My new Sony RX100 IV and the Hever Castle Triathlon

In 2014, I decided to have a go at an Olympic distance triathlon. I entered the Hever Castle event, which is part of the Castle Triathlon Series. It’s a fantastic course which kicks off with a 1500m open water lake and river swim, followed by a 40k cycle and a 10k run. As a regular swimmer, I was swim fit but I had only started training for the cycle and run about six weeks before the race. Considering that I did most of my cycle training on a hybrid and only got my road bike a week before the race, I was more than happy with my finish time of 3:08:26.

I had to miss out on the race in 2015 due to an ill-timed flu bug, so I entered again for September 2016. Once again my cycling and running training had been at best sporadic over the summer, but with the 28th September marked in my diary, I was determined not to miss it again. With less than ten days to go, I landed a rather nice four-day shoot in Cannes. Suffice to say, while the job was very welcome, it wasn’t the greatest way to prep the last week of training for a #triathlon. To top it all, my flight back was severely delayed which meant I didn’t get back home till 3.00am on Saturday morning.

And so the day arrived. After an early morning call and a belly full of porridge, I was joined by my Tri buddy, Adam Harman, we packed the gear into the car and drove off down to Hever Castle. I blame his infectious positivity for making me sign up to these madcap races. The nerves always run high before a race, and as Adam was starting in the wave before me, I just had time to grab the #Sony and shoot a couple of snaps before the start of my wave. The photos of me puffing my way around the course are from the official photographers on the day.

At the start of the race, the weather was perfect, overcast cool and no wind. Two hours in, the sun had come out and the temperature was in the high 20s C, which made the 10k run very hard going indeed.

My finish time was 03:14:44. My excuse for the slower time? Well, I had a pretty good one actually. I got a blow out puncher on my front tire about half a mile from the end of the cycle section, so I had to run to complete this section. Running is my least favoured sport and in cycle shoes, with a bike, it was not ideal.

And why am I posting this in 2019? Well in September 2017 we had just started a massive house renovation and extension project which didn’t get finished until February/March of this year. I was heavily involved in the project management throughout and on top of keeping the business going, I had neither the time, inclination or energy to keep the training up to a level that is required. You might also notice that the blog posts stopped around this time for similar reasons.

However, the building project is behind us, I have paid the exorbitant fee and my name is down for Hever Castle September 2020… So watch this space.

 

Would you spend your holiday in a cage?

If you’re traveling on the underground, keep an eye out for the latest Doggbuddy Summer Ad Campaign.
I shot this back in May and had my favourite all-girl team on board including stylist Becky John, hair & makeup Sarah Jane Green and digital opp Jo-Anna Rohmann.
The creative director was Jonathan Howells of Dinnick & Howells.
One last mention to our models the Phillips family, for being such good sports about spending the day scrunched up in a cage!
Oh and how could I forget the main star ‘Arthur’… Woof Woof

Keep an eye out for two more themes following on later in the year.

DB ad-Tube Car V3 FINALDB ad-16 sheet V3 FINAL

You Never Know What to Expect

It is a general rule of photography that the more planning that’s done before a shoot, the more successful the end result. It is also true that no matter how much planning is done, one needs to be prepared for the unexpected…. And sometimes jobs come in with such short lead-time, that you just need to jump straight in and sort things out along the way. Last week proved to be an example of the latter.

Working for Indivior PLC, a world leader in the treatment of opioid addiction, we had to photograph the CEO and Chairman at a Surrey location first thing Tuesday morning, travel back into London to set up for an evening shoot involving a case study patient at a studio in Brixton, and then drive to Germany first thing Wednesday morning, to shoot Dr Patric Bialas, a physician based at the Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg on the Thursday.

The brief was to shoot everybody full length on a white background with matching lighting across the set. The images were to portray a sense of energy and personality of each subject and reflect natural, candid and relaxed poses.

With less than three days to pull everything together and with final locations and patient details still to come in, it wasn’t until Monday afternoon that everything finally appeared to be in place and we set off to deepest Surrey do a pre-light for the following morning.

After the planning and logistics, comes encouragement, persuasion and coercion. To persuade and coerce the chairman of a PLC to let his guard down and perform in front of the camera. To encourage a shy, reluctant patient to express a natural, candid confidence. Then finally, with Patric our German doctor…. Well sometimes you just luck out!

 

The images below are my selections that expressed the true personalities once the guard was dropped.

Howard Plen, Chaiman Invidior PLC
Howard Plen, Chaiman Invidior PLC

 

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Dr Patric Bialas
Dr Patric Bialas

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Human Ants

I was recently up in Glasgow and found myself having to kill couple of hours in the afternoon. Walking around exploring and taking pictures, I came across this fantastic mural by street artist Sam Bates a.k.a Smug. It was obvious what the artist had in mind and I felt I had to oblige. #streetart #mural

Human ants

Shot on the run

I’ve always enjoyed running. During the 80’s I lived in Miami and ran in three Miami Marathons, with a personal best of 3 1/2 hours. These days I tend to spread the load between swimming, cycling and running. Whilst I find running the most punishing on the joints, it’s still the quickest and easiest way to grab 30 to 45 mins of cardio vascular and I always pack my running shoes when I go on a trip.

At the end of last week’s hectic schedule, I was shooting a job in Homburg Germany. On the evening before the long drive back to Blighty, I managed to grab half an hour to myself and go for a run through the forest which, quite literally, backed onto the doorstep of our hotel. The cool fresh air mixed with the smell of pine resin and freshly cut timber was a heady mix.

Here are a few iPhone only pics.

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