Friday, 10 July 2020

Normalness ..













Dare I say there's a hint of 'normalness' re-appearing in our lives? I've had my first photo-shoot in the studio since February - the delightful young ladies above - and, last week, I had to photograph the newly-elected Mayor and council for our commune. I've also had enquiries for a Wedding and a shoot at a property ..

Good news on the gîte front too, as La Galerie welcomes new guests today, our first since March ..

Covid 19 hasn't gone away but, thank God, the stark reality of life in lockdown is starting to fade ..

Is 'normalness' a word? It is now ..

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

My Olympus Trip ..












I'm a bit late coming to this news, but I read the other day that Olympus have stopped making cameras. I mean, that's like saying Hovis have given up on bread. What sad news. Sad but inevitable, I guess, as the rise and rise of the 'phone camera continues ..

When I first started working on a newspaper, I was presented with an Olympus OM-1 camera, with its 'arse-about-face' shutter speed ring where the aperture ring would normally be. (Don't worry about the technical stuff. Let's just say it was very odd to get used to). However, when I was about 20 the company launched the Olympus XA camera - a little compact beauty that I immediately fell in love with. From the day I bought one I was never without it. We went everywhere together and I must have gone through about five or six of them over the following years. (Including the one I dropped down a volcano in Sumatra.) I shot all of my book 'Don't Miss This' on them. It was just so quiet and inconspicuous. And now? Erm, now I use the camera on my 'phone ..

Sorry, Olympus, but it's been one hell of a trip ..

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Father's Day ..













It's summer 1961, and a good-looking 28 year old proudly holds his one year old son for the camera, their smiles captured forever.

The 28 year old was my Dad. I'm the little nipper in his arms. I wish I could put my arms around him now .. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Have a nice day!




















My blog today consists of this one single picture. I think the headline in the newspaper sums up my thoughts perfectly. Showing you this old picture of mine means that I now don't need to write about Covid-19, or racism, or unemployment, or recession, or Chinese aggression, or Dickhead (Sorry, every time I try to write T.r.u.m.p my computer spellchecks it back to Dickhead), or kids with knives, or corporate greed, or scum raping women at illegal Manchester raves, or people dumping statues into the sea (That'll definitely erase things from history .. not!!), or the UK Government, or people suing their date because they got a cold-sore, or North Korea, or Assad, or, or, or ..

Have a nice day! 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Watch it, Grandad ..



















Writing about Wedding photography yesterday reminded me how I would always meticulously clean my cameras before photographing someone's Big Day. It was a little ritual I had. The sensors, the viewfinders, the lenses .. they all got the (pre-Covid) deep clean ..

So, after writing my blog, I took out all my gear and decided to give it the once-over. And then came my Grandad moment. I looked at my first camera body and realised I couldn't remember how to open the back. And then it dawned on me. It was a digital camera. One does not open the back of a digital camera. Gone are the days of blowing dust from your open shutter and checking there were no broken fragments of film stuck to the sprockets. My, how I laughed ..

I always fretted if I had a long gap between Weddings. It was important to keep 'up to speed' with all my camera gear. Three or four weeks without a booking meant I got rusty, in my opinion. I wonder how rusty we all are now, seeing as we haven't done 'normal' things for so long ...

To illustrate today's blog, a shot from the early 80s, when people would latch themselves onto each other and 'row' along the disco floor to the song 'Oops, upside your head'.

Hmm! Did I say "normal" .. ? 

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Mind the gap ..


















It's a frustrating week of 'Would have, Should have' this week. For a start, we should have had family over here for a holiday, but Covid's put the mockers on that. And, if things had been normal, I would have been going to an air show a couple of hours from here next Sunday. Most annoying of all, I would have been photographing a wedding this week, but all plans got put on hold and now it's not going to happen. Ironic in the week that lockdown got a little easier on us, with bars and restaurants finally opening again and larger groups able to get together for the first time in ages ..

Still, we're going in the right direction but I worry that people will take things too far and we'll all be back to square one. So, please, as they say on the Underground .. Mind The Gap!


Saturday, 23 May 2020

My Dad ..






















It's the morning of Saturday May 23rd .. 2009. The morning my Dad died. Eleven years on and I still miss him so much. I have so many good memories, like the night he won this giant bottle of Bell's whisky in the pub raffle. Once it was finally drained he used it to collect loose change and, when it was eventually full, he donated the money to charity. He was nice like that, my Dad ..