Photographing an event in a storm with the Fuji X-T1

On the plus side, it wasn’t as windy as predicted but oh how it rained.

The event was the switching on of Preston’s Christmas lights in the City centre and while I had a good view in the press enclosure at the front of the stage there wasn’t any shelter.  In theory that shouldn’t be a problem for my usual combination of Fuji X-T1 and 50-140mm lens, both of which have weather proof seals but I’d had to send my lens back to Fuji for repair – the lens came away from the mount, not good!

Anyway, that meant I had to shoot with my 55-200mm which isn’t weather sealed. Fiddling about with a plastic rain-cover made things tricky in the heavy rain.  At one point my flash also stopped working and meant using high ISO to capture the shots.  All in all a rather wet gig but here are a few of my favourite pictures from the night. There are lots more on here: http://blogpreston.co.uk/2015/11/in-pictures-preston-christmas-lights-switch-on-2015/

300 years ago in Preston

Three hundred years ago the Jacobites arrived in Preston, proclaiming James III as King. This moment in history was re-enacted yesterday on the Flag Market in the centre of the City. It was one of a number of events taking place which mark the occasion of the last battle on English soil which took place in Preston between Jacobites and the Government on 12th November 1715.

Though the Jacobites won the initial battle, Government reinforcements soon arrived and the Jacobites were forced to surrender two days later.

Why I love this Fuji X-T1 black and white picture…

Street photography is a genre of photography that some people would argue should only be practiced close up and personal; and taking a candid approach.

But, for this picture I was across the street with my Fuji X-T1 and 55-200mm telephoto lens. I was actually following the group of people moving in the opposite direction. This was a theatre group, dressed in 1920’s period costumes and they were singing some of those classic war songs as they made their way to the next performance of street theatre.

It was raining hard as I spotted this Salvation Army chap pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair with, as you can see, a rather large instrument. I think they were on their way to a Remembrance Day practice.

For me the really pleasing thing about the photograph is the broad smile on the lady’s face. I’m not sure if it was the old songs or people dressed in period costumes that did it but it seemed to make her day and her smile made mine.

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Rainy day couldn’t stop joy of Hindu Festival

At times it was absolutely lashing it down with rain today but that couldn’t prevent Preston’s Hindu community enjoying themselves. They were celebrating the opening of the Mandir Mahotsav temple and these photographs hopefully capture some of the atmosphere from the day.

All the photographs were taken on a Fuji X-T1 with 35mm and 55-200mm lenses.

Preston Remembers

This weekend, I was fortunate to catch a moving piece of street theatre in Preston’s City Centre.  To be honest, I hadn’t really expected a great deal from what sounded like a remembrance event telling the stories of three Preston people impacted by the first World War.

What we actually got was a superbly produced and acted performance by the ‘Theatre in the Quarter’ group. The actors, dressed in period costumes put on a performance that included music and song, together with lively storytelling. It was a fitting tribute not only to the people of Preston but to all those who lived through the dark days of the First World War.

These are a few of my photographs from the performances.

A gig in the library

It was a new experience both for me and for the City’s main library. I’d never photographed a gig in a library and though other libraries have held this type of event before, it was a first for the Harris venue. The line-up for this event included Lee Southall, guitarist with The Coral, Indie band The Carnabys from London and Brighton based Joe Dolman, an up and coming singer, songwriter.

A slightly surreal venue, maybe, but this was an intimate gig and an enjoyable couple of hours of live music.

Here are a few photographs from the event. All these images were taken in available light with the Fuji X-T1 together with the excellent 50-140mm lens.