31 May 2011

Bank Holiday Bliss

Had a surprise couple of days away and found the most delightful B&B. The name was intriguing, the site was remote, the company was lovely and the whole experience was intensely relaxing.

The Green Whale Tump
Bedroom was the 4 floor to ceiling windows top right - left the curtains open all night to watch the sun set, the appearance of the star-lit sky and then the sun rise. For the first time in a long time I slept really well, it was bliss.
The breakfast was delicious crammed full of locally sourced ingredients. It is a peaceful and delightful setting and Andy and Ali were perfect hosts.
Would recommend it if you need peace and quiet.

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Brilliant Present

Received a present the other day in celebration of my year as Mayor of Ashby Woulds Town Council - which ended on 16th May.

How cool is this - the Mayor of Camberwick Green - I love it.

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29 May 2011

QR code

I don't have a smart phone but I can see the purpose, simplicity and beauty of QR codes. I recently organised my AboutMe page and they offered 50 free Moo business cards. Moo created the cards with a QR code on it for people to link to my AboutMe page. I might get the QR code printed and made into stickers.

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About dot Me

Was told about the idea of a landing page for people to be able to find you on all the platforms you have a profile - facebook, twitter, linked in, web site, blogs etc etc. I have completed mine - and taken advantage of the Moo.com tie in and ordered my free 50 business cards - this time with a QR code to link people to the about.me landing page.

About dot Me landing page
Let me know what you think.

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QUAD unplugged

Had a very pleasant evening out with Sarah last night. We went to QUAD unplugged event in the newly refurbished cafe to see White and Collins.

Very enjoyable evening on many counts - the music was good, the new cafe looks good, the support artist was good, the company was good, the olives and potato skins were good. A good evening.

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28 May 2011

Both sides of the camera

You may recall I mentioned the Minster of State's visit to the National Forest conference on 31st March 2011. I now have copies of photographs from the event from both sides of the camera.

The offical tree planting photograph used by the National Forest for the front page of their quarterly Newsletter:

And a shot I took whilst waiting for the photographer to organise us:

The official opening of Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre will take place on 1st June and I will be there to photograph the Mayor of Ashby Woulds - Councillor Tony Allan - cutting the ribbon.

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27 May 2011

Not the moon

"That is not the moon
Nor is this
The spring of years gone by
I alone remain
As I was before."

Ariwara no Narihara AD825-880

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25 May 2011

Viking Characters

I was very impressed with how thoroughly immersed all the Vikings of Middle England were at Moira Canal Festival this weekend. They develop their characters and stick with them including the trades they undertake. My favourites:


Handsome again

Relaxed Handsome


Visiting the Blacksmith



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Vikings in Moira

I was blown away by the Viking village at the Moira Canal Festival at the weekend. Here are some of my favourites of Viking life:

I have been asked by the happy band of people that consist of the Vikings of Middle England to let them have any images I am happy with. I can say that I am going to be sending them quite a few.

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24 May 2011


This much I know - you need a darkened room.

I learnt this from my afternoon at Print Space in London. At the time I thought it was a bit excessive. But I realise it is extremely important. My office might be in the smallest room in the house - but it is the brightest room. Morning sun reflects off the white houses opposite into my eyes and in the afternoon the setting sun shines directly into my face. The black out blind is only so effective, but helps. I might look into buying some dark curtains as the summer comes along.

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Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Competition 2011

I have decided to enter this competition this year. The Taylor Wessing Competition has an excellent range of prizes which can help get your name known and your career off to a flying start. I have some good portraits which I am happy with that I have captured during this year and the closing date is 7th July. Time enough for me to process the portraits I took at the weekend and compare with others captured and see which rises to the top as my favourite. Will keep you posted.

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23 May 2011

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Visited the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology yesterday - the idea was to make use of my free Art Pass. However, quickly discovered that the Ashmolean is a free entry museum. Made me smile. I wanted to go and see the gorgeous extension and staircase - as well as some of the paintings.

The stairs are gorgeous and most intriguing is the use of the space created by the openness of the stairwell. These busts are very well presented in this space and you can get quite close to them when you are on other levels of the museum. They must be a bugger to dust though.

The painting I wanted to see was Persephone by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as I have heard it referred to recently as Proserpine - and this confused me. There was not a Persephone painting in the Ashmolean - but a coloured chalks on paper sketch. The description clearly showed it titled as Proserpine and in fact Rossetti has inscribed it 'Proserpina'. I did some research when I got home and found that Proserpine is the Latin for the name Persephone (which is Greek). This all now makes sense.

I recommend you go and find out the story of Persephone - I remember being told it as a child at primary school and I have ever forgotten it. This painting by Rossetti is said to be of Jane Morris - the wife of William Morris who - it is said - Rossetti had a passionate affair with. He certainly loved her lips.

To quote Ang to Beverley - "Repeat after me ... 'I have very beautiful lips'".

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"...so let our love as endless
prove as pure as gold forever."

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

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21 May 2011

Moira Canal Festival - fun all the way

Will be photographing all the fun, excitement, colour and entertainment at Moira Canal Festival today. I have just found out that there will be a Lancaster Bomber and ferret racing. I hope the two are not connected. That would be messy.

The Lancaster Bomber did not fly - it was far too windy and as it is the last one the RAF have it is best not to risk damaging it.

I joined the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and took some great images for the Ashby Woulds Community Newsletter.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor meet the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ashby Canal Trust
l-r Geoff Pursglove, Sue McKendrick, Tony Allan, Paul Johnson

Mayor of Ashby Woulds Town Council
Councillor Tony Allan

The Chain of Office
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20 May 2011

Odyssey arrives

The UPS man arrived with my bundle of joy. The book looks so much better as an 80 page book. Right time to bubble wrap it up and send it to Matt at the Eden Project.

Feeling very proud of myself today.

Bubble wrapped and ready to go

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Open Here Competition - Hereford Photography Festival

I have entered the annual Hereford Photography Festival competition - Open Here 2011. As they are looking for a body of work I decided to enter five images created for the 'Small World' project.

Fingers Crossed.

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19 May 2011

New Blood - D&AD

I have been asked to exhibit at the New Blood show at the end of June. Very excited about this. I will be prepare these images from the Olympics brief:.

and these from the Eden Project brief: 

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Art pass

Last week I read an article about a scheme run by the ArtFund offering free art passes for 90 days. I applied and my pass arrived today. The pass allows me to gain entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK and 50% off entry to major exhibitions. This offer has come about following the reduction in funding to the arts in the last budget. The hope is that once my 90 days are up I will sign up to be a full-time supporter of the charity.

With my art pass I am never without art.

I am planning trips to the V&A, Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool.

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Missed my UPS man

I was out getting work and missed my UPS delivery. Never mind they will try again tomorrow.

I am really looking forward to receiving these books. Client has just emailed to say yes please can they have more than one copy of the book and also there may be further opportunities during the summer.

This week started a bit rough but has turned out rather spiffing with all sorts of opportunities popping up.

The highs and lows of life I guess.

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Have the desire to get out there and make some images today - the sun is shining so it seems like destiny.

Visiting a client this afternoon so I will make an outing of it. Camera packed and ready; my firing finger is twitching.

Didn't capture any images put did get some work - great day.

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18 May 2011

UPS package tracking

My Eden Odyssey book left Brussels this morning at 5.25am and should arrive at my door before 5pm tomorrow. I love technology.

I'm very excited about receiving this book as there is a possibility that I will be exhibiting it at a show in June.

More news to follow.

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14 May 2011

Fine Art Photography

Considering becoming a fine art photographer? Then you need to read the discussion generated by this Lenscratch blog entry.

My experience:
In the build up to the exhibition at Free Range in June I can see distinct parallels with this experience.

We are sharing the cost of the exhibition space through subscription, then each individual is contributing to a pot of money this will pay for the printing and framing of our pieces and the publicity material - invites, newspaper, website, magazine tie ins etc. On top of that there is the production of individual show specific printed materials - like business cards, postcards, tee-shirts. For the show itself there will be the travel and accommodation costs as well as the cost of food bought at London prices. The 5 day show will cost each individual substantially more than £500.

Will it generate sales? Will I receive commissions? Will my work be noticed? Only time will tell.

I am choosing who I invite to the show with care, and I will make sure I am there when they come to see the work. I have decided how I'm going to make use of my postcards at the show. I have decided not to hand them out but to post them out. I will go armed with first class stamps. To be noticed you have to be a little different.

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Oral History Training

On Thursday I received training on interviewing techniques. This is to ensure that I capture the best sound possible when making my photo-films. It was very interesting and very informative.

Now there is nothing stopping me from creating a photo-film - I have camera, I have microphone, I have after effects, I have an account at Vimeo, I have website to display them. . . . .right. . . I just need a good idea.

The passion for this idea comes from viewing Out of the Box - a beautifully crafted photo-film made by duck-rabbit. Enjoy.

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Blogger is back

Blogger disappeared for 3 days after something went wrong during maintenance work on Wednesday. This has meant that blogs written on weds and thurs were lost. They have now returned and blogger is back, however, the blogs did not return the way they left. I have noticed in other blogs information has gone completely.

Technology ehhh?

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Eden Odyssey - update

The feedback I am receiving concerning my Eden Odyssey book is so good that I have decided to update it, add a few more images, add a little bit more text and have it printed on better quality paper. I am then going to send the digital marketing team at the Eden Project a copy.

Thanks to all those that have given me feedback and shown me ways to improve what I had created. Books have been ordered and should be here within the next week.

In the meantime my new business cards have arrived which feature images from the Eden Odyssey Book.

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Business Cards and all that Jazz

*Jazz hands - for the excitement*

My new business cards have arrived with the images that I will be exhibiting at Free Range on them, plus the Postcards. They look wonderful. You just have to love the efficiency, quality and speed associated with Moo.

Small World Business Cards and Postcards

This afternoon I have to fulfill my final duty as Mayor - officially opening Spring Cottage Park. It was very windy - as you can tell. It was incredibly well attended and the coffee and cakes at the Navigation after were heavenly. Lovely way to finish my year as Mayor.
Joseph Smith and I officially opening the Spring Cottage Park 12.5.11

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Captain's log

Star date 140511 ... ... ... ... been watching some star trek sorry about that.

Eden Odyssey updated book has been shipped. It's very exciting ordering all this stuff. The anticipation. The joy. The sense of achievement.

The most recent arrivals are gorgeous. (Business cards and postcards). The only thing not to love is the hit my bank account takes.

When I look back at the first set of Business Cards I had made I am slightly embarrassed when I compare them to these. But we all have to start somewhere. Perhaps I should be cruel and put the old ones up in the loft.

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09 May 2011

Dead Cat

I am picking up an awful lot of 'handling/fumbly' noises when recording sound using the Zoom H1 microphone. I have been using the foam mic wind shield but that does not eliminate the wind sound or handling sounds sufficiently. I have heard about 'Dead Cats' which you will see on mics for outside broadcasts and wanted to see how others have dealt with this issue. I found Rick and his solution to the H1 wind issue.

Rick's kit only costs £16 delivered but I think I can make a full cover as I have some furry fabric. If I find the right angle jack is required perhaps I will order this. But this has been very helpful and I now understand why I am getting so much extra noise when out in the field.
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