Category Archives: photography

‘All of Life is About Timing’ – Eric Morecambe 1926-1984

I never loved a TV show more than I did ⁠Morecambe and Wise. What a thrill to meet Eric, even if it was only his statue on Morecambe seafront! It catches him in a pose from the dance he and Ernie did at the end each programme. We had a fish and chip dinner and the sun set over Morecambe bay.

statue of Eric Morecambe

The smile on Eric’s face reminds me of my late father roaring with laughter at their antics.

The larger-than-life statue of Morecambe, created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson, was installed at Morecambe in July 1999 and is surrounded by inscriptions of many of his favourite catchphrases and an exhaustive list of guest stars who appeared on the show. 

Eric Morecambe staue

The inscription in the central star reads, ‘All of life is based on timing.’ The timing of Eric’s life’s ending was far too soon.

Outdoor, Open-Air Profile Portrait Photographs

Outdoor Open-Air Profile Portraits the Benefits of Getting Out

A greater awareness of space might be one of the lasting legacies of the COVID crisis. Not the ‘space’ which Captain Kirk urged us to boldly got to, I mean the space around us, open air and light, the breeze in your air and sun on your face. Not just the first, crucial two metres.

After being stuck indoors for all that time, anything and anyone outdoors can look more appealing. So a profile picture shot in the open air is almost sure to have a positive, open feel. In a park, the countryside or the garden there’s an association with nature, growth, development, the environment and sustainability. In the town or city, the tone is cutting-edge, cosmopolitan, modern, youthful, fashion-conscious or gritty.

Outdoor, open-air profile portrait photographs are just more interesting than those taken in a studio. (Believe me, I’ve taken plenty of dull studio portraits!) But shooting in a studio with flash has one big advantage – control. You can guarantee the subject will be getting a good profile portrait photograph after the session, and the photographer can know before the session starts what the picture will look like. That can not be true of a photo session in the open air, there are too many variables.

So how can we reduce the risks implicit in booking an outdoor profile portrait photography session? Forethought is the answer, thinking it through, discussing and agreeing on the options, depending on the conditions and locations found on the day.

Weather

With the best will in the world, you can’t shoot in the rain, snow or wind. If the forecast looks bad, postpone in good time to a later date.

Light

Daylight can give lovely, flattering soft light. Sunshine give harsh deep shadows and a squint.

Background

Whether it’s a natural or urban background, it should be thrown out of focus to avoid being a distraction. It can also give depth to the image or provide a frame around the subject

Other people

A busy location reduces control and predictability, passers-by might make the subject uncomfortable or clutter the background.

Time of day

The light changes as the sun moves across the sky affecting its nature and direction. The number of people and the amount of traffic will vary according to time of day.


Headshot Photography

Doorstep Family Portraits – After the Clap for Carers

BBC News “On Thursday evening many of us in the UK grabbed our pots and pans, scooped up the dog, and nervously looked out of the window to make sure our neighbours were doing the same. Then, when the clock struck 20:00 BST, the sound of clapping, cheering and wooden spoons hitting saucepan lids once again filled the street as we celebrated those working on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. But founder Annemarie Plas has said the 10th week of clapping would be a good time for it to end and for it to instead become an annual event. So is this the end of the weekly clap?” More

Here we are after the ‘last clap for carers’

And below are just a few doorstep family portrait photographs of our neighbours who came out to clap on Thursday evenings – some lovely, happy smiley families. Wandering around the crescent and taking your photographs was a joy! 

Each family promised to make a contribution to a charity, so far the Alzheimer’s Society, Crossroads Care, Save the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington and The Rose Theatre in Kingston have all benefitted.

See more family photography

Family photography in the home

Perfect family portraits, when your family isn’t! 

What to do with a Camera in Winter

pedestrians and traffic in the snow

tall trees under a blue winter sky

explore the structure of trees

What to do with a camera in winter is the question many photographers seem to ask themselves. The autumn is irresistible to most photographers. With the passing of the rutting season in the Royal Parks of London, the herds of stag-shooting photographers have retired to the warmth of their computers. Which is a pity because photography in winter offers some great opportunities to have fun and be creative.
ice on a pond

The patterns in ice and the reflections of the trees can make some fantastic patterns

For instance, with each gust of wind and flurry of leaves the trees are getting ever more naked. Look up at the shapes of their bare limbs, who knows what inspiration you may get! Nature’s putting on her drab winter coat, but there’s so much texture and pattern in the bark, or in the fallen foliage in ponds and streams. The mist and fog is a cloak of mystery that can utterly change a landscape.
I love the frost, especially when the sun comes and everything sparkles. In a proper freeze ice throws incredible designs across standing water and creates amazing sculptures around running and tumbling water. For those who care to look, it’s all there in the parks.
Winter is also a great time to photograph the built environment. The sun never gets high in the sky so when it does come out it casts huge, dramatic shadows. The sun creeps into the nooks and crannies of our townscape that never see it in the summer, illuminating surface textures and the rich colours of stone and brickwork. After sunset man-made lightshows fill the streets with twinkling jewels, particularly around the shops at Christmas. The open-air markets make vibrant subjects with their steaming food stalls, colourful products and characterful faces. Even the traffic going home has a romantic appeal as the stoplights of braking vehicles string rubies along the road.

freezing water in a woodland brook

it’s been freezing for days and the ice has grown like glassy fruits

I got very excited when it snowed and spent several days sliding around hoping not to fall on my camera. When it snows, everywhere is quieter, softer, somehow transformed. On its own, snow is a challenge for the camera to capture well. It takes good light to make snow into a good picture – light that can create or form a texture on what is potentially just a white sheet. But look at the people instead. The smiles and rosy cheeks of those enjoying the snow make marvelous pictures. Young children’s sheer wonderment, noses tipped with a dew-drop, laughing office workers snowballing in their suits. Photograph the brief lives of snowmen before they melt away, sledge pilots before they tumble into a drift and leaping dogs as they catch a snowball. But watch out for snowball fights lest you become a target!

 

These blogs have some ideas – winter photography ideas, winter photography projects. This one has tips on photographing ice.

Love the Autumn – Do Photography!

sunbeams in an autumn forest Trevor Aston PhotographySummer has holidays, winter has Christmas. Autumn, sandwiched in between has nothing but colour.  But, oh! What colour

moss and ivy-covered cottage in autumn Trevor Aston PhotographyAutumn’s the best. Yes, photography in spring is beautiful when everything bursting into life. Winter is wonderful in its sharpness and starkness. And of course, long, sultry, summer days are magnificent. But Autumn? Autumn is golden, it’s crunchy underfoot and smells of sweet wood smoke and musty damp leaves, it’s the sensual season. We should love autumn.

Autumn should be walked in, listened to, breathed and touched. Autumn is definitely a time for photography. In fact, producing half a dozen good pictures of rich, autumn colours should be compulsory for anyone with a camera.

The colours are fantastic – the oranges, reds, yellows and browns. All made more spectacular by the light from the sun shining low in the sky, streaming through the trees, punching out the colour. Unless, in the dark of the night, the chilling mist has risen to shroud the landscape in mystery.

Bloated spiders spin colossal webs, strung with tiny lenses made from morning dew, focusing sunbeams into lines of fairy lights. While birds come back to the gardens searching for treats to fatten them up for winter, squirrels scamper through branches and flower beds burying family-packs of conkers and acorns.

The camera might almost have been invented for autumn – a tool for saving splendours to savour in the grey of winter.

bench in Bushy Park Teddington Trevor Aston photography

Stag in Bushy Park Teddington Trevor Aston Photography

The Lords of London’s Bushy Park, the growling grouches, noses in the air, nostrils twitching, sniffing for rivals, strutting stags watching over their herd.



Six beautiful words to describe autumn

Can you identify these autumn leaves?

Find your nearest National Trust property to enjoy autumn colours

10 mindful walks to enjoy in the autumn


Wow! Canada!

No one really wants to see someone else’s travel (holiday) photography, in which case, click away from this post now!

Vancouver skyline Trevor Aston Photography

Reaching an age milestone (I won’t see 39 again) we decided to take a family trip to Canada. We had high hopes for the trip, and weren’t disappointed.

We loved Canada, the word ‘awesome’ should be reserved for describing it. Not just the incredible landscape, but the wonderful people of Canada, so friendly and welcome. We were never left to doubt our welcome!

We travelled with Canadian Affair

We loved riding at the Montana Hill Guest Ranch

The Eagle’s Nest at Spences Bridges, BC was an amazing place to stay

Please don’t leave your holiday pictures languishing on the memory card, share them!


Green is the Colour that Should Always be Seen

conifer forest

Who doesn’t love the colour green? It’s a bringer of hope when the first shoots pop up from germinating seeds. It’s diverse in the seemingly endless variety of shade and tone in the tree canopies, the garden borders, the verges and the hedgerows. It’s fruitful and fertile – even if it’s the lawn needing mowing yet again. Green appetises on the plate in summer salads and winter leaves. A green light sets you free, a green wall calms your soul. It’s beloved of the eco-warrior, it’s my favourite, and it’s the colour that every other hue wants to be. Yes, they are green with envy.

I wondered who decided red in the colour of danger?

I do like colour in photographs

Jennifer Bourn reflects on the meaning of ‘green’

For the Love of Ice Cream

Lazy afternoons in the sunshine, running through the surf with the children, long, long days, no need for jumpers or jackets.

How we love all the things of summer. Whip them up with sugar and vanilla and you get the best thing of all – ice cream! 

Woman in ice cream parlour serving an ice cream cone Trevor Aston Photography
"Ice cream Makes Your Sadness Go Away"
photograph of a boy with ice cream cone sticking out of his mouth -Trevor Aston Photography
"Don't let your ice cream melt while you're counting someone's sprinkles"
"I followed my heart and it led me to the freezer'
teenager with ice cream candid portrait Trevor Aston Photography
"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy ice cream"
Woman with 2 cartons of Oppo non-dairy ice cream Trevor Aston Photography
"My head says go the gym, my heart says ice more ice cream"
photograph of a young boy with gap teeth eating an ice cream -Trevor Aston Photography
"Tomorrow we eat broccoli, but today is for ice cream"
girl licking ice cream in a cone - Trevor Aston Photography
"Thinking of you is like remembering there's ice cream in the freezer"
man serving ice cream cone from an ice cream van Trevor Aston Photography

Who Decided Red Means Danger? Reflections on the Colour Red

If red colour was a dog, it would be a barking Alsatian. Red is the colour that people go both when they’re angry and when they’re in the throes of passion. It’s the colour of the boy racer’s throaty sports-car and the warning colour of the poisonous berry. ‘Roses are red’, so are shiny apples and plump tomatoes. But if noses are red, then the photographer needs Adobe Photoshop and the subject needs AA. Unless it’s Rudolf the Reindeer. Red is the colour of the sky at night that gives shepherds delight, but it spells danger if put in a light.

Red is a shouty colour, it makes its presence felt, you know it’s there. Eyes will snap to the red thing in a photograph like a compass needle finds north. Which is great if the red thing is also the subject of the picture, but a hopeless distraction if it’s not.

“Red protects itself. No colour is as territorial. It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum.” (Derek Jarman)

“A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful.” (Henri Matisse)

“Nothing attracts attention like a red dress.” (Laura Bush)

photographs containing the colour red

“Put on your red shoes, and dance the blues.” (David Bowie)




Colours can make a photograph

Photographer and writer Tony Northrup explains colour science. (Really well) (I understood it)

Jacob Oleson writes on the meaning of red.


Journalism Awards Ceremony – Photography for the Medical Journalists Association

some of the trophies for the Medical Journalist awards event in Lonodn

Being lauded by your peers is a wonderful thing, (I’d imagine) but nerve-wracking to go up on stage in front of them to receive the award. The Medical Journalists Association invites entries for 18 categories of awards to be judged by figures from journalism, medicine and pharmaceutical worlds. The awards event was at the Barber-Surgeons Hall near The Barbican  

Venues for Events in London

Event Photography – Awards, Conferences, PR, Exhibitions