Lucky – Hole In One

Lucky - Hole in One

When I shoot with Paul, I always know that I have way too much to learn and a long, ‘long’ way to go with my landscape photography and this morning was no exception.  I have learned not to press that shutter too quickly but on a beach on Dorset with only a few feet for five photographers to get the best position and shuffling up the beach every few seconds, it was all too easy to forget to take that step back and ‘think’.

I had decided to opt for a longer exposure and the experiment with smoothing the sea, which was pretty rough this morning.  However, I really ought to have opted for a few shorter exposure shots to widen my choices back home.  A lesson learned and reason to revisit Durdle Door in the future.

That said, I’m pretty pleased with this morning’s results and for the reason noted below, this one will be called ‘Lucky – Hole in one’.

The decision to meet Paul, Vicky and Mark on this weekend had been made some time ago.  Why this specific weekend with so much going on?  Well it was to be one of the few occasions each year where the sun pops up over the horizon and appears through the arch that makes Durdle Door so famous on the Dorset coast.

So, alarm set for 01:00, I was packed and on the road by a quarter passed the hour for the four hour run down to the coast.  All was well until just north of Oxford when the rain began to come down and this persisted for the remainder of the journey.  Worse still, as I turned onto the coast road, my speed dropped to around 10 mph owing to thick fog – not something any photographer wants to see and definitely not following a long drive.

Time to catch a couple of hours sleep before Paul arrived and Mark shortly after.  Thankfully, getting out of the car and looking up the sky was clearing and stars were clearly visible.  Would this be a better day after all?

Following the greetings, we grabbed our kit and headed down through the cap site and over the cliff to the beach, the conditions getting better and better all of the time.  We often refer to Mark’s luck and today he would come good with a wonderful sky, beautiful sunrise and the sun popped through the arch as hoped.  With Marks luck and the sun through the hole in the arch, there really can be only one name for this image.

2015_12_19_IMG_0002279-2I would have liked to have caught the scene with a faster shutter speed, but the occasion got the better of me. However, that leaves the challenge open for another time and in the meantime I think that some more coast runs will be in order to practice catching the sea better and also some further work on capturing movement in the sky without over or under doing things.

All that said, the morning was wonderful and I love my chosen image.  Unfortunately, Mark’s luck ran out and later in the day our shooting spots were doused in sea water and battered by the winds and we decided to keep Pulpit Rock and Portland Bay Light House for another time.


Eclipse Xmas Show

2015_12_12_IMG_0000141One word sums up yesterday with Eclipse Gymnastics in Rushden.  The club has become very well known in the region for some great competition results and they are fast adding stunning performances to their wealth of talents.

My day began with a run up the M1 from London and the rehearsals were just about to begin when I arrived.  Grabbing my camera whilst Lauren set up the M4Photo stand, I grabbed a number of images of the rehearsals and tried hard to memorise some of the routines and things to watch out for.

Well, I can forget that because the routines were action packed with over 145 gymnasts taking part in the Pemberton centre’s main performance hall.

The kids put on the best show of the seven undertaken.  Bob ran the video throughout the three main shows and I’ll be putting the annual videos together as soon as possible.  In the meantime, the still images are about to go on line and with over 1,000 images, some of the parents are going really struggle to pick which ones they would like printed.

Because of the nature of the show and the decision that some people will have to make, I have decided to put together a very special offer to hopefully make that decision slightly easier for some people – watch the Eclipse Facebook page for more details.

Anyway, thanks to all of the kids, coaches and helpers for putting on a great event and thank you also for inviting me along again to photograph and record the event.  Thanks to Bob for running the video camera for me and I’ll be getting into the footage and building the DVD very soon.

The Eclipse Gymnastics 2015 Xmas show is now available here.


Lonely Isle

Lonely Isle – Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA – Copyright 2015 Martyn Phillips, M4Photo


Hmmmmm, hmmmmmm and hmmmmmm a little more.

Launching my email this morning I have a nice surprise, nestled amongst the mass of email that I get every day was one from Viewbug, an on-line photo contest site that I uploaded a few of my images to when I was trying to gauge whether they were good enough or not.

The email proudly announced that I had won an award for Emerald Bay.  The award being “Won Staff Winter Selection 2015“.  Look carefully down the left side of the page linked above and you’ll see a one line notice of the award.

Whilst this is really nice to receive and wonderful that one of my images should be noticed and acknowledged in this manner, I was a little perplexed because I could not remember entering it for any competition on the site.

Like all inquisitive people, I reached for Google and searched the award. Nothing much came back from Viewbug itself, but I did find a small handful of other photographers celebrating their award.

Like i said, it is really nice to get noticed and to be amongst a handful of photographers, but I might just ask Viewbug a little more about this award and who the ultimate winner is, after-all, they do use the word ‘Won’ in the award notice.

Hopefully, I won;t get kicked from their website for this posting :).