Saturday, 28 February 2009

Damn Right It Is!

I'm halfway through a bottle of white and I can hear it calling me so I'd best hurry ;O)

I worked this morning as usual. After lunch I scrubbed up and went to see a potential new customer (isn't that more work?). Anyway that looks quite hopeful I think and in my support of local business if you need any arts & crafts materials or indeed wish to buy some original art and of course if you're local (does help) check out Ace Arts. They seem well stock and competitively priced.

Anyway I digress as usual. After that we took a wander round the industrial area to see if there was anything worth pointing my camera at and there was a couple of things of which this is one. It just struck me as funny, as if lunch was the most important part of the day. Perhaps it is?


Friday, 27 February 2009

Hanger On

I was prepared for a right good old rant today. Something wound me up to boiling point, luckily someone else has ranted already and I feel better for it. Confused? Never mind, best I leave it ;O)

Right another shot from Panshanger Aerodrome then. This is taken on the North side of the site which is actually where it all began. There are quite a few building on this side that are still in use but they belong to the adjacent farm which is a little ironic really. This blister hanger once housed beautiful biplanes a plenty and now stands like this. It's actually, to my untrained eye, not as bad as it looks and if the time and money were spent could be used again along with many of the other buildings.

I was unsure whether to walk down this side of the airstrip (it's active you'll remember) but seeing a large group of people walking around the perimeter track I decided what's good for one.... Whilst shooting this hanger I saw a Land Rover cum Fire truck moving on the other side of the field and said to my wife "think we might be in trouble". Sure enough around it came, almost drove past us but then stopped and asked what I was up to. I did explain that I wasn't quite sure if I should have been there but that I'd seen others and assumed it was ok. I have to be honest, the guy was actually very nice but asked us to hop it anyway and get back on the footpath explaining that whilst they weren't operating that day helicopters usually land on the grass quite close by.

Anyway I'm going to go back, they have a cafe there and thought I might have a hearty breakfast one day and see if they'll give me permission to shoot some more of the old buildings. I can then take my tripod and really take my time about things. I think it's worth it.

As usual I was torn between the colour and B&W you can see the colour version here if you wish. Let me know your thoughts as always.


Thursday, 26 February 2009

History Lecture

I'm even later posting tonight, soon I'll be staying up through the night or give up posting every day!

This is another shot from Panshanger Aerodrome. This is a shot through the window of the old lecture block. There are very few of the old building being used at all and I don't know the reason for that but it means they are falling into a worse state of repair day by day. Vandalism has been the cause of most of the damage plus of course time itself.

I spent a lot of time here when I was child, my sister lived quite close by, in fact her street at the time was the edge of the Panshanger estate and the whole aerodrome was intact, my own home was not that far away either. Now I was not a goodie goodie kid in my day but I didn't smash things up, I think I've always had a sense of respect for property, people & history for as long as I can remember. We used to go and sit in the old control tower and watch the world go by, chat, take our girlfriends there even! The old control tower along with it's associated club house building had to be torn down just because of vandals, I wish they had the sense to stop and think.

I have this romantic notion that some of these buildings might be saved but really I know I'm kidding myself. I intend to go back and shoot some more whilst I can, the difficult lighting with the interior of the dark hangers and bright outside light makes them a ripe subject for HDR shots too.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Against All Odds

You know what? I'm still buzzing from yesterday a little, holding all that great gear, 1DS MkIII with a 400mm L series on the end, 5D MkII etc. I didn't win the lottery this evening as far as I know so I guess I'll have to wait a little longer, where would I put it all anyway? lol ;O)

So I said I'd gone for a walk on Sunday ending up at Panshanger Aerodrome. I'm currently reading a book about the place "Panshanger Aerodrome" by Michael Packham and this little place really does have some history. It's been under threat of closure by the local council since 1948 would you believe?

There will be some more to follow on this but despite appearences here in this image it's very much alive at the moment. Over fifty light aircraft are based here at the present time, even a Spitfire, at least there was last year, haven't seen it yet this year. We get regular "displays" by a Pitts Special and an Extra 300 whilst they practice their displays on summer evenings.

I'm quite passionate about this place and it was rumoured, again, that it faces closure in the next few years and I've decided that if it comes to a fight and I can help in any way I'm going to get involved, try and save some local living history!


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

If I Could Have

What a great day. I took the day off today, this prompted the question from both of my sons "Who are you and what have you done with my father?". It is unusual I have to say but I had the chance to go to the Focus on Imaging show at the NEC and meet up with my old pal Craig from id7 and some of his friends too.

It was great to have a look round at all the goodies, play with some of the latest gear and generally have a chat, a coffee & catch up.

So I am posting today but it's a bit of a cop out. This is a heavily cropped version of yesterday's post. This would have been the shot (roughly speaking) that I would like to have got if I had a lens that was long enough. I didn't post it like this yesterday because I always feel like I'm cheating by cropping so hard, let me know your thoughts on that? I've set my sights on a lens that I would like and whilst there are far cheaper models out there I know they won't do what I want so I'll hold out for it, may be a while until I can afford it but hey I'll appreciate it more right?

So I'm signing off, if I didn't get around to your blog today I'm sorry but I'm beat and I'm off to put my feet up.


Monday, 23 February 2009

The Mirror Never Lies

So I'm off to Focus on Imaging tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. I might not be able to buy all the latest goodies but it's good to have a drool :O)

This is from the same set as the last two posts. The company in question this time is Roche, or at least what's left of it. As far as I understand it the building behind is not owned by Tesco, a small L shaped section of the site is owned by another developer and that building is for rent at the time of writing (sounds like I'm trying to sell it!!).

I was in a real dilemma with this shot. Colour or B&W and should I crop it or not? I decided on B&W (obviously) and I haven't cropped it because I liked all the rubbish in the foreground. You can see the colour version here if you wish to see it. I wondered about cropping the left section (up to the where the mirrored windows start) and a small amount of sky. It was the reflection I was drawn to but because my longest lens doesn't reach that far and I was pressed up against the railings this was the best I could do without including distracting elements on the right. So there you have it, all my excuses ;O)

The title? Well if you stand head on to this building from the road you probably wouldn't realise that all that devastation was at the rear. I suspect it will be gone for good very soon.

I may not get to post or comment tomorrow depending on when I get back so I beg your forgiveness in advance!


Sunday, 22 February 2009

How'd That Happen?

I got out for another walk this afternoon. We went over and walked through some woods ending up at Panshanger Aerodrome, or what remains at least. It was an interesting afternoon one way and another-more to follow on that soon........

This shot is not directly related to yesterday's but is along the same street and all part of a site acquired by Tesco (which if you don't know is a huge supermarket chain here in the UK). I photographed this building some while back whilst it's sign was still intact. This is also the project that Craig from id7 and I were denied entry to.

This site is part of what's being called regeneration of this area of town. I know that I'm a cynical old bugger but if the companies hadn't left (none have closed, just moved) it wouldn't need regenerating. This building is listed and some provisional ideas have been aired, if you're interested you can see them here. Again being cynical I'll believe it when I see it, you just get the feeling that they'll try and find a reason not to keep it, IE unsafe. I really hope that I'm wrong.

Anyway, as you can see the sign has gone. According to the local rag it was supposed to have stayed because it was historic. It was reported that there would be an inquiry to find out. My son works in the shopping centre opposite, he watched them take it down. It took three guys 8 hours in cherry pickers to smash them off of the wall. Can you understand why I'm cynical? Whoops, was it supposed to stay? No one told us guv, well too late get the picture.

You can call me wrong, misinformed and an old stick in the mud for wanting things preserved and I guess only time will tell if I'm right or wrong.

Two teenagers walked by me as I was photographing, "wish they'd bulldoze that place" said one to the other. I wonder what they'd put there?


Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Shape Of Things.....

I got to spend a little time with the camera today. We dropped our son off at his guitar lesson and went for a walk.

I walked an area that I'd been wanting to have a closer look at for a while now and whilst conditions weren't as I would have liked I don't know how many chances I'll get to go back.

I haven't had a chance to really have a close look at what I have but I thought I'd post this little taster and hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something better.

Before I sign off, just a little note; Stephen, nice to bump into you today, thank you for your kind comments on the photography and here's to a safe journey for you. Hope to see you soon ;O)


Friday, 20 February 2009

Morning Routine

Another Friday already but I still have work in the morning. It's a love/hate thing overtime. I hate going but, well I was going to say love, need the money! Catch 22, it's the best there is folks!

So Photo Friday this week is "Morning Routine" and I thought I probably wouldn't post there this week. I don't have any photos of me in the shower/brushing my teeth etc and hell if I did you really wouldn't want to see them!!

The old grey matter was ticking away, pondering tonight's post when I remembered this raw file. This little girl is waiting on my workshop window sill when I get to work every morning, waiting for her handful of nuts for breakfast so she is indeed part of my morning routine. You might not like them but I love animals and these little critters are full of character, rodents with attitude I always say! So anyway I thought I'd post this for a little fun today, I know it's not a great photo and it's through glass to boot but it fits the bill and makes me smile. Normal service resumes tomorrow ;O)


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Scraping The Bottom

It's been a week for going to the dentist again. I had to go and have further fillings, plus an extra one I hadn't bargained for (I love surprises don't you?). My son has had to go twice but luckily he still gets free treatment being a child. I'm definitely in the wrong profession, they've got to be making a fortune.

The reason I mention it is that, barring disasters, I'm off to Focus on Imaging next week and had half planned to treat myself but I don't think that will be possible now. There seems to be a hidden force at work that produces a bill, usually a large one for good measure, just when you thought you could spend some cash. Ho hum, never mind, it'll be good to go have a look anyway.

So I thought I'd have a break from the themed images of the last few days, no textures, no wild post processing, just a straight shot in good old B&W. A boot scraper, it looks old and probably is (although wrought iron has a way of looking old quickly) I wonder what stories it could tell?


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Overpaid, Over-Sexed and Over Here

So I'm just watching the Brit awards right now and rooting for Paul Weller so I'll be brief ;-)

This is another still life from the "What the Americans done for us" day at Duxford. It must have been a culture shock, especially for those country folk from farms and villages in East Anglia when all these thousands of American airmen and ground crews etc started arriving here. Building bases all over the region, most of which can still be seen to some extent and should be preserved, at least in part, actually IMO, especially the wall art in some of the buildings much of which has already gone forever.

If it interests you at all there are two great books by Martin W. Bowman "Echoes Of East Anglia" & "Ghost Airfields of East Anglia" that focus on the bases themselves and the wall art etc left behind. If it wasn't for this author much would be forgotten forever.

I was replying to a comment today and saying that I think the British look upon this time with great fondness despite the horrors and sadness of war. Especially I think those that were children at the time, phrases like "Got Any Gum Chum" stemmed from these times. Old photos showing hoards of children enjoying parties the like they had never seen at the bases must have made for good memories.

I'm waffling, I'm just passionate about the subject is all.

Oh & JJ, this is the image I was talking about, thought you'd like the Coca Cola box. These guys were proudly telling me that all the things they've collected are genuine so I guess this box is too but I suspect the paint has been touched up.

I haven't messed with this too much but I did try to recreate that early colour look that's sometimes seen in wartime images.

There, told you I'd be brief, lol :-)


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Waiting For The Return

Last week I was moaning (rare for me I know) about the freezing conditions, icy roads, snow etc. Today has been up to 13ºC, this country really does have some crackers weather, you wait, we'll have days in August that only get up to that.

So following on from yesterday's theme then. I was chatting to a chap that was dressed up in USAAF Red Cross uniform and he was telling me about the red cross staff that would be based on every airfield and waiting for the crews to (hopefully) return from a mission. They'd drive out to the hardstand and meet the crews as they exited the aircraft, check for wounded needing attention and serve them up with hot sweet tea/coffee and a jam doughnut. Of course the photographer would be there too. This chap's son was dressed as the photographer and had a collection of beautiful vintage cameras, all of which were in perfect working order and he uses them (although I did notice him clicking away later on a D-SLR too).

It brought back memories of school. The excitement of developing the film, seeing what you'd got and finally watching the print develop in the tray. I love my digital camera but there's something to be said for the darkroom still I think.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Silk Cycles

I'm late posting again, shock horror! We've been out for a meal with some friends (thanks to you folks for a nice evening :)

So I mentioned yesterday that I'd been back to Duxford. They've opened a new part of the museum dedicated to airborne assault. I have a family tie with this so it was of particular interest to me. They had some really great displays of the massive amount of equipment that had either been designed or adapted to be dropped from the skies including bicycles.

As a side note I can't seem to get away from these textures. The whole process really does appeal to me plus I thought they really suited this one and added to that old time feel. Let me know if you agree or not?


Sunday, 15 February 2009

Don't Look Down

First thanks to all those that left comments on yesterday's post or sent messages via Twitter etc to say how much they enjoyed it. It's always great to know that someone else enjoyed looking.

We popped up to Duxford today (you'll have realised by now I go quite often). They had a lot of folk up there today with various displays in connection with the American forces over here in the 40's. It was really interesting and they all really looked the part wearing period uniforms from all areas of service as well as a whole multitude of equipment including some beautiful cameras and 40's dancing too!

The light was low making photography difficult to say the least. My wife got some great posed shots of various people but I prefer things a bit candid, not sure I got much. Anyhow I haven't really had time to get through them this evening so you've got this kinda abstract shot because it was the simplest to work on, how lazy am I today?


Saturday, 14 February 2009

Sir Valentines?

So, Valentines day eh? A time for lovers everywhere but it's so girly, pink n fluffy.

So I thought I might redress the balance and bring you a bloke's version today, just a bit of tongue in cheek fun you understand ;O)


Friday, 13 February 2009

Get Me Outta Here, Please!!

Really late posting again tonight so I'll make it brief.

My house is full of teenagers, our youngest son has some friends over to stay. We've been ousted from the sitting room, one of them has brought "Guitar Hero World Tour" with them and we're now wincing to the sounds of them not only playing along but also singing to such tunes as "Band On The Run" & " Living On A Prayer". It's truly painful folks but they're having fun ;O)

So whilst this may be a mediocre or even downright awful image it pretty much fits the bill!!


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Curves Adjustment

I won't bang on about the weather tonight then, I think I said enough yesterday-except this-someone else has gone off into that wall, now said wall is in the road and as I type the road has been closed as more snow falls!

I'm pretty late posting this evening so I won't waffle (phew did I hear you say?) but I thought the title was apt for the building and if I had to choose a PS tool I could least do without it'd be the curves tool, a versatile little bugger it is ;O)


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Last Thought

I know I've probably banged on about the weather for over a week and how bad, in turn, that has made the roads.

I have to keep going I'm afraid, they were at their worst this morning, the ice was everywhere after the rainfall combined with the melting snow. I don't think there was a city/town/village in my area at least that did not have multiple roads closed due to accidents, I passed a huge whole in a wall down the lane where someone had hit it this morning and hard too.

On Saturday afternoon I was returning home at around 5.30pm and came across a grit/salt spreading truck at the bottom of our hill here. Lights a flashing as he sped up the hill, he was still travelling at 50mph plus as he passed through the 30mph sign. Probably desperate to make our roads safe eh? Pity he hadn't actually switched the damn thing on then because not a thing was being spread. Is this a ploy to think we're getting good service for our money? Just send them out so people see them flashing their lights. We seem to get less & less service for our ever increasing taxes.

Rant over (for today anyway). Today's is the other of the two portraits I had but never posted. I think I prefer this one, not least because it's a bit less of a profile but I preferred the tone of the first one.


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Zero Hours

It's been a pretty boring day all in all except for battling through all the flooding this morning trying to get to work.

The river has broken it's banks at the bottom of the hill on which we live, though thankfully not high enough to get onto the roads. Instead it was just the sheer amount of water from the thawing snow and the non stop rain. The police had closed off the road that I normally use but that didn't stop some dodging through the cones to take that route anyway!

Still a little water is nothing compared to the terrible scenes of the fires in Australia at the moment, one can't even begin to imagine how terrifying that must be. I only hope that they come to an end before yet more people lose their lives.

Today's image; well I was flicking through some raw files this evening seeing if there was anything worth looking at and I came across this, a cockpit of a crashed and recovered Zero. It reminded me of a huge Iron Maiden poster an old friend of mine had on his bedroom wall when we were kids. So I played around a bit and came up with this. Let me know what you think, I enjoyed the process and it's different if nothing else!


Monday, 9 February 2009


Well the snow has nearly gone because it's been raining for nearly 24hrs non stop! I hope it doesn't freeze tonight because the roads were really bad this morning. It is true, we British are obsessed with talking about the weather :-)

A similar shot to yesterday's and by my own admission not as strong but dang it I spent quite a while working on it so I'm posting it anyway. Not really the attitude is it?

It's hard to believe this is the same field that I posted an image of last April with this shot and that in a few weeks time it will be full of life again. Personally I can't wait!


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Broken Gate

I haven't done a whole lot today.

I've pretty much sat around drinking tea and eating toast, it's what Sundays are for right?

I did go out for a walk this afternoon with Tez, my little fat friend. Plenty of snow still around but plenty of mud and slush too so we were both more than a little dirty when we got back home. Never mind, it was a nice walk and along with some other stuff I shot the above.

Let me know what you think as always ;-)


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Almost Grown


A very quick post as we're off out shortly

I was in town this afternoon, just as we were leaving and paying for parking a pigeon was run over. The driver could see it but just drove on over it anyway, I watched it gasp for life and lose as I was helpless to do anything. There will be some that will say "So what? It's just a pigeon" it just was so unnecessary and I found it very distressing.

None of that has anything to do with today's image. A reminder that my youngest son's feet are almost as big as my own (looks bigger in this in fact). I don't think he'll be borrowing my shoes, not his style thankfully ;O)


Friday, 6 February 2009

Better Late Than Never

More snow, more to come, bored now already lol

This is one of those portraits from Remembrance Sunday that I said I would post but never did. I must admit I felt a bit odd taking these shots in case someone thought it lacked respect. In fact, in my mind, it was quite the opposite. I wanted to capture the sombre mood of the day because I think it's important. Despite the fact this is side on I caught the mood well I thought.

If you agree or don't let me know as always.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Wait Until Spring


Remember my moaning the other day about people using mobiles at the wheel? I can top it, using your mobile whilst driving and then overtaking in the snow, I kid you not!

Another snow shot today. I tried all sorts on this and then decided that it looked fine just as it is, straight B&W. I did think about cropping to a sqaure thus removing the crane on the right, what do you think?

I can recommend the pub but I'd wait until spring or at least a thaw before you venture down the single track lane to get to it! We had more snow last night with still more forecast this evening, we're just not used to this!


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Leave Your Hat On


The snow is still here for the most part and they forecast more. The roads are terrible, every morning they've been a sheet of ice.

Pretty dangerous for most of us but you get the odd person that had their van/car equipped with "Super Snow Grip" like the guy in the gas fitters van that overtook me and several others yesterday morning. Just a little part of me wanted to see him stranded in the middle of the roundabout up the road, not hurt or anything, just stuck there like the idiot he was!

So something a little fun for today. Just something I saw on Monday morning and struck me as comical but then I do have an odd sense of humour!


Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Well as you can see I've been fiddling around with the template a little and managed to get the images full sized (albeit a fraction smaller than before). I've sized everything so that it will fit on a screen displaying 1280 pixels or more without any side scrolling and arranged all the links etc down the right hand side. If it doesn't look right or doesn't fit would you drop me a line or go buy a bigger screen? OK the latter was a joke!

I was so pleased with my little self and my very limited HTML skills that I wanted to post something cheerful today but couldn't find anything I liked that was ready so you've got this instead.

I saw this a couple of weeks ago. Now I've walked down this bridleway hundreds of times and never once have I seen it. I don't know who Scotch was, a horse, a dog or indeed a nickname for a person but they're obviously missed by someone very much. I don't want to presume that there's a spelling mistake either because it seems a glaring error not to miss, could have been an affectionate name or word. Who knows? I thought it was poignant anyway, an unusual find if not an unusual image.

As always let me know what you think about the image and/or the layout, it'd be appreciated muchly :O)


Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow Day!!


Well it did indeed continue to snow and we woke up to a fair few inches of it here.

As usual our country ground to a halt almost, many people not going into work and schools all across the county were shut. That pleased the 1/2 of my household as my youngest son is still at school and my wife works in one so they had the day off, indeed tomorrow too! Public transport was and still is in chaos with more snow forecast, it's snowing right now.

I walked out early this morning to check the roads, of course I took my camera and had a little walk round the village too. Well wouldn't want to miss an opportunity eh? This was just something I saw and thought it summed up the day. I took some nice ones of the church but thought you might be bored with that by now! Anyway I braved the snow and went to work, so did my elder son. I did leave a little early this evening though, I've been caught out before in rush hour snow and my ten minute journey took me four hours the last time!


Sunday, 1 February 2009

All Thrown In


Well a pretty good day, cooked a roast dinner, went for a freezing walk with Tez. Spot of shopping and drove back home in a blizzard which thankfully has eased off, we've only a dusting up here. I took a few frames whilst out walking but haven't had a chance to look at them properly yet.

This image, I'll admit, is pretty over the top. It's a seven frame, tone mapped, HDR with no less than six textured layers thrown in for good measure but I really like the result and think perhaps it wouldn't look out of place in the Parish archives. As with the post a couple of days ago you can see the straight (selective colour adjusted) version here.

There is something about this church, especially from this angle, that just doesn't sit right. I'm pretty sure that the tower is listing to the left, no matter how you try and straighten the image something is always out of line. Ho hum, can't be helped I hope you like it anyway?

It's below freezing here tonight with the prospect of much more snow, if you believe the weather man, so I'm off to curl up in front of the fire with a book ;O)