Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Autumn Portrait Sessions

People ask me if there is a good or bad time of the year to take photos - the answer I think is NO! There is definitely a good or bad time of day, depending on how much light you need and obviously the weather is a huge factor. But just take a look at some of these lovely shots I took of 2 brothers (and their Jack Russell, Freddy) recently in the autumn leaves - what more could you ask for!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Where's you Wheely Been?

Finally, after 2 years of talking about it, last Saturday I walked the last small section of the South Downs Way that had eluded me - and not for any other reason except lack of planning. Cheesefoot Hill, just on the outskirts of Winchester, to West Meon. 9 miles of glorious South Downs. We woke to a drizzly, misty morning but within 20 minutes of setting off the sun came out, the skies turned blue, and we were treated to one of the last stupendous days of Autumn. It was warm enough to walk in shirt sleeves, stop for a picnic halfway through and take our boots and socks off to air our toes - it doesn't get any better than that.

The path takes you across Wheely Down with views right across the Meon Valley to Old Winchester Hill. Here the path splits into a footpath or bridle/cycle way - we choose the latter and walked on into Warnford, past the Watercress Farm and across the fields to West Meon with it's handsome church nestling next to trees turning red and gold and shimmering in the late afternoon sunshine. If you ever visit West Meon I can thoroughly recommend The Thomas Lord for a top cup of tea - infact a great pub all round and currently short listed for Best Country Pub in Country Life magazine - results to be announced next month!

Friday, 23 October 2009

This morning's distraction

I know, this post should be filled with lovely autumn shots, early morning sunshine and red leaves. That, hopefully, is all to come! However, this morning I've spent at least an hour trying to rescue this mouse from the jaws of my cat - couldn't resist taking a photo as it leaped to safety at the top of the curtains. When I've imagined doing a little more wildlife photography, I wasn't imagining it would be in the house! Rest assured, it was a happy ending!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Autumn Sunsets

Panic has set in big time; the leaves are turning to delicious colours, we are having amazing sunsets (and sunrises when I get up in time to see them), we've got conkers galore and lovely hazy mists. How on earth do you find time to get out and photograph them all when you are trying to set up a business? The answer is to book onto a course to learn how to use your new camera, miles away from home and without a laptop - luckily this coincided with an amazing sunset over the farmhouse I was staying in - all these shots are taken within 10 mins of each other and were pretty spectacular. The following night there was nothing remarkable at all. We get equally stunning views across the South Downs on a regular basis so, note to self, always have camera in car and get up earlier!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dogs to match the season

One of the major loves of my life is walking - on top of the downs, along the sea wall, around a town - wherever. It's nearly always the case that when you don't have your camera on you, there is one amazing view or sunset just in front of you which has to be saved to memory. When I do bother to carry my enormously heavy camera and lens with me, I can walk for hours and see nothing that is worth saving to memory card! But when you get the kind of stunning weather we've been getting this autumn there is little decision to be made - it goes with me everywhere! Two recent early morning walks with friends and their dogs resulted in these gorgeous shots of Jekka and Fudge looking glorious in their shiny red coats in the autumn sunshine... Dog photography... another great idea!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Food, Glorious Food

I've had great excitement in the last week with the arrival, finally, of my new camera and lens. This is the beginning of a whole new world of photography for me and I'm already very excited about what they both can do. At the moment there seems to be a general lack of time in my life, so without even looking at the manuals (only available on-line - really annoying) I set off to the Ludlow Food Festival to have some fun with it.

Ludlow prides itself on staging the best Food Festival of it's kind in the country - and I'd have to agree with them. It was a glorious day, hordes of people and the queues were enough to put off the most patient of man-kind. So, my friend and I decided to relax and let the atmosphere take over and we had the most delightful day - tasting everything we could get our greedy paws on - from cheese to meats and from locally brewed ales to the finest of wines. My camera came out whenever there was a gap in the crowd and I had great fun capturing a few close-ups of delicious stuff. Food photography..... now there's a thought!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A Windy Visit to Norfolk

It's been quiet on the blogging front due to a 4 day trip to Norfolk where I had 5 commissions for family portrait sessions. Fantastic! - or so I thought until I looked at the weather forecast at the beginning of last week. As we all know, Autumn well and truly started, and Norfolk was treated to Force 8 gales along the coast. Sadly, none of my intentions to do at least 2 of the sessions on the stunning, wide, sandy beaches along the north Norfolk coast could be realized and in fact both those sessions had to be postponed until another time. That is the nature of photography when you specialize in a style like mine which means working outside, with the weather. Never mind, it's a great excuse to go back and visit Wiverton Hall Cafe again - great food and spectacular views. I KNOW it would work in Hampshire, in the right place, with the right money...... In the meantime, here's a taster of some the lovely families I met last week.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Who needs Tuscany?

Whilst sunflowers are certainly not uncommon in the UK - lots of gardens in my village currently have their towering, yellow faces pearing over fences and up the sides of walls - a whole field of them came as quite a surprise!

A month ago I was lucky to have visited Tuscany - something that had been on my 'list of things to do' for a very long time. Driving from Pisa airport their were acres of sunflowers, on both sides of the road, stretching for miles into the distance. Sadly, on an auto-route, we couldn't slam on the brakes and stop for me to take photos (although I did suggest it 2 or 3 times!). Imagine my surprise when driving back from Chichester yesterday when I saw a field of them, growing in our very own West Sussex. Who needs Tuscany....?

Thursday, 27 August 2009

End of summer?

I can't believe a little over a week ago we were basking in glorious sunshine and experiencing one of those hot, dusty, sunshiny days that haven't appeared enough (if at all) this summer. I grabbed the camera, tripod and next door's dog, Fudge, and took off for the day. We started early and were at Benbow Pond, just outside Midhurst, by 8am. I 'd thought that having a dog for company was going to present certain challenges (in terms of my ability, or lack of it, to take photos) but exactly the opposite turned out to be true. However, my ability to get out of bed early certainly restricted the early morning shots I was hoping to get - mist on water and all that - a return visit will be required.

However, I was rewarded by a stunning evening at West Marden, 5 miles north of Chichester, where my cousin was finishing the harvest. I joined him and the team for tea and took the opportunity to take some photos of the last field being combined. A real end of summer feeling. Am now planning to go back and practice my 'interiors photography' in their stunning holiday cottage & B&B - highly recommended and his wife, Carole, was recently rewarded Friendliest Landlady in Britain! How cool is that?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What is this about?

So this is me, Lou Bushell, Photographer. I say that because I’ve never been quite sure of what I wanted to do. But this summer I joined the ever-increasing number of people made redundant in the recession – in my case it was the push I needed to ‘get out there’ and get on with it. After three or four weeks of contemplation, walking, sailing and generally getting much needed head space after nine years working in Richmond (20 years in London in total…. madness) I’ve made a decision of what I'm going to do in my new life!

I’m going to be a proper, grown-up, professional photographer! I’ve been a semi-professional photographer for around 8 years already so this may not sound like a huge step to you. But for me, it means investing in lots of new camera kit, learning a whole heap of technical stuff, networking like mad, and of course taking LOTS of photographs. It means getting up very early to get the atmospheric landscapes. It means going to lots of events held locally to me to record the people and activities that take place. It means sharing my journey via this blog, hopefully connecting with lots of like-minded people along with way and charting my progress, up and downs, good shots and bad shots… follow me to see what happens!