Zeiss batis 25mm f2

Just a little Taste.

It must be the time of year. Summer months always mean festivals, and these events tend to go hand in hand with food and drink.

So for the second time in two weeks, the kit-bag got packed for a foodie festival, this time capturing images for Chang Beer at Taste of London in Regent's Park.

The brief was thankfully simple - on stand shots of people enjoying the great taste of Chang (apols Duffman), lots of shots around the park of festival goers getting a little tipsy but also making sure I captured some of the meat-tastic bbq action at the aptly named 'Fire Pit' where much beef was burnt (Top tip - never season a steak with pepper before cooking - only use salt otherwise you burn it!)

Apart from the awful light on the day - our English summer sun had yet to materialise - it was great fun and I came away with a keg-sized amount of shots for Chang and a stomach full of world-class food to my name. I also smelt like a barbeque.

Anyway, here's my selection of the shots from the day. Hats off to Daisy, Malvina and Serena at The Smalls and thanks to Kenny at Chang.

Tech Corner:

All the usuals - Zeiss Batis 25mm for a couple of wide shots, a few bits of Zeiss 35mm and then that Batis 85mm for the rest.

I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like.

Ok, so the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that Syd Barrett was not famous for hailing from Oxford - today's street shoot destination - rather it's arch-rival Cambridge.

However, that lyric - as erroneous and misleading as it is - does neatly sum up my day in the city of dreaming spires, universities, Morse and most importantly to me - Radiohead.

The bike thing. I know it's pretty obvious, but they are everywhere. To the point that it's difficult to get a shot without one in. I tried. The only way was to shoot up, and I'm pretty sure one flew past into the frame with an undergraduate attached. So I gave in and embraced my two-wheeled nemesis and cracked on.

Despite it being a chilly 5/6 degrees all day, the sun was out and it was lovely to get some natural light into the images. Jumping off the bus, I headed straight through to Radcliffe Camera, with its usual array of tourists dancing around for selfies and bored looking school parties. 

I then (with no particular plan) just wandered around the main area of town, down the High Street capturing workers, waifs and strays and the odd non chocolately minstrel, before a dash of lunch - try to spot an lesser spotted selfie in the pics below. As mentioned previously, being a total Radiohead nut, I decided to do a detour down St. John Street, where it's rumoured that Thom Yorke lives. It's a pretty nice street just behind the Ashmolean, and not very rock star but then that's kind of what I expected. No guitar-shaped swimming pools were noted.

I was pretty determined today to catch some punts (that's punts), so despite it being a bit a stride, I wandered down to the Magdalen Bridge and found what looked like the only 6 or so in Oxford. Must be the time of year. Anyway, tick!

Finally, as it was right there I poked my head around the door of the Botanical Garden for a few shots - it was a bit bare, but I'll look forward to coming back again later in the year when its a bit more colourful. 

So dodging a few more of those pesky bikes, I hurried back to the bus getting a few little candids whilst waiting for the number 400 Park and Ride. 

I've always enjoyed going to Oxford, but this was the first time I'd done a sustained street session, and there's plenty of interest photography wise, but a word of warning - it always involves two wheels.

Ding ding!

Tech Corner:
Everyone got involved today. Zeiss Batis 25/85, and the Sony 35/55 combos all saw action. 


On the Vyne.

How many times have you been on the roof of a Tudor mansion? Yeah, me too.

A sunny Sunday and the usual post-Christmas blues/lack of funds led us Worsfold's to don our bobble hats and scarfs and dig out the National Trust cards. Our destination this time? The Vyne near fashionable Basingstoke, a 16th-century country house which until further inspection seems to suffer from a huge amount of scaffolding and having 'some men in'.

However, once you're there you realise you're in for a bit of treat. The whole roof of the entire building is being restored and instead of just covering it over, the NT have done something different -  you can go up in an exciting lift (or walk off those mince pie by going up the stairs) and wander around the scaffolding looking down on the work going on and see an open heart surgery happing on a Tudor mansion in front of your own eyes. As always, the many volunteer staff were engaging, helpful and informative, and history buff daughter got loads out of it.

Post rooftop shenanigans and a wheel around the work-in-progress restoration on the lower internal levels, we took a stroll around the lovely lake with a spot of impromptu twitching in a bird bunker - or whatever they call it - overseeing the wetlands. I saw no Porgs.

Apparently, the rooftop walk is being closed next month, so if you fancy a look I'd get down there. We'll certainly be back to see how the place looks when it's 'finished', and perhaps just a little less chilly...

Tech corner:
For wandering around, the Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 was the main fellow, but one the roof I brought out the Zeiss Batis 25mm for some extra width.