Tuesday, 25 October 2016

And Now It's Back To The Cat

Two month on and our cat is thriving. Everything has to be attacked or investigated in her little world. When she is in play mode you can't get near her, then when shes all tired out she runs to my wife for warmth and comfort.

Although during the day where ever I am in the house she wants to be close by, investigating, waiting, and wanting. It's a;most like having a dog wanting to please you, when you go over to pet her, giver her a stroke, may be a little attention she runs off.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Headshots to Cross Talk

Saturday I was off to a client to continue with an ongoing project in updating their staff photo portraits for who's who in the business. This particular chap only works on a Saturday, so it was a case of getting in, setup, get the headshots needed and leave, all with in their lunch break.

All done and back in the car in just a little over an hour.

Sunday Back to CycloCross....

I seems like ages since the first London League cyclocross in Brighton at the beginning of September.
Weddings, Hill climbs, and a quick trip to Paris I feel I'm back home at the CycloCross.
Round 2 of the East Kent Cyclo Series at Sandwich, a sports centre called Bay point.
On the Satnav map the location looked pretty simple, straight down the M2 to Sandwich then a left off the main road to the location. When I got to the location there was a petrol station where the SatNav was indicating, and telling me,

" You have reached your destination!"

After going down a side road that when nowhere, by accident I found the sport club just off the roundabout that I had gone round a few times arguing with the satnav, "No its not, stupid thing!"

All part of the fun, it appears from talking to a few riders that I was not the only one having similar arguments with their satnav.

Bit of a surprise waiting for the riders, something I've net seen for a few years, is a scaffold ramp.
Not sure of the height, but not far off 10 meters high, nearly a 1 in 4 climb, albeit very short.

I'll let the pictures tell the story....















Monday, 10 October 2016

60 years of the Bec cc Hill Climb

The Bec Hill Climb 2016

After 120 from 150 entered, riders had pitched their speed and skill at going up Yorks Hill, it was a quick dash over to White Hill near Westerham, Kent for the Bec cc Hill Climb.

With the event record with a time of 1:42 there was a possibility it could go with promising conditions.

Photographing the Bec Hill Climb offers different challenges as regards the Yorks Hill of the Catford event where there is a continuous tunnel of trees making for a very dark location. As for White Hill there is still some areas of covering trees but also large area that are bathed in bright sunshine, with all the spectators moving around create lots of different options.

The forecast light rain didn't happen, the road stayed dry, and grippy.

With times averaging at short 2 minutes for the hill, it wasn't until the last quarter of riders that times started to dip into the 1:50's

I was down to the last man James Lowden to ride up with the fasted time of 1:44.6

121st edition of the Catford Hill Climb

Not many organisers can say that on their bike events.
Although York's Hill didn't figure in the 1800's, in the last 30 years it has. I've been photographing the event in the last 10 years after I stopped riding a bike.

Photographing the Catford Hill climb is not without it's challenges, maybe like riding out the hill fast.
The one thing that stands out for me for this event, is how it attracts people to come and watch, shout, cheer, scream, laugh to create an amazing atmosphere on the same level at a big pro race, and the hill climb is a local open event, just amazing.  Its not a recent thing, it has been like this for over 30 years.

The Catford Hill climb has always been a good end of season social event in the South East with a lot of local club runs going out have a cup of tea and chat with those from the summers racing season, then watch the event with the notion, I'm glad I'm not riding.

I can remember some good sunday club runs where we would meet up ridi out to Yorks Hill and enjoy the morning, then have a little burn up on the way home.

Winner Richard Bussell AeroCoaching 1:50.6

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wigmore CC Hill Climb 2016

Wigmore CC Hill Climb Hollingbourne.

Yes it is this time of year again where it is the holy month of Hill Climbs.
The fascination of riding up a hill as fast as possible always seems to attract riders to have ago.
Normally cyclists will go out of there way to avoid such hills. I can remember on club runs we would talk a route, and having to create a route that avoids some hills, keep the the ride as flat as possible.

Normally I start my hill climb photo coverage with the Kingston wheelers as a bit of a warm up to the next set of events that follow.

Hollingbourne hill for the Wigmore is a favorite of mine, as it is very local to me, 10 minutes away.
It is also an event that i first attended back in 2006 a few weeks after a serious motorcycle accident.
My wifes uncle came over especially to take me to the event as it was my first outing since leaving hospital, who incidentally is a member of the Delaune cc.

I didn't have cameras then, but a simple snap shoot thing that would take an age to focus.
Barely able to walk without crutches I manages to walk/hobble halfway down to a sunny spot to watch the riders go past.  Then the event only managed to attract 40 riders.

This years event I was please to see that there were 90 riders on the start sheet, with a couple venturing from north London.

Of course the main events of the south area is one of the oldest events going, the Catford Hill Climb, followed by the Bec in the afternoon.

1993 Wigmore cc changed the climb from Cold Blow Lane to Hollingbourne Hill where Andy Lynes won with 3:19.0
Nobody has yet broken the 3 minute time, the closest was Ian Ackhurst, Sydenham Wheelers with a time of 3:08.8 in 1995, and then again in with the same time in 1997.

it wasn't until 2000 that Gary Baker from London came the closest with a time of 3:00.8 which I still believe is still the time to beat.
Although other riders have got close since 2001 the only other rider to sniff 2 minutes is a young spaniard who was spending time in the UK racing was, Rafa Radzieij with a time of 3:01.7

Sundays event was looking promising when James Hayward posted a time of 3:04.0.
It was down to last years winner Bill Bell, and former event winner Peter Tadros to see if they could better that. sadly no with Bill Bell posting a time of 3:16.1 a little of his pace from last year.
So Gary Bakers time still stands for another year.

James Hayward, Woolwich CC 3:04.7
Bill Bell BigFoot CC 3:16.1
Neil Lauder 4T+ Velo Club

Fastest lady
D Percival, 34th Nomads 4:29.9      

Hartlip Church Wedding

Congratulations to Rachel & Richard for getting married over the weekend.
what looked like to be a bit of a wet day turned out very nice indeed.

Always trying to improve

The Summer season of cycling events is coming to a close, and I look forward to the winter season of events to photograph. in the meantime I'm trying to improve other areas such as portrait head shots.
I agreed with a friend of mine Jody, if she wouldn't mind posing for me, I knew Jody liked doing a lot of selfies for FaceBook, and Twitter. The idea was to experiment with off camera lighting to see how the difference between light and shadow looks, and come up with something that I could set up quickly to get consistent results in a short space of time.

No makeup artist, stylist, technical director, or an assistant, just myself and Jody with limited fashion experience. Keeping things simple was another objective, just to see how the session would pan out with the results.
Could I have used a professional model? Well yes, that would be great, but a professional model knows how to stand, knows, how to look, even have a mental list of poses to go through, all I would have to do is photograph and get great shots.
The problem there is that when I go to a client they will be looking to me for some direction as well as having the skill to bring some life to the portrait.

Jody, and I had some fun, the time passed really fast, although we didn't do full on corporate style shots, I wanted to keep a fun element, which wasn't difficult when trying to convey, or show different looks kept putting us in fits of laughter.