As with all things photographic, you are only as good as your last picture and for me this month, it was a struggle to maintain my high standards. Wether this lack of focus (excuse the pun) is the really terrible weather were experiencing at the moment or that malaise that sets in when there seems little variety to the daily routines and assignments you are given. Sometimes you need a challenging job or you need to shake yourself up and try to take images of the same old subjects that differ in your usual approach, or show a different perspective on something that is familiar. Hopefully, that will become apparent in next months selection of images.
February began where January left off. More sport. Rugby and Football, but the added bonus of a couple of shifts for the Portsmouth News felt good, as things might be turning themselves around. The first event of the month was at Burnaby Road and USRFC v St Jacques Vikings Guernsey. A match that I never really got a handle on photographically but it did make a spread of images in the Portsmouth News.
With a midweek rugby match being my next commission the challenges of a floodlight match were compounded by heavy driving rain and blustery winds. The conditions tested my Think Tank rain covers and my own waterproofs. It still didn’t stop the rain finding the front element of my lenses, with frequent recourse to my chamois leathers and lens cloths.
It was a welcome relief to have a shift for the Portsmouth News, the first of the year. And to cap it all the sun came out for a dry day, even though it remained bitterly cold. The day consisted of photographing a rising BMX star, an artist amongst his new exhibition and a visit to the Southsea Model Village for its first opening day of the year. This was followed by some football and bit of a wait for my final job, a local Chinese restaurant holding its New Years Day celebration.
The following Saturday saw another United Services home match at Burnaby Road, this time against Millbrook. The following day was another paid commission, some portraits of the Royal Navy Women’s rugby team. The images will hopefully be used in the programmes of forthcoming matches.
It was then two back to back sports events. The first was the Royal Navy women’s side taking on the Fire Service women’s side. Matches are always fraught with challenges at Burnaby Road under the floodlights there. The lights are so placed that three of the corners of the pitch receive little to no light, the resulting images seem resemble a painting in the Pointillist style or a black cat in a coal hole! The remaining corner receives its illumination from the clubhouse bar not the floodlights. The following night was football, the Royal Navy and RAF U23 sides going head to head in the final of the inter service U23 competition. The RN taking home the silverware in a 1-0 win.
The final event of the month for me was The News Business Excellence Awards working alongside other photographers, reporters and videographers. Always a busy event of constant uploading between the different key points of the evenings events to meet the demands of the news desk and deadlines. The only guarantee is a late night. But it was worth it with a good spread images across the paper including a front page image.
Next month the sport will continue and hopefully a shift or two for the Portsmouth News. Either way, I hope to have battled my demons and be better prepared for what life and my photography throws at me.
Images from the events mentioned here can be viewed on my social media pages. Try my Instagram page; https://www.instagram.com/woodlandkeith/ Also, take look at my Twitter/X page for some my work from my job at HMS Collingwood, https://twitter.com/K_W_Photog
Some of these images and others can also be viewed and purchased or downloaded (depending on my agreements) by visiting https://www.kwoodlandphotography.com/ and making your way to the client page.
As with most of us we start the new year with the well intentioned resolve to change something in our lives. Be better, healthier or thinner. But you get to day three of January and the resolve has slipped, your just back to repeating all the previous years. For me, I began with the lists of what I wanted to achieve, but those moments of clarity are quickly lost in the fog of life and time. You grapple to find them again as you believe they offer salvation but to no avail. So you return to your old ways and plod on. But for me, maybe February is the new January.
So here goes. Part of the plan was tell you what I have been up to this past month. Well its been sort of busy, I haven’t had the range of work or opportunity I would have liked. I know this is a cliche, there is always an image there if look hard enough.
January started with a visit to Hayling Island photographing the sail board sailors there. Then it was back to the day job at HMS Collingwood photographing the daily routine of new classes, portraits and courses completing with a few PR jobs thrown in. Again very quiet.
In between this K Woodland Photography was able to photograph some sport. Rugby and football with a bit of enduro thrown in.
The first event was the RN football match against Paulsgrove FC, a bitterly cold night. An event that helped blow out the cobwebs, photographically speaking and get back into the swing of it.
Then it was back photographing United Services Rugby Club (USRFC), a team and sport I cut my teeth on, again photographically. This time they were away to Chichester. Images from this were used in the Portsmouth News. More rugby followed, this time a paid commission, the RN women against Havant. Another floodlit, cold match that is always a challenge to me and my cameras and lens. Here the RN had an emphatic win.
More matches for USRFC followed. Both wins for the club with the last against Locks Heath and the resulting images, again used in the News. However, in the first of these matches, against Totonians II’s, I was able to use my new Nikon Z 180-600 f5.6-6.3 recently back from Fixation and repair. That’s a story, I’ll keep to myself.
The final events of the month were both on the same day. The Portsmouth Motorcycle Racing Club (PMCRC) held its annual ‘Mudfest’. Though a smaller field than normal, the enduro riders have their riding skills tested against the, er, mud! And lots of it, especially after the recent heavy rains. I and my cameras managed to escape relatively unscathed this year from all that flying mud.
Then it was quick dash from Rowlands Castle to Portsmouth to capture the action at the Betfred Rugby League Challenge Cup match, the Royal Navy v Thatto Heath at Burnaby Road. The RN were hoping to make it to the 3rd round but to no avail, losing 24-32 in a spirited match.
In February, the sports photography will continue but I hope there will be a bit more variety, maybe a landscape or two and maybe a visit to a garden. There will be other things too look out for as I begin my New Year in February. Happy New Year.
Images from the events mentioned here can be viewed on my social media pages. Try my Instagram page; https://www.instagram.com/woodlandkeith/
These images and others can also be viewed and purchased or downloaded (depending on my agreements) by visiting https://www.kwoodlandphotography.com/ and making your way to the client page.
For the foreseeable future there will no longer be an “image of day”, “one from the archive “or an “alternate choice”.
For many, this will come as a great relief. For everybody else who has liked or commented on the images I have posted here, thank you and thank you all for your support, it really is appreciated.
As I wrote in my blog, “Musings from a small room”, I had intended, amongst other things to publish an image a day, visit somewhere new each week, etc. etc. But one of the chief reasons I decided to cease this endeavour is the limited number of areas I can successfully and safely visit without repeating myself too much. This is, in part due to the restrictions I have placed upon myself, or those imposed by the authorities with the current lockdown restrictions.
There are other reasons but if I were to get into those this could turn into a “rant” and I do not want to diminish what I have achieved so far. Other than that, it sometimes feels that success is not always obtained by hard work, skill or perseverance but by your face fitting in or it is achieved by buying false friends, followers and likes.
In this break, I will be still be out there photographing. I will still be experimenting, creating new images, trying to learn new photographic skills and exploring my photographic world. But it will not be published on my social media sites, it will take place on my website, www.kwoodlandphotography.com. There will be regular updates to my ‘portfolio pages’ as well as the ‘recent work’ page. My blog, for those interested in what I’ve been up to or am going to do, will still be updated monthly. The print sales page will also be updated each month. A chance to purchase a print or two, to help out one of the many business’s at the moment.
As things return to “a different normal” (things can never be the same again) as places reopen activities and events return, I too will return to these pages but in the meantime, thank you for your support and keep safe everybody.