Monday, 23 November 2009

Another Happy Monday

St Andrew's, Letheringsett, Norfolk

Back to work today after a weekend off which included a trip to the cinema to see Disneys "Christmas Carol" in 3D. What a great film, made all the better by the whole 3D experience. Throughout the film though I kept thinking to myself, what would Dickens have made of this. So much has changed in the past 150 years in the world around us yet the story is still not only very popular but very relevant. Having said that the way Scrooge was dancing around singing and giving away money he'd probably have been sectioned today and medicated :-))

Todays image is of a stained glass window from St Andrew's Church in Letheringsett, Norfolk, not quite as old as "The Christmas Carol", a great piece of workmanship.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

After The Rain

The Old House, Kibworth, Leicestershire

Weather terrible over the past few days with floods in parts of the country, yet suprisingly mild for this time of year. First thought is this all related to global warming with the end of the world just around the corner or is it simply seaonal variation. At least when its horrible outside its a good excuse for processing images on the computer.

Todays image is of The Old House in Kibworth Harcourt, Grade 1 listed its probably the best house in the village. This was taken just after a rain storm evidence of which is the puddles and water lying in the road. In retrospect it would have been nice to have moved closer and used then to capture reflections of the house.

Here are a couple of alternative versions of the same image created by adding a texture layer.

The Old House, Kibworth, Leicestershire

The Old House, Kibworth, Leicestershire

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

Sorting through some old photographs today and came across this image of Buckfast Abbey in Devon. The image was taken just after a major rain storm leaving the sky very dark and the Abbey lit up by the sun. As is often the case time was a limiting factor as I was on a family day out and it was getting late in the day so little time to explore. The lighting was absolutely perfect as can be seen in the image.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Absinthe For Sale

Absinthe For Sale.....

I cant say I've ever tried Absinthe but would like to if I ever get the chance. Having said that I've never been a big fan of spirits, prefering instead a good Real Ale or Cornish Cider. This shot was taken opposite Kings College home of the Choir and Attracted my attention because of the the sign and bike.
A little computer magic was required to get this effect which my wife would hate, telling me I'd buggered it up, but heh I see photography as art rather than simply documenting things as they are, as such I'm more than happy to remove unwanted artefacts like streetlamps and signs.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Memories of James Herriott

Kings Arms Hotel, Askrigg, Yorkshire.

Yesterday I mused about Absinthe but then admitted I actually prefer a good real ale, well here is a great place to sample just such a tipple. Made famous by James Herriott in the 1980's it was the setting for many epsiodes of the TV series. Siegfried Farnham played by Robert Hardy was probably my favourtie character, someone who I would imagine would also enjoy a good pint.

This shot was taken in the spring when it was quite cold outside, note the large log fire which made the place even more cosy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester

Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester

As a Leicester lad I must say the City is somewhere I only visit every now and then. Old, tired and run down was probably how I would have described it for years. As a teenager I would visit after dark and boogie the nights away in night clubs, especially as I recall Mr Kiesas above the Haymarket, but at other times it had little to offer.
All change in 2008. The old Shires shopping centre was repalced with the state of the art Highcross, large areas made pedestrian, everywhere cleaned and tidied and a new arts quarter developed which included the grand Curve theatre. Guess what its now somewhere I visit alot more often.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum

If you've never visited this place, next tie you are in London take half an hour to go and have a look around. The exhibits are fascinating but in my opinion of more interest is the building itself, an absolute marvel of design, the structure is full of carvings and detailing unparalleled in the UK. This shot is taken loooking along the length of teh main hall, coloured stone all around and light streaming through the glass roof. Photography is allowed but no tripods. Now I've a D700 with its amazing low light capabilites I'll have to return but on this occasion I was using a D200 so was rather limited.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Pontiac Grand Tourer, USA

Pontiac Grand Tourer

As a child there were two outstanding things I recall from the USA, Elvis and their amazingly huge cars. My best friend at school Douglas Hamilton was lucky enough to travel regularly in such as car and I was so envious. His wealthy father ownbed a Ford Mustang which would roar into school to take Douglas home.
It is hardly suprising then to learn that when I finally visited the USA last year for a 3 week holiday one thing I wanted was to drive a big jazzy car and I wasnt dissappointed. The Pontiac was described as a mid range car as there were many largers one. 5 litres or petrol hell. I am afraid I have to leave my ecoprinciples behind for the three week visit.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


Canoes at Centreparcs

I dont know if any of you will have been to centreparcs but if you havent I can definitely recommend it. Lots of outdoor space, thoughtfully managed, with consideration for the environment and wildlife, yet within a short distance of gret indoor water worlds. I must admit that I've only visited in the colder winter months when for me the place comes into its own. I recall one visit when it snowed heavily. Image sitting in a bubbling pool surrounded by steam watching moonlit snowflakes falling into the water. pure magic.
This image above was taken at the edge of the lake on a particularly sunny spring day. I was attracted by the colours of the canoes, though didnt actually use one. Note the sandy beach and the fountain in the distance, all part of the magic that is Centreparcs.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Dubai Marina From The Harbour Hotel, Dubai.

Dubai Marina From The Harbour Hotel, Dubai.

City of lights and architecture. Thats how I will remember Dubai from my first visit. In essence it was simply one huge building site with the most amazing architecture I have ever seen. The worlds larger seems to be added to the front of every name in this place, tower, indoor ski slope, airport, shopping mall, to name but a few.
My visit unfortunately conincided with a heat wave reaching 54 degree in places, something which I'm not a big fan of, air conditioning was of course the norm everywhere which helped me but probably not the environment, and yes I did feel guilty every time I adjused that temperature dial.
A week wasnt really enough time to see all I wanted and one day I'd like to return, my favourites probably the older parts of town, but then I've always prefered ancient to modern.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Madinet Souk Antique Shop, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Madinet Souk Antique Shop, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Although this shop was located in a fake / reproduction Souk adjacent to the Burj Al Arab Hotel many of the items on sale were actually authentic. Compared to the sort of Antique shops I am used to visiting in the UK there was no comparison, in fact many of the items on sale were the sort of thing that could be purcahsed at a UK car boot sale. The day was very hot and sticky, but the people were very friendly, and at least the interior spaces were air conditioned. Outside it was staggering 51 degrees hence the lack of exterior shots as the camera just couldnt cope(excuse).

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Zaha Hadid's Railway Station In Innsbruck

Zaha Hadid's Railway Station In Innsbruck

After watching a South Bank Show documentary about Zaha I was intrigued to see some of her work in the flesh. Unfortunately this railway station was quite small in comparison to some of her amazing creations, but it certainly gave a flavour of her genius.
The colours and the way the light reflected on the glass was superb. This station was our entry point, later we headed upwards to the zoo passing through more of her structures. Having had a taster I now want to see some of her more impressive work. When I do I'll be sure to post the images here so watch this space.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Friday, 29 May 2009

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sunday, 24 May 2009

An Old Master In Wistow

Around 10 miles south of Leicester City centre lies the long lost village of Wistow. All that remaisn now is the hall, a few associated cottages and St Wistans Church. The hall is no doubt hung with all sort of grand olde masters and it was with this in mind that I created this image of a tree in the church graveyard. The colours were as is which attracted my attention to it, the rest was created by computer.
One day I intend to visit the inside of the church, the keys are apparently available from Gardens cottage or so it says on the door, within tombs and memorials galore. Watch this space.

Spring Tree, Wistow

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Motorhead at DeMontfort Hall Spring 1980

DeMontfort Hall holds very fond memories for me as the venue of my first ever rock concert. I was just 16 and having purchased the tickets a few weeks before against the wishes of my parents I was counting down the days for at least a month before.
The Band was the notorious Motorhead, with lead singer Lemmy at the helm. The Tour was "The Bomber Tour", which with frequent volumes in excess of that produced by a Lancaster Bomber, was probably the most appropriate title that they could have chosen.
My pier group were all denim and leather clad head bangers, a case of safety in numbers, and "head banging" was the norm at parties. Not for me on the night in question as 2 days before I have inadvertantly managed to lacerate the top of my head on a door frame requires 15 stitches. My folks were horrified that I still wanted to go to the concert in that state, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world and boy was it a good decisions. I recall vividly a huge skeletal bomber riding up above the stage with lemmy holding onto the side as the music reached a staggering 129 decibels, I has tinnitus for days afterwards as did all my mates..... great for the teacher the next few days at school.
My lasting memory though was after the concert we queued to get the groups autographs at which point the extremely sexy and well endowed lady in front of us lifted her top and asked the boys to sign their names on her exposed breasts for all to see. Happy days.

DeMontfort Hall, Leicester

Friday, 22 May 2009

Grandads Potting Shed

Potting sheds, especially those painted blue are quintessentially English, don't you think.
As a child I was allowed to use a similar shed as a den, and it was my favourite place to hang out. Not blue like this one, but preserved in creosote, such that everyone could always tell when I'd been in there by the eye watering smell which emanated from my body for the following week or two.
Currently my sense of smell is terrible, a bonus on many occasions, especially during those "nappy" years, and I do often wonder if the daily bombardment of my inner nasal structures with the toxic creosote at such a tender age, was a significant aetiological factor. I'm sure many things its wouldn't be allowed in this modern health and safety consious era.

Grandads Potting Shed

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Waterworld at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Last summer I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in the USA. I'd always dreamed of living teh American dream and travelling along Route 66 and that is exactly waht we did. The exchange rate was at its best, just prior to the slump so it was cheap aswell... an added bonus. Towards the end of teh trip we arrived in Los Angeles and headed for The Universal Studios. This shot was taken during the Waterworld Show which was superb, explosions, fire, people falling hundreds of feet, jet ski's, the kids loved it.

Waterworld at Universal Studios

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Foxton Locks Inn, Foxton Locks, Leicestershire

There are probably very few children brough up in Leicestershire on the 60's and 70's who won't remember a school trip to Foxton Locks. until a few years ago it was a muddy and generally run down place. No so now. A grant has enabled restoration of the site including the Foxton Locks Inn which now not only serves a great range of Real Ales but also offers really nice food, which if you are lucky can be consumed over looking the water at the front of the building. They even provide blankets to keep your knee's warm in the winter under the canvas cover.
I have visited many times and always receive a warm welcome, and its also dog friendly.

The Foxton Locks Inn

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall

With the decline in small boat fishing in the water around the UK the number of working harbours getting less each year. Personally I love the colours and ambience of seaside towns, probably a throw back to childhood trips to the seasid, Which is probably why I love visiting mevagissey so much. It simply has it all. Ice creams, Cornish Pasties, a harbour bar with leather settees and real Cornish Scrumpy. Along the harbour wall kids haul out crab after crab as fishermen come and go. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see a 2ft long dogfish swimming within the inner harbour, on the last visit I only saw them in the aquarium, which is now free to visit. If you ever get the chance to visit this place make sure you leave time to see the museum where there are a great selection of black and white images of the harbour many years ago...... amazing.


Mevagissey Harbour at Sunset

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Halcyon D1 Days

In 2000 I took the plunge and decided to swop fill for digital so purchased a Nikon D1 SLR. 2.79m pixels and a price tags that still makes my eyes water. It was amazing, all my old Nikon lenses were immediately available with the ease of digital.
One of the first images I took was in a field behind St Wistans Church in Wistow where an obliging cow posed for me. I printed it and proudly hung it on the wall at work where it has sat ever since. I look at that almost every day and for years have been thinking that I must have another go at photographing cows to see if with news lenses and a new camera I can do any better. Well finally I have something to show. Note sure if it is really any better, but I like it.

Bovine Whiskers

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Las Vegas USA

Las Vegas city of lights and fun, and wow what a photographers dream. Amidst a multitude of people trying to sell me female flesh in variety of forms I set up my tripod and captured the images which combined produced this HDR. Unfortunately my visit only lasted for 2 days, I could have happily spend 2-3 weeks there taking photographs there was so much to see.

Las Vegas

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