Friday, 29 November 2013

A blogging break and apology

This post is coming to you from the cruise ship Norwegian Gem where I have been living for well over a month now. Unlike my previous job as a cruise ship photographer my new position as Shore Excursions Staff leaves me with too little port time off to be able to edit photos and write my blog. On the plus side I do get more evening time off to enjoy the onboard show, eating out etc so I'm not complaining, I'm still sure of my decision to be here but I am apologising for the lack of blogs. The internet onboard just can't handle the photograph side of things so I can just write this right now...

Some time in the not too distant future I'm hoping to do a catch up blog on my trip to Morocco that I took just before I came out here.

And then as for new cruising pictures, well I'm doing the same 9 day cruise over and over for the next 5 months so there's only so many pictures I can take! We sail out of New York and I've been trying to capture the Manhattan skyline from the ship, it's bloody freezing though!! I haven't actually got off in New York yet, hopefully soon. And then we just go to San Juan, Puerto Rico (I was at the El Morro fortress yesterday it is an amazing place!), St Maarten, St Thomas and Samana in the Dominican Republic.

Anyway I'm not blogging because I'm busy but generally everything is ok. Last week I had to change cabins and I now share with the girl who runs the photo studio, my old job, which has been nice, apart from my own team it was easy to make friends with the photographers on board! NCL treats their crew very well and so similar to Celebrity so it was a perfect choice of employer for me, at the same time I can clearly see the differences in guest experience between all the cruise lines I have worked but as crew it's all the same which is nice to know!

So I am still taking pictures and I will share everything as soon as I get chance! Ciao for now.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Post-Herm Update

Hello everyone! Particularly hello to everyone who has only started reading my blog because of my season on Herm, this pink sky/pink sea sunset photograph is just for you...


And now my blog, as with my life, has to take a turn for something different!

I've decided to return to working for cruise ships! Last year I wrote a few self-indulgent blog posts like this one about why I decided to quit my job as a cruise ship photographer. And I did go to Australia to see if it was somewhere that would make me want to settle (it didn't) and then I was so lucky to do Herm after thinking it was an ideal job after visiting a ex-ship friend who worked there 2 summers ago.

And now I'm ready to go back to ships, to work for the cruise line directly and not in the photography department. If you take those two factors out I should be returning to only things I enjoyed as per my will miss/won't miss list.

Just because I'm not working as a photographer on board does not mean I won't be taking photographs anymore, and I can't wait to get out on port again and photograph specifically with a blog post in mind.

The lovely people at NCL have offered me the position of Shore Excursions Staff so I get to be knowledgeable about tours, I get to be helpful to large numbers of people, it's not a desk job and I'll get some time off in port! It's all very exciting, I'm just waiting for my medical results.

Meanwhile I am off on holiday to Morocco, I'm doing a tour with a company called Topdeck, who with the help of a bus will take me and a group of other travellers to everything Morocco has to offer... cities, sand dunes, mountains and sea!

Many, many photos and stories to follow!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Herm Island: Goodbye Herm!

I'm back home now following 5 and half months working on Herm Island. During my last week I could really see why it was time to go, the cafes only needed one person in each and even then the business was slow, the day I left Belvoir cafe was closed and only one seasonal staff member remains. Also the temperature has really cooled! Season is over!

Before I left I took some photos of how Shell Cafe (my favourite) has looked to me over the past months...

















On my way to the airport I also took the following panoramas. This is St Peter Port, Guernsey, my local shopping centre for the past months located 3 miles across the sea!


And this is a fantastic view point from St Peter Port where on a clear day you can see Alderney, Herm, Jethou, Sark and Jersey!


So that's it! Watch this space for my next adventure...


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Herm Island: Sark Caves and Shooting Stars

Yesterday was a really lovely day off. Firstly I had booked again with Island Rib Voyages because I went with them around Herm and saw seals and puffins but I also heard about their Sark caves trip and I didn't want to leave without doing that!

There are actually quite a few caves and it is really interesting because the main habited areas of Sark are so high up (in contrast to Herm) you have no idea what's going on below without a boat tour like this.




The colours of the rocks inside the cave were really varied from black to copper to green.



This next picture is my favourite because the sunlight hitting the opposite side made it look like there was a magical world we couldn't quite reach!




It was really nice to be right up close to the dramatic edges of Sark.




The last cave was a surprising shape!



The other unique aspect of this tour was getting so close to the private island and castle of Brecqhou owned by the Barclay Brothers (who made their money in newspapers not the bank).


So then last night was the peak night for the Perseids which basically means shooting stars (and we did some space station/satellite) spotting. According to Google the moon was setting at 10.20pm and then it would be perfectly dark, on my little pollution free island of Herm anyway.

I put this first picture up on the Herm Facebook page last night and it's certainly been causing a bit of stir!


Apparently I'm very lucky to clearly catch shooting stars like this AND I was totally under prepared!! Don't take this as a lesson, I was very much doing this the wrong way, but I got my best pictures last night by finding a nice wall or rock (no tripod with me!), setting a 10 second self timer, focusing on Guernsey's lights in the distance then quickly placing the camera on my located wall spot before the shutter when down. I did 30 second exposures at ISO3200 and tidied them in Lightroom.

All my stars pictures can be clicked through to see a larger version in Flickr.

I like this next one because you can see how the 30 second exposure blurs the grass in front.



The light on the right was campers walking by with torches!


Looking over to Guernsey.


Straight up view looking just like the textbooks!! But no luck catching a shooting star this time.




Some beautiful starry views but I stopped being so lucky with the shooting ones so I joined my friends who were lying down and looking up (lighting themselves by a phone in the below image!).


It really was an incredibly beautiful night, who knew Herm wasn't just special in daylight!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Herm Island: A successful family photoshoot

On Friday evening I took photographs of a family group of 11 people staying here on Herm Island. It was really good and the weather was perfect (if a little bright!). And I'm happy to say they liked the pictures, so now I can share a few with you.

We started at the top of the hill as they were staying in self catering cottages. I discovered that this family have been coming to Herm for many years, in fact the mothers, who are sisters, started coming when they were children!

These steps in the courtyard were a perfect starting point for a large group


Then onto the path for views over the fields and out to sea with each family separated.


Of course I try my best to get 'classic' photographs where everyone is looking, but I also love to throw in photographs of more natural moments and these often work well in black and white.


This is at the Guernsey viewpoint.


Then on our way down the hill we stopped at another viewpoint.


And then we arrived at the location that I think is the perfect picture spot here on Herm.



These pictures are very backlit but I like their softness and I didn't want to blast them out with a flash.


Time for some fun by the harbour wall!



And then my favourite picture of the whole shoot because I love to be more arty, you can still make everyone out and it has such a great mood about it!


And to finish the shoot and give a good variety to the photographs, back to some more well known poses on the lawn outside the hotel (which is at least more interesting than a studio doing this in a white box!)




It was great to have a group large enough to do this last picture, but I won't be attempting it again unless it's a very cloudy day or shady spot as they found looking at the sky very uncomfortable.

This family certainly came at the right time,  I was desperate to work with people in this beautiful location again, landscapes don't leave me feeling quite so fulfilled somehow!

There's a few more weeks of the school holidays left so some more bookings would be fantastic.... email me or ask hotel reception to contact me.