Thursday, 31 October 2013
Here's a shot from the roof of the multi-storey car park near the railway station, which shows the new tram bridge over Queens Road.
In the background you can see the Newton Building belonging to Nottingham Trent University, the spire of the former church in the Lace Market which is now the Pitcher & Piano wine bar and of course the dome which is part of the Council House.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Monday, 28 October 2013
It was a Halloween themed night tonight at the local film club that Gail and I regularly go to.
Quite a few people had dressed up for the occasion, but Joe one of the staff had really got into the vibe with his blow up axe and fake blood.
It was a good night too, with great vegetarian chilli and chips and a showing of the 1973 high camp horror film - Theatre of Blood. It starred Vincent Price as a Shakespearian actor who bumps off a group of theatre critics in the style of some of the Bard's murders in his plays.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the film, and laughed at what is now a forty year old film, and one that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Saturday, 26 October 2013
The weather forecasters have warned that a massive storm is going to hit the UK over the weekend. 80 mile an hour winds and 2 inches of rain have been predicted over the next couple of days.
Apparently its heading this way from the States. Now America have given us some great things down the years; Apple computers, Marilyn Monroe and Disney films. Of course some not so good things. But sending us hurricane like weather isn't very friendly. So much for hands across the ocean!
Beeston Church at lunchtime today is looking threatened by the storm clouds gathering in the sky.
Friday, 25 October 2013
Things have been a little quiet on the photography front for the past couple of days, so here's a misty shot of the bay at Portmeirion in North Wales, which I took back in February when Gail & I went there for my 50th birthday.
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Less than six months to go before Nottingham gets its own television channel.
Having looked on their website they say they are making local programmes for local people. I wonder if they want to make a programme about this blog?
During the 1980s and 90s Nottingham used to have a television studio that belonged to the ITV network. Central TV on Lenton Lane produced some great shows like Auf Weidersehen Pet, Boon, Harry's Mad and Woof. Not forgetting Supermarket Sweep and Bob's Full House.
But when Central lost the broadcasting franchise, the studios closed and everything was sadly sold off. The building is now used by the university.
It will be interesting to see if Notts TV takes off and what sort of programmes they end up making. Of course I will be watching developments with interest and of course any future photo opportunities.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Despite the continuation of the very welcome sun, the days are generally getting colder now that the clocks have gone back.
The trees are beginning to lose their leaves, although you wouldn't think so by the look of these trees in the castle grounds, which are still a healthy green colour.
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
For those of you who are of a certain age, or have a passing interest in modern antiques, will recognise the style of painting of the girl, as most homes in the UK had a variation of it during the late 60s and early 70s.
"The Green Lady" was sold as cheap art from many high street stores like Boots, and featured an non smiling Asian girl who had a slightly greenish tinge to her skin for some reason. If I remember rightly, she wasn't even particularly pretty either.
This blown up version features as part of a window display in a large furniture store on Castle Boulevard.
Monday, 21 October 2013
A trip to London for the day today. Probably the last time through work, so I thought I had better find something to photograph.
After leaving the office on the Euston Road there's about a twenty minute walk to St Pancras Station. But as the meeting finished a bit early, I had some extra time before catching my train back to Nottingham.
So I started to walk down Tottenham Court Road as part of the detour route I thought I'd take. When I reached the junction with Oxford Street. I stopped and had a look around. Looking up, I saw this tower block, which was probably built during the early 1960s. Lots and lots of identical storeys, which makes for a good abstract shot.
Sunday, 20 October 2013
After a very busy day yesterday shooting for Oxjam, it seems that I, and Gail this time are going to be very busy with our cameras at a lavish Asian wedding at a nearby hotel.
Fortunately we have enough memory cards and batteries, so we just grabbed our gear and went. The hotel isn't too far from where we live, so we were soon there and having a look around.
Were weren't going to shoot the official photographs, as they are taken in the more traditional way, while we had been asked to take lots of candid shots of the guests talking to each other, or children playing. Anything really, taken through a Western eye.
It was a very exciting, interesting and tiring day. A lot, lot different to a European wedding. A couple of thousand shots between us, so a lot of editing to be done before I can send them to the happy couple.
As it was a private ceremony I'm discrete enough not to share any of the photos with you, but I'm sure the bride and groom won't mind me posting this; a chocolate reminder of the happy day.
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Phew, have I had a busy day photographing bands and singers for Beeston's Oxjam music festival. Some sixty bands over twelve hours at ten locations.
Obviously with that many artists, and some appearing at the same time, but at different locations, it was going to be almost impossible to see them all. But I managed to do about twenty.
The three photos that I've put on were all taken in the evening at the former Barton's bus depot, which has now become an arts and crafts venue.
Rebecca King is a young soul singer from London, but lives in Nottingham. This was the first time that I heard her sing. And very good she was too.
I first came into contact with One Boy One Girl's music last October when they won the local music contest called Notts Factor. Since winning it, they have produced an EP, toured extensively and put out some videos which can be seen on YouTube.
I've mentioned Emma Bladon-Jones a few times on here now, since she went in for the Notts Factor competition too. This was her tenth gig of the day, as she had set herself a goal of playing at each of the venues during the length of Oxjam. This feat, which she sucessfully accomplished was being followed by a cameraman from the BBC, who had followed Emma around throughout the day, for an item on Midlands Today.
Friday, 18 October 2013
Two new exhibitions have just opened at the Contemporary. One is about the work of Geoffrey Black; a Canadian artist who seems to make work out of rubbish, and Asco, a group of American artists who got together in the early 70s and who made some strange photographs.
So too very different but similarly odd forms of art. Not really to my taste. But I was interested in the fact that one of the big windows had been completely blacked out, except for a couple of peep holes, where you got an idea of what was going on inside.
I noticed that a lot of people had looked through the 'eyes' and had left their imprint of their foreheads and noses, so it looks exactly like a face, who's wearing an unusual hat.
Thursday, 17 October 2013
The other day I recognised a photo on Facebook of the tunnel in the Broad Marsh shopping centre that leads to the bus station.
It was in black and white and so made the area look even more gloomy and uninviting, than it already is. Even though it is one of the main thoroughfares to the bus station. There were a couple of kiosks along there, but they closed down years ago. In fact the whole shopping centre has been earmarked for redevelopment. But it is an awful long time coming. A change of owner hasn't really helped, as they seem more interested in extending the Victoria Centre, which they already own. So the Broad Marsh limps on, even though half the shops are empty.
So back to my photo. Taking some inspiration from Crash Taylor's photo, I decided to shoot the tunnel from the other end. A shade more light, as the entrance faces the street, but just as uninviting don't you think?
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
I had my weekly catch up lunch with some of my former co-workers today at our now favourite eatery Bistro 5G.
It is just across the road from where I used to work, but now I have about a 10 minute uphill walk to it.
I was surprised to see this new mural that the owner Piers had painted in one corner near the bar area. It looks like it was based on some of the buildings in Portmeirion.
He's even done a 'Hitchcock' in that he's the person throwing his food out of the window. Honestly Piers, your food isn't that bad!
And can you spot the person from Munch's The Scream painting hidden in the shadows?
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Film club last night at a local restaurant, where we were all introduced to local film maker Ben Wigley by Matt, who compiles the Beestonian magazine and blogs. Here's a LINK to his site.
Ben talked about his short films before we saw them. My favourite was the one starring fashion designer Paul Smith. It was about all the gifts that are sent to Paul everyday. But the curious thing is that none of the presents are wrapped. They just arrive at his Covent Garden office covered in stamps. Whether it is a watering can or child's bike. Here's a shot of Matt (left) talking to Ben, with Paul Smith on screen, whose listening to everything they are saying!
We then had some Ghanian food, as Ben's latest project is about Paa Joe, who makes these amazing coffins in all sorts of shapes and sizes. His best one Iv'e seen is of a lion, with a fantastically carved mane. Paa Joe is of course Ghanian, hence the food on offer, a sort of vegetable curry, which was very tasty, and I didn't refuse seconds when they were offered.
Ben is currently attempting to raise further funds, so he can finish the film. We saw a five minute extract, but he needs more money so he can return to Ghana and complete the documentary. I'm sharing Ben's promotional video, as some people who read my blog may be interested in backing his plans;
We then saw a recently made documentary that had been screened around the world regarding this Russian man who claims he is the reincarnated son of God, and has a commune high in the mountains of Siberia. He is called the Vissarion and his religious group are called The Church of the Last Testament.
It was very interesting as Ben made a solo trip to Russia to try and interview him. But of course he was refused. I've often wondered about these religious groups, and are they doing it for love or money?
Monday, 14 October 2013
Whilst we were shooting Josh, there was some activity going on in the nearby street, in that a big crane was lifting giant concrete posts onto the new bridge which goes over the road and is part of the new tram route into the city centre.
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Gail and I had the pleasure of being asked to take some photos of a friend's son, who has ideas of becoming a model.
We certainly agree that he has the makings of being one. He is tall and I'm sure you'll agree that he is good looking. He is also very polite and thanked us both for taking the time to do the photos. Thanks josh, it was a pleasure.
Thanks also to Josh's mum for allowing me to post a photo of him on my blog.
If there are anyone that is genuinely connected with the modelling business that reads this blog and that thinks Josh has the potential to make it to the catwalk, then please do get in touch and I'll happily pass your details onto him and his family.
Saturday, 12 October 2013
A photo assignment this morning for my folk musician friend Dave Mitchell, who was playing at the Robin Hood Beer Festival at Nottingham Castle, and he wanted me to record the event for posterity.
Dave played for about an hour in the bandstand, while I took some photos of him in action. I was surprised to learn that the sound equipment was being controlled by the engineer on an iPad. No more knobs and dials to fiddle with, just a movement of ones finger on the screen.
Dave enjoyed his gig, but was clearly relieved when it was over, so he could enjoy one or two beers that were available at the festival, from the half pint glass that had been given to him.
I was also given a glass by one of the organisers, and so I decided to christen it by trying the re-introduced Shipstones ale, that has started to be brewed again after some twenty years. I wrote about it earlier this year. Here is the LINK to the story.
Here's a shot of the hand pumps that were dishing out the amber nectar. Although I must admit it wasn't as tasty as I had hoped it would be, and probably won't be buying it again, as I prefer more darker beers.
Friday, 11 October 2013
Another trip to the theatre tonight. This time to the Playhouse and to see a production called "Charles Peace, His Amazing Life", which was the story of an infamous Victorian burglar and murderer, who lived in Nottingham for a time; bizarrely enough very close to old the county gaol, which is now the Galleries of Justice.
Talking of which, they presently have a small exhibition about Peace, and a model of the set design for the actual play, which you can see above. Neat isn't it, and the real one looks quite close in concept.
So on to the play itself, and it was actually very good. Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan (1980-84) played Charlie with some aplomb and Norman (we the management) Pace played the showman and narrator, as the action moved from Peace's hometown of Sheffield, to Nottingham, then to London and finally to jail where he meets his maker courtesy of the hangman's noose.
There was plenty of action and interesting set pieces. There was also a clever use of video projections; especially that of a moving train. Giles Croft has done a great directing job in keeping the story flowing, and without any dull bits, that you sometimes get in plays.
It's a world premiere too from local writer Michael Eaton. Who has done a nice job of piecing together the life of this criminal, who by all accounts was quite a ladies man, despite having a face that would curdle milk.
Charlie Peace is running to the end of next week, and is worth seeing for a number of reasons, and not just to see Peter Duncan do something else besides making things with sticky backed plastic and a loo roll.
Thursday, 10 October 2013
I had a little bit of luck yesterday evening, in that I managed to obtain two free tickets to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Nottingham's Arena, through an email that I had received.
We hadn't been to the theatre in a while, so it was great to have something to look forward to.
I met Gail in town, and after we had had something to eat, we headed down towards the Arena. I had been a bit earlier and picked up the tickets, as the box office was only open until 6pm.
As you can imagine it was a sell out, although besides the giveaway, a couple of these deal sites had been offering tickets at half price, so I wonder out of the hundreds that were there, how many of them had actually paid full price.
We settled into our seats and had a look at the stage. It was different in that it was just stairs, with platforms each side for the musicians. There was also a big screen at the back which showed the JCS logo, of a multicoloured star, which if I remember right, was on the original album that Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber made in the early 1970s.
The lights dimmed and suddenly the screen came alive with fake TV news reports of war, demonstrations and the like. So I thought, this is going to be a modern retelling, rather than in the style of the 1973 film and the TV series which starred Robert Powell. Then a load of dancers came on dressed like demonstrators and some riot police. The police left and the demonstrators all had these pop up tents and then Jesus came on as a sort of charismatic pop idol, rather than the son of God.
Former Spice Girl Melanie C plays Mary, and doesn't do a bad version of "I Don't Know How to Love Him'. Possibly in a slightly harsher tone than say someone like Sarah Brightman would do.
There was a bit of strange casting in radio DJ Chris Moyles as Herod, who did it as a sort of game show host, complete with flapper girls. There were some other odd touches such as sexy angels. If I didn't know better, I might have thought it had been created and directed by Ken Russell.
On the whole it was an enjoyable night, and certainly well staged and chorographed. I guess the problem I had was that I was expecting to see more well known West End singers in the main leads.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
The nights are also rapidly drawing in now, and the clocks go back by an hour later this month and it will be dark at about 4pm. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it. I think that I must suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder.
I think that if I had the money, I would spend half the year in England and the other half in sunnier climbs. I know that Gail would like that too.
But for now we both have to stay in Nottingham and face the cold, dark days together.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Another private pre-wedding shoot tonight. An Asian one too, so it was very colourful.
Near the end of the night everyone was given a bag of sugar in a small paper carrier bag. It was explained to me the significance of the sugar. Apparently a long time ago in India sugar was a commodity that only rich people could afford, so people did what they could to give sugar as a gift to bring the newly married couple good luck.
Nowadays you can buy a bag of sugar very cheaply. But the tradition lives on.
Monday, 7 October 2013
It was a lovely sunny day yesterday, which for early October must be a bit of a record breaker.
After we had been to see Tracey's exhibition, we sat out and had some lunch at the romantically named Mud Crab Diner in the town centre.
Before we left the library, I took this shot of an area that had been laid out like a reading room that you would have at home, with some comfy chairs, a good selection of books and some sun streaming through a big picture window. All that is missing is a glass of whiskey.
Sunday, 6 October 2013
One of the great things about being involved in photography, is having the opportunity of meeting other photographers and seeing their work.
Gail and I have had that opportunity today, when we met up with local photographer Tracey Whitefoot, in West Bridgford library, where she is has an exhibition of some of her excellent landscapes.
I have known Tracey a while now, as we often bump into each other at events across Nottingham. But as Tracey is a professional photographer, we often only manage to say a quick 'hello' before she's off looking for her next shot.
So it was nice to spend some quality time with her, and look at her prints in real life, rather than a computer screen. And Gail hadn't met her before, so it was a good opportunity for introductions.
If you fancy popping along to the library in West Bridgford and seeing Tracey's exhibition, it's on between now and the 17th of November. Yes, a library that is open on a Sunday. How great is that.
There is also the opportunity of saying hello to her on the 19th, 24th, 29th October & 10th November. She is also giving a small talk on her photography on either the 10th of October or the 6th November. Or if you are unable to get, here's a LINK to Tracy's website. And of course she is on Facebook and Twitter.
Saturday, 5 October 2013
I popped down to the Forest Recreation Ground to see the Goose Fair; or Goosey, as the locals call it.
This year marks the 719th, so I went to see if there was anything different from last year. Everything seemed to be almost identical to last years, except for a new ride called 'Air'.
Although it might be a new ride to Goose Fair, but it's not a new ride to Nottingham, as it made an appearance last Christmas in the Old Marker Square, where it was called 'North Pole'.
You're basically sent up to the top of the tower, whizzed round a bit and lowered again. Not a thing that I'd like to do. In fact, I don't like fairground rides at all, except to take photos of them.
For some reason nearly all the "test your skills" stalls had Minions for prizes. Whether it was hooking a duck; in the shooting gallery or knocking things over, the little yellow people were being given away to the successful contestants.
Friday, 4 October 2013
You may have noticed that I've been really slipping with my daily blogging recently, which is very unlike me. I think it has been due to doing some DIY at home that has been taking longer than expected, and so haven't had the time to post.
We went to a 30th birthday party on Tuesday, which I've not managed to write about yet, but it took me back to February this year when I turned 50, and Gail and I went away to Portmeirion in Wales for a few days as we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary too.
We had today off, and spent the day in the house doing some jobs, so I've not had the opportunity of taking any photos. So I thought I would show one of the many Portmeirion photographs that I took whilst we were there. This one is a night shot of some of the unique architectural gems that you can see as you walk round the private village.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
You know when winter is on its way when the dreaded 'onesie' starts appearing on the high street again.
These multi coloured all in ones are meant to keep you warm, even though you end up looking a bit like an idiot.
I took today's photo in the Old Market Square, where there was yet another market in place seeing various things including food and drink. One of the stalls was selling clothes, including these garish animal onesies. I guess the pink panther one looks the more sensible, even though you you would look like you're off to a fancy dress party.
I for one will not be buying one. If I do get cold, then I'll pop on a thicker jumper. Of crank up the central heating by a few degrees.
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
For some reason, I've not come across that many photos of car transporters on the Internet. I'm sure there are, but I've not seen any.
So I thought I would put this one on. It had parked up, as some new hire cars were being delivered to the local Avis depot near the Broad Marsh shopping centre.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Gail and I had been invited to a belated birthday party in town, so while I was walking from work to meet her, I saw all these paper lanterns tied to the railings of St Peter's Church.
I also bumped into a photographer friend of ours called Tracey Whitefoot, who was photographing them as well. Tracey explained that they would each contain tea lights, which would be lit when it got dark.
Apparently there would be 100 of these lateens, that had been made out of different coloured paper; possibly wallpaper. Some had little comments on them. I found one of them quite funny - "A well balanced diet is having a cake in each hand"!
Sadly I couldn't wait for the candles to be lit, as I had to go and meet Gail before enjoying the birthday party at a local restaurant.