Spring forward ..

 

Yippeeeeeeeee … we’ve made it! January’s done and we’re heading into Spring at last. Ok, I know it’s still cr*p out there at the mo but things are on the up, most definitely. The dreariest month of the year is over and it’s already light by eight o’clock. Reasons to be cheerful, or what?..

I changed cars last week and had to swap all my accumulated garbage from the old car to the new. Reader, I had 53 CDs scattered around it. They were everywhere. In the glove box, in door pockets, under the front seats, stuck into my sun-visors, spread attractively around the boot – everywhere, in fact, but in the CD player. In amongst the discs was a small collection of cassettes. Yes, C90s! So, as other drivers are getting blue-tooth and built-in Sat Nav and combination tv/microwave/toasters in their cars, I’ve finally got rid of a car that still had a cassette player in it. Another reason to be cheerful? You betcha! Yippeeeee …

A date for the diary ..

It’s a year since I took this photograph. A year to the day. Happy First Wedding Anniversary to Jim and Karen. I was reminded of the fact when I bumped into Jim in Asda last week – we both lead such exotic lives – and it got me thinking about all the people whose Weddings I’ve photographed. One of ‘my couples’ will be celebrating their fortieth Anniversary very soon! Forty years! They actually asked if I’d photograph their daughter’s Wedding, which would have been an absolute first though, as yet, that’s on hold as the youngsters are a bit skint. Still, I’m here when you need me, guys. Just give me a date for the diary ..

We wish you a merry montage ..

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I’ve gone montage-mad! You can tell I’ve finally finished work for Christmas ‘cos I’m actually getting chance to look through my recent personal work and get it out there for all to see. Gloves, selfies and my trip to The States have all had a work-over and been put up on Instagram and Flickr and, I have to say, I’m really pleased with what I’ve been shooting lately. That brings up the all usual New Year intention to ‘commit’ to projects; to find time to photograph ‘for myself’ and to get more exhibitions but, to be quite honest, as long as I’m shooting then I’m happy. Weddings, portraits, food, properties .. I don’t care. I love it all. Perhaps I should put up a montage of solicitors head-shots ..

One for the album ..

 

 

The idea of having a Wedding ‘album’ seems to be fading into history. I think I’ve only made three this year. One of my faves is this one, from a Wedding back in July, that involved a boat trip on the Manchester Ship Canal and a walk through Salford Quays to the Imperial War Museum North. It was so laid back, so ‘different’, and so unconventional .. it was just made for good photography.
Click on the pix to see what I mean ..

Off for drinks with pals today, and time to count our blessings. Of the six of us meeting up, all are still working photographers apart from old fart Jim, who has taken early retirement. You can be sure that – as always at our get-togethers – the changing face of photography will be a dominant theme of our conversation and then – as always, especially after the third pint – it’ll deteriorate into a ‘fings ain’t wot they used to be’ blub-fest. Photography sure has changed a lot in ‘my time’ but, whatever its challenges today, I’m still bloody lucky to be a professional working photographer.
Cheers!..

Leave it out ..

autumninthecity

 

Looks like we’re set for a wonderfully colourful autumn, with the leaves already showing some fantastic shades of yellow and red. I’m minded of the one time I went to The States in ‘The Fall’ .. when I visited a pen-pal (yes, it was that long ago) in New Hampshire and got to see the trees in all their glory. The countryside was breath-taking although, as you can see from today’s shot, the leaves in the city didn’t let their concrete surroundings stop them coming up with the goods too ..

Landscape photography is way down on my list of photographic faves though. A tree on a hill? Big deal! Give me PR and people every time. I’ll be in my element tonight when I cover a dinner that will kick off a conference I’m photographing tomorrow. A late night, and an early start tomorrow morning, mean I’m being put up in a hotel by the client, and they’ve sent me two full A4 sheets of shots they want me to get during the event. Obviously don’t want me to ‘leave’ anything out!..

(See what I did there?..)

Here comes the sun ..

 

 

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 Ah, the first day of Spring. Well, it is if you’re my pal Simon in New Zealand (Hi, Simes!) but, for us, the equinox marks the day when we officially ‘plunge’ into Autumn and Winter and, suddenly, the thought of hot summer Weddings seems a long way away ..
Of course, being colder doesn’t mean it can be any less sunny .. it’s just a ‘different’ kind of sun. A lower sun, a dazzling and squinty-making sun that casts long, fab shadows across the ground. I’ve already had cause to ‘battle’ with it. At last Saturday’s Wedding it was so bright and sunny that I could see it causing flare in the lens as I shot my group photographs. I moved the camera position, of course, but it’s funny how fashions change. Flare is now ‘in’ and, after years of avoiding it like the plague, I’ll quite happily point my lens straight at it for a dreamy, romantic shot like this ..
A bit of a sunny outlook, you might say ..

Cold showers ..

 

Oh no .. not more showers! Hahaha, see what I did there? A little play on words, reference the Great British Summer, seeing as it’s raining again as I write this and I’m bloomin’ well fed up with it. Anyway, that’s not the subject of today’s blog ..

Actually, just to put you in the picture, this shot was taken in Greece on my 6×6 Yashica and was part of an exhibition called ‘Trace’ at the old Cornerhouse in Manchester. They printed me some postcards featuring the shot and if you’d like one just let me know, ‘cos I’ve got about 5 million of ’em left ..

I told you I’d had some good news. I announced on a Culcheth Facebook page that I was closing my studio and, within about two hours, I’d been phoned by a chap at our local Village Club asking if I’d like to use the facilities there to shoot any future portrait sessions. Would I? You betcha! So, the upshot is that I’ll be shipping all my gear across there and will be up and running by the end of this month. I can’t wait. People coming in for portraits will now be able to get a coffee or a beer, or something to eat, and make a proper day out of the whole photography experience. How brilliant! In fact, I’m getting so excited I think I’d better go for a cold shower ..

News just in ..

Firstly, an apology. My email has gone AWOL, so if you’ve been trying to contact me over the past couple of days you now know why I’ve not replied ..

I have a long-running, ever-growing collection of photographs that I call ‘Social Seen’ – basically images that amuse me from functions I’ve photographed and, last night, I was covering the 20th anniversary party of the Chilli Banana restaurant in Wilmslow. These two shots presented themselves as additions very nicely, thank you. Check out the rest here ..

I’m off to the Imperial War Museum today to cover a conference and, funnily enough, I’m back there again on Saturday to photograph a Wedding. In between that, two cracking Euro ’16 semi-finals and some fantastic news about my new ‘studio’ ..

Tell ya tomorrow ..

Dang!..

I know I’ve just come back from a week in Dubai but, to be honest, with the weather we’re having here in England right now –  and the dismal state of the country – I could do with re-packing my bags and buggering off to .. oh, anywhere!

I heard a phrase the other day which, now I know it, keeps popping up all over the place. Pathetic Fallacy. In other words, all this rain and cold weather is directly connected to the downcast mood of the country. Certainly feels like it and, ok, it is just a coincidence, but if this was a film then this is exactly the sh*tty weather you’d set as the backdrop to the country going down the pan ..

Anyway, let’s not be gloomy ……….. !!! …

Thoughts of warmer climes led me back to my travel shots from years gone by and here’s one of my faves. A road sign in Sri Lanka that should read ‘Danger’ .. only some driver had smacked off half the wording to leave it reading ‘Dang’! You gotta laugh ..