Saturday, 13 January 2018

130118

cycling woods bollards moss
My bike lent against some moss covered tank traps, or maybe they are just bollards to stop vehicles driving in the woods.
I'd like first to apologise for the lack of a creative title for this blog. When you cycle every weekend, you will be presented with two problems as I am. Where to cycle, and what to write about. Having to think of a creative title as well, it's all too much.

So here dear reader is a post, titled with today's date.

Matt has been away this week so for today it was just me. I choose a route we hadn't cycled for years. We use to cycle to a cafe, have breakfast and then ride home. But it is a longish route and the food stop means a late return home. So we have avoided it. There is also a steep, long climb, which might also have something to do with it.

The Enterdent near Godstone is the hill in question. It was a lot longer than I remember. But a worthy challenge. Bested with only a little heavy breathing. I didn't make it to the cafe though. I ran out of time due to a late start. When my meandering journey came close to home I gave up on the cafe and headed towards my house.

This meant I had to travel along Whitehill Lane. It's one of my nemesis hills. It comprises three climbs. Each one a little steeper than its predecessor. The last 20 yards of the third one is very steep. It's the last climb when I cycle to Brighton and back. So it always causes a sense of dread when I know it's close.

Below is the cyclemeter readout. Not sure how I managed to climb more than I descended and still end up back home.

cycling hills climbing
A route with some big climbs

Cycling with Matt tomorrow, wonder where we will go.



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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Another cold, and this time muddy ride


A muddy, and icy lane. Morning cycle.
A muddy, and icy lane.


Second ride of the year. Less foggy and slightly warmer. The wind was less bitter and not as strong.
I'm was on my own, so where to go?

There is a route near me that can either be completely on road or include a little off road. This time I chose the the mixed route.

As you can see above it was muddy, with plenty of ice covered puddles to ride through. The only trouble with the mud is that when I get home and want to get into a warm shower ASAP. I have to clean the bike first.

The pictures in the post are all from my GoPro clamped to the handlebars. I have it on time lapse mode so it can record the whole ride. For this reason the quality isn't as good as I like for my blog. It's normally okay, but the light was fairly low and was bounced around a lot. Using the GoPro means I don't have to stop to get my camera out. A good thing when it's cold.

It records evidence of close passes by other road users.

I get pictures I wouldn't normally be able to.

riding through icy puddle
Another ice covered puddle. Thanks to GoPro.

And occasionally it reveals something I missed. 

I was reviewing the photo stream and realised I had twice cycled past someone's aircraft collection, and not noticed.

aircraft at the side of a lane

aircraft at the side of a lane

And one more use for the GoPro. Selfies; or is that the bike taking my picture?

selfie bike taking my picture

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

First cycle of 2018


First ride of 2018, and it was a cold one. The last few days have been warm, but the rain had too frequently made an appearance. This morning however dawned grey and cold.

The standard route was agreed when we met at the green. The slow way to the bus stop. On arrival tea and biscuits were consumed and the recent celebrations discussed. We both agreed the fuss and stress from the build up put a dampener on the event.

The cold hadn't been an issue, except for the cold bench we sat on.  The ride home was a different story. The wind had risen and it really started to bite. We choose the long way home due to the fog, and the hope of some shelter from icy blast. But it was not to be. Riding down hill the speed had to be kept low. Such was the chilling the extra speed caused. We saw a lot of cyclist, bidding good morning to them all became almost constant. I do find winter riding elicits more replies to my greetings. It must be because we are all a little surprised to see others out on bikes when it's so cold, and seek to acknowledge it.

Anyway I'm home now, showered and warm. So the pain of a chilled face are forgotten until the next ride.

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Sunday, 31 December 2017

What happened to 2017?

fashion photography london grace jones pose
One of my favourite pictures. It's printed big and hanging on my office wall.

Cycling, photography and life have conspired to turn the past year into a blur. It's very easy to forget how far my photography has progressed.
I keep looking for that tipping point. The one that will lead to paid work as a photographer. The picture at the top of this blog is a particular favourite from this year.

All of the pictures in this blog show how I have improved. Be it creatively, technically or with forming a connection with the subject. Working with experienced models means less pressure to deliver. So I am glad I have worked with Janayah this year. It has seen us both improve. And then to produce pictures for a client has broadened my experience further.

I thought I would look back at the year.

The maga shoot back in April, three models, two locations, three different looks. Really enjoyable, but tiring.


fashion photography london
I need to find more wall space.

fashion photography london
Another of my favourite pictures. It's printed big and hanging on my office wall.

fashion photography london
Another of my favourite pictures. It's printed big and hanging on my office wall.


I have worked with Janayah a lot.  We have gotten better together. From our first shoot in April. Through  May at Crystal PalaceDulwich Park in July and finally the November collaboration with Alison the MUA in Battersea Park. The added bonus from this last shoot was how it boosted Alison's confidence. I was glad to be able to help Alison. It's been great. We have another shot planned for an evening along the Thames in January. The shoot has a lot to live up to, each one we have done so far has resulted in better pictures each time.

model photography tennis photoshoot
Sport inspired shoot


fashion photography london crystal palace sphinx
Crystal Palace

fashion photography london dulwich park
Dulwich Park

fashion photography london batersea park
A couple from Battersea  Park

fashion photography london batersea park

The cycling posts have had picture content. I am really liking the lone bicycle in the countryside theme. And it's a good way to record the passing seasons.

photography cycling westerham steampunk

photography cycling kent

photography cycling surrey

photography cycling kent



Working with Zara again at the Hacienda studio, I set myself a challenge to balance a beauty dish with the window light. I think I did a good job. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post with you thoughts.

model studio photography hacienda

model studio photography hacienda

model studio photography hacienda


Then there was producing pictures for an online clothes retailer, a bit of an eye opener. Making every session count and dealing with an unpredictable client.

model location photography client

model location photography client

model location photography client

I have already started planning 2018. I have organised January; a model and studio I haven't worked with before and a night shoot with Janayah. 


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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas MTB ride

Ross Cycles
Dressed up at the start.


Just back from another ride with Ross Cycles, this one had a Christmas theme. Bikes were decorated with tinsel, and there was one or two santa hats.

The route was the same as the ride I did a while back. Even muddier this time.

I found it harder going and colder, but my Fat Lad at the Back socks were part of my wardrobe so my feet kept warm. So all was good with the world.

Here are some pics from the ride.





Reigate Hill
Reigate Hill

 The tinsel on my bike was definitely very second hand by the time I got home.

Before                                                                       After

A close up


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