Sunday, 15 April 2018

Looks like spring is finally here for good

spring cycle photography


Two weekends in a row it hasn't been cold, rain wasn't threatened, and I took on White Lane Hill. All is right with the world. Except it's not, Matt has been under the weather so I was on my own. I got out on the road bike, as discussed before it is faster but not as comfortable. And the higher gearing makes the steeper hills a real challenge.

But back to cycling alone; I like it, sometimes. But I miss the chance for a chat and a laugh so wouldn't want to do it often. A shared experience means it can be reminisced about. They are what friendships are made of.

When I first started cycling as an adult about eleven years ago, maybe a lot longer. I wouldn't have kept at it if it wasn't for Matt. There just wouldn't have been the motivation.

And because of that;

I have cycled to Paris and completed the South Downs Way.

I have raised a lot of money for the therapy centre my wife goes to.

I have got a lot fitter.

I can cope with stress better, most of the time.

I have completed two RideLondon 100 mile rides.

Learnt that I am capable of more than I thought.

But most of all I look forward to having a laugh, a chat and a cup of tea where ever we end up.

If you don't cycle, get some friends together and get out there. Apart from the occasional soaking, there isn't a downside.


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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Nikon D810, part one.

I don't really do gear reviews. I just write about what I have been doing in regards to my photography and cycling. But I have been approached to do a couple of weddings this year. My Nikon D700 is still considered a worthy and useful camera. It is certainly brilliant for what I do. But it would be good to have two bodies. For a back up and to allow me to use two lenses without having to swap them over. My first use of the D700 was the studio shoot with Anna at the beginning of the year. I saw a definite change to the pictures. It is hard to put my finger on what exactly is better. But I am glad upgraded.

But it is a 2008 camera and technology has moved on. The D810 was released in 2014. I know there is now the D850. but this is way out of my reach, the D810 will start to reduce in price second hand. The truth is I don't upgrade without a lot of thought. I broke my D70 so I replaced it with the D90. When the D700 came within reach I knew it was time to go full frame. The next step will be because I need the extras a newer camera can provide.

The big increase in resolution isn't really a consideration for me, it's the quiet shutter and better low light focusing that interests me. Less of a distraction during a wedding ceremony and more accurate focusing at the reception in the evening.

I am intrigued to see what the lack of low pass filter will produce. Will it be the step up in sharpness I am hoping for?

The reviews say to get the best from the camera you should use the best lenses. Mine are getting on a bit, but were considered pro or semi pro quality in their day. And I have used them a lot on the D700 so will aid my comparison.

I decided to hire a D810 for the end of the month, I have two shoots organised. The first with Janayah and then with Rosie.

It will be a good opportunity to familiarise myself with the camera before the pressure of shooting a wedding. I'll be stressed enough without worrying about how to use the camera.

I'll write blogs for them, with my impressions and thoughts. I know you will have already seen many reviews about the D810. But I think it will allow me to gather my thoughts, and prepare for the weddings.


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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Location shoot April 2018 update

beauty portrait spring


The shoot could not have gone better. All week the weather report had said it would rain. Even the morning of the shoot I was thinking it might have to be postponed. I'm really glad it wasn't.

The diffused light was brilliant, it meant the light was soft and flattering. The grounds of Rosie’s house suited the theme well.

beauty portrait spring



beauty portrait spring

 sun swing

And then the sun came out and created a beautiful backlight/hair light, causing Rosie's hair to really shine.

 sun swing

black and white sun swing

Then when we changed location and Rosie into a white outfit, we needed the soft light again. We weren't disappointed.
white dress red brick

white dress red brick

Moving away from the house gave a nice contrast between the red brick and white outfit.

white dress red brick

There are so many more pictures I could have used in this blog, really spoilt for choice.


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Saturday, 7 April 2018

on the road bike for the first time in a while

It's the first time I have ridden my road bike this year, I'm not sure when the last time was. But now I remember why it's rare to be out on it. It's uncomfortable. Either the roads are getting worse or I'm getting old. I have even considered a new bike with carbon forks; it would lighter, I was more interested in the bump adsorption. But it was just too much money considering I wouldn't ride it much. Everyone I know has mountain bikes. And mountain bikes are much nicer to ride; soft squashy tyres and suspension.

Daffodils, cycling, spring at last
Daffodils, cycling, spring at last

Hopefully the daffodils are a sign that the bad weather during March is finally behind us.

I have posted many times about motor vehicles and their inconsiderate driving.
But cyclists have their faults too. A red light is not a give way sign if you are using pedal power.



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Friday, 6 April 2018

Location shoot April 2018

Only one more day until the second location photoshoot of the year. I have a theme of boho, chilled summer in mind for the clothing. Rosie, I know will be perfect, she has similar pictures on her portfolio. And has the right look.

Little did I know how unsettled and unpredictable the weather would be when I arranged it. But the location has indoor options. So fingers crossed.

I'll blog about the shoot, so remember to come back next week.

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

A poor March

April Deli Di Luca Westerham
Deli Di Luca Westerham
This year started well for cycling. More rides than in previous years for January and February. And then March arrived. Snow, rain and cold are the three words that characterised the last month. This weekend gave the opportunity to catch up a bit. On Friday we rode to Westerham and had food in a new cafe. The Tudor tea rooms was closed, so we went to the Deli Di Luca for tea and almond croissants.

I hadn’t planned to cycle on Saturday, but my plans changed and I could have. But I was tired and lacked enthusiasm. I really wish I had now though. We were out Sunday, to the bus stop. And then Monday, was a total washout. Four more days until the next chance for some cycling.

And then when the weekend does arrive, what will the weather be like? I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

More pass too close incidents happened this weekend. They occur on most rides now. Fridays ride had a few. Most of the time the vehicle at least slows down a bit. Which isn't ideal, but better than when they pass at full speed. Whyteleafe Hill is the the main location for the idiots. The next most likely place is the Limpsfield Rd on the way to Botley. I don’t know what to do. I always report them but nothing seems to happen. I use to get an occasional call from the police, but I have heard nothing from them for a couple of months. Maybe my name is now on an ignore list.

Here is the latest. Apologies for the language, I didn’t realise the microphone was that good on the GoPro. Or that I was so loud.



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