OMD at Gifford’s Circus

The OMD at Gifford’s Circus – Frampton upon Severn

Last week saw me and the OMD making a road trip to Gloucestershire, Frampton upon Severn to be precise, which is known for having the largest village green in Britain.

This was not the reason for going, rather Olympus UK were hosting a special OMD themed event at Gifford’s Circus which was visiting the village.

I along with another four photographers were meant to be attending training day in Chester, but at the last minute Olympus hired the circus for a day so they could run a competition for 50 people to win tickets for themselves and a friend to attend.

The road trip began on the Thursday with me packing the OMD, and leaving home around 11am, after meeting up with Matt we hit the road.  This meant spending most of the day on the UK road network, due to accidents and delays we did not arrive at the hotel in Stonehouse a couple of miles from the location of Gifford’s Circus until around 9pm.

Unfortunately this meant we, and our OMD’s missed out on a trip to Purton Locks with two other photographers. Purton locks is known for its boat graveyard, where old disused boats, barges and canal boats form the embankment separating the Canal from the River Severn. Definitely a missed opportunity!

The Friday, the day of the event started at 5:30am for me as I was woken by a torrential downpour, not a good sign.  Next came the hunt for breakfast.

I had been told of a cafe on the banks of the canal. We duly set off in our cars only to find it did not open until 10:00 am, and our day at the circus began at 9:30.

Did I say that mobile phone reception was extremely poor here?  No well it was, and on finding the cafe closed all four of us started trying to hit google to find somewhere to eat, with little or no luck, we did get to eat after eventually finding a McDonald’s (god their breakfasts are awful).

Finally with some food in our stomachs we headed for Gifford’s Circus, which we had passed, more than once on our search for food, so we knew where to go.

After getting to the Circus with time to spare, we eagerly awaited our mentor and the chance to shoot some models in the big top with our OMD’s.

Unfortunately we were not allowed into the Big Top as the circus staff needed to carry out health & safety checks, and rehearsals.  So we did what photographers do, made do with what we had.

The area in which we chose to shoot was around some of the wagons belonging to the circus and the village green.

As it was meant to be a training day it had been decided to shoot in the morning instead of in the afternoon. We got to shoot our model, dressed as a ring mistress no less, and it made a change for us all to be using the same sort of kit OMD’s.  Normally it is a mix of Canon, Nikon and Olympus.

Although the private tuition was encroached upon in the later part of the morning as the people who had won tickets to the circus started arriving. So we had to cut it a little short.

After packing up for the morning we were shepherded into the big top, to be placed in the most challenging corner in the tent, lights pointing down directly at us from a supporting column, and they were bright.  The OMD did not disappoint and performed admirably in the tough conditions.

Here we were treated to a performance by a number of the circus acts followed by an off camera flash demonstration.  Olympus UK had brought a few OMD’s and many lenses along that people were able to try on the day.

Olympus also had a competition on the day to win an EP5, The competition was to capture a triptych of images from the performance, a cloe-up, atmosphere and movement.  I won’t be entering the competition as I don’t have a suitable atmosphere shot, should have paid more attention!

After the event, we were all treated to tea and cake by the circus, also leaving with gifts from both Olympus and Gifford’s Circus which was very thoughtful, though good advertising.

After chatting for a while  including with the perplexed Ricci an Olympus ISS, with how I managed to get a small focus point to appear in the viewfinder of my OMD we started our journey home around 3pm, again our journey was delayed by traffic and an accident with me finally reaching home at 1am.

So all in all I had an 800 mile round trip that took 20 hours for a very entertaining and rewarding day at Gifford’s Circus courtesy of Olympus UK and would like to thank both the Circus performers and Olympus UK.

If you ever get the chance to see this traditional Circus then make sure you go as the performers are very friendly and their show and antics will certainly entertain you and put a smile on your face guaranteed.

Below you will find a few images from the day

Gareth Williams

OMD - Ring MistressOMD - Tweedy the ClownOMD - Tweedy the ClownOMD - Tweedy the ClownOMD - Movement

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