Wedding Photography – Mount pleasant Hotel – Beth & Dan

It was huge pleasure to be asked to capture Beth & Dans big day.  They had booked me quite some time before their actual day and it was one i was eagerly awaiting as it would be my first wedding at Mount Pleasant Hotel near Doncaster.

I always enjoy shooting at new venues and take the time to explore them beforehand with the couple, normally at their pre wedding photoshoot.  Mount Pleasant had a fantastic array of photo location opportunities but i don’t think they were expecting to have photos taken in the car park, more about that later.

The day started with the hustle n bustle of the bridal prep at Beth’s mums home with Make-up by Lizzy Brown & Hair by Uber The Salon.  With 8 people needing their attention at was a busy place.

Once the girls were all ready it was off to the church for their ceremony and then onwards to Mount Pleasant Hotel for their wedding breakfast & reception.  The room looked amazing with decor supplied by Sophia’s Final touch.

We had a short period of time ahead of the wedding breakfast & speeches to take some group images before exploring the beautiful gardens for some couple portraits and just before heading in for their meal the wedding party had a ballon release sending love to the skies remembering absent family & friends.

After a short but heavy downpour, and i do mean heavy, some guests were stranded under parasols outside for some time, i took a look at the sky and instantly thought we could make the most of what others would probably avoid.  I took the couple to a far corner of the car park, found a bit of a puddle and made some epic images.

346B&D-2834337B&D-2792

The rain didn’t dampen their spirits, intact their day was full of emotion, happiness and some truly emotive moments and from start to finish it was a real pleasure to be a small part of their special day.

Beth had gone to town with the detail & planning and wanted a timeless emotive portfolio of images and judging by her response i think i fulfilled the brief.

I hope you enjoy these images below as much as i enjoyed making them!!  If you would like to find out more about my wedding photography services please do check out my website & Facebook page or get in touch via email.  I’d love to hear from you.

013B&D-8925001B&D-1953055B&D-2073062B&D-2084021B&D-1990072B&D-8990114B&D-2219139B&D-9122166B&D-2315171B&D-2347186B&D-9259205B&D-2391215B&D-2413220B&D-2425230B&D-2450234B&D-2454240B&D-9318245B&D-9328286B&D-2611293B&D-2664294B&D-2668335B&D-2783365B&D-2945369B&D-2952362B&D-2911

Advertisements

Travel Photography – Cluj Napoca, Romania

Cluj-1

I’ve just returned from a group trip i organised exploring a little corner of Romania that has been on my bucket list for some time.  Cluj Napoca, the unofficial capital of Transylvania is steeped in history dating back to the Roman Empire and offers a multitude of photographic opportunities.

I’d researched what to expect, areas i’d like to visit in the city, and also a little further afield, with the wealth if information already available on the internet.   One day was used to visit Corvin Castle which had association with Vlad the impaler but the other days were spent exploring the streets and mostly the old part of the city which did not disappoint.

Street photography has always been one of my favourite genres but, make no bones about it, it’s hard work.  Trying to capture spontaneous candid moment or qwerky compositions is no easy task but it gave me the opportunity to work on my zone focusing techniques and also a little shooting from the hip.  Using the Fuji x camera app also got used too.  The light was harsh throughout the day with clear blue skies compounding the difficulties but it was great to be put under pressure and work hard to produce what i think are some worthy images.  Take a look at these and let me know what you think.

Cluj-58Cluj-59Cluj-61Cluj-53Cluj-55Cluj-51Cluj-46Cluj-45Cluj-47Cluj-40Cluj-37Cluj-31

The city of Cluj has a colourful history from the many ruling factions dating back to the middle ages and the Roman Empire to most recently the last Romanian Revolution of 1989 which saw the end of authoritarian communist rule and the ousting of Nicolae Ceausescu after nationwide demonstrations.

The ‘old city’ offers plentiful medieval gothic architecture interspersed with neo gothic and renaissance architecture all within a small area.  With a bountiful assortment of cafes and restaurants you could spend more than a couple of days exploring this part of the city.   The city has a busy bustling feel about it with many cafes and bars in the main square but be a little brave and explore some of the side streets and you will find some amazing hidden gems.  One such place is Roata restaurant which offers local traditional cuisine at an amazingly affordable price.  Again, here are a selection of images from that area.

Cluj-4Cluj-5Cluj-12Cluj-9Cluj-18Cluj-17Cluj-15Cluj-16Cluj-22Cluj-20

Cluj-91Cluj-89Cluj-90

Day two saw us heading out on a road trip to Corvin castle briefly venturing off the beaten track for a short distance to the abandoned fortress of Coltesti and then a short walk through the village of Rimetea with its Germanic inspired architecture at the foothills of the Carpathian mountains.

Cluj-66Cluj-65Cluj-67Cluj-71Cluj-69Cluj-70Cluj-74

Corvin Castle was one place I’ve wanted to visit for some time.  It’s association with the story of Bram Stokers Dracula is often misplaced.  The real association is that Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, was imprisoned there for many years and whilst held prisoner the Hungarian military leader who ruled the area, John Hunyadi, executed his father.  On his release Vlad III entered into a political alliance initially but then sought his revenge for his fathers death and went on a killing spree using impalement as his favoured method of execution.

Cluj-77Cluj-76Cluj-82

Photographically the castle is best viewed from the northern side, either at dawn or dusk, but to get a clear view you have to be relatively close so a wide angle lens would definitely be required.  My xf14mm on my Fuji X-T1 was at the very limit of what i could fit in view.  That said i did attempt a few multiple image panoramic shots which turned out ok.  A wide angle tilt-shift lens would have been ideal.

Throughout the trip i was thankful for my lightweight Fuji X gear.  We were out from early in the morning returning to our accommodation late in the evening and much of that time was spent on our feet exploring, apart from the frequent stops at many of the local cafes.  All of the images were taken on my Fuji X-T1 with the XF14mm & 35mm primes and the 18-55 & 55-140mm Zoom lens’ and, when required, supported with the Lee Seven5 Filter system.

Cluj-83Cluj-86Cluj-56Cluj-52Cluj-35Cluj-33Cluj-29Cluj-26Cluj-28Cluj-25Cluj-22Cluj-13Cluj-14

So, that wraps up this little blog please feel free to share this and to leave me any comments or questions.  There is much much more to explore and find in this wonderful city so i’ll be organising another small group trip soon.  If you’d like to join me then please do get in touch.  You can take a look at my website for more from this trip and details of any future tours when they are planned or catch up with me on social media on twitter, Facebook or instagram @robferrolphoto

Travel Photography – Ukraine & Chernobyl

Ukraine is a country steeped in history and there is much going on in the country today that will be read about in history books in years to come.  Many of us will recall  an event in Ukraine’s history that had a wider impact on much of what was then the USSR and also Europe, that was the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant disaster.

Having been involved with the Chernobyl Childrens Lifeline Charity, you can read more about this here, for a number of years a few of us decided we would like to experience their side of the story, learn more about their every day lives & struggles and to also visit the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant itself.

Travel photography is something I’m aiming to do a lot more of as having spent much of my earlier working years traveling the world, sadly the photography bug had not yet bit.  Its now time to put that right. So, what more of an excuse could one want, to do a little travel photography, and explore somewhere were there is a personal connection?

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t do much research before heading over to Ukraine and was somewhat unsure if there were any constraints with regards to photography etc.  I suppose that a little bit of me still thought of it as being very much a controlled state.  As a youngster growing up in the eighties i felt somewhat intrigued and mystified by the old Soviet cold war era and some of that mystery still lives with me today.  In reality though i couldn’t have been further from the truth.  Ukraine is a bustling country eager to have its own unique identity, with symbols of patriotism almost on every corner, and many a stranger happy to say hello and chat, with the obvious language barrier though.

For the trip i had a reasonable luggage allowance so took a full compliment of gear including my two Fuji XT-1’s, the xf18-55mm & xf55-140mm zoom lens’ and also the xf14mm, xf35mm & xf56mm primes.  I’ve got to say though, that i found myself mainly using the 18-55mm which is totally opposite to the way i normally work when shooting weddings etc where the primes are the only lens’ i use.  The 18-55mm, with its image stabilisation, is such a versatile lens and coped well with the many situations i found myself.   There is one thing i will add though and that is that the airport security was a nightmare.  Every item of photographic & electronic gear had to be taken out of my rucksack and placed in a separate tray for the x-ray scanner.  It was a lengthy process and chaos of re-packing everything while you have the constant stream of other peoples stuff pushing you along was a bit of a nightmare.

Anyway, gear aside, i wanted to experience, or at least see, the Ukrainian way of life.  In particular that of the more rural setting where many of our visiting children come from.  We were lucky to see many aspects of their lives from the hustle and bustle of the town markets to the self reliant lifestyle many lead with their own small holdings.  People from all walks of life, complete strangers, were happy to welcome us with open arms as if we were family, an experience that was overwhelmingly humbling.

The trip would not have been complete without a visit to the infamous Nuclear Power plant of Chernobyl.  Reactor number four catastrophically exploded on 26th April 1986 and immediately changed the lives of thousands of people and sadly, to this very day, still affects the lives of many more thousands.

The exclusion zone can only be visited by prior booking a guided tour.  There are a number of companies on the internet selling tickets but its only once you arrive at the first 30km check point that you realise just how much of a tourist attraction this place has become.  With the mystery of the many abandoned villages and the stories they hold to the somewhat imposing steel structure that now covers the reactor, who wouldn’t want to visit the site of the worlds worst nuclear disaster?  I know, its not for everyone, but it was a very emotional experience thinking of the time when many people gave their lives to avoid an even greater explosion and thus saving the lives of many and even the existence of the European continent.

So below is a pictorial collection of my visit, from the humbling family encounters, the emotional visit to a local orphanage and to the poignant visit to Chernobyl & the abandoned city of Prypiat.  If you’d like to know a little  more about my visit please do leave me a comment or get in touch.  You can also find a Youtube travel blog i made here.  Finally, more of my work can be found on my website which you can find here.  I’ll look forward to sharing images of my future travels with you soon….Rob

Blog_Ukraine-1

Monuments from the Soviet era celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Soviet symbols celebrating WWII victory

Monuments from the Soviet era celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Kerosene rail station

Korosten, an important rail hub in the Zhytomyr region. Fire crews from here were some of the first to attend the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.

Blog_Ukraine-12

Busy markets in Korosten with Salo (cured fat) in abundance.

Blog_Ukraine-13

There were wild dogs everywhere, some quite placid while others harassed the busy shoppers.

Blog_Ukraine-17

Blog_Ukraine-22

Children in a local school were intrigued by their foreign visitors.

Blog_Ukraine-25

Typical rural houses in Ukraine.

Blog_Ukraine-27Blog_Ukraine-29Blog_Ukraine-32

Blog_Ukraine-36

Chernobyl and the queues of tourists waiting for their guides.

Blog_Ukraine-40

Items discarded in a village that was hastily abandoned shortly after the nuclear disaster.

Blog_Ukraine-41

Nature rapidly reclaiming what it once owned.

Blog_Ukraine-43

The city of Chernobyl.

Blog_Ukraine-45

Our guide showed us how the background radiation levels fluctuated within relatively short distances.

Blog_Ukraine-48

Childhood toys lay abandoned in a village near Chernobyl.

Blog_Ukraine-54

The infamous reactor 4 at Chernobyl, now with its new steel confinement.

Blog_Ukraine-57

Blog_Ukraine-60

The road to Prypiat. The city that offered a new beginning, and new hope and a new life to many. A city that only had a life of 16 years.

Blog_Ukraine-61Blog_Ukraine-64Blog_Ukraine-65

Blog_Ukraine-66

This amusement park was never used. It was due to be opened on 1st May 1986, just a week after the nuclear disaster.

Blog_Ukraine-74

The Soviet Duga 3 ‘over the horizon’ radar close to the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant.

Blog_Ukraine-76

Soviet military wall painting.

Blog_Ukraine-77Blog_Ukraine-78

Blog_Ukraine-80

An abandoned Soviet missile bunker.

Blog_Ukraine-84

Soviet era newspapers pasted to the wall of an abandoned missile base.

 

Aurora Cancer Charity Fashion Show

I’ve been photographing an amazing bunch of people now for the past couple of years and what these people do is nothing short of astonishing.

Aurora-3714

The Aurora Cancer Charity exists to help and support people and their families who are affected by and living with cancer.  Anyone with a diagnosis receives a free package of support, wellbeing programmes and holistic & beauty treatments to help raise their self-esteem and confidence at one of their local wellbeing centres.

The charity relies on much needed donations and part of it’s fundraising efforts, amongst many other events, is the annual Aurora Fashion Show and the stars of the show are all affected by cancer.  The spectacle is a culmination of months of hard work and dedication, not only from the models, but also the amazing team behind them who put the show together.  From the choreography and the amazing audio visual performance to the individual stories of people going above and beyond, it’s one truly emotive evening.

Aurora Mod-7163

The show runs for two nights at the Doncaster Dome and this years guests were entertained by the highly acclaimed Rob McVeigh and their regular host and patron Caroline Hodgson.  If you’d like to find out more about the charity please do head over to  their website here.

If you’d like to find out more about my commercial photographic services then you can find my website here, or why not follow me on social media via the links below.  If you like this blog post please feel free to post a comment and please do share it with your family & friends.

058Aurora_D2-3779

073Aurora_D2-0057118Aurora_D2-0145174Aurora_D2-0286160Aurora_D2-0250182Aurora_D2-0313217Aurora_D2-0397255Aurora_D2-0575059Aurora_D2-0041087Aurora_D2-0098155Aurora_D2-0240122Aurora_D2-3847Aurora-9761Aurora-9713Aurora-2999

Nottinghamshire Pre-Wedding Photography – Thoresby Hall

rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshire

The weather in North Nottinghamshire can be bizarre at this time of year.  It had been foggy for the last few days without the sun making any appearance, but, it seemed Jo & Craig had all that in hand as literally just a couple of hours before their pre-wedding photoshoot the mist lifted and we were blessed with the most amazing light for their 40 minute photoshoot.

rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshireJo & Craig booked me to photograph their big day way back in 2013 and the pre-wedding shoot was a perfect time to catch up and run through their plans over a warming cup of coffee, but first we had to make the most of this glorious evening light -it was fading fast!!

rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshire

They are getting married later this month at Pearlthorpe Church on the edge of the Thoresby Estate in North Nottinghamshire followed by a reception at Thoresby Courtyard what has the backdrop of the stunning Grade 1 listed Thoresby Hall.  Coupled with the wonderfully ornate gardens they have certainly chosen one of the regions finest venues to say their “I do’s” and i’m totally delighted that they have also chosen Rob Ferrol Photography to capture their special day.

rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshire

I like to work in an unobtrusive way using a blend of contemporary and reportage photographic techniques to capture the full essence of your special day to create a compelling storybook portfolio of images for you to treasure for a lifetime.  If you like to find our more about our Wedding Photography please do get in touch or feel free to drop by our website or Facebook page.  We would love to hear from you.

rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshire rob, ferrol,pre,wedding,photography,photographer,nottingham,nottinghamshire

Mystical Marrakech and beyond.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair bit of travelling over the years.  Unfortunately much of this was before the photography bug had bitten me.  Anyway, having planned a surprise birthday treat for my daughter i figured that this would also be a fab opportunity to try my hand at a little travel photography.

I’d visited Morocco some 15+ years ago and had many fond memories of the culture, people and lifestyle of this amazing country.  The sights, smells & tastes of the spice markets & street food were a bewildering attack on all of your senses and i was excited to experience these again, with my daughter, and this time with my camera in hand.

I was also keen to pay a little attention to the amazing architecture that still exists in this country, some of which has not changed its appearance for hundreds of years.  From the mystical medina of Marrakech’s old town to the long abandoned Casbah’s on the edge of the Sahara desert there was certainly plenty to capture our attention.

For the trip i travelled light from a photographers point of view, with just 2 Fuji XT-1’s and a small selection of prime & zoom lens’. The cameras were amazing to work with, especially in the tight confines of the Souks.  I was able to work relatively unnoticed and if you’ve ever been to Marrakech you’ll know how difficult it can sometimes be photographing on the streets.  Many people dont like having their photograph taken and those that do often come asking for money for the privilege.

Marrakech itself is a city that is full of life, it never seems to sleep.  That said, it’s at night that it seems its liveliest.  We travelled in July and, true to our expectations, the heat of the day was pretty much unbearable, hence the reason many stay indoors during the day and emerge at night when the temperature had dropped a little.  Talking of the temperature, towards the end of our stay the temp was 45 degrees Celsius and with the heat index of the stiff Saharan wind this felt more like 49 degrees celsius.   Anyway, the buzz of the Medina at night, especially on the Jemaa El-Fnaa is a must for any traveller to Morocco but watch out for the Snakes & Monkeys!!

So, enough of the blurb heres a selection of images from our trip which includes Marrakech and our excursion through the High Atlas Mountains to the edge of the Sahara Desert to visit the ancient Casbah’s of Telouet and Ait Ben-Haddou.

Moroccan Flag.

The Moroccan Flag. The green pentagram represents the 5 Pillars of Islam.

With Snake charmers, Monkeys, food & entertainers the square of Jemaa El-Fnaa (square of the dead) is a full-on sensory overload but certainly a must see!!  The Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Africa, sits close by to the west of the square and if the towering minaret doesn’t grab your attention the call to prayer certainly will.  Views of all the activity are best viewed from one of the many cafes that offer roof top terraces and one of my favs was the Le Grande Balcon Du Cafe which offered panoramic views and there most amazing spot for capturing the sunset, but get there early to secure your space.

Morocco, Marrakech, Jemaa El-Fnaa, Sign

The tanneries are somewhat of an experience and if your a little sensitive to strong odours then maybe its not for you.  But, if you do visit you’ll be given a bunch of mint leaves to ward off the smells a little and a whistle stop tour finishing of being taken to see the “finished products” AKA the leather shop.  Here you will experience the most amazing display of leather goods but also the most amazing level of pressure sales you’ll probably ever come across.  Don’t be forced into buying if you dont want anything but if you do, be sure to bargain hard and firm.

Morocco LR-5888

The tropical gardens, Jardin Marjorelle, offer some respite from the madness of Jemaa El-Fnaa with their abundant collection of exotic Cactus and other plants & palms set around the deep blue of the buildings that were once an artists studio.  Until 2008 the gardens were owned by the designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Jardin Majorelle Marrakech

The alleyways of the souks are a maze and getting lost is all part of the fun.  Almost anything is on sale from skins to bones and treasures to tatt.  If you can’t find it in there then i dont think it exists. Be prepared to haggle and walk away if you dont get the price you like, very often they will chase you and agree to your offer.  Their sales patter/technique can sometimes appear aggressive but dont let that stop you bargaining.  Also watch out for the ‘ever helpful’ guides – young males who seem to be everywhere to help guide the lost looking tourist.  As we found out they can, and will, lead you the wrong way, or the long way (but not always though) and expect a little payment at the end. Having already visited the Souks of Fez one thing i did notice in the Souks of Marrakech was the abundance of mopeds.  The booming things were everywhere, even in the most crowded of places they were intent on pushing their way through and on the quieter alleyways they seemed to travel at some speed so do watch out for them.  It’s something that i do not recall being an issue in Fez.

Medina & Souk, Marrakech, Morocco.

The Palais La Bahia, Palais El Badi and the Medersa Ben Youssef each display fine examples of Moroccan architecture from the ages.  With intricate mosaics, carved cedar wood and the finest moulded plaster walls that any modern day architect would find difficult to emulate.  Listen for the Storks nesting on the walls of the Palais El Badi, they make the strangest noise at dawn & dusk.

Morocco, Marrakech travel photography by Rob Ferrol

We ventured out to the edges of there Sahara desert passing through the high Altas mountains, along twisting roads and the Tizi n’Tichka, the highest mountain pass in North Africa, to the Casbah’s of Telouete and Ait Ben-Haddou, the latter of which has been the backdrop of many films including The Mummy, Gladiator and the more recent The Game of thrones.  Although we didn’t make it to the Sandy “dunes’ part of the Sahara, which was another days travel away, with was certainly very barren and a world away from the hustle & bustle of Marrakech.  We even had time for a Camel ride but thats another story 🙂

"Berber TV"  at the Casbah of Telouet.

“Berber TV” at the Casbah of Telouet.

Morocco is truly an amazing place and has much to offer any traveller, certainly more than one visit could cover anyway, so im hoping to make a return visit myself sometime soon.  If you’d like to experience a different lifestyle & culture then be sure to put it on your bucket list.  As always, if you enjoyed this little blog please do leave me a comment and also feel free to share it on your social media sites.

http://www.robferrol.com

Doncaster Event Photography – Aurora Cancer Charity

I had the huge honour of being asked to photograph the Aurora Cancer Charity Christmas Ball again this year.  The event is a spectacular finale celebrating all their fundraising efforts over the year and awards are given to some very deserving finalists.

The charity rallies support from the local business community, health care professionals and those affected by cancer either directly or indirectly and monies raised goes towards funding the Aurora Wellbeing Centres.  The centres exist to help anyone with a cancer diagnosis by offering a free package of well-being treatments to help raise their confidence and self-esteem and create a general sense of well being.  More info can be found on their website.

The Christmas Ball was an evening of glitz, glamour and fun with a full three course meal, awards presentations and a lively disco.  Our event Photo Booth proved to be popular once again and many people headed home with a mounted image from our onsite printing team.

If you’d like more information of how our Commercial Event Photography services can add that little extra to your event, whether a Charity or Corporate event, then please do get in touch for further information or see our website.

Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Aurora Christmas Ball-431