Lows and disappointments

General

Heya Folks,

It’s been over two weeks since my last post, the longest time we have gone without a post! Have you missed us? It’s been a bore without you too!

To tell you the truth there hasn’t been too much going on in the wild world of Ellis Imagery of late. We have been planning a few shoots that are upcoming and trying to get to grips with things that really should be easy but in real life turn out amazingly complicated. I was always brought up with the fairly simple and straightforward adage that if you promise somebody something then you deliver it. It seems that others do not think this way.

My moan-in this month is about our previously exciting ‘wheels’ that would enable us to travel far and wide exploring the beautiful landscapes of the UK and Europe. The company we employed to undertake the purchase and conversion of the van have not overwhelmed us with speed, accuracy or customer service since we started. After waiting far longer than we should have done for the base vehicle, we were told three weeks ago that they had it! We arranged to go down and see it and finalise the spec of our conversion but unfortunately when we arrived, the van hadn’t got there as it was travelling down from Manchester. Still, a few days later we got an email saying she was there and got this photo.

Well, as you can see it isn’t the best pic and slightly odd that the pic is only of the front half of the van. It now transpires, a week before we are due to be picking the van up to go on a much needed and well earned holiday, that we discover via an insurance broker, that the van is not one we ordered or wanted. It is a long wheel base version which we won’t even be able to park in our drive and use at home! No worries I hear you say, contact the owner and he will sort it out! I have, he is in Columbia on holiday! He gets back two days before I was due to pick it up and drive it away. Did he know? You bet he did, what puzzles me is what did he expect me to say when I arrived to collect it and give him a considerable amount of money? Oh don’t worry? I’ll take it anyway? I wouldn’t mind but I had only made two real solid stipulations about the base vehicle. Air Con and short wheel base (SWB). That was it! Not hard is it? So here we are, two months later and no van, they still have a deposit of £2,000 and we have no way of even speaking to the guy! Not my best coupla weeks as you can see!

On the plus side, I have managed to squeeze in a shoot on my project and will be adding the result to my website very very soon. It is from the song “Alcoholic” by Starsailor and looks pretty sexy to me…. We have also seen the new Bateleurs website go sorta live with our pics heading most pages. Good luck with the album and the new website guys. www.bateleurs.co.uk

We will also be shooting big time at the ever popular mini fest here in sunny old Wiltshire NamFest. Details are here www.namfest.co.uk so get yer tickets, help a deserving charity and have a full on rock out sesh with the boys and girls from ‘Nam!

I’ll cheer up really soon and have some exciting news to impart!

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The 70’s and Vans

General

This week has mostly been a good week! Not a lot has gone on but this weekend is going to be fun as we are visiting Vanfest in Malvern, Worcestershire and even watching the mighty Slade play in the evening. I think it’s Slade without Noddy Holder which seems a bit strange but still.

We are going as we have been told this week that at long last our VW T5 Transporter conversion company has found a base van for us which means they can start to convert it as soon as it is in their possession. We are dropping down to Exeter tomorrow to finalise the options and then will sit patiently until we get our treasured camper and head off to them there hills for a weekend of coolness!

We hope it will be a gleaming red in colour, enable us to cook basic stuff and enjoy days and weekends away without too much hassle. Sunsets and sunrises in the Winter will be a thing of availability now and I can’t wait. Especially as a Buddy has also recently purchased one and we can photograph those hard to get to landscapes at our leisure!

The reference in the title of this post to 70’s is my total inability to escape from the processing technique I keep perfecting and honing turning everything I do into some kind of Retro artwork. The Bateleurs shoot has seen me turning all of their images into something from a different era that I have convinced myself makes the images and the band look totally cool. We will see if they do too!

I have been asked to shoot Namfest (everything ends in ‘fest’ currently doesn’t it) again which will be a pleasure although the headline acts are not quite as universally known as last year, it will probably be a more rock out night as The Boys From County Hell take to the stage! Should be a laff as well as some good shooting opportunities will be no doubt forthcoming.

I have updated the website totally now and only have a couple of pics to upload and improve and although overall it looks the same it’s layout and galleries are a lot better and easier to navigate.

I now have plans to keep going with the “lyrics” shooting and also to get back snapping those landscapes and maybe when I have that van, I can start to chase some interesting weather as well!

The Bateleurs

We made use of the available Helter Skelter backdrop (as you do!)

The Bateleurs

The Bateleurs in full posing mode!

Trees and Bank Holidays

General

I travelled down to Somerset to see family and had a wonderful time seeing those closest in blood and heart. It never ceases to amaze how whatever the outlook, there is nothing warmer, more wholesome and complete, than love…

The more mundane things have been interesting too. The Bank Holiday weekend didn’t see us venture too far from base rather through lack of inspiration than any desire to avoid travel problems. We were looking forward to the annual visit to the Westonbirt Arboretum “Treefest”. Hugely gutted to see that the annual trunk carving spectacle was missing. Apparently due to poor commercial performance. The artistes loved displaying their skills and results but didn’t quite enjoy the lack of sales as much. Instead there were stalls and plenty for the young kids to do. That is of course, if you have young kids. Which we don’t. All was not lost however as I had promised a good friend that I would be covering their gig in the “Live Music” tent during their early evening performance. Now, lets be clear on this, The Bateleurs are a VERY good band and if you haven’t seen or heard them then shame on you. They have just released a new album “All in the past” and it is available on iTunes etc or via www.bateleurs.co.uk 

Having said I would cover just their performance I extended the brief happily, when asked by said friend, to shoot the band in various poses before the show. We allowed the rain showers to pass over and then ran for our carefully selected ‘locations’ around the festival. Half an hour later and the job was a goodun’. As usual I made the subjects pose in ways they never would normally and we had the lovely advantage of colourful Helter Skelters and hand hewn wooden blocks spelling out L I V E  M U S I C for us! (See Below) Lets hope they like them. The show was brilliant but the lighting in the internally black marquee was less than great. In fact it was bad. So, the live shots were not up to a great deal sadly. You can’t polish a thingummy now can you?

The following evening saw us watching the mighty Bad Lizard rock out at a local drinking establishment in preparation for their upcoming big gig on October 1st at Namfest, a fantastic night out all for a VERY worthy cause. A proper job, professionally managed, rock fest with 5 different bands playing in one night. It is rumoured that “The Boys From County Hell” will be performing and headlining and if that is correct then hold onto your hats and buy your tickets fast! Details can be found here http://www.namfest.co.uk/

Although this week is a short one it already has had much going on in it. I have been approached for some work that could be a great three month contract and if all goes well it could be starting very soon indeedy! There are a couple of exciting new projects on the horizon that still promise to stretch my photography skills further and all of the future remains bright and we seems to be following a rising moon!

Big love and remember your family and friends…

The Bateleurs

Still only WIP (work in progress) but the germs of an idea? The Bateleurs doing their (well, my) thing!