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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

From October through to now...

So, on my last post I showed you an image of what I had been chasing for just over 4 years...the iconic shot of Corfe Castle rising out of mist at sunrise. That one is still one of my favourite images I have ever captured.

So what else have I been up to since then!

Well, as I mentioned in that last post, Melissa and I went on holiday to Padstow in Cornwall for a week. Cornwall is such a beautiful part of the UK, and I wish we were there for more time as I would have loved to have captured more of it on camera.
We took ourselves off to The Eden project, did a boat trip out of Padstow, had an amazing meal at Paul Ainsworth's restaurant called No. 6 (the best meal I've had in goodness knows how long) and generally had a great time. I even managed to convince Melissa to come out for a sunset with me to Trevose Head Lighthouse. She wasn't too keen about the steep climb down to the best vantage point but it was worth it for this image:

On one of the days we went to Tintagel Castle. Blimey, those steps up to it are unforgiving! I was carrying my camera gear with me, so I definitely needed a sit down when we got to the top! Before we faced that climb though, I had a little play at the very bottom, at Melin's Cave:

On our way back to our rented house in Padstow we stopped off at Trebarwith Strand. Honestly, you could spend months wandering around just that part of Cornwall and never become bored of the beautiful surroundings.


After such a beautiful week away in a beautiful part of the country with my beautiful girlfriend, we came back home to plan our combined house warming/Halloween party which about 40 people were coming to. We went all-out on the decorations and costumes ha ha:


It has been such a busy time that I haven't had a great deal of spare time to get out with my camera but there have been a few times that I have been lucky! 


Danebury Hill Fort:

And most recently, the World war 2 "dolphins" at Lepe beach in Hampshire:


I have been doing some portraits as well. Trying to get into that more now and practising as much as possible. I'll show some of those on my next post :-)

Don't forget to sign up for email updates on this blog page to get notified when my next post is live. And, as always, my images are for sale through my website: www.kevinbrownephotography.com

Cheers,

Kevin.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

So, here's what's been going on since I was last here...

Given half a chance life certainly does run away with your time doesn't it! In the blink of an eye months have passed since my last blog post!

My last post was in September, just after myself and Melissa went to Goodwood Revival. So, what's been happening since then? Quite a lot and not a lot as well. I managed to get a photo that I have been trying for for 4 years and have been caught up in the normal day-to-day business of work, house and kids. But it has all been great...I wouldn't change any of it, but a lottery win might help!

Back in October myself and Melissa had booked a week off work to go and have a little break together in Padstow in Cornwall. In the week running up to that there had been several mornings when the sunrise came through a heavy mist and created beautiful scenes on the way to work. I decided to keep an eye on the weather for the rest of that week and had Corfe Castle in my thoughts.
On the Friday evening I made the call and set my alarm early and got my camera bag ready for the drive down to Dorset.

That Saturday morning (4th October) I left the house in the dark and headed on to the M27 to head for Corfe Castle...and the stars were shining brightly in the sky. This caused me a bit of concern because I hoped that a mist would develop. I needn't have worried because as I got closer to Wareham I was actually driving through a heavy fog.

It seemed I wasn't the only person who had decided to head there as well. There were at least 15 cars in the car park and looking up the hill opposite the castle I could just about make out the wobbling lights of head torches dotted all over the place. I parked up and started the killer slog up the very steep hill. I had to go up higher than I normally do because the fog/mist was so thick, but finally I broke through to the clear air and looked back towards the castle...and couldn't see it! It was completely covered. That at least gave me time to climb a little higher and find a good vantage point and get set up to wait for the mist to start burning off.

Apart from the odd muffled conversation going on between other photographers on the hil, the silence was all-consuming, and it was wonderful. Moments like that don't happen to us very often in our hectic lives, so I was happy to just sit amongst the gorse bushes and soak it up. Then it happened...

The mist started moving in the breeze and the very top of the castle started to peak through. The sun hadn't quite broken over the distant horizon but I fired off some shots to check I was happy with my composition and settings. I took a quick picture on my phone and texted it to a friend who has also been trying for years to get conditions like this at Corfe. Ok, it was a bit of a gloat but it was a good mannered one ha ha. His response was one of those that I should really leave to your imaginations.

As the sun broke, the sound of cameras clicking could be heard from all directions. As I took my photographs there was a constant smile on my face. More because I felt so lucky to be there to witness such natural beauty happening right before my eyes.

And the result? Here you go...


You can of course see a much better version of this image on my website - www.kevinbrownephotography.com

Later that day Melissa and I were heading off on our break, so even though I could happily have stayed there until every last remnant of mist disappeared I knew I had to get back home and pack the car for the long drive to Cornwall.

I will do another update on our week in Cornwall on another blog post later this week.

Until then, I'd love to know what you think of my Corfe Castle shot.

Facebook - www.facebook.com/kevinbrownephotography
Twitter: @kingkevb
Instagram: @kevinbrownephotography




Monday, 14 September 2015

Nice day out at Revival

This weekend just gone was the annual extravaganza that is Goodwood Revival, where loads of pre-1966 cars race around the old Grand prix circuit near Chichester in West Sussex. About 90% of people who go along to watch dress up in period clothes and make a real effort with the whole thing.

I usually go along with three friends and we hire a motorhome and stay there for four nights to watch all three days of racing...and generally have a few beers and a good laugh. This year was just a day trip because the other guys couldn't make it. I wasn't originally goimg to go this year, but some of my girlfriends friends had suggested going so who was I to say no to a day out at Revival. Ok it would be different dynamics, but I was still really looking forward to it.

We arrived by train and got the shuttle bus from Chichester station to the race circuit by 10am and we had a quick wander around to show the girls where some of the main attractions were. Then the bottles of fizz popped :-)
More than one bottle of fizz ha ha!

Being the only man among a group of six women certainly was different from what I have been used to in the past, but I'll definitely be doing it again. Ok, so I didn't actually get to see any of the racing but that's ok...I see that now. it was a great day out and I really enjoyed it.

I did bring my camera with me and got some lovely photos of the ladies in our group, and I hope they all like them. here's a couple of my favourites.


This is Melissa, my gorgeous girlfriend, looking absolutely stunning in her dress and 1950's hairstyle. I think she has amazing eyes and just love taking pictures of her.


This is Melissa and her good friend Kate. I absolutely love this shot!
This was one of those moments that works out perfectly. melissa and Kate were just having a lovely chat and laughing with each other and when I pointed the camera at them they both just peaked over the rim of their sunglasses and pulled this brilliantly fun pose for me. Think I'll get it printed :-)

If you would like to see what normally happens at Goodwood Revival then you can head over to my Facebook page and have a look at one of the albums I created from previous years. Just use this link here.

While you're there why not press "like" on the page so you can see my latest photos as they are published? 

I am also on:
Twitter ; @kingkevb

Until next time,

Kev.






Wednesday, 12 August 2015

I finally captured the Milky Way

Hi,
As I mentioned on my last post, myself and Melissa had been invited to Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire by a friend of hers who is a member of the HantsAstro group. The group normally does members only evenings, but this was one of those evenings when friends and family of members are welcome to come along
Now, I was expecting to see some cool looking telescopes, but the ones that were there blew me away! I think I was expecting much smaller telescopes...ones that would be easily carried and transported in a car! Nah...these guys don't do things by halves!!! The majority of the telescopes that were set up were on rotating swivel boards and were about 2 feet in diameter and about 6 or 7 feet long. All evening long you could hear the whirr of automatic motors turning the telescopes as they tracked whatever stars or constellations the operator was looking at. They were all very willing to let us guests come and have a look at what they were seeing and would happily explain what particular systems we were looking at.
This was a very well organised event, with talks on astro imaging and the history of astronomy...and pizzas. Lots of pizzas :-)

Of course, I had brought my camera with me as well. I always like the opportunity to capture a nice star trail so set it up near the back of the group with the idea of capturing some of the replica thatched buildings in the scene. I realised very quickly that the image would also capture quite a lot of people movement as they milled around their telescopes and the wavering red lights that they wore on their heads, but I thought this would add something a bit different to the scene so decided not to re-compose.
Condensation turned out to be the enemy that night! The sky was as clear as I had ever seen it and was happy sat back in my chair staring upwards to spot any sporadic Perseid meteor that hurtled past. Every now and again I would check my lens and it was completely misted over. I could hear several of the astro guys complaining about the condensation as well.I have downloaded the start trail images onto my laptop and started working on them last night, but i think I'll have to do quite a bit more work to rescue as many images as possible before trying to stack them into the final trail image. I'll keep you posted on that one.

The evening wasn't a total loss however...and this is the one I am really excited about. Once I stopped my camera taking trail images I recomposed to try and capture the Milky Way which was directly overhead. Now, I have tried several times in the past to get an image of our galaxy but have always been scuppered by bad weather or light pollution. This time I was successful :-)



To view a bigger version of this image have a look at it on my Facebook page here. While you're there why not "Like" my page to keep up with the latest uploads and updates.
This was taken with my Canon 70D, Sigma 10-20mm at 10mm, f/3.5, ISO3200 at 30seconds long.

Next on the agenda for me is trying to find some clear skies somewhere around Hampshire, Dorset or Wiltshire tonight to watch the peak of the Perseid meteor showers, and possibly do some light-painting with a friend of mine. He had originally suggested going to Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire, but is now also talking about Corfe Castle as there is the possibility of thunder and lightning! Whatever happens...and wherever we end up I will hopefully have some new images to share in the next few days.

Speak to you soon.

Kev.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Wow, it's been a busy time here!

Hi,
Yet again I've been really busy and not taken the time to update my blog for a while...but there a really good reason for that! We moved house :-)

We put the offer in for the house way back in December last year and we finally got the keys just over two weeks ago! That's just over 7 months from start to finish! And we've still got a few boxes to unpack. 

4 days after we moved we went on holiday to Corfu. Nothing like timing things to add to the stress ha ha. 
Corfu was hot. Real hot! I don't handle the heat very well and was glad to get back to our room each night for the air con :-)
The kids loved the holiday of course, even though my youngest one got ear infections in both ears because he was never out of the swimming pools. The on-site doctor was really good though. 

I took my proper camera with me just in case I got the chance to grab some nice shots. The chance for that came one evening when we were having dinner at a gorgeous little restaurant called San Carlos just down the road from the hotel in Agios Georgios (if you're ever in the area I can highly recommend it). 
We were eating dinner outside when the sun started creeping towards the horizon   I excuses myself from everyone else at the table and ran down the steps to the beach. I grabbed a few shots...several of which were interrupted by people walking past. I normally don't include people in my landscape shots but when I saw this one I knew it was the shot of the evening. The couple walking past really add to the atmosphere of the image...it's just a real shame they weren't holding hands. 


So, you go away for a week with those closest to you and you have to come up with a memorable way to round off the holiday for your kids. What do you do?
You take them up on a parasail of course. 

Even my 5yr old was super keen to have a go at it ha ha. 
The guys on the pontoon took great care of us and even used a shorter rope so the kids wouldn't get too scared. They did the obligatory dunking up to the knees at the halfway point and then performed a precision landing right in the middle of the pontoon so we didn't end up in the sea...much to my 9yr olds disgust ha ha. 

In recent months I have been working with a local design company after they asked me to do some photos for their new corporate website. I got the nod from them today that the new website is up and running and open to the public. I would really like this to turn into something of a regular thing as it is a real buzz doing portraits and product shots for real companies. 
Have a look at www.gemma-international.co.uk to see how they turned out. 
If you know of any companies looking for photographic help then I'd be more than happy to help out. 

What's next?
More unpacking of boxes in the house and finding homes for things. 
On Saturday evening myself and Melissa are going out with the Hampshire Astronomy Group to eat pizzas and watch the skies for several hours. A perfect opportunity to bring the camera and get some night shots. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that the clouds will stay away...and that there may even be a few meteors, as we are getting close to when the Perseids will be doing their annual display. 

I'll let you know how I get on. 

For now, have a look at my website (www.kevinbrownephotography.com) or why not follow me on my Favebook page (www.facebook.com/kevinbrownephotography) 

See you soon. 

Kev. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

A dull sunset turned into a lesson in car photography

Myself and my friend Mark from Twiglet Images headed down to Kimmeridge Bay in #Dorset last night to hopefully shoot a lovely sunset involving the "Land" statue created by Sir Antony Gormley to mark the 50th anniversary of The Landmark Trust. 
The weather reports were looking perfect, patchy cloud with sunny intervals which could potentially crest some lovely colours in the sky. The tide was in our favour as well with low tide just after sunset. 
We had hoped that the clouds would break completely after sunset to allow us to capture the Milky Way...but the forecast wasn't playing ball with that part. 

When we were getting close to the village of Corfe Castle we saw a massive amount of pud coming from the direction of the sea so our hearts started to sink, thinking that all hopes of some sky at the cost were now squashed. When we arrived at Kimmeridge Bay we saw some clear sky but that the clouds were being formed right above the cliffs in the bay next to Kimmeridge. The wind coming off the sea was hitting the vertical cliffs and being pushed upwards where it condensed into heavy clouds...it was pretty spectacular to witness but it meant we weren't going to be able to catch the sun going down because of the angle of those clouds. 

Nevertheless, we clambered done the rocks towards the statue and set up our cameras to see what we could create with what nature was dealing us. 

I found a nice composition that I think works well, even if there was very little colour in the sky. What do you think of the picture below? 

When dusk was over we headed back up to the Clifton car park for a very welcome coffee from the flask I had brought with me. We then decided to turn the car around and play with some shots of that instead. Now, I have never tried any automotive photography before. I have admired the work of Tim Wallace from Ambient Life for quite some time but knew that I would NEVER be able to create anything near his quality of work...he is the master after all. 

We set up our cameras (my Canon 70F and Marks Nikon D600) on high tripods and set the intervalometers to take a succession of shots while we lit the car with a LED torch shone through a hand held softbox. 

This is my version...a composite of 25 shots all merged together. I'm quite pleased with it but I've obviously got a very long way to go. 

Whereas this last picture is Marks version...a 3-shot composite. 

I LOVE Marks version. 

The difference between my crop-sensor camera and his full-frame is quite evident. Wish I could afford to go full-frame! 

Until next time :-)

Monday, 16 February 2015

A lovely February beach walk

Yesterday we went for a walk along the beach at Lee-On-Solent with the kids. There 9 of us in total. 
It was such a lovely day I couldnt resist taking the camera. But, I wanted to push myself to use different lenses than I normally do (Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5), so I only took my Sigma 105mm macro and popped my little nifty Canon 50mm f/1.8 in my pocket. 

After using the 105mm to get some portrait shots of my kids I swapped to the 50mm to get some group shots a dog the boys playing with a rugby ball. 

The sunset started to look like a proper good'un so I challenged myself to get a decent photo of it with the 50mm. Is it possible? Yes :-)

What do you think?