Monday, 31 December 2007
It was taken18 months ago, in London's Soho and this actual cinema has featured in many movies/TV shows. I'm rather proud of the colouring on this one and it wasn't even shot using .RAW format. It was really just a chance shot of Linda walking away but I think the signifiers in the image work.
I was so proud of it I submitted it the the Tate online exhibit, the How we are now and it got accepted. Never made it into the final but one has to try, doesn't one?
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Off to buy a laptop tomorrow for work/travel purposes but cannot for the life of me think about all the other chores that need to be done. Oh well, will pop to the bank in the morning to do those odds and ends such as pay in Xmas cheque from my aunt then do stuff like tidy the house and get books back on shelves/comics bagged/cats groomed.
Anyway, cannot believe almost one week has gone by. I've spent the last few days moving between the living room and my office, as below:
It hasn't been wholly unpleasant, far from it. Just wondering where the time has gone, that's all.
Saturday, 29 December 2007
I shot this at the Stourbridge "Cone" where they have an active and working glass blowing workshop, our friend Fleur took us there for the day and I had a lot of fun shooting stuff like this.
I think the days of second guessing my colour work are finally over!
Friday, 28 December 2007
'tis comic book day today so about to get the train out of here into the city. I hope the zombie hoardes have diminished somewhat.
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Something to warm the hearts of George A Romero fans everywhere. Looks like Diary of the Dead has a release date (at last!)
Where will you be on 7th March 2008? I know where I'll be ;)
In honour of this news, I might watch Dawn of the Dead again. Perfect Xmas movie, I think.
A big thanks to whoever linked my post about the B'ham Flea to the Custard Factory website. It was a nice surprise this morning, if you love the Custard factory, this site should be on your reading list with my post being quoted here. I think it's the first time I have ever seen my words quoted in such a manner! Thanks Mr Ashton!
Finally, over the last few days I don't think I have slept so much ever. It must be cramming as many assessments as I could into work a few days prior to breaking up. I still have five more days or so of leave left and I need to do some pics asap. Feeling not as creative as I should be of late. Not sure what I should be inspired by though. Requests for new Linda photoshoots via my FlickR account have been positive but it seems to be more of the same. I have some collaborations on the cards for the new year but trying to pin them down has been a bit of a chore but we'll see how it goes.
We do have that Mara Jade shoot planned and a couple of little odds and ends in mind (some kind of Bettie Page homage if we can come up with the right styling/location with Linda's maid outfit). Any suggestions of locations or assistance with styling would be most welcome!
Battlestar Galactica beckons now. (Bonus points to anyone who can tie in the title of this blog to the episode it originates from)
I shot this on my old 350D with a very basic lens (I now use an EOS 5D) but I was quite happy with the colours on this one.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
So, here is something random:
A view in a field. I like the sky and the angle on this one.
Tuesday, 25 December 2007
Now, this might be a strange photo to post on Xmas day but I will give you some background. I shot this image at the site of the WTC. I didn't ask permission of those people in the shot. I took the picture and walked away. They could be anyone, people there to grieve over the loss of a loved one. A tourist. A passerby. To me, it doesn't matter who they are. They took the time out to pay their respects. To remember. A person is the sum of their memory. If we do not remember who we were, we cannot remember who we are or who we will be. We are walking memories, a map of decisions. Of the path we have taken. Over six years ago, a tragedy befell New York. To this day, I can remember seeing the Twin Towers where they stood. Proud. Two beacons, two sentinels who looked over the city. Now, I don't know where I am going with this but I know one thing. We're all on a path and it's the choices that make us who we are. I am not my job. I am not what people label me to be. I am a person and I determine who I am by the choices, actions and the path I make.
It's on days like this that we reflect and look back. We collect our thoughts and sum up what we've done over the year. I like to think that I will sleep soundly tonight. I've faced my demons and moved on.
I promise I'll be more cheerful tomorrow ;)
Monday, 24 December 2007
So, we shot these late November as they were requested by this the peeps on this site (really nice people, btw!). Anyway. I decided to give this a more timely B+W makeover, its colour counterpart can be found here. It was a fun shoot and certainly gained the interest of joggers, people walking their pets and cyclists in the area. I've never shot anything like this out of doors so it was a revelation. Now we've obtained one of those Master Replica Force FX Lightsabres, we have a Mara Jade shoot planned for the New Year. Should be fun! (I am such a geek, I know but hey, if I wasn't around to do this, who would?)
Anyway, wishing you all a merry Xmas and I'm gonna go sod off back to the kitchen to finish some preps for tomorrow's dinner and the like then it's off to more 24. And maybe some S3 of Battlestar Galactica.
Sunday, 23 December 2007
I can't decide which I like more - shooting people or landscapes? Both have their merits and each offer a unique challenge.
We managed to swap a few stories (I hope I didn't monopolise too much of your time, B!) and some advice about running a stall at the B'ham Flea (something I am seriously contemplating as I need to thin out some of my collection, books, comics etc). Her cakes and merchandise look fab as usual and I certainly need to pick up a few items from her asap! Anyway, she took a moment to pose for the lens and an example of the result is below:
Looking very festive, if you're at the flea go say hello as she's a fab lady!
Also had some good conversations with some other stall holders about photography (I heard someone say "it's 'im with 'is camera again" but it wasn't meant in a sarcastic way). The Flea just has this intense mixture of artists and people selling their wares and it's unique, something that Birmingham so desperately needs right now. It's a place where people can sell, buy, converse and just be who they are instead of the mass production ephemera of the high street, we can see merchandise stretching back for decades here. It's like stepping into your own little Timewarp and to be part of that just for a short time is fantastic and liberating. I cannot wait to go back when the market kicks off again and just walk around and be myself for a bit.
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Anyway, this sums up how I feel today.
Just got back from the office party and it was a good one. Lots of merriment and I am somewhat inebriated. So, sleep must beckon and I may shoot some new pics this weekend.
Thursday, 20 December 2007
It's not seasonal but I like it for some reason. I feel kind of random today. And for some reason, Xmas makes me feel kinda open to thoughts of a naughty nature. God knows why, must be the impending office party of doom that is on the horizon.
I shall report my findings when the event is over.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Unfortunately we never had the chance but it was a fun set and most festive. So, 6 days to go and do you know where your turkey is? ;)
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Mattel have over the years released "theme" and "media" Barbies. Linda has a few in her collection including the Wizard of Oz. A couple of years ago as she knows I collect anything to do with Catwoman, she picked this one up for our collection.
Now, given that Barbie is meant to be the epitome of American Middleclass Suburban Soccer Mom, do you think it's just a tad subversive to give her a vinyl fetish suit, knee boots in the style of a hooker and a whip?
Maybe times have changed afterall.
Monday, 17 December 2007
Let's face it, they're blessed little sods. We have 2 cats - Ro and Buffy (Linda is a cult telly fan, as you might know). Anyway, this is Ro. They both came from the same litter but their personalities are majorly different. If the cats were human, Ro would be the laid back stoner and Buffy would be the uptight college major. They argue at every chance they can get (in a meow-y catty way, of course). But, I think they do really get on when we're not around as more often than not, they can be found inches away from each other snoozing the day away.
Bless. I took this about 2 winters ago and she probably got into a fight or had a dirty face.
Sunday, 16 December 2007
I don't think it's a seasonal depression thing, although this time of year does make one think of friends and family who cannot be here for various reasons but in contrast to my post a few days ago, I just can't raise the excitement and would sooner have the whole run up to Xmas over with but in the true nature of the hypocrite that I am, it could be that I am lusting for time away from work and some nice rest away from the grind and routine of the season. For the first time ever I contemplated booking a holiday away from the UK somewhere warm. The cold snap this week has been quite extreme and there is a discernible winter feel to the air which is most unlike the weather we've experienced over the last 2 or 3 years.
So, my pic for today is to celebrate sunnier times.
Even though I am not wishing my life away, I am so looking forward to the Xmas time off and some new Doctor Who on the telly. Lofty ideals be damned, I like the finer things in life.
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Anyway, my reasoning behind the pic is to just show off Linds, 'cos she's great and all (although she did get mardy with me at a few points due to my dislike of going into clothes shops and nodding yes at all the right places). So, faults aside with her love for Mika and crap Xmas tunes like the Jonah Lewie one (well, it's better than some I guess). I took this pic of her two Halloweens ago and really caught her well, I think.
Anyway, I shall take some fresh images for the stream sometime soon. The last shoot we did features here in this set but maybe it might blight the sensibilities of casual viewers, non?
If you fancy a squizzle of some of the last shoot we did, head here.
Friday, 14 December 2007
In between freezing my nads off and dodging old women with large shopping bags I managed to get most of what I needed in the temple of consumerism that is Birmingham. George A Romero would have eaten his heart out at the displays of desperation and human histrionics on display and there wasn't a zombie in sight. (At least, not of the Flesh Eating Variety).
It was a battle of wits to see who could block the aisles for the longest amount of time without resorting to withering gazes or crass stupidity. People fought over the right to be served first, proclaiming that there was no difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toillette. (Except for maybe £20 here and there).
The amount of tat (or crap, if you prefer) filling the shelves this year was astonishing. Three for the price of two drew shoppers in by the truckload, and yet I could still not find that one killer app, the quintessential present(s) for an awkward wife who has a birthday scant two days post Christmas. I was boned. Twice. The shelves revealed not a jot, until the joys of HMV lured me in. (Linda, if you're reading, sod off now).
Anyway, this isn't a post about my travails or frustrations at the season. It was more about the magic as for every annoying middle aged woman with bags of steel there were 10 kids with wide eyes taking in the magic of Xmas. It took me back to being four years old and wishing for an Eagle Transporter from Space 1999. And I remember all the magical shop displays right through all the Star Wars movies - each time a new movie was released a new set of magic was unleashed by the Great God Lucas. In 1980, when the heights of Empire Strikes Back merchandising hit their stride, I remember looking for what may have seen hours at a glass cased and automated display holding Palitoy (Kenner) figures in an amazing dio-rama from Lucas' second opus. I stood there bewildered, gazing at the figures lined up, mini recreations of Hoth and Dagobah stood alongside Luke vs Vader in Cloud City (or Bespin for the purist amongst you).
That Christmas I can recall vividly. I remember waking up and opening the Millenium Falcon and loads of figures (at least 2 snowtroopers too!). Looking back, they were good times when toys were toys and had great play value. The excitement was in not knowing if I had them or if santa (my parents) had delivered. But also, it seemed a less cynical time. I don't know if I'm looking back with the rose tinted specs of 20/20 hindsight. There wasn't as much merchandising back then and what there was seemed to have an air of honesty about it. Today we're surrounded by Bratz and a somewhat disenfranchised Barbie. Star Wars has come, gone, returned and left the building again but I hope those kids I saw today experience just 20% of the excitement I had waiting on Xmas eve. I guess it's all about the build up and not just the pay off. Back when I was a kid, the journey was just as important as the destination.
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Fun but taxing I guess. It helps having a job that I love to bits but given the cold weather and fragile physical post flu state I did find my mind wandering just a touch. Still, I chose today's random photo from a set taken during my birthday weekend in Manchester 2 months ago. Linda and I booked a room in a luxury hotel and made the most of it.
The space in the room was fab but the high point (apart from this amazing pillar in the centre of the room, supporting wooden beams and an almost decadent bed) was this tiled bathroom. If I had better lighting I could've shot pics in there all weekend. It was almost cathedral-esque in its size and the mirror made for some good shots.
Now, unless you may not have noticed I have this major catwoman/Emma Peel thing going on where I get Linds to dress up in the style of (when I can persuade her to, that is!).
This was just one of my mental "wandering grounds" today and it got me through work quite nicely.
Roll on the next weekend, I need to do some more shots in this style!
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
I've really wanted to get out and shoot some sunsets of late. The winter ones in B'ham are most spectacular with all the burning hues of reds, oranges and purples. Trouble is, there are few good vantage points by the time the sun sets in the city apart from Snowhill.
This brings me to the subject of the setting sun. The most romantic view I have had of this was in 2006 on a holiday in Morrocco with Linda. As we watched the sunset on our first evening on that balcony it felt so damned timeless. As the sun fell over the sea in the distance everything felt so right. We just stood there speechless and watched as the birds flew across the horizon and we could hear the locals packing up their shops and wares in the streets below.
I'm looking forward to getting some more shots like this when we hit Vegas in 2008 but Morocco was rather special. Hope to return there someday.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
First thought on my mind was liquid and lots of it. Having a congested head means I can't breathe through my nose as is the norm. So, after dreaming of American Hotdogs with Sauerkraut, catsup and mustard I really wanted a can of Fresca, a sugar free grapefuit flavoured fizzy pop which is the best soda (soft drink) known to man (and woman). I would have given so much to have one of these sitting there in the fridge, ice cold. I'd snap the can open and pour it over a bed of ice and savour every moment. The fridge did yield some crackers, cheese and diet coke which broke my fast somewhat but I needed something more.
So, hence I chose today's image of Nathan's Hot Dog stand on Coney Island. When we went to New York in April this year the weather ranged from mild to snow and back to beaming sunlight. We caught the metro over to Coney and walked around the beach. That day I ate Clam strips washed down with Fresca. Although, I bet it wasn't as cold that day as it is now.
I just loved the kitsch-ness of the decor on the store. I love NYC and it's funny how the slightest memory or recollection can send me back there.
Monday, 10 December 2007
What I was trying to portray was that there can still be life in decay and rubble, albeit it a limited one. The viewer is meant to decode that the flower is perhaps stunted/dying or even synthetic with the vivid almost "man made" hues and the uniform nature of the flower petals. It's an image of mixed messages with the viewer left to decide how they perceive the image and its meaning.
I'm off to bed again. *atchoo*
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Today, I have chosen the aerobic santa claus peeps who were doing a charity run for the Acorn Children's Hospice. These people do fantastic work raising money for sick and terminally ill kids. The sight of all these santas was a bit too much but check out the guy on the right of the frame. He appears to be dancing to a different tune!
I don't what it is but I invariably come down with something before or during Xmas. Having worked in offices for the last 6 or so years I can say, hand on heart, that they are festering little germ pits. The aircon when it does work (to this day I have *never* worked in an office where it is 100% effective) flies all those little microbes around that cause pestilence and stuff like the common cold.
Even Vic's First Defence, a wonderful invention has failed to kill this sucker in its tracks and the whole of my office has been coughing and sneezing its way to oblivion. Personally, I have been through two boxes of tissues and enough decongestant based amphetamines to kill a baby elephant and the pesky little cold has descended down my throat into my lungs.
Now, I'm not complaining as a nice side effect of all this has been medicated nirvana and the type of dreams that would drive David Lynch to a therapist. Choice moments have been riding a combine harvester around the Bullring Shopping Centre (fellow Brum Bods will know that landmark) and hunting down missing episodes of Doctor Who while being accompanied by K9 (the tin dog from Dr Who), Ewan Macgregor and Chloe O'Brien off 24. I think there was a cross over in dreams at some point where a tannoy sounded that such and such store had Nintendo Wii's in stock and Chloe told us to swing that combine harvester (I think US types call it a thresher?) which resulted in much mayhem and needless loss of life and limb. Still, it's a dream after all but was still pretty vivid.
Anyway, there must be an equation in here -
Benylin + amphetamine based decongestants - lack of good nights sleep X bad shopping day
= something akin to a video nasty.
Amusingly, my abuse of over he counter cold remedies is a highlight of the silly season and often brings with it some lurid dream here and there although it is the first time I have self medicated on Sinutab which the lady in Boots warned me about not taking before bedtime so I thought that mixing it with Benylin Cough Syrup would equal it out a little but, oh boy does it make the brain just a tad overactive.
Still, as it says on the packet it's best not to mix meds which would probably be the equivalent of going to a party and trying to drink one of every spirit, beer, cider and then chasing those with a bottle of cherry brandy. Sensible people just don't do it.
Anyway, the point of the post is trying to say that I guess when I get a cold it often mutates into something a little worse. Mainly due to inheriting a dodgy chest set up (hereditary, damn my genes) with a combination of getting older.
It's almost 9:15 am and I need more Benylin, stat.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
From the above paragraph, I just broke my own rules so let's rewind.
I'm a Live Journaller who has finally "grown up" and is trying to escape the sandbox. I take pictures in my spare time. My work involves assessing grants for community projects.
I guess I had to justify the Rolling Stones quote on the title of this piece.
Now, I am so totally unused to "blogging" apart from Live Journal so this is a new experiment for me. I guess I have transcended my "private space" on LJ to open my life a little more an concentrate on speaking to people I don't know (and hopefully will get to know) and expand my sense of community a little more.
So, anyway - I take photos, a sample can be found below:
So, not sure what I should be talking about but I am certainly going to enjoy the journey and forget about the destination for now.