Week46 – Promotions

12 – 18 Nov ’11

The retirement of the Deputy Chief has meant some promotions and a reshuffle of the Brigade hierarchy.   A get-together with family members was held at the station to present the new ranks.

On Parade

I knew that the Parade was to be held outside, and expecting to need a wider angle capacity, I went with the 18-125mm.  I still lack faith in this lens, and it’s tendency to warp horizontals is annoying, but I knew the nifty-fifty would not comfortably give me the coverage I needed.  And also I wanted to be able to get close in to the action of the presentations, without having to be right up there.

Blake thought Daddy needed a hug before proceedings got under way.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Junior Cadet

Exposure time   1/200 sec
F-stop               f/8
ISO                   ISO-250
Focal length      55mm

This kind of candid, moment-in-time shot is the type that I love to capture.

My Lovely Man, the new DCFO, was presented with his  rank epaulets and helmet by  John Bragg, the retired DCFO.   I am very proud of him, of his commitment to the Fire Service.  The medals and bars that he wears are a testament to the years that he has given in service to our community.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Changing of the Guard

Exposure time      1/200 sec
F-stop                  f/8
ISO                     ISO-250 
Focal length        86mm

Next time we do this, a better backdrop for the presentations must be found!


At the end of the formal part of proceedings, the firemen all formed up to attention with their new ranks and helmets.  Note the different colours and stripes on the helmets, which are used to signify rank when out on call.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade


Exposure time      1/200 sec
F-stop                  f/8
ISO                      ISO-250
Focal length         34mm

Hmm….  drying tower, power pole, coil of wire.  It’s just not pretty.  I think a little bit of Photoshop magic may be required to remove the ugly stuff.


Once everyone was relaxing upstairs with pre-dinner nibbles and drinks, a request was made for some formal shots.  I’d already switched to the 50mm, it’s so much better for the informal candids I was hoping to get during the evening.

John really wasn’t comfortable posing for this shot, and I was seriously uncomfortable with the hecklers watching from the sidelines.   But we decided to ignore them and do our best.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Life Honorary Member John Bragg

Exposure time        1/125 sec   
F-stop                    f/3.2
ISO                        ISO-400
Focal length           50mm 

I’ve never attempted a proper portrait shoot before, and this one was very impromptu.  No lighting save for the over-head flouros and the late afternoon window light.  A little post-processing magic has removed the reflections from the lights in John’s glasses.

Another formal shot of the two new life honorary members with the Chief.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade


Exposure time    1/125 sec
F-stop                f/3.2
ISO                   ISO-400
Focal length      50mm

I didn’t notice until too late, Dave’s lack of height has meant that I’ve lopped off his fingers, and John’s got his hand in his pocket – Damn!   Another lesson learned.


I’m beginning to think that little Blake is a camera hog.  Or maybe he’s just so adorable that it’s hard to resist photographing him.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

The old and the new

Exposure time    1/125 sec
F-stop                f/3.2
ISO                   ISO-400
Focal length      50mm


The Chief also wanted a formal shot of the guys outside with the fire truck.  I had a slight moment of panic when I realised that the 18-125mm was now locked in the car, and the kids had the keys.  Fortunately I was able to back up all the way to the fence and just squeeze everyone in to frame. And I’m quietly congratulating myself for remembering to check the windows. The messy gaggle of spectators up there would really have wrecked the shot.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Posed Shot - Take 1

Exposure time    1/250 sec
F-stop                f/4.5 
ISO                    ISO-200
Focal length       50mm 

 A bit of shuffling left and right, and I had all the guys where I could see them.  The only trouble was that I was losing the front of the truck.

Moving around allowed me to get further away and thus fit the whole truck in to the frame.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Posed Shot - Take 2

Exposure time    1/250 sec
F-stop                f/4.5
ISO                   ISO-200
Focal length      50mm 

A reshuffle of the back row had them all in the shot again.  However this angle moves the station building out of the shot, and brings in the old church roof next door.   I am not sure which version works best.

This ended the requests for photographs.  I put the camera away, and ended up having such a merry time that I didn’t get any candid shots of the rest of the evening.  Sometimes its good to just put the camera down and participate.


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