Posts

,

New York, New York

This last week I have been sick.  Very sick.  You know when you watch those zombie movies and the whole world has died of a deadly virus?  That’s how sick I was.

Ok, maybe not that bad, but being a man I do feel that whenever I get a sniffle, the world is going to end.  And so our guests Jenny and Tom, who visited us last year, were ever so patient as I coughed and spluttered in the background, cursing the gods for their cruelty and generally feeling sorry for myself.  And Sian was kind as always, administering painkillers and offering soothing words…I truly was on death’s door.

Kind of.

During my bed rest, between writing my last will and testament and telling all those dear to me that I loved them,  I took the time to flick through some old hard drives, clean up some files, and generally do some digital housekeeping.  I then stumbled across our honeymoon photos and realised that I have not once posted about the epic adventure on this blog.  Being that I have only been out of the house for a few hours in the last week, I have obviously nothing new to share with you all, and so I am glad that my previous laziness and incompetence allows me to now share them with you today…I hope you enjoy 🙂

NY_01

First off, our honeymoon was epic.  I know that everyone says that (you should, after all) but ours was the tops.  The bees knees – the dog’s danglies. The best.

We started off for a few days in Miami, and after painting the town red (sleeping) for all of four days, we got a bus up the road to Orlando to enjoy the wonders of Universal, Busch Gardens, and all the other amazing theme parks.  It was so much fun.

And after 10 days of theme parks and crazy golf, we jumped on a train and headed up to New York to stay with one of Sian’s dearest friends, Ellie and her husband Kenn.  They live in Brooklyn and are wonderful…and so is New York.

NY_02

Barbados is awesome.  We have lovely beaches and views and warmth, but Sian and I miss the city. And I miss the cold.  When we first arrived in New York, the mid-March chill of 0 degrees was oh so welcome.  We wandered around the city, bundled up in every item of clothing we owned, our necks craned back enjoying the dizzy heights of the buildings, taking in the sights and sounds of what many regard as the greatest city in the world.

The novelty of the cold soon wore thin, but the sights didn’t.  Boy do we miss architecture.  As we explored the frozen streets, we had completely forgotten the Chatel Houses of home, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the crystal blue water hugging the coastal road as you head north or south…here we were treated to buildings of monolithic scale; clad in glass and oozing style, we had never seen anything like it.

We loved it.

NY_03

We did all the touristy things we could in the four days we were there.  We ice skated in Central Park, we visited the Statue of Liberty, we went to the museums, and we scaled the Empire State.

NY_04

Ingeniously (by sheer luck) Sian and I planned the trip to the concrete summit to coincide with sunset.  Standing at the top of the building in minus 5  with a wind chill to boot, we were treated to one of the most wonderful – if not the coldest, sunsets we had seen for a long time.

And as the sun dipped behind the horizon, the city scape changed before our eyes.

NY_05

 

NY_06

Sian and I came to the conclusion that city life suits us a whole lot better than island life does.  We love theatre and food and music and all that good stuff.  In Barbados, you get some of that, but New York just has it in spades.  Even as I write this, my heart has skipped a beat at the thought of us being home in London in less than 6 months…I cannot WAIT to be back in the city again, amongst the hustle and bustle, the small bars, the good beer, the sheer number of PEOPLE that you meet…

NY_07

NY_08

And maybe, with all the airmiles we have clocked up over the last few years of living out here, I will treat Sianie to a reprise of the honeymoon; a wee jolly to New York, the BEST city in the world…

Thanks for reading guys, and hope you all have a great week.

 

 

Ferg

x

 

 

,

A fly on the wall post

Well…not really.  If you had been a fly on our wall over the last few days, you would have seen Sian and I desperately trying to get on top of things…tidying the house;  building barbeques, catching up with holiday laundry, stressing a lot about work and generally getting a little tiddly at the excitement of my parents coming out to see us over Christmas.

But yesterday was fantastic.  We started the day with a cup of tea, looking out from our balcony and drinking in that wonderful view…when all of a sudden this little guy landed on the table by my laptop.  Ok, he’s not a fly on the wall, but ‘fly on the desk’ doesn’t sound right…does it?  He was ever so patient as I blinded him with two speedlights and intrusive macro lens and  the end result was definitely worth it.

Not even 9:30 am, and I had bagged an amazing image…things were shaping up nicely.

By about 10 our garden was teaming with the hit squad our landlady has bestowed upon us.  Over the next few hours the garden was transformed from the shaggy, overgrown jungle, to the well kept, primped and preened glory we know and love.  It is a lovely place to be.  And as we wandered around our newly reclaimed paradise, Sian spotted the coconuts in the tree, and asked me (for the 999999th time) if we could finally get that machete and cut them down…promises of coconut run punches, breads and cakes were made. So a trip to the hardware store was promptly arranged.

Now, as many readers of this blog will know, Barbados is not a cheap place to live. Far from it.  So imagine my surprise when I asked the nice lady behind the counter ‘how much that machete was – no, the huge one that looks like it could cut a tiger in two’, and she replied a mere ‘thirty bucks.’

Thirty Bucks?

That is how much Sian and I famously paid for a parsnip this time last year for Christmas…and here she was holding an 18inch blade, designed to last for years complete with rubberised grip and holster for the same price? This was surely the bargain of the century.

Before she could realise her obvious mistake and tell me the real price, I handed over the cash, strapped the holster to my belt, and drove home feeling like Crocodile Dundee…the coconuts had no idea what was going to hit them when I got back.

Or so I thought.

Turns out coconuts are incredibly hardy, and the guys at the side of the road who chop them up with the deftness of soft-handed masseus’ are clearly a very skilled bunch…I could not get the bloody things open.  I tried brute force, hacking, slashing, sawing…they would not play ball.  Even getting them out of the tree was stressful in itself…I developed a next level technique for this though. I call this photo ‘fat and clueless man swings hopelessly at nuts with a metal rod.’

When I finally knocked a few down, the frustration began…but after a few attacks, we discovered that if you did exactly the opposite to what the road-side vendors do, that is cut down the coconut, not across the top of it, they bust right open…and that water inside is soooo good when you’ve been swinging metal poles and a sword around in the 34 degree heat.

Victory.

And as I type this, the aches and pains in my shoulders, along with the callouses and blisters on my hands are utterly worth it.  Sian is currently dicing all the coconut flesh we were able to harvest meaning the spoils shall definitely be enjoyed! (perhaps a food blog next? Messages below if you would like to see?!)

In the evening we sat down at our newly built barbeque, congratulating each other on the days’ endeavours, and we were treated to one of Barbados’ hilarious blackouts.  Usually a problem for most people, but not us – not on this the day of dreams, far from it.  We wandered out into the front garden, slapped the camera on a tripod, and enjoyed Nature’s light show.

I never thought I would say it…but it’s good to be home 🙂

 

Thanks for reading guys x

 

Colours colours colours

The other night, Sian and I went down to dinner and we did something we rarely do nowadays.  We took a few photos.  For the fun of it.

We weren’t shooting for a wedding, or a corporate event, or a client wanting to show off their fancy property…we took the camera to do some good old fashioned light-on-sensor-gimmickry.  And it was great.

In the last few weeks of writing, I have been telling you all how we have had to move and we are living in a new place – but I am yet to show you our new abode:  The Almond Casuarina.

This is the biggest of the two pools on resort.  Just under the bridge is a swim up bar, and it is a lovely place to chill out on a Sunday when you have the time.  The beach is off to the right, and the main restaraunts and bars are within that warm, fuzzy glow on the left.  It is a lovely hotel, albeit MUCH smaller than the Village, where we used to live.

Sian is great at times like this.  Everyone was sat down enjoying their meals, whilst I tinkered with my camera, setting up tripods and light stands, and she watched on with patience and anticipation.  I then asked if she would mind standing on the bridge like a lemon and holding a flash up in front of her face.

She of course had no objections.

After playing about at this pool for five minutes or so, we wandered around to the next one for the shot I was after.

This pool is on the other side of the building, and I wanted to play here for two reasons.  One – it is always very quiet in the evening, so long exposures are doable without upsetting anyone, and two, it is not very well lit. Despite what this 6 second exposure tells you, around the pool is actually quite dark, and that’s what I wanted.

Because the shot I was after was a little different to the one you see above.  What I wanted to do was shift my colour space dramatically, so that the water glowed a golden orange rather than that misty blue.  This would mean shifting my white balance to a much warmer temperature – but I needed my subject, in this case Sian, to remain ‘true’ in colour.  I also wanted to get the effect of a calm, oily surface on the water and catch some splashes in the pool that she kicked up.

Solution to all of these requests?  Flash.

A few months back,  James very kindly bought me a set of coloured gels that I can stick over my flash gun.  If you haven’t heard of or know James, go and check out his blog.   He is awesome.  Anyway, the point of these coloured gels is that I can shoot my flash at Sian and not only illuminate her in the darkness, but by using a different coloured gel, the colour of the light hitting her will change too.

Bare with me on this…

When I ramp my white balance to a very warm 9000k, the scene becomes very, very red.  So, to bring Sian back into the correct colour, and not leaving her looking like a sunburnt beetroot, I hit her with a powerful blast of flash, shooting a deep blue colour.  The blue negates the red of the scene, Sian looks normal, and I get that burnt orange on the water’s surface I was after.

I also asked Sian to kick up some water just before I blasted the flash to catch those little splashes in the air…It is not perfect, but in the twenty minutes of playing, we got to use a little bit of new kit, I got to tell you all some photography nerd-ary, and I got another dazzling picture of my hot wife.

Not a bad day in the office really…

 

 

Thanks for reading guys

x