Richard Brooks Photography: Blog en-us (C) COPYRIGHT 2014-2023 RICHARD BROOKS. ALL MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT (Richard Brooks Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Richard Brooks Photography: Blog 120 68 Davina McCall runs at Blackheath's Race For Life On Sunday, sporty Davina McCall took part in Blackheath's Race For Life, in honour of her late sister Caroline Baday.

Despite Caroline tragically losing her battle against cancer in 2012, presenter Davina, sported a wide smile as she ran in the London heat, showing off her athletic frame.

Not only did she run in this event she took to the stage beforehand leading a vey energetic warm up for several hundred women about to start in a 5k or 10 event depending upon what they signed up for. Many women were here again as part of a series events run throughout the year by Race for Life. Many women run for a loved one who has fallen foul of this cruel illness, many hope to achieve a target, many hope to raise money so a research can be funded so a cure can be found!

Currently Davina presents The £100k Drop (channel 4) swept her brunette locks away from her face into a ponytail, to show off a beaming smile throughout the day for this sporting event. Davina was one of thousands of women at the Cancer Research UK race in Blackheath, and said afterwards that it had been 'an amazing experience'.

Davina was just one person today several hundred and possibly thousand women took park, bringing along family and friends showing support in such glorious weather, today was clearly a successful event. I've attend this event alone for the last 6 or 7 and it seems to get bigger and better each time.

I urge you to have fun and support this event, doing so will help so, so many people. If not please donate to many of the just giving offical pages where the money raised will go to a good cause. With much thanks :-

(Richard Brooks Photography) beat cancer bexleyheath photographer bexleyheath photography cancer cancer we're coming to get you davina mcacall tv presenter london muddy 10k muddy race olympic park photographer in bexleyheath pink ladies pnk army pretty muddy pretty muddy is race for life's 5k muddy obstacle run race for life blackheath pictures race4life research richard brooks photography bexleyheath sport photography in bexleyheath sports photographer sports photographer bexleyheath sports photographer dartford sports photography tesco Tue, 03 Jul 2018 09:54:17 GMT
Overnight Oats. Why you should give them a try? Overnight Oats Improved My Lifestyle

 I’m a firm believer in “Breakfast” and it being the most important meal of the day. You would never start your car on a family trip to the seaside on an empty tank, so why start the day to a hectic work family/lifestyle on an empty stomach? I’ve tried many breakfasts before rushing out the door and probably with a bowl twice the recommended serving size and nothing particularly healthy. As I got older, the cereal stopped and was replaced by fuel that helped me get through the day, well at least until lunchtime.


In recent years, I’ve made more of an effort to eat breakfast. Instant oats became a go-to, and I would occasionally make eggs or avocado toast, pancakes and Greek yoghurt. I then read an article, it sounded a clever idea so feeling mildly ambitious. To try overnight oats, I decided to give them a whirl.

Overnight oats are exactly what they sound like, provided you think they sound like oats you make overnight. The exact recipe can be customized to your taste, but the two basic ingredients are the same as always — oats and liquid. Instead of relying on hot water or heated milk, you keep things cold, allowing the oats to form overnight in the fridge.

If you want to spruce things up from there — and, trust me, you do — you can add other ingredients like Greek yogurt, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, a little honey (and I mean little) and other oat-friendly items. Berries are a smart addition that can be added in the morning before eating to freshen things up. Depending on how you make your overnight oats, the end result can be delicious, nutritious and filling — exactly what you need to start your day.


I resolved to make overnight oats for five straight days. I kept it up, regularly experimenting with ingredients and wound up exceeding those five days … by about 25 days. Yes, I ate overnight oats every day for a month. Not only did they provide me with much-needed morning fuel, I could ride/run to work, perform in a busy office and not feel the mid-morning crash and helps me maintain a good weight for my sporting activates — and I haven’t gotten off since.

Breakfast is often touted as the most important meal of the day. Whether that’s true is some people will argue it’s debatable, I am a firm believer, for me, skipping breakfast meant I would often make poor lunchtime decisions. Because, come midday, I was starving. And when you’re starving, it’s common to overeat, or to grab the first thing in front of you, even if it’s unhealthy.


Now, whether it’s overnight oats or egg-topped avocado toast, breakfast is an everyday occurrence. And that means I can opt for a lighter midday meal. Throw in a healthy dinner, and I’ve accomplished something: an entire day of good food choices. That was a lot more difficult when breakfast wasn’t on the table.

So, thanks, overnight oats; you’ve treated me right. I will continue to eat you 3–4 times per week. And when I don’t, I will eat something else. Because I’m a breakfast person now.

If you want to make your own overnight oats, recipes abound. But I’m partial to the below.

Overnight Oats Recipe


1/4 cup whole rolled oats
1/3 cup milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 banana, finely diced (Or cup of Blueberries)
1 teaspoon Flax seeds
Cinnamon to taste
Fresh blueberries


Add all into an airtight container, cover, refrigerate overnight; in the morning, you have saved precious time by preparing your breakfast so all that is left to open and enjoy.

(Richard Brooks Photography) breakfast healthy habits london marathon nutrition tips overnight oats porridge training Tue, 12 Jun 2018 13:35:12 GMT
Autumn Riding - Be Safe Be Seen What do you look for when buying a bike light? You might consider brightness and decent battery life as being important features, or you might want a light that offers good visibility in the dark. But what about being seen during the daytime? How much emphasis do you place on daylight visibility? It's something that cyclists should consider also?

It is a crucial aspect of cycling safety that many people tend to ignore when making their purchase. But when you consider that an incredibly high 80 per cent of cycling accidents happen during the day, and with a significant increase in fatalities within a 10-year period, it’s become evident that visibility during the day is now just as important as being seen in the dark.

A greater emphasis has been placed on cyclists being seen during daylight hours. Companies are designing bike lights specifically for daylight visibility, and it makes sense when you look at some of the research that has been conducted into road safety in recent years.

Following a study of 184 cyclists previously involved in collisions, Australian researcher Phillipe Lacherez found motorists had “looked but didn’t see” the cyclist before it was too late. He suggested that that a solution to this was both wearing reflective clothing and fitting a light which works during the daytime and also at night. Many cyclists sport high-visibility gear when on the roads, but hi-vis clothing only offers visibility during daylight hours as it reflects UV rays from the sun. Lacherez suggested the use of reflective strips on your knees and ankles that allows the lights from cars to bounce back and signal a cyclist’s movement.

In another survey conducted in Denmark, 4000 cyclists were enrolled in an experiment that again proved the benefit of daytime visibility. In the survey, 2000 only used their lights during the hours of darkness, while the other 2000 participants used their bike lights all day. The results showed that there was a 47 per cent decrease in accidents when lights were used throughout the day.

Also, since 2011, all new cars in Europe are required to be fitted with daytime running lights because of the proven safety benefits. If large vehicles like cars need to be seen during the hours of daylight, then surely it makes sense for a cyclist to also require high visibility?

Most accidents have been found to happen during the hours around dawn and dusk. This is partly due to rush-hour traffic, and also because of factors including changing ambient light conditions which can make it more difficult for motorists to spot cyclists. Bright, visible bike lights can help counter that problem by giving cyclists more of a presence during the day.

Almost half of fatalities occur on rural roads , making them particularly dangerous for cyclists. There are various factors which contribute to the high volume of accidents. Not only does the speed limit tend to be higher, but isolated routes can also be unlit or have poor lighting. Having a bike light that flashes brightly from both front and rear can alert drivers of a cyclist’s presence before they get too close to you, reducing the risk of a collision or near miss.

Motorists have a vital role to play in helping reduce the number of cyclist fatalities and accidents on our roads. Research has found that 60% of major collisions happen at junctions, with drivers commonly reporting that they ‘failed to look properly’. Better awareness of other road users is a crucial factor of road safety for motorists and cyclists alike.

A cyclist also has to be aware of the traffic around them, and by making themselves more visible they are taking an important step towards improving their own road safety. 

Improving cycle safety isn’t just important for reducing fatalities, it can also encourage more people to take up cycling. And the more cyclists we have on the roads, the better cycling infrastructure can be developed to improve the overall cycling experience. Cambridge University found that 85% of local cycling correlating with the provision of better cycle routes. So if we cycle, they’ll build it, and if they build it, we’ll cycle more.

(Richard Brooks Photography) cycling cyclists evans cycles road safety Wed, 04 Oct 2017 21:07:59 GMT
Truestart Coffee why you should drink it TrueStart Coffee. Why you should drink it.

As you can see from my website, I am an avid fan of a variety of sports and being a fan I do and like to throw myself into the deep end and participate in sports when I can. I’ve been doing this since I was at junior school and even now at my age, even though it has been made a little harder to squeeze in the training due to family and work commitments etc It will not and doesn’t stop my enjoyment towards my chosen sport. Even breaking down due to injury that my veteran age brings along with it due to wear and tear does not stop my enjoyment of sports.

For me being a fan of running I have participated in most distances from 100 metres to marathons however, I do stay well clear of cross country events for the reason I ran my last cross county whilst at school, against other schools and as you can expect in atrocious weather conditions with a bellowing sports teacher demanding more effort still brings me nightmares that I vowed never, ever run in one again!

If anything this highlights the work and dedication that our elite sports stars face on a daily basis just to stay at the top of their game, hence the phrase “Eat, Sleep Train, Repeat” because in a nutshell this is exactly what they do.

Sleeping is easy and mustn’t be overlooked. This is the time your body needs to recover and recharges you for the following day ahead allowing you to cope with the demands that everyday life will throw at you the next day. Training, well this brings sweat and tears. The harder you work here the more benefits you will see at a later date as you become stronger your training becomes to a certain degree… easier. Now with the eating and fluid consumption this is the fuel that enables you to perform. It’s taken me a while but through a little experience by now, I’ve learnt that if you consume the wrong foods at the wrong time and then expecting your body to perform… at its best… will just not happen. You will need to consume no more food than you actually need but support your body with vitamins and minerals and giving your body the energy it needs (carbs) and tools to repair muscles (protein). This is just to live an everyday life but by taking part in a sport will require an increase in water, carbohydrates and protein. Looking at billboards and magazine articles there’s certainly enough adverts to highlight this, although advice given does vary from person to person and nutritionists.

The hours I actually work is not consistent and there are times in the day I find my energy levels dropping and I need a quick boost. I have a BOSCH coffee machine to which I use to give me a caffeine boost first thing in the mornings before a training run, work or mid-morning always helps. However… the (named) caffeine bought from a high street shop I never realised there was such a difference until now. Firstly certain brands helped pick me up I became alert but once this wore off the energy crash made me feel worse than I did before? So I would have another coffee and again the crash would occur and so this energy cycle continued to which and unfortunately I thought this was normal and acceptable. I would also drink coffee brands and taking into account how much I drink these brands would upset my fragile stomach with bloating and discomfort that in the end this pain just wasn’t work the coffee consumption.

In April of this year I was looking on social media and saw a retweet advertising a company called EnergySnacks. A company that sold sports nutrition products at a very competitive price. I was due to run the London Marathon later that month so energy gels and drinks was high on my consumption list as I still needed to do my last long training run before the marathon itself. My package arrived and it was very nice of EnergySnacks to throw in a few free samples of products they sell. Not only is this very generous but these products were going to be useful to me. SweetPeaks a small bag of sweets I can consume just before a run for another energy boost and a few sachets of TrueStart coffee. I have to say TrueStart coffee was a company that I had never even heard of before but using these free samples that were given to me and the impact it has made I’m so grateful to EnergySnacks for highlighting them to me. For my marathon though I’m afraid I felt it was too late in my training with my big event just days away to experiment with these new items but since this marathon, drinking TrueStart coffee a Columbian natural coffee that supplies a high dose of caffeine is now top of my nutrition list. To date it has never upset my stomach and I have never experienced an energy crash the way other brands make me feel and my Bosch coffee machine has now become virtually redundant and is a bit of a eye sore in my kitchen now as it sits there gathering dust. TrueStart as a company are quick to highlight coffee and its benefits and I have found myself drinking it hot or cold and following their recipe guide and putting a few scoops of TrueStart coffee into my baking so I’m consuming more coffee than I ever did before with no sign of discomfort and I am clearly seeing the benefits. It just saddens me that my “A-race” being the Virgin London marathon is so many months away but feel this coffee will now help me train for my thirteenth marathon and being thirteen I don’t want it to be an unlucky one.  A coffee before my run or bike ride makes me more alert and I’m using the coffee as energy before this wears off and I’m resorting to my own body state itself (which is a good thing) giving me a better work out. My mile splits on my bike and on foot are coming down drastically, I’m maintaining and improving my pace but yet my heart rate is lowering, it just feels so good. I also use this as a recovery drink too. This good natural coffee intake is helping me burn calories and the increase in caffeine is helping me with my cardiovascular work rate and as an asthmatic I thank the lord of such natural benefits. Consuming this make of coffee and reduced bloating is slimming me down to a more acceptable race weight and abdominal and core exercises means just that and I’m actually seeing the results as it is generally making me more defined and stronger.

There has to be a benefit using TrueStart coffee as I was pleased to purchase a TrueStart coffee one day from the club house of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers. Blackheath and Bromley are a incredibly successful athletic club and currently boast athletic stars such as Adam Gemili, Dina Asher-Smith and Shannon Hylton who are doing incredibly well for Team GB. These are a few stars you may have heard of but the training they put their younger athletes through I’m pretty sure more of these younger athletes will follow the paths of their older team members.

As you can see I use TrueStart coffee for sporting reason but even on my rest days and even if I wasn’t a sporty person TrueStart coffee would be helping me get through my hectic day. If this is meeting deadlines at work or separating my children arguing over who has control of the Sky remote (even though its me! Who pays the subscription fee) Consuming a good coffee is a good thing and I would recommend this over more famous named brands every day of the week and i can assure you drinking too much of this coffee will not give you the jittery shakes and twitches that you assume would be the side affect.

If your're still not convinved then please read the blog "12 ways coffee makes you happier, smarter and stronger"


(Richard Brooks Photography) Adam Gemili Athletes Athletics Blackheath and Bromley Athletic Club Dina Asher-Smith EnergySnacks Inner Athlete Shannon Hylton Team GB Team True Start Track and Field TrueStart Coffee Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:15:00 GMT
Photo Mechanic Buy it now I’ve been a Photo Mechanic fanatic for just over a year now and have to kick myself for not jumping ship and using it sooner! It’s proved itself many times over as an worthy companion and an indispensable partner in my photography workflow.

I started up relationship with Adobe’s Lightroom. Seduced by its fuller features and the promise of being able to get me through my entire workflow from start to finish trusting the Adobe promise. However it baffles me how they could not make Lightroom as good as Photo Mechanic?

As my catalog grew, in this current IT industry the software has became more processor intensive with each update, as RAW files became bigger with each new camera, and when I transitioned to using Full frame camera, Lightroom and I began to develop serious problems in our relationship.

Dismayed, I decided to call Photo Mechanic again. Out of the blue, I downloaded the latest version, Within minutes of loading up and browsing through a folder of images, I realized just how much I had been missing.

There are so many reasons I love Photo Mechanic, and why the program was so vital to my workflow in the first place. Although the initial fee for the license is pretty steep. Its going to be money well spent, However, I guarantee you won’t totally disown using Lightroom either. The difference now is that my relationship is not exclusive. Lightroom is still very much in the picture, and I’ve learned to get along and be happy with both programs.

I guess you could call it “complicated,” because I’ve figured how to make the best use of both programs. Each of them has very good qualities, but neither of them is perfect for everything. Isn’t that just like life?

So, now that I’ve given you my relationship history, I’ll tell you the 4 reasons why I love Photo Mechanic Software.

1. It’s an amazingly Fast Image Browser

Photo Mechanic is so awesome because it doesn’t try to be too much. It’s a standalone image browser and that’s all. It doesn’t try to store your entire image library in a single file, you simply load a folder of images and you’re off and running. And when I say running, I mean sprinting flat out at your max heart rate.

Seriously, Photo Mechanic can browse through a folder of a few thousand RAW files SO much faster than Lightroom, even when you’re previewing full size images. In the time it takes Lightroom to load a full size image preview of a large RAW file, Photo Mechanic can browse the same images 10-15 times faster, even at full size.

The reason Photo Mechanic is so fast is that it doesn’t load the actual RAW file when browsing, it’s just loading the embedded JPEG preview. When you factor in the time spent importing, editing, choosing selects, captioning, keywording a large job or a huge batch of trip photo, the time saved with Photo Mechanic really adds up.

2. It can do So Much More Than Just Browse

I lied. It’s not just a browser. Photo Mechanic actually does a lot. It’s a very capable program that could be used as your main catalog software.

Built for speed, Photo Mechanic can Import your images from your memory cards (it can even ingest multiple cards at the same time and duplicate to another destination), Rename your files and Edit IPTC information, which includes adding captions, keywords and copyright information, and adjust capture images. The highly customizable IPTC panel lets you add an extremely wide range of notations to either one photo or entire batches.

Photo Mechanic also has a number of highly functional Editing features. You can rotate, crop, preview, tag, watermark, resize, attach gps coordinates, compare images side by side and set tags, as well as star and colour ratings. You can sort by any parameter you can think of, whether it has to do with capture time, specific metadata or EXIF data,

Finally, it has full-featured Export options. You can save and copy photos to folders and external drives, email photos, print contact sheets, create web galleries, share, upload or ftp images to sites like Twitter, Flicker, 500px, Photoshelter, Smugmug, Zenfolio, or to your own web site. Within the Export panels, you can specify size, resolution, cropping, scaling and apply either a text or graphic watermark.

What it doesn’t have is a Develop panel. That’s the reason it can’t stand entirely on its own in your workflow, but it does have an “Edit” button that will let you export your file to an external editor, like Photoshop. And, as you’ll see below…

3. The “Edit” Command Sends the Original File

When you hit the “Edit” button, Photo Mechanic sends the original file with no adjustments to the RAW editor of your choice.

That may sound straightforward, and it is, but not when compared to what Lightroom does. If you send a RAW file to an external editor in Lightroom, the file still passes through Adobe’s painfully slow process first. What hits the external editor is not the “raw” RAW file, it’s the RAW file that’s been tweaked by Adobe Camera RAW.

Photo Mechanic doesn’t have an internal processor, it just sends the straight file out with no corrections, just like if you do the whole “reveal in finder,” then open it from there, only without all those extra steps.

4. It Handles RAW + JPEG Efficiently

With the click of a Command-J keystroke, you can toggle between displaying both the RAW and JPEG images side by side, or showing them as one RAW+JPEG file. Back and forth. Either or. Anytime you wish.

With Lightroom, you have to specify on import whether the included JPEG should be treated as a separate file or not. This can be slightly problematic, especially when renumbering your images. Maybe Lightroom has an option to apply the same filename to RAW+JPEGs, but I haven’t figured out what that is.

Also, if you’re using a camera that has built-in film simulations or other special colour and effect modes, which are embedded in the JPEG, those specific “looks” disappear once you import into Lightroom if you don’t keep those files separate. Adobe just applies it’s own standard colour profile, and if Lightroom imports your RAW+JPEG files together, essentially, the JPEG just disappears.

Photo Mechanic imports the RAWs and JPEGs as separate files, but as I said, you can just toggle back and forth. This lets you customize your RAW+JPEG workflow to fit your needs. Thoughts: Photo Mechanic gives you all the tools you need to do handle a large percentage of your digital photography workflow needs. It has powerful batch processing abilities, it works well with other programs, and again, it’s blazingly fast.

Don’t get me wrong, Lightroom is a great program, but Photo Mechanic is just so much faster with most tasks that you do on a regular basis. When you factor in the time it takes to upload, edit, caption, and keyword a large batch of RAW photos, the time saved can really add up.

How Fast is Photo Mechanic? Its hard for you to understand just by reading this article but when you have been out for the day and you have captured several hundred images, the Import into Photo Mechanic is amazing and then going through each image as a batch or one by one giving your images ratings you save so much time!.

That’s why I use Photo Mechanic. I have been converted and you will be too. So add this software to your workflow.


(Richard Brooks Photography) Adobe Lightroom Lightroom Phot Mechanic software Tue, 04 Jul 2017 18:26:03 GMT
Welcome To White Hart Lane. The World Famous Home Of The Spurs "Welcome To White Hart Lane. The World Famous Home Of The Spurs"

On Sunday 15th May 2017, I attended the game and left the current White Hart Lane Stadium for the last time that it will be known.  It was a celebration of all the things that went on at the stadium over it's 118 year history, but will be a sad day for many, who have made the journey to the ground for Spurs matches over the years.  A shiny new future awaits, but what has gone before will never be forgotten.

There has been many a Glory, Glory Nights and some not so glorious afternoons.  Tottenham have had star players and those who made fleeting appearances or worked for the team without the recognition some of their team-mates have enjoyed.  The fact that so many players return to be interviewed at half-time and it means so much to them, as well as the fans, says a lot for the old stadium.  Their pride and passion are matched by the supporters, who are the one constant, along with the stadium, in all this.  Players and managers come and go, but the ground is the nuts and bolts, with the fans being the stage dressing and the heart and soul that bring the place alive.  I was pleased to hear that the design of the new stadium is to retain a lot of the atmosphere of the Lane, as it needs to have the aspects of the old ground that fan and players talk about.  Fans being close to the pitch means that there is an essential feeling of being part of the game that many new stadia seem to have ignored when being built or adapted for football. 

I will miss the thrill I still get, as much as when I first experienced it, of walking up the steps and seeing the glorious pitch under the flood lights... into the light and seeing the green of the pitch in front of me.  The ground opens up and you feel at home straight away.  And that's why they call them home games at your home ground.  It is the familiar setting that you know every nook and cranny of.  You know where to go and how to get there.  You may even have a particular turnstile you use.  I know I have and it is one I have used for over 20 years.  Moving into the new ground, it will take a while to adjust to the new surroundings and develop those habits, but it will be exciting and talk of a new ground has been going on since the 1980s, when we were going to share a "super-stadium" with Arsenal at Alexandra Palace.  Well, they have their new ground and we will have ours and never the twain shall meet ... which is the way it should be.  Because "We are Tottenham.  Super Tottenham.  From The Lane" and always will be.  The new ground might get naming rights, but it's proximity to the old stadium means it will still be White Hart Lane and until the very, very last of the current fans leave this earth this stadium will ALWAYS be White Hart Lane and the announcer echoing the worlds "Welcome To White Hart Lane. The World Famous Home Of The Spurs"

And how will we refer to the new parts of the ground when we move in.  The Park Lane, The Paxton, West Stand or Shelfside.  Enclosure, Cage or Lower East Terrace.  The light blue and white painted gable end on the old West Stand, the gap when the West Stand wasn't there in the early 1980s while it was being re-built.  The gap under the North Stand as Sheringham returned ... but in the red and white of United.  Everyone has their own particular favourite part of the stadium and over the 35 years I have been going to see Spurs, I have always sat in the Paxton or Park Lane stands.
I was there when the lights went off against Luton for Gary Mabutt to take his team off the pitch only to return when power was restored to score a quick succession of goals and win the match. I was there to see Anderton and Sheringham’s corner kick routines fool most defences which meant lots of goals for us. There to see the trickery of David Ginola, Glen Hoddle, Chris Waddle and Paul Gazza Gascoigne and what about Gareth Bale taking Maicon to the cleaners all night long?

On the other hand, I was there when we lost to comebacks from Manchester United and City when they were 3-0 behind.  I was there when Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch.  I was there when there was the weirdest atmosphere against Getafe, when news came through that Martin Jol had been sacked.
Highs and lows we have suffered as Spurs fans and this season, we have had mainly highs at White Hart Lane, so the win against Manchester United of all teams at white hart Lanes final match was a very fitting finale.

So, is White Hart Lane just a football stadium ? 

To those who enter it's hallowed portals, is is much more.  A place of worship, a second home, a meeting place.  For it is a place that brings people together.  People whose names you might not know, but people who are there for the same cause.  People you might not see from one week/month/year/even decade on end, but you see them at the Lane.  Old school friends you haven't met since those days, suddenly come back into your life as you are standing in the queue for the turnstile.  The shared experience of a football match is shared with the bricks and steel of the stadium.  We are as much of the fabric of the Lane, as the building itself.  Fellow supporters who have grown up around me as I visit the ground for football matches, now attend with their children, as I do too.  The next generation, who will have their own memories of this fantastic old ground and then the new one to come.  They will be able to tell their grandchildren what "the old White Hart Lane" was like and form their own memories of the new stadium.

Like many famous Spurs fans who attend the matches at the Lane, he will be just another one of the family.  Nobody pesters them, because they are Spurs.  They are there like the rest of us.  To cheer the team on and have one more experience to add to the memory banks that will be on overdrive on Sunday evening.  The return of many of the players who have trod the turf over many years will add poignancy to proceedings and spark flashbacks to when they wore the lilywhite and blue on the pitch at the Lane.

I hope that the game against Manchester United left us remembering that our excellent band of players gave a display of variety and ability that left the audience thrilled and impressed by their skills.

It might have been the last, but it will be one of the most cherished memories about Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane to add to many already there.


(Richard Brooks Photography) COYS Deli Ali Glenn Hoddle Harry Kane N17 Paul Gascoigne The Lane Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur Welcome To White Hart Lane. The World Famous Home Of The Spurs Tue, 23 May 2017 18:45:00 GMT
The Lane The Finale The Lane The Finale 1882 - 2017

The 14th of May 2017 will go down in the history of Tottenham Hotspur for a number of reasons.  Some statistical.  Some factual.  But mostly emotional.

In over one hundred years of football played at White Hart Lane fans of Tottenham hotspur saw players of all eras standing next to each other. Sharing memories.  Taking photos and videos, just like fans. Soaking up the atmosphere for one last time. The expression on their faces seemed to reflect memories of glory flooding back into their minds as they took one last look around the famous old ground.  Part missing, but in their recollections.  Some wiping a tear away.  Others enjoying the moment as they took to the turf that used to be their 'back garden'. Taking selfies (David Ginola) or videos of the ground (Mickey Hazard)

Famous names.  Famous faces.  All had shared the pitch that many fans had trod for maybe the first time in their lives just minutes before.

The whole parade had been done with class and was clearly well thought and prepared about. What else would you expect, having been organised, performed and choreographed by Spurs fans.  Gospel, opera, brass band, plus backing vocals by 30,000 to boost the noise and the emotions.

And there in the middle, the old and the new.  Former Spurs stars, the current squad and the academy players.  And surrounding them, the old and the new.  What would soon make way for the new ground grows around it. 

Leaving the Lane was never going to be a n easy decision to make, with the clubs history it was never going to be easy for fans to realise no more games will be played at this iconic stadium and what a way to say goodbye by beating Manchester United 2-1 and thousands of fans showed their emotions by coming onto the pitch to say goodbye one last time. The euphoria on all their faces

I’m sure they had one last look and remembering all the times they’ve had at the Lane.  Good and bad, happy and sad, but all part of the experience and history of White Hart Lane.

Going, going ... soon to be gone.  But never forgotten.

(Richard Brooks Photography) COYS Daniel Levy Dele Ali Harry Kane Mauricio Pochettino N17 The Lane The Lane The Finale Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur White Hart Lane Thu, 18 May 2017 14:26:47 GMT
Virgin London Marathon 2017 Virgin London Marathon

Since May 2016!! i've been leading to this... The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon .

Months of preparation - of long runs, of interval runs on tired legs, training when i didn't want too or fell like doing, almost daily foam rolling, core exercises and using a suspension trainer, trying to eat clean and refusing junk food.

I hope you have experienced this yourself but if not there really is something special about running the London Marathon - with nearly 40,000 people who all have stories to tell, when with a clear line of sight you see thousands of people surrounding you.

The marshals and supporters, crowds shouting your name, willing you on to the finish especially at those tough moments. Finally seeing my family at mile 25.8 Generosity of spectators who offer jelly babies, oranges and sweets just to give us a quick boost as we head on by and fellow runners who just support each other at times of need. Basically it's a offering help to someone else as they too have been in this painful situation themselves in the past. The spectacular landmarks - running past the Cutty Sark, across Tower Bridge, along Embankment up to Big Ben and then the penultimate last few hundred metres along The Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background.

The best way this day can be described is that is - AMAZING an experience of love seeing and feeling and it saddens me when the day is over. I always seem to say to family and friends that's it! That was my last marathon.. but... a day later... the fantastic memories and reflection of "fun" i can't help but plan my next challenge, i make more plans My Perivale 5 mile race, The Cabbage Patch 10 mile race, Watford and Dartford half marathons all do wonders for self-achievement and my training but for me the London Marathon is the big one and most important to me. Even more so than my own birthday! To be fair as I'm getting older my birthday doesn't have the same significance it used too hence why the London Marathon gets promoted into the number one spot.

If there's anything you'd like to ask about this Marathon, don't hesitate to ask I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you but from the beginning :-

1) if you've just watched the London Marathon and think "I'd like to do that" Log on to the London Marathon website and enter the ballot with another 200,000 people. You may just be lucky to obtain one of 39,000 running spaces?

2) Really serious in running this marathon? Then consider running for a charity but you will have to raise sponsorship money of approximately £2,000!!

3) Once the ballot is entered then PLEASE oh PLEASE start your training NOW!!.... now, now, Now, Now! NOW!! If you're new to running this will give you ample of time to get used to ever increasing mileage, running through all the elements, allow time for body weaknesses to get highlighted in the form of injuries. You will need time to recover before starting training again

4) This will take you up to late October/November where you will find out if you were successful in the Ballot. If not still try a charity although now you will have less time to raise your required funds. If successful look at a reputable website for a training plan and choose an APPROPRIATE  plan for your ability. This is usually a 16 week plan! but returning to point three!... You've already built your running foundations and won't be starting from scratch. Therefore you're on course to reach your goal in April! You'll be glad you started this early. Use social media find other runners from all over the country, they are all friendly and offer support. They've been there, seen it, done it. They can help with any concerns you will have and importantly encourage you.

5) The running plan you have chosen will say on this day do this. On this day run that... OK everyone's body is different! You will have aches and pains that need time to recover. Be sensible if your body says it needs time to recover before do x routine, move your schedule around delay it or even miss it? Your schedule is repetitive you will have time to do it again.

6) No matter your personality. You will have mood swings especially in the last few weeks! Its human nature and we've all been there, try to relax, stay focused on you goal

7) Think about have regular sports massages. They loosen muscles, eliminate aches and importantly REDUCE the chances of injuries

8) March/VERY early April plan your kit, buy new trainers, wear them in! Long runs come into play. You'll get a better idea of your pace and predicted finishing time. Whatever your time add a few more minutes especially if family will be cheering you on, on the day. This allows for fatigue, tiredness and general runner backlog

9) I personally like a massage in the last week. I also like to go to the Expo early avoid the crowd and then save your legs for the remainder of the week. Have early nights, start your carb loading and drink more fluids, especially with electrolytes

10) The day itself. You will have race nerves. Relax and focus and stick to your plan. Think of why you're running and maybe who for. You have reached the London Marathon the last 26.2 miles of your journey and training plan. You can do this! Get ready for  hundreds and thousands of spectators ready to cheer you on. Even through your toughest moments, open your ears listen to the crowd. You've got this because crossing the finish line

11) Wear your T shirt and medal with absolute pride!! Tell all your family and friends. If they are rude and don't want to listen to your story again, make them! Remind them of YOUR achievement point out to them exactly how far you have run

12) Go back to point one! Do this all again!! You're an official member of the running community .

(Richard Brooks Photography) 26.2 London London Town Marathon Running Running Event Virgin London Marathon Virgin Money London Marathon abbott marathon major miles" ukrunchat Sun, 30 Apr 2017 18:15:00 GMT
Rio Ferdinand a Television Pundit But What An Amazing Dad! Rio Ferdinand a television pundit.

Following social media the program to watch on Tuesday night was going to be the Rio Ferdinand documentary. A documentary I can now only describe as an amazing piece of television. Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad aired on BBC One on Tuesday night, and it's fair to say it really touched, everyone and I mean everyone who watched it. If you watched this and didn’t feel the slightest bit of emotion then I would question if you are even human? The documentary showed brutal honesty and moving accounts of Rio Ferdinand and how he tragically lost his wife - and his children lost their mother - Rebecca Ellison died of breast cancer in May 2015, aged only 34. At the time the troll on the World Wide Web came online and hounded Rio Ferdinand for no real justification or reason other than they could? If these trolls watched this program I hope, really hope they feel a sense of shame?

The program featured the Manchester United legend giving a very personal account of how he and his family are coming to terms with the loss, whilst at the same time looking continuing daily life and supporting his children. The grieving process and how men deal with depression in a more general sense which stereotypically is not the norm. It pulled and to some ripped out many heart strings and was gut-wrenching, heartbreaking but beautiful, inspiring television. Rio came across as an absolute hero for just trying to do the best for his kids and attempting to deal with his own feelings of loss.

I urge you to watch this program on iPlayer if you haven't already, it's such a thought-provoking and moving piece of television.



(Richard Brooks Photography) BT Sports BT Sports Presenter England Manchester United Premier League Rio Rio Ferdinand Television Wed, 29 Mar 2017 17:45:00 GMT
Kebano breaks the hearts of Wigan Athletic Kebano's late strike breaks the hearts of Wigan Athletic

It was a very good game of football last Saturday. Looking atthe form guide with Wigan in the relegation zone i assume Fulham were going to take full contol of this game and win with ease. How wrong was i as Wigan fell behind in the game, they came back to lead 1-2 just on the stroke of half time. Although Fulham equalised with a wonderstrike from Dennis Odoi, Wigan defended incredibly well throwing every limb they could to block as a tam every shot Fulham through at them. Somehow with a minute to go Kebano found a way trhough slotting the ball in at the fat post. Three sides of the ground erupted with joy, whilst the Wigan Athletic players sunk to their knees or place their hands on their heads in utter disbelief that their hard , hard work to earn themselves a point had just been undone in a cruel cruel way.

Fulham, looking to extend a club record 16-match unbeaten run against Wigan, Floyd Ayite had put the hosts into the lead from close range early in the first half. Having started brightly the visitors fought back and Wigan drew level when Scott Malone somehow turned Stephen Warnock's cross into his own net. The visitors could have been further ahead at half-time after Omar Bogle hit the side-netting with only keeper David Button to beat.

Michael Jacobs slid in Max Power's cross to put the visitors ahead as the firt half was coming to an end in first-half stoppage-time. Wigan lost goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard to injury at half-time, with Matt Gilks taking over, but again went close to a third goal when Bogle was denied by Button.

Sone Aluko hit the crossbar with a shot for the hosts before Odoi's stunning strike levelled the scores.Denis Odoi's fantastic 35-40 yard shot found the bottom corner for Fulham past replacement goalkeeper Matt Gilks

The match looked likely to become the 11th draw between the sides in the last 17 meetings until Kebano struck on his return from Africa Cup of Nations duty with DR Congo.  Kebano curled home in a dramatic finish.

Fulham move up a place to ninth - within six points of the play-off places - following their win, while Wigan remain next to bottom and five points from safety.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Craven Cottage Denis Odoi Fulham Fulham 3 Wigan Athletic 2 Michael Jacobs Neeskans Kebano Slavisa Jokanovic Warren Joyce Wigan Athleticn Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:15:00 GMT
Three Strikes and you’re out VIRGIN MEDIA Three Strikes! and you’re out VIRGIN MEDIA!!

With the phone line and broadband company market being big business these day, there is no surprise companies are doing their upmost best to get our custom. Internet adverts, high street shops, junk mail, television adverts you can’t go very long through the day without seeing a supplier offering you a faster, better service than your current or a.n. other supplier. I get so used to receiving junk mail from the same companies on a monthly basis I now don’t need to open these  letters as I already know who it’s from and what they’re offering I can simply put these letters straight into my recycle bin.

In case you haven’t seen my previous blogs I have been with Sky television for over fifteen years, my family is growing, more technology is finding its way onto my router that my children are asking me more and more for the WIFI password. Although the broadband speed into the house isn’t too bad. When you divide this speed up now amongst all the devices being used simultaneously, it comes to a grinding halt and simple web pages load so slowly at times I feel I might be using a Windows 98 computer with a 56.6K Modem. In this modern day where speed should come as standard, I started to look for a solution, a faster broadband supplier.

My research highlighted a few teething problems but considering my property is exactly one mile from our phone exchange I couldn’t see this being too much of a problem regarding distance. Well it is as although or exchange is scheduled for a upgrade, according to BT OpenReach work has not been started and even after a year there is no scheduled start date which is quite a nuisance. This now means companies who supply the latest Fibre broadband service (Not broadband itself but fibre, there's a difference) I will not be able to subscribe to them as our exchange is not ready yet. This now means Sky, BT, EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk, PlusNet, and O2 would not be able to benefit from my custom as this service cannot be supplied due to us living near and old exchange station. An alternative would be to switch to a cable supplier. The only cable supplier available is Virgin Media. Virgin Media on paper moving your package away from and in my example, Sky to Virgin would save my household an incredible amount of money per month! Multiply that over the term of the contract and you wouldn’t need to be Einstein to work out the huge financial savings i would make. Then when this contract is about to expire the trick here is to renegotiate with your supplier and if this fails then join/ re-join the rival supplier as a new customer to maintain your cheaper and monthly outlay. Sneaky? No common sense to save money.

Sitting in stores, listening to sales persons and speaking on the phone Virgin Media assured me as a new household receiving a new cable to connect me to Virgin Media would be straight forward and easy to lay a brand new cable. The fact over the last two years, monthly i have received mail from Virgin themselves stating we are ina Virgin enabled area and its easy to switch as the infrastructure is already in place, it makes sense to move my services to Virgin. I currently receive an average broadband speed of 8mb per second (Already i can hear some of you laughing! a measly 8mbps) switching my broadband speed would increase to nearer 200MB. For less than I am currently paying BT and Sky! A faster broadband speed for less each month? Brilliant I thought so I went online and signed up to Virgin…

This was four months ago! This has entailed promises of installation dates virgin have given to me that they can connect me to their network. These are dates I have then had to arrange time off from work so an engineer can complete my installation in house. These are THREE promised installations, cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice with excuses of leaf blockages (I kid you not!!) of not being able to push a cable through a pipe, or needing council permission to gain access to a cabinet or exchange. Please note above I said Virgin have given me! dates that they can connect me to their services, so I would have thought within the timescale they have given to me!... That they could have made sure whatever behind the work needs to take place that they are capable of completing the task by the agreed date. What surprises me now this has failed to happen on three occasions and now three months after my initial connection date, this would have meant me being three months or a quarter of the way though my current contract. A period where Virgin would be monitoring me that i keep up with payments and me monitoring Virgin Media’s service and contemplating my next move if my contract is worth extending albeit in nine months’ time? As it is my contract has now not even started! I have spent a lot of time and energy ringing their customer service team, spending however long being kept in the queuing system, sending emails and writing letters, awaiting for call backs just to hear broken promises or excuses as to why it’s so hard to obtain council permission to various sites to complete the necessary work. This takes four months to complete does it? This happens every time Virgin themselves give me an installation date to fulfil this work that they then decide they now need more time to complete the connection. Even before my connection and binding contract, how can they promise that they will complete the work in hand and then... move the goal posts? The most recent cancelation I rang their offices at 12:45 to confirm their attendance the following day, which indeed I was assured an engineer would be attending. By 18:30 that same day I received a TEXT message to inform me that the booked installation has now been cancelled?

Just as in December 2016 when my installation then was cancelled the assistant informed me that they are cancelling but cannot give me a new rearranged date due to the length of the repairs needed at their end. Having rung in January t confirm the work had now been completed and to now book my third installation scheduled for 7th February 2017. This was cancelled and again just as it was in December and I have no new rearranged date installation date until they finish the necessary work behind the scenes.... again??

I cannot fathom how a company as large as Virgin Media functions this way, telling me in more than one way that they can provide my household with a service, making promises and then repeatedly breaking them way before the service has even started. Rubbing salt into my wounds on by sending me text messages on the day of the cancelled installation that If I were to refer a family or friend to Virgin Media we would both receive £50!!…. They assume, after the last four months I would honestly offer to refer a family or friend to Virgin Media to experience the same poor customer service that i have had to endure. It’s not as if I had received a good, prompt and reliable service so what positivity and praise could I possibly find and tell my family, friends and neighbours about Virgin Media’s wonderful service because after four months there is nothing in my experience that even springs to mind that I could possibly say to influence anyone to leave their current supplier for a company who are still not delivering what they said they could to me since October 2016.

My time spent complaining to Virgin Media has reached my maximum effort. Emails, Phone conversations and letters and it feels no one is listening and no one is prepared to take responsibility regarding this issue to get me a protentially new customer connected to Virgin Media.

Therefore my next option is to complain and raise a case against Virgin Media via the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). A company who regulate and oversea that companies such as Virgin Media are doing just what they advertise they do. (clearly they are not with false advertising) CISAS are the equivalent to OFCOM who a company name you may be more familiar with.

Thank you and goodbye Virgin Media!

(Richard Brooks Photography) BT BT Infinity Broadand CISAS EE False Advertising Fibre Information Technology O2 OFCOM Plusnet Rich Brooks Richard Brooks Sky Sky Broadband Sky Fibre TalkTalk Ultrafast Optical Fibre Connection Virgin Virgin Media Vivid 200 Vivid 200 gamer Vodafone Fri, 10 Feb 2017 19:45:00 GMT
Millwall 1-0 Watford: Emirates FA Cup Millwall 1-0 Watford: Emirates FA Cup

Having knocked premiership team Bournemouth out of the FA Cup 3-0 in round 3. Millwall found themselves drawn at home again this time playing against Watford. Could Millwall do the same again, this time to another premiership team? Sitting in 10th place in league 1 to those that bet Millwall were clearly the underdogs for this game. Which make this completion a wonderful event as in these games the underdogs can cause an upset! For Millwall this was VB Day – Victory in Bermondsey Day – Not only could fans celebrate the club’s escape from a compulsory purchase order to redevelop the surrounding area that threatened their existence in this part of London. They had an FA Cup game being broadcast live on BBC1. So far it had been a great week and a victory on the pitch in this game would without doubt make every Lions fan roar! And roar they did!

The midday kick off meant an early start to the game for myself. Upon walking down Zampa Road at 09:15 I was shocked to see I wasn’t the first to arrive! The concourse was already heaving with fans, queuing for their match tickets or hanging around the player’s entrance trying to grab a selfie or autograph of their idols. The photographer area sits on the second floor of the Barry Kitchener stand and lugging a case up the narrow stairs is quite a work out. Once in the photographer’s area I couldn’t believe there was hardly an empty sit to be seen. Journalists typing away, photographers setting up their gear. It was a bit too overcrowded for me so I chose to take me gear pitch side, early and to get myself prepared for the game ahead outside in the drizzle.

As kick off approached and the ground started to fil up the atmosphere started to increase to a much higher level than my previous visit. Mainly due to the Magic of this the FA Cup.

As the home team Millwall started the game well and the early chances fell to Millwall who played with great togetherness and showed the desire to win. Neil Harris’s men were not intimidated by facing a team who currently sit 39 league places above them and created the majority of chances and eventually got the goal their display deserved. Sitting on the side-lines it wasn’t surprising. Personally and IN MY OPINION felt Watford assumed they would win, and didn’t show much desire. Substitutes who warmed up heard their name being shouted from the crowd and often turned to smile and wave, laugh and joke, which doesn’t usually happen but to me a sign they was not focussed on this game. Yes Walter Mazzari made player changes before the game. That’s the managers choice and decision he felt these players would still be sufficient to win the game. You cannot hold this against Millwall as they are there to play and all they can do is beat the team that’s put in front of them. This they did so credit goes to Millwall for completing the task in hand and should no way like any underdog winning be a reflection of you won but against a reserve side! I reiterate credit goes to the winning team regardless of changes made so I give credit always to the team that one. Excuses.. I take very little notice of hearing them that’s pretty bad sportsmanship.

Morison’s goal was a bitter blow for Watford but, in truth, it was their own doing as Walter Mazzarri made seven changes to his team and it was clear to see. Watford performed below par and apart from a promising spell during the second half when they were denied a possible penalty after Byron Webster pulled Stefano Okaka’s shirt as the striker tried to connect with Adlène Guedioura’s cross, Watford have little to complain about.


With just five minutes of the game remaining, Steve Morison, the League One side’s top scorer, connected with Shane Ferguson’s cross. He was left totally unmarked and with a perfectly timed volley at the back post. The ball went straight through the legs of Heurelho Gomes. Three sides of the ground rose to their feet screaming and shouting queue the traditional celebration from the fans of Miiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllll ………… and Millwall were on their way and sealed their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup which is for the the third time in six seasons.

With 5 minutes remaining plus injury time it was down to Millwall to play the game out They had appeared to be the stronger team on the day and even with such little time left Watford didn’t appear to have much of an idea how to test keeper Jordan Archer in such little time of the game left. At the final whistle the ground was filled with euphoria while the traveling yellow army from Watford showed their disapproval by booing their own players.

The next round of the Emirates FA Cup was drawn on the One Show on Monday night and Millwall now have a home match again against either Premiership team Leicester City or Championship team Derby County. The date of the game is still be decided as television companies decide which games they will want to show live. At present the game will be played on 17-20th February 2017.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Emirates FA Cup FA Cup Millwall 1 Watford 0 Neil Harris Rich Brooks Richard Brooks Sports Photographer Sports Photography Steve Morrison The Den Walter Mazzarri Wed, 01 Feb 2017 19:15:00 GMT
A Few Tips Protecting Your memory Cards Using You Memory card - Memory card tips!

That small piece of plastic we insert into our camera’s and mobile phones, how many of us overlook its importance! So if you enjoy taking digital photos on a memory card (and you probably are), SPEND A FEW MOMENTS  AND READ THIS!


Most people look at a memory card as a piece of plastic or metal, and they don't think much about them (To a certain degree me included). But inside those covers, there is a LOT of technology to save our memories. There is flash memory, a controller and much more. The quality of that memory and often determines the speed and quality of your card.

Your memory card has something called a File Allocation Table, otherwise known as a FAT Table. Think of your memory card as a book and the FAT Table as a Table of Contents. When you format a memory card, you are not actually erasing the card, you are just clearing the FAT Table. have removed the Table of Contents, but the chapters of the book still remain. All the images will remain on your card until you take more pictures and overwrite them. This is why you Lexar's with their memory cards supply a free software program Image Rescue, While SanDisk's use Rescue Pro. To be honest there are other data recovery software to help recover images from a card even after it is formatted. 

So that said : -

1. DON’T erase images from your memory card in your camera! Even I am guilty of this from time to time but do not go through your photos and delete them one by one using your camera. I see family and friends doing this all the time and it isn’t a good idea. Your camera does a good job in taking photos, but it is not very smart at managing the data on your memory card. Deleting individual images from the card using your camera is a great way to scramble the FAT Table. DON'T DO THAT! Memory cards have gotten so inexpensive and large, that you should not have to delete images to save space. Just pop in a new card and keep shooting. Once you have downloaded to your computer, and backed up the images THEN by all means format your card to use it time after time again.


2. Format your memory cards in your camera, not on your computer. This should be common sense but I have seen advice given to people to format their memory cards on your computer. Nooo, please don’t’ do this! You want to format the cards in the camera. And you should do this on the camera you are shooting with. You are reading this correctly...I do not format in one Canon camera and move it to another. Will they work? Yes, they will. But in time when you run into issues this will be the cause as to why. Speaking of this, it is not a good idea to pull a memory card out of one camera model and putting it into another without formatting.


3. Formatting: It’s a good idea to format your cards after each shoot. Actually I do it before its event but same rule applies. Once you have downloaded your card and have the images stored on your hard drive (In more than one place is sensible), you should format that card before it's next use. It keeps things cleaner on the card.

4. Use a fast card reader! There is no point buying reliable memory cards to insert into a cheap card reader that cannot cope with the file size or an acceptable transfer speed. it really kills me. Its simple. Buy fast reliable cars then also by fast reliable card readers to speed up the transfer rate and connectivity. Keep an eye on technology improvements. At present USB 3.0 is quite common, buying USB 3.0 devices which will be compatible with USB 2.0 devices for not much more expense. Trust me this will save you an incredible amount of time waiting for images to transfer due to its increased speed. as the speed


5. Don't fill a card completely. Try not too but thee may be that odd occasion. But even though most memory cards are built well, it is not a good idea to fill a card completely. One of the reasons that I love shooting with large memory cards, is so that I have tons of head room to shoot a lot of photos and not worry about overfilling the card.


6. Don't pull a memory card out of your camera or card reader when data is being written or read from the card. While data is being transferred to/from the card and the user interrupts that process, There is a high chance now that you will lose some or all of your photos. And don't always trust the red light either on your camera to determine is data is being transferred. Before I pull my memory cards, I always wait an extra couple of seconds after the red light on the cameras goes off, signifying that the data is done being written to the card.

7. If you have two card slots in your camera, write your images redundantly to both cards to have more peace of mind. This way, if one card gets corrupted, you can most likely get the images off of the other card. Seems tedious to do so but if one card were to fail, imagine your joy as the second card steps in to save the day and all your work

8. Purchase name brand memory cards. Oh my god please, please do this! Not cheap ones bought and imported from eBay. People have tried to tell me how they bought a massive sized memory card on eBay for peanuts and I should too… (Sound the Klaxon) Absolutely not a chance in hell I will purchase these cheap and possibly…  fake cards. When they fail (oh and they will) I haven’t got time to add this kind of stress into my life and fight with a machine trying to recover a day’s work which I won’t have a chance in recovering. When cheap cards fail! That’s it, everythings gone with a lot of time work and effort also! I use SanDisk or Lexar memory cards in all my cameras, but there are others too, These two brands are my preferred choices but make sure that you do not use one of those cards made by a no-named company. Remember, you are trusting your images to the card! And you are going to be using the card over and over, so spend a little more to get a better product, in the long term, will not cost you much more. Nothing kills me more than seeing someone shooting with a great camera, expensive lens with a cheap and slow memory card.


They myth that * If memory cards get dropped in water, the data will be lost forever!* Nope, not true. Memory cards are made with solid state memory these days, it is not uncommon for them to go through the washer and dryer and still be useable. Would I keep using that card after a situation like this? Probably not. But most likely your data will still be on the card and can be recovered


9. Storing your cards I have my cards loose in my bags all the time. I do not use the little jewel cases that come with the cards. But would a little extra card protection be a bad thing? Try and use the jewell cases the cards came in or think about purchasing the ThinkTank Pixel PocketRockets.

10. X-Ray machines can’t damage your cards I have had many people ask me how they should travel with their memory cards, especially at airports. In the old days, the X-Ray machines could damage 1000 speed film, but they pose no threat to the solid state memory cards you own today.

In conclusion...

I hope this helps you have a better understanding of your memory cards and readers and appreciate them a little more. There is so much technology packed into these small devices. They’re so small now that it is easy for us to take them for granted.

Just a few and simple tips that could save you from a disastrous situation. I hope this helps. Keep your cards safe and happy shooting.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Amazon Compact Flash Image Rescue Lexar Rescue Pro Richard Brooks SD Card SanDisk Sports Photographer Sports Phtography Think Tank eBay Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:15:00 GMT
Virgin Media Part 2 Virgin Media Part 2

After registering with Virgin back on 15th October 2016 to take over my phone line and broadband service todate this shambolic customer service and feeble transfer is still continuing. My first blog on this can still be read :HERE:

I have rung the customer support team on so many occasions, I have been kept on hold and been fed unhelpful information that ive now given up speaking on the phone to these people as spending 20 – 30 minutes each occasion to a number that isn’t free to me is a pointless exercise. So I have written three letters to their headquarters in  Swansea and have received one reply :-

I appreciate this has been a very frustrating time and you were looking forward to enjoying your new service. We want nothing more than to provide the service but the problem as you may have been made aware is one of construction. Construction? My house is fine thanks. Problem does not lie with me?

We do not come across these issues until we action the installation. When you first call, the sales team check to see the address is marked as serviceable. This simply means the architecture is in place. In this case it is :- I knew this anyway as for the last two years I receive the same advertisement brochure every single month which starts :- *** Road is already connected to Virgin Media. Claim your irresistible prices today” So far, my house address is “serviceable” and my street is already connected to the virgin network. Prior to your install a crew come out to what we term pre-pull the external cable. It is at this point we sometimes come across constructions issues or capacity. Services are subject to availability.

In most areas the cabinets, cables, ducting for the cables etc has been in situe for a number of years. Ducting can become blocked or crushed. Access points outside homes called T Plates get covered over, if councils resurface pavements etc. So we have to clear whatever presents itself before we can install.  Now, I am not a engineer or technician so this last paragraph is totally irrelevant to me and not my problem so why try burden me wanting me to show empathy here? What Virgin are failing to understand… Is that on 15th October I wanted their services and placed an order for this to commence and start a month later on 15th November. Since this date they have had ample of opportunity to assess the situation and provide the appropriate manpower to rectify any problem behind the scenes so my service starts on the date we both agreed it would on 15th November 2016. It was VIRGIN who cancelled this installation and told me a new date their work would now be completed and my installation would be 2nd December 2016. Hey they cancelled this agreed installation too and now as a third attempt my installation is scheduled for 7th February, or as before will they ring me again and cancel this on 6th February?

In my position at work if I have been given a deadline to complete a task, you do it. If this timescale does not allow do you pull from other resources to achieve this deadline? I would have thought so but to Virgin, getting one extra customer isn’t a necessity it seems. Surely if the work had been carried out as agreed, and I was happy with the service? Would I not recommend to neighbours, friends and family to make this switch to Virgin? From this experience… what positive things could I possibly say about my ‘smooth’ transfer and Virgins customer service team?

We will continue to monitor the install and contact you after the installation to further discuss the complaint and hopefully be able to close it once you are satisfied with the outcome.

If you require any further assistance please give us a call on 0345-6503131 … Give you a call. Spend more hours of my already busy life ringing you, who will waste my time with feeble excuses which will cost me money! Should you not be making the effort and contacting me !! Virgin???

(Richard Brooks Photography) BT Broadand EE Fibre Information Technology Richard Brooks Sky Ultrafast Optical Fibre Connection Virgin Virgin Media Vivid 200 Vivid 200 gamer Vodafone Sat, 28 Jan 2017 18:50:00 GMT
Fulham 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Brighton came from a goal down to beat Fulham and go top of the Championship.

The Whites won a 15th-minute penalty when Bruno handled, but David Stockdale saved Stefan Johansen's spot-kick.

The hosts dominated the first half and were rewarded after the break as Lucas Piazon curled into the corner.

However, the game turned when Tomer Hemed levelled from the penalty spot after he was fouled, before Lewis Dunk was quickest to a loose ball to score Brighton's winner two minutes later.

The win for the visitors, coupled with Newcastle's surprising loss at Blackburn, sent the Seagulls two points clear at the top after they extended their unbeaten run to 18 league games.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic left striker Chris Martin out of his squad, with the forward linked with an early return to parent club Derby County from his season-long loan.

It did not seem to affect the hosts in the opening hour. They forced the early penalty and also had Matt Smith go close in the first half, before Piazon's opener soon after the break.

The Seagulls drew level when Ragnar Sigurdsson brought down Hemed in the box and the Israel striker scored his sixth goal of the season.

And before Fulham had time to gather themselves, Dunk was on hand to head in the rebound after Anthony Knockaert's effort had been saved.

Chris Hughton, Brighton manager :

"We probably didn't deserve the win but we showed enough.

"There were periods in the game where Fulham looked very good. It is very difficult when you are playing a team as expansive as these are. You have to make sure you don't allow them opportunities to play.

"We found it difficult but we came away with the best chance in the first half but we needed a goalkeeper who was very good today and sometimes those ingredients win you games."

"The challenge for the players is to stay at the top. We have stressed to the players the second half of the season will be harder because everyone is pushing harder, expectation levels rise and we have to manage that.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Brighton & Hove Albion Chris Hughton Craven Cottage Fulham Fulham 1 Brighton & hove Albion 2 Stefan Johansen Wed, 25 Jan 2017 19:15:00 GMT
Fulham 2 Derby County 2 Fulham end Derby's seven-game winning run in the Championship in an entertaining draw at Craven Cottage.

Tom Ince put Derby ahead with his seventh goal in as many games when Johnny Russell's through-ball gave him time to shoot low past David Button.

The hosts grabbed a deserved equaliser when Ryan Fredericks teed up Floyd Ayite for a tap-in.

Stefan Johansen's shot from the edge of the box put Fulham in front, but Alex Pearce headed in Ince's corner.

Fulham, who are unbeaten at home in six matches, started at a furious pace but Ince struck for the Rams with their first noteable chance.

Scott Carson then saved from Fredericks and Kevin McDonald, but the Derby keeper was finally beaten for the first time in six matches by Ayite.

The Cottagers again forced the pace after half-time, with Scott Malone having a shot well blocked before Johansen's strike threatened to inflict only a second defeat on Derby boss Steve McClaren since his return.

But Pearce's equaliser forced a fifth draw in the last six matches between the two sides at Craven Cottage, despite a late scare for the visitors when Lucas Piazon's free-kick hit the bar.

The visitors, who have lost just once in 13 matches, drop two places to seventh, while Fulham, with just two defeats in 11, move up a place to ninth.

Derby manager Steve McClaren:

"What the boys have done for the past seven games has been incredible. To win seven in any division is difficult - to win seven and keep six clean sheets is even harder.

"It had to end sometime and I'm pleased it didn't end in defeat. I'm so proud of the players and the staff.

"Fulham kept coming at us and had our backs to the wall. This was the first time during our run we'd been behind and the players reacted well and got their reward."

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic:

"I cannot be completely satisfied. We paid a heavy price for making a mistake. We played all the football, dominated the game and created chances.

"But it wasn't enough to win the game and this isn't the first time it's happened. We must work to improve ourselves and make ourselves more solid and competitive.

"They scored twice after our mistakes and in this competition that's not acceptable."

(Richard Brooks Photography) Floyd Ayite Derby County Fulham Fulham 2 Derby County 2 Slavisa Jokanovic Steve McClaren Tom Ince Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:00:00 GMT
Queens Park Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Blackburn Rovers progressed in to round four of the FA Cup and now have a home fixture against Blackpool or Barnsley.

Rovers led through Joel Lynch’s eighth minute goal, an advantage they doubled on the hour mark through Liam Feeney's close-range finish.

Their two goal advantage lasted for just a minute however, with Jake Bidwell reducing the deficit from the spot after Gordon Greer was penalised for a push.

However, they saw the game through to make it two wins from two at the start of 2017.

Owen Coyle made four changes for the FA Cup tie, with returns for David Raya, Ben Marshall, Elliott Bennett and Sam Gallagher.

However, with Craig Conway injured, and Marvin Emnes cup-tied, it was a near full-strength Rovers line-up for the game at Loftus Road.

Raya didn’t have to wait long for his first save, that coming in the fourth minute from a Grant Hall free-kick.  The midifelder tried his luck from 25 yards after Jason Lowe fouled Ebere Eze, but it was easy for the Spaniard to collect on the bounce.

That came moments before Rovers threatened from a free-kick of their own, with Danny Graham flashing a header wide from an Elliott Bennett inswinger.

Bennett would then have a big hand in the goal which put Rovers 1-0 infront just eight minutes in.  He won the ball deep in his own half and embarked on a terrific surging run forward.  His cross was headed goalwards by Sam Gallagher, and although Matt Ingram saved, the ball hit Joel Lynch and rolled over the line.

It was reward for a bright start from the visitors, with Ben Marshall firing wide as the 10 minute mark passed.

That brought about something of a lull in the game, with QPR enjoying plenty of possession, but much of it in front of Rovers who were looking to play on the break.

And it was Rovers who would threaten next, as after a sustained spell of pressure, Charlie Mulgrew found room from Jason Lowe’s header, but his header was excellently blocked, before Sam Gallagher turned over, albeit from an offside position inside the six yard box.

Liam Feeney was looking particularly bright on the right wing, and forced several corners for his side.

Such was the frustration the hosts were feeling, Joel Lynch tried an effort from all of 35 yards after striding out from the back.  Although well hit, it was wide of Raya’s post, as QPR waited for a standout chance.

A half which Rovers had looked comfortable in ended with a Ben Marshall strike going just over, as they took their advantage in to the break.

QPR started the second half stronger, looking for a way back in to the game.  Elliott Bennett was forced in to an excellent defensive clearance just three minutes after the re-start, after Jamie Mackie had wriggled his way in to the box.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Owen Coyle Blackburn Rovers Emirates FA Cup Fa Cup Ian Holloway Jamie Mackie Loftus Road Queens Park Rangers Queens Park Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Paul Lambert gets his first win for Wolves as 10-man QPR lose at home Paul Lambert gets his first win for Wolves as 10-man QPR lose at home


Paul Lambert secured his first win as Wolves manager with a 2-1 victory over QPR in the Sky Bet Championship at Loftus Road on Thursday 1st December.

The former Norwich boss took over the post on November 5 following Walter Zenga's departure and only managed a draw and a defeat from his opening two games, but this was was going to now be a memorable trip to west London.

Both managers rang the changes to their starting XIs with QPR boss Ian Holloway making three changes following the 3-0 loss to Ipswich and Lambert changing five players, including goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who would go off injured late on.

QPR started the game well and looked in control and more likely to score first. This was until QPR were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when James Perch was shown his second yellow card of the game. This tackle was a little reckless and there were very few complaints as Perch was shown his marching orders. The 31-year-old, who had been booked early in the match for dissent, brought down Doherty with a mistimed lunge and referee Tim Robinson had no hesitation in issuing a second booking.

So inevitably it was Wolves who broke the deadlock on the hour mark through Dave Edwards' first-time shot before doubling their lead just six minutes later through Helder Costa.

The home side battled back in the last 10 minutes was too little too late and mustered a consolation goal when Joel Lynch beat substitute goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.

Wolves, who were without a league win in nine games before kick-off, tried to make the most of having an extra man yet it was the Hoops that started the second half the stronger side.

As the 10 men of QPR began to tire, Wolves picked up their attack and on the stroke of the hour mark the visitors finally found the back of the net.

Dominic Iorfa made a run down the wing and his cross into the box fell to Edwards whose first-time volley went past everyone on its way into the net.

The midfielder went close to a second just five minutes later but his shot was blocked by a low diving save from Alex Smithies, however just a minute later Wolves doubled their lead.

Costa collected the ball outside the area and after dummying the QPR defenders twice, found the bottom corner.

The game looked won but QPR found an extra burst of power and in the 90th minute Lynch gave Holloway's men a glimmer of hope when his shot went past Lonergan.

Tt was just too little, too late for the home side who, despite seven minutes of injury time, could not find a leveller.

(Richard Brooks Photography) Carl Ikeme Ian Holloway Joel Lynch Loftus Road Paul Lambert Penalty QPR Queens Park Rangers RED card Wolverhampton Wanderers Wolves Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:26:55 GMT
VIRGIN MEDIA The worst start to a company I’ve ever experienced…….. Virgin Media

In this day and age we all receive emails, letters, phone calls, text messages or get hassled in shopping precincts from companies wishing to sell us more and more services. The phone and television market is no different, those can remember from having three television channels which ceased broadcasting at midnight with programs for children at set times only! Fortunately channel 4 arrived and then channel 5. Then finally Cable and Satellite channel’s brings us up to this modern and digital age.

What an insane market to choose from for our home entertainment Sky, Virgin, EE, BT, TalkTalk (have I missed anyone?) All claiming to be cheaper and faster than their rivals. Let’s be honest and just take a step back. They all supply a service charge us all for simple things which regardless who we choose we’re all probably spending £60 PLUS on this entertainment. I do know families spending over £100. Per month sounds a lot but to spend this in a 24 or 18 month contract! What a rip-off.

Needless to say for the last 15 plus years I’ve been with Sky TV why?, probably just too lazy to move to another supplier and I have got to know the channel numbers off the top of my head so there is no need to move right? Why would I want to learn different numbers all over again for the same channels? Well…. My family has grown which needs telly sharing, we all have different interests which now requires us watching our favourite programs at different times. I have found myself having to record programs and watch them late at night with peace and quiet or view them on the computer with SkyGo. The clue in the above sentence is “viewing on a computer”. Now considering I’m watch a program on the computer, children have tablets, wife is on her device, games console, printer uploading pictures to clients. Our internet is breaking and that broadband speed is an all time slow as it struggles to share its bandwidth to all these devices.  According in my supplier ”We have the fastest broadband” around, which I’m starting to doubt the truth behind this actual statement. Every device in our house is requiring a share of that speed. This frustration turned my head as I walked past the Virgin media store with the same sales persons over the last few months couldn’t believe his luck as I was actually stepping into this shop to hear what he had to say. Viewing the assistant’s computer screen along with our constant junk mail posted through our door our street has already installed the latest cables and we live in a virgin compatible area.

As the assistant explained, the answer to my problem here is Fibre. Fibre the latest technology to cope with our modern day demand.  I need this service to help with the work load I intend to burden its shoulders with. Believe me I will! The problem is that although a majority  In our area with streets full of copper wires, not one supplier can offer us the fibre service Sky, BT, EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk, PlusNet, absolutely no one except …. VIRGIN MEDIA using its “cable” service. So I all I need to do now is arrange a cancelation and a connection for my phone line and broadband supplier to transfer to Virgin’s stronger and faster infrastructure to solve all of my in house problems.

On 15th October 2016, I decided to place my order and looked at the list of available dates to start my new service. As this would require a day off from work I took a day off planning installation for a month later on 15th November. Well this date couldn’t come fast enough for me. Download speeds of up to 200MB/Sec Uploading pictures to client’s galleries at nearly 20MB/Sec will mean I won’t have to leave my computer on overnight as it uploads pictures to the correct albums I can now upload in a fraction of this time! What a result a real winner…. I was rubbing my hands with glee

Well low and behold 18:30!! On the 14th November Virgin rang to cancel my installation! CANCEL why??? What because down the road there was blockage. Wait for it!!.... This blockage was due to leaves and the leaves are preventing the cable being pushed through for connection. Can you believe this! LEAVES are stopping a modern day high speed digital phone line from being connected. I held this phone to my ear in utter disbelief and listened over and over at this excuse, expecting any minute now the assistant to crack out into fits of laughter with the punchline “GOTCHA!” …. I waited and waited until it dawned on me, he was actually serious. From being completely puzzled and confused my tone of voice changed into and no matter how much I argued, Virgin were just not coming out to install my service. They did however arrange “themselves” to come out again on 2nd December and credit my account with £50. Remember my account that hasn’t official opened yet?.

So restraining myself and trying to be patient I looked forward to the new date on 2nd December…. Well I could not believe whilst at work 13:30 on 1st December my phone rings again from Virgin with another problem that they couldn’t fix in the THREE weeks that they could have done from the last cancelation.

Let’s get this right… Each time a date has been arranged its’ been down to VIRGIN to tell me the date when they can perform this installation and when it has come down to it, they have not been able to complete what they promised? Two installations and now two! Failed bookings. Not to mention twice going into work, asking/begging for the day off work for this to be a completed has been a complete waste of time.  In total Virgin Media have had SEVEN weeks altogether to perform all the necessary checks and installations needed in the high street to perform the final installation within my property on the agreed date in question. The fact these are issues away from my property with blockages or applying to the council for access permission is not my or any customers fault. Its a procedure virgin have performed millions of times already so what could possibly be preventing m connection on this occasion? 

Is this a sign just to stay with my current supplier and stay with the company I have been connected too for many years? Eventually when I do get connected, is Virgin’s network going to break down every two minutes? To which I have to contact this customer service team who have already proved, even before my installation has been completed that they are just not up to the task, with their attitude on the phone to me and service? I have spent more than enough time on the phone to the customer service team, calling from another phone supplier is hardly going to be a free phone call is it? I have had to continue paying BT and SKY for the service they give me when it should have been cancelled and have been paying just the one …. VIRGIN who clearly are making so much money already that their profit margins are so high they can afford to mess me about and for me not to pay them for a service.

This is a true story not factual in anyway. If you thought this blog was long just, wait until you see my letter I’m sending to virgin media’s head office to finally conclude this matter.


(Richard Brooks Photography) BT Broadand EE Fibre Information Technology Sky Ultrafast Optical Fibre Connection Virgin Virgin Media Vivid 200 Vivid 200 gamer Vodafone Wed, 07 Dec 2016 08:33:30 GMT
Why you shouldn’t …. Buy cheap memory cards Why you shouldn’t …. Buy cheap memory cards

Regardless of what device you use you’ll probably notice that you need storage space to keep all your pictures, songs and general documents that are important to you on this device to make them work for you. In this day and age the more space you have the more data you can store. Buying this storage in many forms E.G micro SD, SD Card, Flash drive or Compact Flash card etc. can be quite expensive and with the biggest decision being how much storage do I need. In photography do I buy many small memory cards so on a day’s shooting I can take the full card out, keep it safe and insert the new card? Or buy one gigantic card to store all the pictures conveniently from the days shoot but if I lose or something happens to that one card, you can imagine how I would feel losing all the pictures from that day and my clients well, they’ll be livid, no? It is a dilemma and one that should have some thought behind your decision basically what works for you?

Of course I bet you’ve had a someone suggest certain companies or websites that have sold them incredibly cheap memory cards and you should buy yours from there too! But how cheap is too cheap? How would you feel buying a cheap memory card loading it full of pictures, music and personal files that at some point a few weeks or months later it fails and you’ve lost everything? This cheap memory card you inserted you wouldn’t feel that it was much of a bargain now would you? I know I’d be full of regret and feel the fool. Another issue of care must be the “fake” cards in huge circulation and to be honest normally found on eBay I’m sad to say? They look like the real deal, the description say they are too…. But a big give away that they’re not, is the too good to be true price and location from around the world that they’re being posted from. Don’t forget eBay offers feedback from others who have bought items from them in the past and any negative feedback with complaints of a previous purchase is more indication not to buy from there. If reliability doesn’t concern you then can I quickly ask you to read this article :HERE: The reason behind an expensive camera falling into the lake to rust away is quite shocking. The photographer fearing the camera and pictures have been lost forever needed a lot of luck for someone happily fishing one day to drag it back to the surface. I’m sure the camera could be repairable not sure it could be cost effective but I’m sure a cheap or fake memory card would not have been able to store and save the 1700 memorable pictures from the bottom of the lake that this photographer had taken on there. If the camera couldn’t be saved at least this photographers memories have been! Im sure anyone would settle for that, memories are part of our lives and photography help us remember key moments and loved ones.

You must realise by now you will need a reliable card and a cards speed should be part of your decision too. A cards reading and writing speed will affect your devices performance. Obviously you live in a modern world and time is all important! You’ll probably want a responsive device and limit waiting time so fast cards able to read your information are always beneficial. A lot of my cards that I use are in my DSLR cameras. It is very frustrating taking a burst of shots filling the buffer too quickly because the camera can’t write the images quickly enough to the memory cards. This results in shutter delay and this lag time where pictures are not getting taken, you guessed it will be the split second I want the picture taken of that match winning goal or incredible celebration.

With the above taken into consideration it doesn’t mean you must buy the most expensive cards out there because that too isn’t value for money, and will seriously dent your pocket. Please do your research and maybe through previous experience stick to what you know. I actually stick to one or two proven brands only!! And for me a good time to buy memory cards too…. Black Friday Amazon sales!! November 26th 2016 I believe it is this year Compact Flash and SD cards are on my list and Micro SD cards for mine and my households mobile phones.

DSLR Vs Mobile Phone DSLR vs Mobile Phone

In 2013 one of America’s largest papers the Sun-Times took the SURPRISE decision to make professional photographers that they employed… redundant. They felt that these professional photographers were surplus to their requirements but sent each photographer a memo about training to take pictures on Apple’s iPhone? This is going to begin the debate between the photographer with a very expensive DSLR camera and the ordinary person who uses their mobile phone to take those family pictures but calls themselves a photographer also? In this day and age everyone carries a mobile phone around with them, it is part of everyday life and as valuable as our house keys and wallet.

Phones have made things even easier now, that we can pay for items in stores with our mobiles making it no so important we need to carry our wallets/purses all of the time. With the mobile able to be whipped out of one’s bag or pocket we can immediately capture the sun rising/setting or family moment within seconds with, pretty pleasing results. Results that can easily be shared with a few swipes of the finger to family friends and those on social media. I believe these good results are in situations with slow moving objects near perfect lighting and surroundings. The DSLR camera has been around for years and each year the photography manufactures find ways to build the next model with fantastic improvements to the last. 

I believe currently the difference between a DSLR and mobile phone is the difference between day and night or chalk and cheese. The mobile phone sits in one’s pocket and guess what every professional photographer will carry one of these too. The DSLR mind you carries a heavy bag full of changeable lenses but is more flexible in getting the desired results in a variety of lighting when you only have one chance and one chance only to capture that! Moment.
Obviously I feel if you like photography and work within the industry a proper DSLR is the way to take pictures. DSLR improve every year but the mobile phone cameras are improving, are improving more at a quicker rate and one day, maybe one day with the help of new technology a mobile phone will be able to take better pictures than a DSLR camera across all categories sports, portraits, wildlife, nightlife etc. But until “’Q” in Mi5 releases James Bond’s prototype camera’s in a mobile phone form a DSLR has to be your first choice of equipment which leads back to the first point, how or why would you sack your team of photographers in favour of an iPhone? With the suspicious mind of mine could someone have taken a little sweetener to bring a box load of iPhone’s on board for their staff if you push out the trained and proven photographers? There just is no logic to that decision. Even more so now just like Leicester in the premier league last season the Chicago Cubs have just won the World Series. A huge achievement, a moment cemented in history captured and printed on one side a DSLR professional camera and the other captured and printed from a mobile phone :- :HERE:

Can you blatantly see the difference, which picture is better? The decision to offload the professionals in favour of the latest mobile phone doesn’t seem such a wise choice if you ask me. Someone will be getting their knuckles wrapped I am sure of that because I’m pretty sure journalists didn’t ask “Siri” to write the newspaper article for them to place alongside these pictures

(Richard Brooks Photography) BEXLEYHEATH PHOTOGRAPHER BEXLEYHEATH PHOTOGRAPHY CHICAGOCUBS CHICAGOSUNTIMES PHOTOGRAPHER IN BEXLEYHEATH RICHARD BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY BEXLEYHEATH SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY IN BEXLEYHEATH SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER BEXLEYHEATH SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER DARTFORD SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY chicagocubs chicagosuntimes chicagotribune coverphotos covers discussion frontpage newspapers photographer photographers photojournalism photojournalists staffphotographers suntimes tribune Tue, 08 Nov 2016 17:45:00 GMT
Brentford 0 Barnsley 2 Sitting in the writing room after the Brentford Vs Barnsley game, sports and club photographer Mark Fuller approached me straight faced came out with a statement that left me quite honestly flabbergasted. “You shouldn’t be here!” With this statement I was speechless. I was about to ask what, just what have I done wrong?? And apologise for something I didn’t know what for. Mark quickly continued by saying “Well we lost again…. “…. and that’s when the penny dropped!

I did a little digging through my hard drive and found all the games I had been too photographing Brentford Football club. With the games listed a quick google search showed my record watching Brentford stands at P12 W0 D2 L10 F11 A28. Which is relegation form if these stats were applied to a football team. I knew my time watching Brentford play wasn’t great but reading these stats any Brentford fan knowing my attendance to their next game would surely have them signing a petition for me to stay away! With possible court injunction for me not to come within a mile of the ground. I wouldn’t mind but games I’ve attended have been close games, with Brentford putting in a good shift and team performance, however at the end of 90 minutes the result seem to reflect otherwise and more likely another defeat?

Once my attendance to this game had been arranged I started my pre match homework by Google searching the Barnsley squad and possible line up against Brentford with key and danger men to look out for. I am a keen football fan but my brain is not that much of a sponge in this area to know every player at every team in every league but if said at which venue and what camera settings did I use, I bet I could tell you that! However I was hopeful after two recent away games up at Newcastle and then slightly closer to home Derby County, Brentford would feel more comfortable returning to Griffin park and familiar surroundings playing in their 4000th league game. This I thought would bring a party atmosphere and a much needed win for the team and for my sake break my club jinx.

Arriving at the ground far earlier than the scheduled kick off, I passed a public house which already was full with vocal fans and collected my entry ticket from the turnstiles and headed to the media room. Sky TV was showing the live premier league match between Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur which didn’t look exciting one bit with the score late in the game.. a riveting 0-0! A few other photographers were already setting up their computers waiting like me for the team sheet to speed up captioning and togging of players. Once I got what I needed I took myself down pitch side, claiming my area and unpacking my gear out in front of the away end, firing off a few test shots getting to know what setting I needed to use for when the game started. Sitting in front of the Brook Road Stand the thousand or so Barnsley fans were making themselves heard. I assumed it was the amount of beer I had seen them consume beforehand? The thing is although noisy singing their witty football songs and maybe because I have always been a football fan since my playing days were over long ago. I actually found myself thriving on this energy and wasn’t distracted or intimidated with screaming fans a few feet behind me whatsoever. Remember football fans use language and also “colourful” language with most of their football chants. With my skills learnt with me being the only male in my house I have had years of practice blocking out screams, shouting, tantrums and general badly timed and sometimes very loud chitter chatter. So noisy Barnsley fans or not I could still concentrate on this job at hand. Obtaining a good photograph in this instance.
In this game Barnsley had this game controlled and although it wasn’t one way traffic Brentford’s time in front of goal and in particular in front of my camera lens was limited. From my Brentford stats above needless to say the goals in this game came one in each half and typically [again] at the opposite end of the pitch to where I was sitting. At these time you realise lady luck is not sitting with me as although I have a lens that can reach the far end it wont be an amazing photograph, compared to a player who has just scored just a few feet in front of me filling my whole camera  frame.

Barnsley saw this game out for their victory, adding another numerical digit to the ‘lost’ column of my own personal Brentford stats. With no flash points or match changing dramatic moments all that was left was to pack my gear away and return my media bib to the club. With reporters already waiting to interview managers Dean Smith and Paul Heckingbottom, the writing room well, was surprisingly quiet, sheer concentration with the low noise levels only broken by constant keyboard tapping and the odd cup of tea being drunk or placed back on the table.
Mark Fuller was in the zone preparing his pictures for the clubs website and with my work done for the day I gingerly approached him to say goodbye. I wasn’t sure if he would say goodbye and don’t ever come back!! Or goodbye and see you again soon? Mark being the gentleman he is it was the latter, so lucky for me eh? My luck at Brentford has to change for the club at some point? So why not my next game?

(Richard Brooks Photography) Barnsley Football Club Barsnely FC Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Brentford Brentford 0 Barnsley 2 Griffin Park Oakwell Photographer in Bexleyheath Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Sky Bet Championship Football Skybet Championship League Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer The Bees The Tykes Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:30:00 GMT
Rio 2016 Olympic Parade – LONDON: The Capital City of England Rio 2016 Olympic Parade – LONDON: The Capital City of England

A sports fan or not you will have been made fully aware that earlier in the year the words biggest sporting and most televised sporting event took place in Brazil who hosted the Olympic Games. Great Britain, in comparison a small island in the west of Europe had a very successful games whose athletes won an incredible amount of gold, silver and bronze medals beating many of the super nations for a country of our size.  The national euphoria when these hard working athletes achieved this success is clear to see all over the media and it’s a great that in these Olympic weeks that the news is filled with success stories and colourful photographs rather than depression, disasters and violence of the modern day world we live in.
Of course as a sports fan, especially the Olympics I did stay up watching key events into the early hours of the morning and still had to get up early for work in the next day. Although shattered!! Survived the working day still full of joy from witnessing a Team GB athlete’s success.

Anyhow with the Olympics closing and planning moves ahead to Tokyo in four years’ time. Not just hosting the event but athletes still young enough to compete will organise their training now so they arrive in Tokyo at the peak of their fitness. Until then this is the period after a year’s training athletes have let their hair. You can tell this as following on social media, they seem happy to show the world the fantastic holiday locations they are at with their feet up.

The success of our athletes warrants a welcome home parade for fans to see and cheer their idols and I suppose a way of saying thank you for their years of training and hard work. Four years ago in London 2012 a parade took place from Mansion House to Trafalgar Square when over one million people filled the streets watching our athletes drive slowly past. I too was here at St Pauls watching and it was amazing! noisy, colourful and worth the wait until the parade started. This year was slightly different, I honestly believe the parade was held too late after the closing of the Olympics, not on a school day and felt an even larger turnout of spectators would have occurred if these options had been considered? A little baffled too…. I am sorry to say… *In my opinion* Just why Manchester got first pickings of the parade date when the countries capital had a later date with some key athletes we would all like to have seen did not attend the London parade as they did the day before in Manchester? I know it’s a sore point and people in the north will say they can’t get down south and they too deserve to show their appreciation but none of us can help the nation’s economy, decision making and sight-seeing attractions are all in the countries capital…. London. So you can’t hold that against the Sothern Team GB fans who have this as our advantage?

I digress but as soon as the London date was announced I made plans to attend, fortunately it fell on a day I wasn’t working and with the Parade to start at one o‘clock I knew arrival early would be an important factor into getting some great photographs! I set off at 8:00 (A lot later than I did in 2012!)  stressing myself out every time I felt the train driver was stopping at unnecessary red lights or commuters were taking too long to get on and off the trains. With a heavy ruck sack of photograph equipment I made a short run in a new Olympic record time ran from Charing Cross to Trafalgar Square to find…… The Square was closed off, security in place and the square wouldn’t now open until 11:00. I didn’t realise beforehand but hey as this gate I was now at the front of the queue. I just now had to occupy myself for the next two hours until the Square opened and a further two hours until the parade started!

Would you believe as more spectators arrived and talking to people next to me these two hours went by ever so quickly apart from the odd flare up of the cheeky people wanting to push in front and getting told not too! it was a chilly but pleasant wait. Ticking down the time it wasn’t long before my bags were searched and access was gained into the third section. Children had the first reserved section, followed by family and friends of the athletes and the last section was us, the general public. So immediately I thought I would need my biggest lens and positioned myself accordingly to get the best shot with my equipment at hand. Until they allowed the public to join in with the family and friends totally threw my photography planning out the window. I did think our includance with the family and friends was a little harsh on them as now they had no real advantage of their coloured wrist band giving the side entrance and a viewing advantage? BBC television presenter and current strictly come dancing competitor Ore Oduba hosted the event with his humour and short interviews with spectators and managed to give another big shout out to local athletics club Blackheath and Bromley (Who I still remember competing against when I was young as Blackheath Harriers!)

Compared to 24hours previously in Manchester the weather in London was of bright sunshine but the temperature was pretty chilly. Still the odd Team GB athlete made an appearance on stage video the crowd or taking a selfie with the crowd behind. One o’clock finally arrived and the entrance on to the stage was theatrical as athletes danced and waved onto the stage in their sports discipline. They had me right over entering the stage on both the left and right side and with only one camera I need guidance from Ore to describe who was coming onto the stand from which side so I at least could try and capture pictures of that athlete. At one point I didn’t think they would have enough seats but they all squeezed onto the stage somehow. Interviews and screen footage took place with several crowd roars of appreciation. I couldn’t help but notice :-

• Some athletes truly loved the occasion smiling away, neck weighted down with a medal.
• Others looked like they couldn’t wait for the next hour and a half to be over with.
• Others were glued head down into their mobile phones, texting or on social media?

I have of course had a mammoth job to organise these pictures into my folders after the event the three above statements are very true. It was even noticed the national chain used to purchase their favourite hot coffee and snack ;-) Which completely goes against the image of an athlete never eats unhealthy food or treats. Probably need to remember they are out of training season so should be allowed some slack.

The parade went concluded very quickly. Played out by The Vamps? With the stage becoming a dance floor for the athletes. Their day was only half complete as a visit to Buckingham Palace soon awaited.

Tokyo is the next on the calendar for the Olympic Games. I already wish our team the very best of luck and hope planning now is taking place for our Team GB stars home coming Olympic Parade. Yes of course you know I will be there!


(Richard Brooks Photography) Adidas Athletes Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Bring On The Great British Athletics Great Britain Jessica Ennis Hill London Manchester Mo Farah Olympic Games Olympics Photographer in Bexleyheath Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Rio 2016 Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer Team GB Trafalgar Square Sat, 22 Oct 2016 17:15:00 GMT
Thamesmead Town 0 Thurrock 1 The warmth and joy that followed the weekend’s win over Dereham Town vanished at Bayliss Avenue on the coldest night of the season thus far, as Thurrock avenged the Mead’s win across the river in the first week of the season.

In a ridiculously tight game of very few clear chances, the Gaffer was left disappointed as the Mead stuttered and in the end fell short as Halle’s headed goal midway through the second half proved decisive.

The Mead had the better chances in the first half as temperatures dropped.  Josh Oyinsan did well to get in front of a defender to meet Jay Porter’s driven centre only for his toe-poke flash just the wrong side of the post.  Thurock then enjoyed a spell of pressure although Mead keeper Tyler McCarthy was rarely called into action.  Indeed the closest that the visitors came was when Clark headed over well placed.

Meanwhile at the other end, Thurrock keeper Wheatley was forced to turn aside Tom O’Connor’s low drive – the Mead man was looking for his third goal in a week and for a second it looked as if his shot from the edge of the box was getting away from Wheatley, but the Thurrock stopper made a fine save.  Shortly before half time, Josh just couldn’t get enough on a header after Jay whipped in another fine cross, and under pressure the new Mead striker saw his header bounce wide of the left post.

The second half, if possible, was even tighter, but the Mead struggled to get a foothold particularly in the final third and for long periods Thurrock dominated possession.  That said, actual chances were few and far between and the visitors converted their clearest of the second period when Halle was left unmarked in the Mead box to head home at the half’s midway point.

Try as they might the Mead just couldn’t get back into the game and not even playing the final ten minutes with three out and our strikers could rectify the arrears.  And to top the night off completely, in stoppage time right in front of the dugout’s, there was an ugly confrontation which saw Mead sub Ike Feehi shown a straight red card.

The Mead now go on the Road – to Brightlingsea Regent and Maldon & Tiptree – before the prospect of playing nine games in 28 days in November!



(Richard Brooks Photography) Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Photographer in Bexleyheath Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Ryman League North Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer Thamesmead Thamesmead Town 0 Thurrock 1 Thamesmead Town FC Fri, 21 Oct 2016 18:16:53 GMT
Paul Vines double earns Thamesmead Town a great win The Mead recorded our first League win since the first week of the season and returned to form after a run of six successive defeats in League and Cups.


On the day that the SCT staged its first Wedding Fayre, the Mead went from being “bridesmaid” in recent weeks to “bride” with a terrific display that they’d been threatening for a number of weeks. On an afternoon that started ten minutes late due to the visitors being delayed on the M25 on their trip from Norfolk, the Mead punished the Magpies with a display in front of goal that had been brewing for weeks.


All in all it left Tommy a happy yet still cautious manager as he spoke to the official website after the game. “I don’t want to tempt fate,” he said, “but we’ve been creating chances in nearly every game and to be honest, I think that we could have had even more than we got today. We haven’t been killing teams off before now but we have today, we got into some great areas and could have finished it off earlier than we actually did. I don’t think that there’s a lot wrong with the way that we’ve been playing – it’s just that when you lose a game of football, you’ve got to accept it. We did that after Tuesday and we freshened a few things up a bit and today we’ve worked hard, pressed hard and got our just rewards.”


Two ahead at the break through Jack Mahoney’s angled lob and Paul Vines’ follow up header, the Mead’s lead was doubled before the hour when Tom O’Connor brilliantly drove home from the edge of the box, and Vines fired home Tyler McCarthy’s long clearance. Crisp did pull one back for Dereham only for Aaron Rhule to promptly head a clearance into the corner after Vinesy was denied his hat-trick by the Dereham keeper. Crisp flicked a second for the visitors in stoppage time but by then the damage had been well and truly done!


Damage that had begun after 16 minutes when Scott Kinch released Jack behind the left full-back – the Mead’s returning skipper’s great ball saw Jack race clear to coolly lob the ball over the advancing Viner for his first goal since THAT goal against Guernsey in the FA Cup. One soon became two as the lively Josh Oyinsan making his home debut was denied by Viner’s block and as the ball looped high in the air, Vinesy was first to react and nodded the ball into the net. Jay Porter was then agonisingly close to a third as he arrowed a shot from a half cleared corner, before the biggest cheer of the half was reserved for Andy Walker’s punch from the front row of the officials seating – Walks and his family were attending their first game since his horrific injury at Great Wakering three weeks before.


Whatever Tommy said to the Mead players at half time worked a treat as within fourteen minutes of the restart the lead had been doubled. On 51 minutes, Vinesy turned creator as he cut in from the right and found Tom who still had an awful lot to do – but boy did he do it with a bit to spare. Cutting to his right, the young midfielder then arrowed a low drive past the despairing Viner into the bottom corner of the Dereham net. Vinesy was then rewarded for an excellent all round display with his sixth goal of the season latching onto Tyler’s long kick before lashing a shot past the hapless Viner into the net.


Dereham rallied briefly when Crisp swept home after a centre wasn’t cleared, and then brought a fine low save out of Tyler at the base of his left post after a smart shot on the turn. Kinchy then headed a dangerous corner out from under the bar as the visitors threatened to get a foothold in the game, before the Mead cemented the win with seventeen minutes left and again Vinesy was involved, as he was denied a hat-trick by a fine block but as the ball looped up, Aaron was first to react and almost apologetically headed the rebound into the net leaving Vinesy shrugging his shoulders – but the Mead number nine had the satisfaction of scoring two and making two as his side returned three League points for the first time in two months!


Tyler then produced a stunning save to deny Walters before Josh was denied a home debut goal by another good block from Viner. Vinesy almost created his third of the afternoon as he fed in Jay only for the Mead’s left wing-back to first miss his kick before seeing his right footed shot deflect wide for a corner. Substitute Ike Feehi then had a “goal” disallowed as he followed up Vinesy’s thunder-bolt that hit the underside of the bar before in the final minute of five additional minutes, Crisp flicked in Dereham’s second.  By then though the visitors were facing a very long trip back to Norfolk as the Mead found their touch in front of goal after what was becoming an increasing number of near misses.


THE MEAD – Tyler McCarthy, Bode Anidugbe, Jay Porter, Scott Kinch (Richie Danquan), Joe Denny, Lewis Knight, Aaron Rhule (Nathan Simpson), Tom O’Connor, Paul Vines, Josh Oyinsan (Ike Feehi) Jack Mahoney

Subs – Steve Springett, Ellis Green

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Football Paul Vines Photographer in Bexleyheath Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Ryman League North Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer Thamesmead Thamesmead Town 5 Dereham Town 2 Thamesmead Town FC Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:04:19 GMT
Jessica Ennis-Hill Announces Retirement From Athletics Jessica Ennis-Hill announces retirement from athletics

13 October 2016 a day Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced her retirement from athletics. Jessica born in Sheffield, United Kingdom is a face everyone will know, a true Icon of Team GB athletics and has literally been there, seen it done it. A true role model to the nation and in particular the youngster in this day and age proving….. That with hard work you can achieve anything. A lifetime of training with her super coach Toni Minichiello together they have had many success stories but with these stories has come days and months/years of hard, hard! training that the Joe Public just do not see.
The 30-year-old won Olympic gold in the heptathlon at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016, and is a two-time world champion. Ennis-Hill released a statement on her Instagram account saying it was "one of the toughest decisions" she has faced but "retiring now is right".

She wrote on Instagram: "Amazing memories...from my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I'm so fortunate to have had such an amazing career within the sport I love and this has been one of the toughest decisions I've had to make.
"But I know that retiring now is right. I've always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no regrets and I can truly say that.
"I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams. Also a huge thank you to all those people who have supported and followed my career over the years x."

Ennis-Hill won heptathlon gold in 2012, to emulate Denise Lewis' win at the Sydney Olympics, after she claimed victory on Super Saturday, which also saw Mo Farah win the 10,000 metres and Greg Rutherford take the long jump crown inside the Olympic Stadium.
She won by 306 points ahead of Germany's Lilli Schwarzkopf with a total of 6,955 but was unable to defend her title this summer when she finished runner-up to Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam by just 35 points.

Sheffield-born Ennis-Hill had taken time out between the Games to have son Reggie, missing the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and did hint about retirement immediately after winning silver in Brazil. "It's going to be a tough decision, I'm going to go away and think about it," she told the BBC at the time. "At this moment, I'm tired and emotional, it's a big decision." She returned after the birth of her son in July 2014 to win the World Athletics Championships in Beijing last year having already achieved the qualifying standard for Rio.

It was her second world heptathlon title after winning in Berlin in 2009 while she also claimed silver two years later.
Ennis-Hill's senior breakthrough came in 2006 when she won bronze at her only Commonwealth Games while she also won gold at the 2010 European Championships and the World Indoor Pentathlon title the same year.

The victories were part of her dominance of the sport between 2009 and 2012 ahead of glory at London 2012. She won the 100 metres hurdles before coming sixth in high jump and 10th in shot put. A personal best of 22.83 seconds saw her second in the 200 metres and Ennis-Hill was also second in the long jump before throwing 47.49 metres, a personal best, in the javelin to finish 10th and put her on the brink of the title. She completed victory with a season's best of two minutes and eight seconds in the 800metres to win the race and the Olympic crown.

Although a firm favourite to win Heptathlon gold in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the nation getting up in the middle of the night willing her to victory. she was actually beaten by the new kid on the block Nafissatou Thiam from Belgium . Who put a spanner in Jessica’s works. Another 2-4 years off this hard training or call it a day now?

Unfortunately for Athletics fans she chose to walk away now and she will be a personality who will be sadly missed. I have seen Jessica perform at the Anniversary Games and was very lucky to meet her own book signing event where she kindly signed her name in her to which “Father Christmas” gave to my daughter. You will have many memories of Jessica Performing and I do too but my biggest memory is seeing my daughter open Jessica’s book on Christmas Day 2012 and seeing her facial expression with Jessica’s signature inside it #Priceless

I’m glad Jessica has retired at this point in her life but equally gutted and I mean gutted she has had to retire, she will be missed on the athletics track by many in the stands. We’ve had many great years watching Jessica and I wish her and her growing family the very best of luck for the future. I will sign off and reminding our Majesty it could be time to call Jessica Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill ??

(Richard Brooks Photography) Adidas Athlete Athletics Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography British Athletics Champion Heptathlon Jessica Ennis Jessica Ennis-Hill London 2012 Olympic Champion Photographer in Bexleyheath Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Rio 2016 Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer Team GB Toni Minichiello Sat, 15 Oct 2016 17:15:00 GMT
Thamesmead Town bow out of the Buildbase FA Trophy “The boys are down in there!” OB told us as he came out of the dressing room.  “Todays a competition that I’ve always enjoyed; it’s a good competition and I want to be in it. We bowed out of the FA Cup way too easily last week in a real bad day for us and I thought we’d get a real good go at it today.” Sadly OB was wrong as after taking the lead seven minutes into the second half through Paul Vines, two goals for the home side between seventy and seventy-seven minutes saw the Mead exit our third different Cup competition in eight days.

The game’s first real chance fell to the Casuals as full back Morgan’s low drive saw Tyler McCarthy make a super low save before the Mead’s chances took a blow as Joe Vines hobbled off with a hamstring injury. Joe’s brother Paul then flashed a header wide from a corner before Ellis Green’s low drive saw Casuals keeper Bracken make a fine save. Uzin then wasted a good chance when well placed for the home side, before Bracken made a second fine save – this time blocking Ike Feehi’s 1-on-1 effort. Vinesy then flashed a second header wide from a super run and cross from Warren Whitely as the half ended with the Mead in the ascendency.

Uzin should have given the home side the lead in the early minutes of the second half when heading a corner wide when completely unmarked. Vinesy then did give the Mead the lead following some great work from the hard-working Bode Anidugbe fed Ike, who’s first time ball in turn fell to Vinesy who coolly clipped the ball past keeper Bracken. The Casuals keeper then excelled and kept his side in tie shortly afterwards with an excellent save to keep out Ike’s header, before Vinesy missed a couple of good chances. Firstly he glanced a header from Jay Porters free kick just wide before a last home defender did just enough to thwart the Mead number nine at the back post with a superb challenge that wasn’t even recognised by the match officials as a goal-kick was awarded following a quick-corner!

Then it all went horribly wrong for the visitors as the home side scored twice in seven minutes to take the advantage. On seventy minutes Hodges’ deep hanging cross wasn’t dealt with by the Mead back-line and Serbony was able to bundle the ball home as the Mead conceded another poor goal before on seventy seven minutes Morgan repeated his earlier drive – this time the ball arrowed past a wrong footed and unsighted Tyler and into the bottom corner.

The Mead’s misfortune was then highlighted in stoppage time when Casuals keeper Bracken didn’t deal with a cross but saw the ball ricochet off the back of a defender and loop straight back into the arms of a very relieved keeper.

After the game, a clearly frustrated OB told us, “I think we had enough chances to win the game but again we didn’t!” Shrugging he continued, “we now have to go again on Tuesday at Ware – I don’t mind if we don’t touch the ball for 89 minutes if we get a 1-0 win and that might just lift the changing room a little bit. I’ve been in teams that have nicked a 1-0 and the confidence that that gives you is unbelievable but as we’ve just said to them in the dressing room, there are responsibilities on the management and the players but the bottom line is that it lies with the players and we can’t do this without them, and if they don’t buy into to it, we’re struggling. They say all the right things and want to do all the right things – we just need that little bit of luck and that little bit of confidence that will hopefully kick start it!”

(Richard Brooks Photography) Buildbase FA Trophy Corinthian Casuals 2 Thamesmead Town 1 FA Trophy Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:45:00 GMT
Sadly No FA Cup win for Injured Goalkeeper Andy Walker Thamesmead Town’s amazing run in this season’s Emirates FA Cup has sadly come to an end in the Surrey countryside after a first half
 drubbing left our heroes with far too much to make up against a Merstham side that has suddenly found its form in abundance against Thamesmead Town

After failing to win any of their first six Ryman Premier League matches, Merstham have hit form dramatically and going into the tie
 had won their last three home games, netting sixteen times in the process, including five against one of manager Tommy Warrilow’s former
 club Tonbridge Angels in midweek.  And sadly for the Mead, the goalscoring continued and then some as Merstham eased into the FA Cup’s final qualifying round for the very first time.

After the game Warrilow spoke with his usual honesty when he said,“Its really disappointing that we’ve worked so hard to get here today
 but also sometimes you’ve got to come off the field and say fair play to them.  I felt that we could have done better with the goal’s but
 they were the better team today and they deserved to go through.  I’m disappointed with the score-line – we’ve got to dust ourselves down
 now; the Cup run’s over and we’ve got to go again in the League.”

“I think that we’ve bee playing well up to today but we just didn’t play very well today at all – we were poor as a side and a few of the
 lads could have given us more whilst there were some who gave me everything they had.  When the goals were going in as they were in the
 first half is demoralising but at least we went out in the second half and drew it 1-1, and we haven’t been done another four, five or six. But that’s football, and we’ve got to now get on with it…”

The visitors never really recovered from going behind after only five minutes when former Bromley defender Henriques headed home a free kick from wide out on the left.  It got worse after 24 minutes when referee West gave a free kick against Jay Porter down the Merstham right when it appeared that the Mead full back had himself been fouled by Addai. But as the kick was played into the Mead box, the home players appealed for a penalty for hands, the official again bemused the Mead players by awarding a spot-kick for a push!  Vidal stepped up and although Tyler McCarthy guessed right and got a touch on the ball, he couldn’t keep it out.

Worse was to follow as the Mead lost possession in midfield and after some quick passing on the ever slicker surface (made so by a couple of
 heavy down pours in the opening half) the ball fell to Hector who drove the ball into the net.  Three was to become four on the stroke
 of half time when full back Campbell was afforded far too much time and space to run into before firing a skidding low drive into the bottom right corner of the net from 20 yards.

The home side almost made it five just after the break when the Mead goal had an amazing escape.  The ball was played into Penny, who has
 just returned to Merstham from National League side Woking, and somehow he managed to squeeze the ball off of Tyler’s body onto the
 bar, where the ball bounced twice before being hacked to safety.

Warrilow made a half time change which saw Richard Butler brought into midfield as the Mead swapped from a 4-4-2 formation to a 3-5-2, and that helped to deny the home side so much of the space that they enjoyed before half time, but sadly the Mead didn’t really create a
 chance worthy of the name until that is ten minutes from time.  Then a shot from the irrepressible Bode Anidugbe (who didn’t stop running all afternoon) looped high into the air forcing home keeper Wilson to claw the ball away from under the bar.  Butler was following up and the ball squirmed to Paul Vines who was able to poke the ball between defenders, keeper and the left post and the Mead were on the board.

Sadly, any hopes for a “great escape” that the Mead fans may have had evaporated within sixty seconds as Henriques headed his second of the game arriving late and unmarked from a left wing corner.  It could easily have been six for the home side in the final minute as a long
 ball forward was missed by both keeper McCarthy and Penney and as the ball looked like it was going to roll into the empty net Nathan
 Simpson was able to get back to thump the ball away to safety.

A disappointing end then to what has been a fantastic and of course record breaking run for the club which has taken the Thamesmead to the Third Qualifying Round for the very first time – there’s always next year for the next round!

THAMESMEAD – Tyler McCarthy, Nathan Simpson, Jay Porter, Bode Anidugbe, Joe Vines, Joe Denny (Richard Butler 46), Warren Whitely, Tom O’Connor (Jack Maloney 59), Paul Vines, Ike Feehi (Adrian Stone 59), Ellis Green

Subs – Steve Springett, Fraser Walker, Max Ovenden


:Source: KSN

(Richard Brooks Photography) 5-1 Club Cup Emirates FA Football Manager Merstham Thamesmead Tommy Town Warrilow Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:15:00 GMT
Incredible come-back seals historic night Thamesmead Town are in the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the very first time in the club’s history.


After an amazing night at Bayliss Avenue, the Mead recovered from a 0-2 half time deficit and a half time lecture from Tommy and OB, to firstly force Extra Time thanks to goals from Ike Feehi and Ellis Green, before sealing progress in the extra 30 minutes through a stunning strike from Tom O’Connor before Ike sprinted clear to seal the victory and progress to the next round.


“We’ve definitely earned our money in the FA Cup this year,” Tommy admitted after the game. “We’re going to enjoy the night as night’s like these don’t happen too often but I’m most pleased for the Chairman tonight – he deserves this more than any of us! We all know that he needs some help at the club financially and tonight we’ve given him something back! I said before the game that all four managers for the Third Round draw will consider that the tie will be winnable. And now I will be at the Colliers Wood / Merstham replay Wednesday night, but with paying both sides the greatest respect, I don’t care who we play because if the lads do as they’re told because they’re all good at their own individual jobs, I know that we’ll do alright.”


Yet at half time, not even the most optimistic wearer of the Mead’s green would have thought making history would be possible. After a really disappointing half, the home side found themselves two behind as Austin twice took advantage of some lackluster defending to put the visitors in the driving seat. Austin’s first goal on ten minutes set the tone but his second was a horror show for Mead keeper Tyler McCarthy as the young keeper was punished for dwelling too long on a clearance as the striker charged it down and rolled the ball into the empty net.


“We started well tonight for fifteen / twenty minutes then we stopped,” the Mead boss admitted. “We made them look world beater and with respect gave them two goals where we didn’t attack the second ball – we were flat on our feet and we got caught for two poor goals! I don’t like chucking things away as we’ve worked so hard to get here and I’m annoyed as in the first half the boys didn’t have the belief that they should have had and we didn’t do our jobs and got punished! I went ballistic at half time and told them that I wasn’t putting up with that a performance like that – we made two changes (it could have been a load more) changed the system and thankfully the players responded and I’m pleased for them as they deserve to still be in the FA Cup.”


The changes Tommy made, with Ellis and Bode Anidugbe coming on, paid dividends within three minutes of the restart as Ike flicked the Mead level past the advancing Minter in the Hanwell goal. Although the Mead dominated for long second half periods, the chances were still at a premium. Paul Vines was a fraction away from turning a driven Ike cross into the net as the half began to drift away, and the Mead’s next real chance saw Adrian Stone’s shot blocked after a Green cross. Just as it seemed that the Mead weren’t going to find the goal their dominance deserved, Ellis put a brilliant curling ball into the box that sadly eluded all of his onrushing team-mates. However, the ball had enough curve on it to nestle beyond the diving Minter in the corner of the net, and the Mead had an 89th minute leveler. Cristain Nanetti then fired narrowly wide of the left post and Ike prodded a Cristain cross wide of the right post as the home side almost won the game in 90 minutes.

So for the second replay running, the Mead went into Extra time, and three minutes from the end of the first period took the lead for the first time on the night.  Tom’s great run was only bettered by his stunning finish as he curled the ball around a diving Minter and into the net to spark wild scenes of celebration. Celebrations that grew as Ike sprinted away and whilst the defenders were appealing for a flag that didn’t come, the Mead striker rolled the ball past the advancing Minter to seal what had at half time in normal time seemed a very unlikely progression into the next round and with it a place in Club history.


Who said the Greatest Cup Competition in the World has lost its magic???


THE MEAD – Tyler McCarthy, Nathan Simpson, Jay Porter, Richard Butler (Bode Anidugbe HT), Joe Vines, Steve Sprigett (Ellis Green HT), Cristain Nanetti, Tom O’Connor, Ike Feehi, Paul Vines (Adrian Stone 81), Warren Whitely

Subs – Fraser Walker and Andy Walker


:Source: Thamesmead Town

(Richard Brooks Photography) Club Cup Emirates FA Football Hanwell Replay Thamesmead Town Vs Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Race For Life Muddy Run All my life I’ve been a sport fanatic, watching my dad playing football when I was young. Him watching me when I was old enough to play myself. Watching sport on television with my dad on Sunday Grandstand, participating in sports day events and now I find myself watching my daughters at their sporting events gives me much enjoyment watching most sports either watching or participating myself. As time has gone by I’ve developed the running bug the challenge to run every Saturday at Sweatshops 4K fun run soon developed to a 10K, 10mile, half marathon and now a full marathon runner. In between photography and daily work routine the next challenge is always to sneak in my next training run in preparation and hope that I can obtain a London Marathon place and run yet another Marathon. All this training well… sends my wife mad. Although a keen football fan running is not top of her agenda so going out for a quick run together like some other running couples will not happen in our house? Although she participates in the Race For Life 5K run at Blackheath with our daughters I could never see her increasing this distance and time to a sub forty minute 10K race time any day soon.

So it did surprise me when she looked online, entered and became team leader encouraging neighbours and friends to participate in a 5K event which include obstacles and mud? … and then asked me to help her get fit with regular sit ups and trips to the local park to “run” a few laps in an attempt to boost fitness. Although I do question the running around the park which always seemed to include a mobile phone in hand whilst hunting for these Pokemon characters? I’m not a Pokemon fan (never was or will be) and anyone that talks to me about it gets in interested facial expression (So I don’t appear rude) but an internal mind question of what on earth is this person on about? So whilst out playing pokemon we could multitask and run two to three miles in relevant comfort and ease.

The training had been going well and while regular team meetings about items of clothing to wear and creating a JustGiving page between the #PinkLadies at the local public houses the day of this event was soon upon us. The pre-planned operation of meeting in a local car park and heading to Stratford, East London in a mini convoy left us plenty of time to park at Westfield and then walk what seemed an absolute age, past the Olympic Stadium (Hang on I thought the event took place around the stadium? to the start of this event. Race For Life are a charity who put on many events almost weekly at various venues around the UK. They’re women and girl only events from 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, Muddy Runs and Hiking events. So regardless of your fitness they do an event that you could participate in and enjoy. All finishers are rewarded for their efforts with a goody bag and medal and it is stressed completing is more important than racing and being competitive. The emotion in the air is quite high, many messages written on the back of the person next to you running in memory of, running on behalf of, I have survived cancer etc etc is not only heart-warming but encouraging to see. In this day and age disease affecting our family and friends is heart breaking and with Cancer being one of the biggest battles we and doctors battle against. It will take regular events like these to raise money so that more in-depth research can funded so that one day a cure for cancer can be found, as reading this I’m sure you know a family member or friend who has been affected by this disease.

I could not possibly guess how many participants were here on this sunny Sunday along with each member of family and friends that came along also but this made the day even better. Their role to cheer and support everyone about to start this challenge. The sheer volume of entrants means the start has to be staggered in approximately 15 minute intervals starting from 10am and finishing approximately 13:30. Enough time for each pen to perform the pre-race warm up to the latest high energy chart music with a very enthusiastic MC full of energy? As a spectator there is a chance to watch members of your group set off but once started a quick glance of the time follows with an estimated time they will finish. Obviously this means that the remainder of the group then make a short walk to the finishing area to see people descend the final obstacle into a pool of muddy water before the short sprint/walk to the finish line. This was probably the worst part of the day. According to our team #PinkLadies they completed the course and obstacles en-route with ease but then had to stand and wait in a long queue just to complete the course. It was a little disappointing that standing in line for over one hour! Meant the queueing took longer than actually running/walking the previous 4.9 kilometres. Sounds impossible but this was very true. Even on social media after the event this was the one gripe many other people had with the day too. Some even chose not to do this obstacle which is a shame as it’s the main feature of the day.  

I’m lead to believe … Just from this one event Race For Life could have raised in the region of £250,000. Amazing really but huge congratulations to the people who have raised this. The work involved behind just to organise these events must be a mammoth task but the if each event could raise this kind of money to research and find a cure for cancer then let’s all hope its soon to help our loved ones affected by cancer already. #TogetherStrong #BeatCancer

(Richard Brooks Photography) Beat Cancer Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Cancer Cancer we're coming to get you London Muddy 10K Muddy Race Olympic Park Photographer in Bexleyheath Pnk Army Pretty Muddy® is Race for Life's 5k muddy obstacle run Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Pretty Muddy 5k Race For Life Stratford Race for life Race4Life Research Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer Stratford Tesco pink Ladies pretty Muddy Sun, 18 Sep 2016 15:30:00 GMT
Mary Decker Vs Zola Budd 1984 3000m Olympic Final – Los Angeles 32 years later and I recently watched a Sky Atlantic documentary called “The Fall” based on the 1984 Olympic Games 3000m final with Athletes Zola Budd (GBR) and Mary Decker (USA) I’d like to draw you back to the start of this paragraph and remind you that this race took place 32 years ago!! and to this day athletic fans are still talking about this race collision that producers thought they needed to film a documentary lasting 1hr 50minutes. This documentary was going to go into more detail and explain events on both sides of both these athletes.

I was obviously much, much younger then and clearly remember this incident as I watched it on a non high definition TV, probably 28” in size with a poor quality indoor Ariel, which caused a rolling picture. Through the newspapers and TV clips I was lead to watch the aftermath of this event unfold. Even at my young age I had made up my mind back then who I felt was to blame and stood by this too after all these years. I was surprised then to see the documentary had been made and knew I had to see this a) to get an insight of both athletes) b) to see if after all this time I had been accusing the wrong person and would this documentary actually correct my views?

In case you’re wondering I’ll get straight to it. Having watched the documentary, did my opinion change after staying up late to watch this new footage… no! I also recorded this program on my Sky box and even coming home after a late shift and watching this program again!! when the rest of the house was asleep into the early hours of the morning I can honestly say it made my feelings towards this collision even stronger that I personally still, cannot believe another runner could accuse the runner, who was in front of tripping the runner who was behind where Mary was running? (Tad confusing eh?) In the process of deliberately ruining her Olympic dreams and then had the audacity to get the whole of the United States of America hound Zola Budd a quiet timid girl originally from South Africa and making her public enemy number 1 for doing absolutely nothing wrong other than trying to fulfil her own childhood dream of running far and fast, winning Olympic gold in front of Mary Decker’s own adoring fans. I mean, seriously… how dare her?? Every American in that stadium and across the county I honestly cannot believe they could treat Zola or even another human being for that matter in this way… and for so long too. An apology is long, long overdue and those in media at the time handled the situation quite appallingly too I must add. There is no doubting which the documentary highlighted, Mary Decker could run, oh my god what a talent! head strong and determined and her running times would give today’s athletes a problem to beat her but footage of her at a young age showed a tough upbringing but also showed a side of her which was quite ruthless that she must win at all costs and no one dare challenge her? Which was an attitude that she appeared to carry through into adulthood? In athletics this can be a good thing to help you progress but this was way too extreme and as an athlete you must know you will face challengers who are the other athletes standing next to you on the start line, who are just as determined to beat you too? That’s the game! No?? With Mary’s side of the story shown, was Zola’s upbringing any easier in South Africa where apartheid was at its worst? Thank god that country has seen sense and abolished such regime? Living like that daily from a young age amongst all that hostility? Really??? I could not possible imagine the severity of such a life?

I’m sure many of you have your opinions on this race and how events unfolded we may also agree to disagree but one thing we will agree for sure on, which sadly IS noticeable in the documentary is that this was an Olympic race. A race where in 1984 the fastest 3000m runners had trained all their lives for this one race. They were all racing to become an Olympic champion or if not achieve a silver or bronze medal to fulfil their dreams. This collision and “fall” have been talked about for such a long time it has clearly has taken the Olympic prestige and limelight off from the eventual winner Maricica Puica from Romania and even fellow Briton Wendy Sly who finished second and Lynn Williams of Canada finishing third.  Anyone know any other finishers in this race, without using google I’m sure you don’t which is such a shame that these three athletes can finish first, second, and third and no one mentions them but continuously talk about a runner who did not finish and a runner who limped home eventually in seventh place. I would have hoped this documentary could have included interviews with the gold, silver and bronze medallists just to give them some credit they do deserve that every other Olympic race result warrants such praise! but just goes to show they have slipped through the net and are sadly forgotten athletes.

The final scenes of the documentary shows Mary and Zola meeting up again in the very stadium for the first time since 1984 and going for a run together which I think is quite amazing. I can assure you if I was Zola, with my personality I wouldn’t even look at Mary again let alone mention her name without my blood boiling over the ferocious bullying Zola received. So hats off to you Zola Budd you are a much better person than I.

(Richard Brooks Photography) 1984 Plympic Games 3000m Bexleyheath photographer Bexleyheath photography Collision Course Dan Gordon Gold Great Britain Jason Henderson Jason Stone LA Games Los Angeles Los Angeles Olympics Lynn Williams Maricica Puica Mark Shearman Mary Decker Mary Decker Slaney Photographer in Bexleyheath Pieterse Richard Brooks Photography Bexleyheath Romania Silver South Africa Sport Photography in Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Bexleyheath Sports Photographer Dartford Sports Photography Sports photographer The Fall US Trials USA United States of America Wendy Sly Zola Budd bronze Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:45:00 GMT
Muller London Anniversary Games 2016 London Anniversary Games partnered up with the Athletics Diamond League series is a weekend even not only to celebrate the return to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium home of the London 2012 Olympic games but also the next round of the Diamond League which is a series the travels from country to country, venue to venue through the athletic season for the world’s best to compete in preparation for their next big event. In this case this year pre Rio 2016 and final preparation for this year’s Olympic game’s being held in Brazil.

Such athletes from Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Dafne Schippers, Kendra Harrison, Mo Farah, Laura Muir, Adam Gemili, Desiree, Asha Philip, Dina Asher Smith, Laura Weightman, Kim Collins and Katrina Johnson-Thompson… (Believe me, the list does go on and on) all use this athletic meeting as training and practice to perfect their events. The stadium is always pretty full and the best tickets do sell out ever so quickly and this before athletes actually confirm they will be attending.

The stadium is what you would expect in comparison to other new sporting venues. It really is first class with easy transport access, clean facilities, spacious seating and a good view from wherever you sit. The days of sitting down and having Andre the giant come and sit in front of you blocking your view are now long gone. You can easily see over the person in front of you now and see the entire athletics field, also helped with the fact this stadium has two gigantic television screens at either end of the stadium showing replays of the action or informing you of the athletes lining up or results and times/distanced of the last race. I must add I’m not sure how the tax man has helped build this stadium for public use but as from August 2016 West Ham United will play their home games here which I’m sorry to add I feel it’s a shame as “personally” I feel this stadium was built as an Athletic stadium… For London 2012 Olympics and many memories will be of Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis (as she was then) and Mo Farah winning quick gold in succession on the famous “Super Saturday” among many more so we’ll see how the Anniversary Games next year work out after West Ham would have played their first season at this venue. I digressed but the stereo system …wow, booms out the latest music and the celebrity announcer commentating to the fans can always clearly be heard. The music is usually is of the latest chart topper or songs get played rather cleverly with events taking place to get the crowd entertained and involved. How apt is it they play, for example House of Pain’s “Jump Around” as the athletes participate in the long jump or triple jump? I take my hat off to the DJ here!

This evening session started at 19:00 and fans were entertained this evening in a variety of track and field events with the remainder of races taking part on Saturday during the day with paralympians participating on Sunday. Each event athletes get introduced to the crowd, you can usually tell here how focussed an athlete is as either they smile admirably to the crowd or it’s a quick wave and they get back to their straight faced focussing on the job ahead. Once the event is under way the noise from the crowd raises the roof and athletes say this makes them perform better. Once an event is under way it’s a case of racing to the finish and professional as they are I’m sure athletes are used to this noise level anyway. However when it comes to relay events I’m sure this noise must be a hindrance at the change overs athletes really must shout, just so they can be heard at their team mate instructing them to throw their hand backwards to hand the baton to them at the correct and time saving moment! Could also explain at times why the baton fails to get around the track sometimes as errors amongst team mates occur and these mistakes happen?

An extra unplanned treat for fans tonight as after 28 years Kendra Harrison (Not picked to represent the USA team in the Olympic games in Rio ??!!) broke the long standing world record! With a new time of 12:20 and in the process destroyed the chasing athletes behind her who were nowhere to even challenge her for the victory. Needless to say the crowd were up on their feet showing their appreciation at what we had just witnessed and still I still congratulate Kendra for this amazing achievement… Although as from my pictures I witnessed this achievement from behind my camera and with only on eye, but since then I’ve seen this replay over twenty times at least, so I repeat well done Kendra! #Awesome

With a few highlights of the evening, nearly three hours of entertainment later it’s time for the main attraction. As 21:50 approaches its time to see Usain Bolt and Adam Gemili in the final event of the evening the 200m. A race which probably signals the biggest cheer of the night before the exodus as fans make their way to the transport links and head home I suspect happy with seeing another great night’s athletics, probably secretly planning time off from work, booking hotels and purchasing the next lot of athletic tickets when tickets for events like these go back on sale!.... and I know it’s not just me who think like this homeward bound.

(Richard Brooks Photography) 100m 200m 5000m Adam Gemili Asha Philip British Athletics Dafne Schippers Desiree Henry Diamond League Dina Asher Smith Gold Medal Heptathlon Jessica Ennis-Hill Katrina Johnson-Thompson Kendra Harrison Kim Collins Laura Muir Laura Weightman London 2012 Mo Farah Muller London Anniversary Games Olympians Olympics Paralympians Paralympics Rio 2016 Team GB Usain Bolt World Championships Fri, 05 Aug 2016 17:00:00 GMT
The Antwerp Dolls I was contacted by Garfield Hall an associate and public relations and marketing member for the Antwerp Dolls team asking if I could photograph at the Question and Answers event at London’s Mayfair Hotel on a Friday night. Not having been here before finding and arriving early was easy the cars on display outside were amazing and the hotel itself was out of this world! A 5 Star hotel for a reason! People who had tickets for this event started to arrive and it was good to be introduced to the team beforehand to discuss the order of the evening and how best to capture the moments. A short film was to be played, followed by their Q&A before the main feature for the evening and a longer Q&A which was interesting hearing how the idea of the film was formed and the huge project at hand to see it through to completion before everyone got together for more one to one questions and photographs.

The Antwerp Dolls is a new UK film produced by first time writer  Jake L Reid which has a casting from proven and well known actors to newbies making their way up the acting ladder. This is a film about British crime and gangster film. I know we all may have seen some see these types of films before but its part of our society and I have an overall appreciation for them. This is a great way for talented people to begin a career in the world of film. The Antwerp Dolls. Tommy Callaghan (Wing) is an old-school East end gangster who is a little bit past his prime. To try and show the rest of London and his critics that he’s still got it, Tommy plans to forge a lucrative relationship with Ray (Payne) and Max Ferrino (Cronin), the Belgium mob. Tommy has his best couriers on a job to intercept a package. Unfortunately for him, former employees Mike (Anderson) and Sonny (Cutler), a pair who find him way past his prime, have the package intercepted causing a whole load of trouble for all parties involved.

It’s a good and easy story to follow with the one liners of insult you could imagine in a film of this genre. Reid deserves a round of applause as this guy is very talented indeed. A name to look out for in the future of film making for sure. Available on DVD in July and currently available to view on all the usual film formats, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Sony etc

(Richard Brooks Photography) Antwerp Dolls Antwerp Dolls The Movie Courtney Winston Jake L Reid Sean Cronin Sebastien Foucan jason Wing Tue, 31 May 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Thamesmead 1 vs Dereham Town 0 Thamesmead Town .1. Dereham Town .0.

Thamesmead’s Play Off chances are still alive courtesy of a stunning strike from Phillippe Blaettler after just 14 minutes of a hard fought win over Dereham Town.

Picking the ball up wide on the right the youngster cut inside and fired an unstoppable drive past Dereham keeper Viner for his first goal for the first team – a goal that will live long in the memory and could be oh so important in the weeks to come.

 The Norfolk side who had well beaten the Mead in the reverse fixture in November on the coldest day of the season arrived at the SCT with their own outside Play Off hopes, but left beaten after the Mead’s back-line held firm after a brilliant defensive display from Richard Butler and the outstanding Joe Vines backed up by a Man of the Match performance just in front of the heart of the Mead defense from Adalberto Pinto.

 Before Phillippe’s goal the Mead had had the ball in the Town net when following a Lee Prescott free kick, Joe forced the ball over the line only for the referee to rule the goal out.

 Dereham’s first real chance of the game saw the impressive Logan release Crisp who raced clear, but delayed just long enough to allow Mead skipper Jack Barry to make a brilliant potentially goal saving tackle.

Theo Fairweather-Johnson was then denied his 18th goal of the season by Viner’s right boot, before Mead keeper Andy Walker kept out Crisp’s effort with his legs, before the last chance of the half saw Theo get in behind the Dereham back-line only to beat Viner but also the far post with his shot.

 Dereham had the better chances after the break but with Butts, Joe V and Pints outstanding their chances were limited.  Borrer should really have scored after being found by Crisp, but he was denied by a fantastic Butts block which saw the ball ricochet into the side netting;  Joe then scrambled away a dangerous cross from Blake-Tracy before Logan missed THE chance that Dereham had been longing for.  As a long ball was played down the right, the winger took advantage of a slight hesitation between Walks and Jay Porter to nip in between the two and lift the ball over the stranded Mead keeper only for his angled lob to bounce a yard wide of the right post and with it went the Norfolk side’s realistic hopes of reaching Post Season football.

 And so with now just four games left AFC Hornchurch still cling onto the coverted fifth place with 76 points and now after beating Brightlingsea Regent, and with Cheshunt’s home defeat to Cray, the Essex side have a three point gap from the Mead, Cheshunt and Brightlingsea all on 73.

Thamesmead Town now head for White Hart Lane on Tuesday to face in form Haringey Borough for yet another must win game…

Thamesmead – Walker, Barry (Hallam), Porter, Pinto, Joe Vines, Butler, Prescott, Blaettler (Spillane), Paul Vines, Fairweather-Johnson, Carneggie

Subs – Glasgow, Everitt, Himbury

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bowden-Brown Chairman Dereham FC Football KSN Kent League London Paul Thamesmead Town Thu, 14 Apr 2016 17:15:00 GMT
Thamesmead Part Company with Manager THAMESMEAD TOWN begin the search for a new manager after parting company with Terry Spillane yesterday afternoon.

Tery was aiming to finish in the Ryman League Division One North play-offs this season but after Saturday’s 4-3 defeat at Maldon & Tiptree killed off the club’s play-off aspirations with the club in eighth-place in the table, having won 21, drawn 11 and losing 12 of their games.

Terry was asked about his own future following the club’s 1-1 draw at Haringey Borough last Tuesday night, Spillane felt his job was safe but admitted at White Hart Lane that the result “put an end to their play-off hopes.”

Speaking post-match at Haringey, Terry said: “He’s (chairman Paul Bowden-Brown) already asked me to stay on for next season. He’s made that clear.  I’m glad that he did because it took the pressure off, not pressure but you know what I mean.

“I sort of know where I stand. He made that clear six to eight weeks ago so I’ve got no worries about that. I’ve put that at the back of my mind.  I’ve got a heart the size of that football pitch and I want to get into the play-offs and I want to go up. If we don’t, I’ll go again next season.

“All I can say is we’ve given it a go, haven’t we? If you’re a Thamesmead supporter, this year we’ve given it a go!”

But chairman Paul Bowden-Brown wielded the axe following talks this afternoon, as the former Maldon & Tiptree and Redbridge manager left Bayliss Avenue by mutual consent.

Mr Bowden-Brown said in a statement which was posted on “I’d like to put on record by thanks Terry for all he’s done during his reign as manager of Thamesmead Town and I wish him well for the future on behalf of everyone at the club.

“We’ve had a discussion since our game at Maldon on Saturday and it’s a disappointing day that we have agreed to go our separate ways.  Terry will always be welcome.”

Terry Spillane said he was disappointed to be leaving the club.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Thamesmead Town and feel that we’ve achieved a lot in my time at the club,” he said.

“I’d like to thank my back room staff (Tony Faulkner, Darran George and physio Carly Payne) for their held and support, as well as under 21 manager Gary Ryan, for producing a number of players who have featured for me.

“Dave Joy (the club secretary) who has been immense, as well as the old committee members and I’d also like to thank the chairman for his unconditional support given to me.

“Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of the players who have worn the clubs colours in my time and have given everything for me.

“Finally, a thank you to all the club’s supporters who have been magnificent and I’m sure they will be for the new manager whoever he may be.”

The club said that a further announcement will follow with regards to Terry Spillane’s successor as the club complete their season with a trip to Tilbury on Saturday and hosting Brightlingsea Regent on 23 April the clubs last game of the season.


(Richard Brooks Photography) Bowden-Brown Chairman Manager Paul Spillane Terry Thamemsead Thamesmead Town Tue, 12 Apr 2016 07:00:00 GMT
Easter Play Offs Easter Play Offs

After the Mead’s draw with Barkingside on Good Friday left the boys three points off the Play Off places and level on games played with fifth placed AFC Hornchurch, Easter Saturday’s results certainly went the way of Terry and the boys.  To recap, going into the Easter programme, the Mead were four points behind AFC with a game in hand and sat in 8th place.

On Saturday, there were surprises all over the programme.  In short, AFC Sudbury still look like being crowned Champions, whilst Thurrock, Cray and Harlow all look to have booked post season places leaving just the last Play Off place up for grabs and there’s now a log-jam for that solitary place!

Going into Easter Monday, Hornchurch, Cheshunt and Brightlingsea are level on 73 points from 41 games, whilst the Mead are still four points behind on 69 but with a game in hand having only played 40 games, with Dereham (who remember visit the SCT next Saturday) a further point back but from 41 games played.

The Easter Monday fixtures see Hornchurch travel to Witham; Brightlingsea hosting Wroxham; Cheshunt travelling to Redbridge and of course the Mead’s short trip to play Phoenix – meantime (for the record) Dereham are also on their travels at Soham.

As you can see then the “Race for the Play Offs” is still very much alive, and there’s sure to be more twists on Easter Monday and just to let you know, Saturday’s fixtures include Hornchurch v Brightlingsea, Cheshunt v Cray and of course The Mead v Dereham…

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bowden-Brown Chairman Club Football KSN Kent League London Paul Thamesmead Town Waltham v Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:59:40 GMT
Thamesmead Town 4 v Waltham Abbey 3 Thamesmead Town edge closer to the top five

Compared to other weekends in March today was relativley warm, coats cast aside and the sun shone at Bayliss Avenue on two teams prepared to give their all which produced a thriller off a game! Thamemsmead wanting to win to reach the play off positions. Waltham Abbey, needing a win to pull them out of the relegation zone. With he chariman announcing a freeze on season tickets for next season. Spectators were rewarded with seven well worked goals! and if it hadn't been for Thamesmead's goalkeeper spectators could have seen eight goals and a four all draw!! Today was a great advert for grass roots, non league football

Match Report from Thamnesmead Town FC

Thamesmead took advantage of Cray Wanderers inactivity to edge to within four points of the Play Off places following a pulsating seven goal thriller as they edged out Waltham Abbey.

After a quiet start, The Mead took the lead on 24 minutes when Harrison cut in from the right before firing in off the left post from the edge of the box.  Waltham then took the lead by scoring twice in three minutes through Christian Assambolonga, who showed why he’s got League club’s chasing his signature.

 The Mead were level though before half time as Vinesy powered home Harrion’s cross with a fine header that rocketed into the net.

 The Mead took the lead for a second time when Gazi connected with a clearance (after Tommy Spillanes cross had only been half cleared) and his shot flew into the bottom corner through the crowd past an unsighted keeper.

The lead was extended ten minutes into the half when Vinesy expertly headed home Lee Prescott’s corner – making room for himself and steering a header home before Assembolonga completed his trick with 24 minutes left as he beat Walks to a left wing cross.
The visitors should have been reduced to ten men when Tom Wood clearly knocked the ball away from Tyrus with his hand as the Mead substitute so very nearly managed to get away from the Abbey defender.  But incredibly neither referee or either assistant saw the offense that near enough everyone else in the ground did!

Walks then redeemed his earlier error by pulling off a brilliant save away to his left to deny sub Yemi Adelani with a full length tip round the post, before the hat-trick hero turned villain in the closing stages.  As the 90 minutes elapsed, Assambolonga incredibly (especially when you consider his earlier lethalness in front of goal) somehow contrived to shoot wide from only three yards out with the Mead goal at his mercy!

That’s four wins in a row now for the Mead which takes us (for 24 hours at least before Cray host Soham) to within four points of the Play Off places as the Final Countdown begins in earnest with eight games of an intriguing season left.

Thamesmead – Walker, Dauit, Spillane, Pinto, Barry, Butler, Carnegie, Prescott, Vines (Hopkins), Fairweather-Johnson (Gordon-Young), Porter (Prince)

Subs – Jude, Gorbell

(Richard Brooks Photography) 3 4 Abbey Bowden-Brown Chairman Club Football KSN Kent League London Paul Thamesmead Town Waltham v Sat, 19 Mar 2016 13:15:00 GMT
Birmingham double secures the points for Blues A few weeks later into the season but another cold day wrapped up again on the touchline at Jersey Road. Even though the game kicked off half an hout later i "assume" to help the traveling Birmingham City coach to make its way south still didn't help as the temperature on my car dashboardstill claime di to be -2 degrees. A few new faces for me to photograph in the Brentford team today but i'm afraid from kick off Birmingham looked the stronger team with Brentford having few efforts on goal but none to actually trouble the visitng keeper. The youth team have one more home game left which is against Leeds united. Having watched these two teams play in December with Leeds narrowly winning 2-3. I believe this will be a very entertaining game. One i'm looking forward to photographing already!!

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

Brentford 0 Birmingham City 2

Ronan Hale's double secures the points for Blues

Ronan Hale's double secured the three points for Birmingham City in the U18 Professional Development League Two this morning at Jersey Road.

The visitors took the lead after 9 minutes when Irish striker Hale pounced on Ellery Balcombe’s weak pass out from the edge of the area and passed into an empty net.

Hale struck what proved to be the winner midway through the second half, when his side were awarded a contentious penalty that he dispatched into the left-hand corner of the net, via Balcombe’s palm.

The Bees lineup was left virtually untouched from the defeat to QPR last weekend; under-16s Balcombe and David Titov retained their starting berths, whilst Josh Bohui returned to the squad and Chris Mepham made his first under-18s start since signing professional terms in February.

With 20 goals to his name this season in all competitions, Hale was always going to prove to be a handful to the Brentford defence; his early cross in from the left almost gave the Blues the perfect start when Corey O’Keefe latched on, but just clipped it past the post.

Winger Odin Bailey was also giving Titov a run for his money down the left, but when Balcombe received a non-threatening ball back to goal, little did he know that it was Hale who would pop up again; his weak attempted pass from Mepham’s ball was quickly snatched by Hale who was left with the easy task of passing into the back of the net for the opener

Birmingham’s passing was a joy to behold at times, but Brentford were by no means ready to back down for the Midlands side, yet it was the familiar story of creating the chances but failing to convert them; Romayne Pennant and Giovanni McGregor both went close but couldn’t force Max Beardmore into anything more than simple saves.

Just after the half-hour came Brentford’s best chance; Mepham’s low ball from defence somehow reached the feet of Danny Parish who turned Oliver Mulders and hit a shot, but again failed to meaningfully test Beardmore.

The second half began just as the first had; Charlie Lakin’s corner was en route to the head of O’Keefe, before Balcombe intervened and made the vital fingertip save that removed the ball from danger.

With 52 minutes on the clock, the Blues were awarded a penalty; the referee adjudged that Seth Owens had pushed Cameron Ebbutt from a corner – a claim that the entire Bees squad hotly disputed; having recently bagged nine goals in two league games, Hale’s spot-kick was merely a formality.

As the game wore on, Brentford improved; though Parish was isolated in attack and two free-kicks either side of the hour mark were the closest they came to breaking their scoring hoodoo, which has now stretched to over 270 minutes.

Despite extensive injury time at the conclusion of the game, the Bees couldn’t force so much as a consolation and Steve Spooner’s young Blue side walked away with the three points.

Brentford: Ellery Balcombe, Romayne Pennant, Seth Owens, Chris Mepham, David Titov, Sean Bird (Pablo Gonzalez 46), Giovanni McGregor, Josh Bohui, Julius Fenn-Evans (Adebambo Akinjogbin 87), Luke Dunn (Shawkat Tahir 46), Danny Parish
Unused subs: Adam Green, George Maxwell

Birmingham City: Max Beardmore, Louis Yuill, Matthew Timms, Charlie Lakin, Jack Challis, Oliver Mulders, Corey O’Keefe, Beryly Lubala (Ryan Stirk 88), Ronan Hale, Cameron Ebbutt (Mitchell Roberts), Odin Bailey
Unused subs: Nosa Iyamu, Adam Siviter, Tom Anderson


(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Birmingham City Birmingham City Football Club Blues Brentford Football Club Brentford vs Watford FC Match Report Youth team Sat, 12 Mar 2016 14:15:00 GMT
Third Party Camera Lenses As a passionate photographer, I have a bag upon bag of photography equipment that I need when placed in a whole variety of situations. Photography is a slippery slope and once people take the photography plunge it becomes a lot more than a hobby. We now live in a tricky and uncertain financial world and the days of going out and just buying anything and everything in my opinion are long gone. For many we have to play the waiting game. Buy what I need when its possible and until then make the best of what equipment we’ve got. This can be seen as a hindrance but then again the pictures I can produce make me work harder at achieving a better quality of picture as I’m spending more time picking my shot as I understand the limitations of my equipment and how to best use them. There is just no point trying to take a picture that my equipment is not capable of making as the end results will often disappoint. Not a good feeling!

For most of this calendar footballing year I’ve used a Tamron 70-200 F2.8. A lens I cannot complain about one bit! Built to last, not too heavy and image quality really is very good. A lens I would highly recommend to other photographers. Of course there are those that would say the Canon 70-200 F2.8 is the holy grail and the lens everyone should aspire to get. I cannot dispute this and if you have this pairing with a Canon camera that’s half the battle won and will make life a whole lot easier. If you listen to photographers with years of experience they will always advise to spend money on a good quality lenses rather than a camera body! A looked after Lens will always last longer than the body so this is why money is best spent here? If you haven’t noticed this yet ? of course lenses are pretty expensive too and why you see so many being sold on Gumtree and eBay to bridge the gap needed to purchase new equipment buying someone else’s hand me downs. The prices sold here are always a bargain but in my opinion this comes with a concern which you have to step back and think of the consequences(My sensible head speaking). I’m sure everyone does there best to look after their own equipment but this like everything  will always be subject to abuse? The weather elements, accidental or deliberate damage, natural wear and tear and just the age of the devices etc. Once purchased privately how much life is actually left within the camera or lens?

For my sports photography and the times sitting behind the goal line the 70-200 is great when the action comes to you…. This being football I’m sure you can realise each half you hope the action is at your end of the goal. I hope the team attacking this goal are the better or stronger team which results in a lot of action being right in front of me. When its not…. The 70-200 is just not much fun. A little short in focal length to be honest. Of course I can get lots of pictures of the attackers and attacking midfielders, but the midfielders and defenders are just out of reach and look quite pathetically small in pictures. As for taking pictures of the goalkeeper at the far end…. A complete waste of time even pressing the shutter.

This weekend I’m making the most of a great opportunity and using a Sigma 120-300 lens with a x1.4 Teleconverter. Next month the clocks go forward for the start of British Summer Time (My favourite time of the year) and already days with daylight are getting longer. Which means for a 15:00 kick off on a Saturday afternoon there should be enough light to use the teleconverter for the first half of the match. As the game continues through the second half and darkness falls, the extra 100mm I have at my disposal is going to be a huge benefit to me. I’ll follow up with another blog how the lens performed for me soon…..

(Richard Brooks Photography) 120-300 70-200 Canon F2.8 Football Glass Lens Lenses Sigma Sports Tamron photography Sat, 20 Feb 2016 15:30:00 GMT
Thamesmead Town 2-2 Maldon & Tiptree A cold Monday night as it had been a while but i returend to Bayliss Avenue to see Thamesmead Town play Maldon & Tiptree with a virtually a new loooking squad of Thamesmead players brought in to push the team up into the play of positions in a hope of getting promoted. Thamesmead started well and looked the better team and he team likely to win this game. Im not sure if it was resiliance from Maldon or just a lack of concentration but the two times Thamesmead scored in their dominant period of the game a few moments later Maldon scored to equalise on both occasions. The game changed when captain and scorer of Thamesmead's second goal, went from hero to villan as he found himself the last defender and brought down Maldon't striker who was through on goal. The referee seeing this as a goal scoring opportunity, Showed a straight red card for the Thamesmead defender.

Standing behind the goal Thamesmead were attacking my camera shutter rate slowed from this point on as it was thamesmead who appeared to snacth defeat from the jaws of victory and were now intent on shutting up shop and seeing the game out for a share of the points.

Match Report from KSN

Ahead twice, pegged back twice and finishing with Andy Walker making two sensational saves in the closing stages as the Mead earned a point in a hugely enjoyable contest on a freezing cold Thamesmead Monday night.

Thamesmead v Maldon

Maldon are to be credited for playing their part in the game, and it was the visitors who almost struck first as a drive from distance stung Walk’s fingertips early on as the Mead keeper pulled off a super save.

Maldon keeper Phillips then had a rush of blood as Tyrus Gordon-Young chased a ball down the right channel. The keeper came out to the edge of his box and then allowed the Mead striker to sprint past him. Unfortunately for the home side, Gordon-Young ran out of room and hit the side netting from a very acute angle.

Phillips then showed what a good keeper he is though shortly after making a great save from a Max Mitchell free kick, as he went full length to save.

Moments later though the keeper was beaten by Lee Prescott from almost the same position as the midfielder curled the ball over the wall past a statuesque Phillips and into the net.

Phillips was to gain his “revenge” moments later as Jay Porter’s thunderbolt from the edge of the box was somehow tipped over – the strike was magnificent; the save was sensational!

The visitors had had plenty of possession but apart from their early chance hadn’t really threatened until full back Roast connected with a great volley on the angle from a corner to draw the visitors level before half time.

They could even have been in front as in stoppage time Mills raced clear and as Walker advanced, the striker tried to lift the ball over the keeper but only succeeded in lobbing the ball into his arms.

The second half began with the Mead in the ascendency and Paul Vines shot straight at the keeper after Gordon-Young laid off a Porter cross, before the Mead’s top scorer was denied by another fine Phillips save as he cut in after being played through down the left.

The home side duly re-established the lead just past the hour as Mitchell’s corner was bundled home by Jack Barry – Barry’s third goal in six days.

Thamesmead v Maldon2

Sadly for the Mead skipper his night was to take a severe downward dip just five minutes later as he was shown a straight red card for bringing down Mills just inside the box.

From the naked eye, opinion was split as to whether Barry had in fact got the ball, but when the incident was reviewed in replay, the referee was correct. McQueen duly drove home the spot kick.

The ten men could have retaken the lead for the third time on 82 minutes but after Marc Gorbell’s header from a corner fell to Theo Fairweather-Johnson whose instant shot on the turn flew over the bar.

The visitors will think that they should have won the game in the closing stages as Walker made not one but two stunning saves – the first had Newson shaking his head as the Mead stopper tipped his shot over, whilst in stoppage time, Walker had substitute Nwachaky holding his head by tipping his shot round the post.

Was this a point won for the home side or two lost? In the final analysis, you have to say the former, but boss Terry Spillane will know that the dropped points means that getting three against Play Off rivals Cheshunt in the Mead’s next game now becomes even more important.

THAMESMEAD – Walker, Hallam, Porter, Mitchell (Spillane), Barry, Gorbell, Prescott, Vines (Butler), Gordon-Young, Fairweather-Johnson, Carnegie

Subs – Duncan, Toms, Glasgow

(Richard Brooks Photography) 2015-2016 Avenue Bayliss Bowden-Brown Chairman Football KSN Kent League London Thamesmead Town Sat, 20 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT
Lions win London derby at Jersey Road What an incredibly cold day! Wrapped up in my SuperDry coat, hat and gloves i didn't envy the two teams running around throwing themselves into sliding tackles one bit!! - Brentford won this away fixture 1-2 so today was always going to be a close game. I think the strong wind played a part in this game as in the first half Brentford used this to their advantage as Millwall found it hard to get out of their own half. Unfortunately Brentford failed to capitalise on this and at half time the score was still 0-0. It didn't take long but from the restart Millwall broke through and scored. Against the strong wind any reply from Brentford was going to take a huge effort from the team to which a through a sweeping move Brentford found their way through and looked the better team likely to win. Jus before the games turning point! From my angle Danny Parish through on goal was brought down in the penalty area but the ref waved play on and ignored all Brentford's appeals, the swift counter attack then saw Millwall score leaving Brentford deflated. A little harsh but even so Brentford did push on in an attempt to equalise but it just wasn't to be.


Brentford 1 Charlton Athletic 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

Lions win London derby at Jersey Road

Danny Parish’s third goal in two games wasn’t enough for a share of the spoils this morning as Brentford’s Youth Team lost 2-1 to Millwall at Jersey Road.

Despite The Bees’ early dominance, the two sides went into the break level at 0-0, but two minutes into the second half, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner scored a bizarre goal as his cross from the byline somehow evaded Cameron Greaves and crept over the line.

With ten minutes to play, Parish angled a shot past Ryan Sandford following Shawkat Tahir’s through-ball but just two minutes later, Junior Tiensa capitalised on a Lions counter-attack and curled in a shot from 20 yards.

Knowing a win could spring the Bees back into fourth place, Jon De Souza made a number of changes to the starting eleven; Ellery Balcombe was replaced by Greaves, whilst Jeremiah Kamanzi, Zach Birse and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown all returned to the squad; Sean Bird missed out after sustaining an ankle injury during the week.

After a string of impressive performances in January, Brentford had every right to be confident. And it showed on the pitch as they kept – and dominated - possession very well in the early stages. But a recurring theme over the course of the season has been their inability to convert this possession into results, as they found after 10 minutes; Noel Leighton had a 20 yard free-kick saved before Mulrooney-Skinner went close with a dipping first-time effort that flew over the bar.

The home side had their fair share of opportunities to put the game to bed before the half-time whistle, with George Harmes seeing his speculative shot fall wide of the target and Parish failing to get a proper connection on the half-turn after Luke Dunn had cut back for him.

Brentford went close again five minutes before half-time when left-back Romayne Pennant hit a long ball down the left wing to Marsh-Brown, whose shot was too straight and too close to Sandford to cause any trouble.

It only took two minutes for Millwall to open the scoring after the break; after chasing a wayward pass all the way to the byline, Mulrooney-Skinner sidefooted across goal and his cross-cum-shot was misjudged by Greaves who had no choice but to watch the ball cross the line at his far post.

Less than a minute later, Seth Owens prevented the Bees from going further behind when he threw his body in front of Lewis White’s shot after the striker had charged into the box and rounded Greaves.

With 20 minutes to play, Parish did well to beat the offside trap and square for substitute Shawkat Tahir but the under-15’s winger stuttered at the vital moment 10 yards out, when a goal looked to be a formality.

Millwall’s Eze Ebuzoeme and Brentford’s Giovanni McGregor both forced great saves from the respective goalkeepers soon after, before Parish finally grabbed the equaliser; a sumptuous ball in from Tahir fed Parish, who fired a low effort under Sandford for his seventh goal of the season.

Last week’s win 4-3 over Crystal Palace was the Bees first since a 2-1 victory over The Lions back on 17 October; but the first back-to-back wins since August were ruled out two minutes later thanks to Tiensa.

After Parish had penalty appeals waved away, the Lions started a counter-attack that was delightfully completed when first-half substitute Tiensa cut inside from the left-wing and held his nerve to angle a 20-yard shot into the back of the net.

Despite a tense final five minutes, which saw Pennant sent off for two bookable offences, The Bees couldn’t find an equaliser and now prepare for a home tie with U18 Professional Development League Two South basement side Bristol City at Jersey Road, next Saturday morning.

Brentford: Cameron Greaves, Romayne Pennant, Seth Owens, Zach Birse, Luke Dunn, George Harmes, Jeremiah Kamanzi (Tony Guppy 27), Kyjuon Marsh-Brown (Shawkat Tahir 65), Giovanni McGregor, Pablo Gonzalez, Danny Parish
Unused subs: Ellery Balcombe, Harry Francis, George Maxwell

Millwall: Ryan Sandford, Danny McNamara (Chris Queeley 63), Ronnie O’Donnell, James Fitzgerald, James White, Ryan Green, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner, Eze Ebuzoeme, Lewis White (Matt Day 65), Noel Leighton (Junior Tiensa 45+2), Matt Campbell
Unused subs: Joe Wright, Mason Saunders

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Football Club Brentford vs Watford FC Match Report Youth team Thu, 18 Feb 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Addicks do the double over The Bees at Jersey Road Brentford 1 Charlton Athletic 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

Having played away earlier in the season Brentford aimed to make amends in this home game having lost to Charlton 7-1, who not surprisingly sat top of the league. Upon waking this Saturday was cold and fresh but I didn't envisage that this would affect the start of this game. The car dashboard said the outside temperature was -3 but still I drove to the ground expecting the normal time of Kick Off. Upon arrival it wasn't surprising that the pitch was still frozen and with the variety of boots the players were wearing made it dangerous conditions indeed for them and probably even worse, expecting goalkeepers to throw themselves around on. The normal kick off time was looking unlikely as the trainers and managers were in constant discussions with the referee and it was Important that the players found ways of keeping warm and their fluids up as kick off was actually delayed in the end for an hour. When the game kicked off Charlton were more alert to the cause and managed to score straight from the kick off. To most people their feared the worst but Brentford were more resilient than the previous game. Even so Charlton still managed to win this game 1-3.

There was further disappointment for Brentford’s Youth Team in the U18 Professional Development League Two South as they went down 3-1 to Charlton Athletic at Jersey Road this morning.

The Bees had fallen behind after just 19 seconds after Seth Owens’ miskick allowed Alex Willis to tap over the line from close range and Daniel Bowry thumped home at the back post to ensure The Addicks went into the break with the advantage.

Just after the break Julius Fenn-Evans scored his second of the season when he met Josh Bohui’s cross, but despite a resilient performance from Brentford, on the hour mark Kenneth Yao beat Cameron Greaves with a fine curling effort from outside the box.

Jon De Souza made five changes to the starting lineup that drew with Colchester United last weekend; Greaves replaced Ellery Balcombe in goal, David Titov, Sean Bird and Tony Guppy made their first starts of the year, whilst left-back Romayne Pennant featured in a game for the first time since September

Charlton were sitting pretty at the top of the league, having lost just once in their last eight games and showed just why less than 30 seconds in when Owens attempted clearance flew over his head and landed on the line, leaving Willis the easy task of tapping home.

The same thing had happened in the 7-1 defeat to Charlton back in November, but this time the Bees recovered much more positively, despite rarely threatening to beat visiting goalkeeper Jordan Beeney between the sticks.

Greaves was reinstated in goal for the home side and looked to have a point to prove, making a string of fine saves from Jordan Zemura, Suliaman Bah and Sam Bone all inside the first 15 minutes.

Brentford had picked up first point in five games in 1-1 draw with Colchester United last weekend, but haven’t won a game for three months tomorrow, largely due to the lack of an out-and-out goalscorer but showed their defensive quality; battening down the hatches to keep the energetic Charlton attack at bay.

Five minutes prior to half-time, a Charlton corner went unchallenged and a weak header out fell to centre-back Bowry, who expertly volleyed the shot home first time at the back post to make it 2-0.

The Bees continued to press in the second half and produced a carbon copy of Kyjuon Marsh-Brown’s goal last weekend four minutes after the break when Bohui ran down the left-wing and squared for Fenn-Evans to slot home.

But substitute Yao wrapped up the three points with an hour gone when he found himself in space outside the box and curled a delightful shot past the beaten Greaves.

Charlton reasserted their early dominance in the closing quarter of the match, but it was Brentford who had perhaps the best opportunity of the second half late on, when Danny Parish flicked the ball on for overlapping substitute Luke Dunn, but he could only drag the shot agonisingly wide.

Jon De Souza’s side will be hoping to improve their fortunes next weekend when they travel to South London to face Crystal Palace

Brentford: Cameron Greaves, David Titov (George Harmes 78), Romayne Pennant, Giovanni McGregor, Seth Owens, Sean Bird, Josh Bohui, Tony Guppy, Danny Parish, Julius Fenn-Evans (Ian Carlo Poveda 85), Pablo Gonzalez (Luke Dunn 60)
Unused subs: Samuel Kifwasima, Ellery Balcombe

Charlton Athletic: Jordan Beeney, Mustapha Bangura-Williams, Jordan Zemura (Kenneth Yao 46), Sam Bone, Glan Assiana (Aiden Prall 78), Daniel Bowry, George Lapslie (Alfie Doughty 53), Taylor Maloney, Alex Willis, Suliaman Bah, Chris Millar
Unused subs: Romano Simpson, Nathaniel Fowler

(Richard Brooks Photography) Addicks Athletic Bees Brentford Charlton Club Football Match Red Report Robins The vs Sat, 23 Jan 2016 11:30:00 GMT
Brentford 1 Vs Burnley 3 Brentford 1 Burnley 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

The staff of Brentford kindly gave me a opportunity to attend this first team match pitch side at a game that was going to be televised Live on Sky Sports 1 on a Friday night. Even though the weather had turned for the worse and usually with Friday night football, a lot of people have 'other' plans but the fans still turned out for this game as just over ten thousand people attended Griffin Park along with the viewers at home watching Friday Night Football. This was Brentford's THIRD home match in seven days but an exciting one as both teams looked to claim three valuable points to help their own league status.

​Unfortunately for Brentford some pre match off the field politics with a player chosen to play this night, meant that the club took action to discipline James Tarkowski as he (unwisely - IMO but who am I?) decided not to play for his employers? This obviously wasn't in Dean Smiths pre match plans as he had no option other to make last minute changes to his team affecting his match tactics.

Traveling from Kent to West London required using two trains so I made I caught the earliest train I could after work to account for any delayed or cancelled trains that us commuters have to face daily! This after paying extortionate rail fees yearly! Arriving at the ground I was pleased to gain access to the ground by just saying my name and given a complementary match programme which I was pleased to see included some pictures that I took from the Brentford Vs Colchester United youth team game. I was directed upstairs to the media room where this room was already full of other photographers using the clubs free wifi, uploading photographs to agencies they were working for. Signing in and collecting my green photographers bib I headed downstairs pitch side setting up next to the Sky presenters practicing their lines off air. Burnley brought a large allocation of away fans to Brentford who even before kick off were in quite a vocal mood. When the match did kick off I'm afraid it wasn't long before Burnley took control and score quite early on in the game, then a second, then a third all before half time.

This was a little disappointing from my point of view as just from the score line you can see all the action was a the far end of the ground and there wasn't may opportunities to capture pictures of the Brentford players on the attack behind the goal where I was sitting. Fortunately at half time Dean Smith must have given his team a good telling off as the second half was entirely different. I changed ends myself and used the opportunity to try warming up my hands a little so they were ready for the second half action.

The second half got under way and with Brentford attacking the home end of the ground I sat listening to these fans encouraging their team on at full voices. It wasn't long until Alan Judge scored and I hoped this would be the first of many for Brentford. Attack after attack but Brentford couldn't find their way through Burnley's rigid defence but this change in team form still meant I had plenty of opportunities to capture photographs of the Brentford players as they pressed forward. As the game progressed and I kept glancing down at my watch willing time to slow down and to be honest I didn't want this game to end. I had found camera settings I was happy with and I was capturing images which told a story of the action before me. So when the referee blew his whistle for full time i'm afraid I secretly started to "Boo" the referee with a silent protest (even though he was doing his job correctly).

I thoroughly enjoyed this game, the speed of the game was so much more than I've experienced before and it wasn't a surprise really that I took more pictures in this 90 minutes than i've ever done before in other football matches which as a photographer is a really good thing. I had a lot more 'keepers' to choose from than the ones I can discard, forget about and delete. Which I hope you agree, viewing the gallery  :HERE:


(Richard Brooks Photography) Alan Judge Bees Brentford Brentford 1 Burnely 3 Brentford Football Club Brentford Vs Burnley Dean Smith James Tarkowski Joey Barton Match Report Moss side Burnley Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Honours even at Jersey Road as Us net late on Brentford 1 Colchester United 1

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

First match of the new year for the youth team and although the weather was quite mild for this time of year its certainly time to add an extra layer or two under my SuperDry coat add my hat and gloves and make sure i've packed my rain shield for my camera as its time to use all these items. Cold and wet still doesn't spoil my enjoyment of watch the teams play and although i watch this game with one eye open and the other behind my camera both teams scored some well worked goals


Brentford’s Youth Team picked up their first point in five games this afternoon, as they held Colchester United to a 1-1 draw at Jersey Road in the U18 Professional Development League Two South.

An uneventful first half ended goalless with few clear chances for either side, but with seventeen minutes to play, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown guided home Josh Bohui’s cross for his second goal of the season.

But, as has been displayed all too often this season, the Bees were pegged back just seven minutes later when Diaz Wright poked George Brown’s cross past Ellery Balcombe from close range.

There were few changes to the side that were defeated by Watford on 19 December; George Harmes was dropped to the bench, in came Tyrick Mitchell, whilst Julius Fenn-Evans replaced Ian Carlo Poveda and Marsh-Brown made his first start of the season ahead of the absent Kingsley Eshun.

The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in Essex at the start of November in poor weather conditions and the trend continued into this game with a rainy few days leaving the Jersey Road pitch less than perfect.

Colchester’s first chance came inside the first ten minutes when goalscorer Wright found a route into the box and hit a shot that was well blocked by Chris Mepham and, just minutes later, Fenn-Evans misplaced a shot in the centre circle, but Balcombe mopped up Brown’s resultant shot.

Whilst Balcombe was undoubtedly the busier keeper for much of the game, Colchester stopper Danny Bonness was beaten early on when Danny Parish slotted past him, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside.

Brentford - without a win since 17 October – were creating viable openings but were not clinical enough in the final third; as was proved when Marsh-Brown’s low cross in to the box went unchallenged with at least three Brentford players in the vicinity; the U’s were far more potent in their attacks.

After half an hour, the Bees saw another chance go begging as Bohui’s shot was picked out of the air by Bonness with Parish waiting to pounce at the far post; Giovanni McGregor had his sights on a birthday goal, but smashed Chris Mepham’s headed knockdown well over.

The second half could only improve on the slightly drab first period and nine minutes in, Parish had another opportunity to open the scoring when he traded passes with Bohui but couldn’t get enough power on the shot to cause Bonness any real trouble.

Then came Colchester’s chance to give Brentford a scare, and that they did, with Ross Debrick having an overhead kick saved before Callum Jones and Decarrey Sherriff both had dangerous shots on target well claimed by Balcombe.

And with little over 15 minutes to play, Brentford finally took the lead. Bohui made a signature searching run down the left-wing and squared for Marsh-Brown, who took a touch and coolly slotted past Bonness.

From the restart, Balcombe had to be at his very best to prevent an immediate equaliser as he tipped a Wright shot onto the bar from point-blank range; Sherriff couldn’t find a way to equalise from the rebound.

Ten minutes from time, the visitors did find a way back into the game after the Bees didn’t clear their lines quickly enough, allowing Brown to cross for the impressive Wright, who duly tucked his shot past Balcombe from five yards.

Still, Brentford couldn’t muster another attack and continue their three month search for a win at home to Charlton Athletic next Saturday (16 January).

Brentford: Ellery Balcombe, Zach Birse, Chris Mepham, Tyrick Mitchell, Seth Owens (Sean Bird 41), Giovanni McGregor, Julius Fenn-Evans, Pablo Gonzalez (George Harmes 81), Josh Bohui, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, Danny Parish (Luke Dunn 86)
Unused subs: Cameron Greaves, Ian Carlo Poveda

Colchester United: Danny Bonness, Jamie Stephens (Jake Mulryne 84), Osase JJ Wilson, Diaz Wright, Joe Tennent, Jacob Partridge, George Brown, Joshua Pollard (Billy Holmes 70), Callum Jones (Josce Syrett 73), Decarrey Sherriff, Ross Debrick
Unused subs: Callum Robinson

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Brentford Football Club Brentford Vs Colchester United Thu, 14 Jan 2016 18:30:00 GMT
Jon De Souza's Youth Team downed by Hornets at Jersey Road Brentford 2 Watford 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

Brentford’s Youth Team are still searching for their first win since October as they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to Watford at Jersey Road in the U18 Professional Development League Two South this afternoon.

The visitors had raced into a two-goal lead through Michael Folivi and Ogochukwu Obi before the half-hour mark, but Josh Bohui’s penalty on the stroke of half-time had given The Bees a route back into the game.

Kingsley Eshun equalised soon after half-time when he poked home following a 45-yard run, but with the tie level heading towards the final whistle, Folivi managed to squeeze a shot past Balcombe to take the points – an all-too-familiar occurrence at Jersey Road this season.

There were five changes from the side that lost to Leeds United in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday; George Harmes, Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco and Kingsley Eshun returned, whilst 16-year-old goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe made his under-18s debut and Giovanni McGregor made his first start since 12 September.

The Hornets had already beaten Brentford once this season, just seven weeks ago, and were clearly buoyed by that advantage, starting at a very high pace and dominating possession in Brentford’s final third.

But despite the Bees having a composed back four, Denilson Carvalho went close to breaching their defensive line when he audaciously slinked past three players and released a shot that just passed the post 10 minutes in.

It was not long after that Watford had the ball in the net for the first time; an unmarked Folivi took one touch from Dion Pereira’s lofted 30-yard free-kick and volleyed across Balcombe at the far post.

Four minutes later Obi doubled the lead with an almost identical goal; Pereira the architect once again. This time Obi beat the offside trap and latched onto Pereira’s pass, before curling past debutant Balcombe from inside the area.

The Bees were failing to trouble a confident side that had lost just three times this campaign and were sitting just a point behind Charlton Athletic in the league table. Until the stroke of half-time that is.

A rare Brentford attack saw Ian Carlo Poveda make a mazy run into the Watford area and draw a foul out of captain Charles Rowan; Josh Bohui stepped up to convert his penalty past Jamie Lacy and into the bottom left corner – the winger’s seventh of the season.

Three minutes into the second-half a mistake from Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco saw Folivi pick up the loose ball on the counter and fire a powerful shot at goal, but Balcombe was equal to it and managed to tip it over.

Just five minutes later, the pace of the game was to shift entirely. Bohui worked his way out of a crowd of three players and set Eshun free with a short pass, the latter made a nigh-on 45 yard run to poke a shot past Lacy for the equaliser.

Jon De Souza’s side appeared a completely different side after this, but were still on the back foot; Pereira poked wide from an Obi cross, whilst Denilson Carvalho had a shot deflected away off Seth Owens and McGregor skied a free-kick in a prime position.

Heading into the final minute of the game, Brentford clearly had their sights set on a first point since the draw with Crystal Palace on 21 November but were denied once again when Folivi picked up the ball six yards out and fired his second into the corner of the net, leaving no time for Brentford to recover.

Brentford: Ellery Balcombe, George Harmes, Seth Owens, Chris Mepham, Zach Birse, Giovanni McGregor (Sean Bird 75), Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco, Josh Bohui, Kingsley Eshun, Ian Carlo Poveda, Danny Parish
Subs (not used): Cameron Greaves, David Titov, Samuel Kifwasima-Mayuma

Watford: Jamie Lacy, David Sesay (Andrew Eleftheriou 37), Brandon Mason, Joshua Roe, Charles Rowan, Connor Stevens, Denilson Carvalho, Max Makaka (Jacob Cook 80), Oguchukwu Obi (Ashley Charles 70), Michael Folivi, Dion Pereira
Subs (not used): Will Dennis, Maximillian Ryan

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Football Club Brentford vs Watford FC Match Report Youth team Mon, 11 Jan 2016 20:30:00 GMT
Young Bees exit FA Youth Cup at Third Round stage Brentford 2 Leeds United 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

The game was moved to Griffin Park and clearly the two teams enjoyed this occaion. The scoreline says it all as the action was end to end but maybe Brentford will kick themselves letting this opportunity slip through their fingers. Having clawed their way back into the game twice... Another late goal saw Leeds with this cup tie 2-3.

Tyla Bell came off the bench to settle a pulsating FA Youth Cup tie at Griffin Park as Leeds United ended Brentford’s participation at the Third Round stage.

Brentford had twice fallen behind only to level through Kyjuon Marsh-Brown and then Zach Birse either side of half-time.

However Bell, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes, finally put the tie to bed with a quarter of an hour to play sliding home from close range to finally break The Bees resistance.

In terrible conditions at Griffin Park it was Jon De Souza’s side who started the first half very much on the front foot. Josh Bohui shot over the angle of post and bar from 12 yards after Reece Cole played him through and then the latter drove an effort straight at Theo Richardson.

The opening quarter of an hour belonged exclusively to Brentford with Cole, in particular, at the heart of a lot of The Bees good work. They thought they had their reward when Marsh-Brown drove through the yellow shirted defence and played in Bohui to slot home but the joy was short lived as the linesman’s flag went up.

Brentford continued to create and Julius Fenn-Evans was denied by Richardson from close range and from the resulting corner Cole again the tested the handling of the United stopper in the difficult conditions.

After being in command of the early stages Brentford started to let Leeds back into the game as they delayed the killer pass and become more deliberate and predictable in their attacking play. Leeds, with a powerful, direct side suited to the wet conditions, began to force Brentford back and cut off the space out wide which The Bees had been exploiting early on.

Lewis Knight shot narrowly over after a nice through ball by Ronaldo Vieira but a minute later they were ahead as Cole’s clearance went up rather than out and Mallik Wilks let fly from 35 yards, a huge deflection taking the shot over Cameron Greaves and into the back of the net.

The balance of the game has shifted and it was a much more open, end to end affair as it headed towards the break. Seth Owens shot wide from 30 yards and Greaves did well to smother a low Vieira attempt that skipped up off the wet pitch.

Wilks fired an effort high and wide and then an attempted Fenn-Evans shot landed at the feet of Marsh-Brown but he could only prod the ball wide first-time. Leeds could have doubled their advantage five minutes before the interval as Greaves hesitated allowing Knight to get his shot in but a combination of Greaves hand and Chris Mepham’s goal-line clearance averted the danger.

With the final action of the half Richardson again showed good handling to smother Parish’s low drive before The Bees striker thumping header whistled past the post

Clearly fired up by their half-time team talk Brentford started the second-half well and were level five minutes in. The Bees switched the ball well from right to left and Marsh-Brown skilfully rolled his marked and then curled home from 18 yards.

The goal gave De Souza’s side renewed heart and Bohui passed up a brace of chances to complete the turnaround, the first well held by Richardson, the second bobbling wide from the edge of the box.

As with the first half however Leeds began to gain control as the period continued: Knight shot wide from 15 yards, Rollinson blazed over when well placed and with 20 minutes to play they went back ahead. Rollinson’s low shot rolling straight though Greaves and into the back of the net.

The setback didn’t affect The Bees and they struck straight back almost straight away as Cole’s driven corner was taken down by Birse and the defender showed the composure of a seasoned striker to smash home.

De Souza’s side barely had time to savour the equaliser before they again found themselves behind as substitute Tyla Bell timed his run perfectly to poke home Matty Downing’s inch-perfect cross.

Brentford threw everything forward in the closing stages but were nearly caught out as Bell made it in behind but Greaves came to the rescue with a fine save and Tom Pearce whistled a shot over from 25 yards.

Greaves made another fine block to push behind Wilks late effort but it mattered not as Leeds set up a Fourth Round tie at home to Manchester City.

Brentford: Cameron Greaves; Zach Birse, Chris Mepham, Seth Owens, Tyrick Mitchell (sub David Titov 46 mins); Reece Cole, Julius Fenn-Evans; Kyjuon Marsh-Brown (sub Kinsgley Eshun 67 mins), Ian Carlo Poveda (sub Giovanni McGregor 46 mins); Danny Parish
Subs not used: Ellery Balcombe, Pablo Gonzalez

Leeds United: Theo Richardson; Jake Croft, Jack Vann, Mike Taylor, Matty Downing; Callum Nicell (sub Jamie Shackleton 90 mins), Henry Rollinson; Tom Pearce, Ronaldo Vieira, Lewis Knight (sub Tyla Bell 67 mins); Mallik Wilks
Subs not used: Will Huffer, Max Hill, Jack Turnbull

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Brentford Football Club FC" Leeds Match Report United Vs Youth Team Mon, 11 Jan 2016 14:30:00 GMT
Tractor Boys fight back to take points at Jersey Road Brentford 2 Ipswich Town 3

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

An incredible game today. One i fully enjoyed seeing and taking pictures off. The game really was end to end and whoever who on the attack i couldn't take my eyes of the game in fear of missing some action... and pleanty of action there was. Unlucky result Bee's maybe next time

Ben Morris’ stoppage time stunner capped a late Ipswich Town fightback as they claimed a 3-2 victory over Brentford’s Youth Team at Jersey Road this afternoon.

The Bees had taken the lead just before half-time when Chris Mepham’s slight touch put George Harmes’ low free-kick past keeper Nicholas Hayes; Danny Parish doubled the lead early in the second half with a composed finish.

With ten minutes to go, Morris scored a penalty after he was hauled down by Zach Birse; Kieran Cathline then took advantage of Cameron Greaves’ fumble before Morris stole all three points with an unstoppable effort in the final minute of the game.

After an assured performance versus Crystal Palace last weekend, under-16 David Titov kept his place at right-back, whilst Chris Mepham, Jeremiah Kamanzi, Luke Dunn and Danny Parish were restored to the starting eleven.

Ipswich demonstrated their attacking intentions from the start and heaped pressure on their hosts, but despite their physical advantage and intricate build-up play, offered little to test Greaves in the Brentford goal.

That said, eight minutes in, Ross Meldrum blazed a shot over from Albert Wilton’s cross before Greaves did well to save Ronaldo Jones’ free-kick at the feet of Morris.

Julius Fenn-Evans has just one goal to his name this season but went close to adding to his tally when he allowed Josh Bohui’s pass to drift across his body, but he dragged the resulting shot wide, with Hayes at full stretch.

Despite being part of the under-21 squad for the past few weeks, Mepham slotted back into the side seamlessly and prevented the Tractor Boys’ from taking the lead 25 minutes in when he got a head to Meldrum’s goalbound shot after good work from Chris Smith.

Brentford dominated for the remainder of the first-half; Fenn-Evans’ shot was palmed away by Hayes before Luke Dunn wormed his way into the box and pulled back for Danny Parish; Hayes again involved as his deflection diverted the shot onto the bar.

The opening goal finally came soon after. Danny Parish’s classy flicked header found Fenn-Evans who was clattered by bustling centre-back Travis Cole; a nick from Mepham ensured George Harmes’ low free-kick reached the back of the net.

It wasn’t too long after the break that Brentford were celebrating once again - this time Mepham the creator of a typically route one goal. His long ball out of defence was expertly brought down by Parish, who slotted under Hayes for his fourth goal of the season.

The second-half saw Kyjuon Marsh-Brown make a welcome return to the under-18 side for the first time since the final league game of last season in April 2015.

Marsh-Brown - who spent the summer with the Antigua and Barbuda squad in their failed qualifying campaign to reach the 2016 Olympic Games – had a chance to make it 3-0 with ten minutes to go but fluffed his lines six yards out.

Almost immediately from the following attack, the Suffolk side were back in the game when the advancing Morris was brought down by Titov in the area; Greaves’ hand wasn’t enough to keep out his penalty.

The goal ensured Brentford were more wary of Ipswich counter-attacks and with four minutes to go, they kept five men back when attacking a corner; Jeremiah Kamanzi had a shot saved but it was to be the home side’s final attack.

Cruising towards a first win in four, Brentford conceded two late corners despite resilient defending – the first was cleared but from the second came an undeserved equaliser.

Ronaldo Jones whipped a corner in that Greaves leapt to claim, but under pressure, he dropped the ball and substitute Cathline reacted fastest to knock the ball over the line.

Ipswich had only scored four goals in their last five games, but completed a late comeback when Morris pounced and unleashed a powerful curling effort past a helpless Greaves, leaving the young Bees speechless.

Brentford: Cameron Greaves, George Harmes, Zach Birse, Chris Mepham, David Titov, Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco (Kingsley Eshun 73), Jeremiah Kamanzi, Josh Bohui (Kyjuon Marsh-Brown 54), Julius Fenn-Evans, Luke Dunn, Danny Parish
Subs (not used): Jordan Carey, Sean Bird

Ipswich Town: Nicholas Hayes, Take Colclough, Harry Daly, Isaac Maynard, Travis Cole (Stephane Bombolenga 65), Kolade Salaudeen (Kieron Cathline 46), Ronaldo Jones, Chris Smith (Dan Muamba 46), Ben Morris, Albert Wilton, Ross Meldrum
Subs (not used): Harry Wright, Steven Cahill

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Football Club Brentford vs Ipswich Town FC Tractor Tractor Boys Sun, 10 Jan 2016 18:15:00 GMT
Josh Bohui's penalty secures a points for Bees at home to The Eagles Brentford 1 Crystal Palace 1

Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website

This game was enjoyed for two reason on and off the pitch. It's great ot see such young, enthusiastic and talented players running up and down in front of me but sitting alongside photograpgher Mark Fuller watching and trying not to distract him from his job i felt honored to be here. A true insight into how fast the game is played now and how my finger eye co-ordination has to be just as quick to keep up with the play. This and what it is like to mirror an experianced photographer who has been all over the county following Brentford taking the first teams pictures weekly.

Jon De Souza's Youth Team picked up a point as Josh Bohui's second-half penalty earned them a point at home to Crystal Palace at Jersey Road this lunchtime in the U18 Professional Development League Two South.

The team – made up primarily of first year scholars did well to hold their own in the first half, but went behind just before half-time when Andre Coker was allowed time to pick his spot and fire in the opener.

Brentford continued to dominate the game and were rewarded twenty minutes from time when Ian Carlo Poveda was brought down and Bohui swept in a timely equaliser.

With a number of the regular starters ruled out, Jon De Souza was forced to field a young starting XI that featured U16 defender David Titov, with three U16s on the bench.

Despite this, Brentford started on the front foot and Titov was impressive from the offset, neutralising several early attacks from Levi Lumeka to keep the scores level.

Tony Guppy went close after eight minutes when he connected with Bohui’s low cross, whilst Poveda’s pinpoint shot from distance caught the wind and flew over; a dip might have seen it fly past Oliver Pain.

Julius Fenn-Evans was then fouled by Emmanuel Yeboah; Poveda’s free-kick was met by the towering head of Zach Birse who nodded onto the base of the post.

Brentford had improved greatly from their Charlton thrashing and were continuing to dominate possession at the expense of their London counterparts; Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco tested Pain’s mettle with a 30 yard stinging drive whilst Greaves was hardly tested in the first-half.

Palace had their first real chance when Andre Coker dashed up the left-wing, wrong-footed Sean Bird and chipped in a cross, but when the tall presence of Jalen Jones was needed, he wasn’t on hand to head in.

But just before half-time, Coker took the chance himself when he found time and space on the edge of the Brentford box and took a shot that beat Greaves at the far post.

The second-half began like the first had been played; Kingsley Eshun latched onto Gonzalez Velasco’s defence splitting pass but was caught offside in a perfect position for an equaliser.

The wind was wreaking havoc on the play but yet again, Brentford had an opportunity to level up proceedings when Bohui pushed forward and squared for Poveda, but his shot was well palmed away at close range by Pain.

Seven minutes later, Brentford finally got their just reward for their dominance: Poveda made a great run into the box and was tripped by Callum Sturgess. Bohui stepped up and, despite the wind made no mistake in hitting a shot out of the reach of Pain for his sixth of the season.

It was end to end stuff in the final minutes; Ross McMahon replaced the injured Fenn-Evans with George Harmes moving into a central midfield position and the ante was well and truly upped, but neither side could take advantage of the tension and the game ended level.

Brentford: Cameron Greaves, David Titov, Sean Bird, Zach Birse, George Harmes, Tony Guppy (Teymar Fleary 46), Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco, Ian Carlo Poveda, Julius Fenn-Evans (Ross McMahon 86), Josh Bohui, Kingsley Eshun
Subs (not used): Jordan Carey, Dawson Ernesto

Crystal Palace: Oliver Pain, Bryce Hosannah, Callum Sturgess, Dan Hogan, Jalen Jones, Sam Woods, Joseph Hungbo, Emmanuel Yeboah, Andre Coker, Kian Flanagan, Levi Lumeka (James Daly 46)
Subs (not used): Colm McCaden, Emmanuel Aurore, Nathan Linton, Jason Akiotu

(Richard Brooks Photography) Bees Brentford Football Club Brentford vs Crystal Palace Eagles Match Report Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:02:28 GMT
Star Players Photographing Star Players

Having recently visited Brentford Football Club's match versus Crystal Palace. I've been fortunate enough now to have spent quite a few occasions now, photographing a variety of football clubs now ranging from children through to adults of all levels of skill and ability and from local park

Football to professionals. You can imagine now this has included seeing a variety of playing levels and team facilities and playing surfaces. Some as smooth as a snooker table and others just covered with holes and grass that’s a foot long or just has none at all.

Planning to photograph players in their playing environment at their clubs involves me to go through a pre match routine of preparation and planning from the week before. I like to research my teams find team sheets and see who is likely to play, have they played recently and how many goals have they scored so far this season. This way my lens direction is already pointed towards them. I have to plan my journey to the venue, becoming a weather expert checking daily the "hourly" forecasts that may affect me during my shoot period on the day in question. Anticipating what camera settings this may force me to use? You may laugh but that sun in the sky!... If it's at the wrong height or giving off the wrong amount of rays. Just plays havoc with the camera on this day and has the ability to make the final image look just ghastly and just wrong! The night before involves cleaning my lens, checking memory cards, making sure I have packed all equipment that I'm going to need  and finally, charge up my batteries! Going to bed, I can’t help but say a little prayer that the weather is just going to be decent enough for me to sit in for the duration of the match to get some good action shots. That's the aim of my game as a I want that clench fist moment punching the air with delight when I have achieved a shot that I'll be proud off.

I have done this a few times now but it was not until this last game I realised that every team has that "star player". To you this means the ball winner in midfield the player's trickery up front scoring the match winning goals or defender that makes that last minute goal stopping tackle! In my experience, goalkeepers never get any praise or attention. The only attention they seem to get is if they let a goal in and it’s always their fault and then they just get moaned at! Never mind the fact that defenders left the attacker unmarked in the first place or the keeper is left to face a one  versus two situation, the keeper is more than likely to just get the blamed.  A behavior towards them that starts at a very young age and makes you wonder why there isn’t a shortage of keepers if this is how they are going to get treated?

I don't know why and its not until afterwards when I’m sitting and reviewing my good from my not so good photographs Its amazing how in the heat of the action, just how I appeared to have been attracted to the one player throughout the game. Not intentionally but it just happens that the percentage of players taken of the team…. A higher percentage has been taken just of them in the heat of the action. On a player picture, count then this would be an easier and fairer way for any managers to pick the teams man of the match award. Especially for younger players who have irate parents breathing down managers necks boisterously showing their disapproval! Remember Respect the Game

Know matter how I, football scouts or opposition research players, on the day itself it could be a waste of time if the player is injured or just performing below par. In football, as you may know it only takes one moment to capture a match wining shot to change any game know matter if the play for the leagues best or worst team. Any player who has a  proven record of scoring, having an amazing goal celebration a routine preparing to take a direct free kick, slamming it into the top corner is a player to watch. The captains booming authority-telling teammates what to do or even getting involved defending a team mate over an ott late challenge. The winger bombing down the line taking players on, shielding the ball looking for support from his teammates are all features that make a good picture. From Sir Stanley Matthews playing in a FA Cup final to Louis Suarez bite in front of millions of fans in a World Cup game. Photographing sporting events are never dull when following a teams star players. Hence my enjoyment to continue doing so!

(Richard Brooks Photography) Football Match winners Professional Sports Photgraphy Star Players Team Photography Mon, 14 Dec 2015 19:00:00 GMT
My cousin is expecting her first baby! .... My cousin is expecting her first baby! .... And it's a week late ???!!

For her first child my cousin appears so calm and taking each day in her stride. Every time I've seen her growing bugger and bigger, walking more slowly, she seems so calm and relaxed! And not phased by this experience one bit? Thinking back to when my first daughter was being born (wow time has flown by) my emotions were all over the place. Is the baby ok, Is the mum ok? How is she feeling? Have we got everything we need upon our baby's arrival? And do on. So I'm absolutely positive my cousins husband must have the same crazy emotions as l as I did. The family are all on tender hooks waiting for the phone call or text that says "she's" ...finally here! and I just can't wait to jump for joy. As the family has a new addition and its extended. What a wonderful moment ... As a photographer (You did see this coming didn't you??) Another door of opportunity flings wide open it will be so rude of me not to walk on through. Of course, I'll be waiting for the new mum and dad to get into a routine, let them settle before I turn up with my rucksack full of equipment weeks later. I am actually quite amazed these days that doctors/surgeons have become more relaxed these days and allow camera equipment into surgeries! Video camera, mobile phones and DSLR's appear to be the norm alongside sharp and incredibly clean hospital instruments. Nearly 12 years ago now I was told to leave the theatre as I didn't have surgery shoes on. So by the time I left got my surgery shoes and came back to theatre my wife had been given her epidural! (Ha, a blessing in disguise then!)

Some couples have hired photographers to record or take pictures of the moment their child is born. I do find that surprising as, as I said doctors in their own environment don't always allow this and going on my experience they would never of allowed me to bring my camera phone into theatre let alone a professional DSLR camera. It's their theatre and they have the final say as to what goes on inside it. Who is allowed in and who is not

So once my new cousin has been cleaned up and getting used to her new surroundings and sounds in this big new world. Pictures of her with her proud mum and dad... grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and friends. Well that must surely follow. Just let me know when....

(Richard Brooks Photography) Baby Born Baby Photography Bundles of joy Maternity Shots Mum & Dad Newborn Newborn Portraits Wed, 11 Nov 2015 05:17:51 GMT
Autumn Nights Autumn Nights

The clocks have officially gone back now and I am now in the period of a year that I just loathe. Working full time I now find myself going to work in darkness and coming home in darkness. Where I work has the smallest windows at the far end of the office so I now find myself working and not seeing any natural daylight for the next six months, depriving myself of any healthy vitamin D that the sun has on offer, thus increasing the chances of picking up coughs and colds I would normally have shaken off within a day or two. With this annual and reoccurring period of depression I'm sure my doctors knowledge and self diagnosis via Google! I've convinced myself I do have a mild case and suffer from S.A.D.

Whilst I will moan about lack of daylight, colder wetter and windier days which affects all public transport, hindering my journey too and from work in London and North Kent, as a photographer its actually damn right rude of me to even complain. The chances of using my camera more often increases as a whole new variety of images are now right before me. Local woods and fields and now covered in a sheet of leaves varying from an eye catching brown, red's and yellow colours. The sun shining through branches you can see the suns rays more and create some nice silhouettes. The darker mornings and evenings you can see the calm and peacefulness of our area as lights from a variety of road transportation, buildings and low flying aeroplanes landing and taking off from city airport now become illuminated. Tower Bridge, London Bridge the London Eye, all of these facilities have been available to view all year round but during Spring and summer months they just don't look the same or even the slightest bit appealing. Once British summer time ends and that clock goes backward the door is wide open as more opportunities are there on offer for the keen photographer. It's not just the leaves but as soon as the local council clears them away.... or more likely the wind blows and does the councils job we have another period to look forward too or dread depending of your point of view. The hustle, bustle and panic shopping of  "Christmas"... and the switching on of Christmas lights from a celebrity or might even be a z-list celebrity, depending on your point of view.

Well.... this may not even take place this year as I've recently received a letter that my local council ( I wont grass them up naming and shaming, but it's not hard to work out who?) are considering turning off street lights between midnight and 5am in an attempt to save money! (Good grief what next!!) What next?? Well, what better excuse to save more money by not covering our shopping centre's in expensive Christmas lights? We'll just have to watch this space but in the meantime while councils do pay out for this tradition. Christmas lights again are a joy to see for young children and families and you'll always find groups of photographers venturing down Oxford Street and Regent Street at all hours of the day to see John Lewis, Debenhams, Selfridges, even Harvey Nics and Harrods have gone all out to remind us its Christmas and have done so over the years with an amazing display of lights whish is worth the effort to see. Although I've seen these displays time and time again, im honestly not bored in seeing the following years displays even look forward to it too. Don't forget about Bluewater either with those gigantic reindeers they seem to manage to squeeze onto roundabouts when entering the overcrowded car parks?

Although temperatures drop which plays havoc to my heating bills, daylight hours are reduced and my transport system fails. I probably do have more reasons to enjoy this time of year than I actually realised.........

(Richard Brooks Photography) Autumn Harrods London London Town London Lights Oxford Street Regent Street winter nights Sun, 01 Nov 2015 19:00:00 GMT
Thamesmead_town_fc Thamesmead Town

From my website, you may have seen I have an affiliation with Thamesmead Town Football Club. Just as this years football season was about to start I was fortunate enough to approach Thamesmead Town and obtain permission to become the clubs photographer for all the home games they play at Bayliss Avenue and... If work and family life permits, attend some away games also.

Thamesmead FC was formed in 1969 The club merged with Southlake FC in 1973, and by 1979 ventured into Saturday football, playing on park pitches at Crossways in Thamesmead. The club entered the London Spartan League Intermediate Division Three and won it at the first attempt in 1980.

The club changed its name to Thamesmead Town FC in time for the 1985/86 season, and by the middle of that campaign had found their current home at Bayliss Avenue. The new ground was officially opened in August 1988 when the then FA Cup holders Wimbledon were the visitors for a friendly. The club joined the Kent League in June 1991.

Further ground improvements were carried out prior to the 2000/01 Season, including perimeter railings and hard standing being added on the dugout side of the pitch. During that season, the team reached the last 32 of the FA Vase.

Improvements have continued at Bayliss Avenue, including erection of a new 125-seat stand, replacing the two smaller stands with bench seating that originally stood on the eastern touchline. The ground is well maintained and is determined to be a helpful family club within the local community. Thamesmead is a local club and having had the misfortune of relegation recently sit as one of the leagues favorite teams' gaining promotion into the Ryman Premier Division this time around. The team has had a dip in form of late but from what i have seen within the team, they are good enough to rectify this and get back to winning ways.

Photographing a football team is great experience as, as you can imagine the whole squad is full of a whole variety of characters which really brings the team together in this case nicknamed #MeadFamily. It can be challenging to get to know the players and draw the not so vocal and boisterous players up and in line with those characters who just love to be photographed! This being for the season's, player profile or presenting the man of the match reward. The games are enjoyable to watch and even more so pitch side and close to the action as you get to see ... and hear a lot more of the action than if sat in the stand. So far no game has gone the way I have planned and prepared for as players and scorelines changed along with differing kickoff times lightings and camera settings are constantly changing. My favourite
game so far was against Redbridge with Thamesmead winning 5-2, Just the fact it was a nice hot sunny day and the football was, just entertaining the pictures I felt on that day pictures came out really well. The season will be long and with many more games to play in the league and cups.

I wish Thamesmead all the best of luck for the season and hope the fans and familys attending, the weekly attendance contiues to grow

(Richard Brooks Photography) 2015-2016 Bowden-Brown Brooks Chairman Dagger East FA Family Football Greywood KSN Kent League London Mead News Paul Peabody Photographer Photography Professional Richard Ryman SE28 Satellite South Sporting Sports Thamesmead Town bexley bexleyheath borough bromley dartford fixtures kent league photographer sports Sat, 24 Oct 2015 14:45:00 GMT
Battersea 10K London, Battersea 10K

The Battersea 10K an annual event where runners from all across London turn up to either dust off those cob webs or using it as a training run for what lies ahead. Being held in October it's a down to luck more than judgement what conditions the runners face. Last year was quite chilly whereas this year was perfect running conditions. Very few clouds in the sky, the sun shining with it's golden rays passing through the tree branches. The course is a 3 laps around the perimeter of Battersea park which runners share with dog walkers, fellow joggers and the odd squirrel.

I have run this event a number of times but due to not being running fit I passed up on running hard for forty minutes and instead opted to take
photographs of the 100 or so runners, running on my behalf. It was great to see some old faces and a pleasure to see some new ones too.
Due to the shear numbers trying to register, the scheduled 11am start turned out to be 11:30 but this didn't dampen the spirits of the runners who set off in an attempt to hopefully reach their pre race targets. It's a lovely scene seeing so many people head off in one direction, following the pace
biker en route. A few people in the park were kind enough to stop and offer their encouragement to the front and more experienced runners and even more ​so to the tail enders who through determination of not stopping would still finish the 10K event and can tick this off their list and proudly say "They did it"

For me, knowing the course helped as I found myself planning ahead where I wanted to stand to capture everyone at the start, during and middle of the
race. The plan was to capture everyone at some point of the race which would mean moving from one point to another, breaking out into a little run to get there before the next runners came by. With over 500 pictures taken, I would be very disappointed with myself if I wasn't able to do this? but moving location would need a quick look in my camera view finder to see if my new location has affected the lighting and would require a settings change within my camera to accommodate this? Capturing the race faces was fun from the more determined "leave me alone I'm concentrating/hurting" face to the "oooh there's a cameraman lets pose!!"  and I find those are the pictures I must not miss!

As I said the event is annual so I'm looking forward to this race in October 2016. I have uploaded all the pictures now which can be seen on my website :HERE:

(Richard Brooks Photography) 10k @RichBrooksPhoto Battersa10k Battersea In London Park Photographer Photography Professional Road Running SW14NJ Wandsworth bexley events london photographer portrait race results run runnng sports Tue, 20 Oct 2015 19:30:00 GMT
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium Since Lord Sebastian Coe had the idea for us to host the London 2012 Olympic Games came the massive project of funding and building work to build better(?) travel infrastructure and stadiums to host future and other major sporting events. As you may know or can see on my website I 'am' a sports fanatic so this brought feelings of great excitement that within my lifetime we're hosting such a huge event in our own country.

Unfortunately, this excitement soon turned to frustration as even though organisers released wave after wave of tickets for the Olympic games, I was not able to obtain a single one (and believe me I refreshed my web browser constantly!) due to the popularity and alas I had to settle for BBC TV coverage. I have to say I feel they really pulled out all the stops and I am so envious to anyone who attended the famous "Super Saturday" an can actually boast they were "there!!" Plotted up in front of television my family and I actually cheered so loudly after every gold medal was won I'm sure all our neighbours could hear our euphoria of what was going on. To those actually there I applaud you. It must have been amazing and a life changing memorable moment bringing such happy memories?

The successful Olympic Games have gone but still the legacy continues and my disappointment into getting tickets since the Olympic games amazingly... continued? Every year since the "Anniversary Games" jointly partnered with the Diamond League competition meant that this popular event was still too popular for me to obtain tickets. I felt betrayed and jinxed until three years later I again applied for tickets, again! on the day of release with the attitude of "anything" just give me anything!... Well I never, the results came back with an upper tier section available!?! Relieved and in a panic fighting with the mouse hovering over the all important "pay now" button I nervously clicked away and printed off my conformation like it was the winning lottery ticket! Satisfied I was able to attend, imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, Ticketmaster wrote to me saying they were relocating me with no additional charge to row four! In the lower tier AND Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill would be there? Believe me all the pain of many failed ticket attempts were soon forgotten.

The stadium you can imagine is amazing! Facilities clean and of a high standard. The new extended roof meant that even in row 4 the freakish torrential rain we were experiencing meant my family and I were all bone dry. The spacious seating the view of the track was perfect. So perfect I had a great view of some of the world's best athletes and many within my camera's limited focal length. I obviously will attempt to get to many more of these events but who knows If I'll ever see Farah, Bolt or Ennis-Hill again? These and more great athletes were standing right there before my eyes enabling me to tell any future grandchildren(?) I saw and I was there when.. but for now, how did I really see these athletic stars... All from behind the lens of my camera! My first time in this stadium, my first time actually seeing world stars first hand and I had a choice to make. Well I didn't really as my passion is obtaining great variety photo's so I didn't feel guilty one bit as what I captured meant I have an album full pictures I can always look back on and smile. Pictures of various athletes from around the world running, throwing and jumping, seeing Jessica run a great time since recovering from the birth of her son. Smile that Usain Bolt can help me remember a great party atmosphere he quite easily created. Smile the Mo Farah won and thanked the fans inches away from us high fiving people on his warm down lap, two of which were my daughters, who could not believe their luck!

Although this stadium will soon be shared with a local east end football team, I hope the legacy of 2012 and many other athletic events continue. In my opinion that was its initial design was for when being built. The athletic world championships will be arriving back here in this stadium in 2017. I know there will be a stampede for tickets (again) and hopefully this time the computers and servers responsible for ticket allocations will issue me and my family with some. Either this or I can achieve accreditation and be a photographer trackside. This would be a dream job and one I'm working towards achieving!!


(Richard Brooks Photography) 10000m 100m 2012 2017 Bolt Championships Dafne Elizabeth Ennis Ennis-Hill Farah Heptathlon Jessica Jump London Long Marathon Mo Olympic Olympics Photography Queen Relay Schippers Sports Stadium Stratford Usain World Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:00:00 GMT
Year 6 School Leavers What a year it is for year 6 children, I have to say I did approach this academic year with so much naivety. Year 6 brings sudden growth spurts across the class and personality changes and Its such a rollercoaster of emotion for all the children, which then extends to parents and even grandparents! The moment schools close and they leave year 5 looking forward to the summer holidays, its holiday that can't really be enjoyed like others as the dreaded 11+ awaits on their return to school. Either revising for this exam or just mentioning the name 11+ is something new to the children and an indication of their inner personality how they will now cope with this daunting experience. It is a challenging time and just one of many "life" tests they will face in our lives. A cruel lesson to learn some will say? Which is a  debate for another day.

Once our children return all excited from the holidays telling friends everything of what they did in the summer, the clock slowly ticks away as the day of the 11+ approaches. Rightly or wrongly in your viewpoint a test which does put pressure on our children and probably the first really stressful period of their lives that they will face. No sooner as this test is over and the relief surfaces in their personality, it's time to look at new secondary schools. A school they will need to endure for a large part of their lives and a part we want them to be happy with in their choice. Another sign of how times have changed as many years ago when I was this age... My parents told me what school I was going too, whereas in this day and age it's the children making their choice of which school they'd like to go too? It isn't too long before the anxious wait starts again for the results of the 11+, which determines which school they can now realistically and academically apply for?

With this stage finally over you'd think the year is all down hill from here and plain sailing. Christmas comes and requires practicing for their last Christmas activity performance. An event they've been doing since aged 5. The New Year starts and the children have settled into a daily routine, A routine soon to be broken as parents wait for the dreaded "email" of news of what school their child has been accepted into. A decision made by the council, which is out of all control of every parent, which then brings joy! Disappointment or anger with the decision made by algorithms of a computer of what school their child will now be sent too, to fill spaces rather than human mind which uses common sense and locality?

Once this dust settles it's not too long before the dreaded SAT's test week starts and parent s feel they are still on square one and time has gone backwards to the 11+ period earlier in this school year as it plays with emotions and it s week children just want to get over and done with.

From here on [good news] it is plain sailing suns out, applying sun lotion before leaving for school, no wearing school jumpers to school, playing on the school field very little work or high levels of work  having to be maintained. School excursions and the fun sports day and before long the last week arrives of the last school activity performance, leavers disco or as it's more commonly know now as the school prom. Parents running out to buy special outfits. Booking a limousine to take a group of children to school, girls having new hair styles and getting pampered visiting the local nail bar and getting freshly painted fingernails, all of which , makes our children look more grown up, rather than being aged 11!

It certainly was a busy time for me with all the above but this last week finally you see light at the end of the tunnel. Yes it's sad seeing children go all their different ways and leave friends they've know for many years and I hope in this day and age with technology at their disposal they can keep in touch with friends more than we could. We didn't have mobile phones or tablets and used Commodore 64, Spectrum and BBC computers with ridiculously slow internet speeds. I remember getting told to get off the house phone so the next person could use the phone and their certainly wasn't notifications via call waiting!

This definitely is a time a time for great photography and I made sure my camera was in great shape and I was on top of my game as I was asked to take pictures for our schools sports day and for a group of friends attending the prom. I took many pictures within this time for memories alone. Memories I wanted to help share amongst parents and class mates of their gorgeous outfits and their attendance to the school "prom" Its also something for everyone needs to look back on reminding them of what they wore and how much they will have changed over the years. An American tradition but its slowly gathering momentum here in the UK. Like it or not it's an expensive time for parents but a period in children's lives and one which they want to join in with, with their friends and adds to their school life memories. As a parent and photographer, trust me it's a pleasure to help in this way. I just wonder how many parents of older children kept this year 6 a secret from me, who could have warned and helped me prepare better for this year better. Or did you warn me and I was just to naive to really understand? I've learnt a lesson now to which will prepare me second time around for my younger daughter but either way... Parents of younger children soon to be In year 6 read and re-read the above article plan ahead and get your head in the game. Year 6 is a tough year for all parties involved but a lasting and memorable one to cherish. Good Luck one and all!!




(Richard Brooks Photography) 11 11+ 6 Year day disco dresses exam friends friendship leavers life limousine memories party plus prom sat's school sports test Sat, 22 Aug 2015 18:00:00 GMT
Memories Bring Back Feelings ... Feelings Bring Back Memories - Unknown

This is an article I saw a few weeks ago which is a warning to each and everyone of us from Google owner Vint Cerf! Computers are a helpful tool for us in our everyday life. At work or personal use it makes all those tasks we take for granted just that little bit easier. So easy we all do take things for granted the next time we turn on our computer all the work we have been saving and working on will still be there....... But will it? Computers have the habit of going wrong when we just don't want them too or have time to deal with them. Which leads to us spending a lot of time on the phone to a friend, more knowledgeable grandchildren or to technical support which can be frustrating, time consuming and lead to an expensive addition tu our phone bill. We all really need to prepare for the worst and act and taking precautions right now backing up onto as many formats as we can...  And on a regular basis in preparation that, that fatal day does come to us.

Vint Cerf explains in this interview, while we're happy to take pictures of loved ones on our phones, DSLR or point and shoot camera's. Storing these images on our electronic devices along with other personal information we are all taking a risk of losing it! What if we lose our device or the hard drive fails through normal wear and tear, bad luck, an accident with a glass of water or outright malicious intent. All our memories would be lost, forever which would be an awful, awful as  shame.

Basically turn back your clock, back to the 1980's and Truprints '30 day service'. While todays technology makes our lives easier! Take a leaf out of your grandparents book and create an album or get pictures `printed' (regularly)and store them in a shoe box in he loft somewhere. The more copies and backups we have the less chance of disaster and the more chances we can save our memories and pass them down to loved ones.

It's a simple but true phrase …

Photographs bring back memories. Memories bring back feelings - Unknown


(Richard Brooks Photography) Cerf Google Memories Photographs Print Printing Truprin Vint Sun, 31 May 2015 18:30:00 GMT
NEC Photography Show 2015  
The Photography Show is a major event in the Photography world, where all he giants come together showing off there latest gadgets and tempting professionals and keen hobbyists alike into buying new equipment. Even if you already have new equipment then just attending can fill you with inspiration and help you make any plans ahead.
A friend of mine went to the 2014 show and told me so much about this event which made me regret not going. So not to make the same mistake twice, i planned ahead deciding to leave the wife and children at home. I put this date aside in my diary, looking at what company’s and speakers would be there purchased my exhibition ticket in advance taking advantage of the discount and even booking a ridiculously cheap rail ticket from London the Birmingham International through Virgin trains.
With the doors to the even opening at 10am I anticipated getting an 8:30 train from London Euston (a station that seriously needs modernising) should get me to the venue on time. In true British style of course there was an issue on the train line and the train was delayed which meant by the time it did leave it was heavily overcrowded with photographers alike all carrying their cameras in the rucksacks. If you had reserved tickets now you had the issue even arguments forcing someone out of your reserved seat which meant much seat hopping and squeezing past other passengers and falling on another. In true British commuter style you can just imagine the chaos.
That moan aside before I knew it I had arrived at the NEC Birmingham and even though it was later than I planned the queue to get in was enormous! This just made me realise just how popular an even this is and just full of other like minded people. It was time now to get out my schedule and another reason why I had to leave the family at home. A quick walk around to get my bearings it was time now to be at a certain stand at particular times to listen to speakers offering words of wisdom and advice and in between the times of my chosen speakers, use this time to attend company stalls listening to their offers and advice and of course playing with there equipment for free.
I have to say in true exhibition style, everything on show was advertised to the customer at bargain price, the sellers behind the counter even pushing this price into you ears tempting the buyers to hand over their cash or tap in a four digit chip and pin number to make a purchase. Now I’m not saying there wasn’t any good offers but I can assure you with some equipment that I need or would like to add to my collection I knew the price on show on this the opening day wasn’t that competitive and knew where I can get my next F2.8 lens for cheaper. I had recently bought a Datacolor device from Amazon with delivery which was delivered 3-4 days later, cheaper than what they could hand over to you by selling it at this show. This seemed to be across the board on this day so my advice is if you really want something… Do your homework first then you decide what’s best as In this day and age we all have to do a bit of penny pinching I’m afraid. I did however thoroughly enjoy talking through the day to five canon reps, Spent most of my day at the Adobe theatre. Arranged photographer insurance picked up ideas and many leaflets (Note bring an additional bag to carry this stuff) and before I knew it, it was approaching 18:00 and time to get my train home. I must have walked a good few miles around this exhibition and Ias I had no children clinging onto me claiming they were hungry, I didn’t even find time to stop for lunch. Leaving and heading for home to catch my train I actually made my first purchase of the day. A cold cup of cappuccino and packet of popcorn before putting my head back and gathering my thoughts, reflecting on my successful day. I fully intend to attend the 2016 show but to avoid the hustle and bustle and non-stop rushing about, I would consider attending the show over two days to spread my seminars out and reduce the frantic pace of my walking. 
(Richard Brooks Photography) 2015 Adobe Birmingham Camera Canon DSLR Lightroom NEC Photography Show Photoshop Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:57:21 GMT
Photography Quotes Need encouragement and an incentive to continue with your photography passion? Quotes like these are like a picture that stops you dead in your tracks to admire get you thinking and more importantly believing in yourself. Here’s a few ive picked up and find most helpful indeed :-


  • “ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt
  • “ I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good. – Anonymous
  • Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop. – Ansel Adams
  • “What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld
  • “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ― Ansel Adams
  • “You don't take a photograph, you make it.” ― Ansel Adams
  • “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.” ― Ansel Adams
  • “To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.” ― Edward Weston
  • “I am not a photographer , I am a canon owner !!!” ― Walaa WalkademAgmal
  • “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” ― Elliott Erwitt
  • “My love of photography is melded with the ability to capture what I want to remember in the moment I want to never forget.” ― Devin Dygert
  • “Take lots of photos, because you will forget 99% of what you see when you're travelling.” ― Dr. Leslie Dean Brown
  • “A photograph is a click away. A good photograph is a hundred clicks away and a better one, a thousand clicks away” ― Kowtham Kumar K
  • “First rule to be a photographer, you have to be invisible.” ― Sameh Talhamy
  • “Photography is an itch that wont go away. No matter how much you scratch it.” ― Dara McGrath
  • “Photography helps people to see.” ― Berenice Abbott
  • “The only thing they'll let you shoot ... Is with a camera.” ― Jodi Picoult, Picture Perfect
  • "If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough. – Robert Capa
  • "A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart." – Arnold Newman
  • "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff." – Jim Richardson
  • "The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed." — Anne Geddes
(Richard Brooks Photography) Photographer Photography Photography quotes Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:55:25 GMT