Saturday, 31 December 2016
Please be seated, as this is my final post from Nottingham Daily Photo.
After nearly 11 years and over 3500 entries, I have decided to stop posting. It has been a tough decision; being part of my life for so long, but there doesn't seem to be as much interest in photoblogs these days, and I have seen a visible drop in visitors and comments over the last year or so I know that isn't the main reason for doing a blog, but it is good to get feedback and to know what you're doing is worthwhile, rather than something to do to pass the time.
But I've not really been getting that recently, and my enthusiasm for posting everyday has wained too. I could take a sabbatical from it like I have done before. But I don't think the situation would improve after the break. So I have made the decision of not doing it anymore.
I will of course still be taking photos every day, as photography is my passion. And so will probably just post daily on Facebook and Twitter, as I get more interaction there. I may even give Instagram a go.
Also the Blogger platform has changed over time, and I don't find it as easy to use anymore, as they keep tweaking with it, and it seems to take ages for it to perform tasks. It might be down to having so many photos on here now.
So my final photo from Nottingham shows the Pitcher and Piano bar, a converted church in the Lace Market. I was there to take some photos and videos of my friends band The Disco Prophets, who performed there and saw in 2017 with some great covers of disco classics.
Finally I would like to thank all the visitors down the years. All 545,000 of them, and especially those that have left comments. William Kendall and Stefan Jansson who are regular visitors and to my long suffering wife Gail. The ultimate photography widow.
So it just leaves me to wish you all a great 2017. Which after 2016, should be an improvement.
Sunday, 25 December 2016
Well it's late Christmas Day, and I eaten a big dinner, and polished off a few chocolates, and my thoughts are turning to 2017, and what may happen.
2016, has on the whole been a very disappointing one; especially with all the famous people that have died this year. Only yesterday Rick Parfitt from Status Quo has passed on. And I'm not sure how Carrie Fisher is doing.
I'll keep clear of politics, both here and across the world. But the signs haven't been good.
So what about next year? Looking through my photographic archive of what to put on, I thought about holidays. We did have a very good one this year, when we went on a little road trip around Cornwall. But I cam across the photos I took in Florence, when we went on a tour of Tuscany during the autumn of 2015.
Now that was exciting.
So here's a bit of a still life that I took at one of the many tourist shops, of two things you see a lot there, statues from Roman history and Vespa scooters.
I have no idea as to where we will be going for a holiday during 2017. It will be great to see some more of both Italy and Cornwall. But then there's so many other places that we haven't seen yet; both here and abroad. Time to get some brochures and get booking.
Friday, 23 December 2016
For some, Christmas is a time of sadness. It's not all parties, crackers and tinsel if you're feeling, lonely, sad or generally down. People are also grieving for loved ones that they have lost recently.
One such, is the person that taped this bunch of flowers to the railings along the canal, as last week, the police sadly fished someone out of the water, who had gone missing.
A upsetting thing for both the police, and for the family of the man they retrieved.
I hope the person that did this, has taken some comfort from marking the area where it happened.
I pass this way to and from work, and it's not nice to know that someone decided that this was going to be the place where they wanted to end it all. Fortunately there are a number of voluntary organisations that are there to help people that are feeling the same way. I just hope that they decide to call them first.
Thursday, 22 December 2016
I read on social media last week that there would be the opportunity of meeting some real reindeer this week at the Ice Arena.
So I popped down in my lunch hour to take a look and to take some photos.
There were three in total, but sadly they didn't come from Lapland, but Peterborough. The Woodbine Rare Breeds Farm actually, and were being looked after by a non-elfish elf.
They seemed quite happy to walk around the penned area in Bolero Square, eating, or scratching at the straw. One had even fallen asleep.
There was an entrance fee of a small donation to raise money for a local charity called Framework that looks after the homeless. So it was all in a good cause.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
I always know when Christmas is meant to start, And that's when folk singer Kate Rusby rolls into town with her festive concert, complete with a reindeer and a small brass band.
I must have seen Kate and her band a dozen or so times now, and never tire of her tunes, stories and humour.
She comes from Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, and is really down to earth. I don't think she could be a diva if she tried. No peeled grapes, or champaign for her. She's happy with a mug of Yorkshire tea and some biscuits. For example, she said that she was cold on stage, so she came back on wearing a woolly fleece.
The packed Royal Centre audience enjoyed about two hours of music, including three versions of the carol "While Shepherds Watched", but all with different tunes. Apparently there are thirty, and Kate wondered whether the audience would be interested in listening to them all!
I had booked late, so all the really good seats had gone, as she is really popular. So mine was up in the 'gods'. So I took along my telecom lens, to see if I could capture a few moments. I managed to take a few shots, before the inevitable tap on the shoulder and the usual phrase "Sorry, no photography".
It was the last night of the tour, so she will be driving back to Barnsley to spend the festivities with her partner Damian O'Kane, who also plays in the band, her two daughters, and her eleven year old dog Daisy.
Next year marks her 25th year as a performer. So no doubt Ms Rusby will be back in Nottingham before long, and hopefully I will get a better seat next time.
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Like most people, I'm always in a rush to get away from the office and get myself home. But tonight I thought I would stop and see if I could take a long exposure photo, of the lights along the canal.
Some parts of it are brighter than others, with the luxury flats reflected off the very still water.
Fortunately where I stopped was a big wooden post, so I could prop my camera on it, as I didn't have a tripod with me, and would be using a slow shutter speed. Well who carries a tripod with them to work!
The floating white light trail along the path, is actually a cycle light caught in the one minute exposure.
Sunday, 18 December 2016
With not feeling at all Christmassy this year, I wonder if I should get this T shirt, as it converts how I am feeling with an added sense of humour.
It, and many others are for sale on a stall in the Old Market Square's Winter Wonderland.
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Well it's only a week before the festive season, and I am completely lacking in Christmas spirit this year for some reason. So much so, that looking in a diary, I didn't even realise that we will be getting the 27th off as a bank holiday.
I've been on a Christmas lunch with my colleagues at work, which despite being very tasty, didn't help me look forward to late December.
Being the last Saturday before the 'big day' Beeston was heaving with shoppers and present hunters. The monthly 'farmer's market's being held in the Square. I bought some brownies from the Beeston based Brownie Company and some vegetarian pies from another local company, that I'll cook for tomorrow's dinner.
Along the High Road I heard the sound of a brass band, which kept being drowned out by the sound emitting from a small fair that was close by. I think they must have been music students from the university, doing a bit of busking and getting people into the mood for Christmas. Sadly it didn't work on me.
Friday, 16 December 2016
I decided to go with a manual lens today, and so chose my Nikon 50mm f1.4 to use, from a wide range that I have.
Slightly better weather, so took a walk to the Old Market Square to see if the ice ring was being used.
To my surprise I saw high wire fencing around it, so wondered if something had happened, and it had been cordoned off. But no, things were ok, as I saw that an ice hockey was just about to take place. Only five a side, as the rink isn't that big.
I don't know who the teams were. Presumably some of them were from the local Panthers team. The wire fencing made taking photos difficult, but there were a couple of gaps here and there, so I managed to get a few shots that weren't ruined by black lines over the pictures.
Monday, 12 December 2016
Here's another tabletop figurine that I came across yesterday whilst out shopping.
A strange hybrid of a labrador's head on a man's body. It's entitled 'Gangster'. Maybe the sculptor has seen too many science fiction or horror movies.
Not something that I'd like on display in our home. I don't think it would look any better if it was of a man's head on a dog's body either.
And yes, I have used the price tag to hide his modesty. If you were wondering about the cost. It's £59.
Sunday, 11 December 2016
Some of you may be old enough to remember an amusing song by The Goodies, called 'Do, Do, Do the Funky Gibbon'. It made the pop charts in the mid 1970s.
Well Gail & I were in a furniture shop this afternoon, when I spotted this rather large gold ape statue sitting on a table and staring at me.
Of course I had my camera with me. If you're into photography, you always do. Just in case you come across something unusual or newsworthy. So I took a photo or two. I wondered if an assistant would tell me off, as the store wasn't particularly busy. But no, I was left alone to snap away.
Saturday, 10 December 2016
The Captain wasn't quite sure what was happening. He had heard stories from his men, that there was some strange purple coloured plant that was trying to take over the ground in his area of command.
He hadn't seen any. But hadn't dismissed it, as he trusted his fellow meerkats and the fact that they always told the truth.
So he decided to have a look himself. He got up and had a look around. Yes, it was true, the purple weed had surrounded him. There was no escape.
Fortunately the assistant at my local B&Q store, picked him up and put hime back on the shelf with his mates.
Friday, 9 December 2016
Today, I decided to take the 7-14mm wide-angle lens out for an airing.
It's not a lens that I use very much, as it can distort the view a little bit, if you're a little bit too close to your subject. But it is useful in the right place.
So here's a scene from the Winter Wonderland, with everyone being welcomed by this big smiling snowman.
I haven't tried a snowcake yet. But I bet they are just like snowballs, being marshmallow and covered in flakes of coconut. The ones covered in chocolate are the best.
Thursday, 8 December 2016
Here's another shot from our walk yesterday around the Winter Wonderland in the Old Market Square.
There still weren't that many skaters on the rink. With the big smile on her face, this girl was certainly having a great time, especially as she just about had it all to herself.
She was whizzing around with her blonde hair flowing and her Christmas cardie flapping in the breeze. I've seen lots of Christmas jumpers, but never a cardigan. Maybe she's a trendsetter.
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Much, much better weather today. The sun was out and it was a lot warmer. So my workmate and I had another wander to the Winter Wonderland in the Old Market Square, to see if there were more people about, and some skating on the rink, so he could have another go with my big lens.
When he gave it me back, I just had to take a shot of these two having a romantic kiss by the skating rink. Sadly there was no mistletoe around. So they had to make do with their pints of beer.
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
The fog which we experienced yesterday evening was still in evidence today, even in the Old Market Square at lunchtime.
I met up with my workmate who is a photographer too, as he wanted to have a go with my 40-150mm, f2.8 lens. He has just converted to Olympus from Fuji, and wanted to try my lenses out, to see if they would suit his style of photography.
So while he was having a go with that, I was using another lens. So decided to take a photo of the Council House, which was bathed in grey.
Apparently tomorrow's weather should be a lot better, so we'll see what what is on offer for our cameras.
Monday, 5 December 2016
We received some sad news early this morning. Gail's mum Eileen had died in the nursing home that she had been in for the past few years.
She was only in her seventies, but had been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimers disease some years ago. In fact, remembering back, it wasn't long after Gail & I got together that, the early signs were developing. Forgetting things, or repeating what she had said.
So alas I didn't really have the opportunity of getting to know her as my mother in law. Which is sad in itself, as I have never had one before and wondered whether the stories about them were true or not.
Besides Gail, she had another seven daughters and three sons. A whole football team of offspring in fact. Sadly for them, their father died in the late 1960s, so some of them, including Gail never grew up with a father. So their mum did a wonderful job of bringing them up alone and probably with very little money.
Fortunately love struck again some years later, when Eileen met her second husband. And were together a number of years, until he too passed away.
I didn't see my new mum in law that often, as we lived in a different part of the county. But when we did meet up, you could tell that she wasn't very well. Then one day she just had to go in a nursing home, and then her quality of life deteriorated over time. Not through lack of care, as it was a lovely home with caring staff, but through the illness getting worse and worse, until she ended up bedridden and unable to do anything. Just lying there, her spirit trapped inside a dying body.
So the news came through in the early hours that she had passed away. I'm not a religious person in any way, but if there is such a thing as 'heaven' in whatever form it takes, then hopefully she is reunited with her two husbands, her brother who died in an accident and all her friends that had gone before her. And that they are all having a great time, happy and illness free.
So I would just like to thank Eileen for creating my darling Gail, who I love so much, and sorry that I didn't get to know you as much as I would have liked. Rest in peace Eileen.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Well all of the shops now have just about done all their Christmas windows.
Marks and Spencer's have done a great job with one of their window displays. It features a table groaning under the weight of food. Something that M&S is famous for.
But I was more interested in the two mannikins that have been posed in a romantic clinch, complete with mistletoe. Their blank faces make them look like robots. Maybe the window designer had been listening to Kraftwerk's Computer Love.