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Sunday, 30 June 2013

I Have A Dream

There are quite a few bands that I would have loved to have seen live; Kate Bush, Pink Floyd and ABBA, to name a few.

Due to stage fright, I don't think Kate Bush will ever tour again. She's only ever done one, and that was in 1979.  With the death of keyboard player Richard Wright and ongoing animosity amongst the remaining members, we are probably not going to see another Pink Floyd tour in the foreseeable future.

So that leaves ABBA. And as Agnetha Faltskog (the blonde) has more or less become a recluse, and Anni-frid (the brunette) is not interested in pursuing a singing career anymore, there is no chance of them recording again. Even after newspaper reports once said that they were offered a huge sum of money to perform for some Arab billionaire.

So we have to make do with tribute bands. And I saw a very good one yesterday at the Armed Forces event at the Embankment. Here are some shots of the individual members that make up Arrival UK. And very good they were too. They soon had the open air audience dancing on the grass and singing along to those oh so familiar tunes.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Big Boys' Toys

Armed Forces Day today and so Gail and I popped down this afternoon to see what excitement there was to be found. And there was plenty. Although we had missed quite a bit, as it had started at 10am in the Old Market Square with a march from the castle and a flypast by the Red Arrows.

I was in Beeston this morning, covering the first Great Beeston Bake-Off.  A cookery competition to raise funds for Oxfam when the planes flew over the school where it was taking place. I was photographing the opening ceremony with my camera in 'P' mode, so unfortunately I couldn't take a photo, as my camera was struggling to focus. It would have been OK in auto, and might have got a couple of good shots. Sadly it wasn't to be.

There were loads of people around. It has been estimated that 70,000 visitors had gone down to show their support for the soldiers, sailors and airmen. With that many people wandering around, it was sometimes a bit difficult trying to take reasonable shots of the vehicles on display.

There was some music on offer too, in the form of an Abba Tribute band called Arrival UK, who were very good and the nearest thing to the real Abba you'll find, with their singing, costumes and tunes.

We were still wandering around long after most of the people had left, so we more or less had the site to  ourselves. While we were taking unrestricted photos of the vehicles, I noticed that one by one they were starting to leave the site. So we hung around and snapped them being driven away, or being loaded onto very big low loaders.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Land, Sea and Sky

Well it's been gloom and showers today. So another typical English summer then!

So this photo is from Wednesday, when it was actually sunny. Some narrowboats at the marina, where I cycle past on my way home.

Looking for a fixed point of interest, I was taken with the name of the narrowboat; The Black Pearl. Could it be a pirate boat perhaps. But if so, they are a long way from the Caribbean though, being so close to the River Trent.

As it's Skywatch Friday, I thought I would join in with the fun for the first time in a long time. Here's the LINK, if you want to go and see some more scenes with sky in them

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Dark Side Of The Gloom

A bit of tweaking in Lightroom on this photo, which I took tonight when I went over to Beauvale Priory.

I'm going to be involved in the Eastwood Arts Festival again this year, when I dress up as a monk and give guided tours around the ruined monastery at the end of July.

I took my OMD and fisheye lens with me, as I wanted to see what sort of shots I could get. But it was raining, and so I quickly took a few shots of the farmland, rather than the priory, as I didn't want too many raindrops hitting the lens. Due to the shape of the glass, you can't put a filter over it, so you have to be careful, otherwise it can get a bit dirty.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

2500th Photo - New Life

It's a very special day in the world of Nottingham Daily Photo, as today marks the 2500th post.

Yes that's right 2500 photos, one practically everyday since March 2006. Not every one has been taken in Nottingham, as there's been Dubai, Sydney, Greece, Turkey, Scotland and Wales. Not forgetting the umpteen places in England that I've visited for work and on pleasure.

I do hope you all enjoy my photos and writing, and get to learn something about my life, what I get up to and places that I visit. And of course, lets not forget my lovely wife Gail, who has put up with me, my photography and any blog. How many times has she heard me say "I won't be long, I've just got to do my blog".

Thank you Gail for being so understanding.

I was hoping to take a special birthday shot today, but unfortunately nothing came my way. I sadly missed out on seeing Su Pollard at the Theatre Royal. who She was there today to promote this year's pantomime, as she is in it, together with David Hasslehoff.

So instead, here's a photo that a little special to me. This young plant is at the start of its life to become a Sharon or Persimmon tree. So what's special about that you may be asking? Well I have managed to grow it from a seed, that I picked out of a fruit that I was eating back in February.

I think its quite rare to find a seed in a Sharon fruit anyway. Looking on Google, I read that the seed should be wrapped in a damp tissue and placed in a fridge for three months. So that's exactly what I did.

I took it out the other week and placed it in this little plant pot near the kitchen window. I couldn't believe it when I saw a little tiny shoot appear through the compost. Now look at it. I will probably have to transplant it into a bigger pot soon, now that the shoot is heading very slowly towards the sky. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


I'm really looking forward to Saturday. Not just because its Saturday and the first day of a week's holiday, but because it's going to be Armed Forces Day.

It's going to be a very exciting day, with lots going on in both the Old Market Square and down by the Embankment. There will be lots to see, including a flypast of vintage aircraft. A photographic dream.

The only problem with these big events is that they attract that many people, that they just get in the way of what you're trying to photograph.

I'm hoping to take lots of photos of all the things and people that will be there at the Embankment. Its a very big space, so there should be loads and loads to see and snap.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Simples x

I came across these cute little fellows whilst wandering around B&Q late yesterday afternoon.

It's surprising how popular the meerkat has become, since the TV series a few years ago.   You see models, photos, stuffed toys everywhere. Even the insurance company Compare the Market has got in on the act, with their 'Compare the Meerkat' adverts, and the promise of a stuffed character toy if you take out one of their policies. They must be doing well, as they currently sponsor Coronation Street.

I think I like the private detective the best. He's amusing with his bow-tie and trench coat. What's yours?


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Birthday Boy

Gail and I went to a special 65th birthday party of a good friend of ours and fellow blogger. From the amusing cake decoration above and special knitted doll below; I wonder if you can guess who it is? Some regular bloggers and friends of ours may be able to deduce who it is from the clues in the two pictures.

Did you work it out? No? Well it's iMac, who writes a blog called 'Photos from the Minds Eye'. Here's the WEB-LINK to it.

We've known Stewart and his lovely wife Julie for about six years now. If fact we first met them at his 60th birthday celebration. In fact, I think he wore that very loud waistcoat then as well!

The party took place at the social club at Great Gonerby in Lincolnshire.

It was a good evening, and instead of wanting presents, he asked for donations to the Alzheimer's Association, as it's a cause that is close to his heart. At the end of the party it was announced that the grand sum had got to £750, which pleased Stewart a lot, as he was hoping to get £500.

Besides a very nice buffet, there was some entertainment in the form of a former member of the Searchers, Steve Carlisle, who sang and played through all sorts of classic pop tunes and a new band called Seabirds, who are made up from former members of the Red Shoe Diaries and one of the members just happens to be Stewart's son Rob.

Here's the Birthday boy with sweet Julie posing for my camera, while below he thanks his wife for putting up with him for the past few years.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

You Little Minx

It's classic car time again, and this time it comes in the form of a Hillman Minx from the 1950s.

It was quite fortunate that I came across it whilst cycling into Beeston, as I went a route that I don't normally go. But I was heading towards the local church, as they were holding a summer fair, and I was hoping to get a bargain or two.

I was also glad that there weren't any modern cars parked close to it, or anything remotely 21st century, as I've tried to make the photo look like it was taken during the 1960s.

Incidentally I did find a real bargain, in the form of a Tony Hancock DVD set of all his surviving episodes for a mere £2. Brand new too. Eight DVDs of vintage comedy, including the classic Blood Donor episode. "A pint. That's very nearly an armful".

So a good day for being retro.

Friday, 21 June 2013

A Charity Record

A little summertime music tonight, on this, the longest day of the year,  to raise money for Oxfam.

Oxjam came to Beeston today and sadly I missed some of the acts, as I had to work, but I was lucky to arrive in time to see the ever talented Emma Bladon-Jones again. This time in the open air.

Broadgate Park, is a small open space very close to the High Road. So you can do your shopping and then sit and look at the trees, the grass and a statue of Queen Victoria. And possibly enjoy an ice cream from one of the local cafes, whilst listening to the birds tweeting away.

I also managed to watch the tail end of Ed Hope's gig, who incidentally was very good as well.

Oh how I wish sometimes that I could understand music. But I don't, so I guess I'll have to keep to photography as my creative output.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

It's All Stacked Up

On the way home from London, I had to change at the East Midlands Parkway station.  When I got off the train, I heard an announcement that some trains had been delayed, including one that I was planning to get. Mind you the train that I caught from St Pancras was delayed by 20 minutes, as they couldn't get it to go. So we all had to move to another platform before climbing onto another train, which fortunately worked properly.

So I am stuck at this rather soulless station. It was only built about three years ago, looking for something to do. And what better, than to try shooting the Radcliffe on Soar power station from different angles.

I knew that I was going to stop at the station a little while, so I had my fisheye lens with me. I took this one from the bridge that spans the four platforms. While the one below is my attempt at making the chimneys more industrial, even though it's only steam that's drifting up into the atmosphere.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

New Use For Old Rubbish

So you've gone and updated your bathroom. New loo, sink and wetroom shower. So what are you going to do with that old cast iron bath, that you have been using for the last twenty years? Take it down to the tip, leave it out for the scrap man, or give it to a farmer so he can fill it with water for his animals?

There is of course an unusual one. One that I came across on my travels in London today. How about cutting the side off and using it as a settee or a chaise long for the garden?

All very well, but there's still that age old problem of who has to have the tap end?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Pigeon Post

I popped through Highfields again on the way home, in the hope of finding something to take a photograph of .

Sadly the sun had disappeared, and the grey clouds had arrived. Would it rain?

I noticed a big patch of daisies, so I thought I would see if I could do a close up from the ground level. Looking around for a good clump, I saw a feather in amongst the little white flowers.

Great I thought, I'll see if I can shoot that instead.

Monday, 17 June 2013


I took this with the 60mm macro lens that I was trying out. I can't say that it is a particularly good photo, but then it was inside a hotel, rather than outside in daylight.

Still it shows what the lens can do, which was the idea.

Sunday, 16 June 2013


This is Emma Bladon-Jones, a local singer/songwriter. And a very good one too. I have featured her before, but you can never have enough of a good thing.

She was playing at a local pub; The Hop Pole in Chilwell, so I had to go and see her. Plus a drop of real ale wouldn't go amiss either.

Emma played two sets, an electric one, and an acoustic one, with a small break in between, during which I said hello and bought one of her CDs which features four of her terrific songs.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Who Siad That You Could Take My Photo?

As regular readers of this blog may know, Gail and I have two cats: Oscar and Marmalade. I wouldn't say own, as its usually the other way round, or as the old saying goes "Dogs have owners, cats have servants".

So whilst walking around the Park Garden trail, I came across this little fellow. Inquisitive and friendly, but just wouldn't stand still. It took me ages to capture him the way that I wanted.

I'm not sure whether I like his colouring or not, but it does show up his green eyes well.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bringing Home The Bacon

Do you like cooking?  I do, and Gail thinks that I'm reasonable at it. No Gordon Ramsey, but ~I've never given her food poisoning yet!

My cookbook might be a bit thin, but I always try to do the best I can, with what I know how to make.

I wonder if this shopper has got their ingredients ready to for the evenings' meal? I wonder what they have in the bag. Some fish perhaps, with a small bag of new potatoes, beans, fresh sprig of parsley and a Key lime pie for pudding.

Whatever it is, I hope they cooked it well and everyone enjoyed it.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Close-Up Magic

As well as learning some top photography tips yesterday, we also got the opportunity of playing with some Olympus cameras and lenses.

I took this photo with their 60mm f2.8 macro lens, which I have been thinking about buying and wanting to try. It's quite a dinky little lens, and in micro 4/3d's terms, it is equal to a 120mm lens. So besides taking close up's of flowers and insects, it also makes for a very good portrait or general walkabout lens.

I realise that this is not the best advert for the lens, as I don't really do macro work, so I don't think that I got the focussing right, and also I had left a couple of the settings as I had used them in the darkened bar, so they might not have been suitable for the outside world.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Blue Movie

I spent a very enjoyable day with a top professional photographer, two gorgeous ladies and five other students, in an underground bar in the centre of Nottingham.

We were there for the first ever Olympus Experience Days, with host and tutor Damian McGillicuddy. Unfortunately Gail couldn't join me, as she was working and didn't want to use up another day of her holiday allowance; especially as she gets less than me.

We spent the day learning how Damian sets things up for his amazing photographs. From working out the sets, the lighting and how the model, in this case Nic, should pose. For the last two years he has been using an Olympus OMD, rather than his usual Nikon kit, as he likes it's technical ability, quality of lenses and the fact that he can carry it around in a small bag, rather than a suitcase.

We all met at the Red Bar and Lounge, which is situated in the Crowne Plaza hotel. The colour scheme, which the name implies is mainly red and black. Damian set up shots in several different bits of the club, the bar itself for one, but he also liked this big leather seating area, which he wanted to introduce a touch of blue into, so it looked more New York, than Nottingham.

It was a fab day and I learnt lots, which I hope to put in practice, the next time that I go on a model shoot, or practice at home.

If anyone is interested in going on one of these course, Damian will be doing them all over the country over the coming months. The next one is in Birmingham on 21 July.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


We have just got back from having spent a very enjoyable evening over at Rushcliffe Photography Club in Tollerton, where they had a guest speaker in the form of master photographer Damian McGillicuddy.

He was there to talk about his life, his work and how he sets up a shot. He then went on to demonstrate it using Nic the model, a couple of speed lights, a modifier, some voile and a stack of wooden chairs for a background.

It was very interesting to watch how he developed the slightly religious theme, with Nic dressed as a sort of nun, with the stack of chairs, to symbolise a church. Damian went through his thought process, and then tweaked his idea, as new thoughts came into his head. He then chatted some more and answered some photography questions posed by the quite large audience.

When we arrived home, we were quite inspired, and so I shot this pose of Gail, while she stood against some new wallpaper that we've got. And yes, they are photos of Marilyn Monroe. How cool is that!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Going For A Take

The city centre has become Hollywood again, as a film crew have moved in to make a new TV series called Truckers.

It's written by local writer William Ivory, whose last big work was the screenplay for the film 'Made in Dagenham'.

As the title suggests, the story is about the staff that work at a local haulage company, and what they are like as people.

I've read that they are using a number of locations across the city, and so was quite pleased to see them doing a few scenes in the Old Market Square.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

On The Garden Trail

I popped over to the Park Estate this afternoon, as they were holding an event to raise money for various local charities. 21 Gardens had been opened up to the public, so they could have a look around and see what is usually behind closed doors and high walls.

Some gardens also had art displays, like these resin heads; that were in various colours. I didn't take that many photos of the flowers, but couldn't resist this Kiwi fruit bush that was growing quite happily around an archway. And had even produced small fruit, which you can see if you look carefully.

Another garden had a display of wedding gowns on show. Possibly because the owner of that particular house organised weddings.

There was a fair bit of walking involved, as the gardens were quite spread out around the many different streets that make up this exclusive neighbourhood. I was quite excited to see this old MG parked at the side of the road, and fortunately I managed to get a shot of it, without capturing any modern vehicles.

The first garden trail was in 1986 and raised a modest £520. Last year's event raised an impressive £11,500. I'll let you know how well they do when I hear what the figure is. But I think it should be pretty good by the number of people I saw walking around with the programmes in their hands.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Whispering Grass

A simple shot of a blade of grass today, which I came across during my cycle ride through Highfields.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Piggy In The Middle

I went up to Patchings Arts Centre at Calverton to collect my two prints that I had on show as part of a photographic exhibition of local Flickr members.

Its the first time that I have been there. It's a collection of different buildings where artists of all kinds can show and sell their work.

In a wild bit of a garden/field some sculptured metal animals were lurking, including this rather splendid pig. One that Lord Emsworth* himself would be proud of.

*A character created by PG Wodehouse

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Riverside Retreat

Mr and Mrs Duck enjoying some late afternoon sunshine down by the riverside. Well in this case, the canalside.

They are actually watching their little babies, as they get used to swimming in the water.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Vintage Pin-Up

Just come back from a very enjoyable photoshoot with local model Nichol again. This time she was dressed as a girl from the 1950s, which special hairstyle designed by talented Mua (make-up artist) Amber Marie Smith.. Vintage butchers bike supplied by a local window fitter called Robin Thompson.

A simple fence can make an effective backdrop. Timeless and not too distracting from the intended image.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Would You Adam And Eve It

I don't know if car makers are starting to run out of names for their new vehicles, but Vauxhall seem to have got hold of the Bible and started at the beginning. They couldn't use Genesis, as Hyundai have already snapped that one up.

To me, the front looks like a Renault, while the back looks like a Fiat 500. I'm not sure about the stripes though. It does make the car look a little odd, although it would stand out on the road. Possibly local designer Paul Smith could sue them for infringement of copy-write, as he is well know for producing stripy clothes and furniture, as these Google images show.

Monday, 3 June 2013

All Shook Up

Elvis, as you've never seen him before. Not the real one of course, but this is what he might look like whilst resting up at Forest Hills Cemetery.

I spotted him at a market in the Old Market Square the other day. A World Fair they call it, as the sell food and goods from around the world. Not surprisingly, the German beer tent and Paella stalls do particularly well.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Cars That Ate Wollaton Park

Today was the day for the annual classic car show at Wollaton Park. When it is advertised, I get quite excited and look forward to wandering around all the cars, vans and buses. Although I have to admit, some of them I have seen many times, but as it was lovely and sunny today, I didn't mind. I had a great time, and came across quite a few vehicles that I hadn't seen before.

I thought this converted 1967 VW Beetle looks like a real life Hot Wheels car. I saw that it was for sale, but didn't enquire how much.

If I did have any spare cash, and lots at that, I would be tempted to go out and get a E Type Jaguar, like this one from 1969. Only six years younger than me, but worth a lot more. Probably £30,000.

If you have less money to play with, you could try this 1972 Ford Capri, which may only cost you about £5000. Made famous of course by being driven by Bodie & Doyle in the TV series the Professionals.

Finally of course, if you have a leaning towards pre-war vehicles, you might like to hunt out an old van like this Austin from the mid 1930s. I just thought I would give the picture a little tweaking in Lightroom, to give it that old look.