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Photographing a charity hair styling event on Snowdon in association with GHD and Breakthrough Cancer research.

I had a 'phone call from a hair stylist that I've done some photographs with asking if I'd be interested in doing a charity photo shoot on the top of Yr Wyddfa ( Snowdon ). Whilst it is a place that, in my younger days, I'd want to either be off the top by 8am or not get there until the evening I didn't hesitate to say yes. The idea was for Chris, of spires hair salon in Uttoxeter to carry up a petrol generator ( loaned free of charge for the event by TCM Trailers of Lichfield ) to power the GHD hair styling tools he would be using. This would be to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer ( Donations can still be made via the Just Giving site ).
In order to be sure of a fresh start and to not make for too much driving on the day we camped overnight in the Ogwen valley at Gwern Gof Uchaf. Even though we arrived in the dark the outline of Tryfan just next to the site was clear to see, helped a bit by the searchlights from the Mountain Rescue Helicopter that was looking for some people. With the helicopter dropping the people rescued off just a few hundred yards from the camp site it should have been quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately one group of people, the group nearest to our tents, carried on in their shouting to each other form of talking. I realised I had some foam earplugs in my camera bag, they helped a bit but still no sleep.

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3 walkers at the saddle where the PYG track crosses the ridge that becomes Crib Goch

Glastonbury 2015 - Kanye West and the rest

There can be no doubt that Kanye West's Glastonbury booking and eventual performance created a lot of social media 'noise'. The petitions and threats that followed the announcement of his booking mirrored that which greeted Jay-Z's booking a few years back. With Jay-Z he quickly showed that he appreciated that UK events are different from those across the pond and Glastonbury is also very, very, very special. His performance silenced those whose views were not entrenched. Jay-Z at Glastonbury was a success. It might be that this success encouraged the organisers to take a bigger gamble.

On the night of Kanye West's performance I was watching The Mothership Returns ( George Clinton's Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk and also The Family Stone ) on the West Holts stage. I knew that I'd enjoy this, expecting to hear some of what I both listen to for pleasure and played when I DJ'd as The Boogie Funk Disco. Ah, the 1970s. I was not disappointed. Probably the largest band ensemble that took to the stage and containing the most 'over 65's'. Taking the crowd with them and not being insulting to anyone.

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High key photography or not 'high key' ? – That is the question

There are many misconceptions in Photography and, in part because of the easy access to information on the internet, they tend to spread more quickly these days. One of the common points of misinformation is what 'high key' lighting is. Unfortunately there are now many people who think that 'high key' is an image on a blown white background

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Hiring a photographer - some things to consider

When hiring a photographer there are quite a few things to consider. Some of the things will be obvious, some less so and some will possibly not even cross your mind. If you are booking a gas boiler service you know to hire a registered, trained, qualified technician. There are a lot of professions where you have to be qualified and registered in order to practice that profession. Whilst photography has a number of professional organisations – SWPP, BIPP, AOP for example – there are no legal requirements.

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Photography flash units and safety considerations

Some people when buying 'studio' photography flash units do not consider safety aspects or the actual quality of light and the general performance of the flash unit. Instead they just worry about the price. For amateur use the consistency of the flash output in both power and colour temperature along with being able to be used hard for several hours at an event are likely to be low on the priority list. For professional use price should become a secondary consideration to if the flash units will actually do the job you are being paid for. Unfortunately the safety of the units in use is seldom considered.

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The language of photography, its use and abuse

Don't get me wrong, language is an ever changing medium that grows to meet the demands of its users. However some people adopt words to mean things that already have clear, unambiguous, words that are understood by professionals in that field. This tends to happen either through laziness, ignorance or trying to make themselves out to be 'in' / 'cool' / 'with-it' / 'hip' / 'fashionable' / etc. The Internet has accelerated this abuse and muddying of technical words with some things repeated so many times that some people start to believe it as the truth. One such example is the use by some photographers of the word 'strobe'. I have looked at this in a previous post – 'Strobists and Strobism'

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