Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Photo Clusters of Guy Fawkes Carnival Carts Available

I have now created a number of photo clusters featuring some of the carts entered in the 2010 Somerset County Carnival circuit. They are aimed at performers who took part in the carnival, who would like a memento of their club's entries and will be available as either A3 or A4 prints, on high quality, heavyweight fine art paper. If you are interested and would like to know if your club's entry is available, please contact me, if you don't see anything suitable. They can be printed with or without a caption, according to preference. I will be adding further clusters to the gallery as I create them, so please drop back in to see other examples.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Glastonbury and Chilkwell Carnival

On Saturday it was the penultimate carnival in the Somerset County 2010 season. Having already attended Bridgwater in the rain and North Petherton, I decided to try something a bit different. I'm not a big people person when it comes to photography, so I tend to avoid them in my photos (perhaps why I concentrate on nature photography). This time though, I made a conscious effort to photograph groups of performers, as well as some individual performers. I didn't go for real closeup portraits, but tried to include them in the context of the carts thmselves. I also photographed some of the walking masqueraders, where the flash was essential, due to the lower light levels, and also some more detail shots.
The carnival itself was a success, with the rain holding off until the end (although people further along the route would have been affected by the weather much more). This season had seen a number of fires on carts, as well as some generator failures and even a model toppling onto one of the performers, but there was none of that at Glastonbury. On a more personal note, the photography also went well, with more shots I was happy enough with to upload, although the rain at the end pretty much ruined the shots of the last few carts. I've decided that flash photography in the rain doesn't work very well.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Bridgwater Carnival Photographs Available

Finally, I now have the photos from Bridgwater Carnival last Friday up on the website, available for viewing and for purchase as prints for any participants who would like a memento. Due to the weather conditions, almost all of them have streaks of heavy rain falling. There are also others, which require some work before they are of high enough quality to upload. I have also prepared the NOrth Petherton Carnival photographs, ready for upload. Again, there are others available, but I have witheld these due to the presence of teenagers at close range, to avoid any problems. If you were a walker and can't see yourself, please feel free to contact me to ask if there are any photos available.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Carnival Weekend

This weekend was the start of the Somerset County carnival circuit, starting with Bridgwater on Friday, before moving down the road to North Petherton last night. Even before the carnival started, things didn’t quite go to plan for me though. Even though, I’d charged all the flash batteries, two had actually failed, so there was only enough power to show the menus and not power the flash itself. So, resorting to plan B without flash, I waited for the first carts to arrive.

Runaway Train, overall winner by Gremlins
 The forecast had been for heavy rain and for once, the forecast was right. Just as the pre-procession passed and the first carts were appearing, the rain appeared right on queue. It had been light drizzle up to that point, but now it was a fullscale deluge. Had I still had the flash attached, it would actually have made keeping the camera even remotely dry impossible, as it was, it still got quite wet.

Despite the rain, only two carts had major technical problems, with one having to drop out entirely, just past where I was, so that it could go for repair. The other carried on in darkness.

Gargoyles by British Flag CC
Because of the flash problems the previous night, I decided to go to North Petherton Carnival, so that I could experiment and maybe get some shots that didn’t have streaks of rain throughout the image. As the night before though, just as the procession reached my point, the rain started. Luckily, it only lasted quarter of an hour or so and wasn’t anywhere near as heavy.

The rest of the night went without a hitch and all of the carts were operational, although some had lost banks of lights. I now have alot of editing and processing to do. Hopefully, I should get at least some ready later on today.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival 2010

Tomorrow night is carnival night, it’s time for the annual Bridgwater Carnival. Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, to give it its full name, is considered to be the third largest carnival in the world, only being superceded by Rio’s Mardi Gras and London’s Notting Hill Carnival. Of the three, it is the only one that features illuminated floats, as well as the more usual individual costumes. As such, it is the largest illuminated carnival in the world, not bad for a small town with a population of around 30,000. People visit from all over the country and in recent years, there have been entries from Brazil, along with some other countries. The festivities start in the morning, with performers on a purpose built stage, taking in turns to entertain the visitors. After Bridgwater, the procession moves on to the much smaller nearby town of North Petherton, before moving on to other towns in the circuit, such as Glastonbury, Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-Super-Mare.

Last year, I attended for the first time, although, I did visit the event in Burnham-on-Sea many years ago. The winner of the overall event was Burlesque Cabaret by the Masqueraders Carnival Club, who also shared the overall prize on the circuit as a whole with To the Trees, by the Gemini CC. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it was much better than it had been earlier in the day, so there were just the occasional showers, although some were quite heavy. As can be seen in the second photo, the moon did show itself for a while in between the showers. The weather forecast isn’t very good for this year either, but hopefully the rain won’t be as heavy as it looks like it may be. Good luck to the participants and hope anyone who goes, enjoys the show.