The last two weekends have seen me bouncing around the country attending to various photographic calls.
I was at Gardening Scotland's big show at Ingliston in Edinburgh on the last Saturday in May. I'd been called along to take some pictures of the The Ragtime Dolls, who were performing on a stage normally reserved for sheep shearing (this is the home of the Royal Highland Show after all). The weather was fine, if a little cool so I went through to Edinburgh with the top down and tunes blaring away whilst wearing hat, gloves and a fleece. I had a little time before the show to get my barings at the venue and the gatekeepers were kind enough to let me in, so that I could find the Dolls holding my ticket.
So rendezvous made I watched the Elite Pro Dance team running through their energetic dance routines and acrobatics before the Ragtime Dolls made their appearance. This talented trio, as their name probably hints at, ran through a medley of tunes from bygone ages with a couple of snazzy dance routines and a solo or three. We then wandered the Gardening Scotland exhibits a little, snapped some shots , ran through the second set, had an ice cream and then I was on my merry way.
Though I was not headed home, I disappeared off to Lochgilphead through a glorious evening's sunlight up Loch Lomond, through Inverary and all along the wiggly West coast road. After a brief venue check, I wound my way home as the skies darkened and the night cooled.
I'd planned on having a weekend off, a rare thing this time of year, for my first weekend in June, but midweek I answered call from Libby at the John Hartson Foundation. Possibly taking her fundraising role a little too far she'd dedicated her 40th birthday celebrations as a combined birthday party and fundraising event. So Friday night saw me descend on Mar Hall to experience a much bigger birthday party than one might normally expect.
As well as live band, Cartel, there were 3 songs rendered by Nicholas MacDonald, fireworks, a conga line, and much more. I played red carpet photograper, grabbing pictures of the guests arriving in all their finery, and then grabbed a few snaps through the night's events. It was nice to shoot at Mar Hall with the fabulous views across the golf course to the Clyde and the marquee, where the event was held, was a great location for the scale of party that was being held. I guess the hotel gets the best of both worlds, relegating the noisty party folk to the marquee so they can promote the peace and luxury of the main hotel.
I'll look forward to shooting a wedding there sometime soon, having now shot a couple's photos in the grounds and the main hall, a dance troupe at a chartity night in the hotel itself and Libby's party it feels like I've done everything but.
So my Saturday was spent sorting through the party photos, a little bit of editing and uploading etc. i.e. working.
So what did I do with my Sunday? Well, for the last few years, whenever my schedule allows, I've had a bit of a busman's holiday, photographically speaking, attending the spectacular West End Festival Parade in Glasgow. The parade this year took in the full length of Byres Road, along Dumbarton road at the Gallery and then most of the way up the park drive to the newly (well not so newly now) refurbished band stand.
I'd set out my pitch for photos and had kind of planned on being pretty static, but the barriers didn't end up in the same places and the crowd swamed in front of me. I therefore joined a platoon of other photographers running up and down the whole parade trying to grab pictures of all the participants. As always, the samba bands, such as Sambayabamba were much in evidence, along with drum bands like Sheboom.
There were a few representations from schools and other organisations, the ban the bomb brigade, belly dancers, the Ubiquitous Steampunk Society etc, so it made of a big colourful and varied parade. I was pretty much samba's and drummed out by the time I met up with my wife at the Kelvingrove and retired to Mother India's cafe for some truly excellent "tapas". (Ginger and coconut lamb, okra and potato bhaji, chicken pakora, coriander and lime naan, cashew and lemon rice).
So, that was my week or so that was. This week is photography light in comparison with some family shoots over the week and weekend, all nice and local.