Al Sylvester’s ‘Walk To Freedom’

Al Sylvester, Walk To Freedom, Press ImageIn August a friend of mine set out on an 881 mile walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He had just retired from the RAF and wanted to spend his leave completing his ‘Walk To Freedom’. Al walked in memory of his best friend Dean Singleton and in aid of the Charity Prospect Hospice in Swindon where Dean spent his last days.

On August 16th I was at Land’s End at 7am! I wasn’t there as just a friend to see him off or even as a photographer! We (I and Clayton Nicholls of Obsidian Entertainment) are making a documentary of Al’s journey. But seeing this is a photography blog there is more about that coming in a different post! It was a lovely sunny morning, a perfect start to a very long journey.

The plan was to meet Al again when he got to the Bristol area about a week later. Unfortunately the weather turned for the worse and his schedule had to change but that didn’t matter as we still met him at 7am on Severn Beach. Not that he was expecting us that early and he walked straight by me! We all headed toward a closed M48 bridge (there was a marathon taking place) to see Al on his start into Wales. We however had to wait for the bridge to open to get the car over, but thankfully we weren’t too far behind him. Most of his morning visitors left him at the bridge and when we got to the other side it didn’t feel right driving and stopping and waiting for him to meet us again, so it was decided I would walk with him to the campsite. It was a lovely walk mainly on country roads and the time flew by as we chatted away. I hadn’t realised I had walked 8 miles! We were camping next to Al that night as we wanted to do some filming first thing in the morning.

The next morning was wet, well maybe torrential would be a better description. I didn’t walk with Al on this day as he started off long before us, as we had to pack away our tent and get the cameras in their wet weather coats. We spent the day driving ahead and stopping in the next available pull in to be able to get out and film Al in the horrible conditions he was walking in. The roads he was on were very busy and with the rain, quite dangerous to be walking on, we witnessed some lorries that looked a little too close for our liking but I think it was something that Al became accustomed to but was always a little wary. We left Al on his way to Hereford and unfortunately that was the furthest north we could go with him due to other commitments (but we gave him a Go Pro to replace us!).

Al is now back home and in good spirits about his experiences on his ‘Walk To Freedom’.

You can follow Al on Twitter @alsylvester2 and if you would like to donate to his Just Giving page you can do so HERE

Train stations & Starbucks

My trip to London the other weekend to meet up with a friend started with some confusion. It’s never a good thing getting on the train and it starts moving in the wrong direction! The lady next to me was just as confused but between us we figured out where the train had detoured to and what route we were then taking.

On calling my friend I was given directions to the nearest Starbucks and told to wait for him there! Now I know I might sound a little odd but I’ve never actually been in a Starbucks! Yes I know – how have I managed that? – I have no idea! I found a quiet table at the back of the store with my hot chocolate and waited.

My friend and I always talk about photography; we very rarely get a chance to meet up so every time we do, we try to go out and take some images to feed each others creativity. We headed out after it turned dark. It was a great chance for me to test out the low light capability of my Nikon D3s. I didn’t take my tripod to London with me so I was working handheld, but that was no problem. The below picture is my favourite from the day…


After a long day, Ozzie was kind enough to drive me back to Paddington. The traffic was horrendous but I made it back home eventually!

Ozzie – Thanks for a lovely day x

Loyal Designs

A few weeks ago a previous colleague of mine contacted me asking if I’d be interested in doing some photos for her new website. Sarah and I both used to work for the same design company, she is now set up on her own and has just launched

We met up to take some images of a local company, Brunettes in Swindon she had produced logos and artwork for. The ladies at the salon were very accommodating, we spent about 15 mins photographing all of Sarah’s work that featured in store; everything from the appointment cards to the logo on the mirrors and the window.


We sat in a coffee shop caught up and went over the product shots she needed of her wedding invites. Sarah offers an exclusive wedding design service and needed product shots of some of her previous designs including order of service, table placement cards and of course invitations. We discussed the composition of some of the shots and where the images would be used on her site.

It’s been a while since I’ve done product shots having specialised in doing photography of music and extreme sports for so many years but it was great to do and was great to catch up with Sarah! She is an awesome designer and amazing to work with. Check out her website for more on what she does and to have a look at the images I took!