Ramblings

Autosport International 2011
13th January 2011
Well, that was a draining day but a good one. Don't know why walking round the halls of the NEC is always so shattering but it is. I guess nattering away to those promo girls and taking endless pictures of them along with the occasional race car, takes it's toll eventually.

Cracking day. Thanks for the company, Rich. Nice prequel to the 2011 season. Can't wait for some trackside action now.

(Today's photos will be featured in their own gallery at some stage tomorrow so check back when you get a spare minute)
Healthy start
13th January 2011
Well, thankfully, Rich came up trumps by looking as tired as I anticipated when he staggered into the car at just gone 7am.

All's well now though as we're munching away on sausage & bacon rolls. As usual, the first hour before anyone arrives inside the halls is the best.

There are some mouth watering cars here (but not as mouth watering as this breakfast) (I'm drinking a strawberry and banana smoothie too as a feeble attempt to be healthy)

And now the walking begins ...
Rise and shine
13th January 2011
Today kind of signals the start of the new season with the annual pilgrimage to Birmingham's NEC for media day of the Autosport International show.

It also begins the stupidly early start times that are associated with the madness that is motor sport. I'm nursing a glass of cranberry juice staring at the monitor through blurry eyes and the only thing that that's making me feel better is that Rich is going to to be feeling even worse when I go to collect him in half an hour's time.
Winter Blues
10th January 2011
Not a brilliant time for motor sport photographers, is it?

I've made a supreme effort to go out and shoot most weekends in spite of the weather. I simply like having my camera in my hands pretty often so I don't loose the feel for it. The winter scenery has provided some decent stuff but I was forced to take a trip up to the Severn Valley Railway a week back. I can't say that shooting the trains utterly grabs me but it was better than nothing - just.

Photo library house-keeping is my main task at this time of the year. I've so far deleted over 1200 images from last season and I'm still at it. Just think of all that lovely hard-drive space I'm freeing up.
Going wireless
30th December 2010
I've been setting up some Yongnuo wireless flash triggers on the D300.

Amazing things and they really are going to prove handy. But ... The problem is I'm now aching to get hold of some decent flash heads so some restraint is required here.

The Focus On Imaging show is looming in March so I'm hoping for some bargains then. Last year I managed to come home with more money than I took thanks to an EBay deal on my Sigma 70-200 f2.8 the previous night and a meeting with the purchaser when I got to the show. This year might be a different tale so I'll be looking for Mr Danby to reel me in. Like, that's going to work.
Caught in mid snap
22nd December 2010
Totally typical that Mr Shaw arrived and caught me kneeling in the floor taking photos of snowy street scenes. He now thinks I'm just a tragic geek who's never without a camera in his hand. Ah, wait a minute. Now you mention it ...

Had a play with the D40 and my amazing 35mm f1.8 lens this morning. The quality of the shots from that little lens is astounding. I love prime lenses. Don't get me wrong, lenses like my 28-70 F2.8 are brilliant but they're never quite as sharp as a good prime and, let's face it, zooms are only for people too idle to walk backwards or forwards.

If you want to take your photography to new levels because you think you've exhausted all possibilities with your kit lens, buy something dinky like a 1.8 nifty-fifty. Brand new, they're around a hundred quid and they're razor sharp.
Numb digits
20th December 2010
I sparked up the RAV and slithered down to the river to take a few photos yesterday.

Boy, was it cold. I've a pair of proper photography gloves with cut aways for your thumbs and index fingers to enable you to twiddle things on the camera. Great idea but those two digits were eventually numb from cold. (When I say 'eventually' I mean that after about ten minutes the twiddling had to cease)

The light was about as good as it could be for snow scene shots: some sunshine but not so bright that you thought you were shooting directly into an arc welder.

Might chuck the little D4 and a titchy lens into my bag today as I'm going into town to round up the Christmas shopping.
iBooks
15th December 2010
I burnt midnight oil last night in an attempt to complete an iPhoto book in time for Christmas. Will it arrive in time for Christmas? Well, that's up to Apple. They came up with the goods in just over a week for the last one I did so I'm hopeful it'll arrive in time.

This is one of those tasks that takes a little getting into but once you find your way round the interface, it becomes pretty straightforward. I did have the advantage of having the excellent Mr Chris Daw showing me how to do the previous one so last night's effort came quite a bit easier.

If there's one drawback with iBooks it's that they're addictive and I can't wait to do another now.



Togs feeding time
12th December 2010
So, what do you get when you take half a dozen hill climb photographers, a paramedic and a can-can dancer? The answer is, the pre-Christmas nosh fest for some of the regular mob who do the standing-out-in-all-weathers thing on the Midlands hills.

We were slightly down on numbers due to illness and such but a pleasant time was had by everyone. We made a conscious effort not to turn the evening into a Nikon/Canon shoot out but a couple us still snuck ours through. We also had no less than three iPads between us. How geeky/tragic are we? Saying that, there's nothing like posting in real-time when you're having fun at an event. Facebook does have its uses.
A Site For Sore Eyes
02nd December 2010
During vile, cold spells like this, a photographer's mind turns to either mush or new ventures.

Right now, my focus is firmly upon upgrading my website. I've had my old Clicpic website for a number of years and, whilst its done me proud, I've felt for a while that it might be time to change to a slightly different look. I've been goofing around with this new-look site now for a couple of weeks.

The advantages of this Photoium site are that it displays my images slightly larger than on my old one, it seems more flexible in terms of customization and it will host more photos than before.

On top of all that, it enables me to add a blog to my home page - something which appeals to me - and just the fact that its new will pep up my interest. So, all in all, I feel this is the way to go.
Classic Motor Show - NEC
22nd November 2010
Mr Danby's not at his greatest first thing in the morning's but we did stumble through a few token attempts at chat on the way to the NEC.

Media sign-on was utterly painless and we were in the halls by 9.15. This was a great result as we had the place to ourselves before the hordes arrived to get in the background (and foreground) of every shot we took.

The Classic Motor show's a real belting collection of cars. There are motors there that I've not seen for years. The owners clubs are a delight. Can't remember the last time I saw a Humber Hawk or a Singer Vogue let alone stands full of them all in top condition. The Ford stand was wall to wall Escorts and Cortinas as well as Corsairs, Granadas and Capris.

The MPH show was choc-full of the more modern, exotic machinery: cars with that certain drool factor. Talking of which, the promo girls were as much fun as ever. Roll on January and Autosport International.