This week, Barnstaple, north Devon received a visit from HRH Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, so I took the opportunity of going along in the hope of getting a few shots, well it is not everyday Prince Charles and Camilla are appearing in my part of the world, even though Devon borders Cornwall. However, I was in a bit of a dilemma though:
a) the time of their appearance had not been announced, I had no idea be it morning, afternoon, early, nothing was announced, so I was going to have to take a guess!
b) Which camera and lens was I going to use?
We all know there are masses of crowds hoping to get a glimpse or maybe a handshake and a hello from the future King of England, combined with the huge numbers of staff and armed Police Protection Officers that surround them. So I was thinking that my Canon 6d was not going to get the shots I was looking for as I do not own a telephoto lens for it due to the hefty weight they have and my much loved favourite 24 - 70 wasn't going to get me in close enough. But very recently I had bought an Olympus M10 ii, for a practical carry it around in my bag all the time, never miss an opportunity, camera that I could use with a telephoto lens, part of the purchase included this great little lens 40 - 150mm which has an equivalent reach of 300mm on my Canon. I was so pleased I had made this purchase as this was the perfect opportunity to put it to the test and it passed with flying colours! Apart from the fact my 'guestimate' arrival time was a bit out, Prince Charles and Camilla arrived before I did, which worked in my favour, the original spectators who had probably patiently waited to welcome the Royal couple had already moved on, the Duke and Duchess were now inside the Pannier Market, each walking along different sides of the aisle speaking to the specially selected stall holders and Charity Representatives, So I had to make a decision, which one to try and photograph, in the end Prince Charles was my choice, if only because he is actually heir to the throne, plus the Duchess of Cornwall is smaller than I realised in real life, she was very difficult to see, being dwarfed by the large armed Royal Family Protection Officers, Missing a lot of the crowds, in part because they were starting to go outside lining up along Butchers Row behind the barriers to await a presentation of a Birthday Cake for Camilla, apparently it was her birthday sometime in the week, so I now had a slightly better opportunity than I had hoped for as I was able to get a whole lot closer than I had expected, still dodging some of the public with their waving arms, holding up their mobile phones, (which apparently Her Royal Highness the Queen dislikes, it is said she would like to see the people on her visits and not their waving mobile phones!) My small camera with it's longer reach helped me to capture these shots, whilst not perfect, given the security keeping the crowd at a specific distance away from the Royals, the constant moving of the Prince, I was very happy :) There are a few points that I dislike about some of the shots I got, that pole drove me crazy for one. I was uncertain about which shooting mode to use, I usually shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority mode, but this was a different subject altogether than I was used to, one that I knew I was not going to get an opportunity to repeat, so I could not fail, I remembered some advice my photography tutor gave, if in any doubt pop your camera setting onto auto mode and just take the shot, so that is exactly what I did, using the intelligent Auto mode also switching to the automatic scene mode 'Sports', I knew I would stand the best chance of getting the shots of HRH Duke of Cornwall.