Birds Of PreyPosted by Ryan Haines Wed, February 20, 2013 13:24:46
2013 got off to a great start, I won the 2012 Best Bird Of Prey Portrait at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover and am still in the running for the Photographer of the Year Award which will be announced at the first members evening on the 1st June 2013 so a very happy bunny.
The weather has been attrocious so I haven't wandered out too much but finally in early february we had some blue skies and sun so thought I would meander over to the Hawk Conservancy to see how the birds were flying, I wasn't dissapointed.
The light was absolutely fantastic and the catch lights were superb, so much so I thought I would have a play at panning, something I had tried with motorsports on numerous occasions but was yet to try on flying birds. I think it worked reasonably well.
As usual the staff at the Hawk Conservancy Trust were as friendly as ever and glad to see the weather bringing in the crowds, the birds didn't dissapoint flying as close to people as they possibly could.
I can see a fiar few visits throughout the year and look forward to seeing what 2013 brings...
And can't wait to see the end of the wintery colours and the meadow spring back to life, winter colours don't always appear the most impressive to shoot.
Birds Of PreyPosted by Ryan Haines Wed, June 13, 2012 11:36:39
My second passion for photography is Birds Of Prey, unfortuantely I don't ahve the patience or the time to head off into the countryside and wait for an ellusive Bird Of Prey to come into view, I also don't have reuqired lengths to get some of the fantastic photos that we see on the web!
Luckily an answer is at hand, within a 30 minute drive from my home is The Hawk Conservancy Trust, just outside of Andover, Hampshire. With friendly staff and a great selection of birds which are flown daily I pop down when I can to try and play with the camera and practice my panning technique, with the odd portrait thrown in for good measure...
There are 3 main flying displays throughout the day focusing on different birds from around the world and owls to close the day. The guys fly the birds well and the audience is birds are flown as close to the audience as possible.
The Hawk Centre is a great family day out and easy to get to...
MotorsportsPosted by Ryan Haines Wed, June 13, 2012 11:27:27
Drift All Stars series 2012 kicked off in May at Birmingham wheels, 32 drivers
competing to get into the top 16 to then compete against each other to get the
I drove up early arriving on location at 10am with my girlfriend, the event was
not open to the public until 4pm which gave us plenty of time to have a wander
round, meet the drivers and get a feel for the location. Unfortunately not
having my P&L certificates with my which was an oversight on my part and a
lesson learned meant that I would be shooting from behind the fence.
I timed my arrival poorly as just as I arrived JDM garages 370Z managed to drop
its flywheel and a tonne of oil all over the track meaning no track action for
some time to come!
We headed back to the pits and had the opportunity to say hello to what were
becoming regular faces, Walton Smith of Jap Performance Parts/Subaru fame,
Stiggy with The Mighty Starlet and photographers a plenty, it was in this time
that the pit crews were kind enough to give the MR2 I was driving a thorough
check over after a few concerns I mentioned to Stiggy...
Track action started soon enough and although stuck behind the fence there was
just enough distance to get full frame close ups of some of the details on the
cars as they drove past...
The practice sessions were re-started and the drivers were again trying to test
how close they could get to the wall and check what grip was available as the
earlier oil spill was still affecting the back straight.
the drift series covering all of Europe it was great to see some new cars and
drivers on track and flags flying to make sure there was no doubt which
countries the drivers had come from.
most powerful car had been brought over from Finland with Juha Rintanen (The
Flying Finn) showing off in this year’s car sponsored by Achilles tyres, with
750Bhp under the bonnet it was a show that got the crowd going mad.
the practice sessions were completed, the drivers returned to the pits for the
top 16 to be announced and to prepare for the afternoon sessions, the top 16
were announced as follows:
1. Juha Rintanen
2. Nigel Colfer
3. Phil Morrison
4. Luke Fink
5. Walton Smith
6. Damien Mulvey
7. Alan Sinnott
8. Fillipo Pirrini
9. Brad McQueen
10. Luis Lopez
11. Steve Evans
12. Peter Green
13. Anthony Scott
14. Martin Richards
15. Anthony Morthley
16. Ricky Emery
The cars lined up ready for the battles and a great evening was building up.
due to illness we had to cut this trip short and head back home, just in time
to watch Sinnott get announced as the overall winner of round one in his Toyota
fantastic start to 2012 and with the next event on June 23rd on my doorstep in
London, I can't wait.
MotorsportsPosted by Ryan Haines Wed, June 13, 2012 10:53:53
The first motorsport outing for 2012 and another invite from Matt at CTS and Jap Performance Parts.
A trip down to the south coast for what was supposed to be the first Drift event of the season and meet up with old friends.
BHP is an annual event with an open track for amateurs and an opportunity for the drifters to get their eye in for the year ahead, unfortunately the competition was cancelled as not enough drivers could make it but still an excellent opportunity for those that did.
I didn't manage to walk around the whole site as was more focussed on what was happening on track, the sessions were split into novice, intermediate & pro so a good variety of cars and trucks could be seen by a huge crowd.
Cars from the past...
To the present...
Including some serious track toys...
One of the most bizarre sessions of the day and unfortunately the one I found most boring due to their only being one vehicle on the track was the racing truck, he was quick and giving it his all but one big truck racing around the track just wasn't my cup of tea.
The main reason I visited BHP was the Drifting, following on from Wembley in 2011 and my earlier blog I wanted the opportunity to again meet the guys and see what was happening on track.
More new friends, I was introduce to Steve 'Stiggy' Evans at Lydden a true nutter and one of my favourite cars on the circuit. Everyone looks for the big powerful cars but Stiggy runs a stunning old Cosworth powered Starlet, rightly named 'The Mighty'.
A hole host of new cars were on track, stunning 350's,
S15's spitting flames,
And of course Waltons epic Subaru...
Lydden Hill is a great circuit for photography and one of the few left where spectators are not stuck behind amssive fences allowing everyone to get right on top of the action and some great shots. With media access of course you can get that much closer and different angles with the last shot beign taken with a 10-20mm lens so right on top of the action.
Another great day out and a great start to 2012.
MotorsportsPosted by Ryan Haines Wed, June 13, 2012 10:37:28
Through contacts at work I was invited to the JDM All Stars Series Finale at Wembley, my first trip to a Drift event and not a clue what to expect, excited ws not the word!
I arrived early and welcomed in driving straight through the pits and parking up right next to the Club stand which was superb as I didn't have to worry about carrying all the camera equipment around all day, it was going to be a long one. As soon as I parked up introductions were made to the Jap Performance Parts and Togethia Media teams and a more than welcome coffee handed over.
I had a great chat with the guys from Togethia as I had no clue what was made a good Drift photo and didn't want to walk away from the day with nothing to be pleased with, then it was out with camera and a chance to walk around before the public were allowed in to see what was really happening.
It really was like little Japan with some strange little runarounds...
To a whole host of JDM goodness, one of my favourite cars hidden away belonged to Peter Farrow of Togethia Media Services, a standard Subaru Imprezza Colin McCrae, I'm not normally a big fan of scoobies but to see one un-adulterated, in such good condition and signed by the legend himself was great to see.
The mornings session I was stuck behind the fence which allowed me to get my eye in and get some of my favourite shots of the day.
Throughout the morning the cars were practicing hard, especially as the practice session the night before had been cut short due to complaints from the locals about noise, hardly surprising as these high powered monsters were spinning their tyres continuously throughout the event.
Drifting is scored by a couple of simple rules:
Speed - The faster a driver runs through a corner the better
Angle - Basically the further the back end is out the better
Showmanship - How good do you look on track
Clipping Points - How close to the points/wall do you drive
These guys were not just close to the wall, but rubbing the wall on every occasion, often moving the signage or completely ripping it from the wall, and bouncign over the clipping points as shown below (the little orange bit in this instance).
Once two drivers are on the track all hell breaks loose, the drivers have to do all of the above while drivign as close to each other as possible which when driving at speeds of upto 110kph in what is effectively a controlled skid is amazing to watch!
The races carried on late into the night with some fantastic photo ops, unfortunately I couldn't stickaround for the prize giving but was addicted, I amde some great friends, found love for a new sport and can't wait to see how it grows in the UK...