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Andrew Le Poidevin MCIJ

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News / Blog

A star is born......
16th January 2017

I’m not usually touched by the celebrity culture that we live in.

I’m rarely ‘star-struck’ when meeting people that spend their life in the public eye. Maybe that comes with my job as a Press photographer and Journalist where I attend many events where ‘faces’ are the centre of attention.

However, when I think back, I’ve never really been ‘star-struck’… even as a teenager when I followed David Bowie, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper I never really thought of them as anything other than people… just like you and me.

OK, they did have a BIT MORE TALENT and MONEY and FUN than me (and probably you)... but hey, they were still just human beings!

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet many famous people and I’ve rarely been star-struck by the person themselves.

So what is this Blog leading to?

Well you should now have an idea that I’d be the last person you should invite to join any sort of quiz team that requires a knowledge of celebrity. My missus has learnt (after 40 years) that it is pointless trying to have any conversation with me if it involves the lives, jobs or faces of the rich and famous! I’m not interested. I know NOTHING!

I have friends who work as Paparazzi in London and they enjoy taking the piss out of me by saying that I would starve if I did their job… they are right. If David Beckham bumped into me with Cheryl Cole on his arm I wouldn’t even notice them!!

So you understand that I’ve built up a ‘thick skin’ when in the company of celebrity… particularly in this decade when so many people that are given the label of ‘celebrity’ have no memorable talent at all!

All this commentary has been to try and explain how uninterested I am, normally, with star quality.

But occasionally I get caught out. This happens when I meet a particularly charismatic person or experience an amazing live performance.

That was the case at The Fermain Tavern on Saturday.

I had been looking forward to seeing Nessi Gomes play at her Diamonds & Demons album launch. Nessi is a Guernsey girl (with a Portuguese background). She was a familiar face on the local music scene before she took control of her ambition to make music and she started a passionate road to making that happen.

The first time I can remember seeing Nessi perform was at the Vale Earth Fair ‘Beach Life’ in 2009 (I have the pictures!). This mini festival was held in the picturesque Petit Bot valley next to the beach. Nessi played an acoustic set with a few friends and, even way back then, I remember that there were hints that Nessi had a special talent.

This talent has now blossomed and matured and Nessi Gomes revealed the result of the many years developing her own unique style and sound with her live performance at the ‘Tav launch of Diamond & Demons.

I was bowled over by the quality of her performance and yes… this old hag was more than a little star-struck! She must be something really special!

Now is the the time for you to discover Nessi Gomes. Follow her here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nessigomesmusic/

I've edited my pics of the album launch and you can take a look at them here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE NESSI GOMES DIAMONDS & DEMONS ALBUM LAUNCH
It's nice to mix things up a bit with a bit of competition....
15th January 2017

Variety is good. It keeps things interesting.

However I don't like to stray too far from certain favorite themes... one of them is action photography, of course!

This morning the 'Action' mix included Round-3 of the Guernsey Velo Club's Mountain Bike Winter Cross Country Series sponsored by Ian Brown's Cycle. This round took place in the challenging pine forest at the Guet.

The course offered steep slippery slopes, tight bends around knarled tree trunks and longer level straights. However there were always tree roots laying in wait to throw off the riders.

The track challenged even the most experienced riders but all this didn't put off a sizable entry. I have a feeling this particular genre of cycling is going from strength to strength.

I only managed to find time for a short shoot at the MTB before I had to leave to cover the first of the Kart Club's Winter Championship at The Track.

Two things really struck me as I photographed these two events one after the other.

One was the contrast in noise levels. The Guet was a peaceful place to be - even allowing for the shouted support being given to the competitors from spectators. At the Track it was all about the sound of revving engines. That's the 'variety' I mentioned before.

The other thing that struck me was that one aspect was just the same between the events. That was the competition.

All sports have this same intrinsic element. Competitors want to be first. They want to be a winner and this wish drives everyone taking part to push their performance further every time they compete.

Oddly, this even rubs off on me. I'm actually a very competitive person. I've always managed to turn anything I've done into some form of competition. There's nothing more certain to get my competitive nature buzzing than when I see another DSLR camera lurking in the bushes :-)

Competition is usually good for us as it makes us push ourselves beyond where we were comfortable. We try and find a new level of achievement, hopefully! We're all winners then.

My pics from these two events can be viewed by following the links. Maybe they are just a little better than they would have been without the competition ;-)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND 3 OF THE WINTER MTB SERIES
CLICK HERE TO VIEW RACE 1 OF THE WINTER KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP
Normal Motorsport service resumes with a muddy one....
08th January 2017

My 2017 Motorsport season began last weekend with a GMC&CC Trails event.

This All-Day meeting was based around the beautiful setting of Fauxquets Valley.

I was unable to spend much time on the sections as I had other work booked but it was long enough to find out how muddy some of the tracks leading to the sections were. It was quite a surprise as Guernsey has just experienced one of the driest Decembers on record.

But somehow the mud was deep, sticky and very slippery!

Now, I'm never the most steady person when its slippery underfoot. When I'm also carrying a few grand of kit up and down the slopes trying to find the best angle I'm just one slide away from an expensive accident!

That's not mentioning how dirty the result would be!

Last Sunday there was an extra twist to my trying to keep on my feet.... and clean.

As I mentioned, my day's work consisted of photographing several other events. These were public affairs that required me to be fairly smart... definitely not covered in smelly mud.

As I made a couple of visits to the Trails between the other shoots I was swapping wellies for brogues with a practiced touch. I even managed to keep my hands clean... and more importantly the cameras, lenses and trousers.

It was worth all the effort though as I have been eager to get back to the Motorsport photography after the winter break. Looking at my calendar I'll be busy most weekends from now on so keep a look-out on this website for my regular updates.

You can view a few pics of the All-Day Trials here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE GM&CC ALL-DAY TRIALS
Was your office party as good as mine??
24th December 2016

How do you get into the festive spirit?

Well if you're still of 'working age' then the chances are that part of the seasonal 'warm-up' process is to spend some time in the company of your work-mates at the office Christmas party.

Now, as we all know, these 'do's' can end up in all sorts of dramas!

Some of the stories of misbehavior circulating around the office the day after a lively party go on to become legendary. Reputations are both made and lost!

Even though we all know that we are walking a risky road by joining the revelry at the office party we all give in and let our hair down... well why not - it's just once a year ;-)

This blog is leading on to me telling you about my own ultimate office Christmas party.

When I throw a party everyone is invited ;-)

OK, maybe I'm 'bigging' up my part in organizing the TALLPICTURES.com Ultimate Office Christmas Party just a little.... OK, actually quite a lot.

In fact my own TALLPICTURES.com office party involved me sitting in a dark corner of The Cock & Bull (alone) with a pint of real ale and a packet of crisps... it can get lonely when you're the only employee :-(

However there is always an answer to any problem, if you look hard enough.

So my idea was to tag onto someone else's office party. This turned out to be an amazing plan as I joined hundreds of revelers at the OneLouder 2016 Ultimate Office Christmas Party at Beau Sejour.

These guys really know how to have fun and their choice of two of the most popular bands in the Channel Islands was perfect to party to!

Fade2Grey and King Rat & the Soul Cats had Beau Sejour rocking and the party took its place among all the legendary parties of years gone by... but this time it was for all the right reasons :-)

So I left the party with a camera-full of pics (yes I know I shouldn't work at my office party) but I couldn't miss the chance to take a few pics... even if the lighting was a struggle for a photographer to work with. Yes I'm still a moaning misery even at Christmas time!

The OneLouder party did its job getting me in the festive mood and I've just one more thing to say...

'Seasons Greetings to you all'

If you want to see how my office party went, check-out the pics here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF MY ULTIMATE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY
It wouldn't be Christmas without a SoPM event... or two!
21st December 2016

Guernsey's School of Popular Music has only been in existence for a few years but they have already established a tradition.

At Christmas-time the SoPM arrange a special gig to show-case their students... both new and old. This is organized at one the Guernsey's live music venues and gives students the chance to experience what it is like to perform to an audience with the benefit of a pro sound system, sound desk technician and stage lighting.

I've photographed many of the SoPM events and enjoy seeing the progress of the first singers and musicians to start the courses. There is real talent on show. It's also great to see the 'buzz' that the 'first-timers' feel after their introduction to live gigging.

This year the SoPM arranged two special events at Christmas. As well as the Doghouse gig the newer students had their very own concert at The Church on the Rock. This was performed to a packed house of family and friends.

You can check-out pics of all the SoPM events that I have photographed by having a look at these galleries:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE SCHOOL OF POPULAR MUSIC EVENTS
CLICK
Wondergeist at the Tav....
10th December 2016

A quick update... this is a busy time of year for me :-)

I'll be updating the Galleries every time I have a few moments with the aim of not falling weeks behind with the edits.... a problem I get into every year over the festive period.

So here's today's quickie.

Take a look at Wondergeist's latest pics from their Fermain Tavern gig.

Oh, by the way, I love this band. Make sure you catch one of their gigs.
CLICK TO VIEW THE LATEST PICS OF WONDERGEIST
MTB XC racing on the MX Track... I felt at home!
04th December 2016

So what's a bloke to do when the majority of the Motorsport season is over?

Well today I spent an enjoyable sunny morning photographing the GVC MTB Winter XC Series Round-2 at Pleinmont. The circuit used part of the Motocross track (so I felt quite at home), combined with fields and clifftop paths.

OK, I did miss the noise and engine fumes but the action was great! The hour long race was challenging even for the fittest rider but we all benefited from the wonderful sunny winters morning.

There was an excellent turnout of competitors who took full advantage of the Motocross track layout that offered opportunity to overtake and a choice of racing line.

I'll call this event a great success. Let me know what you thought of it.

I've added a full selection of MTB pics to my website galleries. Take a look at the pics here....
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ROUND-2 OF THE MTB XC WINTER SERIES
Scenes of Horror at Fermain.....
12th November 2016

It has become tradition that Noizemonkey host a special gig at The Fermain Tavern on the Halloween weekend.

Regulars know what to expect.... lots of ghouls, ghosts, madness and music :-0

This years effort was as good as any of the previous nights of terror. The guys had done a fantastic job of decorating the venue and this offered a fitting backdrop for those gig-goers who had made an effort to dress up and paint their bodies. At least I hope it was all pretend!!

There were some truly scary haunted beings wandering around St Martins.

As a photographer it is fun to take pics of the characters however I'm the boring one who turns up at these nights wearing just my normal gear... and face. My excuse is that I don't want to get grease paint and (hopefully fake) blood on my expensive kit ;-)

It was only the next day that it dawned on me that maybe my 'normal' look is so scary that I fitted right in without the aid of props!

This years halloween Saturday was a busy one for me as I had a conflict of events to photograph. This meant I had to share my time around.

I started off at the 'Tav taking pics of Blacksmith.

I then jumped in my van and headed off to the Haunted House event in Vale Castle. Checkout the pics here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE EVENT

After capturing some of the atmosphere in the Castle it was back to the 'Tav just in time to see the nights headliners SugarSlam.

This finished off the halloween weekend with style. Well done Noizemonkey for all your hard work. You can now return to the vaults until next year.

The pics are online here:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF BLACKSMITH PLAYING AT HALLOWEEN
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF SUGARSLAM PLAYING AT HALLOWEEN
I LOVE round numbers.....
08th November 2016

I love round numbers. Numbers like one million, one hundred, ten… in fact any number that ends in noughts. The more noughts the better though!

There is something nice and tidy about a number that ends in a nought.

I’ve no idea where I get the passion for numerical tidiness from as my office desk is proof that I don’t carry this zeal for tidiness into all aspects of my life!

But I won’t let that small fact spoil the pleasure I felt when my website viewing passed another significant mark… another of those cherished ‘round numbers’.

In fact I’m celebrating two new markers in one this time around. Just how happy can a photographer be???

The celebration comes as this website's total picture views passed through the FIFTEEN MILLION mark…. that’s SIX NOUGHTS you know ;-)

By coincidence this also marks a new record for the number of views within a twelve month period. In fact it is just eleven months since the website views passed ELEVEN MILLION, so for the first time, I have had more than FOUR MILLION views within a year.

That deserves a smiley face :-)

When viewings passed the THREE MILLION annual total I commented that it probably wouldn’t be repeated but now I’m getting cocky and have set myself the challenge of breaking an annual FIVE MILLION views.

To achieve this I don’t see any time in the near future when I’ll find a moment to get around to tidying the disorderly desk…. But that’s fine as ‘tidy’ round numbers will keep me happy ;-)

Thanks for the continued visits to view my pics. It is you who make up the numbers.

You can view a few of the old ‘Milestone Millions’ Blogs by following this link:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PREVIOUS 'MILLION' BLOGS
The Championship goes right down to the wire....
06th November 2016

The last Motocross meeting of the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club's 2016 Motocross Championship was an exciting event as the final places were fought for.

Once again the weather turned out to be just about perfect with the overnight rain leaving the track in near perfect condition.

All the extensive work that a small band of helpers had done over the summer break on laying out a new track has certainly paid off. The re-designed corners and jumps have offered a new challenge to both racers and photographers as we all took time to find the fastest lines and best photographic angles.

These changes can re-invigorate all of us when the motivation starts to drop. Also the fact that most meetings have been dry and mild also helps I guess ;-)

I've added a new gallery featuring the final Race-8 of the Championship. Check-out the pics here:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE FINAL MX RACE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP

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