2016
December
Weston Pier fire aftermath
Standard

Pier aftermath

Yesterday evening I went back to the sea front to have a look at the aftermath of the Grand Pier fire, and the view was not pretty. Fire crews were still working hard and the beach was closed for hundreds of yards in each direction around the pier.

This panoramic photo shows the fire crews still dousing the smouldering ruins with water. Click on the photo to make it biggger:


Grand Pier,  aftermath

It’s interesting to note that the tower still standing is the right hand front tower, one of four towers that were on each corner of the main structure. It’s apparently where the fire started, which to me is surprising that it’s the only one of the four that survived the fire without collapsing.

Grand Pier,  the aftermath

Grand Pier,  the aftermath

The end
fire4
Standard

Weston-super-Mare, the Grand Pier burns

The Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare was built in 1903/4 and has for many years been a tourist attraction that brings thousands of visitors to the town. It first burned down in 1930 and was rebuilt. In the last couple of years the pier was purchased by a local entrepreneur who spent money refurbishing and revitalising it, and who apparently had big plans for the future.

This morning, I woke to this view out of my window and figured something was up… I live several miles away from the sea front, so the scale of the fire was fairly clear from the outset.

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Despite having lived in the town for more than 20 years, I find I have almost no photos of the pier as it was.

You can see it here on November 5th;

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

And here in the background of this photo:

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

I’m not a sentimental sort really, but it was sad to see what is an iconic part of the town’s history going up in flames.

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

Directly behind where I was standing taking these photos, Fire crew were working to pump water out of Marine lake, along the full length of the promenade and to the fire. From where I was standing, it was clearly an exercise in damage limitation, there is simply no way they could have controlled the fire.

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

You can see in this photo the tiny white stream of water on the left hand side, and how little hope the fire brigade could have of putting the fire out.

Grand Pier,  Weston-super-Mare,  burning

All in all a sad day for Weston. I really hope the Michael family rebuild it.

The end
rigshot10
Standard

audi-acious

So Saturday lunchtime arrives and I find myself at a loose end, a quick call to Sami and an impromptu rig shoot is arranged.

For a while I’ve been thinking that Cheddar Gorge might lend itself to some interesting rig work. I’ve taken a couple of half decent car photos there before, like these Ferrari shots and I thought the grey gorge walls could work well with the red car.

I’m pleased enough with these all things considered, although I made more mistakes than I would have liked.

Audi TT rig shot

Audi TT rig shot

Audi TT rig shot

and a couple of interior shots I liked.

Audi TT 240 Quattro sport

Audi TT 240 Quattro sport

“There,” said the Mayor. “That’s that.”

The end
mini_rig
Standard

it’s MINI, not Mini (apparently)

I know it will probably come as a massive shock, but I’ve done another rig shot. Shocking I know, but there you go, and here it is.

MINI rigshot

Firstly what I like. It’s sharp and the rig was rock solid throughout. I love the colours, the composition is good and the photoshop work to get rid of the rig only took about 15 minutes. As I’ve seen other people saying they spend between 1 and 5 hours on an image, I’m happy with my results for a 1/4 hour session.

Perhaps for the right image I would spend longer but in this case I couldn’t see the point.

Now the bad things. This was done in a car park which you can clearly tell by the white lines, so it’s not quite as good all round as the Fiesta one I took from a similar angle. Presumably I could get rid of the white lines by editing them out, heck, I might even give that a go at some time. Which goes some way to proving my earlier comment that I couldn’t see the point to be a big fat stinking lie.

The end
rigshot8
Standard

top secret

I’ve been asked by a few people to show photos of my rig. I’ll start by saying a lot of photographers that work with rigs will not show photos of, or describe their rig. This is not something I really understand. My attitude is that your work should speak for itself without having to shroud your methods in secrecy.

Perhaps this is because my photos aren’t good enough to be in print and so it’s easy for me to be open about what equipment I use…

In any case after that it would be churlish of me not to post a photo of my rig.

Car camera rig

It’s really quite simple:

1.) Manfrotto suction cups
2.) Arri clamps
3.) 5/8th” Aluminium round bar.

Please note, I’m not saying my system is perfect or the best you could do – I know of people using single bars to get huge distances but as they wont share how they do it, I can’t say any more than that. All I can do is share what I use, and the results in my rigshots pages.

If you have a question, ask me!

In the spirit of sharing I’ll post a photo here that I don’t want to use as an example of my rig work. There are several serious problems with this photo which would mean I’d never normally post it except for one thing… The magic van.

BMW Z4

I know the processing work on this is bad, and that it’s not sharp. But look at that van! The entire background is a blur, except for the silver van on the right. This is not faked or photo shopped.

I can only assume it was travelling at the exact same speed relative to the camera panning. I can’t see how I’d ever achieve this if I was trying to, this has to be a one in a million shot. Shame that can’t be said of the rest of the photo!

The end
rigshot6a
Standard

home and away

Two photos today, how exciting!

First, I promised the next rig shot I posted would not be of my car, and as a man who occasionally attempts to keep the odd promise, I present to you a Seat Leon!

Seat Leon,  Rigshot

This time round the image is slightly disappointing, because I didn’t consider carefully the interaction between the grey car, sky and road. My excuse I was rushing, but that’s a rubbish excuse.

Next up, I decided I’d get a canvas print done of my favourite photo – Yokohama by night – which I then had to frame myself. Of course the wife then points out the existing decor in the living room doesn’t suit this, so we re-decorate and get new sofas.

Living room

I’m very pleased with how the print came out and how the room looks, and more importantly, so is the wife!

Coming soon – BMW Z4 and Audi TT rig shots. Oooooooooh……

The end
rigshot5
Standard

rig-gle me this

I’ll eventually run out of appalling puns where I try to replace any word with something involving “rig”, when this happens either;

– The world will end
– I’ll have to start taking photos of something else

I don’t like to overstate my powers but I fear it will be the first, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Moving swiftly on, any day that has a “y” in it’s name is a good day for taking photos, and as I’ve proved before I’m a one trick pony most of the time. My new trick is using my whizzy new rig to photograph cars travelling at break neck speeds.

Automotive Rig, Fiesta

By “break neck” I mean an insane 1mph which is the fastest I can push the car when I’m on my own. I know, pretty fast by anyone’s standards.

Automotive Rig, Fiesta

I will now promise that the next rig shot I post wont be of my car. By promise of course I mean that I’ll maybe post a different car, but probably not. I’ve been thinking about ways I can attach the rig to a dog, but apparently stuff like that is cruel, so I’ll attach it to a person instead.

The end
rigshot3
Image

having a rig-gle

I went out and had another go with my new rig last week, the intention is that I learn and make mistakes with my car, rather than when I’m doing a shoot with someone else’s car.

This time, I was much more careful with the rig placement – this meant that when processing the shot I didn’t have to do nearly as much post processing work as the first attempt.

Fiesta ST,  Rig

Issues:

1.) The rig isn’t long enough. I’ve got some extension poles being delivered tomorrow which should take car of that problem, as long as they fit!
2.) The car isn’t lit as well as the first attempt, so it’s a much less dramatic photo.
3.) Huge problems with odd speckles and highlights all over the frame. Some research suggests this might be due to dust/dirt on the lens elements. A retry will confirm this.

So, progress of a sort, I’m almost ready to start sticking it onto other people’s automobiles and see what happens!

I’ve also got some Cokin ND filters on the way, which should help me with using the setup in daylight, proving that as with everything else photography related, the first purchase is really only the tip of the iceberg. And my iceberg is melting…

The end