This image of a Great Grey Owl came runner-up in a recent Daily Telegraph competition.
Sharply focusing on the owl’s eyes I manoeuvred to get the other owl out of focus in the background.
My aim was to capture something different. Most photographers would move close and take a close up picture of the owl’s face.
Using a telephoto lens and taking care of the focus I managed to take a couple of picture’s before my subject got bored of ‘watching the birdie’ (sorry very poor pun) and moved back alongside its mate.
The image was taken at one of my favourite destinations, the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre near Kington, Herefordshire.
I have known the owner Jay Britain since he started the park about 20 years ago and it has been a great source of pictures for me since.
The beauty of running my own blog means that I get to choose what I do with my pictures. On a modern day newspaper there are certain constraints a beleaguered editor has to stick to. Editors and sub editors are now ‘guided’ by templates and if the image does not fit the space, then it does not go in the newspaper.
And the picture will also be used in colour!
For me the image is everything, so I have decided to turn this photograph into black and white and airbrush out a few people to give it a more nostalgic feel.
I rarely airbrush images, but on this occasion I felt the end justifies the means.
Obviously for the newspapers they get the colourful version with the people in it!
I have known Ann and Juliette most of my life, Ann being a sister of a good mate of mine and Juliette since our school days.
I hate taking pictures of people I know, and even worse when I arrive after the party. But due to working in south Shropshire all day I arrived when everyone had gone home apart from Juliette and her granddaughter.
All the cakes, biscuits and goodies were wrapped and put away (they must have known I was coming!) and the only props I had to work with were the pens and t-shirts.
Lighting was very flat so a little fill in flash was used while taking the picture out in the garden.
It is not a ‘great’ newspaper picture, more like a standard bread and butter type.
You can’t always have ideal situations, but as a press photographer you have to work with what you have, mostly in a limited time frame.
For those of you interested in the caption:
A Kington woman with a rare muscle wasting disease has raised over £500 for a charity which provides advice and support to sufferers and their families.
Ann Upshaw was 51 when she was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, a form of Muscular Dystrophy, two years ago.
The muscle wasting disease is now affecting Ann’s swallowing, so she will have to have a feeding tube, and her breathing, for which she has a machine to help her breathe at night.
But with the help of friends, she held Ann’s Tea Party at her home on Acornbury Leigh, Kington on Saturday from 10am until 4pm.
Visitors were able to enjoy tea, coffee and homemade cakes, some of which were donated and a couple were made by Ann herself.
There was also a raffle, Ann was also selling Myositis UK’s pens and t-shirts and giving out leaflets on the disease to try and raise awareness of the condition.
Ann said; “On the day I raised £325.50 and on my Just Giving Page I raised £190, so in total it is £515.50. I want to thank everyone who helped to put on the tea party and everyone who supported it.”
“If I am up to it next year I will do it again because people seem to like it and they like to come to it and its nice for me to have people around all day. It’s not too late to support me via my Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ann-Upshaw1.”
Full steam ahead this weekend as vehicles of all shapes and sizes will be on show at Kington Vintage Rally. The event, which takes place on Kington Recreation Ground on Saturday and Sunday, will feature, commercial vehicles, cars, military vehicles and many other types of transport. There will be a parade on Sunday morning which is expected to make its way through the town at 9.30am led by the Hospice Angels.
This atmospheric picture taken last year proved popular with the local media. The shot was used in the Hereford Times, Mid Wales Journal and on the BBC website.
I took a gamble while thinking about this image, I waited up the High Street with a 200mm lens and just hoped no modern cars would get into the shot.
Award pictures can be notoriously boring to look at. Half a dozen people in dour suits holding a small piece of silver can be difficult to make visual stimulating.
Luckily for me this picture of Kington Town Football Club secretary Nigel Bradley ‘reflecting’ on his ‘meritorious service to football in the county’ award from the Herefordshire Football Association broke the mould.
I met Nigel at the ground and to liven the picture up used his reflection in the award while managing to get the club name on the grandstand in the shot at the same time.
Fill in flash was used and a bit of tilt of the camera adds to the interest.
Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Andy and I have been a professional photojournalist for over 25 years. The aim of this blog is to entertain and inform the reader and give you an insight into what it is like to work in the industry.
I have been nominated and received a number of awards in my time which I put down to working very hard.
I hope you keep following my blog as there will be a lot more posted by me as it develops.
I will not only be including the good, but also the bad and the ugly images taken by me to show you where they fall short in my opinion.
Working in the newspaper industry I have met many celebrities, but for my first picture I have started a bit closer to home with two very good Del Boy and Uncle Arthur lookalikes!
I have included it so you know what I look like, I am ‘Rodney’ lookalike in the middle!