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Ticked all the boxes.....
04th June 2018

It's taken a day to get there but the job is done.

My weekend was busy chasing around the Island completing a list of photo-shoots.

Once again the fun and enjoyment came from the variety of the work.

The shoots included the GK&MC Sprint meeting at Vazon coast road. A Bowls competition (The Sarnia Shield) Vale Rec v Guernsey Bowls Club at the Corbet Field. Saturday ended with too many beers at the Sound in the Market gig... followed by a bus trip and walk home. Yes, I slept well after a busy day (maybe it was the beer?) :-)

Sunday started too early for my hang-over with the Triathlon Super Sprint at Grande Rocque. After a quick edit of the previous work to meet the submission deadline I was off to the Vale Earth Fair fundraising Record Fair. Finally there was a chance to enjoy the fresh air (I needed it) whilst photographing the Living Streets walk in St Peters.

So ended another packed weekend...

These links take you to some of the Galleries:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF SOUND AT THE MARKET
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE VAZON SPRINT
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE TRIATHLON SUPER SPRINT
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE BOWLS SARNIA SHIELD


..... and there's more.
31st May 2018

The Gallery updates are still coming at quite a pace....

I'm having to juggle my Commercial photoshoot work with the Sports and Events photography and having a busy Bank Holiday weekend has only made the backlog bigger!

But perseverance is usually the answer at these times. So I've devoted the day to catching up.

These are a couple of the new updates.

Firstly the Autocross Fun Meeting at Chouet... lots of pics to see.

Then there are pics of the GVC Summer Crit Series at Delancey Park... check 'em out too.
CLICK TO VIEW THE AUTOCROSS FUN MEETING PICS
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE SUMMER CRIT SERIES_ROUND-3
It's a Triumph.....
29th May 2018

The Guernsey Triumph Motor Cycle Club with visiting friends from the England, Wales and Germany made an appearance at the GK&MC Hillclimb and rode in formation up Le Val des Terres.

There was almost more sparkle off the polished chrome than my camera could handle!

It's fantastic to see that this group are doing such a great job of keeping these historic British bikes on the road. The latest Triumphs were also on show offering a chance for spectators to see what the marque has offered through the decades.

I've added a Gallery of pics featuring the Triumph ride-out....
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE TRIUMPH RIDE-OUT
There's nothing to beat having a new (expensive) toy to play with....
28th May 2018

Maybe it was the sun? Maybe it was just me enjoying the Bank Holiday Motorsport?

There must have been a reason I captured many more action pics than a 'normal' hillclimb shoot... these galleries are BIG!

OK, I'll own up to why I was trigger happy for this event.... and it's a good excuse!

I've just started using my latest lens and it's always great fun trying to learn how to get the best images out of a new piece of kit. The new lens is the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR. A big name for a big lens that is BIG on quality.

I've purchased it to replace my 200-400 f/4 VR which has proven to be one of my most used lenses for sports photography... it has even proven itself when photographing music festivals. Of course I've had to run the gauntlet of fellow photographers comments when using a big lens in the pit. You can guess the sort of thing... 'that's a big one you've got there, what are you compensating for?'

Maybe there's an element of truth there? But I'm not saying!

My first impressions of the 180-400mm after just half a dozen photo-shoots are very positive. I'll add a 'hands on' review when I've given the Nikon 180-400mm a real workout.

This gallery features many pics (more than a normal shoot) with many taken with the new lens at the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club Hillclimb up Le Val des Terres.

Please bear in mind that the pics in the gallery are very low web resolution (only 800 pixels wide) so they give NO idea of the detail of full size images. Lookout for the full review of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR for full-size files.

However if you are interested in how this coverage of a hillclimb turned out click this link to see the pics:
CLICK TO VIEW THE HILLCLIMB GALLERY INCLUDING NIKON 180-400mm PICS
.... approaching the speed of light!
21st May 2018

I'm not sure that an association can be made between web viewings on this website to the speed of light but, hey, this is my Blog so I'll do what I like!

Purists can e-mail complaints to CLICK HERE TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS if you think I've overstepped the obligation to be accurate and factual within the laws of physics. I imagine my wife will be first to the keyboard... and one of my sons will likely join complainants. They seem to share a liking for correctness!

For the rest of you maybe you'll just go with the flow and allow me to use this lose association as a way to describe the amazing speed that the latest ONE MILLION VIEWS have been added to this website.

Something must have come together... maybe the stars aligned in just the perfect way... for my fastest ever million views.

My guess is that no scientist will bother trying to research how this event happened to allow me to repeat it at will so I'll just enjoy it this time as it might never be replicated.

Whilst I'm here I'd like to say 'many thanks' to everyone who keeps coming back to look at my pics and say that you are now part of a previously unknown 'Law of Physics'.

You can view a few old Blogs recording past MILLION MILESTONES here:
CLICK TO VIEW PREVIOUS MILLION MILESTONES
MX Bikes put on the best entertainment on the sand....
20th May 2018

Motocross bikes have established an important role in keeping up the numbers at the GMC&CC Sandracing on Vazon beach.

The Solo Sliders class is now only just above being viable... four of five competitors barely makes a race. This is very sad as a full grid of Sliders would be the biggest draw for spectators.

Having said that, the MX riders are putting on a great show of close, competitive racing and with a class that now puts over a dozen bikes on the line the MX now take the headline spot for sheer entertainment.

Every sport goes through a periodic cycle when the following weakens and often with time that reverses. Hopefully that will be the case with the Solo Sliders. Maybe a few of the MX racers will make the step up to the hardcore class?

The Club has also invested a lot of time and attention in nurturing a couple of Cadet classes so hopefully that's the future sorted!

I was down on the Vazon sands on Saturday capturing pics of the Round-3 action.

The pics are here:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS ROUND-3 OF THE SANDRACING
Starting the day with a swim, cycle and run.....
14th May 2018

Sunday morning started with a leisurely 400 metre swim, followed by an 8 mile cycle then a 2 mile run for good measure.... no problem!

Not for this photographer you understand! No, all that exercise was for the participants in Guernsey Triathlon's Novice event.

For me I had to motivate myself to just get out of bed for the early start. I'd still be under the covers if I'd had to face that physical challenge.

However, once I was at the start of the Novice event it turned out to be most enjoyable (watching others do the hard bit!) as it was a beautiful morning. I didn't see any of the triathletes regret having a go at the hard-core event so I imagine quite a few will add future events to their diaries. Some people really are strange, eh!

Once my work was done at Beau Sejour I made a quick visit back to the office to edit and submit my pics for publication then it was off to Chouet for the final round of the Autocross Club's Summer Championship.

All the pics are now online:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE NOVICE TRIATHLON
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE AUTOCROSS RACING
Two types of Horsepower for the Bank Holiday....
07th May 2018

It was Horsepower all the way on Bank Holiday Monday.

My day started with petrol powered horsepower at the GMC&CC Hillclimb, Le Val des Terres. There was power to spare down in the pits as the competitors warmed up their machinery.

The conditions were near perfect for racing with the combination of hot tarmac and sticky rubber allowing full use the power as the racers made their noisy progress up the hill.

What a contrast it was in the afternoon.

I had to make an early exit from the 'Terres at lunchtime as the Guernsey Race Club were running five Horse races at L'Ancresse.

The sun had encouraged hundreds of spectators to the common and they were entertained by horsepower in its purest form.

I photographed the racing in my normal manner... by getting close to the action and I must confess that one horsepower in the form of a thoroughbred race horse is mighty impressive when you feel the wind as it passes at full gallop.

The pics of the mornings man-made power are now online. Tomorrow I'll upload pics of the real thing....
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE GMC&CC HILLCLIMB
We win some and lose some....
06th May 2018

The weekend so far has had some ups... but also some downs.

Thankfully the ups outnumber the downs so I'll say we shouldn't let the low points spoil the mood.

Firstly we must call the weather one of the ups. Come on, it's scorching hot. That has to be a high!

Next, it's a Bank Holiday weekend. That means a long weekend off work (at least if you're not a photographer like me)!

Next... the Guernsey Raiders won the Siam Cup when they beat Jersey Reds. Now you're not going to dispute me calling that as another up, are you? Of course I'm assuming that you don't live in Jersey!

But if you do then you have your own win to crow about. The Jersey Under 18's side beat the Guern's in the U18 football Muratti. That's a downer in my eyes.

I still managed to enjoy my Sunday though as I also photographed the GMC&CC Twisty Sprint at The Track. This was the 'warm-up' event of the Motorsport weekend ahead of the Bank Holiday Hillclimb at Le Val des Terres.

Pics of the action so far can be viewed at these links:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE SIAM CUP RUGBY
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE TWISTY SPRINT
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE UNDER 18s MURATTI

Ten sports photographed including another box ticked....
29th April 2018

Guernsey was swarming with Jerseymen... and gals over the weekend.

I'm not sure if the term 'swarming' is the correct name of a large group of our Jersey ‘Toad’ cousins but the word does illustrate that they seemed to be EVERYWHERE I looked!!

My weekends work was crazy busy. In total I photographed TEN Sports! That number included another 'box tick' for me. Inter-Insular Darts... yep, you guessed it... Guernsey v JERSEY!

The Jersey Crapauds also featured in the Inter-Insular Snooker, the men's Hockey Upton and the Table Tennis Inter-Insulars.

I also know that there were several visiting teams over from the UK playing Rugby and Golf!

So you will see that 'Sports' have a huge role in making Guernsey's community vibrant and lively. They bring hundreds of people to our shores every month of the year. They enhance thousands of people's lives and widen the ambitions of our young.

I really hope that our States Department in charge of the running and promotion of Sport in Guernsey don't allow themselves to be distracted by one of their other responsibilities... namely Education. Wishful thinking I think. There doesn't seem to be anyone on the Committee flying the flag high for Sport & Culture.

I'm guessing that the Committee is 'head-in-the sand' with only one thing on their mind! The committee members need to remember the title of their department - Committee for Education, Sport and Culture.

Let's see SPORTS and CULTURE getting their fair amount of attention too, please!

My first Gallery updates feature some of the weekends Motorsport action. Pics of the Sandracing, Karting and Autocross are now online.

UPDATE: I've just searched for the group name for Jersey Crapauds (Toads) and it seems we have a choice.... a 'lump' of toads, a 'knab' of toads, a 'knob' of toads, a 'knot' of toads, a 'nest' of toads or a 'squiggle' of toads.

I guess we can make up our own minds on this one, however I'll admit that I've heard Jerseymen called many other names... but I wouldn't want to repeat them here. The children might be listening!

View the first pics here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SANDRACING PICS
CLICK TO VIEW THE KARTING PICS
CLICK TO VIEW THE BANGER RACING PICS

Four wheels followed by two....
10th April 2018

As part of my Sunday assignments I photographed some 'four wheeled' racing followed by a more sedate two-wheeled event.

In fact the first event of the day was actually another 'two-wheeler' but I've already Blogged about the MTB XC race (see below).

What followed the MTB's was Round 4 of the Karting Championship at a damp 'Track' The conditions were quite challenging and produced some great racing... and certainly more overtaking than an F1 race!

The next event was a bit more sedate but still showcased great skills. In fact the word from the Trials bike riders was that the combination of damp rocks and grass with the slippery foliage of bluebells made some sections at St Germain very treacherous... but that's Trials I guess!

Pics are now online from those two events:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE KARTING
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE TRIALS
More Easter Motorsport action.....
03rd April 2018

A very short Blog simply to let you know that pictures of the Guernsey Motor Cycle and Car Club Hillclimb at Le Val des Terres are now online.

Traditionally Easter-time kicks off the Tarmac motorsport season... so why break the habit?

The GK&MC held a Sprint meeting at Vazon on Saturday. There was a brief trip to the sands of Chouet beach on Sunday for the Banger racing with a return to the hard stuff on Easter Monday.

Sadly the first two tarmac events were somewhat spoilt by the rain... but we still had fun!

This is a link to the first Hillclimb of 2018:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE EASTER HILLCLIMB
An all action Easter weekend.....
01st April 2018

It's been Motorsport, Motorsport, Motorsport....

The first Sprint meeting of 2018 was held at a very damp Vazon Coast Road today.

Truthfully it was a miserable place to be because everyone's hopes and enthusiasm had been slowly heating up with anticipation of the new tarmac race season ahead.

Many competitors had spent the winter months tweaking their machinery and this should have been the 'proving ground' that valuable tenths of a second had been found.

But a damp surface ended any chance of a worthwhile result. With that being obvious before racing started some competitors decided to leave their kit in the garage... in the dry!

Luckily for me, as I needed a few pics to submit for publication, some of the most hardcore racers weren't put off. Amongst them were the Meerveld brothers, Grant and Brent.

These two guys love their racing and track days and support many local events. What makes them different is that they are in the enviable position of owning some of the most exotic Supercars ever made.

Over the years they've turned up with top-of-the-range Ferrari's, McLaren's and Lamborghini's... at least one car on everyone's 'wish list'.

My respect has always been for how they are prepared to actually race such expensive and exotic wheels. Too many of these cars are left locked up in air conditioned garages... where's the fun in that?

Today they arrived with matching Lamborghini Huracan Performantae's... in the rain. How do you top that!!

One day later... and it was dry! Yipee.

I was on Chouet beach photographing Round-2 of the Autocross Banger racing championship. Spectators get about three hours of guaranteed entertainment - for free... although I hope you support the Club by dropping a couple of quid into the bucket?

The long weekend will be completed by tomorrow's Hillclimb at Le Val des Terres.

You can view my pictures of the Vazon Sprint and the Banger Racing now. The Hillclimb pics will follow on Tuesday.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE VAZON SPRINT
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND-2 OF THE AUTOCROSS SUMMER CHAMPIONSHIP
....another varied day
27th March 2018

The weekend offered me another varied day of photographic work :-)

First there was a Commercial shoot for pi-top at The Digital Greenhouse.

Pi-top is an international innovation award winning company which produces a build-it-yourself laptop powered by the Raspberry Pi. I photographed the pilot event which saw young people gaining access to over £10,000 of state of the art inventor equipment.

I was very impressed by how quickly the young students grasped the flexibility and power of this modern teaching aid. The Digital Greenhouse offered a fantastic, bright and modern 'backdrop' to the photo-shoot.

When that was all done and dusted it was off to the Motocross track for the latest round of the championship... I told you the day was varied!

Then to complete the day there was an evening shoot where I photographed the Guernsey Island Snooker Championship at the Gremlin Club.

Here are a few pics:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE GUERNSEY ISLAND SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP
Snow would have made things worse....
18th March 2018

Sometimes you just have to count your blessings and be thankful as things could have been much worse.

That's how I feel about the weather and conditions which the riders completed this year's 2-day Trials meeting in. Saturday saw many sections with nearly zero clears due to especially slippery mud after overnight rain.

I spoke to several 'old-timers' who reckoned that in some sections the surface was about as bad as they could remember!

The coastal sections on day two did offer more grip... but that wind was bitterly cold making it very unpleasant for Observers on the most exposed sections.

However the bonus was that the threatened snow never arrived!

In the end I think that there was a sense of relief that things went so well! It could have been much worse!!

Now that I've thawed out I've added a gallery featuring action from both days....
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE 2-DAY TRIALS
A few from today's shoot....
11th March 2018

Round 3 of the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club Kart Championship produced more, clean and close racing.

The new nose cones that 'drop' if a driver knocks the back of a kart that he's chasing seem to have tidied up some of the erratic racing from a couple of seasons ago. The penalty is just too big to risk.

However, this hasn't reduced the amount of overtaking... probably the opposite. The new track layout, when combined with the new nose has meant that the drivers are having to time their overtakes really well and the challenged driver can't afford to be unduly aggressive.

If you haven't popped down The Track for a few seasons I'd recommend you take a new look... you won't find much better FREE entertainment.

My pics of today's racing are now online:
CLICK TO VIEW ROUND-3 OF THE KART CHAMPIONSHIP
Making the best of MSA Accredited Media access.....
01st March 2018

This Blog explains some challenges to photographing Motorsport… and a couple of the solutions I came up with recently.

It was whilst photographing the first Resolution-IT Guernsey Rally that I used a little ingenuity to help myself get the shots that I wanted.

After the recent tragic loss of life on Scottish Rally sections the first challenge in Motorsport photography is to acquire permission to get close access to the track. The MSA has revised and tightened up how they allocate Media access with a process that can perhaps best be described as a classic ‘chicken or egg’ puzzle.

Accreditation is only offered to published photographers… forget it if you are a ‘Facebook Photographer’. Forget it if you are 'working' for a ‘Sponsor’ or competitor or simply running your own website selling pics. You have to prove that your work has already been published in ‘paid for’ media and that you have been assigned, by a publication, to take pics at this event.

This is where the ‘chicken or egg’ comes in. For your work to be accepted for publication it will need to be dynamic and immersive… this almost always requires you to be close to the action… but without accreditation you won’t be allowed that access… so how do you get published in the first place?

I’ve had many conversations over the years with enthusiastic amateurs who are VERY frustrated by this fact. I can only advise that they stick with it and a ‘lucky break’ might come along.

I’m fully aware and appreciate that I’m privileged to have MSA Accreditation. I certainly don’t take it for granted and I make sure I maximize this advantage where-ever I work… read on.

At the first Resolution-IT Guernsey Rally I was given MSA Media access to photograph the action from track side for four publications. Having attained this access it was important that I made good use of it and I’m sharing a couple of the ‘tricks’ I used to enhance my pics and make best use of my limited time - firstly making use of modern technology, then later in the day the technology couldn’t have been more basic!

The first example: I rarely enjoy having my own picture taken but on this occasion it was fun! Even with accreditation the access to photograph the Resolution-IT Guernsey Rally was still restricted and though it allowed me enhanced access I still needed to maximize that opportunity. The problem was that the competitors had just four runs through each section… so this limited the chance to take a variety of shots from different angles. This was compounded by my intention to vary my pics by moving between Sections (when the track wasn’t ‘live’). This movement between Sections meant that during the travel I'd not be capturing any action at all! Maybe a waste of valuable shooting time?

This is where a bit of technology helped me out - by doubling the shots taken at a single corner. Take a look at the ‘double’ picture above. These two shots were taken on one of the afternoon’s sections at exactly the same time by using a second radio controlled camera. By the way the photographer in the top picture is me... in my own shot. Clever, eh! Two different viewpoints for the price of one. Bargain!

The second ‘trick’ I used was as simple as it gets… at least once I had thought of it! Take a look at the picture below as it shows the problem.


The Rally stages ran into the early evening and as it’s February they finished in complete darkness. Eventually it was near pitch black as I don’t think electricity has reached the narrow back lanes in Guernsey yet! There certainly isn’t any street lighting!

So I was faced with the challenge of photographing the speeding cars with the only light coming from their powerful headlights. The problem was that flash photography isn’t permitted as it could distract the drivers. My first couple of shots after the darkness descended quickly showed that as well as coping with the speed of the cars and the high contrasts of the scene the side view of the cars were just black silhouettes. The photographs were unusable. Then I had a brainwave. I had a small LED cycle lamp in my camera bag. Would that be able to light the side of the cars?

I found a convenient twig high up on a track-side tree to attach the torch to and aimed the tiny light onto the road where I expected the cars to pass... then I continued shooting. Amazingly, and a credit must be given to the class-leading low-light quality of the Nikon D5 camera, this low level of additional light seemed to be just enough to do the job. This simple work-around enabled me to capture another range of pics adding variety to what was a long and tiring days’ work… but fulfilling too.

If you’re a photographer yourself you might be interested in the settings that I ended up using for the night-time pics. They prove to you that even with my added torch light it was still very dark! These two examples really misrepresent just how dark the scene was. But that's what photographers do... we enhance reality ;-)

Pics were shot with these settings:
Camera: Nikon D5 (the low light master!)
Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED at f2.8 and 15mm
Shutter speed: was at 100th sec
ISO 12800

It should be obvious (hopefully) which the ‘unlit’ shot is (above)!

Here are a couple (below) showing how just adding a little extra torch light to the shots turned them into keepers.





I’d love feedback to this short Blog with stories of how you have improved your chances of returning back to the studio with usable pics taken in challenging circumstances.
E-MAIL YOUR COMMENTS AND STORIES BY CLICKING HERE
The missing (Motorsport) link.....
25th February 2018

We must be a bit of an odd lot in Guernsey, eh.

When I say 'We' I'm referring to Guernseymen and women... and I'll extend that to include everyone else who has moved to our little Island as I'm sure a bit of the madness and passion has rubbed off on you too!

Maybe it's because we live on such a small Island that we have to make our own entertainment. This is manifested in the huge amount of activities that islanders organize. There's no excuse to feel bored over here!

I see quite a lot of these events during my professional photography and it never fails to amaze me how much goes on. My specialism is Motorsport photography and almost every other form of Sports photography with Gig photography filling a lot of the remaining time.

But up until Saturday we hadn't managed to tick (perhaps the final) Motorsport box... there was no Rally racing in Guernsey.

How on earth had that happened? Well this has now been sorted after the first running of the Resolution-IT Guernsey Rally! It was run with the enthusiasm and passion that us Guerns are known for and was a great success... I think it was the first of many, fingers crossed.

I was out taking pics in the very chilly wind and a gallery of my Rally pictures can be viewed here:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE FIRST EVER RESOLUTION-IT GUERNSEY RALLY
It was a case of mistaken identity....
18th February 2018

I thought I was renewing a friendship with an old flame on Chouet beach today.

Her shapely curves were just as I remembered them and she was still a pretty fast lady... oh the happy memories ;-)

Unfortunately her face was showing signs of a hard life since she left my side. In fact she's been bashed about a bit since parting from this careful owner!

It was only after a closer inspection that I realized that I was looking at my old flame's twin sister!

To be honest I was happy to see that the silver Mercedes CLK 320 Coupe racing around the beach wasn't my old 'Bessie'.

This leaves me hoping that she's still on the roads being looked after as lovingly as when she was my girl ;-)

You can view pics of today's Autocross racing here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF MY MISTAKEN IDENTITY
What a difference a week makes.....
17th February 2018

If evidence is needed that sometimes all we have to do is stick with something through the bad times... today was the proof!

One week ago I stood, leaning into a gale force wind, photographing the GK&MC Moto-X racing on an exposed clifftop. It was pretty uncomfortable and I'll admit that I wondered why I was bothering?

Then, just seven days later, it became clear. Sometimes it is GREAT fun... and fun is good!

Standing back on the Motocross track today above the picturesque south coast cliffs of Guernsey taking pics (in the sun) of the racing ticked a lot of my boxes. I was reminded that capturing the peak of Sports action is what I love to do.

So, at the end of an enjoyable days work, I've already forgotten the discomfort of a week ago and this enjoyable day is complete now that I've uploaded the edit of my action pics of the Motocross racing.

Even the writing of this Blog has been easy... although maybe that was 'fueled' by a couple of pints of real ale and a glass or two of red wine.

Everything is good... can you tell? What a difference a week makes!

:-)

My days work is now online here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY PICS OF ROUND-2 OF THE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP