The Entire History of Me - How I Became A Photographer
"This Diary Will Change Your Life" was an odd Christmas present. What was even stranger was the fact it did just that.
From the highlands of Scotland, an arson attack on a motorcycle shop, to being in-between Tom Jones and 50,000 fans. This is my journey.
Please click the photograph for the full story.
After a decade of longing for a drone, I finally purchased the DJI Mini 3 Pro. I am completely blown away by the technology. Obstacle avoidance, 5 mile range, 4k camera and under 250g. Which is handy as there are less restrictions in that weigh class.
It's been a steep learning curve. I've always been super safe with my gear. I still have my very first camera from 2009 and I'm never more than a few feet away from my set up.
So launching the drone 120m up at 36 mph was unnerving to say the least!
I am having a great time practising. Being able to explore places I've visited countless times, but capturing something new is just amazing.
I will be adding drone photography to my services, once my commercial license is approved.
Please let me know if you can think of any location you think would look great from above!
1: Maldon Promenade
2: Maldon South
Christmas Open Day - Hylands Estate, Essex / 18.12.22
It's always a pleasure to shoot at Hylands House, Chelmsford. Its a fantastic venue and I have made some great memories over the years. I met John Challis at the RHS show, photographed international artists at V and Rize festivals and joined a Husky meet for a story with the Essex Chronicle.
On this occasion, it was the annual Christmas Open Day. The house was available for the public to tour or stop for afternoon tea, whilst the nearby marque offered an array of local products. Outside was filled with various hot food stalls, alpaca petting and survival skill games.
The recent snowfall really helped the pictures pop with everyone's colourful Winter clothing. I always make sure I take my time with a shoot like this. Its all about capturing the right point of interest at the perfect moment.
If you are ever in the area, it well worth a visit!
Private Viewing Launch - Chelmsford Museum, Essex
I have had some fun times at Chelmsford Museum over the years. The highlight was when they purchased Tony Blair's head from Madame Tussauds to use in their military display! That was a great story to cover.
On this occasion I was invited by Chelmsford Council to photograph the launch evening of a new art exhibition: Forecast 22.
The first ever radio broadcast was made from Chelmsford in 1922. The exhibition covers various aspects of the history, including a projected 360 degree replication of the hut it was broadcast from.
It was a tricky shoot as using flash was not an option. But the space looked so good and everyone was very welcoming, so it was fine in the end.
The installation is available online until October 2023. Here is the link:
Sian Fan - curator of the exhibition
Digital projector at Forecast 2022
Visitors exploring Forecast 22
Sian Fan - curator of the exhibition
Essex Chronicles #1 - Tom Cruise MI5 / 04.10.2017
In 2017 a small woodland south of Brentwood became the unlikely location of a Hollywood film set. Restricted access, angry paparazzi and with no idea where to be, it was always going to be a huge challenge.
Please click the photograph to see the full story.
Astrophotography is great fun but very challenging. Maldon promenade is a great place to practise.
There's the weather, Moon phases and the location of the Galactic Centre to consider. Light pollution is a huge problem too, even when shooting East towards the North Sea.
The GC will soon be out of sight until next Spring, when I hope to make the most of what I've learned up to now.
Second image is taken with the Insta360 Xone2. It's my first introduction to 360 photography and videography. It's a great bit of kit and has opened a whole new method of capturing the world.
The statue is Byrhtnoth, a solider who lead the defence of the Anglo Saxons against the Viking invaders in 991AD. He fell in the battle and became a legend. It's good to know everyone who visits the park gets to learn his story.
Had the pleasure of photographing a wedding for a former colleague today. The ceremony took place at Moot Hall, Maldon.
I arrived early and had a brief tour from the manager of the hall, Victoria. I never realised the roof was accessible to the public. One of the most spectacular viewpoints I've ever seen in Essex. Even the high rises of Southend-on-Sea were visible.
The venue was ideal for photographing a wedding. Bright with loads of natural light. The after party venue at Layer Marney Tower was equally as great.
One of the great features of the Canon 6D Mk2 is the time lapse function. I can select how many shots and the interval, set the exposure and relax.
When I first attempted TL videos back in 2011, I had to take each shot manually with a wired remote. Every 5 seconds for 90 minutes plus, then upload all the images to Powerpoint, work at the interval speed to maintain 24 frames per second and wait an age for it all to save. Those were the days!
This particular video was captured at Maldon Promenade. I originally plan to shoot the sunset, but the clouds cleared away which made the scene a bit dull.
There's a small enclave where the high tide reaches last. Turned out to be the perfect spot to film.
I was offered a last minute opportunity to access the pit of Soultasia 2022 at Maldon. How could I resist? The headliner was Billy Ocean and he was fantastic.
Photographing musicians is such a rush. My first ever chance to cover a festival was V 2017. To be in-between the artist and the audience, with only 10 minutes to shoot, was just mind blowing.
Unfortunately festivals in Essex have mostly disappeared. Covid played a big part, but also lack of demand with the variety available.
Hopefully the new generation like Soultasia will breed new life in to the industry both in Essex and nationwide.
It was a brilliant night.
© 2022 - CHRISCHARLESCOOK.