WPOY 2016 – Week Two

So I fell short of making the shortlist last week, which isn’t an unusual experience, back in the early days I used to get deflated, but these days knowing the quality of the entries it doesn’t come as no big surprise. I have always been a competitive person when it comes to sport etc but with Photography its different, at the end of the day it’s an art – which ultimately is interpretational. Wex Mondays has served me well, whether it be through immersing myself in sheer quality or making new friends within the photography circle, one thing is for sure – I’m glad it exists. This sense of “Community” has been important to me since day one of this photography journey. Matthew Wilkinson was kind enough to give me the basics, Lee Acaster was the same, helpful, non judgemental and extremely approachable, then came the big Instagram boom for me. I went to an “Instameet” (an organised photowalk followed by a social gathering in a place designed to get likeminded people together, network, connect, learn and enjoy) during this meet I met 3 big UK Instagrammers and highly talented photographers, they gave me some tips which have acted as fundamentals to how I post on the Application – which I now have over 34,000 followers on! Staying humble and grounded is always important in life and something I struggled with during my sporting days, I vowed to never be that way again – so yeah – staying grounded…. I have never forgotten those people who gave their time up for free, to not only teach me but nurture me through my mistakes during the early days and more lately involve me in their own social circles whilst shooting, the tips and skills you can pick up from simply being in the presence of Matt Dartford or Lee Acaster from WexMondays or Sean Byrne, Jacob Riglin or Mark Price from Instagram are priceless!

My Week Two shot actually came from one of the London Official Instameets, in which I now repay the time I was given when I myself was a “newbie”.  Hosting the meets themselves I find gives me a real sense of not forgetting where I was just two years ago. This meetup had over 400 people (yes 400 people walking the streets of London in one group!) It was amazing to help and inspire people and also put faces to names of many of the regular people who post support of my work. Once the day was over I headed out to get some content – I couldn’t drive all the way to London and come away empty handed. The hard thing about shooting London is finding something that has not been done a million times before. Quite often it is a case of putting your own spin or style on a location which has been shot to death.

In the case of this entry I chose St Pauls Cathedral. I had done a light trail shot here about 18 months ago, but felt I could improve on it for sure. I felt the light trail itself didn’t represent iconic London in front of one of its finest pieces of architecture. So this time around I done a long exposure shot using a double decker red bus whilst it started off STATIONARY, this would ensure the bus itself in its form was represented and recognisable, once it then moved off the light trails would follow. It worked as I hoped, their was a sense of a “Real London” feel, and people seemed to connect with it and its dynamic style.

Tech Stuff!! 10 second exposure at f.22 (for the lights to star) with an ISO of 400….

stpaulsbusweb_24298312076_o

The Wex Panel seemed to like it and I was made up when it was in the shortlist to be in the Top 10, if it didn’t make the Top 3 I would have still been happy just to make the shortlist amongst such fine photographers.

Fortunately enough it was voted as 3rd, which meant I had opened my account for 2016 and was on the leaderboard.

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