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.

Instagram : @dangleberrydan7

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Forever Gorgeous

This is a very very delayed post but at least it’s one more being completed on my list, now about to get a big fat tick next to it.  Better late than never!

Rewinding all the way back to August 2014, I was looking to put more effort in to portrait photography using natural light and had already had a day’s tuition earlier in the year with a pro photographer and a pro model, but needed to put it in to practice properly.  My plan was to take some very simple outdoor shots using the golden glow of the setting sun.  The light during the golden hour is particularly popular with landscape photographers but I wanted to use it to full advantage for portrait work too, and really see what I could achieve by breaking the rule “DONT SHOOT IN TO THE SUN”.  Meh to that rule.  Shooting in to the evening sun can get amazing results as it backlights the model and can give a fantastic halo-y glow as long as you balance the subject with a reflector or some exposure compensation in camera.

My friend Laura was happy to help out so she came along with Hayley, who had also done a little bit of modelling before, to Wolverton Mill in Milton Keynes and we spent about 2 hours snapping away.  Most of the plan went in the bin as the sun only decided to show up as we were driving out of the place, but we still came away with some great results.  Those results will be on another blog post coming soon, where the point of the blog post will be natural light portraits.

“Huh, so what’s this blog post about then, Dan?” I hear you ask.

Well I read that folk should aim for over 500 words per blog post, and over 1000 is better so I’m gonna waffle more to keep up with the cool kids.  This is the back story building to the main event.  Get over it.  I’ll get bored soon enough, stop typing and just leave pics for you to look at but for now, there’s a few more sentences to cover.  If you’re that bored, scroll down to the pics!

This photo blog post is actually about commercial and event photography, which Laura asked me to be involved with for her new business venture which was to open in September with her bessie, Charlotte.  Charlotte is also a keen photographer and I’ve given her 2 tutorials using natural light where we focused mainly on composition but looked at creative effects in camera too. Some of the images that we created will be featuring in another blog post later this year.

I knew next to nothing about their new business venture but Forever Gorgeous Beauty Salon opened its doors to the pretty people of Wolverton and the big opening evening was a great success with loads of the girls’ family and close friends attending.  Champagne flowed, cupcakes were scoffed, balloons were dodged.

My job for the evening was to create a collection of images that the girls could use on the website, facebook, instagram and twitter to promote the salon, and also use on any promotional material and the treatment list.  Once the sun had set the visitors arrived and it was a pleasure to capture the smiles of the evening.

The images below show the salon inside and from the street (which is Stratford Road by the way) and the opening night.

If you live in the area, do be sure to give them a call and get booked in as Charlotte is a genius when it comes to hair extensions and facials.  Laura is a master at massage and nails.  They do way more than that of course, but I’m not the most clued up guy when it comes to beauty treatment.  I know what shellac is though!

Give them a follow on Facebook for news and offers  https://www.facebook.com/ForeverGorgeousBeautySalon/?fref=ts

Full website address is http://www.forevergorgeousbeauty.com

This week sees them celebrating their 18 month salon anniversary. Hurrah!

Winter Wonderland

Snow.

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.

Enjoy!!!

As ever, please feel free to check out my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/dandavidsonphotography

Instagram – @dangleberrydan7

Thanks for following

Dan

Willen Lake Peace Pagoda

Well the weather hasn’t been fantastic recently but I managed to spend half an hour at the Buddhist Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes last weekend.  It was pretty cold so no one was hanging around for long but my ears have experienced colder bites so some decent shots were captured.

Peace Pagoda MK

Peace Pagoda Milton Keynes

If you’ve never been to Willen Lake it is undoubtedly one of the prettier areas of Milton Keynes, away from the rest of the concrete jungle.  The lake is split in 2 – the South lake used for watersports, the North lake being more tranquil and home to the Buddhist Temple and Peace Pagoda, as well as a lot of wildlife.

Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake

Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake

Fancy some history?  Yeah you do, it might help in a pub quiz if nothing else..

The Peace Pagoda was built in 1979/1980 by Matsuura Yoshijke, taking over a year to complete.  It’s made mostly of concrete, as is most of the Buckinghamshire town, and is home to a gold painted statue of Buddha.  If you approach the pagoda from the lakeside or from the Buddist Temple next door you will pass 2 concrete lions at the top of the first flight of steps, and another 2 guard lions at the foot of the pagoda steps.

Concrete lions at the Peace Pagoda MK

Concrete lions at the Peace Pagoda MK

Enough rambling, I hope you’ve enjoyed these snaps of Nipponzan Myohoji.

If visiting, look for signs to the Peace Pagoda Car Park on V10 Brickhill Street.

Thanks for reading!

Dan Davidson off of Dan Davidson Photography