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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Blossoming Out

The sun seems to have got his hat on these past few days, and that has certainly been good for the cherry blossom in Highfields, as it's bursting into little delicate pink flowers.

The trees always attract lots of people who come to see them. There were quite a few students taking photos tonight on their mobile phones, so they could send them home to show their parents what a lovely place they are studying in.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

On Golden Pond

Well it's been lovely and sunny today. The sun even remained shining when I left work for home at 6pm, so I thought that I would cycle through Highfields in daylight, which I haven't done since last October.

The sun was just starting to set when I reached the park, and had cast a rather nice golden glow on the boating lake. This Canada goose thought so too, as it was just standing there admiring the scene. I thought so as well, as I took this shot.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Decade Of Nottingham Blogging

Well today's the day, Nottingham Daily Photo is now ten years old.

It's been a long, interesting, but sometimes disappointing journey. But most of the time it has been fun, and I have been to take photos at some great places and met some very nice people.

I like to think that my photography has come on in leaps and bounds, and I take photos a lot more professionally now than I used to.  I've also gone through quite a few cameras by different companies. I started off with a little Canon point & shoot, next came Panasonic. Canon again. A DSLR this time, but couldn't get on with it. So I sold it and got a Nikon D90. Which I enjoyed using. But it got damaged. I got some insurance money for it, and instead of getting another one, Gail & I invested in the bigger D3s instead.

Bigger and heavier it was, but then came along the nifty Olympus EM-5, which was half the size and half the weight; but the photos are just as good. I have since slightly upgraded to the EM-1, which I am very happy with and will probably go on using until it wears out.

Strangely enough my first blog entry wasn't about Nottingham at all, but Dubai. My early posts were also about Sydney, Crete and Bangkok. My first one about Nottingham appeared on April 3rd.

So now over 3300 entries later, we arrive at today's post. A rather cute cuddly fox that I took yesterday at Bardills, our local garden centre.  I thought he resembled Sherlock Holmes, with his little cap and waistcoat.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Forty Winks

Here's another photo of Oscar asleep. He sure does love dozing and really does make sure that he is really comfortable while he's doing it.

I don't know how many hours in the day he does sleep, but it's certainly a lot more than me.  Maybe because a cat only lives around 10 years, while a human it's 70. So perhaps one day for us is equal to a week for them. Maybe there isn't any truth in my idea, but maybe it explains why Oscar sleeps for about three quarters of a day.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Water Flower

We seem to have a bit of hydroponics going on in the garden, as this hyacinth is clearly growing in the water of a bucket, that I left around.

I know there is a bit of soil at the bottom, and there must have been a bulb amongst it, so somehow it has taken root and is now flowering, with these delicate pink blooms.

I guess I should remove the bulb, otherwise it will start to rot away.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Watching Me Like A Hawk

There was an Easter fair in Beeston Square today, where you could buy home made items for presents like jewellery, hats and fudge.

Also present was the local bird sanctuary, with a number of their birds of prey on show for people to look at and ask about, and of course like me, take photos of.

This hawk seemed to want to be photographed, and kept posing for my camera. I certainly didn't ruffle his feathers as I clicked away.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Battered Beauty

I came across some exciting news on Facebook last night. Google was giving away their Nix Collection photo software, which up to now has been on sale for about £90.

So I clicked on the link provided and downloaded the seven module program and merged it to my Lightroom software.

I had a play today to see what each of the different programs did. There's one for reducing noise, one for converting into black & white, etc.  I tried them all on this photo of Carla Monaco. Some worked, some didn't. Here's the treatment that I liked the best.

If you fancy downloading the software yourself, then here's the link Nix Collection

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Smile For The Camera

My final photo from the Photography Show is this shot of a model that I took using a new speed light that this stall were demonstrating.

It was a bit different in design to normal speed lights in that it comes with an external  battery pack and its bulb is much brighter than normal bulbs. In fact it is more like a small portable studio light. There were various modifiers of different sizes that were available to buy.

 It took me a couple of goes to get the photo almost right. The first effort was a bit overblown, as the power had been tired up a bit too much, while the second attempts too dark. But this one is just about right.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Don't Be Afraid Darling

There was an interesting little scene near the entrance to the Photography Show.

It was a reenactment of life in the 1940s. There was a Nissan Hut and a little garden scene, which I am showing here.

The people that take part are all fans of vintage, and really enjoy dressing up and pretending that they are living in that era. They call themselves 'Timeline Events'.

Of course they were attracting lots of attention from all the photographers that were coming in and they were all queuing up to take photos. The 'actors' were only too pleased to pose for everyone.

I caught them on the way out, when there weren't that many people around, which made it a lot easier to get the shot without having to dodge other people.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Shopping For Lord Vader

I didn't think Darth Vader had time for photography, as he was so busy trying to rule the universe and eliminate all the Jedi knights, but I spotted one of his Stormtroopers out shopping for camera equipment at the Photography Show.

He must have had a lot of money to spend, as the Stormtrooper has a shopping trolley to fill. I don't know what currency he'll try and use to pay for the cameras, lenses and lighting equipment, as the stalls only take Sterling, Euros or credit cards.

Apparently the Stormtrooper's name is Eric and he has become quite well known on the Internet, as his visits to Earth have been documented by a photographer called Darryll Jones. If you want to see what else Eric has been up to, then pop over to Eric's page.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Brucie Bonus

This furtive looking chap is world famous American photographer Bruce Gilden. He was at the Photography Show today, talking about his life behind the camera, together with some commentary over quite a few of his well known photos that he's taken in New York, Haiti and Japan.

Bruce is well known for being quite an aggressive photographer on the streets of New York, where he almost pushes the lens into a person's face. He is also a Magnum photographer, and has had several books published of his work.

It was interesting listening to the stories of who was in the photos and how they ended up there. He also talked about his three wives and his health problems, now he has reached the age of 69.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Late Night Conversations

Another album design. This time, a local singer by the name of Erin.

She has a sweet folkish voice, that is well suited to those dinners with friends, or that ultimate romantic meal.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Diamonds Are Forever

It's amazing what you sometimes come across when you're walking down the street.

Take yesterday for instance, when I came across this discarded playing card, with some numbers written on it. A phone number perhaps?

Other things that I've seen, but not photographed have included odd shoes, soft toys. A child's hat that was popped on top of a bollard and numerous babies' dummies.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Wrecking Crew

Do you often get that feeling when you realise that it's too late to do something which you should have done sometime ago?

Well I got that feeling today, when I saw that they had begun to knock down a building that I should have taken a photo of a few months ago.

The building in particular is the former British Red Cross offices, situated on a cross roads near the QMC. It has been empty for a while now, and so I've had ample opportunity to do it, but kept putting it off. Now it is too late.

Besides taking its photo for posterity, it was also unusual in design, in that it had a strange roof design, as well as the overall footprint of building. Certainly a one off. I can't quite remember when it was originally built, but it has certainly been there since the mid 1970s.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Hound Of The Baskervilles

Today is of course St Partick's Day, and there was the usual parade and music in the Old Market Square. But due to a task at work taking longer than expected, I missed it.  Still I reckon it would probably have been more or less the same as last year. So by the time I reached the centre of town, a lot of the people had left, and probably gone to down a few pints of Guinness or a dram of whiskey.

So the hunt was on to find something worth taking a photo of. I didn't see that many people dressed up. Although there were some dancers on the stage, but they had built a cordon around it, so I couldn't get near it. So the was out of the question. But then I saw a group of about three giant Irish Wolfhounds near the steps of the Council House. I had seen them on previous years, but they were always surrounded by lots of people wanting to stroke them.  But as I had arrived late, there weren't that many near them. I gave a little whistle to attract his attention, then took his portrait.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Time For Relaxing

Here's another negative that I've brought to life at the weekend.

Possibly the same woman from yesterday, only this time she's relaxing in her summer house, although it looks more like a large garden shed, especially with the rough grass growing under the doorway.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


Here's another scanned negatives from the collection that I got the other day.

Another great photo showing what clothing from the 1920s looked like, together with that really delightful parasol.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Face From The Past

Browsing around one of the many charity shops in Beeston that I like to do on a Saturday morning, I came across a paper bag containing some old photos and negatives from the 1920s.

Twenty seven negatives and eighty eight small, black & white photos, were in the bag for £2.49. None of the photos were that interesting. But for such a small price, I just couldn't resist. A shame that they weren't like the Vivian Maier collection that someone bought from an auction that she took in the 1950s & 60s, but it's still an interesting find.

I wondered how I could turn the negatives into positives. Then I remembered that on some  photo software that I've got, there's a program that can change photos into negatives. So I wondered whether it would do the opposite. So after scanning the negative, I found what I wanted, and clicked the button, and if by magic, this image appeared. Possibly seen for the first time.

It's not a particularly exciting photo, but it is interesting from a social point of view, and with the fashion of course.  I've got no idea as to where it was taken. Some of the photos have Ilfracombe and Lemington Spa written on them. While the packets from the developers come from Bournemouth and Felixstowe.  Despite its age, the negative is in quite good condition. I've hardy touched it at all in Lightroom, except for a bit of darkening and sharpening. More to come.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Light Night

Well not long until the clocks go forward and the lighter nights return and events start happening at the weekend at places like Wollaton Park.

I spent a pleasant afternoon in the front garden, with weeding, pruning and planting. I managed to stay out until nearly 6.30, before it began to get dark and I just had a nearby streetlight for company.

Having a bit of a break from some weeding, I looked up and noticed that a very pleasant sunset had formed in the sky. The first one that I had seen at home. I've seen a couple at work recently, but it's difficult to take photos through the office windows. So I popped indoors to get my camera and fired off a couple of shots from the upstairs window.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Foggy Bottom

Here's another shot from yesterday's foggy cycle ride through Highfields.

Not a lot to say about this almost silhouette of a tree by the lake, other than it looks a bit mysterious and haunting.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Duckling And Diving

Nottingham woke up wrapped up in a deep blanket of fog this morning. So I made a small detour through Highfields, to see how the park looked in the mist.

Everywhere was shrouded in grey. Trees, the lake, the Lakeside Theatre.  I took lots of photos, but I was looking for something a little different.

Whilst I was taking some photos of the misty lake, one of the large birds started honking. Then I knew why. Looking down I saw a little chick running about. Obviously a protective parent looking after their baby.

Then the baby bird made their way through the railings and waddled towards me. Then they decided to stop and have a drink from a puddle near me. Just in the right spot for a photo. I then noticed that the chicks' other parent was watching their baby from the top of the railings. One proud parent looking out for the baby.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Foor For Thought

As there are so many eating places in the city centre, it's often difficult to know what to choose, as there is so much on offer. Italian, Spanish, French, pizzas, pies, burgers, fish & chips. Nottingham has it all.

This woman is studying the menu of the Cock & Hoop pub in the Lace Market, situated opposite the Galleries of Justice.

The pub is linked to the hotel next door, and both have been closed for a while, as the hotel closed for some reason.

But a new owner has been found, and so both businesses have reopened.  But they might have finished painting the door before they did.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Leaving In Style

There was a big funeral in town today, that took place at St Peter's Church.

The weather wasn't very nice, but the two horses that were pulling the hearse didn't seem to mind. Fortunately the driver had his heavy clock and top hat to keep him dry.

While I was passing, a lot of people emerged into the street from the church. So whoever it was must have had a lot of friends and a lot of money, as hiring one of those hearses can't be cheap. In fact I've only ever seen them in movies; especially those featuring East End gangsters.

Whilst I had a quick look on Twitter this afternoon, I came across a post from someone who had also taken a photo of the hearse, who also works for BBC Radio Nottingham. But what was interesting, was the message that came with it. They had been to the funeral and had said whose it was. A former local ballet teacher called Nora Morrison.

Doing a quick search on Google, revealed that she was 98 and had taught ballet since the 1930s, and was still teaching up to her death. She received an MBE in 2010. Apparently she was very well known in Nottingham, but unfortunately not to me.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


So where do you think I took this photo of Matt?

Do you want a clue?  Well it's not where you think it is.

Yes, that right, Matt's not posing on some American trailer park, but down at Beeston's marina, where there are a number of permanently sited mobile homes.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Sleepy Time

Our little Oscar. You must agree that he is so photogenic. I  just can't seem to stop taking photos of him. Especially when he's sleeping like a baby, and snoring quietly to himself.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Army Dreamers

Here's one of the army vehicles that were on display in the Old Market Square the other day.

A big green truck. I think it would make a very good conversion into a camper van. Plenty of space and high up, so you would get a good view from such a high position. Especially if you put a little skylight in the roof.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Whatever The Weather

Just got back from Beeston and got caught in a hailstone storm. No, this isn't 'noise' from my camera, but the actual little white frozen balls falling from the sky.

What makes the scene even more unusual, is that there's the beginnings of a rainbow too.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Chocks Away

Besides this small military helicopter, there were several very large army vehicles and a lot of soldiers in the Old Market Square today.

They were there to promote enlisting into the army, by showing all the different areas that they could go into. Dog handling, communications, transport. But there didn't seem to be a lot of emphasis on guns and killing the enemy. Whoever they might be.

There were plenty of people knocking about and looking at the various machines and stalls.

Nottinghamshire's regiment is called the Mercians. They used to be known as the Sherwood Foresters, but for some reason the name was changed a few years ago. My late uncle Frank was a Sherwood Forester during World War 1, afterwards he worked for the Post Office.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Wherever I Lay My Hat, That's My Home

No, this isn't somebody's sitting room or lounge, but the window display of a charity shop situated down in Hockley.

Although the shop describes the stuff that it sells as vintage, rather than second hand or used, it's still at heart a charity shop. But the prices certainly aren't those of a usual charity shop.

It's strange how these sorts of shops have recently rebranded themselves. Something to do with the fascination these days with the 1950s and 60s.

The old is the new, new.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Thrown Down The Gauntlet

The Sheriff of Nottingham has had another go at trying to stop Robin Hood from stealing his riches to give to the local poor and needy.

His soldiers tried capturing our hero, but of course Robin was too quick and clever to be beaten, and the guards ran away as quick as they could. All they left behind was this old gauntlet.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Eyes, Whiskers And A Little Pink Nose

Oscar is a very photogenic cat, and he doesn't seem to mind having his photo taken.

Here he is looking all sweet and innocent whilst posing for the camera. In reality he is just sitting patiently for food, like some feline Oliver Twist.