Lake District & Broadoaks Wedding Photographer

5-Pint beer challenge

5-Pint beer challenge

Being a Barnsley Wedding Photographer and even running Lake District Landscape Photography Courses & Holidays can be a surprisingly lonely way to work. Of course on a course there are several others, and on a photography holiday you can be together for several days, even a week at a time. As much fun as such events are, they are generally not ‘friends’ as such and for the most part as a Wedding Photographer you work alone. So what can a photographer do for a social gathering of like-minded souls ???

Introduce beer of course !!!

I’ve posted before about the need to keep fresh, ‘see’ differently and to really know your camera gear inside out, and just how effective it can be to create mini challenges as a means of doing all of that

So I came up with the idea of getting a few fellow photographers together for a day of photography challenges and involving beer at the same time – here’s how it worked…

9 of us met at the Wetherspoons pub attached to Leeds Railway Station to down our 1st pint of the day, during this meeting we drew randomly from a bag containing 26 varied themes

Once drawn, we then had 45 minutes to shoot to that theme while making our way to the next pub to repeat the process 5 times. For an added ‘twist’ to the challenge each photographer could ONLY shoot with one camera, one focal length and one aperture setting all of which had to be chosen prior to shooting anything

I chose to shoot on my D7200 with an 85mm f1.8 lens and at f2.2

The technique is simple enough – shoot the first thing you can find, however obvious, that is on-theme and then see if you can find a more creative way of shooting until time has run out

Our randomly chosen themes, in order, were…

Faith, Construction, Shadows, Music and Texture

At the end of the day each photographer could edit their images any way their liked (but composites were not allowed), and then choose just one to email to me for me to create a Facebook Group and set of galleries to showcase what we shot and then to open any discussion about how we shot & why we shot what we shot

Here’s what I chose as my best on-theme images, followed by the others I also shot to those themes but didn’t choose as my ‘best’

If you’d like to come on another challenge sometime just let me know here – CONTACT ME



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To me, this Buddha-like character had an instant appeal

Its shot through an open doorway and the blurry bit on the left is the deliberate use of a lampost to hide some other annoying or distracting bits

I kinda found it amusing that ‘faith’ could be bought so cheaply too


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As an ever-changing city Leeds has a LOT of building work going on at any one time. For me, a crane is the perfect symbol of construction but of course I couldn’t just shoot it straight on, that’d be boring

As I also love reflections I chose to shoot it as one in this window, and process the image in a minimalist way to show pretty much only the crane and window-frame


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As we sat in the pub and drew this Theme the light outside was flat as a fart !!!

But as I’m a ‘Weather God’ as soon as we stepped outside the Sun broke through and created harsh shadows for the next 40 mins – perfect !!! lol

As you’ll see below I shot quite a range of shadow shots, but I again love the minimalist feel of this one, deliberately processed with lots of contrast to emphasis the shadow


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With all the buskers in Leeds this one was an ‘easy’ one to shoot, and again you can see below how this theme panned out for me

In passing a pub that promoted live music I saw the partly open doorway and Sid staring out at me as a painting on the interior wall itself and BANG – that was my shot

An excellent bit of artwork too so thanks to whoever painted it


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I have to admit that by this time I was pretty well pissed !!!

And hence more than a little thankful that something as easy as Texture was the next theme

This is a curb-edge just a few yards from the pub we just left and shot straight downwards



And now them all in the order they were taken for those themes so you can see how my shooting thought process went…



If you’d like to come on another challenge sometime just let me know here – CONTACT ME


Brought to you by your friendly and local

Barnsley Wedding Photographer

and also being a

Wedding Photographer Barnsley

Photographing too as a

Lake District Wedding Photographer

offering Landscape Photography Courses, and superb

Lake District Photography Holidays

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