Mexican Palm Trees, and Cocktails…

Palm trees means beach means sun means holiday, right? Right! Two weeks of Mexican mojitos, margaritas and caipirinhas (Brazil…?) and the odd whisky sour thrown in to balance all the sugar. FullSizeRender 20

 

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I’ve become quite fond of palm trees over the last fortnight. Obviously the shade was very welcome for a white northern boy like me. But they also gave me something to photograph. Nice theme for a little series of sunny beach images…

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I must admit that I took most of these in the early morning so that I could still hold the camera straight before indulging in all that cocktail malarkey. And palm trees help out even there – pretty ramrod straight, which sorts out the verticals. Apart from this one…? What happened this poor chap?

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They’re pretty bendy too, which comes in useful when a tropical storm ruins the sun-bathing for a few days.

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But perhaps the best thing about a palm tree is a coconut. Here’s young Freya, indulging in the palm tree’s fruit (although perhaps not with all the alcohol that I seem to throw in….)

 

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(All shots made with an iPhone – too hot to carry the big beast around…)

 


London, Bikes, Nudes. Ah yes, it’s Saturday afternoon…

Now if I were in Germany I would expect this sort of thing. After all, the English Gardens in Munich is a traditional nudist spot, and a fine place for a beer too, of course. But in the middle of London…, just next to the Tower…, on bikes… It’s all a bit…, shocking!

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I was in town to take photographs of something completely different, and I heard a commotion – drums, whistles and so on, (this girl was having a good blast on hers…), and of course I wandered over to see what was going on.

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A demo, no less, and for some reason everyone was naked. It was raining, of course. But that didn’t put them off. Hey, if you’re going to get wet it’s better to have your kit off, I say! And it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, because we’re British and we are used to the rain anyway.

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This guy at the front of this tandem was rather half-hearted in my view. His rear companion had got the idea – shoulders covered, balls out.

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Bloody hell – here’s Eve looking for Adam! You can tell it’s a bit nippy though… I never did work out the link between bikes and nudism. And I don’t really see a logical link. It all feels a bit uncomfortable to me. Just like this chap below. I leave you with his bag metaphor, which sort of summed up a typical Saturday afternoon in London town…

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Faces of the future

I did a shoot at a theatre company the other day. I loved the eagerness of the actors – the faces of the future. Here they are, blimey they look so young!

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Michelle, grace and elegance

If Ruben soars, then Michelle glides, graceful and elegant. The arch of the foot, the point of the hand. Arabesque, Plié, Pirouette…

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There’s time for fun, a little – it can’t be all too serious.


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Perfection must be to the fingertips, to the toes. A body under control.

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Ruben and Michelle make dance look effortless, controlled and beautiful. They look serene, together.

 

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For pictures of Ruben, see previous post.


Ruben dancing into the air

Now I know that I have published the odd post featuring the female form. Beautiful it is too, and I’ve loved every moment of every photo shoot. But maybe it’s time to even up the score… So here are some images of the male form, and in spectacular condition too. This is Ruben, a man who can soar, seemingly effortlessly, through the air.

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How many hours of practice does it take to be able to do this? They say 10,000 to master an instrument. This is a life’s dedication. So it’s great to record the beauty of Ruben’s skill.

 

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Unsurprisingly, the feet take some wear and tear. But a short rest and then Ruben is ready to fly again. Up, up and away. Amazing….

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My dog will never win Crufts!

I realised today that my dog is never going to win Crufts….., ever. But surely he would get a rosette at the local May Fair dog competition? This is a dog that makes a 10 min walk down the high street last an hour. He gets a lot of attention. He most definitely attracts the kids, and also the ladies (good doggie…). But put him in front of a judge – a dog judge – and his wilful side takes over.  Here he is in today’s ‘dog/owner lookalike’ competition. He is not cooperating…

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The next event was ‘dog with the waggiest tail’. At home, his wags so much he smashed 3 wine glasses already. Would he wag for the judge? No. Ramrod straight. Then it was ‘dog with the cutest eyes’. He turned his back on the judge and wouldn’t look at him AT ALL…!

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Finally it was ‘dog the judges would most like to take home with them’. I was sure this was his moment. I mean, who wouldn’t?! I’m scared of leaving him for 10 seconds outside Tesco in case someone nicks him. Did the judges want to take him home? No way, not after he rolled over in the dirt, snuffled the other dogs’ behinds and tore around the hay bale staging like a demented mutt! I’d just brushed his coat beforehand so that he looked glossy… He wasn’t even shortlisted!!!

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Clearly Rufus Peck is a non-conformist dog. Frankly I think he disgraced the family today by not playing ball… I may forgive him sometime in the future. In the meantime, he remains very much his own dog…:

 

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2 speedlights, background, and a model…

Amazing what you can do with a couple of speedlights. Basic kit – 2 small flashes, 2 strip boxes, a background – and a model of course! and hey, it’s up and running…

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These are from a workshop I did the other day with Luca Monti – check out his workshops here. Going on a workshop is a great way of stepping out of the comfort zone and doing something different. Just do it, and have some fun.

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The next image is one I put into a competition. The judge slated it – too much negative space, according to him. I don’t agree. I rather like the curves and the space. They balance off one another. Let me know what you think!

 

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Come to a photographer’s paradise – Utah and Arizona

The US West might not be as wild as it once was, but it’s still got some of the most dramatic scenery on earth. For any photographer interested in landscape this is right at the top of the bucket list. The views here are breathtaking, indeed awesome, in the true sense of the word…

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Horseshoe Bend

I’m leading a photographic workshop with Paul Gallagher from Aspect2i to Arizona and Utah later this year (6-15th October). We will travel from the grand vistas of Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, through Zion Park and Bryce Canyon to the hidden gems of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. A trip from the dramatic to the sublime.

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Monument Valley

 

Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon

 

We will photograph the hoodoos, mesas, buttes, rock formations, the rivers and the valleys. We will have private tours of Mystery Valley to visit the Native American cave dwellings. We will visit the famous slot canyons near Page, but also have a private guide to some of the not so famous slot canyons that the crowds can’t get to.

Lady in the Rock. Lower Antelope Canyon

Lady in the Rock. Lower Antelope Canyon

 

Dried mud, Wirepass Gulch

Dried mud, Wirepass Gulch

 

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Sandfall

 

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Tree in Zion Park

Tree in Zion Park

 

Dusk in Zion Park

Dusk in Zion Park

 

Bryce Canyon amphitheatre

Bryce Canyon amphitheatre

 

The trip is timed to coincide with the Fall, so we will get the best possible colour in the landscape. The American South West is simply stunning. It’s a photographer’s paradise. If you’re interested and want to know more, then get in contact with me, or look at Aspect2i’s webpage. I can promise you dramatic photographs and memories to last a life-time (and I can get you a discount on the list price of the tour too!)

One of the Mittens, Monument Valley

One of the Mittens, Monument Valley

 


Rufus is here!

A while ago I mentioned I was under some pressure, from the kids – and Mrs P…, to get a dawg. Indeed we had walked around the Lake District marking dogs out of 10 to decide which ones we liked best.  And like the mutt I am, I succumbed. And lo! here he is. Rufus. The fifth Peck. And already, 3 weeks in, I can’t imagine life without him.Rufus1

 

OK. I promise not to become a dog bore. Even worse than a baby bore… But blimey he is cute (of course) intelligent (of course), full of character (of course). Mmmm, I suspect I am not the first to think this of their dog… Mind you he is a bit dopey too – never seen anyone or anything eat so many twigs and sticks as he does. Completely bonkers! I shall let the pix do the talking….

 

 


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Tomorrow a new life stage! Walkies!! How exciting!!! Rufus and I will soon be going on photographic trips together. I can’t wait, and neither can he (although maybe that’s me projecting…)

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Half term chaos on the slopes

Skiing should be a dream: Vast expanses of empty white nothing; no-one to interrupt the perfect carve; elegance and rhythm, speed and style. With a bit of luck the sun is shining, to take the edge off the crisp cold. That’s the dream… on a slope a bit like the ones below…

Le rêve

Le rêve

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Le soleil

Then crash bang WALLUP! Reality kicks in and you realise it’s half term, the French Alps have become franglified with holidaying Brits, a Coke up the mountain costs ridiculous Euros, and queuing etiquette has been replaced by the shove of the masses…

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La foule

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La piste

(Nice style Sophie!)

The collective madness infects everyone. Here’s a brother crashing in slo-mo into a sister and them heaping up on the floor. Hilarious! Usually, I admit, it’s me that does the crashing. But not this time! I leave the honours to Mrs P and my bro-in-law. Young cousin is being gentlemanly and returning lost ski…

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Le crash

Next week I shall blog my way back to the serenity again and return to the dream. Leave all this chaos behind!