Today we spent some time in Siena also in Tuscany. This was a 90 minute drive from our tower but well worth it. Siena is famous for it’s Palio race held twice a year in July and August. We didn’t get to see that as it has already taken place in July and we will have gone by the time the August one takes place. I have added that to my bucket list as I would love to photograph the race. The old gentleman in the photographs is the proprietor of a local shop, he looks asleep but I asked his permission to take the photograph and he agreed as I pressed the shutter he closed his eyes in an almost serene manner.
All taken on my FujiFilm X-E2 rapidly becoming my favourite camera!
I hope you enjoy these photographs, we are having a quiet day tomorrow but will be headed to Florence on Friday.
We are staying in a 14th Century Medieval tower in the Tuscany village of Montecatini Val di Cecina. We ventured out to the nearest large town Volterra for an afternoon of sightseeing. I took my FujiFilm X-E2 out for the day and took the entire set of images with that. So here are a few images from the day I hope they give you a feel for this amazing part of the world.
As a photographer it is important to keep pushing yourself and developing your skills. One way to do this is to take on personal projects that aren’t funded by client commissions. In doing this you can try out new ideas and techniques without the fear of failure. I recently embarked on such a project but it has grown from being a small personal project into something much bigger.
For me to be able to realise the project and make it happen I need to get some funding to pay for the trip and expenses whilst capturing the images. The project is will allow me to create a photobook with fine art images of Rodeo Cowboys and Cowgirls in action and behind the scenes. For a UK photographer that is quite difficult as we don’t have rodeos in our part of the world. I became fascinated with rodeo from afar and have since attended the biggest one day rodeo at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington Texas. That was an amazing experience and has simply intensified my interest in what can only be described as the most amazing sport.
I have been working on the project for some time and have enlisted the support of my friend Skip Cohen who will be writing the foreword for the final photo book. In addition to that I have been in discussions with UK and USA children’s charities who will be the recipient of a percentage of profits from sales one the book. I will announce the two charities in the next week. Further support has been provided by Fujifilm UK and I will be using their amazing cameras for the vast majority of photographs for the project.
The project is really important to me and I hope that it will raise awareness for this incredible sport this side of the pond. The Cowboys and Cowgirls are the most down to earth people you could wish to meet and have time for everyone.
However, it is really important for people to realise that I can only do the project if I get the funding I have set on my Kickstarter campaign. If the project gets to the end date without meeting the target I don’t get a single penny and the project won’t happen. Therefore if you have enjoyed any of the photographs on my blog or on the Facebook page it would be great if you could back the project. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, although the prices are in British Pounds (£) you can pledge Kickstarter will convert the amount to your local currency when the project completes. Additionally it is important to note that the pledged funds are not taken until the campaign ends and if it is successfully funded.
The project can be found at Kickstarter please click the Back This Project Button and pledge what you can from £1 ($1.60) upwards.
Here are some of the promotional images from the project I hoe you enjoy them and help me to make another trip to get enough to make the book happen.
I thought whilst I was away with the family on a weekend break I would take the chance to really get to know the Fuji Film X-E2 especially as it will be featuring heavily in the photo book project I am working on (Cowboy Up). Here are a few photographs from the weekend all taken with the X-E2 and 35mm Lens. This camera is a joy to use and feels so natural in the hands it makes a change from having the big heavy DSLR and bag full of lenses.
I have used Canon DSLRs for many years now but feel that sometimes they get in the way of the photography and like a lot of photographers have been looking to find a solution to that issue. Having spent enough time with the camera in practical situations I now feel confident that I can use the Fuji X cameras in professional situations. Whilst the X-E2 is a joy to use the key aspect is the fact that the image quality of the photographs is outstanding. As long as your basic understanding of photography is sound you can quickly get to a point where you get the picture that you want using the simple controls of the camera and lens.
This set of photographs is from a family weekend away to North West Wales where we took in Llyn Brianne Reservior and Aberdyfi. Thanks to Jude, Tegan and Bentley (the dog) for their patience whilst I took these pictures. Although to be honest I feel that it took less time to get the shot with this system than my usual cameras.
I was privileged to be able to photograph the worlds biggest one day Rodeo at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas (the home of the Dallas Cowboys). This was my first ever Rodeo and one of the most exciting days sport I have ever witnessed. RFD-TV gave me (and my wife) a press pass for this prestigious event and were incredibly hospitable to us the entire day.
The day gave each event winner the opportunity to win $100,000 outright. But if you came into the event as a qualifier or had an exemption and won your event you had the chance to share in a bonus prize fund of $1,000,000. As it proved 21 year old Richmond Champion was the only qualifier to win his event in the Bareback and took home $1,100,000 for his efforts.
Although this was my first Rodeo it will not be my last and I am working on a project that will take me back again to spend more time with the Cowboys and document their way of life.
There are a selection of photographs from the event for sale in my online gallery
On 13th November 2013 I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Ben and Tina at Cripp’s Barn in the Cotswolds. The preparations were all carried out at Cats Abbey, Sherbourne before moving on to the barn for the ceremony and evening festivities. The majority of the day was bathed in warm Autumn sun and held until late in the evening, I think it’s fair to say everyone had a wonderful day, despite one or two mishaps along the way.