Thursday, 5 January 2017

Photos of a winter walk from Old Sarum, Salisbury

The iron age hill fort of Old Sarum is situated on the outskirts of the town of Salisbury, Wiltshire above the campsite where we chose to spend the new year's eve of  2016 heading into 2017. Temperatures were not going to head below zero and the weather was going to be dry (if dull) so we decided to do something a little different for the new year so that it was not an option to watch Jules Holland yet again on TV.

I've set up a new gallery of photos from Wiltshire, currently only featuring photos from the outskirts of Salisbury that we encountered on our New Years Eve walk.

Shirley in unfamiliar situation on a rugby pitch adjacent the iron age hill fort of Old Sarum
Iron age earthworks surrounding the fort of Old Sarum, Salisbury
She looked back, at the right moment?
A fallen tree trunk in red leaves
The ruins of the old cathedral within the grounds of Old Sarum, Salisbury stand in winter amidst red fallen leaves
The western entrance to the hill fort at Old Sarum,
Shirley at Old Sarum, Salisbury
Old Sarum hill fort silhouette
A flock of sheep grazing in a field under the earth mounds of Old Sarum, Salisbury
A track through agricultural landscape in Wiltshire in front of the iron age hill fort of Old Sarum
Landscape near Little Durnford Hill, near Salisbury
The Keepers Cottage at Little Durnford, near Salisbury
The Avenue at Little Durnford
Little Durnford Manor, near Salisbury
A wooden barn at Little Durnford Farm raised on the same mushroom shaped stones that line the drive
Flock of sheep in the landscape of the Wiltshire countryside
The manor house at Stratford Bridge just outside Salisbury
Signpost to Stonehenge besides the River Avon at Stratford Bridge
View across the fields just below the Old Sarum hill fort outside Salisbury where the "Parliament Tree" once stood, the location where just a handful of electors would elect two MPs in one of England's most notorious 'rotten boroughs'.
Back to base. Our VW T25 Westfalia campervan just below the Old Sarum hill fort.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Burning the Clocks - Brighton 2016

On the evening of the shortest day of the year - the Winter Solstice, 21 December - the streets of the centre of Brighton fill with spectators watching a stunning procession of some 2000 lanterns made and carried by the participants in the annual Burning the Clocks. The final destination of the procession is the beach at Madeira Drive for a fiery finale - this year however, not being prepared for the rain which hit the latter stages,  I only grabbed some photos on the streets of the city centre - added to my gallery of images from Burning the Clocks - Brighton.

On a more sombre note, this was two nights after the tragedy in Berlin when a bus was driven into a Christmas Market in Berlin. In the subsequent 48 hours there has been many a clamour for all Christmas Markets to be protected. Such a response is short sighted for it assumes that the terrorist is a copy cat. History tells us that they attack where least expected. With thousands crammed onto the streets of Brighton I think the messages of Love and Peace would have to be relied on for protection because the plastic security barrier is not going to stop a juggernaut or hijacked bus.

In the crowd, a hat remembering Berlin...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Julia Holter live at Concorde 2 Brighton

Last night I went to my first live music in Brighton for a while. The tickets were bought for me by my wife who knew I followed Julia Holter - indeed I have her latest vinyl album, Have You In My Wilderness.

If you don't know Julia Holter then this review of  her Bristol concert gives you a feel for what the gig would have been like rather better than I ever could. There's an excellent summary of her music in that review "like a lo-fi, left-field version of Kate Bush, with a bit of Bjork and Joanna Newsom"and "her songs tend not to follow the traditional pop convention in that they are rarely in 4/4 time and songs can be discordant and chaotic with the sort of odd time signatures and broken beats found in free-form jazz".

The jazz reference really came through live whereas it does not necessarily do that for me in listening at home, and its far more to do with the drumming than the saxophone. Live, the layers of the music really open up, and Julia Holter has a lot of layers.

Anyway this is a photo blog, not a music review. I took the combination of my cheapest Fujifilm body (the X-M1) and a vintage 85mm F2 Pentax lens and, being excused a couple of times from our comfortable perch towards the back, I was able to get these images without having to push myself all the way to the front.

 Julia Holter live on stage at Concorde 2 Brighton

Julia Holter live in Brighton

Julia Holter live in Brighton

Julia Holter live in Brighton

Images are now added to my Brighton live music gallery.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Understated landscapes of the South Glamorgan Heritage coast

A couple of weeks ago I was in South Wales staying in the VW Camper at a campsite near Llantwit Major and the South Glamorgan Heritage coast. The weather was dull and uninteresting, not what people are usually looking for in landscape photography, but from the perspective of the understated landscape, positively ideal.

Vale Trail hedgerow - South Glamorgan
Vale Trail hedgerow - South Glamorgan
Glamorgan Heritage Coast bunker
Cwm Colhuw Beach, Llantwit Major
Telegragh amidst crop stubble
On the Vale Trail - South Glamorgan

I've added these images to my Glamorgan Coast gallery.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Regent's Canal from Kings Cross to Camden - stock photos bound for Alamy and Photoshelter

Last week, with a friend, I took a walk along the Regents Canal in inner London from Kings Cross to Camden Town. It was quite a fruitful stroll in terms of the photos I got, visiting two locations that I had often visited before and connecting them by a new route along the canal towpath.

This article is as much about where those images finish up on the internet as the photos themselves so before showing the images, I should explain the whys and wherefores of Alamy and Light Touch, my Photoshelter site...

Alamy is a major UK online picture library with a global reach. Photos placed with them, when licenses are sold, are most likely to finish up in newspapers, magazines and books. This is the editorial market, the photos do not have to be necessarily pretty, interesting or arty to sell, they just have to be useful to the publisher. With 402 pages of 15 images per page at the link there are now over 6,000 of my photos available through the site.

What I describe as my image library, Light Touch, is at It carries less photos than Alamy for two main reasons - 1) I no longer load my more utilitarian images to Light Touch and 2) coming along later, much of my photography before 2008 is not available on Light Touch at all. Seldom will a photo be sold from Light Touch to a newspapers, magazines and book publisher - most of the sales here will be requests for prints. It's a different audience.

Returning to the Regents Canal, here are the photos that will be appearing both at Alamy AND Photoshelter:

Blue traditional terraced cottages amidst grey on Regents Canal*
Visitors at Camden Lock Market, now given over to specialty street food stalls
Hot dogs and crispy squid - street food stalls at Camden Lock Market
People on the Regents Canal passing the Gasholder Park development.
Hoarding carrying illustrations in front of Gasholder Park construction
The Kings Cross Gasholder Park Development*
Gasholder No. 8, Gasholder Park*
Gasholder No. 8, Gasholder Park*
The Regents Canal under Chalk Farm Road bridge

Futuristic homes on the Regents Canal at the rear of Sainsburys, Camden Town
Adorned sculptural metalwork entrance to the Regents Canal, Camden Town, London
Modern developments around the Regents Canal at Kings Cross, London
The Regents Canal towpath at Elm Village, London

These images, all monochrome, are bound for Photoshelter only but for some a colour version will be heading for Alamy:

Camley Street Natural Park on the Regents Canal at St Pancras*
A narrowboat manoeuvring through Camden Town on the Regents Canal
The canalside homes at Sainsburys Camden Town*
A nondescript office block on Camden Road viewed from the Regents Canal
Canalside architecture around the Camden Road Bridge at Camden Town, London
Graffiti on the Regents Canal Towpath where it meets St Pancras Way
The Fair Lady at Camden Lock
And finally, these are the photos that will go to Alamy only. They are selected because I deem them less interesting or that the colour version is more saleable to the editorial market:

Visitors at Camden Market, London in the area at Camden Lock given over to specialty and gourmet  street food stalls
Gasholder Park development, Kings Cross viewed from Granary Square
A security man at Granary Square, Kings Cross, London
A narrowboat carrying cargo manoeuvring through Camden Town at Camden Lock on the Regents Canal
A nondescript office block on Camden Road viewed from the Regents Canal at Camden Town, London
Canalside architecture off the towpath around the Camden Road Bridge at Camden Town, London
St Pancras Hospital water tower, Granary Street, London
Glutton electric powered street vacuum cleaner at Kings Cross, London
The cruising restaurant  narrowboat Fair Lady moored beneath a Welcome to Camden mural
Futuristic homes on the Regents Canal designed by architects Nicholas Grimshaw
Things may turn out differently but those are my plans for these right now. You were most probably only interested in the photos weren't you?

* Finally, (not wanting to confuse things too much!) some of these images are good enough to be extracted from the thousands on these two sites and placed with the far fewer on my portfolio site I'll get around to that sometime!