Music 2019

These are from some of the gigs I went to in 2019. The first one is from Neil Finn at St George's back in January 2019 - genuinely one of the best shows I've ever been to. It was him, sons Liam & Elroy and his wife Sharon. Fantastic songs (especially the Crowded House stuff, obviously) and such an intimate venue. Then a couple from Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul at the O2 Academy - I've never seen so many people on that stage! This one was an absolute blast, and bloody loud! The rest are from Muse at Ashton Gate stadium - spectacular! I've started up a separate music blog, which I really do need to write more on, and there are write-ups of a few of last year's gigs there - plus other musings. ...
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England Rugby World Cup Squad, August 2019

Prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the England squad were training at Clifton Rugby Club, and the sponsors O2 laid on a "meet the squad" event. Happily, this took place round the corner from my office so I booked an afternoon off work and went. After an interminable wait, (most of) the players eventually arrived and generally mingled, posed for photos and signed autographs.There were also some interviews - Joe Marler is very funny, although I think he had to keep reminding himself to keep the content and language suitable for all ages... As a Northampton Saints fan I was of course on the lookout for our players - Piers Francis wasn't around, I didn't get to meet Courtney Lawes (he was called off to do a "grip & grin") but I did manage to see Lewis Ludlam and wish him luck. ...
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Amsterdam

In June I was given the opportunity to attend a conference in Amsterdam, at just a few days notice. Never having been before, I graciously accepted. As it happens, the conference itself was really interesting, and then I headed out every evening with my camera.Doing some research beforehand I found an Amsterdam photography blog (whose name I now shamefully forget) which pointed out the best places for photogenic bridges, churches and houses - very useful. Everything you've heard about cycling in Amsterdam is true, and then some - an amazing number of cyclists, and I saw about 3 people in lycra or on bike with anything more than basic gears. The bike park at the station is a sight to behold! The last photo is from the conference, where one of the keynote talks was from Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. A lovely city that I barely scratched the surface of - I didn't get to any museums because of the conference - so...
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Dance

Earlier in the year I saw an advert for an outdoor dance photography workshop in central Bristol in July - that sounded really good so I signed up, thinking how nice it could look on a warm summer evening as the sun set. So of course, when it came to time for the event, the weather was awful. I really felt for the dancer, who worked really hard for all of the photographers, 6-7 of us, in the pouring rain. ...
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Street Photography Workshop

Yesterday I attended a street photography workshop, hosted by former Amateur Photographer editor Damien Demolder (in association with Jessops and Panasonic). Damien spoke for some time about his street photography, showing some cracking examples, and encouraged us to take more than just candid snaps - look at the interchange between light and shadow and how and where the light falls onto people. There are some great examples on his website. He's a very good engaging speaker and obviously knows what he's on about. We then picked out the Panasonic hardware we wanted to try out (I used a GX-8, which seemed a pretty good piece of kit, with a 25mm lens - equivalent to 50mm in 35mm terms) and headed out for a tutorial about how to use the light. What was fascinating was how his recommendation to crank the camera down to about -3/-4 stops of exposure compensation really worked - changing the photos from a plain bright representation of the scene into...
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