Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oxjam & Week 41

I'm a big fan of 'working smarter not harder', so for this weeks theme I combined an event with my 52 week project, the theme: MUSIC. 
The photoshoot was in Leicester and organised by Oxjam. They were hosting a music festival on Braunstone Gate for the whole day. It involved 8 bars and nearly 80 artists of all kinds of music genres. I'm sure you're dying to know what Oxjam is. It's a music festival that is happening all over the UK - not only to promote Oxfam and raise money for charity but also as a platform for music artists - two key reasons I was keen to get involved.

Adam and I went to the Independent Arts Centre in Leicester for Friday nights gigs. It a nice sized art house, which has a stage set up at the back for musicians. The artists themselves were good, but sadly the turnout was poor. However, Saturday was the main event so it was a nice warm up.

Saturday arrived, the weather looked hmmmm - changeable. 1pm rolled around and kick off time! When I arrived at the O'Bar the place was packed and rocking as music filled the room, as some great musicians were giving so much energy to their performance, a fantastic start and set the tone. The challenge for me this time round was that I have never photographed music events before, and to make it even more challenging, the musicians were playing in eight very different venues, with a mix of lighting conditions and space. One thing I wanted to do where possible was catch the action and also the ambience, but still get nice crisp images, no easy task for a novice like me.

In order to see and hear the bands playing live, you bought a wristband to gain entry to The Looking Glass, Loaf, O' Bar, Sumo, Natterjacks, The Hub, Venus and The Bowstring bars. Not only were the bars full, but there was plenty more merriment to be had in the street, with Capoeira, a Caribbean Carnival, Fire Poi, Graffiti artists and even Vikings?!?! (Yeah, I didn't get that one either).

To top it all off, I also got to see an old friend playing and he blew me away with how well he has done - if you haven't heard of him yet you will, allow me to introduce THE JAMES LEWIS BAND, you heard it here first folks! One of my fav songs so far is Kathryn, go check it out or why not buy it from iTunes. One trait which drove me crazy was the fact that about 90% of the musicians sang with their eyes closed - it looked like I caught every one of them blinking - which is typically what I try to avoid, having said that, it does work well on some images.

It was a fantastic, tiring, ear popping, head banging, foot tapping day! I would like to thank Adam Breedon and Oxjam for getting us involved and a big shout out to all the musicians and performers who did themselves and Leicester proud by raising £1000s for charity ;)
Below is just a sample of the many images I took that day, the remainder can be seen by clicking HERE
I have several images I really liked this week, but my fav is a shot of The James Lewis Band and can be seen HERE
Week 41: MUSIC

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 39 & 40 of 52

Not many more weeks left of this challenge and boy has it been harder than I imagined. Having said that though I have learnt a lot more, slowed down, worked on my composition and started to train my eye - so it has been a very worthwhile venture.

So from my time in Brighton I have managed to catch up on my weeks finally. I chose BIRDS and TRANSPORT as my themes. There were of course many shots which didn't make the grade but also from the ones I did take, and preferred, it became hard to choose a worthy winner. Anyway I finally decided which I liked the most as you can see below.

Chosen images are available here - WEEK 39 and here - WEEK 40 

Week 39 - BIRDS


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 38 of 52

I really needed to get away, lots of things getting on top of me and certain people taking the opportunity to kick me whilst I was down, so I headed south to Brighton for a while.
Maybe its the sea air, the change of scenery or the company, but it felt better. As long as I can quieten the voices I'm OK.

Whilst in Brighton, I tried to focus more on my photography and keep active. Luckily there was a motor bike rally, so loads to see and do. It also gave me a chance to catch up on my 52, as I got candid shots and some specific images in one go.

I tried to get a wide variety of images, people, bikes, boats, cars, animals, landscapes - more for practise than anything else. I stood on the top of the promenade and shot down into the vast crowds trying to pick out interesting characters. I did manage to get some, but the one thing that was all too clear was how poor my 'cheap' lens is. I really need to replace this with a better one. I also want to upgrade my camera too as I think I have out grown this one, I will ask Santa really nicely ;)

As for the shots I'm happy with them, nice mix, good feel them I think. As yet I haven't chosen a winner, so feel free to offer your suggestions as to which deserves to be chosen and why.
I finally chose the one I thought is the best image click HERE

Week 38 - CANDID

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hello darkness my old friend

The weather today looks as miserable as I feel and have being for quite sometime.
I came back to the UK to sort of out a life for me and my family, only to have that taken away again, regardless of the effort I had put in. It seems no matter how hard you try for some people it will never be enough. I'm angry with some of the choices that I made but they were at least my choices, but now I need to learn to make the right choices in order to move forward. Since the split I have had some very dark days and a few wobbles, some more serious than others and after several looooong chats with some friends I know Telford at least, isn't going to give me what I want and need. I also need to seek professional help as it's thought I have a bi-polar spectrum disorder.

I have decided that I'm off women too. No, I haven't changed sides, regardless of what some people may think already. I just need much more time to sort myself out - with that in mind I am going to move away for a year. I will still pursue my photography as I really enjoy it and believe there can be a future in it. But I haven't learnt as much as I expected here, so more effort and more like minded people to grow and learn from required.

I feel that I have let some people down but sadly the state I'm in is not good and I cannot offer them what they want or need right now, giving myself time and space will hopefully fix that. Newdawn still exists and for now I will be behind the scenes more and Huss will take the reigns. So if I go quiet for a while, like I have been, don't worry I'm just trying to get my life back in order again, no matter what they say it doesn't get any easier.
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