Archive for June, 2007

The First of Many?

So, been all over the place mentally in the last couple of weeks. Well, in the last year truth be told. I was asked about this time last year to shoot a wedding for someone who’d seen my photos on flickr and liked the look of them. I agreed, but under the understanding that I’d never done a wedding before, didn’t know what I was doing and was only an amateur photographer. It’s often said that technically, once you start accepting payment for jobs, you’re a professional. I’m not too sure about that.

So last weekend I found myself driving toward the brides house, having had a Carlsberg assisted sleep the night before (otherwise I’d never have got to sleep thinking about it). I was so nervous about screwing up the photos I couldn’t eat, think straight or well, even hold my hand steady. I arrived (well, we arrived. Myself and my wonderful assistant) and within 5 minutes I was being driven by pure adrenaline. I can’t describe or explain how incredible it was to be working around a family that are so welcoming, accommodating and downright friendly. I had to constantly remind myself that I was there in an official capacity and wasn’t actually a long lost brother!

The nerves melted away as I shot the process of hair, makeup, champagne, flowers, dresses, decorations, black suits and coloured dresses. Amazing. After that, we raced (is it still a race if you’re in gridlock?) to the church to get there ahead of the brides car. We won. The ceremony commenced and I’m pretty sure I managed to keep out of wedding video, and out of the way of the wedding videographer. On a quick review, I knew I had some decent shots ‘in the bag’ so to speak, and some further ones that would be in the same bag once they were run through photoshop.

Some formal’s outside the church after alot of running around (with horrifically squeaky shoes I might add) and then onto the park beside the hotel for some further formals (and almost a dip in the lake). Raced back to the hotel, couple more formals and a few candids before dinner. Ahh relax. Then some more during the speeches and finally the first dance before backing up the many, many photos I took to my laptop.

So I realised a few things during the course of the evening…
1. The 20D needs to go.
2. A 5D or something like it needs to be acquired.
3. I could do another wedding…
4. I need lucozade

Along with things I’ll never be able to describe, I’ll add my eternal gratitude to that list. Without Mary and John, I may never have gotten a start in wedding photography. I’d been wondering for a while if during my first wedding I’d either have a complete nervous breakdown or develop a taste for more. Like having one pint when you know you can’t have anymore for a while, I’ve now got a taste for more. So thank you, have a wonderful honeymoon and indeed, wonderful lives together. Thanks to your families who were possibly the most pleasant people I’ve ever met. To say the whole thing went smoothly is an understatement. Now to pluck out the good stuff.

Avondale Park

IMG 2118

Yet another recent boards.ie meetup in Avondale Park in Wicklow. Held on the same weekend as the previous Ireland’s eye meetup, it was almost refreshing to get home for a rest. It hasn’t taken me 18 days to process and get these on flickr, it has however taken me that long to get them on here. I’m going to place the blame completely on a usual mix of laziness, not bringing my laptop into work so I can hammer away at it over lunchtime and oh, the related stresses of buying a house. Phew.

IMG 2169

The park itself is an impressive size, taking several hours to only partly explore. The only great shame of it is the honking great train track intersecting part of the landscape. Not too bad on it’s own, but considering a commuter train to Dublin races over it every so often makes it less appealing.

IMG 2089

The weather wasn’t the most superb but then who really cares. Damp forests always look better than bone dry ones, it’s like a law of nature! Did alot of different messing around with these in my new favorite RAW processing toy (lightroom) so it they look different from others I’ve posted before, there’s your reason.

IMG 2369

That’s my lot until the next boards meetup, given that I haven’t had the opportunity or the inclination to take the camera out of it’s bag since returning from Dublin/Wicklow. There are of course more on flickr, should your critical eye need some fodder.

Irelands Eye

Martello Tower

Last weeked, myself and the financial controller took a spin to Dublin for a great big whoppin’ double meetup with some of the boards crowd. These are the results of the first of those two meetups, off Howth harbour on an island called Ireland’s Eye. I think my only advise to anyone who is thinking of taking the boat across to the island would be; Don’t go if you don’t like birds. If you inherited your distaste for being too close to winged creatures through generations of your family watching Hitchcock movies like I did, you probably won’t like the island.

IMG 1872

Having said that though, it was quite pleasant out there. Warm yet cold, still yet windy. It’s a small island with a uphill slope, that day only climbed by a healthy mix of the stupid and the adventurous. Sadly I was the former. While following Sebzy up the hill, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a freakishly large seagull that had been perched on a rock not 20 feet from me had taken flight. Thought nothing of it, until the bastard started dive-bombing me. After a few close misses and one or two too close to call, I imagined that by the time I reached the top of the hill I’d be either completely bald or completely bald and one-eyed.

IMG 1784

No, that’s not me but you get the idea. It was fairly Hitchcock. While trying to find a suitably safe method of getting off the hill and back to the relative safety of near sea level, I managed to get myself into a dead-end no less than twice. I was obviously paying more attention to not being swiped at by countless seagulls on the way down. I decided to take a route through the long grass and took an ‘as the bird flies’ route to a small church where the rest of the group were hiding. So I bound through the waist high grass as fast as my legs could carry me, fearful of what no doubt lives in the grass. Mostly ticks and spiders. Makes me shudder even now thinking about it.

IMG 1887

After a sandwich and a refreshing walk on the beach, it appeared the weather was about to break. I think at that stage most of us had had our fill of the gulls, insects and general island life so we retreated to the relative safety of the short grass and sheltered rocks where a group of other tourists waited for the arrival of the boat back to Howth harbour.

IMG 1748

Back on the boat, we took a quick tour around the island to see the gannets and if there were any puffins around.

IMG 2034

It was good to be back on dry land again though… Managed to get several decent shots out there thankfully, something I hoped I could replicate the next day in Wicklow. Time will tell. There are more of these on flickr.

In other news, after 18 or so months of sitting in the garage, slowly rotting away I managed to start up my motorbike today for the first time! New battery, bit of praying, bit of spluttering and choking as it sprang into life but then the magic happened. Roared into life, still sounds as good as it did back on the French highways and byways. Pity it’s going on the ol’ auction block…