Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography: Blog https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:47:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:47:00 GMT https://www.greenninja.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u115839453-o285838391-50.jpg Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography: Blog https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog 103 120 Newsletter https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2015/7/newsletter Open our very first newsletter in a new window here:

july2015 newsletter.pdf

 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) Newsletter deals information news offers special https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2015/7/newsletter Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:11:45 GMT
Wonderful products and a whole new photography experience https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2015/3/wonderful-products-and-a-whole-new-photography-experience It is our goal to provide you with amazing images printed on the very best products and the best photography experience we can.

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We hate to think of our photographs gathering dust on a CD or a memory stick in a drawer somewhere for years and years - and who knows how long those formats will still be around. Has anyone got a wedding video on VHS or some pictures on a floppy disc?
If you are looking for a CD full of images that you can print yourself, we are probably not the photographers for you.
If you are looking for a wonderful photography experience and the most beautiful Art products to enjoy every day and for for generations we most definitely are.
Printing a great image well isn't a straightforward process - not if you want the absolute best results that is. We process each individual image specifically for the size and type of media it will be printed on. Our monitors are calibrated and through a process of test prints, we can be confident that the prints you get are exactly as intended. Our labs only supply professional photographers and use state of the art processes and technology. The process that starts by pressing the trigger on a camera finishes with the delivery of a beautiful tangible product.
This is the only way to get the great results - anything else is a compromise.

Sure, you can find a budget photographer and receive budget photographs but just as you might like a fast food lunch, it is worth saving up and going out for a wonderful meal now and again.
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We believe there is something magical about browsing through your beautiful hand made Album, something very special about seeing your Wall Art everyday and something exciting about giving the most gorgeous Gift Prints to your family and friends.
We spent a long time finding these to offer you because we really only want to provide the best available.

By choosing amazing products from the best professional laboratories in the UK - and they only supply professional photographers - we are able to provide you with your images in the most wonderful format and we know you will be delighted.
Quality is second to none and they are routinely made from the finest materials and using the newest archival quality inks and manufacturing processes.  

For you, this means that you get to look at an amazing piece of art on your wall or browse a beautiful hand made album using sustainable materials for years and years safe in the knowledge that they will not fade.
These are your precious memories ready to hand down to future generations and most importantly to be seen and enjoyed.

Your photography experience begins with your consultation where we can discuss your requirements, a location, the type of shoot and product you are looking for etc.  We can look at samples and discuss the various products available. It is good to try and visualise your photography hanging on a your wall. If you are happy to go ahead, you can pay a deposit to secure a mutually convenient date for your shoot.
After your photoshoot, I will carefully edit your best pictures and arrange a get together where I can present them to you on a computer so that you can choose your favourites and will have the opportunity at that time to order and pay for the products of your choice using your favourite image or images. I will then go away and apply further editing if necessary to your chosen images. Each image will be processed to make it perfect for the specific size and type of product it will be printed on before I submit the file(s) to the lab.

After a short time, we will be able to arrange delivery of your final products.

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Good Photography can seem daunting, especially when you had just thought you were hiring someone to take a few photographs for you.
A great photography experience is about the attention to detail.
Last year the shutter mechanism failed catastrophically on my camera - surprisingly this is not uncommon, in fact shutters will fail, it's just a matter of when. We were able to continue shooting with our backup camera. More recently one of our off camera strobe lights decided to die on us in the middle of a shoot miles from home. Again, a short delay later we were continuing with back up lights. Small details like having these backups, public liability insurance and CRB checks all go towards a more professional and reliable service.
 

We are not the cheapest photographer you will find - after all, there are plenty of local students and amateurs, who are now 'photographers', more than willing to burn some poorly shot and processed images on a CD for you. But we don't want to be the cheapest either - we couldn't offer the service we do if we got rid of all our expenses. Being a limited company means we are serious about what we do, we are passionate about giving the best experience we can and we want to be around for years to come so that our customers can come back to us time and time again.
We will always offer you the absolute best quality lovingly shot and processed photographs on the most wonderful products from labs unavailable to the public. 
Take a look at these wonderful ways to display your images:
http://greenninjaweddings.co.uk/index.php/wall-art-to-cherish
 

We are not like a lot of other photographers and we want you to have the very best experience. We will do everything we can to give you our very best. We know that what we offer will not be for everyone but we hope that you will truly appreciate the highest degrees of customer service, attention to detail and professionalism to make your photography a memorable and enjoyable experience.
 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) Kent Photography Portrait Tunbridge Wells https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2015/3/wonderful-products-and-a-whole-new-photography-experience Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:54:03 GMT
Back to School https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/11/back-to-school Last week Green Ninja went back to school!

I spent two days at Ridge View School in Tonbridge.

Ridge View is an all age (2-19) community special school for children with Profound, Severe and Complex learning difficulties, many of whom are on the Autistic Spectrum.

I was made really welcome and the staff were fantastic and friendly without exception, putting up with me getting in the way of their lessons.
 

I managed to get some traditional 'formal' photographs as well as spending time with students and teachers in classrooms and play areas. This was a  lovely opportunity to get pictures of students in a natural environment without the pressure of a formal photoshoot.

I was trodden on, stared at, ignored, jumped on and even cuddled.
It was really exhausting work but I think the parents will appreciate the effort that a School Photographer can go to if they really want to.

This week I intended to pop back in to capture anyone who was missing and ended up spending a whole day back at the school on Thursday and I can honestly say that this was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

After spending ages and ages waiting, cajoling, waving, rattling things, falling over (that was a good one even if it wasn't intended) there was often a magic moment when suddenly I was rewarded with a beautiful smile and a gorgeous glint in the eyes.
Perfect. 

Some final housekeeping to do and then the parents can all log into their private viewing areas to see their pictures.
Can't wait to hear what they think.

As I can't really post a picture of the students, here is one of one of the teachers :)

 

'Who's wearing the hat, who's wearing the hat?"'Who's wearing the hat, who's wearing the hat?"
'Who's wearing the hat, who's wearing the hat?"


 

 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) Ridge School Tonbridge View https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/11/back-to-school Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:17:00 GMT
Photographing horses https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/9/photographing-horses It's a great thing to be a photographer with an affinity for horses.
This morning I spent some quality time with my own horse, Bug before grabbing a quick shower and heading off to photograph a client and her horse. A sad occasion when they are parting company after many years due to an upcoming new university adventure.
But I hope to be able to produce a few really nice pictures that can be taken away so the horse will be remembered for ever.

What makes my job really special are those unplanned opportunities.

The photograph below and the horse in question wasn't even part of the brief.
He just felt a little left out I think so was very excited to have his photograph taken as you can tell  :)
I imagine the occupants of the house must be really happy with the view from their bedroom window.

 

Meet Blue

 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) canter equestrian horse portrait https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/9/photographing-horses Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:15:19 GMT
Nick and Linz https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/9/nick-and-linz I was very honoured and just a little scared
to be asked by good friends Nick and Linz to cover their wedding. After all, accidents can happen and things can go wrong - but that is the same for all clients and all weddings. 

As if to remind me of this, my main Nikon D4 camera decided to break just a week before their wedding!
Fortunately the great guys at Fixation were able to rush through a repair in time for me.

I can prepare for those eventualities of course - being fully insured and always carrying back up equipment means I can usually always finish the job I have been commissioned to undertake.


But, what if they don't like the photographs?
Now that is scary. I could not only lose a potential repeat client, but lose friends as well. 

In the two meetings we had prior to the wedding I got a very good idea of the style and sort of images the couple wanted.

My final brief was, 'Make sure these are the best photographs you have ever taken'. Okay - I'm not at all nervous now.

The day before the wedding I went through my usual checks: charging batteries, polishing lenses, assembling lights, stands, props etc.
I even filled the car with fuel before we set off the next morning to The Roof Gardens in Kensington.
It was a Sunday so no congestion charge, no congestion and my first time driving along the north bank of the Thames.

But - before we go there, the photography for Nick and Linz started almost exactly a year ago when I designed their Save the Date card and four and a half months before the wedding, their Invitation card.
Styled slightly differently, these 'Save the Date' and 'Invitation' designs helped initially to hint at a fun party atmosphere at the forthcoming wedding and then a reminder that it would also be very elegant and stylish.
The Roof Gardens is a wonderful place to photograph a wedding on a lovely day such as we had - we were lucky because the next day saw torrential rain. There are lots of beautiful locations for guests to mingle and photographers to spend some quality time with the bride and groom without disturbing everyone else.

I couldn't have coped on the day without the help of a good assistant, in this case my wife Louisa. As an artist herself, Louisa knows a good shot and takes a great photograph when she isn't busy doing other essential jobs. Louisa was a great assistant and second shooter

A good assistant is worth their weight in gold. Knowing what lens you need next, where and how to use the off camera lighting, helping to adjust dresses, position people for group shots - the list goes on.

 

The following are just a few of the many hundreds of images I produced that I hope give a flavour of a wonderful day to remember.

 




 

Looking back now, I hope that I achieved the brief - Stylish, Contemporary, London, Fun and Party. 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) Contemporary Fun Gardens Kensington London Party Photography Roof Stylish Wedding https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/9/nick-and-linz Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:37:32 GMT
We ride horses https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/4/we-ride-horses When we are not out and about photographing Lifestyle and Weddings, our Event Photography 'tends' to be Equestrian.

There is a very good reason for this, of course. We own, ride and compete our own horses so we know what photographs we would like to buy.
We are so often disappointed when we compete ourselves (with the photographs on offer, not always our own performance!) so we make sure that when we show you your photographs, they are always the best we can make them.

That means a personal and friendly service when you come to see us at a show. We will take the time to show you the images and then crop, adjust and make them look their best before you decide to purchase one from us.

It also means that after the event - usually Monday but sometimes Tuesday following a busy weekend - I will edit EVERY image to make them all  look the best they can before I upload them to the website for you to view. This process generally takes a full day or longer!
Unfortunately this isn't as quick (or easy) as just uploading the original image but we believe that it's better to wait a day or two for a great image.
Then, we leave the gallery on the website for ever - no time limit - no need to buy today. You can always go back and buy an image from last year or five years ago - these can make great surprise presents.

We love horses and love being surrounded by them, whether it be on a Total Equestrian Photoshoot or at an event - Show Jumping, Hunter Trials, Showing, Western, Dressage and so on.... 

So, this blog is to introduce the team and our horses.

Bug (Beautiful Diego)
Photo by Louisa
photo by Louisa
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photo by Emma

This is me and my great friend, Bug. He is the most amazing, brave, gentle and well mannered horse and I have had him for 6 months.
He is proving to be a fast learner despite having done little to no flatwork schooling in the past.
He is really at home on the Cross Country field and doesn't seem bothered by anything. Combine that with a big jump and we are going to have fun.
He was very well behaved at his first two SJ events in the last couple of months and he will be going to his third at the weekend.

Tilly (Campitor)
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Louisa helps out when we are very busy or Colleen can not make it at a weekend event. Colleen and Louisa both have 'real' jobs so helping out on their days off is really appreciated. Louisa takes a mean photograph herself with an eye for composition and detail.


Louisa has been partnered with Tilly for about two years now and Tilly is really starting to enjoy her jumping and getting out with other horses.
She is turned out with Bug and is 'The Boss'


Campitor is latin for War Horse and if you've ever seen and heard her galloping towards you, you would understand!

Hector (Hunter's Peak)
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Colleen is our regular computer wiz and is often to be found at a show drinking coffee and tweaking all your images. Don't be surprised if she remembers your name or what horse you were riding last time she saw you!

Colleen recently partnered up with Hector although we all call him Hectic.
Not fair really (but it has stuck) as he is a wonderful horse who is proving to be a fantastic all rounder who doesn't seem phased by anything. He came third in his first Eventer's Challenge recently, really enjoyed his first XC experience and is going to his first SJ competition very soon.

Camelot (Cregduff Kippuree Camelot)
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Emma is the Padawan!
Emma is learning a lot about photography and working really hard to study and practice everything she can about technique, composition and light.
You will often see her pointing a camera at events wearing her Green Ninja shirt and likes to help out when she is not competing at Pony Club and other events on her beautiful boy, Camelot.

 

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) SJ XC horses team https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2014/4/we-ride-horses Fri, 25 Apr 2014 09:54:22 GMT
My first 'real' camera https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2013/10/my-first-real-camera I can't even remember the name of my very first camera.

It was a present from my Granddad when I was about 6 years old.
It took 126 film and had a cube flash bulb on the top that you could buy in packs of three - that's just twelve shots with flash on your film of typically 24 shots; and they were expensive, you didn't waste them on just one film! 

Even back then I loved photography - my granddad called me 'snap happy'.

At the risk of sounding like Uncle Albert from Only Fools of Horses, when I joined my fist ship (did I tell you I spent nearly seventeen years in the navy?) I bought my first 'real' camera from the NAAFI and I took it all around the world with me.

It was 1984 and I finally had my first SLR.

I still have it.

It is a Minolta XG-m and I loved it. It was a real 35mm camera and I could be a 'real' photographer :)


I have learned so much since owning this camera but I am still learning.

Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today.
This is never-ending  - Hagakure

 

My First 'Real' CameraI loved this camera and took it all around the world

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darren@greenninja.co.uk (Darren Whittaker - Green Ninja Photography) https://www.greenninja.co.uk/blog/2013/10/my-first-real-camera Wed, 09 Oct 2013 09:00:04 GMT