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Andrew Le Poidevin MCIJ

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News / Blog

Win or Lose... does it matter?
20th February 2017

Now let me say right at the start of this Blog that the way I see it the answer to the question...

'Win or lose, does it matter?'

....is OF COURSE IT DOES!

You are welcome to e-mail me with your own opinions on this topic ;-)

I'll expand on this subject a little more. I happen to feel that if you choose to enter into a competitive sport or activity the least you can do for yourself and indeed the competitor that you are sparing with is to put in the effort to try and win.

I'm not suggesting you should try and win at any cost but by making an effort you will often benefit from the toil... it will help to improve your skills and endurance and make you a better member of society from learning how to win with humility and lose with good grace. Heavy talk eh!

Now whilst I am advocating that you enter any competitive arena with the ambition to win it's actually possible to gather positives from a losing performance.

I was able to observe both the ups and downs that come with a win and a loss on Sunday as I photographed two Guernsey teams competing on our behalf against strong UK opposition.

I began the assignments at Beau Sejour at the 'Division Three South' Netball game between Saffery Panthers and Woodley. Guernsey started strongly but under sustained pressure they found their lead had disappeared by the end of the third quarter. In the final session the Panthers discovered new energy driven by their vocal local supporters and by the end of the game they had turned around the deficit into a 52-40 win. Amazing.

Next it was a short drive to Footes Lane to photograph Guernsey FC play Hastings United in the Ryman League. This wasn't so enjoyable as we went down 0-1. But there were similarities. Once again the local support for our team was vocal. The game was played with passion and good spirit and ultimately the participants and followers left the stadium galvanized and united as a community.

So win or lose there is usually a positive to be had from Sport.
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF SAFFERY PANTHERS v WOODLEY
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF GUERNSEY FC v HASTINGS UNITED
Not a day to watch the racing from the 'stadium terracing'....
12th February 2017

The chilling wind at today's Autocross meeting kept most of the spectators hidden in their cars - who can blame them!

The lucky people (or well organized) who turned up early enough were able to claim the 'ring-side seats' in the car-park overlooking the action and they could watch the racing in comfort with their car heaters on!

It was the Marshals and photographers who had to make sure that they put on an extra layer or two of clothing to keep out the icy blast.

But it was worth making sure I was dressed in the thermals as there was plenty of action to photograph....

My pics are now online in a new gallery. You'll notice the shortage of spectators lining the top of the beach!

We must keep our fingers crossed for a warm and sunny day next meeting as the best way to experience the noise and drama of Banger Racing is to be outdoors and Chouet beach offers a natural 'stadium terracing' giving the perfect view-point.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CHILLY AUTOCROSS MEETING
It's good to get back into the routine....
09th February 2017

It always seems to take an age to get back into my 'normal' routine after the Christmas seasons disruptions.

OK, I know that for many people - not just the kids! the Xmas period is the most anticipated time of the year. But for me I find it just messes up my comfortable routine. Maybe it's because I've now enjoyed over sixty visits from the big man in red on his sleigh? The novelty has now worn off!

I enjoy a rather relaxed and interesting life... at least I find it is. It basically revolves around home and family combined with 'cherry-picking' out the photographic work that I enjoy shooting.

That work tends to narrow down into two specific genres, Motorsport and Live Music.

Both these genres (I guess like so many other things) are disrupted by the afore mentioned holiday break.

But I'm pleased to say, not before time, that my cherished routine is getting back into its sweet spot and last weekend I managed to combine most of what interests me in photography.

My previous Blogs have linked to some the Motorsport and Sport that I photographed last weekend. This Blog adds links to a couple of Bands... Burning at Both Ends and Brunt.

It's good to be back :-)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF BRUNT
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF BURNING AT BOTH ENDS
A short visit to Pleinmont was long enough to catch the action...
08th February 2017

Due to other assignments I only made a short stop-off at the Motocross track on Saturday.

I'd made the drive out to Pleinmont as I didn't want to miss the first Round of the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club's 2017 Motocross Championship.

It's always interesting to get an early view of the racers as there are always a few changes in the line-up during the break.

Young riders move up Classes as they get older and stronger. New bikes are on show... will they produce the promised increase in performance?

You would be right if you told me that it is too soon to predict this years champions but I'm still going to back one young man who showed enough class on Saturday that it already seems likely he will be in the final running for the prestigious A-Group MX-2 crown.

I'm going to go on record (after just one meeting) as saying George Symons will be the young man to watch this year in the A-Group MX-2.

Make sure you pop back here at the end of the season to see if I have a proven eye for spotting talent :-)

My action pics of the Motocross are now online:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND 1 OF THE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
We should expect a Winter Series to be soggy....
05th February 2017

Well, no surprises eh! It is the Winter Kart Series after all!

Round-2 of the 2017 Guernsey Kart & Motor Club Winter Championship at The Track started off very wet and ended just damp. Just like this photographer!

My day had actually started off at 7.30 am when I was up by the reservoir for the start of the Guernsey Triathlon Club's Reservoir Duathlon.

At that early hour things were very unpleasant for the competitors who had to endure two running sections split by a lengthy bike ride. It was the ride that really took its toll as the athletes got very cold due to the torrential rain and wind chill from the icy wind.

Taking pictures in such dreadful, dark and wet conditions meant I struggled to get any decent shots. Persistance is the only answer to that problem... combined with good waterproofs and an endless supply of dry hankerchiefs for the lenses - both camera and spectacles!!

I'll add a few pics of the Duathlon to a Gallery later.
UPDATE: DUATHLON PICS ARE NOW ONLINE HERE

Back at The Track the changeable conditions meant the racers had to adapt to the track each time they went out. This was great experience... especially for the Cadets who produced some exciting racing.

The Kart pics are now online here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND-2 OF THE WINTER KART SERIES
Guernsey FC takes a bashing... but there's always a positive
04th February 2017

Footes Lane was again the scene of Guernsey FC's pain and suffering on Saturday afternoon.

The team played another match in their Ryman Football League campaign that has been short on success for a while. This time they lost 0-3 to Ramsgate.

I've listened to many fans commenting on the positive and negative effect that this higher level of competition is having on the whole local football scene.

I'm certainly the last person who should try and comment on this as I have very little knowledge on those matters.

But I will make one observation. That is that every time I photograph a Guernsey FC match I'm always impressed by the level of passionate support given to the team - win or loose. This takes the form of the usual shouting and banter towards the opposition and officials in true football crowd tradition.

However, on Saturday, at the end of the game the crowd stood to applaud both teams... maybe even the officials... as they left the pitch. This is how participation in sports should be enjoyed.

People come together to share an experience and go home entertained - if not always fulfilled! This illustrates the benefit that sport brings to a community.

Over the weekend the Footes Lane sports complex was a hive of activity with the Hockey and Rugby pitches also hosting games. Never let anyone say that there's a shortage of things to see and do in Guernsey.

My Guernsey FC v Ramsgate pics are now online:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF GUERNSEY FC v RAMSGATE
A star is born......
16th January 2017

I’m not usually touched by the celebrity culture that we live in.

I’m rarely ‘star-struck’ when meeting people that spend their life in the public eye. Maybe that comes with my job as a Press photographer and Journalist where I attend many events where ‘faces’ are the centre of attention.

However, when I think back, I’ve never really been ‘star-struck’… even as a teenager when I followed David Bowie, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper I never really thought of them as anything other than people… just like you and me.

OK, they did have a BIT MORE TALENT and MONEY and FUN than me (and probably you)... but hey, they were still just human beings!

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet many famous people and I’ve rarely been star-struck by the person themselves.

So what is this Blog leading to?

Well you should now have an idea that I’d be the last person you should invite to join any sort of quiz team that requires a knowledge of celebrity. My missus has learnt (after 40 years) that it is pointless trying to have any conversation with me if it involves the lives, jobs or faces of the rich and famous! I’m not interested. I know NOTHING!

I have friends who work as Paparazzi in London and they enjoy taking the piss out of me by saying that I would starve if I did their job… they are right. If David Beckham bumped into me with Cheryl Cole on his arm I wouldn’t even notice them!!

So you understand that I’ve built up a ‘thick skin’ when in the company of celebrity… particularly in this decade when so many people that are given the label of ‘celebrity’ have no memorable talent at all!

All this commentary has been to try and explain how uninterested I am, normally, with star quality.

But occasionally I get caught out. This happens when I meet a particularly charismatic person or experience an amazing live performance.

That was the case at The Fermain Tavern on Saturday.

I had been looking forward to seeing Nessi Gomes play at her Diamonds & Demons album launch. Nessi is a Guernsey girl (with a Portuguese background). She was a familiar face on the local music scene before she took control of her ambition to make music and she started a passionate road to making that happen.

The first time I can remember seeing Nessi perform was at the Vale Earth Fair ‘Beach Life’ in 2009 (I have the pictures!). This mini festival was held in the picturesque Petit Bot valley next to the beach. Nessi played an acoustic set with a few friends and, even way back then, I remember that there were hints that Nessi had a special talent.

This talent has now blossomed and matured and Nessi Gomes revealed the result of the many years developing her own unique style and sound with her live performance at the ‘Tav launch of Diamond & Demons.

I was bowled over by the quality of her performance and yes… this old hag was more than a little star-struck! She must be something really special!

Now is the the time for you to discover Nessi Gomes. Follow her here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nessigomesmusic/

I've edited my pics of the album launch and you can take a look at them here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE NESSI GOMES DIAMONDS & DEMONS ALBUM LAUNCH
It's nice to mix things up a bit with a bit of competition....
15th January 2017

Variety is good. It keeps things interesting.

However I don't like to stray too far from certain favorite themes... one of them is action photography, of course!

This morning the 'Action' mix included Round-3 of the Guernsey Velo Club's Mountain Bike Winter Cross Country Series sponsored by Ian Brown's Cycle. This round took place in the challenging pine forest at the Guet.

The course offered steep slippery slopes, tight bends around knarled tree trunks and longer level straights. However there were always tree roots laying in wait to throw off the riders.

The track challenged even the most experienced riders but all this didn't put off a sizable entry. I have a feeling this particular genre of cycling is going from strength to strength.

I only managed to find time for a short shoot at the MTB before I had to leave to cover the first of the Kart Club's Winter Championship at The Track.

Two things really struck me as I photographed these two events one after the other.

One was the contrast in noise levels. The Guet was a peaceful place to be - even allowing for the shouted support being given to the competitors from spectators. At the Track it was all about the sound of revving engines. That's the 'variety' I mentioned before.

The other thing that struck me was that one aspect was just the same between the events. That was the competition.

All sports have this same intrinsic element. Competitors want to be first. They want to be a winner and this wish drives everyone taking part to push their performance further every time they compete.

Oddly, this even rubs off on me. I'm actually a very competitive person. I've always managed to turn anything I've done into some form of competition. There's nothing more certain to get my competitive nature buzzing than when I see another DSLR camera lurking in the bushes :-)

Competition is usually good for us as it makes us push ourselves beyond where we were comfortable. We try and find a new level of achievement, hopefully! We're all winners then.

My pics from these two events can be viewed by following the links. Maybe they are just a little better than they would have been without the competition ;-)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND 3 OF THE WINTER MTB SERIES
CLICK HERE TO VIEW RACE 1 OF THE WINTER KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP
You can't top a triple-header....
10th January 2017

Three for the price of one is never a bad deal!

If the deal offers three great bands on the bill at The Fermain Tavern I'm certain to enjoy the evening :-)

I've been catching up with a few updates again and this time three galleries have new pics of the bands on that bill...To the Woods, Lifejacket and Lord Vapour. I said they were great!

These links take you to each of the gallery updates:
CLICK TO VIEW THE NEW PICS OF TO THE WOODS
CLICK TO VIEW THE NEW PICS OF LIFEJACKET
CLICK TO VIEW THE NEW PICS OF LORD VAPOUR

Normal Motorsport service resumes with a muddy one....
08th January 2017

My 2017 Motorsport season began last weekend with a GMC&CC Trails event.

This All-Day meeting was based around the beautiful setting of Fauxquets Valley.

I was unable to spend much time on the sections as I had other work booked but it was long enough to find out how muddy some of the tracks leading to the sections were. It was quite a surprise as Guernsey has just experienced one of the driest Decembers on record.

But somehow the mud was deep, sticky and very slippery!

Now, I'm never the most steady person when its slippery underfoot. When I'm also carrying a few grand of kit up and down the slopes trying to find the best angle I'm just one slide away from an expensive accident!

That's not mentioning how dirty the result would be!

Last Sunday there was an extra twist to my trying to keep on my feet.... and clean.

As I mentioned, my day's work consisted of photographing several other events. These were public affairs that required me to be fairly smart... definitely not covered in smelly mud.

As I made a couple of visits to the Trails between the other shoots I was swapping wellies for brogues with a practiced touch. I even managed to keep my hands clean... and more importantly the cameras, lenses and trousers.

It was worth all the effort though as I have been eager to get back to the Motorsport photography after the winter break. Looking at my calendar I'll be busy most weekends from now on so keep a look-out on this website for my regular updates.

You can view a few pics of the All-Day Trials here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE GM&CC ALL-DAY TRIALS

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