Mad Dogs & Lawn Mowers

Lawn Mower Racing 0358

It could only be in England, that someone would come up with the idea of racing garden equipment.

Wings & Wheels

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15/06/2019 From Paul Burgman/Press-Photos.com. Wings & Wheels, Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey. Solo Hawker Hurricane display

A dull overcast day with 100% cloud cover most of the day & rain for the rest of it, made for a dull set of photographs, so I thought I had better stick some filters into the process.

 

 

Day two wasn’t an awful lot better & I bailed at lunch time.

 

Bloody Hot Day

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Was tipped off about the Hells Angels “Ride Out” last weekend, so trundled out to Hand Cross, for about 0930hrs, having been told that the “Ride Out” would leave Pease Pottage at 1000hrs. I was informed that there would be more than 750 riders. However as the time dragged on, I was told that it would be 1100hrs, then 1300hrs and then eventually they left at 1400hrs.

There was a private event the night before with something like 3,000 Bikers from all over the world in attendance, to celebrate 50 years of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in the UK.

Instead of 750+ there were just over 100, as the Police had insisted that the people who organised it had the riders breathalysed prior to leaving, they had obviously had a bit of a session on the Friday night as many were still over the limit and didn’t take part. So bit of a damp squib.

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Damned that’s wide

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Decided that it was time to go, super-wide, had a 14mm F2.8L & a 15mm F2.8, but after reading the reviews available decided that I really should have a Canon EF11-24mm F4L in the bag. Got an acceptable price for the 14mm from MPB and a 16-35mm F2.8L and went for it. Damned it is a heavy piece of glass, but feels nicely balanced on a 1Dx, would probably feel a little strange on a 5D or similar without a vertical grip.

I have to say that I am really very impressed with the quality on the test shots that I have done so far.

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A revelation….

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I just received a near metre long mouse mat, it is a revelation. Why the hell I played around with a 10×8 mouse mat for the last 25 years I have no idea. It covers quite a lot of the desktop, and means that the Magic Keyboard doesn’t slide and the mouse works everywhere on the desk top. don’t think about it, just buy one.

Bluetooth keyboard & mouse

 

Having upgraded to a Magic Mouse 2, I went the whole hog & also added a Magic Keyboard as well. Specifically the the one without the number pad, and boy does it make a difference so much extra space on the desktop. So fully charged & now unplugged, lets see how long it lasts until it needs charging again.

OK so an update is in order, originally charged nearly a month ago, the keyboard is at 89% and the mouse 22%, quite impressed.

Whoops, A gentle reminder

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I was shooting at football yesterday and noticed that the lens mount felt loose, with the 70-200mm on the camera, carried on shooting as I had no alternative with me, and in a couple of frames there was a definite alignment issue. As you can see in the image below, muzzy top right and bottom left.

GCFC v RPV 0022

Got home later that day & checked, and all four of the lens mount screws were loose, not just a little bit loose either. I usually remove and reinstall them with some thread-lock when I buy the lens, but I appear to have missed this lens. So tightened them all back up & then thread-locked each one in turn.  Whilst was at it I checked all of my other glass, without finding a problem, which is good news, as they are all transported and used in the same manner.

SO if you haven’t recently checked any screws that you can access are done up correctly, now is the time to do it.

Not too shabby

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Not too shabby, considering it has taken 512,000 photographs in it’s life-time & still on the original shutter. Hope I am not tempting fate, but the camera still sounds and works as well as it’s much less used siblings, one with 90,000 frames & the other with 109,000

It’s been a while…

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It has been quite a while since I have printed photographs, most are shipped electronically, however as Guildford City have an end of season bash coming up, it seemed like a good idea to print some off for the players. Hadn’t thought that it would mean 22 A4 prints though. Anyhoo all done now.

Been Playing Again

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Sitting around whilst listening to Totteringham getting all “Spursy” I thought that I would have a go at a style of photography that I have never tried before, essentially floating product shots. I am not a huge fan of playing around with Photoshop, other than to crop/balance & other basic edits, but this type of work requires the building of images from multiple layers. This is a simple composite of two images, one the background & the other of the light meter. I certainly won’t be doing anything like this tomorrow during the football, as I will be glued to the Arsenal v Newcastle game.

Having Upgraded…

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To a Magic Mouse 2, I went the whole hog & also added a Magic Keyboard as well. Specifically the the one without the number pad, and boy does it make a difference so much extra space on the desktop. So fully charged & now unplugged, lets see how long it lasts until it needs charging again.

New Mouse

 

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Having had an old Apple Optical Mouse  (A1152) for a number of years, and on average having to clean the little scroll wheel every few weeks, I finally decided that I would go the wireless route again, (having had an Apple Mighty Mouse for a while but hated it) and purchased an Apple Magic Mouse 2 (A1657). The first impressions are very good, with luck it will have a long enough battery life to be usable. According to Apple it can recharge in less than five minutes to give enough charge for an 8 hour day. Pairing the device couldn’t be easier, plug it into a USB port on the machine you want to use it on, and  the Bluetooth pairing is done.

Important job coming up

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SO time for sensor & lens cleaning session, sensor cleaning is relatively painless, a quick wipe with Fairy Liquid & a pan scourer, obvs not the steel type, but the nylon ones. Lenses will be polished with windolene, the only downside is that it turns crusty & when wiping off and needs a lot of canned air or the close proximity of a powerful vacuum cleaner, the kind that the EU have now banned, so fire up the 10 year old “enry”.

On the other hand, seeing as I have some of this stuff knocking about …

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Should only take about an hour to do three sensor cleans & 8 lenses (although only 4 will probably be used), including test photos & re-cleans. Then charge & condition the camera batteries (best do all of them) and charge the Eneloops and the Turbo also. Pack all the gear into the motor & actually do some work!

 

F*ck that was tough

16/03/2019 GCFC v Horley at Wey Court

That was bloody hard work today, with winds gusting at about a zillion miles an hour it made it very difficult shooting football, in a stadium it can be awkward, but when you have no shelter from the wind it is bloody awful. Probably shot the fewest frames in a football match ever because you simply couldn’t predict where the ball would land. If a clearance went 15 feet up, it could come down either where it was struck or 30 yards forward or back or to the side.

Focus Stacking

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Yesterday afternoon I decided that I would have a little experiment with Focus Stacking, to be honest, it wasn’t really something that was on my radar until recently, I it seemed like it was something rather complex & requiring of special software, but a bit of research & some experimentation and some trials (none too scientifically done, largely kind of finger in the air, seat of the pants stuff) but with a little practice I think that I can nail it. I have a project that I am thinking of using it on  in the not too distant future.

It’s not perfect but this was my first attempt, gladly receive any pointers from anyone with some experience.

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Finished Focus Stack

The final image is a composite of 22 images, whilst not perfect it is, I think close, I shall have another go later in the week. The images were shot on a Canon 100mm Macro lens at 39cm at F6.3, the amount of DoF at that distance at that aperture is very little. The image below is the first in the sequence. Continue reading

Chinese Imports

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The power supply on my Old Apple Cinema 30 monitor went bang a couple of weeks ago & you can’t buy them from Apple anymore so it was either take a chance on ebay for a Power supply that is as old or possibly older than the one that has failed, or look further afield.

Today, my new PSU from China arrived & it is completely indistinguishable from the original supply, except for the tape hiding the Apple logo, plugged in & switched on & all is right with the world, except for the snow, outside, not settling.

It had to happen..

CF Cards

It had to happen eventually, last week I had my first ever SanDisk CF failure, first time in nearly 20 years since I moved from Lexar cards. The card was shipped  faulty, it formatted fine the first time, but couldn’t be written to in camera & wouldn’t mount on the desk top in a card reader, however myMemory turned around a replacement in pretty short order.

Murder on the slow train

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Police cordon was in place this afternoon at Horsley, a couple of train stops from Guildford. No one has been arrested yet, and there is a search on going in the Clandon area.

 

Cold & Wet

Crawley Town v Crewe Alexandra EFL Sky Bet League 224/11/2018.

Crawley’s Dominic Poleon fouled by Crewe’s Goalkeeper Ben Garratt during the EFL Sky Bet League 2 match between Crawley Town and Crewe Alexandra at the Broadfield Stadium, Crawley, England on 24 November 2018.

Cold & Wet for my last match of the season for Pro-Sports, simply isn’t a viable proposition to continue with them, when the brief turned up for this match it was “the straw that finally broke the camels back”, so whilst I love shooting sports, it simply isn’t worth doing if it doesn’t make a profit.

Wetter than an Otter’s pocket

Queens Park Rangers v Brentford EFL Sky Bet Championship10/11/2018.

Rangers Midfielder Eberechi Eze & Brentford’s Midfielder Nico Yennaris during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Brentford at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 10 November 2018.

F*ck  that was wet, this morning it looked like a beautiful day was in the offing, however at 3.01 it started pissing down & it still hasn’t stopped.  The two minutes silence passed off without a drenching, and the crowd were treated to the best rendition of the “Last Post” I have heard for many years, then as soon as the referee started the match down it came.

All the kit, the bags and the waterproofs are in the airing cupboard or scattered around or on top of various radiators, hopefully they will be dry by, I don’t know Christmas probably.

Queens Park Rangers v Brentford EFL Sky Bet Championship10/11/2018.

GOAL Brentford’s Defender Henrik Dalsgaard scores during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Brentford at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 10 November 2018.

I do have to say that I am quite impressed with the new Berghaus Deluge Waterproof over trousers, and a damned sight easier to get in and out of than my old ones. Also the Berghaus Deluge jacket did a great job of keeping the laptop & other gear dry.

Getting Old

CF Cards

Must be losing my mind, I left the Brentford match on Saturday convinced that I had picked up everything, until I got to the car & thought f*ck it I have left a 16Gb CF Card on the Electronic Advertising were I was sitting. Thinking it’s not worth traipsing all the way back to the ground to collect it. I wasn’t too fussed as I had already copied the contents to the laptop.

Checked everywhere when I got home, and next day I ordered a couple of new 32Gb CF Cards. No sooner than I had placed the order, I looked at the fleece I had been wearing the day before, which was sitting on top of my lens box, and I could see through the mesh on the breast pocket a shiny CF Card. Yep, daft old sod, I forgot to check that pocket.

Anyway, probably was about time to replace them as they have been on front line duty for a couple of years.

Home Win

Brentford v Millwall EFL Sky Bet Championship03/11/2018.

Brentford’s Sergi Canos celebrates during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Millwall at Griffin Park, London, England on 3 November 2018.

Brentford won a tricky match against Millwall, typically both goals were at the other end of the pitch from me. 😦

Brentford v Millwall EFL Sky Bet Championship03/11/2018.

Millwall’s Lee Gregory can’t beat Brentford’s Defender Ezri Konsa & Brentford’s Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Millwall at Griffin Park, London, England on 3 November 2018.

Brentford v Millwall EFL Sky Bet Championship03/11/2018.

Brentford’s Ollie Watkins during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Millwall at Griffin Park, London, England on 3 November 2018.

Poor Performance

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

Bournemouth celebrate their 3rd goal during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

I was at Fulham v Bournemouth in the Premier League game on Saturday, Fulham didn’t really turn up & were comprehensively beaten 3 – 0.

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

Bournemouth’s Defender Nathan Ake during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

Bournemouth AFC lead during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

Bournemouth’s Defender Charlie Daniels shoots during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

GOAL Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson scores from the spot during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

Fulham v Bournemouth Premier League 27/10/2018.

GOAL Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson scores from the spot during the Premier League match between Fulham and Bournemouth at Craven Cottage, London, England on 27 October 2018.

Another Good Win

Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa EFL Sky Bet Championship26/10/2018.

Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia challended by Rangers Midfielder Massimo Luongo during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 26 October 2018.

Friday evening saw me at the QPR v Aston Villa.

Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa EFL Sky Bet Championship26/10/2018.

Aston Villa’s Tammy ABRA during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 26 October 2018.

A good Win

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday EFL Sky Bet Championship23/10/2018.

Rangers Tomer Hemed celebrates during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 23 October 2018.

Monday night saw me at QPR v Sheffield Wednesday.

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday EFL Sky Bet Championship23/10/2018.

GOAL Rangers Midfielder Luke Freeman scores during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 23 October 2018.

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday EFL Sky Bet Championship23/10/2018.

GOAL Rangers Nahki Wells celebrates during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, England on 23 October 2018.

Disappointing…

Brentford v Bristol CityEFL Sky Bet Championship
20/10/2018.

GOAL City’s Midfielder Niclas Eliasson scores during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Bristol City at Griffin Park

I was at the Brentford v Bristol City match on Saturday, a disappointing loss by a single late goal.

Brentford v Bristol CityEFL Sky Bet Championship
20/10/2018.

GOAL City’s Midfielder Niclas Eliasson scores during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Bristol City at Griffin Park

Football Workflow

A couple of people have asked recently about my workflow, so here is an overview.

For my workflow I use a couple of applications Adobe Photoshop & PhotoMechanic, although at a football match I do everything from within PhotoMechanic.

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First step in the workflow is to get the images from the camera on to the laptop, so plug in the card reader & CF Card, & fire up PhotoMechanic.

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I have PM configured to automatically ingest any CF once it appears on the desktop, at this point I have the system add a basic IPTC caption to all of the images, I leave the file names unaltered at this point. The files are copied to a folder called Card Dump.

 

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Once I have all the images on the laptop I scroll through the images in full frame (Click the “f” key to toggle between normal & full screen) preview mode and zoom in (click the “z” key to toggle zoom mode), I will make a selection tagging each (if you click the fullstop key it will tag the photograph) frame that I am going to wire, at the same time I will do any cropping & straightening of the images, (to crop hit the “x” key.

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As part of this process I will also edit the captions to reflect the content of the photograph if you hit the “i” key it will open the caption dialogue box, then using a series of code replacements that I have already created I can add the players name simply by entering a code (in the case of QPR Defender Geoff Cameron I type \QPR05\ and it replaces it with the full name.

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Having completed the edit I will the select all tagged images and FTP them direct to the client (click “u” to show the FTP dialogue box and away you go, it is at this point that the client naming protocols are used to rename & resize the photograph, as well as the actual cropping taking place, the sent images are then automatically saved in the Pix Sent Folder

Brentford v Reading EFL Sky Bet Championship29/09/2018.

GOAL Brentford’s Neal Maupay scores during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Reading at Griffin Park, London, England on 29 September 2018.

There maybe times during the match that images need to be moved rather more quickly, ie a goal & celebration pictures, I usually like to send as soon as possible, these I don’t tend to tag, but just go through them and caption, crop & send them individually.

 

U

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“U is for Umbrella, we use it in the rain, we hope that we shan’t want one, till we’re home again”

Photographing football almost certainly means at some point in the season you are going to get very wet, and as everyone knows computers & water don’t mix, so to protect the laptop whilst wiring from pitchside I have acquired a cover.

I have managed to put it up and fold it back into it’s case, I think that a couple of practice sessions with it are required before it goes used in anger (unless it pees with rain on Saturday).

Disappointing Draw

Brentford v Reading EFL Sky Bet Championship 29/09/2018.

I went to Brentford yesterday for the match against Reading. There was not a lot to report a 2-2 draw, but one moment made me chuckle when Yoann Barbet, legged it to the dugout & came back with a bit of paper that he showed other team mates, whatever it was must have worked as a few minutes later, he equalised.

Poor defeat…

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich CityEFL Sky Bet Championship 22/09/2018.

Rangers Tomer Hemed shoots during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City at the Loftus Road Stadium.

I would like to say that I enjoyed my trip to Loftus Road today, but I didn’t, it peed with rain for the duration and a piss poor performance from the Rs. Not content with that the rain killed my laptop, fortunately not my new laptop, as I am still working through some issues with it.

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City EFL Sky Bet Championship22/09/2018.

22/09/2018 Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City at Loftus Road Norwich’s Teemu Pukki scores

Good Home Win

Brentford v Wigan Athletic EFL Sky Bet Championship 15/09/2018.

Today I was at Brentford v Wigan Athletic. Good home win for the Bees.

 

Better Late than….

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Looks like my football season is about to kick off, hey ho, better late than never, thought that I had better get my code replacements sorted out ready for Premer League & Championship, that’s an hour that I won’t ever see again, but at least it should need very little change until the new transfer window.

Relieved

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Relieved to  get my car back from the bodyshop, after yet another visit to correct their work, still not right, panel gaps are horrendous, paint colour match is poor. But at least it isn’t the death trap Mercedes that they lent me.

Yesterday…

14mm

At the Farnborough Airshow yesterday whilst I was shooting the static displays, I was  asked why I was shooting with two similar lenses on separate bodies. I had a 14mm on one & a 15mm on the other. However the results from each are very different.

21/07/2018 Pictures from Farnborough International Airshow.21/07/2018 Pictures from Farnborough International Airshow.