Manual 365/279 Ooo, This Is A Tough One…

I kind of set the bar high with yesterday’s blog, where the hell do I go now? dsc_6547I go to Stourhead, that’s where I go! The days have been so kind to us so far this autumn, even if the trees haven’t been! It’s coming though, it’s changing every day and believe me, I’m noticing it! ;o)dsc_6558If you around this neck of the woods the gardens are open late for the autumn colours so make the most cause it’ll be flat and grey before you can say “What summer?”

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/278 Humbled…

A very good friend and supporter of what I’m doing offered, last year, to model for me… It’s taken me this long to actually build up the courage to take her up on the offer. She has featured in my blog before but in a more formal setting and where me fumbling with my camera filled up most of the time.

We had more time this time… and wine! ;o) And, what better setting for an artist that brings life back into old wood that a 1000 year old oak.dsc_6509Judge Wyndham could well be spinning in his grave but, hey, who cares! dsc_6516-editThank you so much Tanya, for your support and for allowing me to capture you on this beautifully still evening! dsc_6492

You can find Tanya amazing work here

And more shots from the shoot here

Peace Peeps! x


Manual 365/275 A Brush With Modernity…

I have a block, I know what I want to say but I have no idea how to say it… I want to vent my anger at paying 30 quid for cinema tickets to a film so dire it’s shocking, I want to complain about the nacho chips that I’ve been fantasising about since Tuesday that turned out to be soft, six quid a pop and topped off with rubber jalapenos. I want to rant about the kernels on popcorn, and their ability to lodge so easily in the back of your throat and then become so unmoveable  that only a tracheostomy with a Dyson will elevate the choking and hacking…The packet of sweets that you paid so much for you would expect a spectral hand to appear and feed you silently and regularly throughout the feature to make sure they’ve lasted the duration but in reality the crumple and cracking of the packet so loud  it was actually disturbing those sat in row 7, three screens away, but that didn’t matter because they’d gone by the end of the hour and a half of adverts we had to sit through…

And the only shot I got was of a Cockwomble parking in the way in the garage on the way home, so I guess  I was in the wrong mood to get a usable shot today so I’m going to post a picture of stacked stones taken yesterday in a wonderful setting because even though I’m moaning like an old git I do appreciate the good moments!DSC_6118.jpgDon’t get me wrong, it was a day spent with the family, full of chat, disagreements, philosophy, physics, laughter and good steak which was great but the cinema, that was just shite, and then there was the cockwomble…dsc_6155-edit-edit-editAnd the film that was sooo bad? Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children… It’s a cross between Swallows and Amazons and a really bad shopping experience at Waitrose… Just shite… Really!

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/274 Oi! E.L.O…. Jog On!

“Hey, there, Mr Blue we’re so pleased to be with you…” sang the ever-optimistic 70’s rocksters… Well, it’s fricking October on Sunday and I’m desperate for some colour in the trees and moody cloud filled skies so chill FFS!dsc_6068-editI know what’s going to happen, in about a week we’re going to have a “Daily Express winter for a thousand years” Armageddon cold snap for about 2 and half hours and the leafs will hit the deck faster than a Monty Python sketch…. I will be waiting!DSC_6065-Edit.jpg

On the plus side, the golden hours are getting more sociable! ;o)

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/273 Meet Frank…

dsc_6059-editWhat do you do when you need a pareidolia fix, you need to find a tree, the older and gnarlier the better so the (said to be) 1000-year-old Judge Wyndham Oak in Silton will more than suffice, complete with walking stick.

In my mind he’s trudging off, stage left, grumpy that before 1654 when the pesky puritan, Oliver Cromwell, appointed Sir Hugh Wyndham as a judge and then proceeded to work him so hard that he had to buy an estate just outside Gillingham so that he could “rest” under the bows of the tree previously known as Frank.

Frank really liked that name, hence the 350 year huff!

He’s expected to be stood in the corner of the field, sulking in 2476…. I’m with you all the way Frank! (maybe)

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/272 Bloody Hell, That’ll Hurt!

dsc_5914Once upon a time there was a poor old soul, cast from heaven into a bramble bush (That’s just nasty) but so it’s told, he still holds a grudge and on Michaelmas Day every year he expresses his displeasure by pissing or spitting on the fruit of the bramble so the blackberries become bitter and nasty. Back in the day (You know, when he was piffing) when this was being told it was the 29th September but apparently now it’s the 10th October. I don’t know why Lucifer’s so busy tomorrow… But, hey, that means we get another 11 days of bounty so fill your boots! ;o) And just tell Beelzebub to bugger off!…DSC_5921.jpg Just a couple of minutes with my extension tubes and a Bramble bush, just outside Salisbury, and now I’m going to hell… ( I’m not)

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/271 There’s Nothing Poetic At All…

Today, I’ve seen sheep sheltering from the rain behind a tree, mist in the valley and water droplets gathered on a cobweb. Heavy cloud and drab, resting fields. The Little Egret fishing in the stream startled by my approach. I’ve seen struggling horse chestnuts, prematurely browned by an ignorant parasite, dropping their still plump conkers onto the road to be pummeled into mush by passing cars.

I’ve seen steaming pasties and hot coffee served by the smiling face and welcoming smile in the chapel utilised by local volunteers who pride themselves on their community and have faith in their local produce.

I’ve seen the derelict battery farm, cold and empty rather than cold and full.

Scrapped lorries, chalk rivers and passing faces. Littler scattered by arrogant arses.

I’ve seen a Murder of Crows, a controlled stream, the big manor house and the little housing scheme. A new build, an old build, a load of concrete. (I am so desperately trying not to get poetic now!)

But, at the end of the day, I have no shots, nothing (this is really hard because can’t help hunting for rhyme!) Nada, nil, until I look to the window sill and see the brass balloon. I position the light and lay on the floor. Click goes the shutter….

dsc_5892Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/270 The Forgotten Suns

dsc_5811-edit A little darker tonight. My summer has been full of glorious views and plentiful colours. I feel the need to draw in tighter, glory in the grim and examine the mood of the desolate for there lies the detail and the challenge.

Don’t worry, I’m not going all Slipknot on you… There will still be the obligatory autumnal landscapes but I want to push the mood when I’m able to and hunt down the shot rather than let it expand before me and there will be people too!

I am really looking forward to the coming season! ;o)

Peace Peeps!


Manual 365/269 There Are Those Who Do…

And there are those who REALLY DO! Let me introduce you to Macey, Macey is a mother, a runner, a cancer survivor, a runner (when I say runner I mean really runs, miles and miles… and miles) and now she’s a skydiver DSC_5723.jpgMacey put out an invite on Facebook last night to come along so I was able to witness the main event and my only challenge was not to bugger up the shot!

Well, I got the before ok.

The launch was a little bit of a longshot for my 50-300mmdsc_5758(That is Macey, she was first out!)

The way down (I think that’s her on the right)dsc_5779And then the landing…dsc_5804And the lesson for today: Rent a 600mm if you’re going to try and shoot something moving straight down at 125mph 3 miles away!

Macey is raising money for the Bath RHU Cancer Care Unit and Macmillian Cancer Support, two charities I know are very close to her heart. You can find Macey’s Just Giving Page here pop along and give a bit, I just did! DSC_5805.jpg

Congratulations Macey on an astounding achievement, best go out for a run to celebrate! ;o) x

Peace Peeps! x

PS Oh, and she’s going wing walking next!

Manual 365/268 It’ll Be All Light…


Ok, I know, today’s shots are a tad on the abstract side and I will admit, I was struggling to find any inspiration  I have managed to scout a location for the obligatory steel wool on fire clichè. I know it’s been overdone but that’s by others and I’m dying to have a go and the nights are getting darker so it’s going to be soon!

dsc_5644In the meantime, the light was not great today and all my wide landscapes were flat and did nothing. So, slumped at my computer I thought I’d try my 36mm extension tube and get really… Really close to the subject and pop! Top one’s a little LED torch shooting from about 10mm straight into the light and the second’s a little battery lamp. Obscure I know but shots none the least!

Hope you guys are having a great weekend!

Peace Peeps!