I hadn’t been to the Isle of Wight since childhood, but what a surprise! Its an old fashioned (in a good way), quintessentially english sort of place…. not that I had time to explore, but there are some great old gardens, some fantastic scenery and some interesting history. The George hotel feels like its been there forever (Charles the second stayed in one of the rooms!) and its position on the seafront in Yarmouth makes it a must-stay hotel on ‘the island’. We spent two days photographing the rooms, the restaurant, the staff and the exterior. The recent refurbishment manages to keep all the charm, but with a modern and stylish twist, and much of the hotel has views to die for. Not difficult to photograph really 😉
The George Hotel, The Isle of Wight.
I have just returned from holidays in Nerja, Spain, and was bowled over by the sub-tropical planting in the gardens surrounding our ‘villa’. All sorts of palm trees (Washingtonia, Phoenix etc) and colourful, showy flowers, all beautifully kept. It’s so different from the gardens we get over here, and I couldn’t help but snap away with my Fuji X-Pro 1 (mostly with the 60mm macro)… some nice material for the picture library!
Colourful Sub Tropical planting in Nerja, Spain
I was proud to be invited to photograph the Minehead Beach Hotel in Somerset for the YMCA, who bought the hotel in 2013. They are fully committed to helping young people in the community to shine, and offer apprenticeships, training and support to develop the talent in their kitchens and other services. Many of the apprentices go on to become full time additions to their staff team. Its a big place, right on the sea front, and right next door to the iconic Steam Railway. The kitchens are run by Paul Ruttledge, and the food they bought out for me to photograph was excellent…. fresh, colourful and tasty… eat your heart out Jamie Oliver in fact 😉
Photography at Minehead Beach Hotel in Somerset
I just read this post on the Guardian and was astounded by some of the figures… If you haven’t already, take a look at the app and have a real good root around… there are some amazing photographers working with it (and a lot of not-so-amazing too!) and it works so intuitively. I have been posting all sorts of stuff, shot on my Iphone 6… flowers, interiors, pubs, views and travel images, and there’s a lot of food, coffee cups and selfies (not from me!) too…. as with all media platforms, you have to sift the wheat from the chaff! you can see my work at @markboltonphoto on Instagram (or click the button at the side of this blog..)
Some of my recent Instagram posts
I have just finished photographing with a kitchen company in Bristol, Beaufort Kitchens. I first worked with a guy called Chris Holland about 15 years ago (in the days of film and polaroids!) and it turned out he’s one of the people behind the company! so it was nice to join up with them again, and see some of their amazing work… sleek and contemporary kitchens that are beautifully made. They never go out of fashion… unlike film photography!
Beaufort Kitchens photography, summer 2015
Just spent a great evening at Christchurch Harbour Hotel in Dorset, out on the terrace, drinking cocktails and picking at canapes…. actually thats not strictly true… it was a bit chilly, there were people wandering about and the napkins were flying around in the wind. Yes, another ‘trickier than I thought’ hotel shoot. Thanks to Gemma and the team at the hotel, we got the right image and it was all worth it!
Christchurch Harbour Hotel, an evening on the terrace
Hotel Photography at Penally Abbey, Wales
‘We’re not hoteliers,’ says Lucas Boissevain, who together with his wife Melanie bought Penally Abbey in Tenby, West Wales in 2014. Well, strictly speaking they are not. You wouldn’t know it though as you watch them buzz around the place dealing with staff, sorting menus, charming their guests. In just eight months, they’ve transformed what was a slightly tired hotel into a gorgeous boutique retreat. It helps that Melanie is an interior designer while Lucas knows all there is to know about business. It helps too that they have one of the most beautiful buildings in the area crammed with Strawberry Hill Gothic features and boasting (to use an estate agent’s favourite word) heart-stopping views to Caldey Island and the Gower. Who needs hoteliers!
The fabulous chefs, Steve Carss and Tom Green (The Flavour Smith) cooked up a storm at Chateau Rigaud this weekend, the sun shone and the wine flowed (thanks to Anna and Abe, who are opening their new restaurant in Bradford on Avon soon… watch this space). A brilliant time was had by all…
Tom Green abd Steve Carrs, deadly duo…
Happy Easter!.. this photograph was taken in the lovely Garfagnana; a hidden gem in Tuscany… not far from Lucca, it’s the wild hill country North of Florence, Lucca, and Pisa… dramatic mountainous scenery, hearty food and amazing views…
Easter in the Garfagnana, Italy
The Magnolias are in full flower… great big weird flowers with an improbable colour and appearance (the flowers are too big for the twigs they sit on, surely?). I love this time of year and these trees always make me want to whizz down the motorway to Cornwall… home of the spring garden. This was is called ‘Diva’ and was shot on my Canon 6D and processed afterwards with a new ‘toy'; a ‘Topaz’ plugin, that works within my Lightroom software… rather nice colour saturation I think?
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’