Portrait Of Heston Blumenthal

Today I was photographing The Princes Countryside Fund charity clay pigeon shoot at West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire. One of the ambassadors of the fund is Heston Blumenthal, a cookery legend.

I asked Heston if I could do a few portraits of him before we went into the house for lunch and he obliged giving me a couple of minutes. I spotted a small archway on the West Wycombe Estate where the light was great and did a few half length pictures of him, then I spotted this magnificent statue and asked him if I could photograph him underneath it. ‘Of course’ came the reply. Here’s the picture!

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I will soon finish the rest of the pictures from today and will post a few on here soon.

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Lake District Hill Farmers

I’m finally back on the ground after shooting several projects for the Princes Countryside Fund over the last few months, Biomass fuel projects, portrait sessions, booking weddings for 2013 and 2014, photographing jewellery for a client, and now tonight a Christmas party to photograph in a 14th Century barn.

Now the dust is settling and we are just about ready for Christmas it’s nice to be able to sit down and reflect on some of the work I have done over the last few months, I will continue to blog about my Princes Countryside Fund projects as they were most interesting and something I would like to share with my viewers.

After my trip to the North Yorkshire moors I travelled to the Lake District to photograph two more farming apprentices in the hills who are sponsored through the The Farmer Network. It was damp and miserable but that’s what these lads have to put up with day after day, it’s a hard life but also most rewarding I would imagine.

Here are just a few of my favourite images…

FarmapprenticeLake District Sheep FarmingSheep Lake DistrictHill Farming Cumbria

Hill Farming Apprentices, North Yorkshire Moors

I had 3 projects to shoot ‘Up North’ (of Oxfordshire) so decided to organise and photograph all three in one trip. I arranged to photograph the Yorkshire Moors Agricultural Apprentice Scheme one day, then a similar project on the following day in the Lake District followed by a community bus project in Shropshire on my way home. So please keep a look out for the future projects!

This project was a feast for the photographer, travelling around the dales and moorland was stunning and a real privilege to photograph with plenty of colour left on the trees. The farmers and apprentices were most accommodating to my suggestions and I am delighted with the results.

The Princes Countryside Fund will enable full-time apprentices to work on the farms of the 9 group members and receive training in partnership with Askham Bryan College. The project will not only increase the labour supply on upland farms but ensure there are future generations of hill farmers to manage and maintain the environment of the North York Moors.

Here are just a few of my favorite pictures…..!

 

Community Pub Project for Princes Countryside Fund

For all those followers out there, apologies for the lack of posts but I’ve been too busy to blog recently. I decided to get as much photography done in October and early November whilst there was some good colour on the trees and the weather was reasonable. Wow, what a great decision to have made with this terrible weather we are having at the moment. I have now shot all of my Princes Countryside Fund projects for this year and just need to work on the images which I hope to complete within a couple of weeks.

Here are some of my pictures from the White Horse Community Pub in rural Norfolk. The pub closed a few years ago and the residents of the village feared it would be bought by developers and made into housing. With help from The Princes Countryside Fund along with other funding the residents managed to save the pub for the benefit of the community. To find out more about the project please click here.

The pub is open and trading but there are a lot of exciting new developments happening as and when funding allow to include a local shop, micro-brewery and learning facilities.

Here are some of my favorite images of the buildings in need of development along with some of the pub, the people of the village enjoying a drink and stake holders receiving their share certificates. There are also a few ghosts and ghouls lurking as I visited during Halloween so be prepared!

 

 

The Farming Life Centre, Blackwell – photographed for the Prince’s Countryside Fund

Earlier this week I was up early and heading up north to Bakewell, not for a tart but to meet a gentleman who works for The Farming Life Centre to photograph him and the work he does for the Prince’s Countryside Fund. We arranged to meet at Bakewell cattle market to take some photographs there before moving on to a nearby farm. Jonathan met me and after a brew and a chat in the canteen I set to work taking some pictures around the cattle market. Jonathan’s role is to help farmers in need of assistance in the local area, this can be anything from computer problems to livestock management.

Jonathan is the gent in the middle at the top of this compilation of images.

On an interesting note, the farmer holding his arm out above is holding a one pound coin. This is called luck money and he is the seller of the sheep currently being auctioned and  will give this money to the winning bidder of his sheep once the hammer goes down. So, anyone who wins 20 lots of sheep at auction will also walk away with £20 for a few well deserved pints down the local that night!

After the auction we headed up to a nearby farm who Jonathan works with.  After meeting the lady from the farm I got taken around meeting some of the animals and workers, one who was fixing an old tractor (worker not animal!) A perfect photo opportunity, I thought, so we wheeled the tractor forward a bit to get some light on it and I did some nice portraits of the chaps with the tractor. Here are some of my favourite images from the shoot on the farm.

Finally we arrived  at The Farming Life Centre for a well deserved cuppa and a massive cookie in the 1950’s style kitchen with manager Julia Cook. The reason for the 1950’s style kitchen is the centre holds social groups for retired farmers in the area and having old objects around helps them to reminisce about the good old days. After a few pictures around the courtyard of the staff and I  headed back home. Well, nearly, I just had to pop over the yard and have a chat with the resident Blacksmith for a few pictures….. (to follow soon)

To find out more about this brilliant organisation please visit The Farming Life Centre by clicking here.

‘Did I have a Bakewell Tart’ you ask? Drive 300 miles and not try a Bakewell? What do you think? 🙂

Official Photographer For The Prince’s Countryside Fund

I am thrilled to have been asked to be the Official Photographer for The Prince’s Countryside Fund after doing some work for them earlier this year. I will now be photographing the projects they have funded all over the UK and look forward to a long and successful working relationship with them.

I will be starting on the projects very soon so please keep a look out on http://www.marklordphotography.me for projects I have worked on. There are many interesting projects from upland farmers on the Yorkshire Moors, hedge laying on Exmoor, community pub on the Norfolk Broads and a project on saving the Hampshire Hog in the New Forest to name a few.

Rural life and its people has always been a big part of my life and much of the inspiration for my photography so you could say I’m like a pig in mud to be offered this work!

To find out more about The Prince’s Countryside Fund and the worthwhile projects they have helped please click here.

A post would not be the same without a picture so I found this in my archives of some pigs in mud!