I had the sheer pleasure in being in exactly the right place at the right time for once! How many times have I left home without my camera only to then miss something spectacular! I guess it happens to everyone at some point but this weekend I was fortunate indeed to be out and about just as a Spitfire and a Hurricane flew over during some Dambuster Weekend celebrations over Leicestershire. The photo cannot convey the sound as they approached, infact for some seconds I scoured the horizon unable to locate what or where the sound was coming from, but then they appeared, wing to wing barely meters above the ground! Camera now shaking somewhat with excitement I managed to focus and shoot as they buzzed overhead and into the distance only to turn and head straight back towards me! I couldnt believe my luck and continued shooting, the two of them so close they could have reached out and touched each other! For several minutes they circled upwards and split, only to rejoin each other at close quarters and perform their moves with such grace and technical ability that it left you in no doubt that they knew what they were doing and could get the very best from their machines! As they departed into the distance I felt emotion and pride, not only for the pilots at the controls, or the ground staff who so lovingly keep these historic machines airbourne, but for the pilots who flew them in the war, not flying for pleasure or for thrills, but flying for their country, their compatriots and their lives…………and the many who took off never to return…….
Images are of the Spitfire and Hurricane i think which are based at RAF Conningsby in Lincolnshire…….check them out on facebook for more info.
A Spitfire and a Hurricane from RAF Conningsby, Lincolnshire
There is a street in my local town that is lined from end to end with the most beautiful cherry tree’s. I didnt have long to shoot but here are just a couple of images…..
I just love this atmospheric derelict old building alongside the canal with it’s shattered fascade, the lifting platform where goods were once hoisted from the barges below as the smoke rose from the engines through the open windows to be breathed in by the workers with blackened faces. Workers who sweated and toiled from dawn until dusk and beyond. Stand for a moment and you may imagine the scene, smell the industry and remember the workers, the people who made this country great, a bygone era of industry and development sadly lost, the people gone, the skills gone too along with the pride in being a working man…… as the buildings melt towards the earth from where they once rose.
I just had to capture these two cheeky fellas whilst I was out and about in my local park. They began by charging past me at speed as I was walking through the woodland section and they really were on a mission, disappearing in and out of the trees, undergrowth flying around as they scampered through the grass. Just as I focused my camera on them they vanished from sight, but reappeared travelling vertically towards the canopy, one on one side and one on the other! A high speed game of chase, equally matched in pace and each outwitting the other! Hilarious!
Last year I visited Burghley Horse Trials, a three day event covering dressage, cross country and show jumping. Horse and rider are expected to compete in all three disciplines over the three days, a pretty gruelling challenge by any standards and the Burghley cross country course is renowned for being on of the toughest alongside Badminton horse trials. Set in the stunning grounds of Burghley House in Stamfod Lincolnshire we visited on the day of the cross country competition, 33 fences ranging from the sublime to the scary, the course is timed to be completed in just under 12 minutes……that’s all? I hear you say, but riders must judge the fitness of their horse (and themselves) and pace themselves accordingly to avoid tiredness and a fall. Towards the end of the course lies an avenue of trees named as Winners Avenue, with fence 22 ahead of you, here the horse and rider can gauge just what is left in the tank as they negociate the fence, check the watch and allow the horse to gallop on towards the finish. It was at this fence that I took a photograph that is now the May edition of Central Horse news cover shot! Never in a million years did I ever think that one of my photos would grace the cover of a magazine! But there it is, the rider Joy Dawes smiling and enjoying every second of her ride, her horse Finnisterre hooves mid air light as a feather, riding for their lives towards the finish and the celebration of completing the infamous course safely! Thank you to Central Horse News for choosing my image!
Joy Dawes on board Finnisterre at fence 22 of the Burghley Horse Trials 2012 – front cover for Central Horse News Whats On magazine May 2013
For the last few days I have noticed a beautiful blossom tree at the top of the road where I live, its bows arched regally towards the ground laden with the softest of pink blossom flowers. So, yesterday I decided to wander up, camera in hand and take a closer look, most of the blossom trees around here have already lost their flowers and are now all leaves but this one is simply beautiful. Its unusual because there are no individual clusters of blossoms that you would usually associate with this type of tree, but each and every bow is covered from end to end, which gives the appearance of fireworks trailing across the night sky and blossom is not a deep cherry pink, it is the palest pastel pink you could imagine which against the light appears white, almost translucent, with a heart of deepest crimson. Shooting upwards towards the sun gave me the best angle at which to show the blossom in all its beauty, the sun just giving the softest of highlights, like a ballerina in the spotlight.
White on White