Archive for the 'Travel' Category

There’s More, There’s More…

Bugsy PT2

Ok Ok so that was technically Jimmy Cricket not Bugs Bunny, I can imagine him saying it anyways I didgress on with the update…

The tail end of May saw me attend a a launch for a new Vodka Mixer from Schweppes, the interesting “Russhcian” – it does actually taste quite pleasant, yes I drank quite a few between grabbing people shots and taking incidentals at Ithaca Sushi Restuarant in Manchester. This rather plush venue offers the photographer some unique opportunities to capture great shots and interesting angles, I was facinated by the sparkly wallpaper and stairwell, that looked like some kind of nuclear spaceship engine bay, it also changes colours…

Schweppes Russchian Launch

Finishing things of in May, although chronologically slightly out of order, was a gig from Fulham based rapper Example, whos “We Didnt Invent The Remix” was introduced to me a year or so ago and made me laugh like an idiot. He had taken current and well known pop-songs and riffed over the top of them to humorous and devistating effect. Sadly not much of this material was on display as he went for newer more mainstream, yet still amusing up-beat material to stir the young croud who had gathered to see him. Mad me feel like a grand dad actually and you needed a wrist band to buy a drink at the bar to prove you were 18+ – I had a coke just to be on the safe side! ;-)

Moving into June, mid June in-fact, we headed way out west to Borth on the Welsh coast. A friend of a friend owns a house there that litterally opens onto the beach, albeit a stoney one (until the tide is out) we couldnt have asked for a nicer setting to get away from the smoke. Wont go mental with the pictures as there are a few good-uns and there were more than enough local features to exploit at night too!!

Whilst there the weather was extremly kind as you will see from the above shot of Ynyslas dunes, we spent a whole day chilling and playing boule here and can highly recomend it, IF you happen to be in the Aberystwyth area. The Sunsets back at Borth where we were staying were pretty epic too as you will see below, as always if you click on any of the shots it will take you to a whole load more on Flickr.

Wouldn’t be right if I didnt include some night photography, so have a butchers at these…

Whilst there I also had a dable at some more stop-motion video, best attempt to date, what do you reckon…?

Finally before I finish off this lil section best show you some lil strobism experiments I made whilst we were there; now normally whenever Gideon and I get our cameras out amongst friends, its not always audible but I am sure there is a little collective groaning, however add a few flash guns, some remote triggers and the tiniest bit of alcohol and it produces great results…

Bye for now ;-)


Coming Back To What You Know…

Ok so a couple of posts are long over due, so here goes. I’m glad to say I didn’t waste the long weekend bank holiday brought, as we headed off to the Lake District for the weekend. As soon as I shut up shop at work on Friday afternoon / evening it was straight up the motorway to the wonderful Wasdale Valley.

Friday evening was grotty to say the least but after arriving and pitching up once the drizzle had subsided we settled into the swing of things and food was soon underway. On the menu that evening was spaghetti bolognaise and dressed salad, prepared by top camp chef Gideon (pictures later). After eating and a glass or two of vino and several cans, spotting that the weather was on the turn for the better, we headed out for a spot of night shooting.

Have to say I wasn’t overly pleased with the shots I captured and wished I had brought along my film camera for our first foray into the darkness but hey ho. Here’s a couple of shots for you to judge…

By no means my best work but there you go, we live and learn. As we stumbled back to camp, quite literally at times, we got a little lost but soon managed to locate the sound of the river that runs along the back of the campsite and back to camp. After dumping gear and kinda cursing digital as it wasn’t really playing fair with me that evening; so I got out my trusty Olympus and left a shot going for twenty or so minutes of this cracking 2CV Special whilst we downed another beer and chatted into the small hours for a while.


Only lighting I used here was literally at the start of the exposure to focus, as it was knocking on a bit and didn’t want to arouse suspicion or disturb anyone, needless to say I was busting to know what it turned out like but had to wait over a week to see the results, I was pretty pleased when I finally did!

Saturday soon sauntered through the door and begun with a hearty breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, black pudding, toms and mushrooms and the occasional fresh coffee. What more could one want to start the day and wipe the slate clean of the previous nights excursions! I had already pre-planned that we would walk to Kirk Fell circular and was most impressed when my girlfriend threw her hat into the ring for the challenge. Its not an overly strenuous trek for the experienced walker but the initial climb, I have decided is tough on anyone in any weather, particularly a smoker (me) and my girlfriend who is not a keen walker and had to take regular breaks. That said the rewards are great and the views spectacular. Gideon even manged to post a photo to flickr, as he stormed on ahead, via his iPhone.

That said this route pails in comparison to going straight up the nose of Kirk Fell, a route only attempted by idgits in my opinion.

Anyway once to the top of Beck Head which nestles between Kirk Fell and Great Gable (with routes up to both) after a short break and a sarnie we headed left up a craggy section that leads onto Kirk Fell. Once on top its a short haul across to the first (false) summit. I was deceived by this on my first trip up here, well actually my second but the story of my first trip up here is best reserved for friends! I digress, anyway the views from up here are stunning, with a completely different perspective of Gable…

Great Gable

After the initial yet forewarned slight disappointment of the false summit we headed over to the (real) summit which is nicely and very necessarily topped with a shelter, its very blustery and exposed up here. We stopped here for a quick (very smug) brew with the aid of the Pocket Rocket™ . This always proves invaluable and often has other walkers stomping off in green envy. As a friend and I once discovered when whipping up some curried Chinese noodles with fresh chilies and dried prawns up at Esk Hause shelter. Mmmmmmmm whats that lovely smell!

There was just time before we set off from the shelter for a quick shot, to celebrate my girlfriends first summit! From the summit and indeed all the way across Kirk Feel right from Beck Head to the crags at the back side are metal fence posts making it nye on impossible to get lost, again something else I wish I had known the very first time I came up here, unprepared and badly clothed. As you reach the far side of the Fell you are presented with what is probably one of my favorite descents. The initial clamber being about 5 or so feet vertical drop. I the cragy view from up here is pretty spectacular.

We all made it safely down (some slower than others) had a brief rest and then trudged off through Mosedale Valley in the direction of the pub, for a well earned beer / coke depending on your persuasion!

"I Did'nt Watch My Buddies Lay Face Down In The Mud For Nothing..."

Once back at camp, we had a wonderful BBQ of lamb burgers, sausages, potato salad, chorizo kebabs along with other culinary delights, prepared mainly by chef G and the misses, cos I was too busy p*ssing about taking photos apparently! However don’t worry I didn’t escape light handed and ended up doing the washing up all weekend and was chief brewer – upper!

Long exposure of the campsite, don’t know why I never thought of doing this before the blown out section above the tent to the left is the shower block, which shines brightly through the trees to guide weary campers and “crazy three peakers” back to their tents / cars throughout the night.  I love the torch lights that steam fro one side of the frame to the other. I think this was all we managed on the Saturday night as we over indulged on red wine round the barbie that evening and it was probably a wise move as (apparently) it rained most of the night but sadly I slept through it all :-)

There’s all Sunday to tell you about still but I think I’ll leave it for now as I have said / shown you more than enough for now, you can see “Britain’s Best Loved View” more light painting, including my first waterfall at night and more besides here

Summit and iphone accent photos by Gideon Foster

Ballooning In Kendal!

Us At Kendal

Not literally you understand but at last years festival I learnt a new word; to “Balloon” is to be overly excitable and giddy, whirling around uncontrollably. Its derived from the motion that those people shaped balloons create on garage forecourts…

Anyway that was the “in word” in our festival camp and one friend said of late “I saw you ballooning on the Kendal Calling Site”  low and behold there was me, my girlfriend and a friend Mayur captured at last years event. I vaguely remember being snapped, glad to say naturally I had my own camera round my neck and I even managed to crack a smile, not being a natural in-front of the camera as previous self portraits will testify.

Anyway I shall be returning to this years festival and on the strength of last years pictures, which I took just for my own documentation, they have very kindly offered me a photopass for this year (get-in) so I am looking forward to the event with even more excitment; no doubt nearer the time I shall be “Ballooning” big-time!

Coasting Along…


Ok so a couple of posts back, I mentioned I was off to the Welsh coast for a weekend, well I have a few film shots to share from my lovely old OM10. Strange that for once I managed to get film shots processed before I have even looked at my digital images…

Friday evening as we arrived in the dark, there was intermitent rain with quite heavy gusts of wind, it didnt look to promising for the rest of the weekend. In fact I am sure at one stage during the journey as we rounded the far end of Bala Lake it was snowing and hailing! WTF!

The mood however brigthened after a couple of bottles of wine and all was forgotten about the weather as we settled in for night, finally went to bed around 2AM (I think).

Saturday was spent mostly walking and drinking, we went down to the beach 3 times in all. A long walk Southwards, towards the estuary mouth first thing in the morning certainly blew away the cobwebs and despite the odd shower here and there, aswell as the generally blustery conditions, I really enjoyed the bracing walk. Conditions for photography were just as I like them, if the weather isnt gonna behave, then I would far rather it show me something mean and moody, not just flat grey dullness (I see plenty of that back in Manchester!)


Highlights of the walk were certainly, just off the beach, as we rounded the corner along the estuary flats there were quite a few nice boats at various levels due to the tide and further up nestled in the dunes is the church of St.Tanwg  (pictures to follow). After spending a considerable time taking pictures of the Nemo (see above) an old wreck that is now craddled, embeded in the sand of the estuary’s little bay, we headed over for a quick look at the church then back to the house for a truely scrummy fried brunch.

After food, with it fast approaching mid afternoon, we decided, with the weather brightening that we should take another wander down the beach, before heading to the pub later on to watch the England game. This time we headed off in the direction of Harlech Castle, following the railway line along the beach.

More To Come…

More Photos here

This is My Sh*t and This How I Roll!

Off to Wales for the weekend tonight, for some serious night shooting on the beach and in the back of beyond! Well excited, also get to (try) teach a couple of newbs some light painting. Above is some of the amassed essentials I shall be taking with, for total geek fest check the shot on Flickr for details of what appears :-)

From Budapest With Love!

For quite a while now and its about time I started writing again. Being fairly active over on Twitter recently, isnt mirco-blogging addictive and lets face it less stressful than trying to write hundreds of words interspersed with the odd picture! Add me over there if  you like?

Anyways I digress, by the looks of things I haven’t written since September, shame on me I know, but I don’t often find time to concentrate on upping new material. That coupled with the fact I am not a very gifted writer. Which I guess is why I try to fill posts with as many pics as possible and after all that’s all you’re here for to see some pretty pics! Likewise I like showing them off!

So what have I been up to? Well I suppose the most exciting thing I’ve done in the past couple of moths was a 5 day visit to Budapest. MAN this place was a photographers dream, I managed to arrange a stay in a Youth Hostel, keeping costs to minimum, it was situated in an amazing 4 storey building, with balconied internal courtyard…

My apartment was just to the left (out of frame) on the top floor balcony. I couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque place to stay, the place itself was a lil bit basic with a dodgy boiler which frequently meant cold showers but after a while I got used to it!

Luckilly, I wasnt left to blindly wander around BP on my own, which as much fun as it would have been I really dont think I would have achieved or seen half as much as I would have. One of my contacts through work had kindly agreed to show me around, of course we went to many of the tourist hotspots but I also was afforded the luxury of experiencing some of the lesser known delights BP has to offer both in the city itself and on the outskirts…

Bar KUPLUNG (or Clutch in English), the entrance narrow courtyard entrance was is literally brought to life with some colourful legal graffiti.

or Tolvaj Zsido Demszky if your Hungarian! Political graffiti at a tram stop Pest side of the Danube.

In hidden coutyards, colourful and interesting architecture can be found everywhere.

As I said above we obviously hit some of the hotspots of which there are many as BP is steeped in both relatively recent (ie. Communism) and much older history. Of particular note were Heroes Square…

Dohany Synagogue

Erzsébet kilátó, or Elizabeth look out, situated outside the city on the Buda side, atop Janos Hegy, this wonderful building sits surveying all of Budapest as far as the eye can see.

Taken in the tower at Erzsébet kilátó, this immediately reminded MC Escher’s work and is probably one of my favourite shots from the whole trip.

I guess I could waffle on and on about the about the place but I reckon you’d get bored pretty quickly I think I’ll finish off with a couple of other favourites and a lil bit about the light painting trip I arranged at the Szoborpark, a former Communist momument statue park. Anyways first some more photies…

Little red Fiat (I think) found whilst wandering the streets after a few beers one night, cute lil thing isnt it!

Playing around with the shadows outside the hostel, alcohol induced inspiration seemed to work in my favour again here, just chilling at the hostel having a few beers, I became transfixed by all the cool shadows on the balcony.

Taken on Margrit Sziget, outside the public open air baths, just prior to taking this, I had wondered up to the entrance, which was gated due to it being out of season and as I peered through the bars a big German Shepard came charging at me ans scared the bejesus out of me! Thank god for the bars! I think it woke the security guard up too ;-) Accidentally I promise the focus on this shot, rather embarrassingly is on her *cough* assets! Wooops!

I was I have to say really impressed by the amount of graffiti there was, not just tags but full on pieces, the above was legal stuff on building site hoardings but there were cool stickers, toys and little throw ups all over the place.

To Be Continued… my profile


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