A week ago I spotted a new post on Nell Giffords blog, in a joint promotion with Olympus Cameras they were giving 100 happy snappers (& one guest) a chance to test out the newest Olympus camera on some of the Circus acts. Expert camera guidance would also be provided by pro photographer Damian McGillicuddy. I promptly entered keeping everything crossed I would be one of the lucky ones. And guess what? I was! As the circus shoot was taking place in the afternoon Jam and I took the whole day off and spent the morning looking round Stroud (as the Circus’ new home is only 2 miles outside the town :-)). Here’s Jam enjoying a cup of tea at the Marvellous Mills café.
(taken on my usual camera).
After getting a little bit lost we arrived at one of my favourite places:
Our chance to see the acts and get our hot little hands on the OM-D E-M10 (with the chance to win one too!)
First of all Damian gave us a few general setting tips.
Then it was up to us to get snapping (this is me attempting to look like a pro!)
The first act on stage was my favourite non scary clown Tweedy
He started off his act by trying out his knife throwing skills on one of the Olympus staff
Fortunately for the chap involved the balloons were either popped by a chap stood behind him, or the knives were on elastic
Unfortunately Keef the Iron was nowhere to be seen but Tweedy did have his pet brush.
For his final trick Tweedy asked Jam to throw his hat
And what do you know, he caught it.
After finally after sorting out his ladder that was it from Tweedy
Next into the ring were Bibi and Bichu, juggling brothers.
We got told before they came in that they would be juggling with fire & to set our colour accordingly. I was a bit torn between staying in colour or going into black and white but I decided to stick with colour in the end.
I really liked the way the colour setting captured not just the yellow but the blue of the flame.
But that kind of backfired (pun slightly intended) when the boys decided to blow their fire.
The last act (and the one I had most trouble taking pictures of) were the Godfathers. Because the camera I’d borrowed had a fixed focus lens I couldn’t zoom out which meant getting all four of them in when they were stood on each others shoulders was very difficult indeed (I had to try climbing up and down the seating to get them in shot).
To make matters worse they stood directly under the white light which had been causing me problems all afternoon,
hence the washed out look. The camera and I decided to stick to the low level ‘action’ shots instead.
Then it was time for them to go
With those 3 acts it would have been an awesome event but we had one more ‘act’. Lovely Nancy who narrates and guards the Oracle (a Turkey) in this years performance had been picked as the subject for this years portrait master class.
Damian spent quite a long time setting up his shots, asking for volunteers to hold the lights etc. I volunteered and awesomely got a spot next to Nancy holding a light.
Glad I took my camera with me as I also captured quite a nice headshot as well.
So with the masterclass over all that was left to do was give back my loaned camera (noooooooo) and head for tea and cake (this definitely made the camera loss more bearable).
I did try and negotiate a job so I could stay forever but apparently they are full (or that’s what they told me!)
Massive thank you’s go to Giffords Circus for the fab acts, the fab acts themselves (Tweedy, Bibi and Bichu, The Godfathers and lovely Nancy), Olympus for letting me borrow the beautiful camera, and giving Jam and I tickets in the first place and Damian for all his tips and letting me assist him (thanks also for all the stuff from all of you in our goodie bags). I’ll sign off with our pretty terrible selfie with the circus top (taken on my usual camera).
Hope to see you again soon beautiful circus!
*All photos included in this post were taken with the very beautiful OM-DE-M10 kindly loaned for this event by Olympus. If you are serious about your photography and have £600 to spend on a camera I highly recommend it. Even in my inept hands it was sharp as a pin and very pleasant to shoot with (not heavy like some other DSLR’s I’ve tried). I would have LOVED to have taken it home!