Paws what you’re doing

Alright cocker (spaniel)?  This week’s post is short and sweet just like my model for the morning – Poppy.

Poppy is a very cool, very happy and content English Cocker Spaniel pooch, that belongs to my friend, Val, and I was booked in to do a portrait shoot for Poppy way back but finding time where we were both free and the weather was good proved really difficult but we finally got round to it this month.

The setting for our shoot was to be Furzton Lake early on a Sunday morning before anyone wakes up so that we had plenty of space and peace.  That didn’t happen.  The place was rammed with people running, walking their dogs, and a very large group of people playing with model boats on the water.  We still found a good spot though and the freshly shampooed Poppy got straight to work!

First of all we found some slightly long grass with wild flowers and made her run around chasing a ball which resulted in a hilarious image that you can see below and above.  There was no way I could not put that one as the headline image.  Poppy was equally happy sitting and posing as running around having fun, and we got some great close up head and shoulder shots.

Once she got bored of that stretch we moved a little further round the lake and tried some black and white images using some leading lines and I got down low to the ground to get a better angle.

The whole shoot took no more than an hour but the final images look fab, I’d say.

Who ever says never work with kids or animals really is talking out of their back bottoms.

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Caldecotte Lake


As usual I have slipped with the blogging but I needed the time to get out and get more images, and now that the weather has improved massively it seems like a good time for some quality snaps.

This is meant to be the warmest May in history or something, and I do actually remember there being at least 4 more-than-tepid days in a row so that must have been Summer.

Warm weather means 2 things to me.  No, 3 things.  First of all, the barbecue comes out of hibernation and the grass gets cut.  Then of course the bike gets a wash and a liberal covering in WD-40.  Finally, but by no means least, no one looks at me when I’m walking around in shorts.  All through the Winter you’d think I had personally shat on their cats as they slept, with some of the looks I would receive wearing shorts.  I have legs.  Get over it.

Back to the point of today’s blog; Caldecotte Lake.  I hadn’t really given the place much chance as I always thought it was a big splodge of water and nothing to  do there apart from drink at the pub and get bitten by those annoying midge fly things.  I’ve already mentioned warmer weather, shorts and bikes.  If this is a surprise to you, for God’s sake, it was only the previous paragraph!  But anyway, me and SWIWWWTGFM decided to hop on our bikes one evening and pedal down to the lake.  When we got there we took the brave deicision to turn left and go round the lake instead of going right and directly in to the pub.  What a lake!  It’s a fantastic size, not too busy, very pretty from every angle, and nice and flat to get around as it was my first bit of exercise for 2016.

I didn’t take any photos on the day as we whizzed around but made a few mental notes of where to return with my camera in the future.  It turned out that the good weather didn’t go too far and returned quickly less than a week later so I took my chance and drove there an hour before sunset.  Then it was just a case of walking swiftly around the one edge so that I was doing a  lot of shooting back in to the sun.  That’s generally not a good idea but if you get it right, it is so so right.

Enjoy the shots below and as usual please feel free to find me and like the page at and if you are an IGer then follow me on Instagram @dangleberrydan7


Winter Wonderland


Love it or hate it?

I discovered during the recent cold snap that opinions seem to be divided right down the middle.  Personally, I sit very comfortably in the love camp.  I do love the stuff.  I love the cold, I love Winter, but it’s not enough to convince me to watch more than 10 seconds of Frozen.

Rather unexpectedly, I woke up to a decent dusting of whiteness just last weekend and even more unexpectedly, I got out of bed.  On a Sunday.  The camera was already very well charged from a recent day trip to London (photos will come in a future blog post) so I was ready to go once I had showered and got dressed.  Ah, but snow melts quite quickly so maybe I don’t have time for that.  Other people may wake up soon and want to play in it or walk on it which would ruin my photos.  Having quickly brushed my teeth and put on more socks, I was ready to go and snap some magical winter wonderland snow scenes around this crazy little town.

First stop was to be Willen Lake, a spot visited so many times as a practice ground for me as there is a great big lake, a bit of wildlife, a fantastic Peace Pagoda and a lovely backdrop for portraits.  It’s also been a great training ground for running but that’s another story.

Tickling the South face of Willen Lake and park is Campbell Park which then links up with the town centre.  The next series of snaps are taken there after walking around the Grand Union Canal, adjacent parkland and around the Light Pyramid at the top of the little hill.

All in all I was only out for just over an hour but managed to capture some really lovely local landscapes.  Snow confuses the camera’s sensor though and when I got home to review the images they were so dark and grey!  Youtube came to my rescue, and a short tutorial from Anthony Morganti’s fantastic channel meant that I had a good idea of how to correctly process the scenes so that you see what my eyes saw on the day.


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Brides and guides Pt 1

It’s been a while and I apologise to both of you who follow me.  My silence has been silent and I promise to make it up to you.

Right now though, I’m back and ready to rock.  It’s been a crazy few months, loads has changed, and I’ve pushed the photography in a completely different direction; this time towards weddings.  Weddings have to be the scariest, dauntiest, challengiest things to capture as a photographer and I’m diving in feet first.

This Summer I am so lucky in that I have a few special friends who have put their full faith and trust in me to deliver their big day back to them in the form of gorgeous photo memories.  I am not ashamed to say that I am bricking it, but I’ve spent a LONG time preparing and feel pretty bloody confident that I’ll get the results that everyone wants.

Prep really is key!

First step – get a camera and learn how to use it.  I kinda did this years ago so that was easy enough (just took a few years)

Step 2 – buy a wedding dress and practice with it.  Yeah… I bought a dress but it’s still in a bag.

Step 2b – attend a Wedding Portfolio Builder day with The Trained Eye, just North of London.  4 brides, 2 grooms, 3 venues, decent weather, and the rest is up to me.   That’s what this blog is about; showing you the results of the day.  First of all though we need to look at Step 3.

Step 3 – learn how to process images from Step 2b.  This took a while!!

Step 4 – plan ahead for everything that could go wrong.  Double up on cameras, lenses, cards, batteries, and anything else that could fail on the day.  Done that.  Let’s do this!

So, back in March I went along to South Bucks to spend the day with 2 great tutors in Kim Hawkins and Jodie Chapman.  Both had different styles, but very modern, very on trend, and it was all about using natural light which is what I love doing.  I hate artificial light, but maybe I don’t understand it enough just yet.  For now, I’m happy to use what nature gives me.

We started the morning with Jodie, and our lovely model Aree.  The setting was Hedsor House.  Results are below:

The Trained Eye

Aree at Hedsor House

Hedsor House


Wedding photography

Creamy tones

Next it was a break with jaffa cakes and water, then outside in to the Spring sun to work with Samantha and Kim:


Samantha at Hedsor House gardens

Samantha 2

Samantha and grand tree

Samantha 3

Samantha at the door

This took up most of the morning and was pretty hard work.  I don’t have the most expensive, most professional camera, but it’s not all about the equipment and I think I got some great results.  The best camera and lens that anyone has, is the one in their hands.

By this point of the day I was hungry, and as I’m typing this I’m hungry.  We all went to the local pub for some much needed refuelling, and right now I’m going to head off for the same.

Keep an eye on the blog for Pt 2 which will be about the afternoon, spent with 2 couples…. well 1 real couple and 1 couple who were pretending but were very good at it 😀