Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

The Dubai Ladies Masters finished on Saturday, which in itself is unusual, (tournaments usually finish on a Sunday). I was hoping to see the sun during the week there but the weather was against us. There was a sandstorm on the first day, a bit of sun on the second but the rest of the week was overcast with showers!!! According to the locals out there, it usually only rains a handful of times a year, so this was bad luck for us. Still the cloud cover did provide a rest from the strong shadows under golf caps and visors so I managed to get some good stock shots of players.
One thing I noticed was that the 400mm that I use for most of my golf shots, was lacking length. The fairways are quite wide at the Majilis course so you can be quite a distance away from some of the players. This is OK as you can pick and choose where you shoot, but I am not a great fan of harsh cropping. I think that possibly the 500mm F4 canon lenses is gives you more flexibility for some of the bigger courses as it allows you to be a little bit further away from the subject with the added bonus that it is a heck of a lot lighter, (about 2KG), than the 400mm f2.8 that I have. At least it gives me something to put on my christmas list, although at just under £5400 I am not sure Santa will stretch to that this year :)

Talking of Chirstmas, In-Kyung Kim of Korea (above) received an early Christmas present of € 70K when she won the tournament by a 2 shot margin from Michelle Wie and Maria Hjorth from Sweden. Not bad for a week's work.

Speaking of work, I am off to La Manga (Spain) on Thursday to cover the final qualifying school for the LET. Again I was hoping for some sun, but so far the first day of the first stage of qualifying has been cancelled due to terrible rain storms. I am also getting told that it is very cold there as well. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Graduation Ceremony Photography

I've just returned from a graduation ceremony, where I spent the evening taking their formal graduation shots. It is a bit of a change from shooting sharks last week but that is one of my favourite parts of being a photographer, you can get a lot of variety in your work.
I use a simple portable set up for this sort of "half length" shot with 2 500W flash heads, that, even on half power, will let you shoot at 1/125 @ f9 - f11, ISO 100. The aperture lets you get enough depth of field on the subject whilst simultaneously blurring the background. I use a Lastolite background on a stand so I can carry the whole setup, plus camera bag from which ever car park I can get into, (It usually involves a walk of several hundred meters).
I'm off to Dubai on Monday for the Duabai Ladies Masters golf tournament, the last event on the Ladies European Tour's schedule. Dubai is somewhwere that I really enjoy shooting. In the last few years the building surrounding the Majilis Course have grown and it sometimes feels like you are on a golf course in the middle of a sea of skyscrapers. The heat at this time of year is also a bonus, especially given the weather that we have had in the England this last week.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Photo of Diver and Goatfish Wins Underwater Photo Contest.

Whilst out in Egypt I entered an underwater photographic competition with the photo on the left and was lucky enough to be selected as the winner by the judges. I took it on the first dive of the trip at Erg Abu Ramada, when I found a large school of Yellow Tail Goatfish (Mulloidichthys vanicolensis ). I asked the model to swim through the school so I could capture the image above.
Settings used: 1/80s f10 ISO200 @ 17mm, 2 Sea & Sea 110 alpha strobes set to 1/2 power to illuminate the fish.

Shark Photography.

I have just returned back from a week helping on the Longimanus Project. Carcharhinus longumanus, the Oceanic White Tip Shark (left) is an Oceanic wanderer that has seen heavy declines in numbers over recent years due to long-lining and the increased demand for shark fins. The project is currently recording the numbers of sharks and their range by collecting photographs and identifying individuals ad their locations over time. The project has been running in the Red Sea for a number of years and has a database containing over 500 sharks that have been sighted during tis time. for more info on the project click here: Longimanus Project.
Photographic Technique:
For shooting sharks, and any other marine life for that matter, there are a number of rules that will greatly enhance the quality of your photos.
Firstly there is the light and colour drop off caused by the water. The density of the water causes the red part of the spectrum to be filtered out of light in the first 5 meters and as your depth increases the colours decrease until you are left with dark blues and eventually black. To counteract this colour drop off, you can either manually white balance your camera with the surrounding area or use strobes to "paint" the colour back into the picture.
The second rule of photography is to get close to the subject then get closer again :). This is because water contains particulate matter that gets between the lens and the subject and generally degrades the quality of the image. The other reason for this advice is that many photographers take the shot with too little of the subject in the frame.
To shoot the photo above I was using a canon 5D with a 17-40mm f4 L lens and a B+W -4 diopter to correct the distortion caused by the dome port.
As the shark was too far a way for the strobes to light it, I manually white balanced the camera using my hand, as there was no reef / white card available. Camera settings: Top shot: 1/125s
f7.1 ISO 250 @ 40mm.
I have included the second shot to illustrate how close these sharks get, Here he was about 2 feet from the front of the dome port and the shark was getting frisky, you can make out a divers legs behind as he struggles to get out of the water into the zodiac :) Sadly the whole encounter only lasted less than a minute and It was the only dive I was able to do as I managed somehow to get a very bad cold and fever for a couple of days, which, sadly, put an end to my diving.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Carta Si Ladies Italian Open

Marianne Skarpnord won the Italian Ladies Open, the final European event of the season. She beat Laura Davies of England in a 3 hole playoff to lift her second trophy of the season. Afterwards Marianne, her caddie and boyfriend Petter, and I went out to dinner to celebrate in style with... a McDonalds LOL. Sometimes you are too tired to bother waiting for table service at a restaurant, that was our excuse anyway.
The next golfing stop is Dubai in December. But before that I am off to Egypt to try and find and photograph Oceanic Whitetip sharks, Charcharinus longimanus. I'll keep you posted :)

Milan For a Week

The Carta-Si Ladies Italian Open preview started with a trip to Damiani, one of the most prestigious jewelers in Milan, whose clients range from George Clooney to Brad Pit. Diana Luna of Italy, Beatriz Recari of Spain and Christina Kim of the USA spent the morning trying on necklaces, earrings and rings and surprisingly enough, throughly enjoyed the experience. Left is a picture of Beatriz wearing a diamond necklace and earrings worth a combined total of £550,000. As you can imagine, it was not difficult getting the girls to smile for the shots.

Azza Wins in Madrid

Azahara Munoz of Spain took the Madrid Ladies Masters title in her first professional event. She was invited to the event by Double Match, the promotor of the Madrid Ladies Masters. She proved a popular winner with the local press and players alike, having known many of them from her glittering amateur career.

Congrats to Azza on her win, and I look forward to working with her next season.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Catwalk Shoot in Madrid

I was expecting to shoot quite a bit of golf this week but was not expecting to have a catwalk set up on the golf course. Gemma Mengual, an Olympic Silver Medalist and current World Champion synchronised swimmer was modeling her latest swimwear and lingerie collections after the Pro Am at the Madrid Ladies Masters. Gemma and three other models took to the outdoor catwalk for a thirty minute show that drew a large crowd. As I was allowed fairly close to the catwalk i was able to get away with using a 24-70mm f2.8 L lens and the 1Ds MkII with a 580Ex flash. I would normally also use a 70-200mm f2.8 L IS as well but in this instance I wanted to get some wider shots of the crowd and golf course to add a sense of perspective and location.
It was a bit of a scrum with several other photographers and 6 TV crews competing for the best place but I managed to take several decent frames.
Image details: 1/160, f6.3, ISO 200.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Madrid Ladies Masters

I arrived last night at Madrid Airport after a long day of traveling. This event is a limited field event of 40 players, basically the top 40 on the money list. It is a great opportunity to get some shots of individual players as you are not running around to catch all of the leaders.

The course is not the most picturesque but there are a few holes where you can make a picture.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tenerife Ladies Open Comes to an End

The Tenerife Ladies Open finished today with England's Felicity Johnson taking the title by beating Becky Brewerton of Wales . It was "Flic's " first title so congrats to her.

The blue skies so often associated with Tenerife made an appearance on the last day of the tournament and I managed to get the polariser on for a few shots of the leading groups as they passed on holes 3 & 4. Sadly the sun was over the sea by the end of the prize giving ceremony so the shot I was hoping for, winning player with the trophy and a blue sea and sky behind, was not there.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Tenerife Ladies Open

This week I am in Tenerife, or more precisely, Golf Costa Adeje. The shot on the left was taken at this resort last year but the course owners decided to change the sand in the bunkers from the native black volcanic as on the left, to the more traditional white sand the day after this photo was taken. It is fairly overcast at the moment but am hoping for some bright sunshine ad blue skies as i managed some really nice polarized shots last year, see below. Costa Adeje is one of the most commonly shot golf courses on Tenerife due to its landscape and stunning views across the sea to the Island of La Gomera in one direction and the mountains leading up to Mount Teidi in the other. The fourth hole is indeed a beautiful hole, a par five stretching down to the cliffs above the sea. Looking back up the hole towards the tee you can see the terracing that has been left in place from when the land was used as a banana plantation.
The best shooting is to be had at sunrise and sunset, in the so called "Golden Hours" as you get harsh shadows here during the middle of the day due to the strong sunlight. This means that you have to pick the holes you shoot on carefully during the tournament to make the best of the course and its surroundings. Generally it is best to shoot towards the sea in the morning and the mountains in the afternoon / evening but this depends on the time of year and the position of the sun. Hopefully I will get some great images this week and I look forward to sharing them with you in my next blog entry.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Solheim Cup Ends..

The USA team managed to retain The Solhiem Cup this time, but only just. It was a fantastic week with massive crowds, sometimes 7 or 8 deep round the greens, and with all the chanting and singing it seemed more like a football match at times. Photography was fairly challenging at times with very dark conditions on Saturday evening meaning a jump to 1600 ISO for the last match, not to mention the 14+ hour days. I'm now in need of a rest as an overnight flight to Heathrow tomorrow should just finish me off :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Solheim Cup Starts

This week sees me just outside Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Club for the Solheim Cup, the biennial golf match between Europe and the USA. The 3 day event pits the 12 best female golfers from the each side against each other. The course has just been evacuated however as there is a tornado warning currently in operation. The competition itself starts on Friday and live scoring can be followed on the Ladies European Tour website.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

CDWS Blue Magazine Front Cover.

For a photographer, getting a front cover shot is always a bit of a buzz. This one is especially so for me as it is my first "Underwater" cover. The shot is of World Champion freediver and record holder Sara Campbell. It was taken in January this year an the Giannis D wreck in Egypt as part of a video and photo shoot she was doing for the underwaterchannel.tv. Sara managed to break the 100m depth mark on just one breath on April 9th this year. We had a lot of fun shooting at the wreck as it was relatively shallow (18m) and with just the 3 of us, (Sara, Debbie from Blue Eye FX doing the video and myself doing the stills) it was a beautiful dive.
Even if the water is really clear, as it was on this dive, it is always best to get as close to the subject as possible when taking photos underwater. To this end I used my 15mm fisheye behind an eight inch dome port on a Canon 5D. The full frame sensor gives you a true 15mm, unlike some of the cropped sensor cameras which enabled me to shoot the entire wreck from fairly close on, hence keeping image quality as high as possible. To get realistic colours, I manually white balanced on the wreck at the depth I was shooting and used a Magic Filter in the rear gelatin filter holder on the 15mm to get better blue colour rendition.
For a few more shots of Sara, you can visit my website.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Welsh Win for Karen.

Congratulations to England's Karen Stupples, who won the S4/C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe by one stroke from Korea's Amy Yang.
As you can see from the photo, she was pretty happy with her first win in four years. We managed to get Harlech Castle in the back of the trophy shot just to give the photo a sense of place.
A quick 6 hour trip home tonight to catch up with paperwork, then pack the bags for a trip to Chicago on Sunday for the Europe Vs USA in the Solheim Cup where I am doing the official photography.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Wales for a Week

This weeks sees me in Wales for the S4/C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe at Royal St David's Golf Club in Harlech, Gwynedd. The course itself is a classic links course just yards from the sea. Sadly you cant see the sea from the course but with the 700 year old Harlech Castle standing imposingly over on the escarpment you don't really miss the sea. I am hoping to get some shots of the course, weather permitting and managed to take one photo at sunset of the 13th green and hole. It is always a challenge to shoot into the sun because of flare etc but this one turned out OK. I was lucky with the cloud formation as well as it adds some texture to what otherwise could have been a fairly empty space. I shot this with a canon 24-70 f2.8 L lens at 24mm ISO 250 as I was handholding the camera. The shot was also a challenge as the fairways are roped off to keep spectators off so finding an angle where the ropes and posts are hidden took a little while. am going to keep shooting in the evenings to try and get some shots of the Harlech Castle and the course at sunset as well.

Catriona Wins the British Open

The Ricoh Women's British Open ended with Scotland's Catriona Matthew taking home her first Major victory just 11 weeks after the birth of her second daughter and one week after narrowly escaping form a fire in her hotel whilst participating in the Evian Masters.
I chose the shot on the left as you can see the determination in her face as she sinks a birdie putt on the 13th hole. I used a 70-200 f2.8 IS L lens on a 1DsMkII .

Thursday, 30 July 2009

The British Open

The Ricoh Women's British Open got underway today at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. First tee time was at 06:30 this morning and it is not 22:15 and I am still uploading to the the various agencies I supply. The only good thing about the golf carrying on into the evening is that you get the chance to shoot with some interesting light. This shot was taken on the 18th hole with Sandra Gal of Germany shooting into the 18th green.
Another early start tomorrow. Most of the photographers here are hoping that the rain will hold off.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Evian Masters Win for Ai.

After a beautiful sunny week in Evian Les Bains, Ai Miyazato of Japan won the Evian Masters tournament along with the $322k purse for first place. She is pictured left in front of the Japanese flag which is nicely back lit by the sun. A reflector was used to create some of the fill light and due to the scrum of photographers I was using a 70-200 lens on a 1DMkIIn body. There were some great crowds at the event and the large grandstand round the 18th green was packed with spectators.
The classic "Evian Shot" is on the 5th hole which affords a beautiful view of the lake is sometimes known as "Lazy Corner" by the photographer as you can sit there all day with your arsenal of lenses letting the entire field come to you and snapping them as they go by. I have included a shot of Ai Miyazato below taken from Lazy Corner just because it wouldn't be the Evian Masters without one.
Tomorrow I am off to the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham, The only Ladies Major outside the USA .

Monday, 20 July 2009

Alinghi on Lake Geneva

This morning I had a quick flight from Barcelona to Geneva for the Evian Masters Golf event which starts on Thursday. I had just arrived at the hotel in Evian Les Bains when I noticed the Americas Cup yacht Alinghi undergoing sea trial on Lake Geneva. The yacht itself has been a source of controversy recently as it is the first Americas Cup yacht to have an engine, albeit one not used for powering the boat but for powering the massive winches for the sails. Anyway I thought I would grab a shot or two. I used the 70-200 f2.8 and 400mm to try and get the best framing. There is a bit of a mist on the lake so you I had to boost the contrast a little in photoshop. I also used a polariser to boost the sky but that not in the shot on the left. Tomorrow the Evian Masters begins in ernest so back to golf photography.

Spanish Open.

Last weeks' tournament at Panoramica Golf and Counrty Club in Spain gave me an opportunity to top up the tan/ burn in the 30+ degree heat. Becky Brewrton of Wales proved to be a popular winner. She claimed her second LET title in the heat and in doing so qualified for the Evian Masters, one of the two flagship events in Europe. The shot on the left was taken with the 400mm f 2.8 and 1D MkIIn at 1/1250 f5 The shutter speed allows the club and ball to be frozen whilst the aperture gives just enough depth of field to the image. It can be fun to play with shutter speeds when taking shots of bunker play as you can capture some really cool effects with the sand club and ball with motion blur.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Dorset Diving.

With a week or so away from golf photography, I have been able to slip into the water for a dive or two. The water here has warmed up considerably from the 7 degrees C we had at Christmas time. A balmy 18 degrees signaled it was time to don the 5mm wetsuit and spend some quality time with the creatures under Swanage Pier. I did a couple of solo dives under the pier and then persuaded my girlfriend to venture into UK waters for the first time. This enabled me to get someone to model for me for some wide angle shots under the pier. This in itself was quite challenging as the visibility was not at its best but I managed a couple of shots. I also went for another dive with Alex Mustard who wanted to get some shots of Tompot Belnnys for an article he is writing for a diving magazine.
I also spotted my first flatworm on this dive (pictured right) as well as 2 different species of pipefish and a scorpion fish.
I have uploaded some more shots of the other creatures that I found here. It always amazes me how much life can be found in UK waters and I would highly recommend it. I was using my Canon 5D with a 100mm macro lens and occasionally a 500D dioptre for the smaller stuff. I was also testing out two Sea and Sea YS 110 Alphas that I have just bought. These are a lot lighter than my other strobes, (YS 250 Pro), but still pump out enough light to be hitting apertures of f22 at 200 ISO.
Next week off to Spain for the Open de Espana Femenino 2009.
After a rain soaked week in Ireland last year I arrived at Portmarnock Links only to get sunburnt. Portmarnock is a typically picturesque Irish links course with sand dunes and a view across the sea from a couple of tees. It was a busy week as I was shooting for the promotor as well as the LET so early starts and late nights were in order. The Vagliano Trophy team, the best Amateur girls from the UK & Ireland. were practicing before the tournament so I managed to get some shots for the Ladies Golf Union which can be viewed here. The good weather continued for the first three days of the tournament but the famous Irish weather returned on the last day. Not rain as you may be thinking but a sea mist that delayed play for about 3 hour in total. Diana Luna claimed her second LET victory, her first LET victory in 5 years. There is a break in the schedule for a week now so hopefully I will be able to get some diving in and increase my UK underwater portfolio.

ABN Amro Ladies Open 2009

The ABN Amro Open took place in Eindhoven, Holland. Eindhovensch Golf Club is about 15 minutes from the centre of Eindhoven and the layout is such that you feel like you are the only players on the course as each hole is shielded from the others by the woodland through which the course is built.
After three days of competition, Tania Elosegui of Spain claimed her first Ladies European Tour victory.
Sadly the weather was not the best and plenty of rain fell on the last day.
Next stop on the LET for me is the AIB Ladies Irish Open at Portmarnock Links just outside Dublin.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

An overnight journey from the Ladies German Open took 20 professionals and myself to the Sudtirol Ladies Pro-Am 2009, A one round pro-am in Morano, Italy. Fine weather and a fantastic hotel and wellness centre was the perfect accompaniment  to the beautiful scenery of the Italian Alps. I could have spent a week or two there but sadly only had the one day's shooting with no time to really get any scenic shots. The photo on the left shows Denmark's Amanda Moltke-Leth teeing off on the 5th hole. The tour continues to Eindhoven in Holland this week on a tight tree lined course for the ABN Amro Ladies Open.
Last week the Ladies European Tour moved to Munich for the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open. The crowds were good and the weather was warm with blue skies that made using a polarising filter a must. The tournament went down to the wire with a final playoff hole between Jade Scheaffer of France and Spain's Paula Marti. Jade took the title with a 3 foot putt to seal her first Ladies European Tour win.
Polarising filters are incredibly useful bits of kit to have in your camera bag. They can be used to create a number of effects but are most commonly used to control reflections on shiny surfaces such as water of glass. Most useful for my however is the ability to create contrast between the white clouds and a blue sky. You can create some beautiful dark blues using a polariser and it is an easy way to enhance your landscape photography. It is also difficult to replicate the effects of a polarising filter in photoshop especially when dealing with reflections on water.
I have experimented with several makes of polarising filter over the years and have settled on a B&W for its optical quality and solid construction. A quick word of caution before buying a filter, make sure that you get a circular polarising filter not a linear one as most cameras metering / focusing mechanisms may be affected by a linear one. If in doubt, check the manufacturers guidelines.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Ladies European Tour got underway this week with the first full field event of the year in Switzerland at the Deutshce Bank Ladies Swiss Open. Sadly there was only one day with decent light and the rain gear was tested to the full. On the positive side, the town of Ascona was just a few miles from the golf course and it wasn't long before camera crew, players and caddies alike were sitting on the shores of Lake Maggoire enjoying pizza and pasta. The tournament culminated with Norway's Marianne Skarpnord winning the event coincidentally on the Norway' National day. She took home just under €79,000, an Omega watch and some champagne, not bad for four days of golf Tomorrow sees the us off to Munich for a week at the Hypoveriens Bank Ladies German Open. If last year's event is anything to go by, blue skies and wide angle photography will be the way forward next week.

Monday, 4 May 2009

VCI European Cup

Last week saw the VCI European Cup take place at La Sella Resort in Near Alicante, Spain. It was a four day tournament comprising teams from 18 European countries plus two invites, USA and Australia. So it was back to lugging the 400mm f2.8 round the golf course. It was good to shoot a tournament as it had been a few weeks since the last one and it makes a change from underwater photography. 
The Dutch team, Christel and Marjet (left) were victorious, narrowly beating the French, Italian and Australian teams.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Underwater in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

For the last few weeks I have been in Sharm, training as a PADI Divemaster, so there has been little opportunity for shooting. I did have a chance to get one day off so the camera was in the water and take some shots. I also managed to spend a couple of days with guests helping them to improve and get the most out of the cameras and improve their underwater photography. Taking photographs underwater is something that is now accessible to more and more people, as the cost of buying the equipment necessary has dropped considerably and the range of cameras that now have housings has increased dramatically. The technology of the cameras themselves is also getting better with more megapixels, RAW format capability in many cameras as well as low noise at high ISO so taking photos should be easier than ever. However, any people are disappointed with the results that they get from their cameras, but, following a few simple guidelines along with a some insider tips, you can take some really fantastic underwater images. The image above is of one of the guests with her compact camera and external, slave, strobe, it was a new setup and she was struggling to achieve accurate colours throughout the image, by the end of a couple of dives she produced some really strong images of a turtle that, I am assured will be printed off and hung on the wall. If you have any questions about underwater photography, feel free to contact me via my website, here

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A Bit of Bird Photography

This week, with the weather being pretty awful, I decided to give the golf course and underwater photography a miss. I had heard, however, that a new bird hide had opened just up the road so off I went with the 400mm f2.8 L IS, 1D MkIIn, 1.4X converter and a tripod to shoot some birds. Sadly the marshes were just a little too far away for any great shots of birds there. However, there were a couple of feeders in the hedgerow to the side of the hide and these were attracting a few nice finches, including the Gold Finch (above). These beautiful little birds were really taking advantage of the free food on offer.

The light was not particularly strong so I rigged up a 580EX on a remote trigger and took some shots of the birds rooting about on the floor for food, like this Dunnock, (above). I have always been interested in taking more bird photographs and with this hide just around the corner, I can see myself spending a lot more time down there.

Turkey, Feb 2008

I was only back from Egypt for a week when I was packing the bags again to get to Egypt. I joined the EGTMA and was invited to Antalya to look at the golf courses and hotels in the area. As one of the photographers with the EGTMA, I was on hand to take some shots of the golf courses that we visited whilst playing golf. The photo on the right is of the Papillon Montgomerie Course's 18th hole. I had been out to Turkey before, taking golf course photos of the oldest course in Antalya, 'The National' but this was my first time playing there. There were 5 rounds of competitive golf over five different courses with 25 fellow golf journalists. The competition was tough, but it was another great week. For more golf course photos click here.

Blue O2 HEPCA dives & Sara Campbell

The day after returning from Q-School, I was packing my bags for Egypt. I was off to Hurgharda for diving photography with a twist. The main reason for the trip was to take part in the reef clean-up dives organised by HEPCA. This involved taking some dives out of the usual schedule and instead diving shallower, well used areas, picking up glass, plates, plastic bags, fishing line, basically anything that should not have been in the sea. There was also some fantastic diving to be had with warm clear water and some great wrecks. There was the obligatory visit to the SS Thistlegorm, as well as the Carnatic, Dunraven and Ghiannis D. We also had world record holding free diver Sara Campbell on board so we had a great photo shoot with her underwater at the Ghiannis D for her website and sponsors (left). To watch her gracefully glide through the water on one breath was fantastic, she looked so unencumbered compared to me in all my diving gear.
Live-aboard diving is always great due to the diversity of people that are on board. Luckily, I had a great bunch with me that week, with several budding photographers on board who spent a fair few hours quizzing me on all things photographic.
For most of the wreck images I used a Canon 5D with a 15mm Fish Eye lens and a magic filter cut to fit the rear filter holder. No strobes were used, just natural light, so shooting with the light and white balancing every few metres is a must.
More photos of the wrecks can be seen here.

Sadly, all too soon, it was time to head back to England and the slightly cooler waters of the South Coast.

LET Q-School, La Manga.

So it is mid-January and I am off to sunny Southern Spain, or so I thought. Qualifying School is not always the nicest time of the year. Some of the players fail to get their card and therefore can't play any events the following season. Others get their card for the first time and so there are mixed emotions all round. The weather was pretty cold for the first week with everyone wearing jackets, beanies and waterproof trousers to try and keep the cold out.The last few days were warmer, although still not hot, but the clearer skies were better for photography. Some of the raised tees provide some chances for silhouette shots such as the one above of Lynn Kenny of Scotland. The winner of Q School was Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and 29 other girls received their full tour cards. The European leg of the tour starts on 23rd of April with the VCI European Cup. For more information regarding the Ladies European Tour and to see some of my photographs from Q school, click here.

Diving at Swanage

One of my many photography goals is to build a catalogue of species that inhabit the coastal waters of the UK. Obviously it takes thousands of dives over many years to compile such a thing, so on the 24th December 2008 I was in the water again. The water off Swanage Pier  was a chilly 7 degrees C with visibility not much more than three feet. Still, with a macro lens you can get close enough to the subject to get around most of the 'viz' problems, although particulate matter in the water can be a nightmare with the associated backscatter. For macro work, I tend to use a Canon 100 mm f2.8 macro lens with a couple of Sea & Sea YS250-Pro strobes attached. If I know that the critters are going to be really small then I might add an extension tube or diopter to the lens. In this case I just used the 100mm on its own.

Despite the bad viz, I managed to find some interesting critters to shoot, including  Scallops, (top), a female Black Faced Blenny, (below), and a few Snakelocks Anemonea. After 90 minutes of diving and despite the drysuit, I had numb fingers and could no longer work the camera so, I
 decided that discretion was the better part of valor and got back into the car where I could at least try to prevent the onset of hypothermia. Roll on the trip to Hurgharda (Egypt) in January for a tour of several wrecks in the Northern Red Sea :)

Dubai Ladies Masters -Annika Says Farewell.

The last event on the Ladies European Tour season is the Dubai Ladies Masters. To my mind it is one of the best events of the year, i.e. they feed the photographers well, it's warm and sunny, a marked difference to the weather back home in December. This year had a special twist to it, Annika Sorenstam, one of the best ever, if not the best ever, female golfers retired from competitive golf. Sadly she did not defend her title and win the event, the title went to Germany's Anja Monke, but all the spectators were on their feet as Annika left the 18th green for the final time.
On the right is a shot of Annika in Dubai with the Burj Al Arab, one of the landmarks of Dubai in the background. 
The next event on the LET is the "Q" School in La Manga, Spain at the end of January.

First Post

Hi and welcome to my blog. This is my first attempt at "blogging" so please bear with me as I may make a few mistakes along the way. I will be trying to update my blog on a weekly basis and posting new images as they are taken. For more info and to see a larger selection of images, please visit my website: www.tristanjonesphotography.com . If you have any questions or comments or would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact me by clicking Here.