Another year over, a new one just begun

December 30, 2013 by Tony

That’s right, it’s my end of year round up! I am running the risk that nothing significant or amazing will happen to me in the next 24 hours, I know. I’ve trawled through tweets and blogs and reminded myself of the fantastic, crazy things that have happened this year. Here are just some of them, in no particular order.

  • An amazing year of wedding photography. Lots of lovely clients, so many different styles of wedding. Thank you to each and every one of you for asking me to be your wedding photographer.
  • Started my Malawi Mission to help improve healthcare in the UK and Africa. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me so far. You can still donate to it here:
  • A year of celebratory screenings of Doctor Who stories at the BFI in London. As well as the screenings and the panels, it was great to hang out with fellow fans who have now become friends.
  • Helped make an awesome OggCamp happen. This year’s was the biggest and I think the best. So many cool people doing cool things, it was a pleasure to be part of it.
  • The Project Motormouth convention. I had my photo taken with four Doctors!
  • Another glorious season of the Ubuntu Podcast. The live shows continue to be good fun to do and the weekly episodes seem to have gone down well. I can’t believe Alan and I have been doing it for six years.
  • The Sam Shaw Appeal. So many people helped raise an enormous amount of money to get Sam treatment in the US that gives him an increased chance of beating his neuroblastoma. Thank you so much to every one who has contributed.
  • Interviewing lots of lovely people for The Doctor Who Podcast at Big Finish Day 3, and being a guest presenter on two episodes.
  • Being inducted into the legendary Photography Farm, and meeting a great group of fellow photographers. And I got to second shoot for Shell de Mar and Neil Thomas Douglas as a result.
  • Seeing lots of live theatre performances including the Reduced Shakespeare Company, Richard Herring, Mark Thomas, the 39 Steps, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, and Toby Hadoke.
  • Having some of my photographs included on an official BBC DVD documentary about David Burton, the Doctor Who Never Was. And having more photographs published in Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Visiting the the magical island of Spetses for Stuart and Zoe’s wedding.
  • Celebrating my birthday. I know it happens every year, but this year I actually celebrated it. With other people. It was fun. 🙂
  • Having an entire month full of Doctor Who anniversary celebrations: “An Adventure in Space and Time“, “The Day of the Doctor” in 3D with the people who made it, and the official Celebration. (And saw 9 new episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s!)

There are some things I’ve done this year that have been really, really special. But I just can’t tell you about them. Sorry! They really were among the highlights of my year though.

I’ve got a feeling that 2014 will be very special too. Have a great new year….

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    It’s a wonderful life

    December 24, 2013 by Tony

    So, I may have forgotten to write a post yesterday. And I may have forgotten to remember to write one today. I am sure this will have caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth around the intertubes.

    I finished my last task before Christmas earlier today, hand delivering a photobook and disc of images. It’s not always practical to be there as my lovely clients unwrap their goodies, but it’s lovely when I can be. Watching Ted and Hayley look through their photobook with their two very, very lively boys and remembering their wedding day from the summer was wonderful.

    So it’s with a fairly clear conscience that I can put my feet up for a few days, enjoy the company of my family and friends, and wish you all a very merry and magical Christmas. And a new year full of hope and light and excitement.

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      The most wonderful time of the year

      December 17, 2013 by Tony

      As the year draws to a close, so does this sixth season of the Ubuntu Podcast. We always take a break over Christmas and New Year to spend time with our families and recharge our batteries. It really does help maintain our energy and enthusiasm for doing the show.

      We made quite a few changes to the format this year and generally they have gone down well. We moved from fortnightly episodes to a shorter, weekly format. We continued to stream the audio from live episodes, but have also added a video stream, thanks to Popey’s webcam and some insulation tape. We made a concerted effort to bring you more interviews and take more time to discuss news items.

      We did briefly consider putting out an episode on Christmas day, but we’ve decided to round off this year with a double-length show. We’ll be breaking out the mince pies and brandy butter (chocolate mini-rolls for Mark) and maybe even mulling some wine to add the proper festive spirit to our show.

      So join us live at 2030 UTC (that’s also 2030 GMT) tomorrow evening for the last episode of the Ubuntu Podcast for this year, and what we hope will be some festive fun, frolics and felicitations.

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        This is what I’ve already done

        December 9, 2013 by Tony

        This weekend was a double bill of lasts – I photographed my last wedding of the year on Saturday, a fun and intimate day at Hill Place in Swanmore. Then on Sunday I went to the last of the BFI’s 50th anniversary Doctor Who screenings. It was the turn of Matt Smith, his era represented by “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Name of the Doctor”. The episodes are almost bookends on Smith’s tenure, and it’s the first time that we’ve had anything other than a complete story shown at these screenings.

        “The Eleventh Hour” is a perfect introduction to the way that Moffat wants to tell the story of Doctor Who, so different from what preceded it. Smith is full of energy, he goes from zero to sixty in a split second, never walking when he can run. Amelia Pond is an excellent character right from the start, the little girl let down by the Doctor grown into a distrusting woman.

        By the time “The Name of the Doctor” comes around, Amy and Rory are memories and the Doctor travels with Clara, the impossible girl. This episode is full of little moments to excite long term fans and ends with stunning revelation that John Hurt is The Doctor. It was strange watching it so soon after it’s been on TV and I don’t think I got anything new from it, probably the only time it’s happened during this season of screenings.

        Saul Metzstein, Mark Gatiss, Dan Starkey, Steven Moffat at the BFI 50th anniversary screening

        Mark Gatiss showing exactly where certain fans are a pain

        As ever the hosts from the BFI, Dick Fiddy and Justin Johnson, put on a great show. They have become quite the double act over the year, and I was pleased that the crowd have eventually picked up on my cue to “whoop” them when they enter. The day wrapped up with a panel, with director Saul Metzstein, Mark Gatiss, Dan Starkey and Steven Moffat. It was lively, particular when Steven got going on his pet subject of spoilers.

        I’ve been lucky enough to have tickets for all of the BFI 50th anniversary screenings, and “An Adventure in Space and Time” and “The Day of the Doctor” (although sadly work commitments kept me away from a couple of them). (A big thank you to James from the Doctor Who Podcast for getting those early tickets.) The little gang who have met up at the screenings have become friends over the year, and I will miss the opportunity to watch Doctor Who and discuss it with other fans regularly. Doctor Who fans really are very nice people.

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          What makes a wedding more awesome? A raffle.

          December 2, 2013 by Tony

          I’ve just published my write-up of Elly and Rob’s 1940s village fete themed wedding in Winchester over on my wedding website. It was great fun, with a fantastic performance from The Three Belles and a raffle. As anyone who has been to OggCamp will know, I love a raffle. In fact, some of the prizes in the OggCamp raffle this year were inspired by some of Rob’s epic choices for his wedding raffle.

          1940s village fete wedding

          1940s village fete wedding

          1940s village fete wedding

          The Three Belles perform

          I’ve also included a couple of photos from a light-field camera in my write-up. They are low resolution but can be refocussed after capture or even manipulated in 3D (slightly). I’m enjoying figuring out how these photos work best at weddings. You can see a couple of examples below.

          The photo above is from a light field camera: Click the picture to refocus it.

          The photo above is from a light field camera: Click and drag the picture to move it in 3D.

          You can read more about Elly and Rob’s wedding.

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