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Monthly Archives: July 2009

If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for your photography, read the flickr blog. Back in June, I read a post titled Past Present(ing), and I immediately started my research.  I looked for old photographs of Ealing, where we live(d) in London, printed them in Kuwait ready for this post.  Today, I took some time alone and went on a shoot walk.

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With a slightly better understanding of the focusing capability on my camera, I was able to achieve the above shot.  It was a best of twenty which is a significant improvement especially considering the motion of the horse – both the obvious rotation and the not-so-obvious up-and-down movement.

Our day started with a tube journey into Central London, followed by a walk by the Thames. Then we watched street performers near the Shell building (one named Richard was particularly good), and went on to see London through her Eye.  For lunch, we took the bus to Wigmore Street’s Wagamama (it’s bigger than the Picadilly one) – and had ice cream (99) just prior to taking the tube home.

The day was very much like this mary go round.  Nothing particularly new, nothing original, but loads of fun.

I had some time while at this rather attractive station so I decided to take a few shots.  I can never work it out: Is it that designs were better and bolder in days gone by? Or is it that the effect of time helps add a soul?  The supporting structure for the sheds at Paddington Station are both simple and elaborate.  Try achieving this mix – in today’s straight line madness.

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I’m always interested in the displays on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. Because I’m in London once or twice a year, the art changes nearly every time I revisit.  This time exhibit is somewhat different.  It’s changing constantly.  When I was there earlier this afternoon, this man was reading various messages from the people at the square.

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It was 11am when my neighbour rang the doorbell.  ‘Kick-off is just after 1pm and we may be able to get tickets – do you want to come?’… Why did he need to ask? Less than 15 minutes later, we were on our way to Wembley which is about 10 minutes by car.   This is not how I usually do things.  I’m more of a tickets-in-hand-arriving-early-to-find-parking-and-enough-time-for-a-coffee type of weirdo.

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It took longer than one day for the blakberries to ripen.  We picked them this afternoon when the weather was just perfect.  Total production was two bowls, one for us and one for next door, and we ate most of it.  To be honest they looked better than they tasted – but there were a few amazingly sweet ones in the bunch.

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I came across this spider by chance… The light and  colours offered the perfect studio – and it remained reasonably still for some time.  I cropped the full image to show more of the details.

I have around ten books about photography, a couple of which I’ve read at least three times.  The basic information is the same and starts to become repetitive – but it’s good to understand the basics.  I took an online ‘course’ in 2006 but that didn’t really offer anything more than the books.  I decided the best way forward was to play… and play I very much did. I have around thirty thousand images to sort as a result!

I looked around for a suitable course, both in Kuwait and London, and I found a polarised choice.  It was either the very basic training, which one can get from a good book, or specialised training in disciplines such as Lighting, Product Photography, Sport Photography etc.  General courses are either aimed at a level for people who need to be told how to press a button (sometimes twice!), or are run by artists who encourage you to break the rules and work outside the norms.  It would help if they described these norms – but I honestly don’t think they know them.

I finally decided the best way forward is to continue to ‘play’ but to do it in style.  I signed up for a Nikon course designed specifically for my camera.  They cover functionalities, capabilities, tricks, shortcuts and a general familiarisation with this weapon of mass distraction.

Today was day one of two.  The above cheerful boy cycled past Nikon’s Head Office in Kingston when we were taking some practice shots outside.

It’s the small things in life that offer the greatest pleasures.  This morning, Yousef asked if I could help him rebuild the track for his train set.  I had pleasure in saying YES for a change.  He reminded me again late afternoon, when we spent the next hour or so putting every bit together.

The test run was successful and my smile was even bigger than his.

One of my first jobs on any London visit is to weed the garden and tidy it up.  There is a tiny garden here, so the job takes one afternoon at most. We visit friends, family and just-go-out-for-the-sake-of-it a lot of the time.  However whenever we do stay in, it’s nice to spend some time outside – think a cup of coffee and a good paper.

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Whilst I always try to capture my travels when on business, I am inevitably more focussed on the task at hand.  Phone-calls and discussions with colleagues mean many opportunities are simply missed.  Being on holiday allows me more concentration on my photography.

This post summarises my journey – looking out of my window seat.  My favourite shot is the one above of the Thames and Houses of Parliament.  Have a look at the larger version for more detail.

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Today is my first day off work!  The photograph was taken from the Free Zone late Wednesday morning.  The dust seems to be gone this morning so I hope it will be a nice weekend for Kuwait.  As for me, I’m at the airport leaving for a break.

I will be off work for almost three weeks… the first break longer than two weeks in almost ten years.  Thank God for holidays.  I will spend some of this time in London.

Since the storm damage to our front two trees back in May , our house name looked like an after-thought. Well, the trees have finally started to fill with leaves, and I now pray for some long sturdy branches.  This should start to bring them back to their former glory.

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This has to be one of my favourite places in the Gulf.  It’s certainly my favourite market.  You can find everything imaginable – all within a one-mile radius. This afternoon I had to get my misbah (beads) fixed, and therefore had some time to look around.  I stayed within the Mubarakiya area with not enough time to go to the Souq Selah and Soug il Bishoot.

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I’m back in Kuwait.  I was driving home from the airport when I noticed the temperature – something we take for granted here.  It’s hard to describe where forty-plus-degrees-celsius-heat comes from when the sun is nowhere to be seen! Look at my car’s thermometer after 8pm and more than an hour after sunset.

I saw it at 46 when driving near Messilah and then it dropped back to 44.  At almost 11pm it was still 40!

I need a holiday.