Conditions… Changeable!

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What’s not to love!

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White Horses Project #2 Alton Barnes, Swinging Jack…

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A local farmer, Robert Pile, commissioned the cutting of this white horse back in 1812 and paid the handsome fee of 20 quid to a fella named Jack The Painter, aka John Thorne a Journeyman Inn Sign Painter, who in turn sub-contracted the work to a local lad, John Harvey and then proceeded to bugger off with the cash.

Unfortunately for Jack, this was a regular occurrence and 19th century justice caught up with him and he was later hanged for a series of similar crimes.

Fortunately we live in more enlightened times and the “vandals” who adorned the horse with “an extra limb” or, and I’m quoting the Wiki page, “turned the horse into a stallion” would have got off slightly lighter if they were ever caught.

Please, head over to the wikipedia page for this horse for load more details and I know for a fact that I’m going to be digging a bit deeper, deeper than Jack ever did, for the stories with this horse.

White Horses Project #1 Cherhill from Mile Elm

Because, you know, I’m so good at keeping up with my existing projects I really need another project… 365 Faces is ongoing and it will be, no matter what, 365 faces. It might take me a year or seven but I will get there in the end.

This project on the other hand has been rattling about in the head for a while now and originally I was thinking about utilising a film camera that I’ve acquired which, to be honest, I might still do, as the project progresses.

The aim of the project is to-

Photograph all eight remaining white horses in Wiltshire.

“Piece of piss!” You might think and I would agree so I want to take it that little bit further, I’m not going to park in the recommended parking spots or stand my tripod in the three holes worn by a multitude of photographers who’ve stood there before me.

The White Horses are a focal point but not the whole story. I’m going to try to encompass the horses come rain or shine and also involve the wider environment. I’m also going to locate the further 5 horses that have grown over and see what they have to offer.

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This is going to be fun.

 

 

The Tweek…

Ok world, point taken!

Last night I waxed on about the great weather we’ve been having and how I’ve decided that my next project was going to be capturing little pockets of wonder, all moody and bright and sunny and special.

Today it proceeded to pish down…, All day!

So, being the eternal optimist I am, I said Bollocks to it!

I lie…

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This project has now evolved into Little Details in the Bigger Picture.

Tonight, Damp Dandelion in the back garden… Well it was raining!

Hope you guys approve!

x

 

 

Forgotten….

Time for a new project methinks.

Spring in the UK has well and truly sprung and we’ve all been treated to a beautiful May but (there’s always a but) bright sunny days, while great for the mood, can be a bit… A bit, well “meh!” for the photographer. I know there’s misty mornings and soft sunrises but they’re now approaching silly o’clock and I don’t do that time often… (I am better than I used to be though) But I digress…

Now that the trees are in full leaf and the hedgerows and woods have moved passed the Bluebell phase I’ve notices there are beautiful little pockets of light and occasionally a subject. It could be for a fraction of a second or maybe a minute or two but very quickly the wind will change or the sun will move and then it’s gone.

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My job, as I’ve chosen to accept it, over the next few weeks will be to try and capture as many of the moments as I can. It might be a flower. It might be a field mouse (That’s a lot of wishful thinking) but I’ll do my best to get the shot, and foremost, get the shot right…

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Todays shots, Forget-Me-Nots (they might not be but they’re small and they’re blue so they are…) in a small copse on the side of the A36 south of Salisbury.

Note to self: if you’re going to shoot flowers at least know they’re names… Heartless B*stard!

Look…

I can promise you, that when I was stood in the bar at Bristol airport on Sunday morning drinking a pint at 10 am and thinking, “that stag party’s more pissed than I am, I hope they’re not on our plane…” I had no idea what the next few days were going to yield…

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They weren’t and the yield was phenomenal. Amsterdam delivered, yes there was the girls and yes there was the funky smell that invoked memories of a life more chilled but there was so, so much more  of which I’m sure I’ll post over the coming days but for now, I need to share the highlight of my short stay. The World Press Photo Exhibition a thought provoking and emotional poke in the chest for those of us who live out our comfortable lives with our first world problems…

Really, these photographers are in a league of their own and whilst nature is just red in tooth and claw, these guys show that Humanity is brutal, kind, cruel, caring, selfish, generous, Ignorant and here’s the worst, arrogant!

I only spent an hour looking around the exhibition, I could easily have spent a day and when it comes to Edinburgh, I think I just will.

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Click on the link above and if it’s in your part of the world at some point over the coming months, please, go see…

Mind The Gap…

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Platforms, my oh my how many platforms?

There’s the obvious; WordPress , It would have just been rude for me not to put this first even though my hit rate here is lowest and I really need to get my website (same platform) updated and refreshed focalthingy.co.uk if you’re wondering.

Facebook, obvious too but their pages feature just feels like a cash cow, eleven quid to “boost” my posts to half the people who follow me anyway, don’t get me wrong, my personal page, great… ish but eleven quid? Come on! I worked for those followers and now you’re monetising them??? That’s my frickin’ job! (Love you followers, really do and you don’t have to buy a print… yet)

Twitter… Come on Twitter, admit it, you don’t like photographers do you, or is that just me being paranoid?

Maybe, I’m being a little too harsh, a little too short minded. If I’d have taken up photography thirty years ago I’d have a couple of albums of pretty pictures stuffed, forgotten in the back of a cupboard somewhere and a dusty old camera sat looking a bit downhearted in the loft, so now I’m going to try and be a little bit more optimistic…

Instagram…  Now we’re getting somewhere. Reactive, responsive and (at the moment) quite subtle with the adds and restricting views (Unless you go Instagram for business… for crying out loud Facebook!) There’s a difference with Instagram though, a more tactile feel to the place a more honest feeling. It might just be me and I know that you do get the followers asking you to pay $25.00 for 10,000 followers and they’ve only got 12 followers themselves… Never been able to work that one out… But, from my experiences, I’ve met people who I would never had through my posts on Instagram, gained insights and inspiration from a fleeting glance of a wonderful photograph and, because I follow the people I do, get to see familiar places with a different eye… That’s invaluable! And, I’m off to my first Instmeet in a couple of weeks at Lacock, which I’m really looking forward to.

See, real, tactile people! I’ll be sure to post a few here… #loveyouwordpress

I’d be awful to not mention a few of the old school and some new kids because they have helped me in their own special ways… Flickr, 500px, Ello and Vero… Or, just Google Focal Thingy… I do, often! ;o)

Oh, and the photo’s one from Lacock a couple of weeks ago. The light in this place is phonominal!

The Lattice Window…

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I expect it’s been done a million times and I think I’m fresh and taking a different aspect on the matter but, when it comes down to it, this is the holy grail of photography and my first time there, so indulge me!

Henry Fox Talbot… Cheers Fella!

I’d like to think that he’d be proud of where we are today and the fact that Lacock Abbey is magnet for photographers. DSC_2152-PanoAnd the volunteers for the National Trust recognise this… Or I hope they do. The light throughout the Abbey was phonominal!

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I doubt If I’ve done Henry Justice but he’s dead and doesn’t care but please, if you give a tiny hoot about photography add the Abbey to your bucket list!

And for the record, my shot and don’t f**k with the shot shot is… DSC_2176

I’ll let you guys come to your own conclusions….

 

 

Even Rails Have Junctions… (Handcuffs optional) AKA… I did a review!!! (of sorts)

DSC_1643Hmm, times they be a changing. With my new Nikon D750 I am now wifi enabled and CC’d to the hilt and while it was nice to be able to take a pic of Portsmouth harbour during blue hour, send it to and then edit it on my phone and eventually post to Instagram all within the space of a short ferry crossing to the Isle of Wight I’m not 100% I’m happy with the result. Sure it looks great with my bad eyesight through lousy glasses on a tiny screen but now I’m tucked up in the hotel room and viewing it on a slightly larger screen I’m not so sure, the noise is still there, the highlights aren’t as crisp as I’d like… Oh, and I suppose I better come clean now, the pic above is the same image edited in Lightroom CC Classic, the one below is the edit from my phone in Lightroom CC on my phone

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And, another confession, I know my way around Old Grandfather Lightroom blindfolded and handcuffed (He’s funny like that…) where as my editing with the whippersnapper CC is at best a rough guess, bit like a pianist stringing sausages in a butcher shop (don’t ask), I know what I want to do but it’s not bloody obvious how I do it and that’s frustrating!

Heh, Get me, the old fashion fart who expects everything to work like it used to, Immediately! And, Whippersnapper, lets be honest, it’s going to be a while until you can do Panoramas like this…

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So, summing up, pass me my slippers, blindfold and handcuffs!

PS, loving the low light performance of the D750 though, ok, there’s some noise at ISO1600 but these shots were hand held at 1/50th f/4.0 nice nice nice! (and I know there’s distortion in the panorama I put it there! ;O)