Tag Archives: Photography

Bearded Theory 2018 – Triumph In Adversity! (Part 1)

At last!  After what seemed to be the longest Winter ever, the UK summer festival season is underway.  Those who have read my previous views on this festival will know that Bearded Theory is a real favourite of mine, the dates for next year are already in my diary.  That said, there were a few problems at this years festival, so let’s deal with those right away.

Getting onto the site this year was quite simply a nightmare.  It took me over four hours to travel the last four miles from the A38 to the site.  Not good, not good at all.  The queues were dreadful and the situation was exacerbated after arriving on the site and meeting an incredibly rude, aggressive and officious campsite security supervisor who refused to let me park my van in an empty spot and sent me to the overflow crew field instead.  This meant a 40-minute walk to the site, no fun when carrying all of my camera equipment.  I realise that staff are stressed when things go wrong, but there is no need for aggression towards festival fans.

Sadly, my experience was far from unique.  If my festival friends are to believed many shared my experience.  However, let’s remember that the huge majority of security staff were helpful, friendly and polite.

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The net result was that I missed the entire Thursday lineup with the exception of the last couple of songs by headliners, Reverend and the Makers.  It was certainly a disappointing start to the festival.  On Friday, we woke to rain and the awful news that tent thieves had been at work overnight, this is fast becoming a trend at UK festivals, especially on the first night when people are carrying the most cash.

That said, if you think this is going to be a review that focuses on what didn’t go well, let me disavow you of that notion.

There are many reasons why Bearded Theory is my favourite festival of the year, and it’s mostly about the people.

The organisers of Bearded Theory were horrified by the traffic problems, and I am certain that they will do everything in their power to ensure that there is no repeat next year.

Of course, it isn’t just the organisers who make a festival run smoothly.  They are assisted by a huge team who spend days before and after the festival building and breaking down the site.  A special mention must go to the wonderful army of Oxfam stewards.  These selfless souls turn up giving their time, often working long shifts, for no more than free entry to the event.  They work incredibly hard to keep us all safe and to keep things running smoothly.

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Of course, the biggest praise of all should go to those festival fans who turn up intent on having a great weekend.  In their thousands, music fans arrive on site to party, make new friends, and to socialise with other revelers.  Perhaps the best example of the atmosphere at Bearded Theory was the fans reactions to the Thursday night thefts.  Many fans donated to hastily arranged funds collected by the welfare team and by the crew at the Something Else Tea Tent.  Thousands of pounds were donated to help ensure that those who lost everything were able to stay on site and enjoy the festival.

You can’t help but be impressed by the selflessness and generosity of the fans at Bearded Theory.  Likewise, the attention to detail displayed by the entire team.  The festival had campsite helpers who entertained children whilst tents were erected.  There were sign language interpreters on all the stages, new paths had been installed to assist those with mobility problems,

My wife and I walked the camping fields on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening, almost unbelievably, as the photos below will show, there wasn’t a single piece of litter to be seen in the campsites.  This was seriously impressive, but it also exemplifies that everyone has a role to play in making a festival and great experience for everyone.

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Lastly, one of the reasons that Bearded Theory is frequently awarded accolades for Best Family Festival is the Bearded Theory School.  Teachers, volunteers, Special Educational Needs teachers combine to provide a fabulous fun and educational experience for the younger festival fan.  This really is the jewel in Bearded Theory’s crown.

To summarise, Bearded Theory had a few issues to deal with over the past weekend, but as they always do, the organisers reacted swiftly, doing everything they possibly could to resolve the problems.  I have no doubt that they will do everything in their power to improve again next year.

It is Bearded Theory’s ability to listen and respond to its customers that sets it apart from most festivals.  It is the determination to get it right that makes Bearded Theory the best festival of its kind in the UK.  Long may it continue!

I will end part 1 of this review here, do watch out for reviews and photographs over the next few days.

 

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Fantasy Photography Trip To The South Of France

A few weeks ago I saw a casting from one of my favourite UK models advertising a photography trip to Chateau Goudourville in the South of France from 1 – 8 July 2017.  The trip is being organised by Sophie Merlo Photography, based in Bristol. And full details of costs are on the events website.
The location is in a fantasy location, an authentic 11th century Castle that was redesigned during the Renaissance, and welcomed Pope Clement V, King Henry the 4th and Queen Catherine de Médicis.
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The trip includes shoot time with no less than four of the UK’s top models.  I have already worked with Sinopa Rin, and all three of the other models were on my “must work with” list for 2017.  Jezebelle, Helen Diaz and Volkova are superb and very popular models.  All four models are highly skilled, and they are experienced at working with everyone from novice to top professional photographers.
All four models are top professionals, they can help you with lighting and they really know how to help any photographer to get the best images possible.  Sinopa Rin works to lingerie level, and all three of the other models work to nude levels.  Photographer numbers on the trip are being kept small to ensure that you have plenty of shoot time with the “house” models.  Photographers are also invited to bring their own models at a subsidised rate, if they so wish.  The trip may also be attractive to aspiring models who would like to have the opportunity to work with some great photographers, creating unique images that will be a boost to any portfolio.
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Experienced photographers on the trip (including myself) will be on hand to help with lighting and advice should you need it.  If you need a little boost with your editing skills, bring your laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop installed.
Do check out some of the models work by clicking this link.
As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, Sophie has booked a very skilled stylist, Tabitha Boydell, for the duration of the trip.  Tabitha has created a range of fabulous outfits for the models, this will allow all the photographers to capture totally unique images.
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This area in France is famous for its fields of sunflowers that should be in bloom when we are there (this is seasonally dependent). A real artists’ paradise.

Lovers of authentic castles will be enchanted by this old medieval fortress which over time has transformed into a warm and welcoming castle. Its crowning glories are many: the Guards Room, its cosy chapel, its charming guestrooms where numerous illustrious visitors have rested their heads, its Courtyard of Honour where Henry IV planted the flags of his defeated enemies…

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Erected on the last foothills of Quercy (1 hour from Toulouse, 1 hour and half from Bordeaux, 5 hour from Paris by train) in an emerald spanning 25 hectares.

* luxurious rooms
* dungeon
* chapel
* swimming pool and pool house
* private grounds
* free wifi
* tennis court

This will be the shoot location plus also where photographers and models are staying during the trip.

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I have nothing to do with the organisation of this trip, I am attending as a photographer and taking my wife along for a holiday.  Flights to Toulouse are available from many UK regional airpots, and very reasonably priced on Easy Jet.  Flights are not included in the cost of the trip.

Any interested photographer or model should contact Sophie direct on her email address at sophiemerlo@gmx.com

 

 

Fans Should Forget The Glastonbury Ticket Resale And Go To Bearded Theory Instead

Every autumn we see the annual scramble for tickets to Glastonbury festival. On October 9, 2016 tickets for the 250,000 capacity Glastonbury festival sold out in just 35 minutes. Of course, that is not the end of the road for Glastonbury fans. The official Glastonbury festival lineup will be released in the next couple of weeks. Shortly after that, fans who now find that they no longer wish to attend, can cancel their attendance and their Glastonbury tickets will be offered for resale on the official Glastonbury website. There will, of course, be a scramble for the Glastonbury ticket re-sale, but would fans be better advised to go elsewhere, for example to Bearded Theory Festival?

Read More Here

Daily Prompt – Dilemma

What a very appropriate daily prompt I see today.  A one word prompt that sums up my summer.  The fact is that I have been so crazy busy for the last four months that my blog has taken a back seat.  My dilemma has been that something has to give and sadly paid work has to take priority over writing for fun.

There is a great deal of irony because it was this WordPress blog that directly led me into the world I now inhabit.  I began writing here to give myself a creative outlet after being forced to take early retirement on the grounds of ill health (depression.)

I now find myself writing and photographing for two music magazines and an USA based news agency.  All of that, my drift into creating art and becoming a professional photographer began right here on WordPress.  As a consequence I feel that this little corner of the internet is a part of me, it is largely responsible for me being in a totally creative world and for my current happiness and sense of well-being.

As a bit of fun I present you with another Dilemma.  On Saturday I attended an all day photoshoot with four other photographers and six lovely models.  During the first part of the day I was shooting a beautiful model dressed as an autumnal Poison Ivy.  By coincidence the adjacent room also had a Poison Ivy so we all got together to shoot a slice of double trouble.  The Dilemma?  How do you choose your favourite Poison Ivy from these two beautiful lady’s?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

I have been so busy this summer that my poor blog has been sadly neglected.  Thankfully thing are calming down now so its time to get back into the habit.

A attended a group photo session on Saturday five photographers and six models in a studio housed in an old brewery building.  During the shoot I captured these images of two people who had certainly been on a quest!! 😉

Bestival: Tumblers – Photographs

Last weekend saw me at what will be my last music festival of this season.  One of the joys of festivals for me  is wandering around to find the weird and wacky things that are going on and I have to say that Bestival was a joy in this respect.

Sunday was a beautiful day and as I wandered around I came across a band playing New Orleans style Jazz rhythms, I watched fascinated as these two guys performed tumbles and somersaults to the musical background.  I was a mighty entertaining few minutes.  Enjoy the photographs.

Tonefest Dorset: Festival photographs

If you were at Tonefest this weekend you may have spotted me lugging my cameras around.  The chances are I may have caught you on film (well digital) when you didn’t expect it.

Please have a browse, if you spot yourself and want a copy of the photograph just drop me a line through the contact button above.  you are welcome to a free high resolution copy.