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Friday, 31 May 2013

Cold Black Gold

Well today has been really sunny and warm. It was predicted by the weather people, but how many times have they been correct in the past. But for once they got it right.

So after a shorter, but still seemed longer week, I thought I would enjoy a pint of real ale, brewed by a local brewery called Castle Rock, no less.

I've not had Black Gold before, but it was a very tasty beer and certainly one that I will drink again. I like to try different beers, and am always attracted to its name; some of which are quite humorous.

If you want to know more about Castle Rock and its beers, here's a LINK to their website.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

New Life

Well, the pond in the garden is absolutely brimming with tadpoles now. And they are all getting quite big, as you can see in my photo.

It will be interesting to see how many make it into frogs over the coming weeks. We have quite a big pond and one end is sloped, so hopefully they will be able to work out how to get out into the world and dry land.

Its surprising how their parents find their way to our garden, and where they came from. Our new neighbour said that he had loads in his garden, as they were looking for the pond that used to be there, so hopefully they came across ours to mate in.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

In The Days Before Television

Model shooting night tonight, and this time we had two models to play with; Nicole and Robert.

The scene tells the story of Robert, a soldier in the 1870s, who is spending the last hours with Nicole, his daughter or niece, before going off to fight in the Zulu war in Africa.

With no television to watch, people had to make their own entertainment in the past, so a simple game of cards in candlelight is in order, rather than singing happy songs on the piano, as they both know that this may be the last time that they will see each other again.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bikes And Beetles

Besides the Milk Race, something else that's white was going on in the Old Market Square. A wedding no less, which took place at the Council House, as they are now registered for such ceremonies.

This Volkswagen looks quite wonderful as a wedding car. Fortunately they resisted the temptation of sticking (53) on the doors, which I think everyone knows is Herbie's number.

You can't see them that well, but I was surprised to see Tim & Sally there. They play the official Robin Hood and Maid Marian at events. But instead of being in Lincoln Green, Tim was in his best suit, as it was actually his brother that was getting married.

Monday, 27 May 2013

It's a Woolly Lion, Not A Woolly Mammoth

An A Level textile student at a local college called Nikki Charlesworth 'yarn bombed' the famous Left Lion in the Old Market Square, as part of their coursework.

The crochet style of knitting is a form of street graffiti, something that she came across after seeing a female Polish artist called Olek, who once covered the famous Wall Street Charging Bull sculpture in New York, in pink and purple wool.

I'm sure you'd all like to wish Nikki well in her studies. I'm sure she'll do well with producing such an unusual piece of work. And I'm sure that Leo is happy about his new clothes, as it was quite cold and wet when I took the photo.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Quick Way To Do A Milk Delivery

The Milk Race hit town today, for the first time in twenty years. Sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board, the event ran between 1958 and 1993, but then disappeared for some reason.

But it is back, and Nottingham was the first city to host it. And for once the weather didn't let us down. It's been wonderful and sunny all day long.

There were many races throughout the day. Firstly there was a race for members of the public to take part in. Alas I didn't participate, as I don't have a racing bike and anyway I had the hedge to cut. Then there was the women's race and one against the two universities, but I made it in time to see the professional mens race.

The route went straight through the city centre, past shops etc, so it was quite difficult to get about. All traffic was banned. Int the Old Market Square itself were some stalls and demonstrations.  And when the races were taking place, it became a sort of island, as the organisers had closed the crossing points.

Tim, who is the official Robin Hood for the city, was in his best suit today, as his brother was getting married, incidentally at the Council House itself. So no time to change into Lincoln Green.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Welcome Visitor

Well, what a difference today has been from yesterday. No wind, and sunshine all day long. In fact a musician friend of mine got a bit sunburnt whilst she was busking in Beeston.

Here's a group of buttercups in our garden that were enjoying the warmth. In fact I think they are as golden as the sun.  Many gardeners view them as weeds, but I think they are lovely little flowers. Not sure if I will be able to keep them though, when I come to do some gardening.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Riders On The Storm

From the weather that we've experienced in Nottingham today, you would think that it is early October, rather then the end of May. Gale force winds, rain and very dark clouds.

I thought generally it is now meant to be sunny and fairly warm, rather than still having the need to wear a woolly hat and have the central heating on. Obviously I wear the hat when I'm outside, not at home, as the central heating is warming enough!

We have a long weekend coming up, as it's a Bank Holiday on Monday. Not sure whet the weather has in store for us, but I just hope it doesn't get any worse.

I took this photo at lunchtime, just around the corner from where I work, and in-between showers.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Pause For Thought

I'd just like to thank those that left messages yesterday regarding the future of this blog. I will be reviewing the responses over the weekend and considering what to do.

In the meantime, here's a shot of local model Carla, who I shot last night, in a friend's garden.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Future Is Now

You may be wondering why there is a white space today, rather than an actual photo. Is it art?

Well no, I've actually done deliberately, as I am after some feedback about this blog, and why hardly anyone leaves any comments, even though it certainly gets plenty of visitors.

As you may know, I have been publishing Nottingham Daily Photo for over seven years now, and have built up a small, but loyal audience who always leave a message or two.

But the thing is that the blog gets an average of around eighty hits a day, more sometimes and has 587 followers, but I am lucky if three or four people leave a comment.

So why is that? Why don't people like to leave comments, even if it is only a simple "nice photo" ?

Is it the type of photo I show? The quality and style of my photography? If I stopped doing NDP tomorrow, would anyone care?

I visit other blogs who get less visitors, but receive more messages. Now why is that?

So please, everyone who pays a visit today, leave me a comment or two, about the blog, maybe the sorts of photos from Nottingham that you'd like to see more of. What can I do to improve your viewing experience?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A Brief Encounter

Another flying visit to London today, so very little time to take any photos before my train home. It was more of a case of wandering round St Pancras Station for a little while, before lining up on Platform One.

So here's a photo of Paul Day's 'The Meeting Place' sculpture, which was created in 2008.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Waiting For The Battle To Start

There was a bit of excitement in the Old Market Square at lunchtime today, as local boxing legend Carl Froch was doing a bit of publicity for his fight on Saturday night against Mikkel Kessler.

I only heard about it whilst reading Twitter, so I was a bit too early to see what was going to happen, and I couldn't linger about too long, as I had to get back to work.

Still I saw Kevin 'the hat' in his latest creation. A boxing ring no less, as you can see below.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Ace Of Spades

Driving past the White Hart pub in Lenton, We came across a gathering of motorcyclists. Oh, I said, a photo opportunity. So I parked up and we went to investigate.

The White Hart is a pub that I cycle past every day on my way to work, but I've never actually been inside. So this was also an opportunity to put this right.

As we were both hungry, we went in for some food. We both went for the enchiladas; and very tasty they were too. I think we will be eating there again, as it was good food, well cooked and quite reasonably priced.

So onto the motorbikes. Although I'm not that keen on them, I was impressed on how they riders had customised them. We were particularly impressed with the main one in the photo, who's owner is stood by Gail, explaining the in's and out's of his machine. He said that the skulls that adorn the bike were made by someone in the West Midlands, who is now so good at such things, that he has gone into business for himself.

Apparently the Nottingham Aces group have been meeting at the pub for about the last fifty odd years. So we had a look inside their club room. The walls were adorned with loads of photos of club members, both past & present, memorabilia and motorbike artworks. They even had a old wall mounted jukebox that had loads of Sixties hits. In fact I didn't really see any tunes that were later than about 1972.

It was quite an interesting time we had, and the group is certainly something that I'd known nothing about, despite my continual scanning of local events that are advertised in all forms of social media.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Lighting Up Kit

Gail and I spent a very enjoyable and educational day in the company of top professional photographer Stuart Wood.

His photography is quite wonderful, and many of his images have appeared in top magazines and has had several front covers of the Radio Times.

There were only four of us on the course, and so it was like having one to one tuition. Firstly he went though some of his portfolio, and told us how he had created the pictures. Sometimes with many lights, sometime with just one, or just using natural light.

We then went on to learn about Rembrandt, butterfly, and split lighting. And of course the 'Inverse Square Law'.  Which is very useful to know when placing lights next to your model.

Our model was called Chantelle, and sat patiently whilst we all took photos of her, which showed the different styles of lighting.

Stuart also showed us a very neat trick with a single lamp and a sheet of white material on the floor, as in the photo above. Below is the result. Genius eh!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Don't Fence Me In

Set of freshly painted railings outside the Lace Market Hotel, in naturally the Lace Market.

Shallow depth of field, perspective and bokeh. Three elements you generally see in most photographs.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Desert Strip

On my way to lunch with some of my former workmates yesterday at a pub situated opposite the castle, I saw this army Jeep in desert colours. The sort that are presently deployed in the Middle East.

I don't know why it was there, as there is nothing of a military nature going on at the moment, or shows taking place, so I had no idea why it was parked outside Severns House.

There were a couple of men in khaki, soldiers presumably standing at the back of the vehicle. I thought about asking them why they were there and to pose for me, but I was keen to see my friends and eat; so I left them to smoke their cigarettes alone.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Blonde And A Bike

Another evening, another model shoot. This time it is of up and coming model Emma.

Here's a shot only using natural light, in the garden belonging to Alan, who's studio we were using. I  just love the way the evening sun shines through Emma's hair. Just like you see sometimes on the shampoo adverts.

We then went inside the studio, and learnt a bit more about lighting, and how it can be used to make different effects. Such as the photo below, where Emma was just shot from the side, which adds to a sense of mystery to the scene.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Another shot of Becky that I took last night, with a strategically placed bottle, in the style of The Calendar Girls.

So which month do you think Becky should be?

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Girl With The Pirate Tattoo

Another art nude model shoot tonight with the unusual and individual Becky Holt.

Gail came along as well. There were also another five photographers there at Coco Studios, not far from where we live.

Becky was fun and easy to work with.  She said that she has 26 tattoos dotted across her body. Some for obvious reasons aren't on show!

Becky also said that she has to dye her hair every week. Gail said that she loved that shade of red, but sadly wouldn't suit her.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bricking It

I spent some time this afternoon sorting, cleaning and stacking hundreds of bricks that were removed from the house earlier in the week.

The plasterer came yesterday and spent all day giving us a new ceiling, filling in the gap between the two walls and other parts of the two rooms, that now are beginning to look like one.

I hope to have a couple of days off this week so I can paint the ceiling and varnish the floor. Just have to remember to use the pots the right way round and do the ceiling first!

The house is still in a topsy turvy state, as we've tried to cram six rooms full of stuff into four. We will be getting rid of some stuff either through Ebay or down to the charity shop. Some will be used in our new studio as props etc.

It's going to be a long journey, but at least the worst is over with. I'm not sure what I am going to be doing with these bricks yet. But they always come in handy for a garden project or two.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Somewhere, Over The Rainbows, Way Up High

While we were outside this afternoon chatting with the plasterer, who had been here giving our new studio a new ceiling, we noticed that a rainbow had appeared overhead. Well two actually. Although the other one was a lot fainter.

"Ooh" said Matt the plasterer, "I've never seen a double rainbow before". I think I've only seen a couple before. Although I have seen lots of rainbows down the years. Some seem to last longer than others. This one hung about for about five minutes, before disappearing behind the next batch of black clouds, and yet another downpour of rain.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fire Heroes

Here's the monument for the fallen firemen that Princess Anne unveiled yesterday.

There was nobody around today, and the awning had been taken away, so I was able to take a clear shot of the obelisk.

There are a lot of names scribed on the sides you that you cannot see, but I thought this side looks better, as there is a 'for sale'   on one of the buildings opposite, and that would have certainly spoilt the shot.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Where's That Fire?

Princess Anne came to town today to unveil a new memorial for the firefighters that had lost their lives battling the flames to keep us safe.

The memorial has been placed in the grounds of St Mary's Church in the Lace Market. As it was happening at lunchtime, I popped along to see what was happening.

I was surprised that there was so few people milling around to see the royal. I must admit, I wasn't too bothered about seeing her. I was more interested in seeing the crowd and the surroundings.

How delighted I was when I saw four fire engines parked up, and looking great along the Victorian road.

This one dates from 1953. I like the aerodynamic shape and the silver sides, rather than being fully red.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Forever In Blue Jeans

Gail and I spent a very enjoyable evening at a local studio, shooting the very delectable Nicole.

There was only three of us, so we all got a fair go at snapping our model in the three outfits that had been picked.

This is the first one. I think she looks a bit like a young Olivia Newton-John, when she appeared in the 1978 movie Grease playing Sandy.

I took this shot using my OMD. I've hardly touched my Nikon D3s since I got the little Olympus. I'm very happy with the camera and think that I've taken quite a few reasonable shots with it now. Maybe I just need to keep improving my photography, so I get more good shots.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

To The Lighthouse

Well it's been a bit of a strange day today.

It was back to work today, after the bank holiday. Also it was the first day of the builder starting work in the house. We are having two rooms knocked into one, and today was the day that the wall was to come down.

It was not as dramatic as the one in Berlin, but it still meant that I had to have a half days leave, as the builder had found something in the ceiling that needed my attention. Fortunately it was nothing serious, and the rest of the bricks could come down. So I spent the rest of the afternoon collecting the bricks ready for a possible job in the future, or donation to my next door neighbour.

We then went to the local DIY superstore, to look at new lighting, as obviously they are presently different, being formally two rooms, and we were looking for something discrete, as the new room will be doubling up as a photographic studio, and we don't want big chandeliers getting in the way of the studio lights and backdrops.

So what does all this mean? Well quite simply, I didn't get the opportunity of taking any photos today, even though it has been lovely and sunny again. So it's been a quick trawl through the archive, and I pulled this picture out of the promenade at Whitby.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Lazy Monday Afternoon

I was planning to either go to Wollaton Park, or the Brewhouse Museum today, as they both had events on that I would have liked to have seen. Wollaton had another Napoleonic battle re-enactment, while the Brewhouse had a 1940s day.

In the end, I couldn't go to either, as I had to help a dear friend out with moving, as for various reasons he had to leave the house he was renting and he was leaving some of his possessions with a neighbour. So I spent most of the day helping him to move, as he has rather a lot of stuff. And by the time we had done, there wasn't much time left for a visit.

So instead, I present one of the most unusual names for a canal boat that I have seen so far. For those of you of a certain age, or a keen interest in music, will know that this is the name of an album written by the Small Faces; a psychedelic mod band from the late 1960s.

The 1967 album featured the classic 'Lazy Sunday' and added vocals by Professor Stanley Unwin; with his gobbledygook language. Below is a image of the record sleeve that I found on Google, so you can see how well the artist has done in recreating the album sleeve.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Been busy today moving things. Not just at home; but for a friend too, who will sadly be leaving our street for good next week to travel to Spain for three weeks, then moving to another part of Beeston later on.

So I haven't really had that much time today for photography. And it has been lovely and sunny too, and being a holiday weekend, there was something on at Wollaton Park that I wanted to see. It's on again tomorrow, so hopefully I'll find a bit of time to go.

Well today's photo is of a white tulip in the garden. Which only proves that you don't have to go very far to find something to take a photo of.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Daisy, Daisy

A little bit of still life today, in the form of some daisies which I took today in my local churchyard.

I thought about snapping some dandelions, but I rather like this little trio of flowers, enjoying the sun and showers, which we had this morning.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Funny Friday Figures

Looking in a shop window this evening I saw two amusing little figurines staring out at me.

Of course I had to take a photo of Moominpapa  and a gnome who I think is based on the Jason character from the horror film series 'Friday the 13th'.

Good versus evil, you might say. But as long as they make you some, who cares.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Talk To The Paw, 'Cause The Face Isn't Listening

Whilst getting ready for work this morning, I couldn't help but stop and take a photo of Oscar, sleeping on our bed.

He looked so cute, laid out with his paw over his nose. I don't think I've seen him do that pose before, so I just had to capture it for all you cat fans out there in Bloggingland.

Oscar was also waiting for me when I got home. No asleep, but wide awake and sitting on the garage roof.  So of course, out came the OMD. F1.8, so I could get the lovely bokeh of the trees behind.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Artist And His Muse

Whilst in Whitby, we managed to meet up with top professional photographer Damian McGillicuddy, who was teaching several budding photographers about lighting outside the railway station, and using a local model called Mischkah Scott.

We've met Damian a few times now, the first time was at the NEC. He was there helping to launch the Olympus OMD. We have also been to his studio in Chester, on one of his courses and managed to have a go with the fab camera.

So for my contribution to the City Daily Photo's May Day theme of 'The Artisan', I'm showing you a top photographer in action, who wakes some really stunning images. If you want to see how stunning; here's a LINK to his Facebook page.

To see more artisans in action taken by my fellow bloggers, please follow this LINK to the City Daily Photo page.