Shaun Pell Photography Blog

Wedding of Fiona and Bunt

The Wedding of Fiona and Bunt Jordan at the Eden House Hotel Fiona bouquet2 web It was an absolute pleasure to provide the Wedding Photography to Fiona and Bunt at the Eden House Hotel in Grantham, Lincolnshire in the heart of the East-Midlands. It was first time I had shot at this venue and a lovely sunny day with gorgeous light streaming through the large windows meant I could stick to my preferred available light work. Really  lovely to see a couple so excited and enjoying their big day in a relaxed and fun way, although a little dutch courage still came in handy as the bride was prepped to go in!   Fiona getting ready web2 Guests waiting 1 webThe photography was covered in my usual reportage style, providing a mix of monochrome and colour images at the brides request. This image to left sums up the relaxed and happy (but excited!) atmosphere as guests waited for the bride to arrive.     bridesmaid 1 web      I love this ethereal portrait which is really made by the light streaming through the large windows as  the youngest bridesmaid dreamily played in the foyer  
best man 1 web

Now where did I put that ring?

All of the guests were happy and smiling throughout which made my job all the easier to come up with a set of images which would best  reflect the feel of the day.   Although generally relaxed, of course the groom was still nervous as he waited for the bride alongside his best man....waiting 1 web
The kiss 1 web

The kiss! Married at last and ready to walk back down the Aisle as Mr and Mrs Jordan!

hitched 1 web

We're hitched!

Overall a wonderful day was had by all involved. When the couple are this relaxed and happy it really translates to the feel of great set of images.
Dance 1 web

First dance for a wonderful couple  

Wedding Photography for Karen and Steve

139 guest book 1 It was a pleasure to do the Wedding  photography recently with  Karen and Steve at the White Hart Hotel in beautiful Lincoln. 6 Steve buttonhole 1   27 Steve and Reg waiting 1 - Copy   It was an amazing day and such a privilege to be asked to do the Wedding Photography for a couple who looked so happy to be tying the knot!         22 Karen and Dad 22getting ready 1 - Copy                  44 Exchanging rings 1   I used my usual reportage style, staying out of the way and just letting the day flow with a minimum of group shots.   56 Congratulations! 129 miusicians 4     62 confetti A relaxed and happy day for all, and such a happy couple! 113 happy couple 5

Baby shoot with Teddy Merlin

It was a pleasure to do this baby portrait shoot with Teddy-Merlin recently, a really handsome lad  with the most gorgeous blue eyes! Teddy 2 (black and white sepia) web Teddy 10 (1 of 1) web Teddy Merlin was such a perky chap! So alert and responsive to the camera, a real professional portrait sitter!Teddy 11 (1 of 1) web Teddy 15 (1 of 1) web

Love film?

Matty-Retro-portrait film    Film?   Admit it, a lot of us photographers still love film, remember those halcyon days when we just took a camera out, exposed a roll of Kodachrome or Fujichrome, sent it off and then waited with anticipation for the results to come back? Fair, enough, those results weren't always what we expected, and from every film undoubtedly there  would be quite e few frames that were binned straight away. But the look of those slides, they were real. No painstaking editing or waiting for the hard drive to wake up. They were tangible, real images, not just photons on a screen. I'll return a moment to the look, it's a look which we often unconsciously still emulate when we edit digital images. That 'Velvia' saturated look for landscapes or the cool neutral tones of Ektachrome for portraits. The image above, though digital, was edited for a cool flat look. I realised afterwards that the look I'd been after was just like the old Kodachrome 200, although I'd gone for that unconsciously. We are still influenced by film, just as electronic music is influenced by the analogue instruments of the past. Long may film and film photography continue. Without it, we lose our roots.

Why the Nikon FM2 is still my favourite camera and why GAS can destroy your creativity

Back in the day, I used Olympus film cameras. Specifically a pair of OM2's, coupled with a small selection of nice sharp prime lenses. This set up lasted me quite a few years and helped me tackle a varied body of work including landscapes, street photography, even a couple of weddings. The Olympus OM system was a masterpiece of miniaturisation, pairing tough but diminitive SLR bodies with crisp top quality Zuiko optics....but I still wanted a Nikon ( that's pronounced NICK-ON by the way, definitely not NIKE-ON ) I so NEEDED a Nikon, I hankered for an F3 with MD4 motordrive, an F4 or even better the big and bulky (but hence more pro looking) F4E. I think I equated pro photography with high end gear and the Nikon, at least to my mind, was the pinnacle of 35mm system cameras. They were cool too, Clint Eastwood's character in 'The Bridges of Madison County' used a Nikon. The crazy photographer in 'Apocalypse Now' used one, and Don McCullin, perhaps the worlds best known war photographer, he used used one too. I HAD to have one. So I sold my (more than adequate) Olympus gear and traded up to the best that I could afford at the time. A Canon Eos 100. What? You say? Yep, I wanted a Nikon but I bought a Canon. This too, was a more than adequate camera, light weight, nice quick and silent autofocus, and decent image quality..... But it wasn't a Nikon. I contented myself with being a Canon user, I fed my GAS ( yes, I recognise it now for what it was, it didn't have a name back then!) with lenses and accessories, and I was happy and at peace with myself....well, of course I wasn't, I still NEEDED the Nikon. The nagging self doubt  remained. If I had a Nikon, especially a 'top end' model with a machine gun motordrive, I'd be a better photographer. I pored over magazine articles, got myself in a lather over specs in brochures and pressed my nose against camera shop windows.  Then it happened, a few months later a used but mint Nikon F90X with 28-70mm Nikkor lens and (oh joy) MB10 grip appeared in my local dealers.(no pun intended but we are talking about GAS and it IS an addiction)  I had to have it. I walked into the shop and with shaking voice asked if they'd take my current gear as trade in. They said they would, and so I did, and finally the shiny Nikon was mine...MINE!! I took my shiny (nearly) new Nikon home, put in a film (Fuji Velvia of course) and took a walk in my local park. I made  a few photographs, specifically  natural history studies , bits of fallen trees, fungi etc and after a few pleasant hours the film was done. I took it out of the camera and posted it off.....then I waited for my masterpieces to be returned. A few days later the slides were processed and back in my possession. I hurriedly set up my lightbox and loop and set to editing my work.... what a load of utter crap. Poor exposures, soft images, hurried sloppy compositions, what was wrong? Was it the camera? No it couldn't be, it was a Nikon, I must have had a bad day I thought. I persevered; another film, another batch of disapointing images. I was certain I'd been cursed. It was my punishment for hankering after something that I didn't really need. The reality was, I'd seriously hampered my creativity by focusing on the camera body , make, model etc rather than the far more important lenses and the creative options that they give you. I'd chopped in two OM system bodies, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 135mm primes along with a good 65-200mm zoom, flashguns, grips,leads and accessories and lost money against one Canon Eos 100 with 28-105mm and 70-210mm lenses. Then I'd lost money again trading in that camera and lenses against the F90X with just a 28-70mm zoom. In the space of a few months I'd cut my creative options effectively in half. I now had no money left for a flashgun, wide angle lens or telephoto. What's more, the ease of autofocus, zoom lenses and motordriven photography hadn't  improved my image making, it had actually made it worse. Much worse. Over the course of the next few weeks, I set about cross examining my new images with the older ones, it was obvious that as soon as the Olympus's had gone, my photography had generally took a nose dive. Those old manual prime lenses, and the measured approach they required were a fundamental part of my image making process. I thought more about what I was photographing back then and the time taken during the process showed in the images. Slowly, and as funds allowed, I got my photo-mojo back. I ditched the 28-70mm and invested in better quality primes (and some zooms I have to admit) I went back to  manually focusing whenever practical, using my legs to zoom and my intuition to judge exposure. My photography improved, but  there was no miracle 'Nikon' factor. I had realised it was me and not the camera. I still use Nikon cameras now, albeit digital, and they give great results (or I do, I'm not sure which sometimes) but my favourite camera to use is my Nikon FM2 with 50mm lens. Manual exposure, manual focus, manual film wind and a visceral feeling of connection with the subject unhindered by 'autoeverything'. Sure, when I get a film back some of the prints aren't great but invariably I'm happy with one or two, and I can be sure that they are my work not the result of an algorithm. The end result, and what I'm really getting at, is that my FM2 is an indulgence, it's a throwback to a bygone era, but one that still has  relevance today.  It shows me that photography is about 'crafting' the subject, about making an image not just 'taking' a photograph and no amount of gear can help you with that. It all comes down to you. (I'd still take a gold plated FM3 though 😉 Goodnight.