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Big Storm Monday

When I was convinced that the storm really was on its way I booked a hotel in Lyme Regis, a lovely little town on the Dorset coast. My hotel was two minutes from the sea.

With my kit ready and alarm set I went to sleep dreaming of 20 foot waves crashing into the Cobb, as the local breakwater is called.  What a surprise, sure it was windy and yes the waves were bigger than the previous day but not spectacular.  The BBC weather people had got it wrong again!  It was only later when I turned on the radio in the car I learned that there was a storm, it just wasn’t in Lyme Regis.

After a hour on the coast watching a magnificent sunrise I hot-footed it to Kimmeridge Bay where I photographed the wind surfers.  Very exhilarating!

The first two shots were taken with the Nikon D800 with a 24-70 f2.8 lens.  The rest with the D7100 with the f4 200-400 zoom on a mono pod.

Happy Birthday – Max Boyce


Max Boyce and Welsh Rugby Football have been part of me for as long as I can remember. In my twenties and thirties playing rugby in Southern England when Wales ruled supreme in the Northern Hemisphere and the Welsh dominated British and Irish Lions were conquering overseas, Max was very much part of that scene.

This ex-miner turned singer songwriter very quickly became a national treasure, throughout the whole of Wales and not just amongst the rugby communities.  For a Welshman, like me, away from home he was a link back to my roots.  Every time I played his records or a cassette in the car I knew exactly what I was – proudly Welsh.  With other Welsh ex-pats we sang his songs in English rugby clubs after playing oblivious of of everyone else.

Max’ songs are still sung in rugby clubs 40 years on.  When the English rugby team need uplifting or congratulating the spectators sing a negro spiritual, Swing Low Sweet Chariot.  When Wales are doing well we sing a Max Boyce song “Hymns and Arias”!  When I spoke with Max before a game in Cardiff last year I asked hime how he felt sitting in the Millennium Stadium with 50,000 welshmen and women singing his song?  He said it makes him incredibly proud and brought a tear to his eye every time.

With two Six Nations Grand Slams and a Championship win in recent years and a good showing in the previous World Cup – and the predominantly Welsh British and Irish Lions team stuffing Australia I’m getting a bit of deja vu!

When Max leaves this place there will be a hole in Wales that will never be filled.  Let’s hope it will be a long time yet.  Happy 70th Birthday Max!

Notting Hill Carnival Partytime

Having seen the images in the previous blog, Notting Hill Carnival Kids, you might be a bit surprised that this lot were in the same procession!  It went wild,  paint, buckets of chocolate, talcum powder, water.  I am surprised they let me on the train home!
For those of you interested.  I carried two Nikon Cameras with fixed lens. 20mm on the full frame D800 and 35mm on the D7100, and got right in the thick of it, as you will see.  This is just a small selection from the day. When time allows I will get them all into a slide show with appropriate soundtrack.  There are a few more photos from the festival on my website and you can view them full screen – it’s almost as good as being there.

Notting Hill Carnival Kids 2013

It’s become unfashionable for adult males to be around children and even more so to enjoy it!  I do, and I cannot wait for August to come around and another opportunity to photograph at the Notting Hill Festival on Sunday – so called children’s day.  Each group, and there are many, is proceeded by a lorry with a DJ, a skyscraper stack of speakers that makes your ears hurt and your chest vibrate.  In the front are the kids all looking wonderful in there themed outfits, the very young with a supporting mum or dad, many carrying the flag of their island heritage, Jamaica, Guyana, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago etc.  Behind them “the T Shirts”, the not so young who are there to party – and don’t they!