Monday, 31 March 2014
A bumper crop of photos today, as Nottingham Railway Station was reopened after being under wraps for the past year.
They've spent the best part of £50million in updating, cleaning up and renewing the station. Take the photo above; this used to be a taxi drop off point and small car park. It was a bit grimy and not very welcoming. But now look, it's light, airy and full of character. It will be even more exciting when the shops open sometime soon.
This is the Booking Hall. Doesn't it look wonderful, now it's been rejuvenated and showing off it's Victorian splendour with a fantastic parquet flooring.
Finally, I was in the right place at the right time, as some of the engineers involved in the revamp posed for an official photograph. So of course I had to take one as well.
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Gail and I went to Ripley in Derbyshire today to see the new photo studio that a modelling friend of ours has just opened.
You've seen photos of Kelli Smith on here before, and she is having to give up modelling shortly as she is expecting her first child; a little boy that she and her partner Tim are calling Lawson.
Just as I parked my car in a nearby car park, I noticed the flash of a red E Type Jag in the corner of the car park. So out came my camera and I took a couple of shots.
It was difficult in trying to get a good angle, as there wasn't a lot of space to work in. So I decided to try an aerial view instead, as there was some steps that led to the beer garden of a pub aptly called the Red Lion.
I must say that Kelli and Tim have done a good job of creating a great photographic space, with many different areas to shoot in; an American diner, a Parisian cafe, a Versace bedroom, a library amongst others. They have nearly finished a shower area for wet shots.
There were quite a number of photographers there when we arrived, including a couple that we knew. So it was good to catch up and see what everyone was doing.
Of course I have to show another photo of Kelli, thai I took at our studio, who's showing of her baby bump. After all it is Mother's Day.
Saturday, 29 March 2014
Well we've made it; Nottingham Daily Photo is now eight years old. Over 2700 stories from my life since 2006. The places that I've visited, both alone and with Gail, the people I've met and things I've captured with the various cameras that I've owned since then.
And what better way to celebrate this birthday than with a well known film and TV actress and local girl Vicky McClure.
Vicky is well known for being in Shane Meadows' This Is England, and last year she appeared in the highly rated TV drama Broadchurch. The BBC have just finished showing her latest series Line of Duty.
I met her in the Fred Perry shop on Bridalsmithgate, where she was doing a bit of DJ'ing, before going to the Broadway Cinema, where they were showing her latest movie called Svengali.
Friday, 28 March 2014
Just happen to come across another one of those apprentice sculptures, that keep appearing across the city centre.
This one is in the Lace Market, and is obviously a phone box. But not just any phone box, but one with a real Notts connection.
For a start there are a couple of arrows stuck in the top, which were obviously fired by the one and only Robin Hood.
I'm Not From London is a Nottingham based music promotion company that put on local gigs featuring local artists.
There are also a number of other local references on the posters inside; Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, LeftLion magazine etc.
Thursday, 27 March 2014
I took a wander down to the cattle market today for a change to my usual stroll to the Old Market Square.
As you might expect for a weekday, the place was very quiet, as most of the action takes place on a Saturday morning when the big auction is in full swing. Not cattle these days as far as I am aware, but furniture, electrical items and antiques etc.
I remember going with my dad when I was younger, with all the noise and hustle & bustle of the sellers and buyers, as he liked to go looking for old furniture or tools.
Looking for something to photograph whilst wandering along the deserted streets, I came across the remains of this burnt out shed. It couldn't have happened too long ago, as you could still smell the smoke on what remained of the wooden panels.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
There's been demonstrations all over the country by teachers complaining about their pay, pensions and conditions. They are also upset at the government's continued interference in how they should be teaching their students.
Of course there was one in Nottingham. Unfortunately I couldn't see it as it took place while I was at work. But I went to the Old Market Square at lunchtime, just in case they were still there. Sadly they weren't, but I did come across some discarded banners, which for teachers, I thought was rather irresponsible.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Here's a shot of the castle. I took it from the top of the multi-storey car park near the railway station.
I took it with our new Olympus 75-300mm lens, which we got from the Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham earlier in the month.
I wanted to give it a go, to see what range it has. I think it is about half a mile away, so I don't think it's done a bad job.
I'm not quite sure how much we will use it, but it's a great addition to our camera kit bag.
Monday, 24 March 2014
Sunday, 23 March 2014
This is Tim Boynton, singer and ace guitarist with local band The Outriders.
He was playing solo tonight at the Lincolnshire Poacher pub on Mansfield Road.
Our main objective was to see our great friend and talented folk singer Dave Mitchell, who was doing a turn, so seeing Tim as well was a bonus.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
More destruction in Beeston. This time they are rebuilding some of the small shopping centre in the centre of the town.
Some of the smaller shops have been demolished to make way for some bigger ones, which is going to include a new gym.
I don't know how long this work is going to take, but it has added to the misery of the tram works that are taking place at the same time.
There doesn't appear to be any end to the chaos that is affecting the town, with roads still closed, shops struggling, as customers stay away and just about everyone is fed up with the place looking like some war zone.
Friday, 21 March 2014
Nottingham is famous for three writers; Lord Byron, DH Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe. A big poster has recently gone up close to the railway station promoting this fact.
Lord Byron was a well known poet of the day. He was born in 1788 and died in 1824. They say he was mad, bad and dangerous to know, being a womaniser having huge debts and instigating a self imposed exile. He lived at Newstead Abbey, which is now a crumbling ruin, and a place that I haven't visited yet.
DH Lawrence was born in Eastwood in 1885, the son of a coal miner. His most famous novel is Lady Chatterley's Lover. There was quite an outcry in 1960 when Penguin published a paperback version of the novel, and a court trial began under the Obscene Publications Act, as the novel contains various swearwords , that might be common place now, but back then were very shocking.
Finally Alan Sillitoe, the most contemporary of the writers. The former Raleigh factory worker wrote of course Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, the story of a hard drinking and womanising Raleigh worker. I don't think it was autobiographical. He also wrote the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which concerned the life of a Borstal Boy.
Thursday, 20 March 2014
A new restaurant was officially opened tonight in Beeston whilst being visited by the lady mayor.
It's called Table 8 and is owned by two brothers Kevin & Chris. Kevin looks after the cooking, whilst Chris deals with everything else.
The place was packed tonight, although they weren't serving any meals yet. That happens on Saturday. Tonight was about publicising the place, telling people that the restaurant is open, as the building itself has been closed for over a year, when the previous restaurant called The Library folded.
I hope it is a success, especially as that section of Wollaton Road seems to be the place to go for food, as there are a couple of other restaurants there, including Cafe Roya where Gail & I go to the film club we belong to. There are also a couple of Indian & Chinese take-aways, which we're ordered from in the past and a fish & chip shop.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
While having a stroll around Matlock Bath on Sunday, we came across this Bentley sports car. it was of course attracting a lot of attention form the passers by.
Looking on the Internet, the price of it is somewhere around £160,000. So the person who owns it, obviously has a fair bit of money, and going on the number plate, they are not ashamed of boasting about it.
It was parked outside one of the amusement arcades, so Gail thought the car belonged to the owner of it, as such places do make lots of money from the punters who have no chance of winning, no matter how much money that they put in the slot machines and the like. These places tend to be run by criminals as well.
I'm not really sure whether I like this car or not. It's a bit too flash for my taste, as I prefer the more classic lines of the older style cars. I still took a photo of it though.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
I read a Tweet earlier today about a fashion show that was taking place at the Lakeside Arts Centre.
So I popped along, to see what it was about, as obviously it could be a possible photo opportunity.
The show was organised by the university and was aimed at students that will be graduating this year. It was designed to show them what sort of clothes to wear both at interview and in the office, once they had landed a job.
There was also a section where they staged three mock interviews. Someone who did averagely, someone who did brilliantly and as my photo shows, someone who didn't do very well because they didn't show any enthusiasm, weren't dressed properly and was a bit rude.
Monday, 17 March 2014
St Patrick's Day today, and the contingent of the cities' Irish population were out and about in the Old Market Square following on from the traditional parade from the Forest recreation ground.
As I have seen the parade for a number of years now, I knew what to expect, so I was on the lookout for something different. And different I got!
It's not everyday you see a fishing boat sailing down the road that's carrying musical fishermen. And in keeping with the musical theme, how about Elton John dressed as a nun? Not the real Elton John of course, and not a real nun either. But he was funny, and the audience were laughing at his antics and comic tunes.
Sunday, 16 March 2014
As it was such a lovely day, Gail thought we should go out and make the most of it. So we packed our camera gear and headed off for Matlock Bath in Derbyshire.
A lot of other people must have had the same idea, as the town was heaving with people, mainly bikers in their black leather outfits.
We had a stroll around, then stopped off at one of the many fish and chip shops for a plate of Britain's favourite food.
Saturday, 15 March 2014
I've shot Kelli a few times at different local studios, so I was very pleased to be asked to go to a local penthouse apartment to do a shoot with her.
I was quite taken with the Marilyn Monroe wallpaper, and fortunately she had bought this lacy evening gown along. So I went for a sophisticated 'girl about town' look, complimented by the black leather settee and furry cushions.
Friday, 14 March 2014
Thursday, 13 March 2014
The Star Inn in Beeston has a new owner and has just gone through a major re-fit over the last few weeks.
Today was it's grand opening. Alas, we weren't able to be the first customers, as it opened during the day, but we popped down tonight to see how they had done up the old place.
It was originally a coaching inn, hence the large doors you can see where the coaches went through. The pub also appeared in two TVdrama serials that were made in the 1980s, Auf Weidersehen Pet, which was about a group of builders and Boon, which concerned an ex fireman who became a private detective.
As you can imagine the place was heaving, as locals were seeing what the place now looked like from it's earlier 'spit and sawdust' incarnation. In fact it was that packed, I found it a little difficult to take any decent photographs, so I took one of the freshly painted brickwork outside instead.
Maybe when the publicity dies down & no so crowded, we will visit again and I'll be able to take some better shots, of the different rooms. Although you can see one of the rooms which has been designed like a library, with book wallpaper. But there is a small collection of real books that you can read whilst enjoying your pint.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Whilst visiting Cobden Chambers, I came across another one of the sculptures that have been made by apprentices.
I'm not sure if I like this one or not. It looks a bit morbid to me, and the hole in his chest reminds me of the scene in Alien, when the monster bursts out of John Hurt.
I once saw a fantastic spoof of that scene on TV, where instead of it being a baby alien, it was Sooty!
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Many of you will recognise these cheeky chappies, from the television, as they are of course The Hairy Bikers; chefs Si King & Dave Myers.
They have been on the TV a number of years now, cooking up regional, national and international dishes from the back of their motorbikes.
A new series has recently started on the BBC which shows them going around Asia and cooking the various dishes that the continent has created.
They were in Smiths today signing their latest cookbooks for fans. Due to a long team meeting at work, I arrived just as they were signing their last books. So I managed to get this shot whilst they were posing for shop staff.
They then left the store and headed for a stand outside where there were a couple of motorbikes belonging the the Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes. They chatted to the guys and signed a few more books that people had bought, but not had the opportunity of getting signed in Smiths.
Monday, 10 March 2014
An area of the city centre that has been abandoned for the last twenty years, is slowly coming back to life.
Cobden Chambers only appears to be accessible from a small alleyway just off a main thoroughfare. People have not even be aware of it's existence. Maybe that's why its been left alone for such a long time.
But plans are in hand to turn it into a little oasis of independent shops. A couple have recently opened; one selling vintage goods, another which looked like stationery, as the shop was closed and I could only see them through the window.
A lot of work has already taken place to make the area look attractive, with bright colours and murals. And as you can see, another of the buildings is currently being renovated.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
I've had another go at shooting some flowers with my new 60mm macro lens.
Not got there yet, but getting better. At least the middle of this crocus that I saw in Beeston's churchyard is in focus. Just need to work on the rest of the flower, so it all is.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
A late afternoon drive to visit Gail's mum who lives in a nursing home some miles away, and the sun was beginning to set. Gail suggested that we stop off somewhere to see if we could find a spot to take a photo or two of it.
We stopped off at a place called South Normanton and found a bridge that spans the M1. It was only for pedestrians, and was a bit scary with all the vehicles speeding past fifty feet below.
Whilst taking some other sky shots from the side of the bridge, a mother and daughter appeared at the brow, which gives the scene some interest and focal point.
Friday, 7 March 2014
Well it's gone. The Pagoda is no more.
Above is the scene on Wednesday, below, how it is today. Now just a pile of bricks and rubble.
I shall continue to watch what is happening to the site and to try and find out what is going to be built in its place.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Walking through the Lace Market, I came across this giant sculpture of a telephone handset.
It's part of a street art exhibition that has been created by students at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technicians, and has been done to promote apprenticeships.
There are apparently around a dozen sculptures dotted across the city. So it will be interesting to see what else the students have created.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
They're coming to get you. Slowly at first, creeping along, so you don't notice them. Then all of a sudden, bam they've got you.
I bet you're scared now, at what these mysterious things are that I've managed to get a photo of.
Well you don't have to be, as they are only spores on some moss that I saw growing on a wall near the canal. I just happened to shoot it with my new 60mm macro lens that I got at the Photography Show.
Sadly the shot isn't super sharp. A mixture of the wind blowing the plant and my lack of knowledge of shooting with a specialist lens. Hopefully this will improve and I'll be able to take life size photos of insects, beetles etc.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
As a late birthday present; well it did come all the way from Hong Kong, Gail bought me this Minion case for my iPhone.
Isn't he amusing, and being made from rubber, he should hopefully help to protect my phone, should I happen to have an accident with it.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Not being at work for the last week, I didn't get to visit the city centre at all, so I was wondering what state the old Pagoda Chinese restaurant would be in, now I know that it is being demolished.
So at lunchtime I went to have a look and see if much work had taken place during my time away. Well, as you can see they have certainly raised the roof. Well knocked it down actually!
It's interesting to see that they used the first floor as the kitchen, and I think there are a couple of dumb waiters there, so it saves walking up and down stairs.
I bet it will be fully demolished by the end of the week. Then it will be interesting to see what they build in its place. Be really funny if it is going to be another Chinese restaurant!
Sunday, 2 March 2014
It's always interesting to see how air travel has developed since the early 1920's, when small propeller driven plane used to fly to France and other parts of Europe. Croydon Airport seemed to be the most well known at that time.
Birmingham Airport started life in the late 1930s in Elmdon, which is part of Solihull. Elmdon Aerodrome opened in 1939, but was soon turned into an RAF base, then becoming Birmingham Airport in about 1960.
My photo shows the Elmdon Building, which was the original terminal building. It's a great example of Art Deco architecture. Perfectly symmetrical, with all the straight lines that are typical of 30s buildings. The canopies on each side were built to protect passengers and baggage from bad weather as they went on and came off the planes.
A shame that it was not possible to see the front of the building, as unfortunately that is inside the airport parameter. But this old photo from English Heritage shows what an amazing building it is. It even looks like a plane. A really lovely building, and pleased that it is still in use. I just think that it needs a bit of TLC and a lick of paint.
Saturday, 1 March 2014
For the next few days, the NEC in Birmingham will be full of photography enthusiasts, as it holds the relaunched and rebranded Photography Show.
Today was the first day & so Gail and I popped down to see what was going on and how much money we could try not to spend!
Of course it was packed. And there was a good buzz in the air. It seemed a lot different to last year's Focus on Imaging. Plenty of brightly lit stands showing their wares. The Olympus stand looked enormous, and it was good to say hello to top tog Damian McGillicuddy, who had just completed a demonstration using one of Olympus's latest cameras.
During the time we were there, I was looking for something unusual to photograph, other than people trying out cameras or looking at the latest kit. So I was quite surprised to see Darth Vader and one of his Stormtroopers there in full menacing stance.
They of course haven't mistaken the West Midlands for Tatooine and were about to destroy it with the Death Star, but were posing, as part of a studio lighting demonstration.