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It was that time of year again where one of biggest free music festivals, if not the biggest festival, took place in Coventry at the weekend (2nd-4th July)
I have shot the last Godiva Festival in 2009 as well.
First up was Detroit Social Club
With the above image I think that the lens hood was was not on properly providing the bottom left and upper right corners with some darkening.
Next up was Badly Drawn Boy
Now for the headliners: ASH
The first band I mainly shot with the 24-70 and 70-200 and kept the 70-200 on for Badly Drawn Boy after the crowd shots. For ash however the bassist was pretty good in his stances and provided a fair few opportunities for the photographers… In comparison to last year I believe that I have definitely improved on getting closer to the stage but I still need to work on being faster in shooting and practice more with including the stage lighting. Despite this I think that this is not a bad first attempt at being in the ‘pit’ to get images and I will be considering getting into ‘pits’ across venues in Coventry…
Camera + big lens + drink (them not me) =
To improve more for next time I think I will read up on dealing with red stage lighting and see about getting a second body so I can use two lenses at once rather than switching and to gain more variety in the images I capture…
These days the internet is becoming more and more widely used and more and more information gets added. The common ways to spread your information out to the big wide world is to use Twitter, Facebook or even Blogs which are then sent round via Twitter and Facebook. Since I follow a fair few people on Twitter I needed a way to collect mine and the most relevant ‘Tweeters’ ‘Tweets’. Therefore I decided to use ‘Google Reader’ to do this job. Here I can subscribe to Blogs and Twitter feeds to save time on scrolling through hundreds of ‘Tweets’ to find the more important. So I have now added Subscriptions to the ‘Tweeters’ that I feel are most beneficial to me and my practice. Ted Talks is a great place to look at interviews of Practitioners in many fields of work. I follow myself to find any interesting Tweets that I ‘Retweeted’ and locate any I posted and want to go back to. Naturally I am following my lecturer and soon the Photography course Twitter feed to see the latest updates and information relating to my course. As for Strobist I want to learn the ways of off camera flash and so I follow ‘Strobist’ to learn from any techniques that the owner David Hobby has posted or ‘Retweeted’.
In the near future I am to use this feature more and more to collate valuable Tweets with relevant information.
In a previous post I wrote about St John Ambulance. However I still feel that although the Volunteers get most of the credit the Main Youth Leaders and Divisional Officers do not take much credit for running and programming activities and training each week for around 20 people as well as running a normal job (This is often in an Medical Profession like a Nurse or Paramedic which are awkward hours to work). Therefore what I am saying is that these people are kind of like the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of St John Ambulance as they go out their way each week to organise, run, an eye on certificate validation dates and then re-book any outside training that needs to be inputted to help maintain a high standard amongst the Badgers, Cadets and even in the Adults.
The above images show some of the Youth Leaders, Divisional Officers and NCO’s raising money for the Division by cleaning cars and some of the activities that has been organised to help the Cadets communicate with each other in team building exercises.
Do not get me wrong I still think that the volunteers out on the ‘front line’ doing the work of providing a public service and not get paid for it is still a great way to give back to the community but at the end of the day who (except those that are injured) actually notice that these people in the bright green uniforms are there at their own will, willing to help out anyone with anything… Who even thinks to look behind the scenes of all this to think about who organised the training.
Since I have been 8 I have been involved in an oraganisation/charity known as St John Ambulance (SJA). By going to this every Thursday evening I have learnt key life skills like meeting and making new friends, how to deal with people. To start with you go into the Badgers, which start to deal with basics of First Aid and learn more on Safety, Play games, do small amounts of other communication skills and generally less intensive items than the Cadets. Once you turn 11 or go into Secondary School you can then join the ranks of a Cadet where you do more intensive course than at the Badger level and then once qualified go out in the public and do Duties. Duties is where you would volunteer to provide First Aid at any event that SJA have been highered to help with.
Furthermore I have learnt way more new skills whilst I have been at SJA. These new skills include, Radio Communications Level 1 & 2, Fire Prevention, Clerical Skills, Casaulty Simulation (Fake injuries and how to deal with them), Various First Aid qualifications, AED Level 2 (Automated External Difibulator) and many more varying quailifications.
Since I have turned 18 however I have now moved up into the ranks as a sort of Youth Leader amongst the Cadets. This means that I now help out the main and Youth Leaders that are qualified to teach First Aid. I do this by going round making sure that the cadets know what they are doing or even show them if they don’t. Also by keeping an eye out over them and make sure they are paying attention when it is needed.
However by being in SJA it has given me some issues to think about. For example, as a Photographer I have to make the decision of either going out to an event and document it photographically or do a Duty and help out. (To be honest it is often neither as work gets in the way). A similar problem may occur when I am out and about. For say another bomb went off and I was near by documenting a scene or doing some street Photography, would I go to help or photograph it quickly then help? I think my answer would be to take ONE scene image of the area and then go and find a first aid kit to help out with what I can. (SJ Ambulances were actually called to the July Bombings, did you know that?)
Furthermore I am currently learning to drive and so this I feel gives me the freedom to go out and shoot more as I no longer have the restrictions of only going out to places when my parents are not working. This can also mean I can be available to do more payed Jobs at weekends or week days while I am at uni, if I get a car.
Lastly I have just took on a Job at the local B&Q car park which means I can get more practice talking to people I do not know, which can aid me by giving me more confidence in approaching people, either if it is asking if they want their picture taking or approaching other Photographers about how they work or for any placements.
The above images are of a Christening shoot I did for my cousin (The mother of the girl being Christened). She was overall pleased with the results that I produced, and you can decide for yourself with the above images. I decided not to look up any other Photographers that do Christenings as I thought that this would just stop me from producing my own style of working and photographing and therefore just be a mimic of that Photographer, whether I know I am doing it or not. The ‘client’ now wants a A3 print of the 3rd image in on the top row.
For this shoot I also wanted to experiment using the SB-900 on the camera and off camera. However I wanted to try off camera flash by using the D700 pop up flash to trigger the SB, but this was not the case as it did not fire. I later found out that the D700 flash was not set in ‘Commander’. Havng the flash on camera and pointing at the subject I felt was a little harsh and therefore I tilted the flash backwards and used a bounce card on the end of the flash to reflect some of the light back on the subject. This is something that I got off Joe McNally on some video tutorials…
What I learnt from this experience:
- 2 year olds really do not sit still or stay still for long (no brainer really).
- Again check the settings on the camera before using.
- TTL is not as bad