Aurora Children’s Foundation

Every year in spring a charity event happens, run by Aurora Rupp. The charity event is called Aurora Children’s Foundation Spring Ball. It is held in Harrogate, United Kingdom at The Old Swan Hotel.

The charity event helps children in Uganda get food while battling cancer.

In 2010 Aurora worked on the Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, Uganda. She was saddened to see that as well as battling cancer, many of the children were having to cope with malnutrition. The UCI was the only place in Uganda able to treat people from low income backgrounds. Unable to afford the daily commute to the hospital, rural parents were forced to give up work to be with their children. This devastating loss of income meant parents became unable to afford to feed their families. As a result these very sick children were dying of malnutrition – something completely preventable.

Deeply moved by what she saw, Aurora felt compelled to do something. Using her skills as a nutritionist she designed a menu for the patients that was affordable, tasty and nourishing. Working with a Kampala-based food supplier, Aurora sourced locally available foods for the menu to ensure that the local economy was supported in addition to the families.

Today, the ACFN works with the Uganda Cancer Institute to help provide three meals a day for every child on the ward. Nourished and with full tummies, the children no longer have to worry about feeling hungry.

Aurora’s Words

“My life changed following my time in Uganda. I had to do something to support these brave children and their families. Now, not only do the children benefit from eating nourishing food, they have something to look forward to – their mealtimes.

The work we do also has a positive effect on the families. Parents can put their time and energy in supporting their children through their illness, rather than worrying about how to find them food. Children with cancer have enough to deal with. They should not be going to bed hungry. I want to put a stop to it.”

Here are a few picture from the evening and the people who managed to raise £13,000.

Model in the Blossom

My most recent Model was Libbie which her mum put her name down for my need model.

I had an idea of a model in between the blossoming trees of Harrogate. The trees are loosing their blossom fast and we just had to hope the weather was going to stay sunny.

I use a number of different weather apps and all said that it was going to be cloudy on the chosen day of the shoot. So I cancelled Libbie on the Friday, later to message Libbie’s Mum on early Sunday morning as the sun was coming through the curtains.

Shoot On…

We met early afternoon on the Sunday. The condition was near perfect for what I wanted. Sun and slight bit of wind. The Blossom was falling from the slight wind.


We walked to the middle of one path of blossom trees and started taking pictures. First I used my Sony A77 with the Sigma 28-300mm lens and off camera flash x2 (hvl-f42am)._DSC1439_1

I used the flashes to light up the body from the right as the sun was coming from the left. As you can see one is on the floor facing upwards and the other is on a tripod just above waist height. See that this was too bright I added my Zomie ND Variable filter.

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We changed location to a different path not to far from the first location. I place the flash guns a bit further back than before and changed the lens to the Sony 16-50mm ssm. The lens allowed me to get a more shallow depth of field. The sun came from the behind right and I needed to light up the front of the model. I placed one flash gun further back to the left so it did not over power the sun and held the other flash gun in my had pointing towards the model, I reduced the brightness of the flash again to not over power the sun but to create enough light to light up the body and face.

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Models wanted

I’ve been asking people to model for free whether they have done modelling before or not as I would like to brush up on my photography in that field. I have done some photography like this but using myself as the model but need someone to model for me.

Last night me and a good friend headed out to a place near my home town of Harrogate for location shots. We headed to Little Armscliff Crag. I have been watching YouTube videos and reading how to take these shots for the past few weeks and when putting them to practice made a difference. I have used my ND FILTERS for land scape photography and did not know photographers used them for model photography as well. I have a few different ND FILTERS but decided I’d use my ZOMEI variable filter which worked really well allowing me to change the darkness of the photo with a twist and not allowing me to loose the speed of the shutter.

I used the Sony 16-50mm 2.8f lens for most of the shoot but also change to the zoom lens Sigma Zoom 28-300mm f3.5-6.3. Both worked well and both have the same diameter ring so swopping the ND FILTER was nice and easy.

I really enjoyed the shoot and I am looking forward to doing some more.

I will be looking for more models pro or not over the summer. So if you would like to get your modelling career a go give me a call or email. Look forward to hearing from you.

The lone tree

In between Ripon and Harrogate sits this tree. It sits next to the National Trust sites of How Hill Cottages and the famous Fountains Abbey. It has people from all over the world coming to take pictures of it, including some famous photographers.

One professional photographer from the local area is Steve Gosling when he has time he will go and take pictures of this tree. Here is a video from Lee Filters YouTube Chanel of Steve using the filters and the tree as a focal point, skip to 8.50mins to see the tree. Lee filters and the tree

I have visited the tree many times now after discovering it by accident one day. It is a great place to learn how to use filters.

Even when not using my camera and filters I have stopped and taken pictures with my phone and no filters are needed at time.

Using Lee filters big stopper and 0.6 hard grad give some great tones and cloud movement.

I have even ventured here at night to get star trails behind the tree.

Swinsty reservoir

At day or night this reservoir is spectacular but last night it was clear, the ducks quacking and the owls hooing. It was cold tho. And to stand there for two hours only seeing a few people on their dog slay (the white light is their had torch as they went around the reservoir), I don’t think they noticed me stood in the dark all in black.

This reservoir is only 6 miles from Harrogate and 18 from Leeds city centre. It is 3.1 mile walk which is accessible by all. If you are not one for small walks you can add fewston reservoir walk to add an extra 3.7miles but there is a few more gradients and not accessible by all (wheel chair access only available for one half but still very steep at times).

The reservoir is very popular in the summer for walkers and runners but it is used all year long by all. Lots of animals to see and it is loved by all ages.

Spruisty bridge

Spruisty bridge was built in the 17th century, carried packhorse traffic between Knaresborough and Ripley. It wasn’t till the 18th century until other roads were constructed.

I used to play here as a kid with family and friends, fishing and family picnics on a sunny day. I remember when cars used to pass the bridge and wade through the water to the other side. This stopped in the late 90s and early 00’s.