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.

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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.

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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.

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London and a mixed bag of Photography

Last week I ventured off on a day trip to London.  It had been a while since my last visit and I was long overdue a day of ‘me’ photography.  I had no real agenda and no expectations of what i would find or photograph, but, as London is place where you can find and photograph anything and everything, i was more than confident of getting something ‘in the bag’.

With that in mind it did make me take a little more kit that I really should have, but, with the light weight of the Fuji XT1 and its complement of amazing lens’ it wasn’t a real issue.  I did however make a return trip to the car shortly after parking at the rain station to dump my tripod as a last minute decision to leave this behind.

Monday morning in London was manic, it’s manic every morning to be honest, but this particular Monday was the day after the London Marathon.  The cleanup process was still in full swing and there were stacks upon stacks of those meal barriers everywhere, but, the cleanup team must have been very hard at work all night restoring the city to its normal self ready for there Monday morning onslaught.

I love the huge diversity London offers and it’s great to see all the tourists taking in the sights but i’d wish they would leave those blooming selfie sticks at home.  Having nearly had my eye taken out on a couple of occasions was beginning to wear a little thin as they waved them around with little or no regard to those around them.

All-in-all though it was a great day where i photographed ‘that’ anything & everything, from some of the iconic buildings, life on the street, life under the street and even those blooming tourists with their selfie sticks, lol.  The weather was very changeable with some heavy rain showers but it certainly did not stop play, moreover, it helped create a winning image, more about that a little further on.

Again, the Xt1 was a dream to work with, occasionally shooting from the hip and zone focusing for the street shots – but i must admit that i still need a little more practice at this technique.  As for that tripod i left behind, i didn’t even miss it.  I photographed a few long exposure images, some in excess of 75 seconds, all helped with the Lee Seven5 filter system, and just used what was available such as walls and even the pavement.  It helped me compose some great images with a low perspective and the freedom of working without a tripod was very liberating.

The week ended on a high by me submitting an image into the Fujifilm_UK #fujifridaychallenge, with the weeks theme being reflections, and having my entry chosen by renowned Fuji X Photographer Paul Sanders as the winning image.  As mentioned above, the image was taken just after a heavy rain shower and i was in an area of high-rise office blocks, with a view of the Shard in-between, and the wet pavement in combination with the glass sided buildings created an amazing reflective scene.

Anyway, I hope you like the images i’ve added below.  Please do feel free to share the blog and leave me a comment and if you missed my last blog post on why i moved to the Fujifilm X system you can read that here.  Thanks, Rob.

London Photography by Rob Ferrol

There’s more to London you know.

News reader on the streets of London by Rob Ferrol

News reader ready for action

Tourists in London posing with selfie stick

Grrr, the curse of the selfie sticks.

Padlocks left by lovers

Lovers locks

A newly married couple on Westminster bridge, london

Just married

big ben London with blurred London bus and jogger

Lunchtime rush hour at Westminster bridge

stormy clouds over westminster by rob ferrol photography

Stormy clouds over Westminster

London bus blurred with motion as it passes red london phone box by rob ferrol

elderly females taking a cigarette break

Fag break

two males outside bookshop in london by rob ferrol

Another fag break

lonely female in cafe by rob ferrol

Deep in thought

 

london city skyline in black and white by rob ferrol

London city skyline

long exposure of tower bridge by rob ferrol

Tower Bridge long exposure

st pals cathedral by rob ferrol

St Paul’s from Millennium bridge

statue of fire fighters and st pals cathedral by rob ferrol

Firefighter statue near St Pauls

shard reflections on a rainy day in london by rob ferrol

The winning shot

Why i moved to the Fujifilm X system

Ok, i can hear you all moaning already “not another i’ve moved to Fuji blog” well yes, sorry, but it is.  It’s a poignant post for me as i’ve been integrating Fuji x cameras into my workflow for some time and now the move is now complete.  Yes, i’ve sold all my DSLR gear and am now a ‘fully Fuji’ X system photographer.  So, this is a little blog of why ‘I’ personally have made the move.

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The Fujifilm x100

Some years ago, and a year or so after its initial launch, i purchased the original Fuji x100 which I was drawn to after seeing a full page add on the back of a camera mag.  I though “WOW that looks awesome” the design was amazing, it had so much character and it just called out to me – I wanted one so much!!  Yes, i can be a bit of an impulsive buyer but I mused over the idea for sometime on whether to purchase one.  Anyway i did and made my purchase almost a year after it’s initial launch.  Sods law though, not long after my purchase, Fuji released the X100s with many improvements – lesson learned do some more thorough research.  But not perturbed i persevered with the x100 and I remember being in awe of the first few initial test images.  Below is my first portrait of my daughter with the x100, about the 5th frame i made since taking it out of the box.  Simple window light on a dull day with a not so willing model.  Her expression was ‘hurry up, i want to go out’ – she didn’t share my excitement over my new toy.

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First image out of the x100 – 

My kids had been my test subject on many occasions and somehow this little camera made grabbing images of them somewhat easier.  It was far less intimidating than my big DSLR with equally big lens, easier to grab and pop it my my pocket at a moments notice and it quickly became my ‘go to’ camera for family outings etc but thats as far as it went.  For some bizarre reason i never considered it a tool for my professional work.

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X100 | f/4 | 1/250 |iso200

For my professional photography i stuck with the DSLR gear and continued to do so for a couple more years but as a Wedding and Commercial Photographer, along with some other random assignments & commissions, 2 full frame DSLR’s and an accompaniment of lens’ was quickly taking it’s toll, and my back was beginning to groan.  I’m a small chap at 5′ 5″ and i felt like the weight was compressing my spine reducing those valuable inches even further.

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Street photography with the x100

 

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Street Photography with the X-T1 | 1/4sec Handheld

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X-T1 | Ramada Hotel, Leicester

In a bid to ease my back woes i researched and tried many options for carrying the DSLR’s, waist holsters, double harnesses, roller bags, the lot, and none seemed to suit me.  I’d used the ThinkTank belt pouch system for a number of years but sold my set during my quest to find a suitable alternative but i ended up buying another as it proved to be the best of what i’d tried.  But, at the end of a busy wedding at the end of the 2014 season, i could take no more and i decided to look at alternative camera systems.

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/125th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/4.5 | 1/30th | iso400

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/420th | iso200

Over the Christmas break of 2014/15 i looked around at the alternatives.  I loved my X100 and the X100T, a successor to the x100s, had just been released but i wanted a system that offered interchangeable lens’ and being left eye dominant i wanted a central viewfinder DSLR style design.  I was drawn by the Fuji lure to the X-T1.  I can’t remember where i first saw this camera but i had heard wonderful things about it.  It had been on the market for almost a year and a few other photographers that i know were already using it in a professional capacity and raving about it.  So, my Christmas holidays were spent between my family and frenzied research for more info about this camera in eager anticipation of an early new year purchase.

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Fujifilm X-T1

I purchased my first Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver edition with a couple of lens’ and, just like the impact the X100 had one me, i was blown away with the image quality.  It was on par, if not surpassing, what i was getting from my Canon DSLR.  The instant image preview with live exposure simulation in the large EVF was a dream to use and the camera instantly felt much more comfortable in my smallish hands compared to my DSLR.  The tactile controls, reminiscent of a bygone age, were very different to my DSLR but took me back to my days with the Canon AE1, oh the irony!!

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/4000th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35.. | f/1.4 | 1/2300th | iso200

From the outset of 2015 it worked amazingly alongside my Canon gear, using it to shoot weddings and commercial commissions, but it lacked a vital element that was crucial to a particular genre of photography that i also undertook, corporate events with onsite sales, which required me to shoot tethered.  At The Photography Show last year i spoke to the Fuji team who said the software was coming and had already been given out to a select few for testing.  In fact, i recalled Bert Stephani seamlessly shooting tethered during his presentation at the show,  it gave me hope that it wasn’t far away. By the way, i’ve followed Bert’s work for a few years with his early YouTube ‘Confessions of a Photographer‘ and ‘Motivational Light’ video series and it’s well worth checking out.  Here’s a few commercial jobs undertaken with the X-T1.

One of the biggest factors forcing my move was weight and during my weddings of 2015 i found i was using the X-T1 more and more.  The X-T1 and a selection of lens’ was a massive weight saving.  I felt a sense of liberation from the heavy ‘bricks’ that were weighing me down during long wedding shoots, sometimes in excess of ten hours.  The image preview in the EVF allowed me to see what i was getting before the shot was taken so i was shooting less but ending up with many more ‘keepers’, thus speeding up my post processing workflow.  Here’s a bunch of wedding related images shot on my X-T1’s, nothing overly fancy, im still building on my X-T1 wedding portfolio but you can find more of my wedding photography here.

Very soon the DSLR never made it out of the bag and after just a few months with my initial X-T1 i purchased another, this time a black model, and further lens’ to compliment what i already had.  Additionally, i found that i was favouring prime lens’ having always used zoom’s on my DSLR and the quality of the Fuji glass is equally as good and my Canon L series lens’.  Once the tethering issue was sorted with the software patch for Adobe Lightroom being made available it was full steam ahead with my complete move to the Fuji platform.

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Derwent Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th |iso200

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Saltburn Pier | X-T1 | xf18-55 @20mm | f/14 | 14secs | iso200 | Lee Filters

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Ladybower Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th | iso200 | Lee Filters

I’ve used the Fuji X-T1’s extensively now across my compliment of services covering weddings, landscapes, commercial & charity events and also a little travel photography where i took them to Morocco, North Africa.  Shooting from the city to the edge of the Sahara where the temperatures often exceeded 45 degrees celsius and the camera never faltered.  Moreover, the massive weight reduction compared to my much heavier DSLR gear made working thought the day in the blistering heat bearable.  Below are a few images from that trip but you can find my blog post with more images from that trip here and a clip on YouTube here.

This by no means a technical evaluation or reasoning for my move, i’ve purposefully avoided going down that route on this blog post for the sake of simplicity, many of the factors are just personal preference for me.  The system has proven to be a worthy workhorse across all the genres that i cover and not once have i regretted my decision to move away from DSLR’s.   I’m not saying its a camera system that will suit everyone and i’m not ruling out a further change somewhere down the line myself, the recently released X-Pro-2 looks sublime and is receiving much hype on social media and i’m eagerly awaiting to hear more of the much anticipated X-T2, but for now its a tool that i am more than happy with and would happily recommend to others.  The journey, and the story continues………

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x100 | Oban, Argyll

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | London

Photography Training days at Hodsock priory

It has to be said that continuing professional development is a must for anyone whatever your profession and one way to gain a little of that CPD is to attend training days or workshops.  It’s an opportunity to develop or hone your skills a little further, and maybe a platform to develop different way of thinking allowing time to experiment and try techniques or ideas you are unfamiliar with the benefit of being away from the pressures of a paid shoot or assignment.

My good friend and fellow photographer James Davies has embarked on what are becoming increasingly popular portrait & flash photography workshops.  With tuition also being provided by the renowned photographic tutor and writer Doug Chinnery and myself as their assistant there is a wealth of knowledge & expertise on hand for all the attendees to hone their portraiture and wedding photography skills.

For the last few courses James has chosen the beautiful setting of Hodsock priory, which, with it’s 15th Century Tudor gatehouse and it’s beautifully maintained grounds, in an 800 acre estate there is a bounty of photographic opportunities to fuel your photographic creativity.

The day starts with coffee & pastries and after brief group introductions James gives a short introduction to the way he works with natural light and then a little on how he introduces flash into his creative workflow, all backed up with examples of his work and how each of them were created.  An important part of the day with plenty of engaging questions and group discussion.

With the theory out of the way it was time to put things into practice and use the various locations around Hodsock priory, both inside and out.  Working with professional models Alison & Luke from Y2K promotions, along with beautiful wedding attire from Olivia Jane Jones, Make-up artist Melanie Lyndsay and a bridal bouquet from Flowers by Kay James creates an abundance of photographic opportunities.  Working first with natural light, showing how subtle changes in your position or that of your subject can dramatically change the quality of the light and increase the potential imaging opportunities.

After lunch the day moved on to creative off-camera flash photography demonstrating how to balance flash with ambient light and also how to create dramatic portraits even in the strongest of daylight situations.  James used the trusty Elinchrom Quadra & Rangers but also highlighted how the same images can be achieved from many other brands of lighting equipment available.

As the day drew to a close we ended with coffee & biscuits and another opportunity for a Q&A session before all heading home with memory cards full of images and heads full of knowledge and creative ideas.

If you are interested in attending one of James’ courses head on over to his training page for further details.

For further details of my photography please do get in touch or head on over to my website or follow me on my social media links below.  I’ll leave you with a selection of my images from the day all taken on my Fuji XT1.

Photography training at Hodsock Priory

James giving his introduction to the techniques he uses.

Simple model portraits with natural light

Simple positioning of the model to capture the natural light.

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Photographers using the techniques described by James.

Male & female models stood by a large window with natural light

Using a large window to create dramatic but natural light.

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More use of a large window

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Beautiful even natural light by careful positioning of the models in a large open doorway

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Beautiful soft natural light.

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Photographers making the most of the moment

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Dramatic off camera flash is demonstrated by James using a mix of lighting equipment.

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Attentive work by the MUA while shooting in the beautiful grounds of Hodsock Priory.

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A little fun to end the day making the most of the environment and the beautiful evening light.

 

 

 

Nottinghamshire Wedding Photography – Thoresby Courtyard – Joanne & Craig

Last weekend saw me photographing the wedding of Joanne & Craig with weather in complete contrast to their pre-wedding photoshoot.  If you missed that blog post you can find it here.  However, although challenging, the weather did not spoil the fun, emotion and love that these two quite clearly shared.

Their ceremony was held at St John’s Church in the small hamlet of Perlethorpe followed by an evening reception at the Thoresby Courtyard set in the grounds of Thoresby Hall, a grade 1 listed house on the edge of Sherwood forrest.  They were transported between the venues in a pristine  Austin Sixteen supplied by Wedding Classics

With beautiful twinkling fairy lights and amazing Christmas themed table dressings by Dan Ross at Individual by Design and sumptuous catering by Summersby Catering it truly was an evening of high spirits and happiness.

If you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography please do get in touch or drop by our website for more details.  Here’s a selection from Joanne & Craig’s big day.

Nottinghamshire wedding venues, Thoresby Hall and Perlethorpe ChurchHandmade wedding bouquetWedding day shoesThe bridal party dressesFinal bridal preparations with mother of the brideChief bridesmaid making final adjustments to the wedding dressBridal preparationsBridesmaids waiting at the churchGroom prep with best manGroom helping son get readyGroom getting ready for a weddingJo&Craig_Blog-26The bride arriving outside the church in classic carThe wedding ceremony at churchThe wedding ceremonyThe wedding kissClassic wedding car Austin sixteenBride & groom posing by a classic Austin sixteenWedding cakeJo&Craig_Blog-67The first wedding dance of the bride & groomThe bride & groom posing for stunning evening imagesBride & groom posing for photos

 

Derbyshire Pre-wedding Photoshoot, Makeney Hall, Meryl & Daniel

It was a huge delight to catch up with Meryl & Daniel who booked me last year to photograph their big day this June.  As always the day soon comes around in rapid fashion.  Their chosen venue, Makeney Hall in Derbyshire, was somewhere that i’ve not previously photographed a wedding at so it made sense to have their pre-wedding photoshoot their.

It gave us both chance to have look around the venue, find some beautiful locations, both inside and out, and also allow them to become a littlemore relaxed at having their photograph taken.

Makeney Hall boasts some beautiful period features and some wonderful ornate gardens with some hidden follies too.  Had we not done the pre-wedding photoshoot it would be all to easy to miss these “little gems”.

Anyway here are a small selection of images from their photoshoot which lasted just about 1 hour.  If you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography please go get in touch.

Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography

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