Reaction Photography: Blog https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Reaction Photography (Reaction Photography) Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:01:00 GMT Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:01:00 GMT https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u663005996-o743263586-50.jpg Reaction Photography: Blog https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog 90 120 Sports Photography Blog - Village Cricket: Wriggle Valley vs Blandford Flies https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/9/sports-photography-blog---village-cricket-wriggle-valley-vs-blandford-flies

I rekindled my love of sports photography lately when I photographed a local village cricket match, whilst on holiday in Dorset. The photos are below so jump straight to them if you'd rather. 

I'd never photographed cricket before so was keen to give it a go, and I had two cricket teams playing a friendly game on my doorstep, barely a 'big 6' away from my family's holiday cottage. And the captains very sportingly agreed to let me photograph their match - thanks Jim and Jeff (that's them above, giving Covid-friendly greetings)!

Wriggle Valley vs Blandford Flies

Wriggle Valley have a lovely pitch right in the heart of a wonderfully friendly and pretty village, Chetnole, which is in between Yeovil and Dorchester. As a family we spent a lot of the holiday on that ground where dotted around the cricket pitch (guarded by a fence to protect against rabbit droppings) there is a playground, cricket nets, church, football goals (with nets!), basketball hoop, netball hoop AND petanque area (a bit like boules - I joined one of the village sessions, which was lovely, though I wasn't particularly good). 

Both teams were just like many other amateur cricket teams at this level, a bunch of people turning out for their local team for the love of the game, and for having a good friendly, but competitive, game together - and as much as the sporting side of it, it was this communal side of the gathering I was aiming to capture too.

Weather-wise, thunder was forecast, but it never came and it was a perfect hot summer's evening, which brought out a few of the locals too, to spectate.

The match

The match itself was very eventful. Each innings was limited to 18 overs, with 'Covid-friendly' wash breaks every 6 overs to wash hands and the ball. The home team batted first and set a large tally for the visitors to chase. You have to keep on your toes watching cricket, as it includes various boundary shots - even reaching the church walls and the parked cars! 

The visitor's captain went out for a duck first ball (caught), and another batsman went on the next ball (also caught I think - I was taking wide shots at the time). Wriggle's bowler didn't get the hat-trick but the good start continued as the visitors crawled to 21 runs for 5 (!). 

Despite this, as well as a number of retirements due to 'rustiness', the game was played in good spirits and it was a fun evening.

(I hope my cricket terminology use is up to scratch - I'm not sure).

Photography notes

My own long lens (70-200mm on a full frame camera) was certainly not up to the job of capturing head and bodyshots of any of the main batsmen or bowlers during the game. You'll notice a few shots of the middle of the pitch but these are heavily cropped.

I was happy to settle for some lovely wideshots of the surroundings and sky, and a collection of natural background shots centred 'around' the main action, including before the game. These are what really interest me, and it's this lovely sociable atmosphere that has even made me half consider joining my local cricket team. You don't need to be able to bowl or bat do you? I can catch and throw pretty well!

I have added a 150-600mm lens to my wishlist, to get those close-ups.

Enjoy the photos!

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(Reaction Photography) https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/9/sports-photography-blog---village-cricket-wriggle-valley-vs-blandford-flies Sun, 06 Sep 2020 09:05:05 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Megan & Tom https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/7/wedding-photography-blog---megan-tom

So this is a weird summer. As the world has ground to a halt due to the pandemic, weddings have been halted - rightly so of course. The weddings that I had been signed up to capture have been rescheduled to next year.

But that leaves this year's blog a bit devoid of wedding joy, and instead full of empty shop fronts in York.

However, I do have some previous weddings that I have not blogged about before, for whatever reason (usually too busy).

Megan & Tom

So I have gone back two years to 2018, to a lovely early June wedding, that of Megan and Tom, genuinely one of my favourite weddings I have captured (I try not to have favourites). They were married in Harrogate, but before that I jumped on an old bus with them and some friends and family in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales, to capture the journey to the registry office (and then back). The celebrations continued back in the Dales, in Grassington, in a gorgeous field with gazebo.

I think what really made this one were the people - not least the couple themselves who I loved getting to know, but also the fantastic family and friends. Of course, this is not unusual for me, I naturally am drawn to people, to relationships, to interactions...over anything static or staged (but which still can have their place).

I think these photos below exude that naturalness I aim to capture in my documentary style.

And I tell you what, having the Dales as a back-drop isn't half handy either.

(As was my parents living a stone's throw from the celebrations, too!)

 

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(Reaction Photography) weddings yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/7/wedding-photography-blog---megan-tom Tue, 07 Jul 2020 20:15:06 GMT
Photography Blog - York in Lockdown https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/5/photography-blog---york-in-lockdown

These are strange times. 

Nearly every aspect of everybody's lives on this planet Earth have been challenged of late, whilst the human race takes steps to shield itself against Covid-19. My focus of this documentary blog - no weddings or sports photos here for once - is to capture a very small slice of that impact. I've photographed the city centre, where families shop, friends meet, and upon which so many livelihoods depend.

I am fortunate to live in beautiful York, UK, but the only part of the city I've seen for the past who-knows number of weeks now, is the streets surrounding my house, my regular dog-walking routes. This past VE-day, I took Laila (our black lab) a little further, into the city centre, along with my 35mm Fujifilm X-100T. 

I thought it worth capturing our city centre as it currently stands, to capture this moment for posterity.  It was a balmy bank holiday evening, the very kind of evening that would usually undoubtedly have seen the the pubs lively, the restaurants brimming, and the streets and riverside bustling.

Not so in 2020, the year the pandemic came.  

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(Reaction Photography) https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/5/photography-blog---york-in-lockdown Sun, 10 May 2020 20:34:27 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Lily & Tom https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/9/wedding-photography-blog-9---lily-tom
Lily and Tom were married at York Registry Office and gambled on the weather being dry enough (it was August after all!) to wander across town to the New School House Gallery at Peasholme, a lovely and intimate venue, which suited the celebrations perfectly. 

I documented the day in a natural style. I am continuing to develop my photography style ever more towards a 'documentary' form, capturing the day's proceedings as they happen naturally, as much as possible.

I really enjoy getting in amongst the friends and family of the happy couple, and capturing the goings on. I believe this also makes for a more enjoyable experience for the majority of guests, who rather than being posed and pushed around, can get on with having a great time. In my opinion, the photos this produces are the most true to the day and the people there.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my photos in the comments at the end, whether you have found this blog from the other side of the world or were present at the wedding. Or drop me a message.

Enough talk. Photos!.....

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, whether you have found this blog from the other side of the world or were present at the wedding. 
 

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(Reaction Photography) Weddings Yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/9/wedding-photography-blog-9---lily-tom Fri, 06 Sep 2019 19:37:25 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Michelle & Will https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/4/wedding-photography-blog-8---michelle-will

Michelle & Will were married on a lovely late March day in central York. The day began as I popped into their house to get some coverage of bridal and bridesmaid preparations....though it turned out my primary directive was to photograph Billy, who would be unable to join us for the rest of the day due to his being a cat. 

Leaving Billy to housesit/bird-watch, Michelle and her fab four bridesmaids made their way to the Hospitium, a venue situated in Museum Gardens* in Central York, one of the top York wedding venues, a stunning venue in many regards and with very welcoming and helpful staff too.

The ceremony was fabulous, though had one slight hitch (not withstanding the main 'hitch' we were all there for): the alignment of Will's buttonhole was not to Michelle's exacting standards. So she had to straighten him out, which took a while....I had a good choice of photos to select from, of that!

I spent the day constantly circulating, looking for those magic moments of joy, laughter, fun, capturing the day in a documentary style that is not invasive, but which tells the story of the day as it naturally happened. Chris (Michelle's wonderful mum) kept saying - with a cheeky grin - that I hadn't yet told her how to pose. She often did this immediately after I had quickly shot her gesticulating in some wonderful fashion to someone else - my favourite type of subject! This is documentary photography - capturing what happens naturally in an interesting and beautiful way. 

Everyone had a wonderful time. From older generations cherishing the occasion, to younger ones (yes I count myself in that) letting off steam. We had the time of our lives. And Michelle and Will did too.

Photos below.

*Museum Gardens is closed to the public after dusk so wedding guests at the Hospitium have to enter/leave the gardens by asking a guard at the main entrance. A mutual friend of the bride, groom and me - let's call him Mickey - text me the next morning to ask if I'd got out alright because he'd had to scale a wall! I was very tempted to text back: "No - thank goodness you got in touch - send food and fresh water"

 

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(Reaction Photography) https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/4/wedding-photography-blog-8---michelle-will Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:56:31 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Polly & Rich https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/8/wedding-photography-blog-7---polly-rich Just a quick blog this time since I am in between holidays: Yorkshire Dales for the first week, 3 nights of camping in Lincolnshire coming up. Who am I kidding  - you are here for delicious wedding photos! 

So, in between these family hols I have managed to squeeze in the final processing of a fantastic wedding I shot in early July, on one of the many many considerably sunny and hot days. This was Polly and Rich, who met in York when younger (not much younger - they're still young!) and continue to live here, which was great since it meant there was a ton of fantastic support from family and friends. 

For the ceremony I returned to Bedern Hall (central, old, stunning), where Rich and his best man and ushers (and groomsmaid - a first for me!) welcomed family and friends. After the ceremony, Polly and Rich and I diverted via Museum Gardens - where they used to hang out - and they told me about the best places in York to breakfast (one of my favourite verbs), since they are eating-breakfast-out connoisseurs. Finally, we joined up with everyone else at Clements Hall, in Southbank, a lovely multi-purpose venue which I had previously been at less than a month before, as a seller at a baby table-top sale - anyone need a pushchair?

Once there, a super time was had by all, including wonderful food and music, not to mention the company. 

And any couple that has "Led Zeppelin" as a table name is automatically awesome in my book.

To the photos!.....

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(Reaction Photography) Weddings yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/8/wedding-photography-blog-7---polly-rich Wed, 01 Aug 2018 08:06:27 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Jess & Stuart at The Old Lodge Malton https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/wedding-photography-blog-6---jess-stuart-at-the-old-lodge-malton Malton - The Old Lodge

I recently shot a wedding in Malton, in Ryedale North Yorkshire, a lively market town where I once lived and worked. The venue for this wedding was near the centre of town, The Old Lodge, an old stomping ground of mine.  It is a 17th century Grade II listed Tudor Mansion with 3 acres of beautiful gardens overlooked by an outside terrace. There's also a bar with log fire and event room. For this wedding, the ceremony was held outside, an idyllic setting, or there is also the use of the Ceremonies Hall.

The staff at the Lodge were incredibly helpful and a pleasure to work alongside to help one another deliver an unforgettable and top class occasion for the happy couple. I liaised with Nicola, who was in charge on the day, and not only did we gel and work to help one another, but we had a great time doing it too. Top recommendations all round!

The venue really does have it all (building, gardens, staff, food, drink, facilities) so I would definitely recommend considering The Old Lodge in Malton if you are looking to get married in the area. Take a look at the photos below to see the proof!...

Jess & Stuart

Jess and Stuart had their ceremony in the grounds of the Lodge, followed by celebrations outside and in! They were a fabulous couple to get to know, and their families and friends were too.  The day was full of good cheer, scrumptuous food, fantastic dancing and a few owls.....

Owl Adventures

Jess and Stuart have a great affinity with owls and as such acquired the services of Owl Adventures, to be present on their big day. For weddings such as this, Owl Adventures offer:

  • Wedding ring delivery service - a barn owl will deliver the rings to the altar
  • Wedding display - a display of birds of prey where guests can hold birds (and have photos :D )
  • Flying show - a spectacular flying show featuring owls, hawks and falcons in free flight

As you'll see from the photos below, Jess and Stuart had all three of these options and, as much as weddings are already such special occasions, Owl Adventures really did make it such an extraordinary afternoon. The team were really friendly and very helpful and obliging to me as wedding photographer, which is always most appreciated. 

I was very comfortable photographing the birds - they are well controlled by the falconers and I am used to shooting fast moving small things (pets, small children!) so was able to get some stunning shots of these fabulous creatures in action, and the guests enjoying the show (see the selection below).

Photos

A selection of photos from the day are below - do get in touch if you wish to enquire about your event, whether it involves owls or not!....

 

The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton The Old Lodge, Malton

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(Reaction Photography) Weddings yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/wedding-photography-blog-6---jess-stuart-at-the-old-lodge-malton Fri, 13 Jul 2018 06:00:00 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Abi & Adam https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/wedding-photography-blog-5---abi-adam

Abi & Adam were a really lovely couple that I was honoured to get to know and then photograph their big day.

Their families and friends were equally welcoming and I was made to feel one of the family for the day. As with all weddings, there was a lot of emotion, hugs and kisses flying around, and I was able to get in amongst it all discretely and capture natural images of the day.

But don't just take my word for it, have a look over a selection of the shots below and also see what the couple had to say about them:

Wow the photos are amazing we've just sat down and relived the whole day through the photos you've taken. They are so natural I don't even remember seeing you taking them. They are just perfect...

...Most people have cried with how fab they are!...

...We're so grateful for the amount of time and effort you've put into making our photos perfect and better than what we could have imagined. Thank you! 

Abi & Adam were married at St Laurences church in Scalby, near Scarborough, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. We then ventured into the Moors to the fabulous Hackness Grange which had a super location, stunning grounds and building and who put on an excellent celebration (the roast dinner was incredible).

I did a separate blog for Abi's bridal preparations available here: http://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/wedding-photography-blog-4---bridal-preparations

Here come the photos:

 

See Abi's bridal preparations here: http://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/wedding-photography-blog-4---bridal-preparations

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(Reaction Photography) weddings yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/wedding-photography-blog-5---abi-adam Sat, 09 Sep 2017 06:02:37 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Bridal Preparations https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/wedding-photography-blog-4---bridal-preparations

If you're in two minds about whether to have your wedding photographer capture the pre-wedding bridal (or groom) preparations, take a look at the selection of photos below (including the corker above) taken on the morning of a recent wedding I photographed. It was at the beautiful family home of the wonderful Abi who would later marry Adam, and in my humble opinion (and least big-headed way possible), if these photographs do not sway you to have your morning preparations captured, then nothing will!

"But but but....." (I hear you say*)...

"But Chris, we only have a set number of hours for our photographer so can't fit in any morning preparations"

If your wedding photography package is time-limited, the first thing to drop is often the pre-wedding preparations. Personally I think there is HUGE value in these moments - giving rise to many stunning photographs of cherished memories - and so I would always encourage the couple to have these, where appropriate and where possible. Have you skipped to the photographs in this blog yet to see just how fantastic these can be? No? Well what are you doing here? still? Do that first, and then come back and read the boring text bit.

"But Chris, I'm not keen on having a relative stranger photograph me getting ready"

I always get to know my clients before the big day, and plenty of other photographers do too - as they should! - so for me, whilst I'm there as a professional and what that entails, you are also familiar with me and (very) comfortable in my company.  Plus, I'm only in the room when you are happy for me to be and am very discrete and considerate when I am. And that's only one part of the preparations anyway, there's always plenty going on!

As an added bonus, I'm also available to lend a hand if needed. For this very wedding showcased below, there were difficulties and I was called upon to button up Abi's dress at the back. There were a lot of buttons - those wedding dressmakers are much quicker and well practiced! 

"But Chris, aren't all the best pictures later in the day anyway?"

Have you not seen the photographs below yet?
Have you not seen the wonder, innocence and joy in the beautiful flower girl's eyes??
Have you not seen Abi and her dad Rob having a last minute walking-down-the-aisle practice in the hallway mirror??? 
Have you not seen the care and pride taken by mother of the bride Tracey, in dressing her beloved daughter for her big day????**
Have you not seen father of the bride Rob virtually falling across the living room as his knees seemingly buckled on the first sight of his grown up princess in her stunning wedding dress?????*** 

"But Chris, it's going to be manic / too stressful / there's no room for you / we don't want to be posing all morning as well as during the day"

Personally I would point to my unobtrusive and natural style (see my previous blog) as a counter argument for all these points. When I arrive I always make it clear that I need nothing; no one needs to cater for me in any way. I just work around what is happening. If I'm needed for anything in particular then of course I'm happy to oblige but my style is very much around capturing what is naturally happening.

This means no stress of you or your family/friends catering for the photographer's needs and no time used up posing here or there (in an inevitably already busy morning). Not all photographers will have this style of course so perhaps if you're not using me then just think a little about how these points relate to your photographer. Just have a good chat about how they operate. Perhaps ask to see examples of their preparation photos? If they're great, then that's a good start! 

"But Chris....how about this other thing?....."

Feel free to drop me a message or comment on this blog with any other concerns you think of.  My fundamental approach at this point of the day, hopefully like many other photographers, is to be low-key and allow the preparations to be as stress-free as possible for all those involved. This enables all the enjoyment, exhilaration, and love, to come to the fore and be captured in a natural style.

 

*Just play along, would you? ;)
**Though I did do the buttons on the back, it's only fair Tracey takes most of the credit
***I suppose the buckling knees could have partly been due to the raspberry-infused sloe gin and champagne cocktails - see earlier photos

 

 

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(Reaction Photography) weddings yorkshire https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/wedding-photography-blog-4---bridal-preparations Sun, 27 Aug 2017 07:53:06 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Christine & Matt https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/wedding-photography-blog-3---christine-matt  

A natural style

The selection of images below from this recent wedding really showcases my natural style of wedding photography. Shooting in this "reportage" style with minimal staging -mostly reacting to what is going on and capturing those natural smiles, glances, and interactions - is how I approach the weddings I photograph. I think the results speak for themselves.

I find this natural style generally puts brides and grooms and everybody else at ease, and enables me to capture what is happening in front of me, as opposed to me artificially engineering photos. There is no need for the bride or groom or other guests to be conscious of posing or pouting - I capture the natural smiles, glances and other interactions. 

It means I can blend in to the environment easier and therefore capture images that might be out of reach or out of mind of photographers who shoot in a more staged way (which, do not get me wrong, can and often do in the case of many I know, elicit fantastic results, but it's not my style). It gives me more time to react and snap away to the various goings on. 

The majority of clients are very comfortable with this approach, and adore the final product: an organic collection of images that tell the story of the day as it happened as naturally as possible.

Rapport

One important method which helps support this natural approach, is to become quickly familiar with the key people on the day. I will always already be on familiar terms with the two people getting married - but I also make myself known to the rest of the bridal party, close family and friends, and establish a rapport with them. This really facilitates being able to more easily shoot in my natural way getting close-up when necessary and not being a bother to anyone. I aim to keep as low-key as possible and to not be a distraction. 

This natural style allows me to capture moments of intimacy, tenderness and also hilarity! More often than not these natural images are my clients' favourite photographs from a day's shooting, and are mine too.

Stunning lens

One of my favourite lenses - the 35mm 1.4 - lends itself to getting absolutely phenomenal results with this style. It is quite a wide frame, which enables intimate indoor shots but also captures stunning outdoor skies and landscape. Importantly, it can really isolate the subject when shooting wide open - photographer speak for photographing as shallow a depth as possible on a particular lens. More so than most other lenses, it produces such stunningly sharp images at these settings, which also enables one to shoot in such low light (i.e. indoors) all-the-while producing professional high-quality images.

There are numerous examples below - let me know what you think in the comments.

Christine & Matt

This wedding was Christine and Matt's big day, and oh what a day. They are school sweethearts from the idyllic village Cherry Burton in East Yorkshire, now living in London. The service was at the village church, St Michael & All Angels, and we then ventured on to Rowley Manor, a privately owned Georgian house near Little Weighton.  

My frequent associate, Tom from Giraffe Photography, shared duties with me on this one - his photos are marked below in the captions. We always have a blast shooting together....but this was something else.

 

Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Tom at Giraffe Photography took this Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Tom at Giraffe Photography took this Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Tom at Giraffe Photography took this Tom at Giraffe Photography took this Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography

 

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(Reaction Photography) weddings https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/wedding-photography-blog-3---christine-matt Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:50:41 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Natalie & Richard https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/4/wedding-photography-blog-2---natalie-richard

York is full of incredibly photogenic locations. And this wedding just serves to showcase a number of them! See below for a selection of images of my natural photography from the day.

The Service

Natalie and Richard were married at Bedern Hall, a delightful 14th Century event location in the heart of York. It is run not for profit by a fabulous team. I had popped in the day before the wedding and by chance chatted with Director Roger Lee who was most helpful. Despite being a delightfully ancient building nestled amongst taller, more modern structures, there was some wonderful natural lighting falling in through the vast windows.

The service was standing room only, and was filled with emotion and stirring words from readings and from our two protagonists who each had their own beautiful vows for one another. I was positioned at the front and my second shooter Tom from Giraffe Photography was packed in at the back between the other standees. Tom contributed a significant number of images on the day, particularly those from the rear within Bedern Hall. He also held the ladder for me when I was taking the group shots later on!

The Wander

After the service, Natalie and Richard, plus a small entourage (me, best man/umbrella carrier Thomas and second shooter Tom) went for a quick wander round the vicinity of the 'Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York', commonly known as York Minster. Natalie and Richard volunteer at the Minster so it is close to their hearts.

Now this is where the story gets interesting - we were nearly arrested!

Well, perhaps I've exaggerated that slightly, but we were 'moved on' by a member of the red-vested York Minster Police. They're not keen on wandering wedding couples being photographed on their private property it seems. Unfortunately it's tricky to be discrete so we were spotted quite quickly. 

So we sauntered through the gardens, tails between our legs and lens downward-facing. I did feel a slight pang of disappointment at the opportunities we were missing but it was nice to leave Natalie and Richard to enjoy the stroll in solitude as a new couple in a setting which obviously had great meaning to them. 

But I couldn't wait too long, and within 5 minutes we were shooting fabulous location shots again within the ancient walls of one of the UK's most beautiful cities. Whilst many of these shots might look quite posed, I am very much inclined towards 'natural photography' and so my verbal direction to couples is usually not much more than "please walk slowly that way and I'll photograph you as you chat between yourselves".

The Celebrations

After a plethora of street shots, Natalie and Richard (and best man Thomas) were picked up by a car leaving Tom and I to make our way on foot to the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), the location of the rest of the celebrations. That journey itself was eventful as we stopped to help somebody who'd had a fall - she seemed okay once back on her feet but was keen to have a lay-down whilst down there. Didn't blame her.

The NCEM is yet another wonderful wedding location within the walls of this ancient City, an educational music charity based within St Margaret's, a medieval converted church. The church interior was brilliantly tall and spacious, the gardens and exterior doors and arches were fantastically ornamental and beautiful and even the lobby ceiling was a photographic delight (keep an eye out for the black and white eye-catching roof shot below with Natalie the bride stood underneath talking to friends amongst the crowd). Once again, the staff- particularly Mark Hildred and Lindsay Whitwell who we liaised with on the day - were fantastically helpful and hospitable to Tom and me. 

The wedding party was well under way by the time Tom and I arrived and we got straight to it, running through the numerous formal shots we had pre-arranged with Natalie and Richard and then setting to with shots of the various decorative details and guests mingling.

Natalie and Richard had arranged for The Jinnah to cater. The Jinnah provide Kashmiri Indian cuisine at a number of restaurant locations throughout North Yorkshire including York and - particularly familiar to me when I lived Malton-way, near Flaxton on the A64. The lamb curry was sumptuous and though they didn't have peshwari naan, I was more than happy to have the garlic option (wonder if the newlyweds opted for garlic?!). As always when shooting at a wedding, I was careful not to have too much - I do not want to be weighed down for the rest of the day! 

Following some great speeches - one involving that well-known wedding-related prop, a pineapple - we made use of the evening light outside and then finished our photographic coverage with the first dance. 

It was a fabulous day with a fantastic bunch of people - as always the guests were lovely, and engaging - and we came away with a stack of wonderful shots.  You can browse through a few below...

Tom from Giraffe Photography was second shooter on this one and as always it was not only a great help, but great fun to have him there with a second eye. I'm very grateful for his help when I can get it and I'm sure you'll agree his images also stand out as fantastic - see a few below also, marked as his in the captions.

 

Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography   Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography Taken by Tom at Giraffe Photography

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(Reaction Photography) Weddings York York Minster https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/4/wedding-photography-blog-2---natalie-richard Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:54:45 GMT
Sports Photography Blog - Olympics Heroes Parade https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/sports-photography-blog-2-2016-olympics-heroes-parade

2016's Olympics and Paralympics were staggering success stories for British sport. Incredibly, Team GB finished second in the overall medals table, having previously finished third in 2012....and that was for both the Olympics and Paralympics.  Once again, the nation was gripped by a fervour as we all followed these men and women; young and not so young (and everything in between); black and white (and everything else); gay and straight (and others no doubt); and non-secular and secular athletes through the culmination of their 4-year journeys to Rio.

There were too many highlights to mention. Blimey, Sports Personality is going to be a particularly tough one this year*.

Some of the athletes took a stroll through Manchester city centre and I happened to be there to capture the action from the public perspective.

From a photography point of view, I had my Nikon D750 with me, which is very light and perfect for keeping on your toes. Lens-wise, if I owned an all rounder zoom I would have taken one (the 18mm - 300mm would have been perfect) but I don't currently so I was stuck with compromising a little on the quality and ease by taking two lenses: one wide zoom (24mm - 70mm) plus a long lens zoom (70mm - 300mm). Of course, this ended up being rather faffy when swapping, and of course this being Manchester, it also rained. Well, lashed it down would be more apt but I had taken precaution, an eBay special rain repeller for long lenses and also employed special high-tech water resistance techniques to protect the lens not being used at any given time (wrap it in a bag in a bag in a bag).  

And of course, I had my wedding voice on (loud and authoritative), to try to attract the glances of a few athletes, which worked I think.

The parade culminated in Albert Square where the Kaiser Chiefs performed in a heavy downpour (brilliantly atmospheric is one phrase I would use to describe this! More sensible people might use others), followed by the trio of Mark Chapman, Helen Skelton and JJ Chalmers bringing on the athletes in groups and speaking to them.

Gold medal performance from all involved. Enjoy the photos...

*though if we were to go purely on personality, I'd go with Lutalo Muhammad

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(Reaction Photography) Olympics Paralympics Sport https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/sports-photography-blog-2-2016-olympics-heroes-parade Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:20:47 GMT
Wedding Photography Blog - Claire & Nick https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/wedding-photography-blog-1---claire-nick

Nick and Claire's previous wedding photographer had pulled out and luckily I was able to fit them into my schedule at the last minute. These things happen - I've never heard of a wedding where the planning went entirely smoothly the whole way but rarely do these problems surface on the day. Or if they do, you're having such a fabulous day that they often are of no consequence. 

Being a Sunday wedding meant I did have availability as weddings are typically Saturday affairs. So, on a warm September Saturday, we gathered at the base of the North York Moors, at the Downe Arms Country Inn in Wykeham, to formally confirm and celebrate the next step in Nick and Claire's journey together.

The whole wedding party was incredibly smart and beautifully dressed but the central couple and their bridesmaids in particular were stunning. The floral dresses worn by Suzie and Alice were one of the best bridesmaids' dresses I've seen. Claire's patterned dress was gorgeous and I was very envious of Nick's blue suit - a very warm and textured blue.

Nick and Claire weren't afraid to let their interests come forthright into the proceedings - see Claire's outstanding Alice and Wonderland shoes below for example (and the cake too!). My favourite touch was something I was actually unable to capture through the medium of photography, their ceremony entrance procession music being the Throne Room Theme Song from Star Wars (click here). I couldn't help but beam (and imagine roars of approval from Chewbacca). 

Perfect.

 

 

Yorkshire Wedding Alice in Wonderland Disney Shoes Teapots

Yorkshire Wedding Pink Dress

Yorkshire Wedding Rings Yorkshire Wedding Game Over Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding Yorkshire Wedding

 

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(Reaction Photography) Weddings https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/wedding-photography-blog-1---claire-nick Sun, 16 Oct 2016 13:01:33 GMT
Sports Photography Blog - Racketlon https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/racketlon In this blog, I outline what the sport of racketlon is, describe my thrilling debut in a UK tour event and detail how I went about photographing it too (so there are a few nice photos for you to skip to).

Racketlon

“Racket what-what” I hear you ask? Racketlon is a ‘combination sport’ where you play your opponent at four sports, in the order: table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis.

 

Table tennis racketlon ping pong york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesRacketlon Sport 1: Table TennisLuke Barnes plays table tennis during the 2016 North England Racketlon Tournament. For nearly all my table tennis photos I focused on the player, and if back-button focusing you can generally leave the focus in one plane, i.e. the edge of the table where the player stands, unless the player is quite defensive and keeps getting pushed back. In that case, you may need to keep on your toes a little. 1/500 f/2.8 140 mm

 

Badminton racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesRacketlon Sport 2: BadmintonLuke Barnes plays badminton during the 2016 North England Racketlon Tournament. Photographing badminton is a little tricky as players move about so much, especially in singles. They get down low (as in this shot), they jump high. And if you want the shuttle in shot (which is preferable) you will need to account for that too. 1/2500 f/2.8 86 mm

 

Squash racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodRacketlon Sport 3: SquashLuke Barnes plays Andrew Hopwood in their squash game during the 2016 North England Racketlon Tournament. The obvious difficulty with photographing squash is the limited places to position yourself. Particularly at this venue where all four walls were concrete and the only viewing platform was above to the rear. 1/1250 f/2.8 24 mm

 

Tennis racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesRacketlon Sport 4: TennisLuke Barnes plays tennis during the 2016 North England Racketlon Tournament. With tennis you will inevitably only be able to shoot one player at a time, unless they both end up at the net (a rare occurrence). Again, inclusion of the ball helps give context to the picture in terms of what the player is about to do or what type of shot he or she is playing, but isn't essential so long as there is something else about the picture that is interesting. Going by photos of Andy Murray in the British press, this would usually be an interesting facial expression! But you'll need a very long lens for something like that. 1/1000 f/6.3 122 mm

Racketlon is so named because they're all ‘racket’ sports. Well, table tennis uses bats, but we’ll let that slide.

It’s not a well-known sport – I only heard about it a couple of weeks back but was immediately interested because, presumably like a lot of players of racket sports, I might be good at and regularly play one of those four sports, but also secretly quite fancy myself at others too (Fred Perry, having won both the 1929 table tennis world championship went on to win all four grand slams in tennis too).

I’m a good club-standard badminton player and have fond memories of epic summer table tennis sessions with my brother when on holiday.

Squash – well I’m a badminton player so it’s a natural transition.

Tennis? Have you seen the size of those rackets?

Can’t miss.

 

Table tennis badminton squash tennis racketlon ping pong york yorkshire England UKRacketlon Rackets/RacquetsNo doubt countless attempts have been made to formulate some kind of racketlon image using the four tools of the trade, so here's my effort. 1/500 f/2.8 30 mm

I also happen to be a sports photographer who loves snapping all sports at all levels. So I paid my entry fee and arranged to not only play my first racketlon tournament, but simultaneously photograph it. My aim was to practice photographing sports I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph before. And perhaps, if I get time, herald a new dawn in racketlon by taking the tournament by storm (spoiler: that did not happen).

Rankings

Racketlon tournaments generally cater for all standards. There are UK and international tours, indeed this event was the North of England Open, held at the University of York. The tournament catered for all abilities, with divisions for ladies (‘A’ and ‘B’ standard events), men (‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’), over 45s, over 55s and two junior divisions. Players are both ranked individually for each sport – four national A to D classes or one international 0+ to 4+ class – and also overall (both a score and rating points) which is handy when you may wish to check out an upcoming opponent to see where the game might be won and lost (or just lost in my case).

Prior to the tournament, in discussion with its organiser (and Great Britain racketlon squad player) Dan Busby, I was entered into the ‘C’ event. If there had been a ‘D’ (or ‘beginners’) event (as there are at some tournaments), I would have been better placed.

Tournament Day

The massive holdall bags I took on the day were stuffed with sports and photography gear. Rammed even. Not only did I have the usual photography bits (camera, zoom lens, wide lens, monopod) but 6 rackets (begged, borrowed and – in the case of that pesky ping-pong bat – found in the loft after 45 minutes of ransacking our house we moved into 9 months ago and which still has boxes stuffed in the odd wardrobe corner). A full day of sports also called for plenty of rations and drinks.

 

Racketlon york yorkshire England UKRacketlon Kit MountainSee if you can spot my Star Wars bag! 1/500 f/2.8 55 mm

Table Tennis

My event, the men’s ‘C’ class, was the most popular. 15 entrants called for a knock-out format. I would be playing 4 matches: 4 matches of 4 sports each so 16 games in total. My first opponent was Matt. One thing I picked up on, this is a very friendly sporting environment. Between all competitors there was warmth and camaraderie. Before the first sport (table tennis), Matt and I had already declared openly our [perceived] strengths and given away the fact we had little racketlon experience between us (this was Matt’s second tournament).

Matt and I played out a closely fought game which he edged 21-17. His first table tennis win apparently! Honoured.

 

Table tennis racketlon ping pong york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodTable TennisA legal serve in table tennis involves placing the ball on the flat palm of your hand, throwing it up at least 6 inches (tape measures out!) and hitting it from behind the rear edge of the table. Who knew? Presumably, most table tennis players, but not all the ones at this tournament! Luke and Andrew (pictured) DID know, by the way. 1/500 f/2.8 105 mm

 

By the way, this photo is not us – I’m not that good a photographer to be able to take a nice photo of myself mid-serve. It is a later mens ‘A’ game I followed  around between Luke Barnes (A1 class) and Andrew James Hopwood (A4). I’m grateful to them for allowing me to shoot them and for putting on such a great show – a fantastic contest with frequent moments of pure class.

Scoring

My opening 17-21 loss to Matt meant I was 4 points down overall. Racketlon matches are determined by the difference in overall score between you and your opponent after all 4 sports have been played, with each sport being contested to 21 points. This means, for example, that tennis is played to 21 points rather than scored by the traditional games and sets.

In racketlon, the overall winner is determined by the difference in scores after the fourth sport. So Luke and Andrew, who I followed around, played out the following: 21-4 (table tennis), 21-13 (badminton), 21-18 (squash), 21-14 (tennis). Luke won +35.

For each of the four sports, serving is alternated every two points but all other rules for the sports remain the same.

So there is still swapping ends at halfway (11 points) in badminton, the tin is still present in squash and you still get second serves in tennis….erm….except for that last one there is one exception: the ‘Gumi-Arm' - the sudden-death deciding point if you are at deadlock overall after the tennis (the final sport) is completed. In the Gumi-Arm you spin and whoever wins decides whether to serve or receive one last deciding tennis point. Except there is no second serve allowed. Pressure point or what.

Badminton

This one hurt me. I am a very decent club-standard badminton player. I lost got trashed 2-21 by Matt.

I put this down to me not being used to feather shuttlecocks (poor excuse), not being a singles player (acceptable excuse) and Matt being really rather good. All round good: great smashing, great cross court drops, no hesitation and no sympathy.

I think no sympathy is probably one of the keys to racketlon. If you’re good at one of the four sports, you need to capitalise on that. Because you probably will get thrashed in one or more of the other sports. The table tennis had been tight; Matt wasn’t taking any chances.

He needn’t have worried…

 

Badminton racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesBadmintonPersonally I find it tricky to serve underarm in badminton singles, in particulary the flick serve. More practice is required. I would want to be sure that the action of my flick serve was as similar as possible to my short serve so that opponents could not read my serve. 1/500 f/2.8 200 mm

Squash

Four days prior to the racketlon tournament I played squash for the very first time. I was concerned that squash was the most alien of the four sports to me, beforehand. So I had arranged an introductory session with a friend (thanks Erin!).

I really enjoyed the match, and though Matt was also no expert, he thoroughly squashed me 21-5. No mercy.

 

Squash racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodSquashStrangely, the best place for any items you have to bring in to the court is below the tin (the bottom line on the front wall) as it is very unlikely that they will interfere with play there. 1/1250 f/2.8 24 mm

Tennis

I think tennis is where I could easily gain the most points in future tournaments - if there are future tournaments for me. Having only ever played casually and not for a good decade at least, I was woefully inept. Only my innate athleticism [who’s that sniggering at the back?] meant I was able to serve and at least initiate the rallies. Unfortunately I was simply not practised at ground strokes and my backhand attempts were laughable.

 

Tennis racketlon york yorkshire England UK Andrew HopwoodTennisAndrew Hopwood's cheering fans followed him to this event and got the best seats in the house. A bit too close for me, but it depends on who's serving into the corner - if it's me then you can have no concerns! 1/1000 f/6.3 86 mm

 

Having completed the rout 3-21 in tennis, Matt had won +57 overall and positively rocketed into the quarter-finals. Looking down the day’s other scores, it wasn’t the biggest walk over of the day…but it wasn’t far off. Even still, it was strangely enjoyable.

The Draw

I was put down into the draw to determine places 9th to 15th but had a bye meaning I automatically went through to the draw for 9th to 12th places. I then played Nick who beat me by +35 (table tennis 11-21, badminton 21-10, squash 21-5, tennis 21-3).

Three personal highlights for me occurred in this match:

  1. My wife and daughter popped by to follow me for this one with my 3-year old shouting “come-on daddy” to the whole badminton hall when I was 20-10 down.
  2. I won my only “sport” of the day – the 21-11 table tennis victory - and also taught Nick how to serve legally, having only just learnt this past week that I had been serving completely illegally since....well, always.
  3. And, at 2-19 down in the tennis I went for broke with a forehand return off a strong wide serve from Nick, which connected sweetly and flew down past my stranded and gobsmacked opponent into the corner. Personally, I play for moments like that. Shame I can't photograph myself! Might have to train my daughter up...

I think going for broke, like I did in that penultimate tennis rally, might be a useful tactic in racketlon. If you’re playing an accomplished player (or at least, considerably more accomplished than you), then you may as well go for it a little. Why spend 5 or 6 strokes getting to a position where your experienced opponent will finally outmanoeuvre you, when you can hit a spectacular winner every now and then, generally score (theoretically) the same number of points and save some energy (crucial in this sport!).

I progressed to the 11th/12th play-off spot but my opponent had skipped off home early so by default I came 11th. Not a bad result (but probably not a fair reflection on those placed 12th to 15th).

Racketlon Sports Photography

As mentioned above, I trailed around photographing some of the other games too (see all the photos in this blog) and this was great fun – as photographing sports always is for me.

My Nikon D750 is excellent for this purpose. It has fantastic low-light focusing and tracking and is very light (for a pro camera). I mostly used the 70-200mm 2.8 Nikon zoom lens, and always with the monopod (that lens is very heavy).

Key to sports photography is not to be invasive. It being my first time photographing these sports I was careful to introduce my presence to competitors which is, firstly, courteous, and secondly means I am able to say to them to feed back to me if I am in any way a nuisance. Which I don't want to be. It's not my style. 

Being familiar with the sport is also key which means you’re able to position yourself appropriately and also track the game so you can anticipate the rallies and where and when players will be in particular positions and what they might do.

I was able to try out both tight and wide shots in table tennis. If anything, a larger zoom would work better, as is often the case with sports photography. This was the same for tennis also. 

Badminton was surprisingly tricky to produce adequate results. The best pictures seem to be smashing and lunging where the physicality of the athlete is the defining feature of the photograph.

Squash is particularly tricky. The brick-built venue (including the back wall) automatically leant itself to top-down shots from the rear, where the viewing platform was. I had a go at getting some tight shots also, particularly when the two players came together which draws a point of interest, but the players are still facing away and it's touch and go as to whether the ball is in shot, which always improves the picture. I imagine in venues with transparent sides, that the potential for front-facing shots is much more.

Summary

So that’s my write-up of my first venture playing and photographing the interesting sport of racketlon. It was a great day and I encourage you to check racketlon out further at racketlon UK, or at a similar organisation within your country.

Be seeing you.

 

A few other photos from the day…

Table tennis racketlon ping pong york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesTable Tennis Nose1/500 f/2.8 155 mm

Squash racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodGetting Shirty1/1250 f/2.8 70 mm

Racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodCorridor Chat1/1250 f/2.8 70 mm

Tenis racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Andrew HopwoodHandshake1/1250 f/6.3 140 mm

Squash racketlon york yorkshire England UK Luke Barnes Dan BusbySquash Viewing Platform1/500 f/2.8 24 mm

Table Tennis Badminton Squash Tennis racketlon ping pong york yorkshire England UK Luke BarnesRacketlon Pile of Rackets1/500 f/2.8 46 mm

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(Reaction Photography) Badminton Racketlon Sport Squash Table tennis Tennis https://www.reactionphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/racketlon Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:45:46 GMT