Next week I'm going to spend a couple of days moving my brother up to Reading from my parent's house and it got me into an introspective mood about my roots. I come from a place called Canvey Island which is a small island in the mouth of the Thames. I moved out of my parent's house when I was 18 and left the (Canvey) Island life behind. After spending so long living not more than about a half hours walk from the sea in any direction it seems slightly odd to be so far away from all the things that go hand in hand with being by the sea such as ships, sea air, sand, candy floss and the like.


I usually buy a couple of different photography magazines every so often but the one that I normally buy every issue of is Digital Photo. It's not the most technical of magazines for photography but its articles normally spark some ideas off in my head for other things I could try or have a go at with my camera and pictures. October's magazine had 54 free border effects included on the CD and while there were some that I would never think of using, it did inspire me to take a look through the pictures on my hard drive to see if any images caught my attention for some loving. I took the 'Evergreen' picture in the summer of 2004 while I was working in London. It's a sculpture tucked behind City Hall (very near Tower Bridge). I tried looking on the internet for who the original artist is but couldn't see it. If you know, leave a comment, because I'd be interested. The green frame just seemed the right thing to set the image off.


Bundled Up Against the Cold

I decided to take my camera out again last night being as it was a reasonably clear evening in Bristol although there appeared to be a slight mist in the air when you looked closely. As it was a clear night it was also cold so I didn't leave the house until I had two T-shirts, a fleece and a big coat (also with a fleece zipped into it) and a cap. I must of looked pretty comical all bundled up like that but after standing around for a bit you still started to feel cold.

Moon Shot

I've been itching to take some night sky photos for a while now but the weather in Bristol hasn't been co-operating lately. If there has been a clear night it has always been on a weekday and my sensible side tells me that getting no sleep the night before a day at work is a bad thing. Yesterday, however, was a relatively clear night and now that the clocks have gone back to GMT it's getting dark very early. I therefore set out at around 1900 last night with the intention of probably trying to get some starfields if possible and had picked a possibly dark enough area to try around one of the local golf courses. I set out on my bike, which hasn't been ridden in at least a year, with a warm coat and gloves, a full pack of camera gear and a spare battery. I did get to the golf course but to be honest it was so out of the way and I was on my own that I didn't really want to venture further in where I might get less light pollution from the city. I resigned myself to the fact that I was chickening out and decided instead to take a ride around the local area and photograph anything that looked interesting.

Want a Hug?

I'm now in a macro mood so I thought I'd try something different.

Spider Hug

This picture was taken using the macro lens through my reversed zoom lens. Doesn't it just look like it wants to give you a hug? Actual head size is approximately 2mm wide. It's quite hard to keep everything still and in focus with an extra lens to keep hold of but it seems to have worked ok. I'm not quite comfortable with creating some sort of contraption to hold everything together yet but give me time and I'm sure I'll be covering my new lens with tape and holding it in a clamp to keep it steady.....that reminds me - I have a vice in the broom cupboard. I could possibly hold a lens in that....

Macro Excitement

I finally got my new macro lens delivered that I ordered a few weeks ago so I've been playing with it this morning. I decided to get the new EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM, which is the new Macro lens from Canon specifically for digital cameras. This is the first 'expensive' lens I've bought but I didn't really have any ideas about how much better quality it would be.

Bradley Stoke - Gaunt's Earthcott - Almondsbury

Living in Bradley Stoke can be both a blessing and a curse. Quite a few people live there but there is no real town centre and no high street at all. One of the good things about it though is that there are a lot of 'green paths' around so although you are near to very busy roads you can still feel like you are surounded by nature. As I'd been having trouble recently finding places to park legally when out exploring with my camera I decided I'd just explore what I could walking from my house. I'd finally bought the OS map for my area so map, compass (I like the security it gives), water and camera in my bag I set off.

New Toys

I bought myself some new toys and whilst I am waiting for one of them to turn up, one of the others arrived this morning. I am now the proud owner of a Hoya R72 Infrared filter lens. I wasn't sure whether I would be able to get anything even remotely decent out of it as the discussions I'd seen on the web either said that I would get nothing useable at all to my camera being able to get reasonable pictures in the infrared. It also seems that there is a big difference in quality compared to what lens you are using with some lenses being poorer than others.

Competition a Go Go

I finally took the plunge and submitted a couple of entries to They are Autumn Palette and Colour me "Granny" which is a colouring exercise for someone elses line art.

Trying to Draw in the Manga Style

While in Hobbeycraft recently looking for some props for an entry to I came across a book about how to draw Manga and I thought I'd give it a go. You can see my first attempt below.

Manga Girl: 1st try at drawing in the Manga styleManga Girl: 1st try at drawing in the Manga style

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