Jacky and Steve’s wedding in September was the last one I covered in 2009, and oh boy, it was great to be there. Alison had come down to be my assistant for the day. We started the day with the couple shooting in the park in Colmar-Berg. It offers some gorgeous backdrops all along the shores of its lakes. On the technical side, I finally got to make proper use of the PocketWizards’ full potential. Their high sync-speed capabilities made it easier to balance the flashes against the full daylight and generally made using the lights more practical. The shoot in the park was a lot of fun, and the atmosphere just carried on right through the rest of the day.
The ceremony was in the town hall in Vichten. Their ceremonial room upstairs was very interesting in terms of lighting, the mix of indirect sunlight from the windows and artificial light sounded like it was going to be tricky, but it turned out to make for some great sidelight and colour contrast which gave the whole ceremony a very warm character.
The reception and dinner were back in Colmar-Berg. We had already briefly visited the area for some architectural elements in the couple shoot. The dinner hall was nice because it offered such an open space and a lot of room for the dance floor. I actually asked Alison to film Jacky and Steve’s first dance with her 5DMkII while I was taking photographs. I think the short clip makes for a nice moment in the slideshow. The evening was marked by some crazy games for the newlyweds and their guests and an all-round festive mood – definitely an awesome evening for a very cute couple.
What an awesome wedding. Kirstin and Christophe made sure that their guests would have a marvellous time, and the great atmosphere made being their photographer a great experience. Christophe is a user on photogen.lu, where he and Kirstin had seen some of my work. In fact quite a few members of that community were present at this wedding, apart from myself and Christophe, there were his brother-in-law Alain and of course Olivier, who assisted me throughout the day.
We arrived at the church well ahead of the couple to give us a bit of time to reevaluate the positions from which we’d photograph – children from the church communion had built a symbolic space rocket which remained set up between the altar and the congregation. It turned out not to be a problem though, the Belair church is fairly spacious. The ceremony was one of the most beautiful and entertaining ones I’ve witnessed this summer. Both the bride and groom are members of church choirs and they’ve been friends for a long time with the priest that ministered.
After the ceremony Christophe was made to showcase his talent with the accordeon and Kirstin hers as conductor. Quite a fun interlude! After Kirstin and Christophe had shaken hands with all the guests at the reception we drove to the communal park in Hesperange that I had already visited with them beforehand, to shoot their couple photographs. The weather played along nicely, a slightly overcast sky makes it easier to balance artificial and ambient light. Like before, it was Olivier’s job to make sure the light was held in position just where I needed it.
The dinner was in a lovely restaurant near Altwies, called Le Moulin. We took the group and guest photos outside the restaurant in front of the picturesque brook before moving inside the luxuriously decorated converted mill to cover the dinner, games and emotions for the rest of the evening.
I first met Carole and Jules at the wedding of their friends Martine and Mike the year before. They got in touch with me last winter and I ended up shooting their wedding day in July together with Olivier Kerschen as assistant. We took photos of Carole getting ready at her parents’ house and, once we determined that the weather was going to play along, drove to the Parc Municipal in Mondorf. It’s a really great place, quite big with lots of different possibilities to take the couple shots. The size meant that we had to walk around a bit to get to the places I had scouted beforehand but it worked out nicely. I used the 5DMkII again, mostly with the EF 70-200. Olivier was in charge of getting the lights where I needed them – which sometimes includes dangling halfway off a bridge to get the light in the perfect spot.
The wedding ceremony was in their hometown Ellange, in a lovely small church just opposite the venue in which the reception was held. And you should have been there to see their faces when the white limousine arrived to pick them up! We moved on to the the Restaurant Delicious in Sandweiler, outside of which I took portraits of all the couples before everyone went inside for the dinner. It’s a nice place, they had hired some cool DJs and the fun just didn’t seem to stop. I especially liked the balloon-popping-sumo game their friends had come up with. When we left around 3am the party still wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down!
This summer a handful of photographers from Photogen.lu met at the Schueberfouer (like last year) to hang out, test the rides and chat. I decided to film rather than take pictures this time. It’s fairly busy there and I didn’t have my shoulder-rig yet; my apologies for the shakiness. I still have loads to learn about the whole SLR-video thing.
After my return from the UK I had a wedding on Saturday, then the day after I crammed some outdoor equipment into my Lafuma backpack and headed North into Belgium. Each branch of our scout troop goes on a weeklong summer camp each year, and every couple of years the AvEx, the age group I'm a leader for, heads somewhere abroad. Holzheim is in the part of Belgium which used to belong to Germany (I hope I'm not mutilating histoy here...) and most of the people who live there speak German. We camped on a farmer's field on a barrow. Fairly windy and no protection from the rain or sun - not that we had much of the latter; the camp's theme was The 4 Elements, but water definitely dominated.
If any of the scout-photogs out there have pics of their latest camp, feel free to post links in the comments and let me know if you had more luck with the weather.
Another year of great artists performing on ugly stages. I think those white tents kill all the atmosphere. Less photography for me this time and more hanging out; it was one of the last days in Canterbury for a couple of my friends.
My computer's decided that stitching panoramas isn't going to happen tonight. Instead, here are some photos from this year's edition of the University of Kent Fashion Show, organized by the Photography and Modelling Society. We had guest appearances from the Pole Fitness and Capoeira societies. All the profit that we made has been donated to the British Heart Foundation. I still have to find out from our treasurer exactly how much that was but I think it's something around £700.
This week will also be my last as co-president of the society, on Saturday we're holding committee elections and a new team will take over. Ooh I'm getting all sentimental about it... :)
On 1st February 2009 it started to snow in Canterbury and large parts of the UK. In London traffic collapsed, flights got cancelled, people didn't get to work. In Canterbury, on Sunday, the University of Kent campus was transformed into a giant snowfight warzone. People got buried in snow, Canon 5D MkIIs had to prove that they were indeed water- and snowball resistant, students tried to dodge massive projectiles from the three-man snowball slingshot. In the calmer areas, the occasional snowman saw the light of day. The Rutherford field became a massive slope for makeshift sledges, including inflatable matrasses, office chairs, binbags and construction site signs. On Monday, the University sent out an e-mail to all students saying that campus would be closed from 1pm onwards. The library and all colleges closed down. Society meetings got cancelled, parents had to pick up their children from the campus nursery. Only the builders on the Mansell site just opposite the Venue, where a new drama building needs to be completed on schedule, kept working.
The good old Peleng Fisheye came in quite handy for these skate photos at the Dudelange on Wheels skating event. The fisheye effect looks best when you get really close, and one of the bikers (in the second photo) missed my camera by only five centimeters. No risk no fun.
I'm back at uni, and the academic preparations, my job in the Venue and the work for the Photography and Modelling Society have kept me busy throughout September. So for now I'm just posting some photos from the Welcome Ball at the University of Kent, with Cricket Lane, City Girls, Fake That, and Coolio.
Martine and Mike are now enjoying this slideshow in DVD quality on their home cinema, as well as a costum designed hardcover photobook and an elegant traditional leatherbound album, all part of the coverage they ordered for their wonderful wedding in Mondorf.
Returning from my summer break and with a slight delay I can finally post some photos I took during this year's Artsfest at the University of Kent. Many thanks to Katie Van-Sanden and Tom Christian who supported me in my endeavour to gain permission from the university to photograph the fireworks from the Templeman Library rooftop.
Related post: Artsfest 2007
Last weekend I covered the annual Keynestock concerts organized by Keynes JCC at the University of Kent. The weathergods were benign; it had been raining all week before the event and it's been raning every day since, but we got through the concerts without a single drop. Even so the day was a demanding one for photography, the pictures you see above are a selection from 17 acts performing over 10 hours.
Below is the lineup for reference - and to make Google happy.
Randol (winner of Kent Factor)
Maniac and the Circus on the Moon
Parker Brown (my favourite band of the day)
Elena Goulding / Ellie Goulding (winner of Keynestock 2007.
I present you a selection of 9 hours worth of photographs from last weekend's University of Kent Summer Ball 2008, organized by Kent Union. The three huge marquees hosted four bars, two stages, tatoo artists, studio photographers, casinos, 2 main stages and more. The main acts included top DJs like Colin Murray and Fearne Cotton on the DJ stage, and the Vengaboys and the Wombats on the main stage. All in all a packed evening - even though we were two photographers sharing the workload I didn't get a chance to grab dinner.
Each year those students and societies that put special effort into making student life at the University of Kent worthwhile or/and contributed to the newspaper and radio station are honoured at the UKC Student Activity Awards Night. This year it was on March 28th and apart from covering the night for inQuire, I received one of those shiny glass awards myself. Bragging is healthy once in a while: I am now officially Best inQuire Photographer 2007/8. Yay!
For the pictures of myself on stage I passed the camera on to fellow photographer Dave Cater. All pictures were taken with the Canon EOS 40D and EF 70-200 2.8L IS lens, mostly at F/2.8, ISO 1250 and 1/100.
Sometimes, I have to work with the pressure of a wedding photographer and the salary of a bartender. Such an occasion was the results night in the Venue last Thursday, when the winners of the Kent Union elections were announced. In spite of tricky conditions for shooting I managed to be in the right place at the right moment for most of the night.
Congratulations to the winners:
Union President - Tom Christian
NUS Delegate - Faith Victoria
VP Welfare - Tom Page
VP Education - Helen Palmer
VP Sports - Cai Robbins
VP Activities - Caz Brooker
Men's Officer - Liam Carmichael
Women's Officer - Nicola Barker
Ethics and Environmental Officer - Peter Gray
LGBT Officer - Jack Bowman
Students with disabilities Officer - Marsha Todd
Postgraduate Officer - Jason Simpkins
RAG President - Ian Simons
International Officer - Charlotte Brower
Student Trustee - Taiwo Otaiku, James Howard
Keynes JCC President - Lauren Granville
Darwin JCC President - Iain Kiy
Eliot JCC President - Helen Wood
Rutherford JCC President - Alice Maskell
Parkwood Committee President - Sven Stear
During election week the University of Kent Campus is usually crowded with candidates for the different positions available within Kent Union for the next academic year, and their eager campaigning assistants. This year the dismal weather significantly reduced the number of students strolling over campus, and, consequently, the campaigners clustered in front of Eliot college to brave the rain-promising skies together.
Today the University of Kent's Annual Fashion Show promotional poster has officially been released and posted all over campus. The Fashion Show is hosted by the UKC Photography and Modeling society and more information can be found here.
Click on the first picture to see a larger version of the poster. For the photographers among you, I've included some behind the scenes information. The second photo should give you an idea of the setup. Shooting tethered to a laptop gave me the possibility to get instead feedback on a large screen and accurately solve potential issues. It was also practical as the camera on the tripod was raised a good deal above eye level.
The 580EX Speedlite was aimed at the ceiling just above, which is angled and bounced the light softly onto the models. It also acted as a master to trigger a 430EX (thanks Sebastian) in manual slave mode to the camera right. Its light was bounced into a reflector to allow for softer light. The camera settings were 1/200th second at F/8.0 with an ISO setting of 800 and 28mm focal length.
Post processing started with crating a composite of the best expressions of the different models. Next the background had to be cleaned up and some colour changes applied to clothes. Then a gradient glow was added to the two main models and the light burst created. After feedback from photogen.lu some further changes were made. Together with David Cater the logo and text layout were finalized.
The Fashion Show promotion has seen some other creative minds at work as well, below is the trailer filmed by Lee Francis:
The eagle-eyed may spot me among the extras.
One year ago, Canterbury saw the birth of CSR FM, 'the first ever community FM radio station in the UK run exclusively by students'. I had then covered the launch party for inQuire. This time CSR asked me directly to cover their celebration party in Kent Union's night club, the Venue. The line-up included DJs from the station itself, the upcoming band Touriste, and a group of breakdancers that performed on the dancefloor - or tried to do so: it seemed to me that they were not too happy with the DJ's choice of music. I've seen their amazing moves last year and was rather disappointed that the act was let down by a DJ who at that point didn't seem to notice what happened around him.
With this post I've also updated the appearance of the blog galleries in which the pictures are displayed. I think it integrates more smoothly into the rest of the site now.
Yesterday, Keynes College at the UKC organized the world's largest robot dance. 276 people dressed up as robots performed a choreographed dance and broke the world record. The event was witnessed by representatives of the Guinness Book of Records and covered by local media.
Yesterday the Canterbury Campus of the University of Kent saw another edition of the popular Artsfest. I was taking pictures for inQuire and tried to be everywhere at the same time: there were four stages hosting acts such as the Makeshift Minstrels, the UKC Dramatics, the UKC Concert Band and Big Band, and the winner of Keynestock, Elena Goulding. Students and families enjoyed a sunny day of entertainment, face-painting, food and drink, and, after 10pm, the ‘Big Bang’ – fireworks overlooking the Canterbury Cathedral. (As a photojournalist, I had to find out that even being persuasive doesn’t allow you to shoot from the library roof when nobody knows where the keys are.)