Thursday, 19 July 2012

Olympic Torch Arrived in Ramsgate Thursday 19th July 2012

Olympic Torch Ramsgate 2012
Today was our day and shine we did. I made my way to the harbour area of Ramsgate at around 09:40 to find that there was already large crowds so trying to find a vantage point without a Photographers Pass, not bitter Andy!, was going to be a challenge.

I could have tried to get to the front of the crowds which were four or five deep along the harbour route but thought i would stand a better chance if i was up a little higher. So i managed to find a spot along the top which i think is Westcliffe Arcade, looking down onto Royal Parade.

This meant i had to use my 70-200mm to get a good shot in as it came around the top as by the time it reached me i would be shooting downwards anyway. The downside meant i couldn't get the harbour in the same shot, which had been my intention for a few days, but you have to make adjustments sometimes as the conditions dictate!

This is our torchbearer for this leg, Chloe Gambrill

Chloe Gambrill Olympic Torchbearer Ramsgate

Chloe's nomination story

Chloe is a truly inspirational young lady who has pushed herself through very difficult times. In June 2005, aged 6, Chloe was diagnosed with leukaemia and began 27 months of chemotherapy treatment. It was an extremely distressing and frightening time, following on from the death of her nannie to breast cancer, but Chloe demonstrated from the very beginning of her treatment that she would not let this illness stop her living her ' normal' life. Only five weeks after being diagnosed, Chloe took part in Cancer Research UK 's Race for Life in memory of her Nannie. This was despite having an operation and chemotherapy treatment only days before. Only 1km into the 5km course she collapsed. She was absolutely unable to stand or walk but refused to get into an ambulance. Having begged me( her mum) to let her carry on we continued to the finish line taking it in turns to carry her. She was so worried that she would let her sponsors down that she would not give up. Following this event she later took part in a sponsored swim at her local swimming club to raise funds for the children's ward where she was being treated. She helped Cancer Research UK promote Race for Life and continued to try and go to school as often as possible, attend ballet and swim, despite being extremely ill. Since finishing treatment she has continued to fund raise and now swims competitively, winning a county medal for the 200m butterfly event. She is a bright, funny, determined 12 year old who never gives up.

(Story as provided by the Torchbearer’s nominator)

You did us proud Chloe your a true inspiration to us all

As the tourchbearer past below us i turned to shoot this shot, and it just struck me that's how it should be done, but i could really have used that spare seat!
That's how it should be done

I have to say i was very impressed with the organisation of the whole event, Kent Police did a great job with their motorcycle riders high fiveing the kids in the crowd as they went passed, a simple touch but a real winner, well done lads.

Thanet council did a great job with the route and crowd control and a swift clean up operation after and re opening the roads with minimal disruption.

It passed by us fairly quickly but i think it was a success and one people will remember for years to come no matter what their opinion on the Olympics is.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tower Bridge Olympic Rings

Tower Bridge Olympic Rings
The Olympic games is fast approaching and London is full of Olympic fever, even the iconic Tower Bridge has developed the rings.

I have wanted to get this shot for a while but due to work commitments i have been unable to get there. Well this week i find myself free and decided to go get the shot, before the games come to a close. I knew it would be a late finish due to the fact it doesn't get dark till well after nine, but wasn't prepared for just how late i would return home.

Tower Bridge and City Hall
I arrived in London early as i wanted to scout out a few locations for future reference but i think i gave myself to much time so spent a few hours walking around waiting for the right time to head down to Tower Hill.

Trying to find the best vantage point along the riverbank is not as easy as it sounds, due to the amount of people and other togs trying to get the same shot. The retaining wall along the embankment is very wide and with the angle you are looking towards the bridge its almost impossible to get this out of your shot with a wide angle lens.

Tried a few locations from along the embankment and set up. This time of year it does take a while before it gets dark enough for good night shots, even the use of polarising and nd filters didn't help a great deal. Best wait for nature! Then when is is dark the light that illuminate the rings seem to be switched off fairly soon after, or at least on this evening they were.

Then as conditions were all coming together the weather to close in and a totally un forecast shower hit, meaning shooting stopped for some twenty minuets, as i was preparing to go home and said goodbye to some other togs i had met here, the rain stopped so managed to squeeze another few shots in before i left.

The time was getting on and i was all tied up in what i was doing i had not even thought of the return journey home and very quickly worked out i had missed the last high speed train from St Pancras and the services from nearby London Bridge so had to get to Victoria and i just made the 23.22 service which yes tonight terminated at Faversham with a replacement bus the remaining way home, bloody trains!!

Finally got back home at 02:00 hrs shattered!

Also gave me a chance to try out my new bag the Lowepro Classified 200 AW which is a great walk around messenger style bag which is great for easy access to all your gear. Highly recommend this bag as a walk around bag.

Thanks for looking, comments on the images welcome here or my Flickr page

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

How to Photograph Smoke

It is fair to say that at some point most photographers be it pros or hobbyist's, will at some point try to photograph smoke!

This is where i found myself this morning before work.

Smoke Photography
This is how i set about it.....