The Reason Why…

Written by Alan Chun on November 11th, 2014

I saw this gentleman on his way back from the remembrance service in Gateshead. The look on his face showed a kind of sadness only a veteran would feel after spending time remembering the pals he’d lost so long ago.

But when he saw the children his face changed, a knowing smile was allowed to make its way across his face. It made me think, this is why he fought and why others gave their everything, so those children could play freely, so we could all be free.

God bless you sir, you are a true hero and thank you.

This grand veteran fought so he could.....

This grand veteran fought so he could…..

Walk proud and see children play freely...

Walk proud and see children play freely…

Smile to himself knowingly....

Smile to himself knowingly….

And always remember those who gave everything so we could be free.

And always remember those who gave everything so we could be free.

 

 

Remembrance Sunday and Amistice Day 2014

Written by Alan Chun on November 11th, 2014

One set of images from the Remembrance Sunday service at Gateshead cenotaph and one set from the Armistice day service with the Gateshead and Newcastle branch of  the Durham Light Infantry Association.

 

Armistice Day 2014

 

 

New photography workshops off to a good start, despite efforts from weather to ruin things

Written by Alan Chun on July 27th, 2014

The first of my new photography workshops started with the opening night of the Sunderland International Air Show on Friday 25th July 2014.

Arriving to meet my attendees at 5.30 pm in Gateshead and take them to Roker I was disappointed when the announcement came out that all flying had been cancelled for that evening due to the mist. What made it worse was within 15 minutes of that announcement the mist cleared and it was a glorious sunny evening!

Anyway, we didn’t let that spoil our workshop as we walked around the various attractions along the cliff-tops discussing camera settings and focusing techniques. We still had the fireworks to come, even if it was a 3 hour wait, and the weather was now perfect. However about an hour before the fireworks were due to start the air turned a bit chilly and the dreaded mist rolled again.

We made our way down to the beach and set up on the backside of the display. This was because the breeze, and it was only very slight, was blowing so that it would make the smoke move towards the cliffs and mask our view from there. After explaining to everyone how to capture a firework from the moment it launches to when it has fully burst everybody dialled in the relevant settings for their cameras and were good to go.

The display started and the smoke didn’t move away very quickly and, coupled with the mist, made it quite a challenge to capture anything decent. It did however give an ethereal feeling to the images.

At the end of the night we were all pleased with how it went, despite the few setbacks, and loved the pictures created. My “students” thanked me for an intuitive workshop and went away happy and with a bit more knowledge than when they arrived :)

The next workshop is on the Newcastle-Gateshead quayside on Sunday 3rd August starting at 10am. If you would like to come along to any of the workshops and photo-trips please visit my main site to make a booking.

Sunderland Air Show Workshop

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Not Such a Mystery

Written by Alan Chun on July 2nd, 2014

The motor yacht currently moored at Newcastle marina has been causing a bit of a stir among the natives this past few days.

Fuelled by the hype the local rag is spewing out, as there’s no other worth while news, hundreds of people have been flocking to the quayside to get a sneaky peak at the splendid vessel known as “Sovereign”.

The Evening Chronicle has been getting people all in a frenzy by saying it is a mystery who owns the yacht. Well according to official records it’s owned by Fairport Yacht Support – Fort Lauderdale Florida, U.S.A. who charter the vessel out. From when it was built, in 2011, up until 2013 its name was “Harbour Island”.

The mystery is who has chartered it and why they have chosen to come to Newcastle quayside. There is some speculation that it could be Cheryl Cole or Simon Cowell because they were photographed together recently in a local Chinese takeaway from one of Ms Cole’s old haunts. Another name being banded about is Mike Ashley, the “much loved” owner of Newcastle United FC and Sports Direct. I read a post by one person saying “It’s got to be the fat man, he’s doing it to wind us up!”

The yacht is here until Saturday 5th July and no doubt the Chronicle will be full of it until it leaves, unless anything really newsworthy happens such as a pedestrian is crushed under the mountain of seagull s*** that seems to be falling from the Tyne bridge at the moment!

Oh, before I go, is it just me or do the pictures of the interior of the yacht that the Evening Chronicle are displaying in this slideshow on their website look remarkably like they have been lifted from this video? I don’t see any credits for the original photographer, Jim Raycroft and there are no comments allowed on this story, hmmm wonder why?

Click on FS to view full screen

 

Happy St George’s Day

Written by Alan Chun on April 24th, 2014

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge with lighting especially adapted to shine red and white for the day.

Nice to see the local authorities actually marking the occasion without worrying about offending anyone.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge lit up with red and white lights to mark St George’s day

 

The Moon & The Stars (and the International Space Station and Mars)

Written by Alan Chun on April 16th, 2014

I went out onto the coast last night to get shots of the full moon rising over the north sea.

Although I hadn’t checked to see if anything interesting was happening in the skies I was lucky enough to be in exactly the right place at the right time.
The ISS (International Space Station) came across and was visible northern England at the same time as I was taking a shot of the moon and Mars! Bonus! :o

The Moon, Mars and ISS

The Moon, Mars and ISS (International Space Station)

Oh, by the way, that’s a ship sailing on the horizon!

A couple of other shots from the night…..

 

Red Moon Rising

Red Moon Rising – No need for a lunar eclipse to get a red moon

 

Souter Lighthouse, the Moon and Mars

Souter Lighthouse, the Moon and Mars`

 

No more Bonnie Lads and Bonnie Lasses

Written by Alan Chun on April 11th, 2014

Today is our Peter’s last day on duty at the entrance to Gateshead Civic Centre. He’s hanging up his, eerm, hat!?!

Peter is hanging up his, eeermmm, hat!

Peter is hanging up his, eerm, hat!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has been the welcoming face of the council for about 4 years now with his “Good morning Bonnie Lad or Bonnie Lass” greeting and no matter what, he has ALWAYS had a cheery disposition and a very warm welcome to visitors. It has been a real pleasure to have met him, a true gentleman.

I remember when he and his colleague first started and everybody suddenly found themselves being cheered up on their way in to start their working week on a Monday morning, it was a strange feeling.

Back in 2010 when people were greeted with a big smile

Back in 2010 when people were first greeted with a big smile and a warm welcome

Christmas will never be the same without Peter’s fantastic choice of headwear in the run up to the holidays

Xmas Hats

Xmas Hats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked Peter what his plans were, if he was going to look for something new and he told me…

“Well bonnie lad, I don’t think I will, I’m 66, 67 this year, so no, I’m just going to enjoy my retirement”

No doubt with a few extra rounds of golf :)

Well “Bonnie Lad” it’s been a real pleasure and I hope the sun always shines on your fairway and the green always rolls in your favour. I hope you find joy and happiness in whatever it is you do end up doing with your time and we all wish you all the very best, you will be missed greatly on a morning, enjoy the cupcakes and your retirement :)

Farewell "Bonnie Lad"

Farewell “Bonnie Lad”

 

Papa Ganoush Middle Eastern Street Food

Written by Alan Chun on March 19th, 2014

While on one of my regular trips along Newcastle quayside during the Sunday market I just had to stop and get some shots of the Papa Ganoush stall.

Market regulars will need no introduction as this stall is one of the most popular out of all the savoury food stalls.

The aromas as you stand and watch, with mouth watering, the Lebanese Chicken and the Merguez Lamb Kofte cook on the griddles take you far away to a Kazbah somewhere in Tangiers.

If you haven’t yet experienced the delicious flavours of this Middle Eastern Street Food vendor I highly recommend you do on your next visit, you wont be disappointed.

Oh and before I forget, make sure you ask for one of their delightful Middle Eastern takes on a Scotch Egg!

Make sure you like their Facebook page

Their website can be found here

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Aurora Borealis February 27th 2014

Written by Alan Chun on February 28th, 2014

Despite a few clouds rolling in we did manage to get a couple of shots as it all subsided. It was like Piccadilly Circus at St Mary’s, there were more cars and people than on a summers day!!!

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora Borealis at Whitley Bay, UK

 

Abridged version of client video as a taster

Written by Alan Chun on February 20th, 2014

Abridged Version Client Video