In and around Letcombe Regis

There is not usually a day where I go out with the dogs and don’t take the camera, generally if I don’t it is because the weather is not suitable. I amaze myself with what I see whilst out and about and even more so what I manage to capture on camera when I have two loose dogs with me. These days however, I may put my new pup on the lead to ensure that he doesn’t spot what I have and decide to take chase!

I decided that it would be nice to share the images that I take, I sometimes post on my facebook page but not everyone has or wants to do facebook so I thought a good way was to do it through my blog.

To start of I thought I would share some of my favorite images for 2014. A wet start to the year did not get me off to a good start.

Red Kite

Everyone can see these beautiful birds of prey flying around but I never tire of them. I am a little more picky these days as to whether I can be bothered to point the camera, they have to be near enough to make it worth it. I generally take my Canon 7D with me and have my Canon 100-400L lens attached.

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Kestrel

Kestrels can often be seen in the area, hovering or sitting watching the long grass for prey. This shot was taken down by the recreation ground in Letcombe Regis.

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Buzzard

There are quite a few Buzzards around the area. I often see them around the deer farm and by the chalk pits and more recently in the Nature reserve.  This particular shot was taken in the Letcombe Nature reserve. Well hidden in the trees.

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Mr Fox 

Run, Run as fast as you can….

I did not see Mr Fox around as much as I previously have done in 2014. There is a very big dog fox that lurks around this area I have had quite close encounters with him but often busy getting dogs down before taking a shot and missing the opportunity or they run the minute I raise the camera to take my shot in which case I get the tail end, which is what happened here. So I added a little figure to make it a little more fun!

Heron

Heron

I expect quite a few of you have seen the Heron, he hangs out in various places. He likes to bask in the sun on the fields between the Letcombes, loves the cress beds and the nature reserve and Richmond lake. I have also seen him by brook next to the village green and have captured him a few times by the water hole at Blandys.

This one was taken early morning on the nature reserve.

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This one was en early morning at Blandys.

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Out in the open between the Letcombes.

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Little Egret

Another frequent visitor to Letcombe is the Little Egret, this bird frequents the village every year and hangs around most of the places that the Heron does. They are even more shy than the Heron. This image was taken down by the recreation ground.

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Local Deer

Something I look forward to every year is the fawns!  Have been privileged to witness several births, all out of luck rather than judgement, but always a special time.  I love this first image, with a fawn only a just born and the bunnies having a race around them. Rather like a scene from Bambi! The second image shows how quickly the fawns grow, taken later on in the year.

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Little Birds

Well there are plenty of them around but they are small and not so easy to capture. My favorite small bird is the Wren, very shy so difficult to photograph but also so sweet. Both these images were taken along the new foot path running along side the Blandys fields.

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Rabbits

There are a lot of rabbits about, and they are maybe not the most interesting of the wildlife around but sometimes the light is just right or they are doing something a little different that I can’t resist taking the images.

This image was taken in the long grass up by the Chalk Pits above Letcombe Regis early one morning.

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Sometimes they are just comical and in the next image it looks like they are having a little chat about life… I wonder what it is like to be in a rabbits world?  This image was taken in the corn field next to the Chalk pits.

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Wild Deer

There are quite a few different herds of wild deer around not to mention numerous Muntjac deer. The Muntjac are more tricky to photograph, they are very very shy, smaller and quick!  This next image was taken by the Chalk pits in Letcombe Regis. A lone stag. He stopped, looked at me and the dogs for a while and decided it would be best to take a run for it. (They always do!)  I was quick on the draw this time and got some lovely in flight images.

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I often venture a little further a field for my walks and go to the Hendreds, there are fallow deer here which I often see and was lucky enough to get this one jumping out of a wooded area into the corn field. You can see that it has another deer running just behind it.

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Hares

I love Hares, I could watch them for hours, and 2014 was a good year. All the images taken were taken locally but I would prefer to not to say where as Hare coursing although illegal is still a sport for some.

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This image was selected by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers as a finalist in the Nature Category for Photography of the Year. It was taken early one morning. Sadly I did not win but made it to the top three in this category.

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I got my first sighting of a young hare last year. So sweet watching him interact with its mother. I hope he managed to make it to adult hood.

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A few odds and end to finish up with. I invested in a Macro lens in 2014 so had a little play with it. The bug is an oil beetle which was taken in my garden. The Dragon Fly was taken at the lake at Baulking. The Poppy was taken on my normal camera down at the recreation ground in Letcombe Regis.

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I hope you have enjoyed the images and a little look around the local area. Many thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Into the Woods…

I have been working with the AmEgos group for a few years now. AmEgos are a small friendly group of actors and technicians who aspire to produce plays and musical that will thrill their audience.

They  are all amateurs but the productions are always very professional!  They advertise for new members all the time and are such a friendly group. They rehearse in Childrey or in and around the Wantage area.

I was first approached by Lesley Phillips in 2012 and asked if I would be willing to help out with promotional work for their debut production of Little Voice. She was so lovely I could hardly refuse and I have not looked back and enjoy working with Lesley and the cast members very much.

Little V

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, debut production in 2012 by AmEgos theatre group. For this production I provided the promotional images and also cast headshots for the programme.

In to the Woods_0071The show was a great success, the and the singing was amazing.!  Plans had already started for the next years show.

May 2013 was The Pajama Game a Musical comedy followed by DeathTrap a comedy thriller by Ira Levin.

In to the Woods_0074Again I did a shoot in the studio for the promotional Material and also cast headshots.  PJ GameI was asked for this show to go along and do some images at the dress rehearsal. This turned out to be great fun but often a challenge due to the low lighting and I prefer not to use flash and spoil the ambience not to mention distracting the cast!

In to the Woods_0065 In to the Woods_0075Next was Deathtrap, well that certainly had everyone on their seats!  Here is one review that sums up the performance very well.

To make Sidney’s slump all the more painful, Clifford Anderson, a student of one of Sidney’s writing seminars, has recently sent his mentor a copy of his first attempt at playwriting for Sidney’s review and advice. The play, “Deathtrap,” is a five character, two act thriller so perfect in its construction that, as Sidney says, “A gifted director couldn’t even hurt it.” Using his penchant for plot, and out of his desperate desire to once again be the toast of Broadway, Sidney, along with Myra, cook up an almost unthinkable scheme: They’ll lure the would-be playwright to the Bruhl home, kill him, and market the sure-fire script as Sidney’s own. But shortly after Clifford arrives, it’s clear that things are not what they seem! Indeed, even Helga Ten Dorp, a nosey psychic from next door, and Porter Milgram, Sidney’s observant attorney, can only speculate where the line between truth and deception lies.Written by Craig C Bailey

ZX7A9359 ZX7A9403We really enjoyed the play last night.  You were all wonderful and the twists and turns in the play just kept us wondering what would come next.  Acting brilliant, stage set brilliant, who needs the West End – GREAT EVENING! (JC Wantage)

Something a little different for the poster this time. We always have such fun doing the shoots. I am surprised the legs are not blurry, we were all laughing so much at the time.

PrintZX7A9497This group just does not stop, they love what they do and so much energy is put in to producing such good shows. The next big production was The Producers.The Pjama gameNew York, 1959. Max Bialystock was once the king of Broadway, but now all his shows close on opening night. Things turn around when he’s visited by the neurotic accountant Leo Bloom, who proposes a scheme tailor-made for producers who can only make flops: raise far more money than you need, then make sure the show is despised. No one will be interested in it, so you can pocket the surplus. To this end, they produce a musical called Springtime for Hitler written by escaped Nazi Franz Liebken. Then they get the insanely flamboyant Roger De Bris to direct. Finally, they hire as a lead actress the loopy Swedish bombshell Ulla (whose last name has over 15 syllables). As opening night draws near, what can go wrong? Well, there’s no accounting for taste…Written by rmolhner

In to the Woods_0070Next in 2014 was Improbable fiction a 2005 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. It is about a writers’ circle, on the night the chairman, Arnold, seems to wander into the imaginations of the other writers. It certainly was not what I expected!  A real surprise. No promotional work on this one. Just cast headshots and the rehearsals. This was a real challenge for the cast with lots of costume changes need. The show was held at the theatre at Buscot Park, it was such a delightful setting.In to the Woods_0073All three performances were sold out a month before the opening night!

That brings us to this year! IN TO THE WOODS! …  What? you have not got your tickets? Well you had better hurry as they are selling fast!  In to the woodsInto the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.Written by Anonymous.

In to the Woods_0076I had the pleasure of meeting the cast a few weeks ago, we had a shoot on Easter Monday at the Court Hill Centre www.courthill.org.uk, Plenty of tea and cakes were consumed too from their excellent tea rooms.

We had some fun in the woods with the cast, for their promotional images. A challenge getting it looking dark and gloomy on a warm and very sunny bright day! I am now looking forward to the final dress rehearsal on Tuesday next week! In to the Woods_0054

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   I know it will be a huge success! 

To get tickets go to http://www.wegottickets.com/AmEgos

Mel Taylor LSWPP and QGPP

Putting things off until tomorrow is easily done. We all have busy lives and I am sure all of you have had good intentions to get things ticked off your must do list and still have not got round to it! I think two years ago I had this good intention to apply for Photography Qualifications. However, I got busy looking after the family, working, continually improving my skill and knowledge base to insure my images are of a good quality.

This year I figured enough was enough it was something that must be done and that applying for my first qualification was a good way to mark of my achievements and assure my customers and potential customers that the quality of my images are deemed off a good professional standard by the Fellow’s of the photographic societies that I belong to. There are a lot of photographers for customers to choose from these days in this digital age. So I wanted to assure my customers that I was a good choice for them, not only because they like my style but because my images are of a high consistent quality.

So at last I selected a panel of images and decided to use Dog Portraiture as my theme as this is one of the areas of photography that I am most passionate about.  My 20 images were submitted to the SWPP (The Societies), for my licentiate, the images are reviewed by a panel of four Fellow’s of the Society and I am glad to say that I passed with Flying colours!

digital photographer_0092I have also been awarded Qualified Status with the Guild of Photographers.

I am now planning the submission for my next qualification, but want to shoot new images for it over the summer months.

Thanks for reading my post and if you would like to see more images please go to www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

A Happy Ending …. continued

Earlier I wrote about a little Ferret that I had found on the Ridgeway and was collected by a rescue center. Click here for the previous blog post http://wp.me/p4eAig-6E.

The story had a happy ending and his new owners very kindly dropped me a line having seen the blog post and sent me a few images. He has a new name – Pip and he now has four friends to play with. Here are some of the images that his new family sent me.

Ferret4 Ferret3 Ferret2 Ferret He looks very settled and well-loved to me.  A good result.

 

National Puppy Day – 23rd March

Yesterday was National Puppy Day and #nationalpuppyday has been trending on twitter in the USA.

National Puppy DayWhat is National Puppy Day all about.. seems like a good reason to have a holiday to me!

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Collen Paige who was also the founder of National Dog Day and National cat day. It has trended on twitter for the last three years.  It’s a day to celebrate the love that puppies bring to our lives but most of all to help save orphaned puppies across and the way that they are often mistreated and kept in puppy mills in the USA. Puppy Mills are large commercial organisations that operate for profit over the welfare of the puppies.

digital photographer_0079Not all puppies like the ones above are lucky enough to have good breeders and end in good homes, many are very poorly treated and neglected and end up in dogs homes because the owners did not think of the commitment and cost before buying.  The kennel club provide some useful information on purchasing a puppy. http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/

Puppies are full of life and energy and take up a lot of time if looked after properly in the first few months.  They give unconditional love. It’s a shame that some many are not given the same respect by humans.

digital photographer_0080A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours. ~Author Unknown

Thank you for reading my post – http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk/pet_portraits.html

Oxford Mail – Thursday

Just round that I got a little mention in the Oxford Mail on Thursday.  For See here.. http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/business/news/11724458.Snapper___s_wildlife_shots_up_for_award/

Snapper’s wildlife shots up for award

A detail from one of Mel Taylor’s photographs

A detail from one of Mel Taylor’s photographs

First published Thursday 15 January 2015 in News

Letcombe Regis photographer and businesswoman Mel Taylor has been shortlisted for a national award for her wildlife shots.

The 50-year-old mother-of-two will find out on Saturday if she has been named Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographer’s Photographer of the Year.

Mrs Taylor, who set up her firm after being made redundant nine years ago, works from a studio at her home in Letcombe Regis and specialises in nature and family portraits.

 

Latest Business news:

 

Mel Taylor Photography article in Local Press

Article in the Papers ref – Mel Taylor Photography

Click on Link below to read the full article.

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/business/11038669.Career_change_wasn___t_snap_decision_for_photographer/