Header Photo

Header Photo

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Fighting For Their Future

Right across the country today, many thousands of public sector workers, such as teachers, civil servants and council employees went on strike over pensions, job cuts and the rise in the retirement age. There was of course a big turnout in Nottingham. Estimated at 1200. I followed the march from Trinity Square to the Albert Hall, where they were to listen to a number of speakers. They couldn't meet in the Old Market Square this time because the food festival is now underway for two weeks. But there have been cuts here too, as there doesn't appear to be any famous chefs popping by. But more of that another day.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Dave has chosen this weeks Headbanger Challenge, and he has plumped for 'expressions'. A person's face can produce many expressions, from anger, frustration and fear, to love, pleasure and joy. Those tiny fluctuations in the skin can mean all the difference from being a friend or a potential enemy. Expressions can also mean how a person views, produces or interprets art. The expressionists like Munch, who painted how they saw the world, rather than what they saw. Then there are those stark black and white films from 1920's Germany. All angles and shadows. But there are no angles and shadows on my header photo this week, just joy and laughter, as these friends in the Old Market Square are amusing themselves with photos taken on a mobile phone.

Today's photo also shows an expression. Only this time it is a visual one. These two guys, also in the Old Market Square are enjoying listening to the music. They are expressing their pleasure through waving and pointing their hands in the air, like many people do at concerts. Proving that they belong to the 'tribe', or fans of that particular band they have gone to see.

Please don't forget to see how the other Headbangers have interpreted the theme on their pages, links above. And enjoy the video of Madonna, as she expresses herself from 1989

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

On The Tourist Trail

While waiting to see ZU2, I was doing a bit of people watching and looking for suitable subjects for my camera. I found this Asian couple worthy of my Nikon viewfinder. Very trendily dressed and enjoying the summer sun. I've tweaked the photo a bit to give it that 1960s Kodak look.

Monday, 27 June 2011

That's Something You Don't See Everyday

This is the tank I showed you on Friday, it and another armoured vehicle were getting a police escort while they were leaving the event at the castle. Only it didn't get very far as the traffic lights had turned red. It's a good job that the gun barrel is quite some way off the ground, otherwise the people crossing the road may have had to do some limbo dancing.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Bono Fide U2

I was a bit late going to the Armed Forces event today as one of Gail's brothers came over with his partner to see us, and we went out for lunch together. In fact by the time I got to the city centre, the castle was closing, even though it said 5pm on the posters etc. So I wandered down to the Old Market Square, where I caught a U2 tribute band called ZU2. They were very loud and very good. I'm not really a fan of the Irish rockers, but I enjoyed the gig, so did the audience that were standing and sitting in the Square and singing along to some of the more well known tunes. No demonstrations about tax evasion, like the real band received at Glastonbury!
I was happily snapping away with my camera, so were a few others, and the show was being filmed for something or other. This is Russ Ashford who did a fine job of being Bono, while I presume his brother or cousin Richard was a very commendable Edge, complete with wooly hat and a fine line in guitar playing.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Magic Mushrooms

Walking along the canal towpath, I came across a narrowboat that had a shelf full of wooden mushrooms on display. The owner of the boat is a woodcarver and they were on sale. A sign said 'knock for service. Prices start at £5". There were quite a few on display, but I liked this one with an angel or fairy sitting amongst them.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Tanks A Lot

It's the Armed Forces weekend this Saturday and Sunday. This year is going to be slightly different as it is taking place at the castle and in the Old Market Square, rather than at Wollaton Park, where it is usually held. The park is presently closed due to the filming of the new Batman movie. Yes Wollaton Hall is standing in as Bruce Wayne's house! It's a well known secret in Nottingham at the moment. What is not known is whether any of the stars are coming here too, or whether it's just going to be external shots, and all the interiors are done in Hollywood.

I was still surprised though to see a tank parked close to the statue of Robin Hood at lunchtime. There weren't any soldiers about guarding it. But then, how many people actually know how to drive a tank? And anyway, it wouldn't be too difficult to chase it, but maybe it would to stop it.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Target Practice

I was expecting to get very wet tonight cycling home, as there were some very black clouds in the sky during the afternoon, but I was very surprised to see that the sun had come out by 6pm. It was still very windy though, and it was a bit of a battle on my bike. Think the wind won by the time I got home as my legs were a bit like jelly.
As it was sunny, I had another trundle through Highfields, to see if the creative muse had returned. I don't know if this photo works or not. The miniature clock tower of the university. But I think it is a little arty.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

White Out

"What's Buggin You" is this week's header challenge courtesy of Lanny. It's certainly a wide theme, and can be taken in all sorts of directions. Obviously creepy-crawlies spring to mind. But for me, it means turning into a grumpy old man. A bit like Rick Wakeman from last week, but without the money and musical ability. Because what's buggin me at the moment is the lack of inspiration for finding worthwhile scenes that are worth photographing. I just can't seem to find very much to get me shooting. I don't know what it is. I walk around every day with my camera, but very rarely do I find something of interest. Maybe I've seen everything in Nottingham now, and that there's nothing new to see. Or maybe the photographic muse of mine has gone on holiday for a while. Hopefully I will get it back soon, otherwise I'll have nothing to put on my blog!
So this week's picture is of a frustrated Gailsman and a blank Polaroid.

Today's blog photo is a bit of a cheat, because while I was sorting out the header photo in Picnik, I tweaked it a bit and ended up with this abstract work of art. It's amazing what you can do to digital images these days, even with free software.

Don't forget to see what my fellow gang members have come up with in this weeks challenge and enjoy this slideshow of street photographs from a Flickr friend of mine called Stephen Wright, who has an amazing ability of being in just the right place at the right time.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

That Winning Smile

This is Andrea Bertolini, the winner of Sunday's Superstars International Series race at Donington Park. I was quite lucky to get this shot, as Gail and I were thinking of going home, as we had been a bit disappointed with the day. I said that I'll just take a walk, and see if there is anything happening before we leave. So I had a stroll and came across a number of the cars that had taken part and Andrea, being interviewed about the race. Of course, I didn't know who he was at the time, but took his picture anyway, as I like the way he is nonchalantly holding the winners cup.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Comic Timing

There was a bit of a reunion tonight at the Playhouse, as some of the cast of The Cries of Silent Men got together for a bit of a party. It was good fun and Gail enjoyed it too. Towards the end of the evening I saw Gail talking to a woman who was sitting in the bar having a drink. I went to say hello, as I thought it was someone that she worked with. But it wasn't a fellow co-worker, it was in fact Jenny Eclair the comedian who had just done a performance there and was enjoying an after show white wine.
I said hello and asked her if I could take a couple of photos for my blog. She was very nice and said yes. Word then got back to the gang that Jenny was around, and a steady stream of starstruck came asking for photos and autographs.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Life In The Fast Lane

Gail and I went to our very first motorsport meeting today. It was at Donington Park, which isn't very far away from us. The weather was very cloudy, but fortunately it didn't rain. We were both a bit disappointed with the event, as the signage at the park was very poor and as it was our first time there, we got a bit lost. We asked one of the security guys where to go. He told us, but assumed that we both knew what he meant when he mentioned one of the spots in the grounds. We got the occasional buzz from aircraft flying overhead as the East Midlands Airport is next door.

I took quite a lot of shots, but most of them were poor, as they either had bits of cars on them, or no cars at all, even though I used the rapid shooting facility on my camera and a fairly fast shutter speed. Also the wire netting and railing didn't help matters. I don't know if all motor racing events are like this. But if they are, I don't think we will be going to another. Still I don't think this photo is too bad, and you can see the heat haze from the engines.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Night Light

We met up with one of my brothers tonight who has flown over from Australia for a month long trip down Memory Lane. He left Nottingham over 20 years ago, and has not regretted the move one little bit. we chatted about various things, such as how our mother was with us when we were younger. He mainly came over to research his great granddad who was a famous Victorian clown, as he is writing a film script about him.
When we left it had finished raining and the streets and pavements had good reflections in them of the lights from the shops etc. But tonight's photo is of a single streetlight that has a old fashioned design to it. I've tweaked it a bit so it looks a bit foggy and misty. Just the type of night for Jack the Ripper to strike.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Unicorns Really Do Exist

Unbeknown to me the Theatre Royal publicised this year's panto on Wednesday. I would have gone, as Joe Pasquale is going to be the star, and he is quite amusing with his squeaky voice. But I knew nothing about it until I saw it on the local TV news. Strangely enough I walked by the theatre earlier in the day and saw this unicorn standing by the stage door. I thought it was a prop for a forthcoming production. I took a shot of it as it isn't something you see every day. especially with a pink saddle!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Yes, It's Him

Gail and I have just got back from the Nottingham Playhouse. We went to see Rick Wakeman, the famous keyboard player with the Strawbs, Yes and the original grumpy old man. He was on his own and with just a piano. He played various tunes that he had composed down the years, interjected by comic stories of his life as a rock star. We stood outside the stage door after the show. A handful of people had gathered to get autographs etc. he only stayed a minute of two, so I only managed to get this rather unflattering and shamefully poor photo. I'll never make a paparazzi.
Gail did manage to get her ticket autographed though. And with that he was gone.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Silly Season

Our favourite fishing guy, Tom has thought up this week's Headbanger Challenge. For some reason he's gone for 'That's Silly'. Complete madness!
For my header I've used a photo I created a couple of years ago for the Paintbox Pictures site. It is a spoof wedding picture of Imac that I made in a very old version of Photoshop. I'm not sure if pink is his colour, but I'm sure he would love to be a size 12 again!
Don't forget to pop over to Mac's and the other members of the gang to see what silly photos that they have come up with.

Whilst walking in town today I came across the film crew that I did the extra work for on Monday. They had taken over one of the many Victorian buildings that have been converted into offices. They had turned one of the rooms into a doctor's clinic and were going to be filming an abortion scene. This actually comes before the scenes I played in, and explains why the gymnast did what she did with her performance at the Olympics. Unfortunately I couldn't stay to watch the filming, as I had to go back to work. But I took some shots of the clinic whilst it was being set. Alas I had my 50mm lens on my camera, so I couldn't get as much of the room in the photo as I would have liked. Still I think you get the idea of what it looks like.

Have a chuckle at this spoof Kinks song from Wired Al Yankovic

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


There were quite a number of extras involved in the filming yesterday, including some schoolchildren. But this guy caught my eye. His similarity to the late 1960's version of John Lennon I thought was quite astounding. After the filming had finished, I got talking to him and asked if I could take his photo. Not something I usually do. But he was quite happy to pose. I didn't mention the similarity to the leader of the Beatles, as I am sure that he is sick of hearing it.

His real name is Geoff Gilson and he is an animator and modelmaker. We swapped business cards, and I said that I write this blog and have a Flickr page where I post some of my photos. If you want to have a look at Geoff's animated films, please just click on this link.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Lights, Camera, And A Little Bit Of Action

I travelled through time and space this afternoon and became a member of the paparazzi in Russia. In reality of course I became an extra on a film that is presently being shot in the city by a local company called Wellington Films. It is called Cold Warrior, and is about the shenanigans that the Russian coaches of olympic gymnasts got up to to make their proteges win. The filming took place in one of the large exhibition rooms at the Contemporary. A grim, concrete walled space, which probably represented Russian architecture very well.

It was interesting to watch how they set up the shots, and the many takes they did for just a few seconds of film. I managed to take a few shots of the crew setting up. As much as I enjoyed the experience, I would have liked to have been behind the camera, and shooting some stills of the action that the director was seeing.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

King Of The Road

I took a number of bonnet figure photographs while I was at the classic car show. I find this one of a Viking quite amusing. I'm not sure what the connection between cars and Norse warriors is, but I'm sure that there may be one.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Please Buy Me

For anyone that has an interest in classic cars, buying this Fiat 500 might be an easy way of getting into the scene. It was up for sale at the show, with an asking price of less than £4000. No work appeared to be needed and it had been featured in a magazine article. I wonder if anyone bought it?

Friday, 10 June 2011

Making A Splash

There was a terrific rainstorm as I was heading home on my bike. Of course I got wet. But not as wet as I would have done if I had cycled past this van as it was going through a great pool of water that had formed, due to the drains being blocked. There was water everywhere. I could see the fountains of water as I was cycling along and thought it would make for a good picture, if the right vehicle went by. So I stopped and waited. As it was still the rush hour, there was plenty to choose from. But white van man was the best. He went through at speed. Just like he didn't care.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Back To Life

I've shown you this building before when it was a bit derelict and unloved. Well for a while now builders have been on site, turning this former Victorian water works and garage workshop back into something special. I have no idea what it is going to be turned into yet. An office, restaurant, or someone's new home. Hopefully the final building work won't take much longer, so everyone can see what it is to become.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Imac (Stewart) has chosen this week's theme of "soap". A very easy word, but for some reason I have struggled to find an exceptional photo for the challenge. I thought about going down the easy route of showing a bowlful of bubbles, or a car being cleaned. But nothing came into view of my camera. I also thought about soap operas too. But Nottingham's theatres are empty of actors from Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Eastenders and the like at the moment. So another dead end. I then wondered whether I could snap a person talking to passers by in the street. Someone who was on their "soap box". But no one was about. So my header this week is of a certain little boy poking his little nose into his mum's cleaning cupboard.

Bubbles of another kind are featured in today's blog picture. That of a bubble car. This one is German and was built in the late 1950s. According to Wikipedia, the car took nearly 30 seconds to reach 60mph. To be honest, I'd be rather scared of going more than 20mph in it, as it doesn't look that safe.

Don't forget to see how the rest of the gang's photos. I wonder who will clean up this week? Enjoy this week's song, which cleverly merges the two themes

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

MODern Motoring

I just had to take a photo of this 1960s scooter. I've never seen so many, lights, mirrors and horns on one bike. It really is a work of art, and must turn heads when it's racing along the Queen's highway. You can just hear strains of the Who and the Small Faces in the distance.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Everybody's Crazy 'bout A Sharp Dressed Man

No, this isn't a member of ZZ Top, although he does look like he belongs in the Southern boogie band. But he is a guy with a truck. And a very large truck at that. The top of his head I think was in line with the door handle. I bet you get a very good view from the cab, and a very big fuel bill when you stop off at a petrol station.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Motor Maina

I spent most of Sunday in Wollaton Park, walking round the motor show that was on. Besides the usual classics, were some brand new buses, new models from current manufacturers, and an auto jumble. A fancy title for stalls selling car parts. I browsed around and was taken by a cardboard box of old spanners, as I thought it would make an unusual still life.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Monking About

Well Saturday saw the first night of The Cries of Silent Men at Nottingham Castle. According to the director, around 185 people were in the audience, and I think they enjoyed it and gained a little knowledge about what happened to the monasteries 500 years ago when Henry the Eighth was king. Gail took this photo, as I was performing in the show. I do appear in this picture. So as they didn't have cameras then, having a Nikon round my neck would look a bit out of place!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Coloured Coded

There was some children's entertainment in the Old Market Square today, as it is last day of the holidays. Back to school for them on Monday.
I just had to take a photo or two of these colourful girls on stilts. I'm not sure if they were meant to be anything particular, but they certainly brought a touch of colour to the city centre.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Taking A Trip

This afternoon Gail and I went to see Luminarium: Levity III which has arrived in Highfields for the week. The Luminarium is a very large art installation that people can walk round. It's like an inflatable tent, but full of multi-coloured connecting tunnels. It's like walking through someone's LSD trip or some late 1960's psychedelic artwork. Very disorientating really, as there are no windows and you can soon get lost walking down, red, blue, green tunnels.

I took a shot of this completely chilled out guy reading a book. Which seems very surreal, but certainly adds to the spaced out feel of the place. He had certainly turned on, tuned in and dropped out. Yea man!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Quote, Unquote

Somehow I managed to gazump iMac into choosing this week's Headbanger Challenge. Sorry matey. Anyway I've gone for 'Give me the Night". A good challenge for anyone. The right exposure, so you don't get any camera shake, unless it is intentional, enough light so you can see the subject and of course an interesting subject.

For my choice I've gone for this shot of a food stall in the Old Market Square, that I took last year. I like the way that the mysterious arm is reaching out from the blackness. The steam rising into the air. If you couldn't see any names on the jars etc, you might think it was some mad scientist undertaking their latest experiment.

Don't forget to have a look at the selections that my headbanging clan have come up with.

Going past the Robin Hood statue this morning, I couldn't help but notice this writing that someone had chalked onto the path. A quote from the famous man in green no less. A great sentiment, but I don't think it will ever happen, unless there is a major revolution across the world. Even the Russian one in 1917 didn't really change a thing. The people at the top changed, but they were still greedy and wanted riches for themselves. Still it's a great Utopian idea.