Outdoor portrait shoot with Helen Stephens

Woman in black dress

I have been shooting landscapes and cities for many years, along with photos for Romsey Abbey and its choir. One dimension of photography I haven’t properly explored until now, however, is portraiture. With my diary a little clearer after a hectic few months, I decided it was time to get some experience and arranged with Helen Stephens, a Southampton-based model, to shoot for an hour outside the Guildhall. My wife, Rachel, came along to hold a reflector and flash for me.

Helen wore her beige overcoat for the first few shots. It complemented the sandstone pillars very well.

Woman in overcoat and black dress

Continue reading →

Fog and the three Cunard Queens

On 10 May three Cunard liners returned to Southampton from round-the-world voyages and set off again that afternoon on shorter cruises. I took my camera to Calshot Castle, at the far end of Southampton Water, to watch them sail past.

First up, however, was the Celebrity Eclipse:

Celebrity Eclipse steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle.
Celebrity Eclipse steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle.

Quite a crowd gathered, as you can see:

Then, to my consternation, a bank of fog rolled in just as the Queen Elizabeth approached:

Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.
Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.

In fact, the fog intensified the atmosphere. Next came Queen Victoria looming out of the mist:

Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.
Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.

In fact, the fog intensified the atmosphere:

Bystanders at Calshot Castle watching three Cunard Liners set saail
Bystanders at Calshot Castle watching three Cunard Liners set saail

Next came Queen Victoria looming out of the mist resembling the alien spaceship taking up position over New York in Independence Day:

Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.
Queen Elizabeth steaming down Southampton Water past Calshot Castle in fog.

There were some tantalising bursts of sunshine:

Bystanders at Calshot Castle watch as Queen Victoria disappears into sea fog on Southampton Water.
Bystanders at Calshot Castle watch as Queen Victoria disappears into sea fog on Southampton Water.

Finally, Queen Mary 2 emerged through the mist:

Queen Mary 2 emerges from fog on Southampton Water as she passes Calshot Castle.
Queen Mary 2 emerges from fog on Southampton Water as she passes Calshot Castle.

And this time, the fog parted:

Queen Mary 2 passes the Red Jet Isle of Wight fast ferry on Southampton Water, near Calshot Castle.
Queen Mary 2 passes the Red Jet Isle of Wight fast ferry on Southampton Water, near Calshot Castle.

As a parting shot, here’s she is with Queen Victoria in the distance, just about to disappear behind her bows:

Queen Mary 2 trails her sister ship Queen Victoria out of Southampton Water.
Queen Mary 2 trails her sister ship Queen Victoria out of Southampton Water.

It was quite a show. The Cunard cruise fleet might not be the largest , either in number or size of vessel, yet it remains the most aristocratic.