‘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! 

Lockdown Singer Brings Music to Teddington

The Lockdown Singer, D’Artagnan entertained his Teddington neighbours with 2 hours of great singing. Amongst the boredom, frustration, fear and grief, there are some great things happening.

D’Artagnan says that over his varied career he’s gigged around the world in all sorts of guises, initially with an acapella group and over the past few years getting around more on his own with his trusty Takamine guitar.  

Winter Trees


Winter trees, stripped bare, made vulnerable to winter’s whistling winds, the still, standing stock of unfelled firewood, yearly rings wrapped in goose-pimpled bark, readying its buds, parachute-packed with leaf to burst in the far-off prospect of spring.


My post on what to do with a camera in winter

Here’s wildlife photographer Paul Miguel with some tips on photographing frosty woodland.


Spelthorne Means Business – Photography at a Glittering Evening of Awards

You better believe it!

award winners

Great doing photography at the Spelthorne Business Awards, a celebration of hard work and enterprise that took place in the Orangery at Shepperton Hall. The awards were organised by Spelthorne Borough and the glamorous event was packed out. 
There so much appreciation showed for everyone, just getting on the shortlist was a great achievement. The main speaker was Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature who talked about beating a life threatening condition, braving rejection on TV’s Dragons Den and some mistakes made along the way. She also said the many awards she had won meant nothing compared to the achievement of building a brand and being surrounded by a fantastic team.

The winners of the 12 categories

  • Exporter of the Year – Experium
  • Creative Business of the Year – Stars Performing Arts
  • Best New Start-up – Nicola Ann Photography
  • Healthy Business Award – Harfield Dance
  • Best Business in Staines – McDonalds
  • Best Independent Business – Homeplay
  • Best Small Business – Hot Yoga Club
  • Best Business in Staines – Joint winners: The Thames Club/Vida Homeloans
  • Best Business in Ashford – Blackstone Printing
  • Best Business in Sunbury – Village Matters
  • Best Business in Shepperton – Quality Fruit
  • Best CSR Business – Quality Fruit  

Chessington Business Expo

Kingston Business Expo

Journalism Award Ceremony

Enter the awards this year

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.

Maybe this is Why I Have a Camera – Arizona Landscape Photography

storm clouds over the Painted Desert in Arizona

Landscape photography in Arizona – you see something that you just have to photograph, but you just don’t want to stop looking at it!

We were travelling to a wedding in Santa Fe, and flew into Las Vegas for the chance to drive across deserts. And because the flights were cheaper.  The sheer scale of north America knocks my socks off every time I visit, it just goes on and on and on. And of course the beauty of the landscape; I have to admit that the pictures in my mind’s eye of the Painted Desert in the Petrified Forest National Park are better than the landscape photography on this page!

click any picture to enlarge

Far too big a carbon footprint this year- here’re some pics from a trip to Canada

Cycling in Italy

Scarves and Wraps made from Japanese Silk – Handmade Products – Photography in Teddington

Kumadori scarfHandmade products, photographed for our neighbour Valerie Timmis who makes beautiful scarves and wraps. We spent an afternoon in my Teddington studio photographing for her website. Val asked another neighbour, Graham to model. Such fun!

Val’s business is called Kumadori, have a look at the website. Her gorgeous scarves and wraps were a joy to photograph. They are unique, made from the silk of vintage kimonos which, Val says “combines Japanese aesthetic, luscious quality silks with fine, innovative decoration.”

A few doors up from me – and a few doors down from Val is the home of Charlotte Duff, who created the Kumadori website.

Food and Product Photography

Chessington Business Expo – Event Photography

Celebrating business in the South of Kingston BoroughKingston event photography

Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, Councillor Margaret Thompson opens the second Chessington Business Expo, organised by Kingston’s Chamber of Commerce. The event was buzzing, full of energy, lots of great business people to meet and a chance to catch up with old friends. With Ed Davey, the parliamentary candidate for the Kingston, Chamber President Martha Mador and Chief Exec Forbes Low.

 

The Chamber of on the river