My blog

Blog update 2nd August 2022

So a lot has been going on since last I posted, I managed to end up in hospital needing surgery, I went to the Midlands Air Festival at Ragley Hall (massive thanks to my mate roger for taking me when I was unable to drive myself) and I attended Wartime in the Vale just before my return to work! Also, I invested in a second hand Canon EOS 5D mk4 as well. So, where shall I start…..
I’m pleased to say the surgery was nothing serious and a full recovery looks assured. It’s timing on the other hand was an utter disaster coming the week before we were due to go on holiday in Scotland. I had been preparing to hopefully shoot some more content for my website and social media but I only got out of hospital the day before we were due to go. BUGGER! Ohh well, there’s always next time!
Midland Air Festival is now established at Ragley Hall, A stately home to the south of Birmingham and very handy for me to get to. The Hall is well worth a visit in it’s own right and provides an excellent venue for many events through out the year. Many different aircraft appeared on the Friday I was there from the gentle pace of biplanes of yesteryear through fighters and bombers of World War Two to the Hawks of the RAF’s Red Arrows.Thankfully the weather held though storm clouds did close in towards the end. For anyone thinking of going in the future my advice would be pay the price and get a priority parking pass. There were far more people this year than ever before and those without a priority pass had a very long walk! It’s a great show and well worth going.
Since I first started this post I have also had the immense pleasure of attending RIAT 2022 at RAF Fairford. To say it was hot this year is a bit of an understatement but despite ending up with one hell of a tan I can say it was possibly one of the best ever. Undeniable stars of the show where the South Korean Black Eagles display team. Their precision, skill and flair stood head and shoulders above their peers and quite rightly won them an award for their efforts. As I write this I am still trying to recover from the ultimate aviation sensory overload and prepare myself for whatever may come next! I’m not exactly sure how many frames I shot and how many of those will be “keepers” yet but early signs are good. It’s hard to believe but RIAT 2023 tickets are already available so if you missed 2022 or enjoyed it as much as I did my advice would be to get it booked!
And so to the latest addition to my stock of camera’s; For a long time now my go to has been a mk1 Canon 1DX DSLR. Despite showing it’s age this is still an awesome bit of kit and very capable of delivering first class results. The problem was I was using an EOS7 mk1 as a back up body. This too is an excellent camera despite its age BUT it is not a full frame camera. The bottom line was I needed a full frame back up. My decision to go with the 5D mk4 was a long and protracted affair during which much research was done but I finally decided to go for it and purchase a good quality second hand example from MPB. Buying second hand equipment can be a very cost effective option especially considering the cost of buying new but it is wise to use a trustworthy supplier. For convenience I usually use WEX as there is a Birmingham store quite handy for me but on this occasion I tried MPB. Both companies offer great deals at realistic prices with a Guarantee backup should anything go wrong.
It is not my intent to do a review of the 5D here as the internet is littered with 5D information but I will say that it is built like a tank and VERY capable of getting excellent results. For the fast air photographer the frame rate is a little slow but as I do a lot of other work as well I can live with this. The ability to Wi-Fi transfer images directly to a smartphone or tablet is very useful as is being able to store images on two different media cards. The battery grip makes for a more balanced set up when using a longer lens but without it the camera is less likely to stand out in a crowd and tends to “blend in” more. So far it’s early days but the results I am getting are in excess of my expectations and I am very happy with my purchase.
And so finally to Wartime in the Vale. This annual event is held every year on the outskirts of Evesham near Worcester. Over the years the show has grown is size and popularity to become a “must do” for any discerning military vehicle enthusiast. The various groups of vehicles (tracked armour, soft skin, WW2 etc) take their turn to drive around the show ground and display to the eager spectators before forming up in the middle for a photo call. If, like me you are a fan there is something at Wartime in the Vale for everyone.
Well that’s me up to date for now. There is nothing much planned for the immediate future but there may be more to come in the autumn. for now I’ll be editing and sorting all the years pictures so far!

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