Sunday, November 30, 2008

He's the man

Sunday quotes, inspired by Polergirl.

Operator! Give me the number for 911!

Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'

Lisa, if you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way.

Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.

Marge, you're as beautiful as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda.

I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.

I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around.

'To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?

Homer Simpson

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Exist

I’ve had the first concrete proof that I exist, in the blogging world any way; I have had a letter from Google. Well I say letter its more like a card, just to confirm I am who I say I am for the adsence scheme. Now I know I blog and others have seen the blog, but getting a letter, even such a small one, that is a direct result of the blog, makes it seem real. Think about your blog, do you get any communication from it other than on your computer, so other than the thing that you create it on you get nothing else and then a letter arrives all the way from New York! Am I just being a little strange or is this making any sense?
Photo to day from the canal walk earlier this week, the way the light hit this pieces of scrap made it stand out and worth a shot.

Now playing: Morrissey - How Soon Is Now? (Live)
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, November 28, 2008

House work

Just the perfect morning for taking photos, so I was in the office by 8.15 and did not see any of it. Why is it that whenever I have good weather I’m stuck in work, or is it just that the day looks better when you can not get at it?
Quite weekend just me, Caz and Kep and a lot of house work getting the place ready for Christmas. So I’ll rush off and grab a late lunch and get started.
Photo of better days walking by the canal.

Now playing: Suzanne Vega - Marlene On The Wall
via FoxyTunes

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Randomness and peace

Jen tagged me today! The link to her blog is:

Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up...

Hmmm, six random things about me...ok:

1. I HATE cheese.

2. I still have my first teddy bear, had him at the age of 2 weeks!

3. I love maps; I can sit and look at them for hours.

4. Once ripped a book up during an argument with a girlfriend 20+ years ago and still feel bad about it (it was not even a good book)

5. I am so forgetful that I control our joint xmas list, so that when friends buy us something, by the time Christmas day arrives I have forgotten what we are having and it comes as a total surprise.

6. I once had a crisp (I think they are called chips in the USA) habit and consumed 70 bags a week.


Just because they are all very different blogs and should give some very random answers.
Photo today is called Peace, one of a set i have been working on for some time.

Now playing: Fugees - The Score (my favorite album of all time)
via FoxyTunes

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vat cut con

VAT, Value added tax, since when has adding tax been a value? Now they have decided to cut it by 2.5% and this is suppose to make us all rush out and by something! How many items that were at £9.99 last week will still be at £9.99 in the week following the change? I think all of them; this cut will just be a excuse for the shops to reclaim some of their margin that has already been cut to the bone in an effort to get more sales out of our empty pockets. If the government wanted us to have more money to spend cut income tax, then we would see the benefit and not the shop owners.
Away from the questionable decisions of the government and back to what makes life worth while, a clear frosty morning spent walking by the canal, hard to believe that this was just yesterday as the weather out side is grey and wet now.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
via FoxyTunes

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gary's new dog.

After the popularity of the post on how we got Kep, now the story of how I gave him away.
Kep was your typical puppy, cute, clumsy and always looking for trouble and in a household that had never had a puppy or a child he wrecked havoc. If he could eat it he did, if he could not eat it he at least chewed it into submission. If it was fragile and in reach it was soon turned into a million pieces and when you turn round to shout at him, you were met with a pair of the most lovely eyes you have any seen, that seemed to say, I’m an angel, I could not have done that in any way. We doted on him, he was spoiled. Then one day I came home to find pup and wife having a disagreement, pup had decided that Caz’s hair was too long and had helpfully tried to shorten it, while loving Kep a lot, Caz was very upset at having him hanging off her hair and at that point shouted at me to get rid of him. Now we all say things that we don’t mean, but to a newly married man, his wife’s wishes were like the word of god, and I set about the task of getting rid of the pup the very next day.
Enter Gary, he was a friend who worked in the same shopping centre as I did, but in a different shop, and he loved dogs. So I approached the subject of him having Kep, and he, like a good pal, jumped at the chance, but that night when I informed Caz, instead of being the wonderful husband, I was the villain of the pieces, how could I imagine that she wanted to get rid of Kep! What was I thinking!!
So Kep stayed and luckily so did I, Gary took it well, but always reminds me of it when ever we meet and Kep comes up in the conversation.
Photo is of Kep doing one of his part times job, lighting setup tester.

Now playing: Portishead - All Mine
via FoxyTunes

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Food and drink

Following on from yesterday, all the quote were from Terry Pratchett, one of my favourite writers and one of the most imaginative and literate as well.
The photo is a view from the Peak District taken last week, when I started to work on the image it was grey and dark outside and now it looks like it does in the photo, a weird case of life imitating art. An exhausting weekend I must have driven hundreds of miles, but very good to see old friend again.
One old friend that has made an unwelcome return is my belly, for months it has been safely under wraps, but too much food and beer and not enough exercise has taken its toll, time for a diet, again.

Now playing: Stereophonics - Mr. Writer
via FoxyTunes

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


Quote Sunday,

“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”

“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living.”

“It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing.”

“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”

“People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, "Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else."”

“Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up”

Because his books (nearly all of them!) are all on a shelf on their own and I felt guilty that they did not get on the photo.

Now playing: David Bowie - The Jean Genie
via FoxyTunes

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


Right short post as we have guest’s, after yesterdays post I’ll tag (drum roll) Aim’s and Daisy, with the Book worm award, the way it works is: you open the closest book on page 46 and write out the 5th sentence on the page (and the following 2-5 sentences). Why these two, well I known they are both well read and I think they are from quite different back ground so the books could be very interesting.
Picture from the trip into the peak district earlier this week.

Now playing: Duran Duran - Save A Prayer
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, November 21, 2008


Kasia, has tagged me with the book worm award, in the hope it will inspire a photo.
The way it works is: you open the closest book on page 46 and write out the 5th sentence on the page (and the following 2-5 sentences). Great now to choose a book! As you can see I have a few (the shelves are mostly double stacked) So here it is.

See? These shoes are built to absorb shocks.
He’s right. I barely felt that.

Now with an explanation

See? These shoes are built to absorb shocks. (John showing Garfield jogging shoes he has brought him)
WHACK! (Garfield hitting John with said shoes)
He’s right. I barely felt that.

The 5th Garfield treasury.

Look around I will pick two of you tomorrow!

By the way this is a very hard photo to get, it is made up of 4 shot joined up as the room is very small.

Now playing: The Cult - Edie (Ciao Baby)
via FoxyTunes

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lifes challenges

First off an apology for the picture, it’s not up to my usual quality, at least I’m not happy with it, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen this and am dead happy I managed to get a shot of it, time permitting I will try to get back there soon for another go.
Now some sad news, Girl with a mask has stopped blogging, I don’t known how many of you have read her blog, but for me it was one of the first I found and inspired me on a number of days. She does say she will be back in some form and I can only hope it won’t take long. But as one favourite goes so a new one comes along, I’m loving Polargirl’s blog, it’s become my first stop in a morning and has yet to disappoint so I’m adding it to my list at the side so you can all have a look.
As long term readers will know I have in the passed suffered with stress and panic attack, so much so that I was off work for 6 months, only returning in March, new situations and public speaking are 2 areas that give me problems, so yesterday and today finds me briefing the whole department, in ¼ hour slots and today I’m receiving my art award from our CEO, now if only I could find a hole to crawl into.

Now playing: Blondie - Europa
via FoxyTunes

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dog and gun

Topsey turvey day today, as I was out before 8am to take some photos and am now blogging at lunch time. Its not often that I go out just to take pictures, I nearly always carry a camera so that any walk I do turns into a photo shoot, but for me to go out to a place just to photograph it is very rare. Today’s target was a local beauty spot and with it being ¾ of a hour away I had to leave early and hope the weather was ok when I got there. The place is a wooded valley with a river running down the middle, its on a major walking route and is quite lovely, oh and it was shut. Now when I say shut I don’t mean that it had not opened, as it always open, what I mean is that today it was closed off and the reason was that the valley was being used by a hunting party. Now I’ve seen the odd bloke wandering around the countryside with a shot gun, but this was a proper English hunting party, tweed, plus fours, Landrovers, cloth caps, waxed jackets and lots of gundogs and retrievers, fantastic, if I had not been so intimidated by all the men with guns I would have taken some pictures. On top of that they were all very polite and on seeing me looking up the valley, camera in hand, asked if I wanted to go in, a quick check to make sure they weren’t just offering me a head start, and off I went to take my pictures. Pictures done I’m now back and starting the process of sorting them. This is the first of them, a detail shot of an old barn.

Now playing: Adam and the Ants - Los Rancheros
via FoxyTunes

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday boy

Kep was 12 yesterday, so we brought him this as a present. It seems only a few days ago that we were traveling up into the hills outside Leek to go to look at some pups, Caz had done all the running about and now the only thing left to do was to see if we liked one or not (silly question when you look back at it). The pups were on a farm just off the main Leek to Buxton road at its highest point, right up in the hills. They were kept in a shed at the back, with just a little straw for bedding, and their mum of course. Unknown to me most of the pups had already been spoken for, Caz also had in mind a Blue Merle pup while I was leaning towards a black and white collie (Caz also knew that the black and whites were all gone). I went into the shed first and crouched down near the pups, Caz stood behind me, the pups for their part took no notice of me except for a little grey and white ball of fluff, who fought his way out of the pile of pups, wobbled over to me and crawled up on to my knee, settling straight down as if he owned it. Unknown to me this was the only pup that we could have and by that point I was well and truly hooked, but it would be another couple of weeks before we could bring him home. I really cannot describe how cute he was, so small and with a pink button nose, he means the world to me.

Now playing: Guns 'n' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
via FoxyTunes

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Monday, November 17, 2008

polydactyly (paw-lee-dak-till-lee)

Normal cats have four toes and one dewclaw on each front paw and four toes on each hind paw. Polydactyl cats may have as many as seven digits on front and/or hind paws, and various combinations of anywhere from four to seven are common, although each of the front and rear paws are typically the same. Polydactyly is most commonly found on the front paws only, as in the case of Jr.
Jr for want of a better word is one of my nephews, and Saturday night was the first time I remembered to take a camera when we went visiting, they’ve had him since March. Now by up bringing I’m a cat person, we always had cats at home as a kid, but by choice I am now a dog person, Caz loves dogs (she’s not very keen on cats at all) a real case of love me love my dog (or nearly all dogs, forsaking all cats, totally). Having said that I still have a soft spot for cats and spent a lot of Saturday night rolling around on the floor getting my leg scratched and photographing the cats (they have 3).
For all you dog lovers, a picture of Kep tomorrow, as today is his 12 birthday, so at some point I will grab a shot of him, probably after we return from the vets, if he is still speaking to me, that is.
I had a technical question about the lens used for the close up photos, it’s a Tamron 90mm macro lens, although I like to try to take photos with the minimum of kit, you cannot beat a good macro lens and at 90mm it makes a good portrait lens as well. The shots were taken using one of my studio flashes, the pencil shot was all hand held, pencils in one hand camera in the other.

Now playing: Guns 'n' Roses - Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon
via FoxyTunes

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meet Jr.

Little Paws Prayer

This is a prayer for little paws
All up and down the land,
Driven away, no friendly voice
Never an outstretched hand.
For weary paws of little beasts
Torn and stained with red,
And never a home and never a rest,
Till little beasts are dead.
Oh God of homeless things, look down
And try to ease the way
Of all the little weary paws
That walk the world

Author Unknown

Now playing: Squeeze - Cool For Cats
via FoxyTunes

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Enter the Polergirl

Photo yesterday was of a pasta machine for any of you that were interested, today the image is of some pins with coloured heads, I just love the contrast of the sharp hard steel with the bright friendly colours of the heads.
Now some sad news, one of my very close friends has suffered a loss, but I don’t think he will get much sympathy here. He is in the process of becoming a blog widow, my other very good friend (I only have a couple, perhaps I should get out more) Polergirl has just started a blog, now I know I should not be doing this as you can only read so many blogs a day, and her writing and reason for blogging are so much better than mine, but please pop along and have a look, I think that it could be a really good read. Remembering my first comment from someone I’d never met, I was so excited and only had to wait 3 weeks! Just let her know who sent you, it might get me bigger scoops of ice cream next time I’m there.

Now playing: Iron Maiden - Run to The Hills
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Pencils pins and pasta

My post “Bob” was one of the posts featured on “Authorblog” yesterday, this blog for those of you that have not been there, features links to post of Excellence from around the world, picking on one as post of the day and a number of runners up, one was me!, the winning post was the one I highlighted from Daisy a few days ago. Since I started the blog I wanted to get a post on there, as so many of the posts are of a really high standard, and now I’m on there!!! So a big thank you to David.
The picture today is another close up, I find this type of photography fascinating and will try to do some more in the next few days.

Now playing: The English Beat - Twist & Crawl
via FoxyTunes

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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Fear! In some ways our fears help to define our personalities, they are, if not entirely unique in themselves, at least unique in their strength and combination. Me I’m terrified of wasps, I work in a very large open plan office (football field size at least) and if there is a wasp in the room I’m on edge, almost to the point of not being able to do my job. Caz hates wood lice in much the same way; I am never as popular as when one is in need of disposal. Kep has developed a fear of the vets over the past few weeks, which has lead to me parking in strange places to fool him about his ultimate destination.

Clowns seems to be a popular fear, if that the right way to word it, coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of Clowns, it’s got a name so you can’t be on your own. The strangest fear I have ever come across was one held by a builder I knew, picture your average builder, rough, tough and down to earth, and now picture one with a fear of gingiber laganum (Ginger cake), yes ginger cake, nice tasty, not renowned for it ability to attack on sight. He foolishly let on to his work mates about this, who effectively immobilised his van by leaving a cake on the driver’s seat and refusing to remove it. As I wrote about yesterday they say that if you face your fears you can beat them, bugger that, if I’m afraid of something there must be a good reason, so I’m keep well away from wasps.

Picture today was taken along with the last two days pictures, I love close up photography, it gives you a glimpse of the world you do not always see, I chose the subjects randomly as you cannot really tell how they will look till you take the photo.

Now playing: The English Beat - Tears of a Clown
via FoxyTunes

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization is gradual exposure to feared objects or situations. The goal of Systematic Desensitization is to overcome the avoidance pattern by gradually exposing patients to the phobic object until it can be tolerated. This will be challenging for the patient at first to deal with the fear, but gradually, most will overcome this fear.
Meet my friend, Patient X, hill walker and country man supreme, fearless traveller of the high fells and mountains. A man who never shrinks from a challenge, no river to deep, no mountain to high (queue for a song), but, put a cow in the field by the path and it’s a whole new ball game, then like superman in the presents of Kryptonite, he becomes a mere mortal.
But not any more, this Sunday his wonderful girlfriend (partner, other ½, significant other, +1, etcetera etcetera) as a TREAT! Arranged for a visit to a local dairy farm, you known a large flat grassy place with cows, 100s and 100s of them, just so he could try a bit of Systematic desensitization. While Mr X got to meet the cows, safely ensconced behind a large wire fence, his girl got a guided tour of the farm house (kitchen, fridge, bowl, ice-cream), on leaving the house she was horrified to see, and now I will quote from her email,

“I do a double take as I spot Mr X & Farmer John walking through the middle of a field with cows in it! OMG my heart is in my mouth. Even the young bullocks are watching expectantly from their sheds. Life went into slow motion as I saw the cows approach Mr X and surround him in the field. He stretched out his hand.....and petted the middle of a field!!!!! OMG I couldn't believe it! My emotions overwhelmed me, a mixture of pride, love and happiness all rolled into one warm mushy cow pat”.

Is this a cure? Only time will tell, but knowing Mr X as I do, it must have taken no small amount of courage to set foot in to that field, facing ones fears like that is fantastic, I don’t think I could faces mine that well.

Now playing: Bow Wow Wow - Cowboy
via FoxyTunes

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I usually struggle to find things to write about, but today I have more of a problem with what not to use. I have always been fascinated by war, not uncommon for a boy whose toys were mostly solders or guns and who read war stories or watched war film for entertainment. As I have got older I came to see both the horror and the glory of war, old soldiers will tell you there is no glory in war, but how else can you describe the examples of courage and selflessness displayed by individual soldiers and units on all side and in all conflicts. Over the years I have read 100s of first hand accounts of combat from all the major wars of the last century, and in amidst the horror and death there are always moments of bravery and humour as mans sprit tries to offset all the negatives that surround him. War in all its forms is a failure of reason and shows us at our worst, but in war we can also find our best, the freedoms we now have and hold so cheaply, are soaked in the blood of our fallen. As Wellington so rightly said “Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won.”
The picture today is of Caz’s grand dads medals, these are not special medals, there are none here issued for individual acts of courage, but they represent 5 years of combat from Africa to D-day, through France and into Germany, with nearly every day offering the chance of it being his last, I don’t think that we can imagine 5 years of that, never knowing when or how it will end. After the war he came home and started a new life, bringing up his children and doing his job and living to a grand old age. These aren’t special medals, but they belong to a special man, the sort of hero that will never be featured in a film or book but gave the world his life for as long as it took so that we could have ours in peace and freedom.

Now playing: Ludwig van Beethoven - 'Moonlight' Sonata
via FoxyTunes

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Post weekend blues

Monday, again. I’m sure this day comes up more than once a week, time just seems to be rushing by, I now have less than 100 posts till the end of this project and it only seems like I’ve been doing this for a few weeks.
Yesterdays post was in honour of Remembrance Sunday and all our war dead, for those of you that may not known here in the UK we honour our fallen on the Sunday closest to the 11th of November, the anniversary of the end of the First World War, and this year I have never seen so many people wearing poppies, the symbol of remembrance, I suppose its one positive of fighting two wars at the same time, people remember all those that have gone before. The photo from yesterday is a close up shot of the airborne forces war memorial at Tatton Park, it right on the edge of the old drop zone that was used to train the bulk of our paratroopers during the Second World War.

Now playing: The Bangles - Eternal Flame
via FoxyTunes

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Now playing: Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
via FoxyTunes

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

News of the world

On the news last night they were going on about how the banks had given in to public pressure and followed the bank of England in dropping their rates. At first glances this seems a reasonable statement, but in reality it’s the media putting a spin on the news to make them seem more important. Let’s look at it again, but in detail.
The banks have changed their rates in around 10 working hours of the bank of England making one of the most startling rate changes in history.
As it takes days to gauge public opinion from surveys, polls and focus groups, the public pressure they referred to must have been that reported in the media. So the public pressure is the handful of people chosen by the news companies to reflect their slant on the story and in a kind of self for filling prophesise the banks have now changed their rates and the news companies can point to their public pressure as the cause.
If it was not for the media in the first place most of the damage done to the world economy would have been averted, how would anyone have known or being bothered that people were having trouble paying their mortgages in the USA, confidence would have remained high in our banks and we would have all carried on as normal. But the news companies need news and if there is none they make some, only this time they have got a lot more than they would have wished for.

Now playing: Blondie - In the Sun
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Nothing to see here.

Very little to say today, pressure of work taken it out of me. So I will point you towards a couple of posts on two blogs I’ve come across, I found them great for lifting up my spirts.
The first is Fresh as a Daisy, just read the post and the pop back to catch the bit you missed.
The second is a video posted on Hattie Hattie, watch the original one to see what a good job they have done.
Photo today frost covered Bull rushes.

Now playing: k.d. lang - Constant Craving
via FoxyTunes

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

A woman president

So when will America take the next big step and elect a woman president? I’m just old enough to remember when we (well the adults) voted in Maggie, the shock and horror of it. For most of her time in office she was hated, or so it seemed in the press, but when the country need a strong leader she fitted the bill perfectly. In fact the comment at the time was that she had more balls than any man in her cabinet. When you think about a country is more like a household than a business, mostly because in a company there are standards of behaviour, people while not being nice to one another are mostly civil, while in a family there is no code of conduct and anything goes. Most families I know are run (and run well) by women, mostly without their husbands knowing this is the case (for my male friends reading this, not yours obviously). Give a woman a country and there’s no knowing what she might achieve.
Today’s photo is from the show on Saturday, I call it “The wait”, I wanted to use this for the blog from the moment I took it but felt I needed to ask permission first, which I now have. It was taken just before the show started, the stars were gathered in the dressing room and were all very tense, none more so than the first act, while the other chatted and joked she sat a bit apart and had a quiet moment, more focused on what was about to happen than the room and people about her. She was so stressed out just before she set foot on the stage, but delivered a fantastic performance that really did set the standard for the rest.

Now playing: The Smiths - Girl Afraid
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Look mum a black man

The winner is… Me! Yes I’ve won the art award at work, each year the company hold’s an art contest and this year I have won the photography section, the 3rd year out of 5. The prints then get sold off with a portion given to the company charity, so a little fame but no fortune this time.
He’s done it… The first black formula 1 world champion, congratulations Lewis, but why did you leave it to the last seconds, I was on the edge of my seat, the world is now your oyster so a lot of fame and fortune for you.
Oh and in America they have elected a politician to the white house, well what’s all the fuss about, he’s black and because of that it suppose to make a difference? For years the equal rights people have been try to get us to look past colour, saying were all the same under the skin and now the very same people are saying change is coming because they have elected a black man. Is it just me or is it fundamentally wrong to point out he is black, we are what we do, I don’t see myself as a balding, over weight, middle aged man (well only in the morning after a few to many the night before, when interestingly I thought I looked about 20 years old and stick thin). No I think of myself as a photographer and a husband. So looking at Mr O what do I see, well he’s young, successful and with a gift for communication, not a bad start and if he lives up to the hype a positive step for the USA. For him I see more fame than one person should be asked to handle and probably a fortune as well.

Now playing: Foo Fighters - All My Life
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action.

With the house light down and the curtain raised, I found that the light levels were so low that even on its fastest setting my camera was still too slow to capture any images, at least that’s what any photography book would tell you. The rule of thumb is that the shutter speed should equal the focal length, so a 50mm lens can be hand held at 50th of a second, a 300mm lens at 300th of a second. I got one shot using a 50mm hand held at a 6th of a second and a lot held at ¼ of a second, I lost a lot more.
As for the show it rolled on almost faultlessly, each act getting a great reception from the audience, if not from the judges. I ran around from back stage to dressing room to the stage front, trying my hardest to capture the feel and emotion of the event, struggling all the time with lack of light and missing so many great images, the look on the artist’s faces as they waited in the wings, in near total darkness would have been wonderful to capture.
The show finished with a performance from the winning act, a fine end to a great show, after that the lights came on and I could get back to some proper work, shooting the star judge with people from the show and the public. I also got to get some shots of the aftermath, celebrations and clean up work, as even with the audience gone there was still loads to do. Six hours after I left home I got back, tired, hungry and very much in need of a drink, before any of that just time to upload the 6 gig of images and do a basic sort out.
Sundays post featured the first shot from Saturday, and the bulk of the day was spent trying to salvage something from the night before, I ended up with around 50 images that I was happy with, the first feed back has been very positive and more importantly I have learned loads.

Now playing: Catatonia - Mulder And Scully
via FoxyTunes

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Access all areas

If any of you were wondering about yesterdays shot, and the story behind it, read on. I was approached a few weeks ago to photograph a talent show being ran by a few people at work in aid of the corporate charity and so found myself, on Saturday night, standing back stage laden with camera equipment and wondering what I had got myself into.

The first hurdle was to try and find somewhere to set up the studio flash, but it soon became apparent that this would be impossible. So on to plan B, hand held flash, with freshly charged rechargeable batteries, that refused to work. So plan C, I used the little on camera flash and hoped it would be strong enough. Next a back drop, this was just as hard as the flash and the only solution was to use the stage before the show started. All this stress and I had yet to take a picture, or see an artist.

That point was the low point of the evening, all my preconceived plans for a totally controlled little studio in a quiet corner with loads of light and a nice back drop had changed into a busy stage, a black curtain and a tiny flash, oh well.

Then I met the talent and thing improved tremendously. For a start they were all lovely and a lot more nervous than I was (which is saying something). Even though they had a lot on their minds they gave me all the time I asked for, I also had access to the whole place, back stage, wing, dressing rooms, and front of stage and free rain to shoot what ever I wanted.

Waiting back stage with the artists was a privilege; the atmosphere was tense and so exciting, and as the time for the first person to perform approached it got almost unbearable, until she stepped on stage and launched into a fantastic song that set the standard for the whole event.

My own job now got harder, action shots in nearly no light, with moving subjects and slow lenses. More tomorrow.

Now playing: Irene Cara - Fame
via FoxyTunes

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Show time

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances

William Shakespeare

Now playing: Natalie Imbruglia - Impressed
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcome, one and all

I’m always fascinated so see where my visitors come from when they visit the blog, not just where they live but also which site they came from, or what search term they used. Now “Blog of note” still produces a number of visits every day from all over the world, as does the word “Dogging” for some reason, lots of people arrive from sits that list me in their blog role and I’m sure they then go on to sites I list. Then you get the odd visitors that turn up from the strangest places, like the “Second Life enclave of Winterfell” where someone has posted a link to the site so that people can see a particular photo, or even from my Facebook page. Regardless of where you come from or how you got here you are very welcome, I hope you like what I do, it’s a time consuming task but I think the result is worth it. Leave a comment even if it’s just to say hi, its nice to put a name to all the anonymous figures.
Photo today is of the tree I have been shooting every couple of months; sad to see the leaves have nearly all gone.

Now playing: Pat Benatar - We Belong
via FoxyTunes

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