Generations

With Christmas around the corner, and being lucky enough to have our family here with us,  the warm fuzzy feeling really is in full swing!  I have been sitting on these photos since our trip home in October, and thought that now would be the perfect time to share them 🙂

As readers of this blog will know, I am a BIG family man.  Families rule.  I am always a little bewildered when, especially at this time of year, people I know are looking forward to a bit of time to themselves.  I am the complete opposite.  I am definitely my mother’s child.  My idea of the Perfect Christmas is having all my nearest and dearest under one roof, getting merry and sharing the good times – if there is the possibility of a few dogs knocking around as well then that’s an even bigger bonus.

And I am even more lucky that we have so many generations in the family.  You all know about this little guy, Ryan.  He is my 5 year old nephew who is growing up at a rate of knots, and I hear the uncles and aunties of my childhood whenever I see him: “haven’t you grown,” “you’re SO big!”…but then that’s just part of getting old I guess.

And we love coming home and playing with him…especially on the trampoline.

But as well as the young, we are blessed with the old, and when we went home last Sian and I made a point of heading over to my wonderful Granny and Grandad’s house in Clacton, Essex.  We always love seeing them, but in recent years time has started to take its toll on them.  Grandad, who was so sharp and witty, is slowly losing his short term memory, and Granny, who is a soldier and bastion of survival is getting weak in the knees and a little less mobile.  But they are still here. Still smiling. Still happy. And we love them ever so much.

This is my little brother, Thaddaeus, or Teggy, showing G and G our wedding pictures.  Unfortunately, they were not able to join us last year for big bash, and this was the first chance we had to share the day with them.

With Grandad’s memory fading, he is always looking at the photos on the mantel to keep track of who’s who.  I love the expression on his face in this shot – he had just told Teggy that he recognised our sister, Felicity, in one of the photos, and was so pleased that he could remember her name.

And who couldn’t love this shot of my granny?  When I was growing up, Granny told us quite a bit about the war, Grandad not so much…but the hardships they endured and the sacrifices they made are things that I thankfully have never had to and hopefully never will.  It was a ghastly time, and the country pulled together in a way that seems alien now…yet they are both still able to laugh and joke, and that just makes me love them more.

And they have some differences at times, but my dear old mum loves them too.

Of course, being old, Granny thinks she has the license to come out with some outrageous comments and ideas…the most recent being that she thought the new wind farm off the coast was a terrible eye sore and that it had spoiled the view…I got a brief snap of it from the car window and have to disagree…

But then with everything they have been through, and everything they have seen, I only hope this is the only ‘atrocity’ our little nephew Ryan has to see throughout his life.  In the grand scheme of things, a field of graceful wind turbines ten miles off the coast are surely a lot prettier than a squadron of bombers…

Thanks for reading guys – the Christmas blog to come next! 😉

x

A Wedding Video We Made…

So as a lot of you know, Sian and I went home over October so we could enjoy Andy and Emily’s beautiful wedding day, and also indulge ourselves with a cheeky ‘us time’ for our very first wedding anniversary.   The trip home was awesome, and my boss was kind enough to let me road test a new video camera we may be rolling out amongst the company ships in the not too distant future.

It was great, because we got to make Andy and Emily a video of their day, and I got to try out a new bit of kit.

Because said camera was new to me, I am not entirely happy with a lot of little niggly things..there is unnecessary shake where I was battling with the bizarre focusing system, there is noise where I would not expect there to be, and the thing in general is not as ‘polished’ as our usual work, using the immense D7000s we have here in Barbados….but I am happy enough with it to share with you here.  All the sharp, and artsy looking shots are by Sian, with Josh’s very kindly leant D7000 – you’ll spot them a mile off!

As always, looking forward to the feedback and sharing some adventures with you all over the next few weeks 😉

Thanks for reading guys 🙂 x

A Rare Phenomonon…

Wednesday was Barbados’ Independence day, which basically means no one can get married, and that I am able to give the team and myself a well deserved day off.  This is always good news.  Even better news was that our dear friends Mike and Jenny, who we met on our first ever contract with Colorbox aboard  the Thomson Destiny, were in Barbados the same day as a port of call on their holiday cruise.

Mike and Jenny are awesome.

Jenny dances amazingly, and Mike is a fantastic singer.  We were very lucky that they could make it to our wedding a year and a bit back, and Mike did us the honour of singing our first dance, along with a genius set.  If you want to hear the dulcet tones, (which I strongly recommend) you can hear him here. 🙂 For an even further shameless plug, BOOK HIM IF YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED IN THE UK, HE IS AMAZING! 😉 (Cheques made payable to me please Mike)

Anyways, back to the fun events of Wednesday…So we were ridiculously fortunate that the guys’ visit coincided with an unheard of day off during the week, and even more so that we got a tiny spot of sunshine during the otherwise miserable weather we have been experiencing lately.

As is now customary, we took the guys up to the Animal Flower Cave for the amazing views.  As we headed over, the short spell of sunshine was replaced with spitting rain.  I suggested we head to Bathsheba.  Luckily Jimbly insisted we head to the Cave, and I am so glad he did.

As we drove down the pot-hole ridden lane that leads to the amazing views, my heart skipped a beat as I saw what looked like a tornado skitting across the water out at sea.  We bundled out of the car as quickly as we could – I ran ahead with the camera in hand whilst Sian scrabbled to get our long 70-200 lens out.  It was awesome.

Later research proved that it was a water spout that we witnessed.   It was remarkably hard to expose for the spout.  As is often the way in photography, your eyes are so much better than even the mighty sensor of our wonderful D700.  Looking out to sea, it was very obvious to the naked eye, but there was very little contrast in the skyline, and no amount of underexposure seemed to make the spout ‘pop’ as much as it did in real life.  I was also greeted with an incredibly mucky sensor when I came to process these photos.  No matter how careful we are with changing our lenses, out here where there is so much sand and wind, it is inevitable to get crap in your sensor…an occupational hazard I guess. 😦

As such, the pictures are a little less sharp than I would normally like – This is a classic example of me out of my comfort zone! Low light is fine, harsh sunlight with lots of contrast, I can deal with…but flat skylines with little contrast in them are clearly an area I need to improve upon.

And unfortunately time was not on our side.  As soon as I had popped off a few frames, the spout disappeared from the skyline, and a very hot and sticky sun reared it’s head back out for us.  We were so very lucky to have seen the spout at all!

We had to get Mike and Jenny back to their ship before it sailed onto the next port without them, so we had just enough time for a group snap before jumping back into the car and heading for the port.  This proved to be another wonderfully smug moment for me – always having the massive tripod in the boot paid off once again.

So a massive thanks to Jenny and Mike for making the 4000ish mile journey to come and see us – it was wonderful to see you both again, and as always seems to be the way, the fact we had visitors meant we saw another part of Barbados we otherwise wouldn’t have.  I was also made privy to the fact that Mike’s mum is a reader of my blog too…which is massive news.  This one’s for you Mike’s mum, thanks so much for reading – make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss anything, and thanks for giving us all such a lovely chap 😉

And as always, thanks for reading guys x

Crabs!

Hi guys, sorry, no photos today…but there is a cheeky video 🙂

Sian, Jimbly and I were shooting a wedding a few days back, and I was on film detail.  We were at a gorgeous resort called the House, and the wedding was scheduled quite late – 4:30PM…this makes life very difficult for us, because by 5:30, the sun has set and you have no light to play with…none.  So James did a great job of conducting the shoot quickly enough for us to get everything we needed in the small time window we had.

In between rushing from the sunset on the Beach, and a cake cutting shot in the hotel, we came across hundreds of red sand crabs.  They were just your ordinary, run of the mill crabs, knocking about and raising their comedy pincers in defiance of the hulking humans as we point and coo.  But one crab, James noticed, was very proudly carrying a lollipop stick.

And we thought this was hilarious.

In hindsight, and watching the video back, I am not too sure the comedy will come across, but rest assured – we all had a good chuckle at the sight and hope you do too 🙂

Massive blog in the pipeline by the by…we witnessed a weather phenomenon the other day which I cannot WAIT to share with you all…so please keep posted and I’ll hopefully share with you all over the weekend 🙂


Thanks for reading guys 🙂