Wednesday, 29 July 2009

School Time

I can tell that my holidays are nearly here because work is busy, beyond flat out! Always seems to be the way, a mad rush to get everything done in time. I'm not complaining mind, with the current economic climate we're pretty lucky.

I resisted the urge to go back to the Duxford images today......just!

This is an image shot back in June during the village's Gardens Open day and is our local school which had opened it's own gardens too. It's an interesting place, not only is it an excellent school but it's also a listed building.

The original school was hit by a V1 flying bomb in 1944 just a few yards from my house and this school was built further down the road post war. Being one of the first to be constructed to an experimental design it became listed in 1993.

Let me know your thoughts as always.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Paella; Weekend indulgence......

So I thought I would post something completely and utterly different today. I joked with a pal of mine that I would post the recipe after he called me a show off, after I thought it might make a change.

My wife looked at me like I had lost the plot when I changed lenses and popped the nifty fifty on whilst I was cooking but what the hey eh?

A disclaimer first; this recipe is in no way authentic, has been cobbled together from all sorts of ideas so I apologise in advance to any Spanish readers! Also if it makes you ill, it was your own fault because I'm still standing ;) This will feed 4-6 people.

You Will Need

  • 60ml Olive Oil

  • 1 large red pepper, 1large yellow pepper (cut in strips)

  • 1 onion & 1 red onion (roughly chopped)

  • 4 chicken breasts (cut into smallish cubes)

  • 200g Chorizo sausage (cut into slices or as you like it)
  • One pack of back or streaky bacon (roughly chopped)

  • 200g mushrooms (sliced)

  • Garlic cloves, crushed (I started with three, I now use five :)

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

  • 700g of tomatoes (roughly chopped)

  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary

  • 2 tablesoons of italian parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffrom threads (in reality I use more to get that yellow colour) dissolved in 60ml of boiling water.

  • 500g rissotto rice

  • 500ml chicken stock (use a good liquid stock)

  • White wine (1/4 to 1/2 of a bottle)

Now I use a large wok to cook this in because I haven't found a paella dish anywhere big enough!

Heat the oil and pop in the onions & peppers, cook until soft and remove. Whilst they're cooking I usually start the chicken off in another pan to save time (once cooked switch off and leave until needed)

Now cook the chorizo until golden and remove, then do the same with the bacon.

Cook the mushrooms, garlic and lemon for about five minutes then add the onions/peppers and the tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Now add the chicken/chorizo/bacon/parsley/rosemary and the rice, pour in a good glass and a half of white wine and stir.

Once the wine has been absorbed start add the stock a ladle full at a time. Traditionally paella is not stirred but I continue to stir mine throughout. Keep simmering and adding stock until all the liquid is absorbed. The rice should be creamy but still have a slight bite, if you find it needs more liquid add some more wine ;)

Now serve onto plates or bring the dish to the table and let everyone help themselves. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

I don't think I'll be doing this often because 1, it's a photo blog 2, it took me ages to write ;-) (now double the time because blogger decided to ask me to sign in after pressing publish and lost most of what I had written).


Friday, 24 July 2009

Safe Return

I've spent my evening up to my elbows in dirt fixing the brakes on my son's car. I also spent a whole Saturday afternoon two weeks ago doing the same.

This has taught me three things;

  • If you're replacing one wheel cylinder do the other one whilst you're at it because two weeks later it'll fail.
  • I'm really not a fan of Peugeot's policy to use many different components on the same year and model of car!
  • Last, I'm too getting too old for this stuff, I used to do it for fun and now can't remember why!!

So this is the last in the series of three I had in mind. It's not the image I was going to use but that one didn't meet my expectations. I wanted to get across a feeling of relief and joy of a loved one returning safely but I'm unsure as to whether I've achieved that aim. I can say though that I liked this image just because and that's a good enough reason for me to post it.

Ever conscience of boring myself and you this will be the last from here for a while and I'll stay away from the textures too. I do feel that they suited these subjects though.

Let me know your thoughts as always.


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Terra Firma

I don't think I have a lot to say today, in fact I haven't had a good old moan for ages eh? Never fear, I'm sure something will crop up soon enough ;-)

I would like to say thanks for all the great comments and responses to the last two images, it's really great when others like what you've done.

I was/am very undecided about this one. I'd planned this as a follow on of the post before last with a third to follow. With that in mind I wanted to keep that sort of feeling going with this one but I also liked the straight version. In the end, obviously, I plumped for this one but you can see the straight version here if you wish to. Let me know which you prefer, if any at all!!


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Whispers In The Wind


Whispers in the wind
Bygones in the breeze
Sometimes you may hear them in the bowing of the trees

More than sixty years of skies have passed
Yet still the signs exist
Rusty hangers and crumbling nissen huts
Appear through morning mist

Off you set upon your round
Putters and irons close to hand
But there’s something different about this land

Airstrip on the edge
And criss crossed paths you find
Windsock flapping in the breeze
All echoes left behind

So when you reach the eighteenth hole
And before the nineteenth beckons
Spare a thought for those who have passed
For without them
These days may never have happened

Whilst the images were all shot at Duxford the inspiration was taken from Earls Colne airfield which is now a golf and sports complex in Essex, yet from the air you can still see they were there.


Monday, 13 July 2009

One Ship Still Missing

As you may have read we went off yesterday to the Flying Legends airshow.

The weather stayed fine (in fact I've never had a bad day for this show) and the show was fantastic. Almost three hours of magnificent flying, too many highlights to mention.

I knew that my longest lens was nowhere near long enough for good aerial shots (not that it stopped me trying) so we got there earlier and went on the flight line walk. It was full of folks in period dress and they made for a great photo op. I shot several hundred frames, most of which are just for me but I did capture some that I will post and this is the first. I didn't go for the posed shots, they don't really interest me. This young lady really looked the part and I managed to capture this shot, she seemed to have a distant, lonely look, despondent even.

I didn't feel that full colour was appropriate for the mood. As a side note, on a WWII airfield with aircraft and people to match it was still difficult to get a frame without something modern in it!

So let me know what you think as always.


P.S. small update, I've just entered this shot into Photo Friday because this is one of my favourite spots to be! :)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Can Hardly Wait!

I've had a real busy week with no time for processing and/or posting but that's the way it goes I suppose!

This weekend however we're off to Flying Legends at Duxford held by The Fighter Collection and they blog too here. As the title says, I can hardly wait and having missed last year's show I'm chomping at the bit to get there this year. This is the largest gathering of piston engined aircraft in Europe and in my opinion the best.

So in view of all that here's an older image with a little updated pp work. I don't suppose I'll get many great shots, especially flying shots, this weekend as I don't have a long lens but maybe on the flight line walk........ :)


Friday, 3 July 2009

A Different Take

I've had one of those weeks that I guess everybody has from time to time.

You couldn't say it was a disaster but it was full of niggles, nothing went smoothly put it that way. I suppose the hot weather hasn't helped, people would rather be somewhere else (me included) and everyone gets a little irritable (also me included). Just the morning to go and then I can relax, perhaps it will be a better week next week, not that I'm wishing the sun away!

Getting away from textures today back to something relatively straight and like the beach huts a few days ago what post processing work there is was done in Lab Colour mode. I find it quite a pleasing way to work, I'm going to go into it a little more over the weekend. Mind you that was the plan last weekend and I got waylaid by the textures :)

We'll see!


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Heart Of The Village

It's still scorchio (The Fast Show:) here in the south of England, I like it but I'd rather be on my hols enjoying it that's for sure!

This is another textured image and that's three in a row which is a bit unprecedented for me. It's been interesting to note people's opinions to this type of image. Some worried that it's not "within the rules" so to speak.

Personally I have no rules, I just like images in all sorts of forms. If there's one thing I have learnt on this blogging/photographic journey is I must stay true to myself and do what appeals to me, of course it's very gratifying when others like it too I can't deny. What I'm trying to say is if YOU like it then that's enough. I found myself at some point along this road producing images that I thought would appeal to others, what happened was I stopped enjoying it.

Anyway, this is an older image again and definitely inspired by the images of Michael Regnier used in the tutorial over at Chromasia and if you like these type of images I strongly recommend you go have a look. I was inspired by one image in particular and whilst I'm nowhere near the level of finesse shown there I hope I've produced something pleasing to the eye, it is to mine which illustrates my point above :) This is where I live and consider myself pretty darn lucky to.

Let me know your thoughts as always, they're much appreciated.