What have I been up to June. (WHIBUT)

July 03, 2015

So June started off with a bang! 

I was covering a Royal Gun salute that was fired outside the Pierhead building to Cardiff to celebrate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

It was a blistery day and was raining only a few minutes before the salute took place. I've done gun salutes before and the key to capturing it is to watch the gun commanders raised hand, just as they bring it down start firing frames off! You will either get a puff of smoke, a explosion or nothing. 


  The 21 Gun Salute was conducted by 104 Regiment Royal Artillery


My next job took place at the camp I work on, Venning Barracks.

11th Signal & West Midlands Brigade posted a reception of local civil dignitaries, military VIPs and Brigade personalities at the officers mess on veining barracks.The evening was to thank the local community for their support to the Military and dependents that reside in the area. The evening saw Soldiers from the Queens Ghurka Signals Dancers perform for the guests with music from The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Corps of Signals, The Band of the Royal Corps of Signals brass quintet and The Band of The Parachute Regiment.The event was finished off with a "Beating Retreat' with a fly past from a Police helicopter.


Queens Ghurka Signals Dancers perform for the guests

The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Corps of Signals

The Band of The Parachute Regiment


I was back to Wales for my next job, this time at the Millennium Stadium for the presentation of new Colours to The Royal welsh by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I was working with fellow Phot Sgt Mike O'Neill check out his Twitter here. I went down a few hours early to have a look at the stadium, it was dark in there! As I was to be working from the stands I needed some long glass. Unfortunately there was a Air show at RAF Cosford so all the good kit had been signed out, I had to make do with a old 300mm f4 lens. I knew I would be working with high a ISO but also knew that the Nikon D4 would be able to handle it in this type of situation. The whole event went well but was over shadowed by one of the soldiers hitting the Regimental Sergeant Majors daughter in the face when he saluted The Queen. The little girl as fine just a bit shocked. 


The Royal Welsh formed up in the Millennium Stadium


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 

The Regimental Goat 'Shenkin'


Three days later, I was to cover another event that The Queen was taking part in. The Queens Birthday Parade, also known as 'Trooping the Colour' 

I travelled down to London on the train on the Friday to get a brief and to sort my kit out. It was to be the first time that we (Army Photographers) were going to use the Nikon Wt-5 wireless transmitter to send images back to our picture editor.

I started off on the Saturday with a walk down to The Queen Victoria Memorial from Horseguards with my bag of camera kit, a 600mm lens on a monopod and a step ladder. I had to get there early to get a good spot. Once there I realised that the QVM was pretty busy already with other Press Photographers, one of them had been there since 0530! Whilst setting up we all got called off the memorial for a bag search and to get our accreditation passes sorted out. It was just a matter of waiting for it to start. 


Here are a few images I took on the day. 

Camila, the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge leave the palace


Horses from lined up outside of the palace


The Massed bands march down The Mall


Prince William and Prince George watch the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace
The Red Arrows perform a 'fly past' 
Next on the agenda, I traveled to a training area in the Peak district near Leek to capture 159 Supply Regiment on a military skills training weekend.The soldiers were practicing individual fire and manoeuvre building up to pairs then eventually section level. 
I got straight involved as soon as I got there jumping on the next serial that was taking place. 
The only problem was that I fell over at the end of this serial and smashed my camera into the river. I was out of the game, my camera equipment was soaked along with the rest of my clothing. I retreated back to the car for the wet journey home.
Two minutes later it was endex for me.
Back in work Monday morning and I was off to BAE Systems in telford to capture a image that was going to be used for Reserves day (formally uniform to work day). My subject was Luci Smitheman, she is senior PA to the managing director at BAE Systems. 
Craftsman Luci Smitheman shows her support for Reserves Day by wearing her uniform to work.
Wednesday, I was covering Reserves day where Members were offered a taste of Army life in the centre of Birmingham as part of Reserves Day.
Soldiers from the Royal Yeomanry outside the council building

 Members of The Royal Navy reserves speak to members of the public. 

The final job for me was back in Birmingham city centre again for Armed Forces Day. 

In Victoria Square the Afghanistan operational flag which had flown outside the Birmingham City Council Building was lowered in a special ceremony Shortly afterwards, soldiers from Birmingham based 202 Field Hospital led regular and reserve units from across the West Midlands for a parade, march past and Drum Head service in Centenary square.


Members of The British Legion take part in Armed Forces Day


The Afghanistan operational flag being lowered

Members of the public show their support for Armed Forces Day

The Drumhead service
A relatively busy month for me in June, keep an eye out for next months round up.