Rallye Sunseeker 2013

For some time now, i've wanted to photograph a rally. Ultimately committed drivers throw their cars around the ever-changing surface in a bid to be the quickest across various stages. With the Rallye Sunseeker on my door step, I headed down to Poole Quay with Jakob Ebrey to cover this year's event.

Rallye Sunseeker Poole Quay Ceremonial Launch Night Start

Fans lined the street for the ceremonial opening, creating a buzz that this sports famous for. Here, you can get closer to the cars and drivers than in any other form of motorsport.

Rallye Sunseeker Citroen DS3 R3 Driver Line Up
Rallye Sunseeker Tom Cave Ceremonial Opening

The following morning, Somerley house played host to two special stages. With no room for error, cars literally flew past the house at breakneck speeds.

Rallye Sunseeker Somerley House Stage Jump Ford Fiesta Rally Car
Rallye Sunseeker Classic Jump Somerley House

Further round the stage, Somerley House provided a picturesque backdrop for spectators:

Rallye Sunseeker Somerley House Stage Citroen DS3
Somerley House Stage Rallye Sunseeker Fiesta 99

After Stages 3 and 6, we headed back to the service park to catch the teams hard at work:

Rally Tyres Pirelli Service Park Rallye Sunseeker
Citroen DS3 R3 Service Park Poole Quay Rallye Sunseeker.jpg
Tom Cave Rallye Sunseeker Citroen DS3 R3
Rallye Sunseeker Refuel Fuel Pitstop Service Park

With Jukka Korhonen set to claim the title of BRC Champion, he looked calm and composed before heading out on the next stage: 

Jukka Korhonen BRC Champion 2013 Sunseeker Rallye Service Park
Jukka Korhonen BRC Champion Rallye Sunseeker

A quick trip to the press office to file some images and it was on to the finish line at Poole Quay. As the sun began to set and crowds gathered, it started to look more like Monaco than Dorset! 

Rallye Sunseeker Finish Line Porsche 911

As cars made their entrance, the Mayor presented the trophies to each of the competitors and celebrations were well underway with Jukka Korhonen and Mark Salminen being crowned the 2013 BRC Champions:

Rallye Sunseeker Mayor Trophy Presentation Poole Pottery
Jukka Korhonen BRC Champion Citroen DS3 R3 British Rally Championship Sunseeker Rally

Absolutely loved my first foray into documenting a rally. Next stop WRC Wales?

Published - Western Gazette: "Snapper Richard discovers inspiring shots on trip home"

You may recall recently that I blogged about Sherborne Abbey and the fact Hannah and I had the great opportunity to see some of the unseen sights it has to offer, mainly the panoramic view from the bell tower. I was thrilled when a BBC Dorset Journalist published some of the images on their BBC News In Pictures section, however never did I expect that a fleeting visit to the Abbey would result in the local newspaper asking to write an article about me. The Western Gazette, founded in 1737 and having a circulation of 31,000 is a newspaper spanning the areas of Dorset and Somerset. Growing up in Sherborne i've often read this paper, so to have them contact me and request an interview for the upcoming edition I was both shocked and excited to say the least. The article touches on the beginning of my photography career, the experience we had at Sherborne Abbey and includes a rather scary picture of myself (credit to Hannah for taking that!).

Thanks to my mother for the above scan, who managed to purchase the paper in a local supermarket and glance over it before even realising it was me! All of this just goes to show that opportunities such as photographing the Abbey should be grabbed with both hands. It's an approach I always try to adopt with my photography and personal projects as you'll never know where things might end up! If your local to Dorset or Somerset then why not grab a copy and take a look at yourself on page 4 :)


Published - BBC News In Pictures: Inside Sherborne Abbey

Commented as one of Dorset's most historic and ornate buildings, the BBC have just published my images of Sherborne Abbey as part of their 'In Pictures' section of the Dorset News website.

After a brief conversation with a BBC Journalist, five images and suitable captions were chosen to publish on their website. If you'd like to take a look, please feel free to click the following link: BBC Dorset News - In Pictures: Inside Sherborne Abbey

Location - Sherborne Abbey, Dorset

The magnificent Sherborne Abbey dates back to 705 when it was originally a Saxon Cathedral. Having grown up in Dorset I really wanted to show Hannah what this beautiful Abbey had to offer. The weekend just gone found us visiting my parents, as James and I were photographing a gorgeous wedding in Somerset (more to come of that on our wedding blog later). Knowing that Han and I had a band shoot to conduct later that Monday evening, we decided we would visit the Abbey before journeying back to Hertfordshire.

Han has recently found her first Pentax K1000 35mm Film SLR, which is fantastic as she is going to put it to the test and relive where her passion all started (can't wait to see the outcome of this, and i'm sure if you keep an eye on her blog you'll see some results soon). With that said, the decor and architecture that Sherborne has to offer is a great subject for any camera, so off we headed.

On a somewhat overcast and windy day the intention was to focus (excuse the pun) on the interior of the Abbey. Over the years of living away I had forgotten just how stunning the inside of the Abbey was, and quite happily stood in awe of it's beauty.

It's all about being in the right place, at the right time and what happens next is testimony to that. The Head Verger of Sherborne Abbey approached us saying we both looked like keen photographers, and after a brief conversation of why we visiting he offered us a fantastic chance to head up the bell tower and onto the roof of Sherborne Abbey. That's an offer no one can refuse, and before he could finish his sentence me and Han had already agreed to do so.

Through the narrow door, up the windiest and tightest (I'm 6ft2 don't you know?!) of staircases we climbed out of the hatch (right picture) on top of Sherborne Abbey to witness the magnificent view across the town. So thrilled to be up there, we spent around 20 minutes being blown back and forth by gusts of winds as the Sherborne Abbey bells rang out.

The above photograph is a panoramic stitch of 7 images just showing you how overcast, but also how great the view was. Shame about the weather, but never the less an unforgettable experience and one that we cannot thank the Head Verger enough for letting us do so. On the way back down from the roof I paused to get a quick shot of the bells:

We never took these photographs with the intention of blogging them, but it was an experience we wanted to share. If your in Dorset or plan on visiting sometime soon, Sherborne Abbey is a must-see. From it's intricate details on the ceiling to the reddened stone under the Tower caused by a fire during a riot in the 15th century, it all adds up to make it breathtaking.

On a photographic note, these images just go to show the capabilities of  handling high ISO on the 5D MarkII. All images used in this blog post (except the panoramic) are taken between ISO2000-6400 using shutter speeds as slow as 1/20th handheld!

The visit to Sherborne Abbey has inspired me to take on a personal project. Seeing as James and I grew up in and around Sherborne, we're going to embark on producing a photographic book of the area. Looking forward to working on this over the year.

Location - Corfe Castle, Dorset

5:30am...Hannah Couzens, James Pardon and I find ourselves trecking up a deceptively steep hill using our tripods as some sort of  'ice axe'. All in the name of photography and getting a great picture. Using 'The 'The Photographs Ephemeris' iPhone app, we chose our vantage point on a neighbouring hill on which to capture a sunrise shot of Corfe Castle.

It's been a busy old week, preparing for our South Africa trip on Tuesday. Because of this i've only managed to take a look at one shot from today. Unfortunately the day started out rather overcast, with a bleak sunrise. 25 minutes into the sunrise and the clouds briefly broke letting this glorious light pour over the castle in a hazey manner.

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Should have a few more uploads to come, along with some from the neighbouring town of Swanage and a great shot of a broken down pier. Keep an eye out on FlickR for an update shortly. For now, i'm off to pack for South Africa! Yeeehaww!

Location - Durdle Door

Durdle Door is quite possibly one of the most iconic seascapes on the south coast, and because of this it's hard to capture a unique take on the fasinating structure. Taken at 2PM GMT on Saturday in what was some rare "October Sun" it was difficult to get a long enough exposure without the use of an ND filter in broad daylight.

In comes the use of high aperture which meant my camera is now crawling with sensor dust (Hurrah!). Nevertheless this allowed me to give my new Wacom Bamboo Tablet a good work out.

The above photograph is captured using three exposures, blended using a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range). I'm not usually a fan of HDR, but processed in a certain way I think they can give that unique effect/feel.

  • ISO50 | ƒ/22 | 1 Second
  • ISO50 | ƒ/22 | 1/15th Second
  • ISO50 | ƒ/22 | 1/4 Second

Starting to really enjoy landscape photography now, as it always provides me with an opportunity for new prints in the house :D

Photoshoot - Emily Pilton

Dorset on a very wet, dreary and dull day...That is until Emily turned up and rocked her shoot come rain or shine. Ducking in and out of the car at various locations to try and minimise how wet my equipment and Emily might get, she still protested she's never been infront of the camera. A true natural with a great smile, creates what is probably my favourite photograph to date:

With the white balance set at 3400 kelvin, a 580EXII speedlite with full CTO gel rigged inside the umbrella via a Manfrotto Superclamp it produces this stunningly vibrant picture. The colour balance gives lovely cold tones, whilst the gel makes Emily look natural and warm.

A gallery of Emily's shoot can be found here. Huge thanks to Emily for being so willing and motivated during this shoot despite the adverse weather conditions. :)

Location - The Blue Pool

'The Blue Pool' is a lake which lies on the site of an old clay quarry in Wareham, Dorset. A vast 25 acre heath woodland now makes this one of the most peaceful and tranquil places i've ever visited. 'Purbeck Ball Clay' was once extracted here back in the 17th century, which is why the pool gets it vivid changing colour. There are tiny particles of clay suspended in the lake's water, which defract the reflected light. With the light being refracted differently, it means the lake can change colour from grey right through to a turqoise blue. The below picture is straight off the camera, and has no photoshop trickery involved. The water is actually this colour and could fool anyone to think this wasn't taken in the UK! Idyllic setting for a one on one or couples outdoor photoshoot.

For the full gallery of the Blue Pool, please feel free to click here.

Location - Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle dates back to the early 11th century. During the Civil War the castle came under seige twice by the Parliamentarians. The fortress was impenetrable, until during the second siege when it was betrayed by  a member of the garrison. Once captured, the castle was planted with explosives to ensure it could never be used as a stronghold again. These ruins still stand today, run by the National Trust located in the Purbeck Hills (Dorset). This weekend, with the summer weather well on it's way we took a trip up to see the magnificent structure.

Over the years the castle has undergone various restoration projects, to ensure that each year the hundreds of thousands of visitors can enjoy what was hailed as 'one of the most important castles in England at the time'. Below is a picture of Corfe Castle Village taken high in the castle.

For a full gallery of Corfe Castle, including abit of fun with off camera flash high aloft the castle please feel free to click here.