was terrified.  In the end though, unless you try something new, you won't know if you'll like it.  I'm going to try it again :)

Winter is the perfect time of year for photography shows and conferences.  I have been to two this year and I can't help but find them inspiring.  It was the first time I'd been to The Photography Show this year, but it is definitely on my list for next year. There is so much to do. I really enjoyed how interactive the show was, from the garden near the live stage, to the lighting demonstrations and the catwalk. There were loads of people on hand with advice, tips and tricks. Even though all the stands are trying to get you to spend money, its nice to keep track of what is out there and what companies are around.  

Also I met these guys :) 

IMG_1904IMG_1904 IMG_1893IMG_1893

One of the things that will stick with me is resourcefulness. Be resourceful, use what you have.  And have fun.  April is around the corner, and until then, I will be playing. Using the Force.

]]> (Silverscale Photography) Night Photography learning shows Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:42:40 GMT
Night Sights I promised myself this year that I would start writing a blog.  Well, it's almost the end of January and here I am, a day to go.  And I've finally figured out what to write - for this month at least.

Instead of looking at what to write about, I started looking at the pictures I wanted to use.  I mean, what use is photography blog without photos?

One of the things I like best about this time of year are the long nights and early evenings. I would say I've been out a lot, photographing all the evening things possible, but that would be an exaggeration. I've been out a couple of times.

And it was then I realised I do have quite a lot of night-time photos! It's been a bit of a trip down memory lane, and I've even surprised myself with what I have.  So, rather than bombard you with photo after photo, I have chosen my favourites for you to enjoy. 


The Eyes!!!Its the first thing you should always do with a sparkler - draw a figure of eight to test it :)

These are so much fun to just play with. The first thing you should always do with a sparkler - as demonstrated here - is draw a figure of eight.  It was a good test for me to set up the camera in the right place, and then we really started having fun.  One of the best things about sparklers (in the UK anyway) is that they are readily available almost year round, and there is normally plenty of water to drop them in afterwards! Also, you do not have to go anywhere specifically once you've got them.  The back garden is a great location, and even writing this right now I'm wondering whether to try sparklers in the rain... Could be interesting.



City Walls, Southampton, night timeCity walls 1                    City walls, Southampton, night timeCity Walls 2                      West QuayA bustling hub in the evening

Yes, in Southampton, we make use of the old walls that used to mark the edge of the city by lighting them with colour changing LEDs.  If arriving by cruise ship at night, this particular stretch of wall may be one of the first things you see.  It may seem rather strange, but actually, I love it.  Both for taking photos of and also just because it highlights the old part of town in a new way. On the right you have the outside walls of West Quay Shopping Centre.  I'm sure its deliberate, but the new(ish) walkway almost mirrors the path of the old walls which are just behind it.  Two or three hundred years ago - this would have been the beach and dockside.


Carnival UK HQCarnival UK HQWatery walls New YorkNew York Grand De Vere Hotel Rockefeller Centre

Buildings, we have all seen them, we all live in them, we all travel through, past and around them every day.  Lets not forget to look at them a bit more often. 


So that's it.  My first blog. If you have read this far, please, let me know what you think.  If you have any suggestions, any at all, I would love to hear them.  Email or tell me on

Thanks for reading! 

]]> (Silverscale Photography) Night Photography Sightseeing Fri, 31 Jan 2014 18:19:43 GMT