The weather's been miserable again, but we donned our jackets and went deer spotting for an hour to get out of the house.
I'd only recently learned that these were close by, so stuck the camera in the bag and went for some snaps.
These were a bit rushed - as my 4 year old is not the most patient companion, so hoping to return soon for some more.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro2, 50-230.
With the weather turning for the worse, we jumped up at the first sign of a non-rainy day, threw our big coats on and jumped in the car to have a little trip to look at the local Wentworth follies. I talked about the follies on THIS blog post a while back, but hadn't really had a chance to check them out until now.
I love autumn. The colours, the leaves - everything is a photographer's dream.
The first stop was Hoober Stand.
Hoober Stand is a pyramidal tower that stands just shy of a hundred feet on a little hill at roughly 157 metres above sea level. Construction was completed in 1748 and was to commemorate the quashing of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
And it looks awesome.
I love pyramids and angled buildings. Shooting this from the side reminds me of one of my favourite buildings in New York - the Flatiron Building. The setting where it sits is also quite nice. My kids love the woods and there was a nice little bit of woodland here for them to go crazy in.
Next stop - Needle's Eye.
The Needle is just down the road from Hoober. A quick 150 yard walk up the footpath from the roadside brings you right to it. It looks pretty bizarre, a sandstone pyramid just sitting at the top of a little rise on it's own.
I do love a pyramid though!
The story behind this one is a little vague. It was apparently built in the mid-18th Century for the Marquis of Rockingham to win a bet that he could drive a horse and carriage through the eye of a needle. Measurements confirm that it would have been possible - so that brings a little bit of merit to the story. Rich folk have far too much time and money on their hands if you ask me!
There's also a little part that made my missus get a good case of the goosebumps - along one side of the pyramid are a grouping of musketball holes at head and torso height, suggesting that this may once have been a site of an execution by firing squad.
Next stop - Keppel's Column.
On the way we happened across a field of Highland cows, so obviously had to stop for a few snaps. A snorting big shaggy cow is a pretty awesome sight when it's a foot away from you. I'm glad there was a gate in the way!
The Column is a 115 foot tower built to commemorate the the acquittal of the court-martialled Admiral Augustus Keppel after the Battle of Ushant.
The tower sits on another hill, not quite as high as Hoober, but still a pretty good viewpoint.
The tower is in a bit of a sorry state. Not open to the public anymore, but it still stands tall and impressive on the rise.
This one is basically 'park at the side and take a photo'. The kids didn't even get out of the car.
And that's the follies! Here are a couple of snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X70 with the WCLX70 fitted.
Went out to the Rockley Engine House and Furnace for a bit of fresh air (and for Alfie to wear his new classic army pouches!)
I like Rockley. There's not much there, but the woods have cool trees, there's mega vines everywhere, there's a little stream, it's always quiet and the ruins are cool.
The furnace is from 1700 and the engine house is dated 1813, but reported to be older. The engine house once housed a pumping engine that kept the local Iron mines dry.
And it looks a bit like a castle with the castellated top - so kids love it!
Freddie's favourite part of the day was 'trampoline log bouncing'. And yep - he fell off. Laughing.
Here's some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, Samyang 12mm, Fuji 35mm 1.4,
Everyone has been stuck in the house for a few weeks - with non-stop runny noses, sniffles and all the other little general things that go round and round making everyone feel rubbish. So the other morning, while mummy was seriously under the weather, we tucked her back into bed and went for a little walk in the local woods - to get some fresh air back into the lungs.
The boys wanted to take their toy guns to run around with - but as you can see, Alfie went full on Assault Team Ginger...
Sometimes that bit of fresh air is all it needs to perk you back up. And it's always beautiful in the woods this time of year.
Our little ginger ninja turned 12 yesterday and his little brother Freddie 'helped' him open all his prezzies. He's a proper little gent, so we thought it only fitting to buy him a new suit for his birthday. And the new lego game, which I'm sick of seeing already! #grumpydadcomment.
He's been ill for the last week though, so full birthday celebrations are on hold for a few more days. He did manage a bit of cake though!
Happy birthday mate. Love you loads.
And in the words of Barney Stinson - SUIT UP!
A few snaps.
I've not thrown up a blog post for a while, so here's a little something from the other day.
We took advantage of the bit of sunshine and went down to feed the ducks.
We got ambushed!
Here's some snaps.
I love lazy Sundays. A lie in, a late breakfast and a generally relaxing day. But today we decided to liven things up a bit and go and jump around the local skatepark!
I had some new gear to test, so grabbed a camera and took it along with my two youngest boys to grab some snaps. I took a fisheye lens to get some crazy angles going on.
Alfie enjoyed a little bit of skating - he's not been out on his board a great deal, so is still finding his feet. He considered dropping into one of the ramps, but settled for posing for photos at the top!
Freddie enjoyed a few tries on the board, but was happier playing with his ball for a bit before heading over to the slide.
A bit of fun with my boys. A perfect Sunday.
Some snaps of my skater boys.
(P.S. Last pic is when we got home - I still annoyed him with the camera even while taking his shoes off!)
One of my favourite things, when I'm shooting a wedding, is watching the antics of the little guests.
Kids are awesome. And tiring. And then awesome again.
I've got 3 of my own, so I know how they can go from the cutest things on the planet one minute, to making you want to pull your hair out the next. There's a reason that people invented alcohol - and I'd wager a bet that a screaming 2 year old was behind it!
I love the little moments at a wedding - the ones that the Bride and Groom very rarely see until they get their photos back. That's what I like to do. I like to capture these little moments forever. Photos that can be shown in 10 years time when they think they're all grown up!
I love these moments - bridal prep where two sisters are like little Princesses getting ready for the Ball. Sneaking little selfies on their phones. Ceremonies where the kids are that bored that they haven't realised the hymn book is upside down. Outside the church where confetti wars are the best thing on the Earth for 5 minutes. At the reception where they can't manage any more food, but demolish the sweetie cart in half an hour flat. Sneaky fingers going for the wedding cake. Bubbles and balloons - these are two of the greatest inventions to keep a kid busy that have ever been made! The quiet moments, when two 10 year olds can sit in conversation like a couple of 50s housewives and two 15 year olds can chase each other around like they're 9 again. The dancefloor, where they let loose like the adults daren't, when sliding is still the best thing in the world and swirly dresses make awesome twirls like they see on TV.
They all catch me eventually, and I get the goofy grin or the embarrassed smile or the covered face or the squeal of laughter. Sometimes I even get a pose!
These are precious moments. Moments which can, and will, be cherished forever.
There's one thing that kids can teach us - and that's how to live. Now. In the moment. Live every second without a care about what's next. Cry out your frustrations for a few minutes, but then carry on being the King or Queen of your world.
We all need to live like kids sometimes.
But, don't worry if you don't have kids, or there's no kids at your wedding. After a few drinks down our necks, us adults soon shed the worry of adulting and start acting like kids again anyway...
Here are a few of those moments.
My last wedding of 2016 was a nice local one - I just popped over a couple of villages to Royston for the lovely little wedding of Vicki and Pete.
This was a nice, chilled out wedding from start to finish.
The day started out with the usual bridal prep - kids to keep us on our toes, girls (and me), chit chat and plenty of cuppas to keep everyone going. I'm glad Vicki locked the dogs away, 'cause I'm sure they would have knocked me over a few times!
The time ticked on and I think the nerves picked up a bit, because the tea soon got replaced by Prosecco!
Soon enough everyone was glammed up and ready to rock, so it was time to hit the church!
The ceremony was held just down the road at the beautiful Church of St. John the Baptist in Royston. I got there with the bridesmaids and we all panicked a little bit because Pete was nowhere to be seen. He turned up after a few minutes though, so all was well once again. Other guests soon arrived and hugs and kisses were all the rage as we stood in the bright winter sun - the first time most of us had seen it in a while too! The 'Bride on the way' warning soon came though, so everyone hustled inside.
Vicki appeared shortly after and the Bridal Party marched the march down the aisle.
The nerves were soon blown away as everyone got into the swing of things and, before you knew it, Mr and Mrs were soon kissing to applause with shiny new rings on their fingers.
Then it was party time!
Everyone headed on to the pub, but me, Vicki and Pete had a little stop off to make first.
We headed back down the road and stopped off at the cemetery to pay a little visit to Vicki's mum where she lay to rest. It was a lovely little moment, and I felt privileged to witness the sharing of their special day with a loved one that couldn't be there.
With a bit of a lump in my throat, it was time for the pub!
The reception was held at the Carlton Village W.M.C. And it quickly turned into a party!
The drinks were flowing, the food was out, the kids were running and all the adults were busy hiding from my cameras!
After a few drinks though, the dancefloor soon had a few visitors before it got cleared for the first dance. And what a first dance it was! I had tears in my eyes from laughing at the awesome dance medley that the couple had put together. It was truly awesome.
That set the pace for some more shennanigans on the dancefloor, before the microphones came out for the Karaoke.
I didn't bust a tune out, but I did get roped in for a photo with the happy couple at the end of the night!
Thanks for having me guys - you were both great.
Here are a few photos from their day.
Took the famalam down to the alley to knock some pins over.
This was Freddie's first time bowling and he absolutely loved it! He is obsessed with the Solar System at the minute, so every ball was a 'big planet' as he sent them rolling down the lane.
The other two big lads enjoyed themselves too. And both beat me!
We finished up with some burgers in the cafe and threw a few quid in the arcades.
A nice relaxing (and very cheap) afternoon out!
Barnsley Bowl is a pretty cool place to take the monsters for an hour or two. The food is pretty decent too - check it out HERE.
Took some snaps with the Fuji X70.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.