Saturday November 20/2021 6:00am can’t sleep! Been trying, but I just can’t seem to sleep. Clocks ticking, cats got a sugar rush on! Mind away with the fairies!Other half’s got the fidgets
I look at the better half and suggest the unexpected!!! No hey …. Stop thinking that.. nothing rude!! Shall we get sorted and head out with the cameras ?Not expecting the “sure let’s do it!” Reply .. wicked, that buzz kicks in!!
And Like a kid a Christmas, I spring from the bed before the ‘or should we just stay in bed kicks in’ a quick shower later … Coffee in hand camera bag on our backs, we head to the door.. yes obviously we got dressed too!
Now as the door opens that rush of cold air hits your face and you think am I really doing this .. but anyone who loves being a photographer will tell you .. we want to get back in bed ! No … not that at all!
We will do anything to get a great shot!
Now the destination we have planned to go is pretty local, about a thirty minute walk. a little more when it’s chilly and you haven’t had any sleep in 48 hours !
It’s a lovely part of a sea side town in Maldon Essex.. called ‘The Maldon Promenade’. It’s known for its boats, amazing sunrises, distant river views, shipwrecks and it’s many birds ! And a favourite place for me to frequent
A short stroll later, we enter the gates and cross the vast green fields to the sea wall.. sadly the tide is coming in, but it’s still a way out .. so first thoughts ‘I may not get the shots I would really like’.
As you can see tide still way out but will be in, in a few hours ! Fingers telling me “hey we’realready cold!’’
But the smell that’s in the air is refreshing .. no again I bet you’re predicting the next line to be, the smell of the sea.. no actually it’s the smell of bacon. This location has food huts ! And they open early ! Bri & Debs best in the park! For food and drinks !
But that will have to wait we need to get some work done, then it’s time for hot food!
Okay back to the photography!
Our first port of call was to walk toward the shipwreck (karma) thats finding its resting place just off the river blackwater but close to the edge of the back main field of the promenade, this ship can be seen looking down from the bird watching tower or you can take a very slippery walk along the sea wall, me being a daredevil I took the slippery route!
It’s not hard to find the entrance to this part of the sea wall, as there is a loop that you can do of the promenade and if you take the gravel track walk you’ll soon find there is a little trail that bares left that takes you along the main sea wall towards Maryland sea .. a very long walk.. One I started at the beginning of Autumn. ‘Started but didn’t finish’
If you walk just a few steps into this trail you will see a walk way that takes you perfectly yet slip sliding towards the shipwreck.. (yes I did it Saturday) btw if you’re thinking of walking and trying this route.. don’t do it while the tides coming in unless you have your wit’s about you.. as water comes in round the back of you.
About fifteen feet round this ridge is the shipwreck and yes it’s the perfect photogenic subject ..
sadly the sun come up just before we got to our shipwreck destination .. but we didn’t miss anything as the sky was so cloudy and overcast there was no beautiful sunrise to be had.. to give this shipwreck the perfect pop, one I’ve captured so many time before.. but still I managed to get this shot below ..
KARMA SHIPWRECK .. As the sky was just greyish blue i tried to take the image showing minimal sky ..
The light was just starting to get change as I took this so this pointed us in the direction of the birds .. and soft light, I could tell this was going to be fun! This could take a little walking and me being quiet.. not something I’m said to be good at..
We started back toward the back field and a small area known as Delph Ditch. It’s a grassy and wooded area With small bird, moorhens, coots and the odd duck or two.
This is about the 100th time we have been here so we knew there was going to be a couple of things that could take our fancy.. there is a beautiful tree that stands tall above a small wooden bridge. We have aptly named the water lilies. You know like the monet painting.. take a look at the image below and even though it’s Autumn the only difference to me is the colours ! With the Autumn oranges and warm tones.
Delph Ditch an interpretation of Monet’s – water lilies
Here is where we crossed from the left of the image through and under the tree and crossed over ‘The trolls style bridge’ to the right hand side ..
As you cross this bridge you can look behind the tree and see what’s in the little stream that runs off about 40 ft into the distance.. there wasn’t much apart from a small Robin and he soon made a fly for it. So we started our climb back ..
This is where we met a little friend!
We had only walked about fifteen feet from the bridge when my partner told me to stop! And stay still.. and look slowly down to the right on the fence.. I didn’t see it at first but there stood a a stunning fluffed up Robin.. it soon become apparent that she wasn’t alone. ( no I don’tmean because we was there 😄 )
There was a family of robins and they was super friendly .. bobbing from the fence a few feet over to the shrubs and then back to the fence.. each time it come to land on the fence it got closer and closer to us and the camera that was resting on the top of the fence post.
Now I’ve been close to a few birds in my time… yes the feathered kind.. but never been close to a Robin. The longer we stayed the closer she was getting. Every time she landed, I would try to snap some shots off .. then refocus when she landed on the shrubs . Back and forth.. until she was that close just an inch from the tip of my lens … I think she was showing off to us and so was mr Robin he wouldn’t get as close but still within a couple of feet.
I think you can tell with the images that I’ve managed to capture how close these beautiful bird got to the camera .. very happy with this set of images .. images below 👇
Images 1 Robin looking for her Batman… she was so close I wish I had took some food with me.. or come here after going to the food kiosk.. maybe it would have eaten out of my hand.
Image 2 as she was just a few inches from me on the top of the fence .. could see so much detail in her feathers !
Image 3 And the there he was Mr Robin I believe.. watching from just a few feet away.. such a beautiful sight to see and honestly loved getting these images .
Now time was getting away, we had been here for about 3 hours and Mr piggy was calling ! No not a pig I could take photos of. More the bacon roll I hit upon earlier.. so off we trotted to the kiosk and got a hot chocolate and a bacon roll to take away.. this is where things to yet another odd turn of events .
Just call be bird man!
To get to Bri n Debs kiosk from where we was capturing the Robin it’s about a five minute walk along the sea wall back towards the main lake .. again time may very depending on energy level .. mine at this time well over 48 hours with out sleep.. it took a little while longer ! But while taking this slow stroll, We come across a sign that tell you what birds to expect to see walking around the Promenade!
While my partner walked over and ordered our mid morning bacon roll I stood reading the sign!
And seeing if I could see many of the birds on the list, Now just so you know I’m literally standing twelve inches from the sign. And nearly get landed on by two starlings .. trying to land on said sign.. right infront of me. First thought ‘the birds here are blooming friendly ! ‘
Tap on shoulder and the good lady has returned from the kiosk with breakfast! I managed to take my first bite look up and to my surprise there was five starlings now! Looking at me with the ‘I’m hungry give that bun to me look’
Honestly it was like a mini scene from the film ‘The birds’
If I moved left they did if I moved right they did.
Ping! Brain fart.. let’s see if they want some of this roll and maybe I can get a few images along the way .. not so surprising.. took a pea size nibble off the roll and the birds starting tweeting! Loudly ! Not sure if this was a give me tweet or not didn’t take long to find out it was more of a phone call to their friends and family.. because bird started landing from everywhere.
About 30 in total ! At one point or another I put my hand out and the bird furthest left on the sign takes of and nips it right out my fingers ! And fly’s away, I look down take another small piece off look up and the space that had the last bird I fed was taken, put hand out again the first in line took off pinched with piece of roll and took off !
By Now the line was pretty full ! about 10 bird on the sign and there was an audience of starlings on the sea wall.. and people watching me feeding out of hand these stunning birds … now to cut a long story short ! I’m not great with an audience! ‘Human audience that is’
So I take out the camera and real off a number of shots trying to capture a number of them as they all had something different about them from speckled chests to colourful bellies.. fat one skinny one!
The feeding wasn’t over ! Ended up feeding the masses with half my roll ! And having a field day with these beautiful starlings.
landing on my hand, flitting back and forth changing places. I managed to take a good thirty images maybe even more and my partner took a lot too.. these guys, honestly such beautiful birds.. people truly misjudge them and the way the work as a team their wasn’t any fighting stealing it was like a natural feeding line .. one after the other.
Here are a few of this shots so you can see what I mean !! Take a moment to look at the details on their body and the stunning ‘petrol on water’ colours in the blacks !
Standing in line ! The middle one is ready to fly because I had food in my left hand 🙂
Feeding line this way Im so sure that this one was not cleaning its self more directing air traffic control!
I’ve been tangoed such vibrant orange tones and Cadbury purple tints to the wings
The boss man the colours on this one just outstanding .. peacocking in all it’s glory.. really beautiful!
Sadly this was all the time we had as we needed to get back home, but we spent a good five hours at this location.. and we will definitely be returning here.. so keep those eyes open for more birds boats and landscape..
Please if you managed to read this to this point thank you for taking the time out of your day I know times precious! Thank you for your support. And will we are talking about support please follow the blog .. so you can be first to see posts
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So until next time ! Remember you only have one life, one shot, so capture it!
I posted an image last week and it started to gain a little traction. Likes started pinging with retweet’s popping up all over the place .. the then come the quotes and followers too!
I’ve not been one to use Twitter! I’ve been adding the odd post here and there mostly posts that are auto posted via the blog/website.
A bit like this post…
Now I noticed that my numbers of website view was going up ! By the second .. any normal week would have anything from 100-1000 views but this wasn’t seeming to be any normal week!
I had posted some images from the set of the Essex serpent drama just images of the film set .. btw this is staring staring Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes .. (will pop a couple of images below of what I shared)
Within the first couple of hours the web views had gone up to 400 and I had seen there was a few likes and retweet’s popping up on my phone notifications.. but hadn’t taken to much notice.. as I follow some very active posters 😉
It’s wasn’t until a my partner said that my phone was pinging to much she put it on silent.. that I took a closer look!
So opened the Twitter app and there was so many notifications.. people actually was liking commenting and retweeting my work .. such great comments there was over 70 likes .. now I’m used to posting to Instagram! Where it seems I’m either on a shadow ban or instagrams just blocked people seeing my posts.. as I get around 20-30 likes and the odd few comments ..
So when Twitter started kicking off I was shocked!
I looked at the website stats every hour and it was going up and up ! 600 – 700 – 800
By the end of the day there was over 1500 views to the website and the Twitter had more likes retweet’s and followers than I’ve ever had!
To say I was shocked
It’s an understatement!
So may of Tom Hiddleston’s fans had liked and tweeted I thought it was only kind to thank thank all! So I wrote a post thanking them all! Said post ( check it out here )
Now I didn’t think that it would bubble up again! But it did and out did the day before post! Again due to amazing fans of Tom!
Over 1600! Views to the website!
What I didn’t realise was that with Twitter there is a little insights icon, that you can check to see how your post is going ! I could see there was a lot of likes comments and retweet’s but I didn’t know you could see other details too! It wasn’t until yesterday.. (shows how often I use Twitter )
That I found the icon and started clicking through to see how my posts has done
Now I posted in the week 9 main posts ! From this blog .. some just an image others a long ish blog post ..
The more I clicked through the stats the more I got surprised! The views I was getting to me was off my standard scale !! Again being used to small numbers of impressions .. going by instagrams intake ..
I was getting around 3000 per post I’m used to 300 per post !
Then there was some big one 8k 10k
Then I see it ! The post I did thanking all of Tom Hiddleston fans, had blown up ! And was just over the 29k
😊😊😊 29,000 impressions! 😊😊😊
It’s the most I’ve ever had ! And to say it’s made my year so far is an understatement! The amount of love support shares tweets retweet quotes and comments that must have taken to get that amount of views is astonishing!
I’m overwhelmed honestly, never could I have dreamt that it would take changing my approach to social media to get my work seen by so many people !
And to not only get seen but make some amazing new friends and followers !
So in conclusion .. when all things are going bad don’t despair or give up! Just Try changing things .. do something a little different..
We can’t expect to get a different result by always doing the same thing!
Thank you 😊 to all those amazing people who took the time out of their day to share the love on what I’ve been posting ! You’re the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet! And you really have helped someone who was in a deep dark place to realise there is a reason to live ! A reason to fight and a reason to show the world his art ! His photography!
I have so much love and respect for you all right now ! And I wish I could put into words just how grateful I’m am to each and every one of you ! Have a fantastic Easter .. stay safe ..
It’s like it was never there! Maldon town become the setting for the new six part drama ‘the Essex serpent’, staring Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes..
Last week a couple to big tents popped up, then a number of big trucks and what seemed like 100 set workers ! set to work to put together a Victorian setting with boats, ships and what looks like a Victorian dock. With all the trimmings..
I was keeping fingers crossed that filming would take longer than just a few days and that I would have the luck and pleasure of seeing the amazing cast a crew of the drama. But life got in the way ! And I couldn’t make it there to photograph Tom or Claire! In the midst of filming..
I was lucky to have got a number of set shots but the only time I could have got a shot of one of the stars the security guards got in the way so managed to get his nose haha! Not what I wanted !
Wish I could have managed to get some more chances .. would have been great to get some stars into the portfolio.. and give his fans something to look at!
Sadly I only managed to get set shots ! Like those you see above!
Just a week later I managed to get down to the quayside where filming was .. and there is was … gone! Not a dot of dust no lumps of coal or grains of salt! It was back to standard Maldon quayside!
As fast as it come, it was gone again!
Yet another lights down on filming and another film, filmed in Maldon .. .. it’s great that this little sea side town has been home to so many filming sets .. looking forward to the next one! Keep eyes open
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We have always been pretty lucky here in this, small sea side town! In Essex,
Maldon has been part of a number of films with big names like Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, and BAFTA award winner Jude Law to name a couple!
Well it’s time to add a few more names to the list ! Apply tv is currently filming for a six part Victorian drama, based on the novel by Sarah Perry..
This drama will be staring male lead and avengers actor Tom Hiddleston and female lead Claire Danes who’s stared in homelands and Baz Luhrmanns, Romeo and Juliet
The film / set building crew landed on the quayside of Maldon and set to work transforming it into something extra amazing! It’s like a step back in time! Victorian time ! So many props and they really do set the scene..
It’s taken them under a week to make this quayside into the perfect Victorian set! The team building this set honestly are amazing, they all seem to know who, what and where they need to be moving around the set placing props and build up a visual story with out even having the actors /actresses on set.
It’s amazing ! And it’s right on our doorstep!
So today I was lucky enough to get on set and get some images ! While also getting to see a preview what’s to come! This also documents some of what will become a part of Maldon’s history.. as photographers this should always be a big part of what we do! We need to take images of what’s happening around us, not just our chosen style of photography..
We need to document the world, to show those who follow us in years to come our history! Like many have before us!
I’ve never been on film set before, even though I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few great actors and actresses over the years! And I’ve always had a thing for film/ stage, ever since I was part of the school stage team! Creating lighting and sets for the big school productions !
So this was a buzz for me! It’s not every day we get to do something like this!
So who’s ready to see a few images?
I’m really happy to have got these ! And I’m super proud of them ! I hope that these tell a little bit of the story and as it’s said in Romeo and Juliet.. here we set the scene !
Please let me know what you think! It’s always amazing chatting to people and hope that you like these images !
Can’t wait to see what they do with this set and where the story line fits into the film.