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These are the occasional musings of TGS snapper and founder Gavin Ellis, bringing you the very latest happenings at TGS and other photo-tastic news! Stay fully informed by subscribing to Gav's Blog by e-mail.

Gav's Blog

Gavin Ellis

TGSPhoto's founder, Gavin Ellis, is a member of the Sports Journalists' Association and the BPPA. Gavin also holds a UK Press Card, AIPS Card, Premier League ID Card and an enhanced CRB check via the Football Association.

TGS Previous Posts

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'The Entertainer' wins Prizefighter
Some More Winners...
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A Winner, a Wave and a Wide One
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Calling all Hackney & Leyton League Players and Of...

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TGS Blog - Gavin Ellis
Route 66 Blog - Peter Butcher
A Picture's Worth - PhotoShelter
The Edge Photography - Scott Johnson
Asia Images - John Lander
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Adventure4ever - Frits Meyst
Singular Scenes - Wenata Babkowski
Pattinson Photography
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Wednesday, 31 March 2010 » My Favourite Things »

"When the snow falls,
When the wind stings,
When I'm feeling soggy,
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so lousy!"

So, using my very poor product photography skills and in no particular order, here's an illustrated list of my current top 10 fave items...

1. The Pelican 1514 Case (aka the 1510 case with dividers)

This wonderful box not only protects my gear in transit and is fully waterproof, but also acts as a handy seat when I'm covering sporting events. Yep, the wheels seem to have been designed by The Flintstones but I wouldn't be parted from my Peli!...

More info: http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1510

2. The Gitzo 1588 Monopod

Long glass needs a sturdy support and the Gitzo 1588 'pod does the job. With a hefty girth and all the benefits of carbon fibre construction, a heavy lens sits sweetly and steadily atop this pole...

More info: http://www.gitzo.com/cms/site/gitzo/cache/offonce/home/products/monopods

3. The Think Tank Hydrophobia 300-600 Rain Cover

It's been one of the wettest periods I can remember and my Think Tank Hydrophobia has seen unrelenting action! I used to swear by Aquatech covers but the Think Tank is far, far easier to deploy in a hurry and just as protective.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this beautifully designed rain cover to any snappers who want to keep their sensitive bits from getty soggy...

More info: http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/hydrophobia-300-600-rain-cover.aspx

4. The Op/Tech Pro Camera Strap

Straps can be a pain. They get tangled up when you least want them to. They cut into your neck when you're carrying a heavy camera and lens. They slip off your shoulder when you don't want them to.

The Op/Tech strap solves most if not all of these problems. You can simply take off the padded shoulder part of the strap and leave it in your bag so you don't have to contest with a long dangly bit. The soft neoprene padding seems to take a few ounces off of the load and the nobbly bits underneath add some grip to reduce slippage...

More info: http://www.optechusa.com/product/detail/?PRODUCT_ID=23&PRODUCT_SUB_ID=&CATEGORY_ID=4

5. The Ansmann Energy 16 Battery Charger

Rechargeable AA batteries are a staple fodder for those of us that use a fair bit of on-camera flash. Charging them four at a time is in the past! The Ansmann refreshes and recharges no less than twelve in one go and lights up like a Christmas tree while doing so! Peachy...

More info: http://www.tantronics.co.uk/acatalog/Ansmann_Energy_16.html

6. The Apple MacBook Black

I used to be a bit of a PC man but I suffered with far too many problems when working 'live' in the field. Along came the jolly old 13" MacBook...

More info: http://www.apple.com/uk/macbook/

7. The Griff Gear Laptop Screen Shade

It folds flat and it slips neatly into the gadget bag. Then, when you're editing and wiring, it pops up, slips on and keeps the nasty sun from spoiling your view of the laptop screen. Hand-made by a nice bloke from down-under and totally indispensable...

More info: http://www.griffgear.com/pages/screenshades.htm

8. The Apple iPhone

I've never been a big fan of mobile phones. Annoying things really. Sadly, I am now addicted to the iPhone. Not so much for making phone calls, but for the internet access and the weather apps...

More info: http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/

9. The Camera Bits Photo Mechanic Software Application

This is the best piece of software ever created. Simple as. It streamlines the workflow on location and automates many of the mundane captioning tasks. Jubbly...

More info: http://www.camerabits.com/site/

10. The PhotoShelter Online Image Archive

For Photoshelter, please refer to my earlier blog post: Archive or Schmarchive. It's crucial...

More info: http://www.photoshelter.com/index/c

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TGS Blog articles are copyright Gavin Ellis. All the images seen on this site are copyright TGSPhoto. No images may be reproduced without prior permission. All rights reserved. Contact us for image licensing details.

posted by TGSPhoto at 1 Comments Links to this post

Friday, 19 March 2010 » Lakeside Hammers Press & Practice! »

Rob and I spent a most enjoyable afternoon at the Arena Essex raceway on Wednesday for the Lakeside Hammers official Press & Practice Session.

It was great to see the whole team assembled in their new kevlars, complete with Royal Navy sponsorship for the 2010 season. The boys posed for team and individual pictures and also took to the track for some vital practice laps prior to tonight's first home meeting against the Ipswich Witches. Speedway is back and the TGS team is ready for tapes up!

Here's a slideshow of Wednesday's images:

Also, it's particularly peachy to see that the Hammers feature prominently on the front cover of this week's Speedway Star magazine after announcing the prestigious sponsorship deal with the Royal Navy.

"Sponsorship deals of this calibre are a rare entity in British Speedway, but this will pave a way forward for all speedway clubs in the UK," said Hammers owner, Stuart Douglas.

"If a brand as magnificent as The Royal Navy can exhibit this kind of confidence in us, then it is demonstrable evidence of the marketability of our sport. I hope this will provide inspiration for us all."

...and here's the slideshow from the exclusive HMS Kent shoot:

Read more about the Lakeside Hammers' preparations for the new campaign HERE.

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TGS Blog articles are copyright Gavin Ellis. All the images seen on this site are copyright TGSPhoto. No images may be reproduced without prior permission. All rights reserved. Contact us for image licensing details.

posted by TGSPhoto at 0 Comments Links to this post

Friday, 12 March 2010 » Coming up... »

A few highlights from our planned coverage over the next couple of weeks...

Sunday, 14th March - Arsenal Ladies vs FCR 2001 Duisburg. The Gunners are 2-1 down from the first-leg of the Women's Champions League Quarter-Final so this looks set to be a real humdinger.

Wednesday, 17th March - Lakeside Hammers riders take to the Arena Essex track for pre-season practice after some team and individual photos.

Friday, 19th March - The Lakeside Hammers speedway season gets underway with the visit of Ipswich Witches for the first installment of a two-legged challenge. Shale-tastic!

Thursday, 25th March - The England women's team continue their FIFA 2011 World Cup qualifying campaign with a home game against Austria. Loftus Road is the venue for this vital international fixture.

Monday, 29th March - TGS heads to Dagenham & Redbridge FC for the final of the Essex Senior Cup. AFC Hornchurch and Colchester United will lock horns for the coveted county trophy.

Wednesday, 31st March - Cricket is back and the long lens will make an appearance at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford for Essex CCC's home friendly against Worcestershire. Hopefully the rain will stay away!

Here's a provisional list of what else in store...

13-03-10 - Chelsea vs West Ham United
13-03-10 - Dagenham & Redbridge vs Rotherham United
13-03-10 - Millwall vs Charlton Athletic
13-03-10 - Doncaster Rovers vs Derby County
13-03-10 - Leyton Orient vs Walsall
13-03-10 - Thurrock HC 3rd XI vs Romford HC 3rd XI
13-03-10 - AFC Hornchurch vs Horsham
14-03-10 - Hackney & Leyton League
14-03-10 - Arsenal Ladies vs FCR 2001 Duisburg
16-03-10 - Romford vs Great Wakering Rovers
16-03-10 - Lincoln City vs Dagenham & Redbridge
17-03-10 - Lakeside Hammers Press Day
19-03-10 - Lakeside Hammers vs Ipswich Witches
20-03-10 - Dagenham & Redbridge vs Macclesfield Town
20-03-10 - Arsenal vs West Ham United
20-03-10 - Havering HC vs Ipswich HC
20-03-10 - Upminster RFC vs Dagenham RFC
21-03-10 - Hackney & Leyton League
21-03-10 - Boxing York Hall
21-03-10 - Blackburn Rovers vs Chelsea
22-03-10 - Wolverhampton Wolves vs Lakeside Hammers
23-03-10 - Romford vs Enfield Town
23-03-10 - West Ham United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
24-03-10 - Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham
24-03-10 - Blackburn Rovers vs Birmingham City
25-03-10 - England Women vs Austria
26-03-10 - Boxing Goresbrook Leisure Centre
26-03-10 - Lakeside Hammers vs Wolverhampton Wolves
27-03-10 - West Ham United vs Stoke City
27-03-10 - Bradford City vs Dagenham & Redbridge
28-03-10 - Hackney & Leyton League
28-03-10 - Carlisle United vs Southampton
28-03-10 - Burnley vs Blackburn Rovers
29-03-10 - AFC Hornchurch vs Colchester United
31-03-10 - Essex CCC vs Worcestershire CCC
01-04-10 - Essex CCC vs Worcestershire CCC
01-04-10 - England Women vs Spain
02-04-10 - Lakeside Hammers vs Eastbourne Eagles
02-04-10 - Eastbourne Eagles vs Lakeside Hammers

All this and much more at http://tgsphoto.co.uk.

TGS Blog articles are copyright Gavin Ellis. All the images seen on this site are copyright TGSPhoto. No images may be reproduced without prior permission. All rights reserved. Contact us for image licensing details.

posted by TGSPhoto at 0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, 11 March 2010 » PhotoShelter Discount »

TGS uses PhotoShelter to handle online sales, high resolution file distribution, Search Engine Optimisation, image archiving, gallery organisation, website customization and a whole lot more.

PhotoShelter is a great way to attract new customers, show your images professionally and do business with your clients online. Various subscription plans are available to fit a wide range of needs and pockets.

CLICK HERE to save money on sign-up. TGS gets an account credit too so it's a win-win situation!

Your discount code is: TG3PH9XN84

From the PhotoShelter Site: UK Sports & Editorial Photographer Gavin Ellis of TGS Photo says "PhotoShelter is the power behind the TGS web presence and my subscription consistently proves to be the best money I spend every month."

For the full guided tour of PhotoShelter, click on this here linkety-link: http://www.photoshelter.com/tour

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TGS Blog articles are copyright Gavin Ellis. All the images seen on this site are copyright TGSPhoto. No images may be reproduced without prior permission. All rights reserved. Contact us for image licensing details.

posted by TGSPhoto at 0 Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, 3 March 2010 » Archive or Schmarchive? »

Folk often ask me what is the point of maintaining a large archive of images. Why don't I just keep the most recent stuff and consign the older piccies to the recycle bin? All that selecting, editing, captioning, organising and uploading must be a real pain in the posterior. Surely it's a pointless exercise?

My answer is always the same:

"Thar's value in them thar photos!"

Latent value. Just waiting to be released.

PhotoShelter is the power behind the TGS web presence and my subscription consistently proves to be the best money I spend every month. Furthermore, PhotoShelter plays a fundamental and crucial role in enabling me to make sales to clients.

I see a regular churn of stock downloads but, from time to time, some more notable usages pop up that make me even more motivated to maintain 'that thar' archive.

With the help of Hackney & Leyton Sunday League Press Officer, Tom McEvoy, I became involved with "Love Equals Football" earlier this year. Puma and Sky had teamed up to launch a Sunday League football promotion and were seeking some images to kick-start their campaign. Tom pointed them in the direction of the TGS repository and, fortunately, they were pleased with what they found lurking in the dusty depths of the PhotoShelter galleries.

As most of my work is in the editorial field, model releases were going to be an 'interesting' challenge. However, the benefits of spending every Sunday morning on the Marshes soon became clear. Four images were selected and a combination of goodwill and good contacts made it possible to secure the vital releases. These pics had not previously seen the light of day in published form.

So, here they are, both in their original form and as seen in the current (March) edition of Four Four Two magazine. You may also encounter them on the web and in some related TV advertising.

1. This frame was taken on the East Marsh of Hackney Marshes way back on Sunday, 13th May 2007. Lapton FC players celebrate a vital goal in an end of season play-off game for the title against Santos...

...and here it is in the magazine version...

2. This pic is unique in the sense that I didn't even leave the car to take it! The morning of Sunday, 4th February 2007 was cold and foggy. Conditions were so bad that I decided to stay in the comfort of the vehicle until the last possible moment before commencing my match coverage. I'd just assembled my gear on the passenger seat when I spotted a London Aprilia player walking across the East Marsh, wheeling his bike and chatting on his mobile. It was one of those 'must-snap' moments...

...and here's how it looks in the mag...

3. I can't say that I'm often in pain when taking a pic, but this image saw me suffer (a bit) for my art. Hailstones fell on the South Marsh on Sunday, 22nd November 2009. Chunky, rock-hard hailstones in a near gale-force wind slamming against the back of my head. Many players ran for cover but these guys tried to take shelter under a brolley which was being shredded by the wind and icy downpour...

...and here's how the pic was finally used...

4. Those Lapton boys again. Rather different weather conditions this time round on the South Marsh! It was Sunday, 11th May 2008 and pleasantly warm and sunny. Lapton had won the League and were well up for an end of season celebration image...

...resulting in this magazine version...

As I mentioned above, PhotoShelter provides the hosting for TGS's image library. Without this fantastic facility, I would struggle to maintain the ever-burgeoning archive (now at 70,000+ pics). Then there's the excellent fotoQuote pricing module (that's built into PhotoShelter folks!) which enabled me to price up this particular usage quickly and professionally.

PhotoShelter also made it possible for the Sky and Puma creatives to search the archive, download preview images and create collaborative lightboxes. A really big thumbs up to PS! Nice work guys. Also, a massive thank you to Sky and Puma for their passion and interest in the work of TGS.

It certainly ain't no schmarchive!

Clickety-clicks: PhotoShelter, TGS Hackney & Leyton League Pics and the TGS Sunday Football Archive.

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TGS Blog articles are copyright Gavin Ellis. All the images seen on this site are copyright TGSPhoto. No images may be reproduced without prior permission. All rights reserved. Contact us for image licensing details.

posted by TGSPhoto at 2 Comments Links to this post

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