31 August 2011

What is this life

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

W.H. Davies

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30 August 2011

Lee Miller

I was bought a present at the weekend - a bank holiday present if you will. The whole bank holiday was very world wars and spies orientated in the choice of films watched. So to receive a book about a beautiful woman photographer who was as famous for her portraits as her devastating photographs of World War Two was to round off the this espionage themed weekend nicely. 

Carolyn Burke is a meticulous researcher and an entertaining writer so I am looking forward to reading this.

I will also have my own feelings of viewing Lee Millers work - as over Christmas in 2007 I went down to the V&A to see the exhibition 'The Art of Lee Miller'.

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New Art Pass - it's official

I have decided to join the Art Fund and this morning my pass and Members' Guide arrived. 

My new pass and Members' Guide

You have just got to love a bit of spot UV

Right I really do have to make use of this pass. As I have the Guide it will make it easier to make choices. I did hear that there is a post-modernism exhibition at the V&A - will definitely find the time to see that.

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Letter to Myself

That was nice - I have received a letter from myself this morning. On 24th June 2010 I vaguely remember being asked to write a letter whilst we were putting up our exhibition. I read it with a smile on my face because I could have written it yesterday.

You can read Desiderata here

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29 August 2011


Oh now that's nice. My favourite neighbour has invited me to go racing with him next month. This will boost the sports images side of my portfolio. I have horse racing images but no greyhound racing. I'm reminded of the image on the front cover of a Blur 'Parklife' album. I'll find it:

I'm looking forward to that and Hall Green isn't too far away. Might even get lucky when I have a flutter - I have a shopping list of camera equipment I am interested in.

I have just checked their website and they have daytime racing on Monday and Wednesday which is free entry. If I don't capture any decent shots at the race night I may have a chat with them to arrange an 'all areas' pass to capture the rawness of the racing and the power and elegance of the dogs.

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28 August 2011


Lovely afternoon in Alrewas. Lunch at the George and Dragon, which was open and serving food. I know this doesn't sound like much but recent expeditions have resulted in long winded searches for pubs serving food!

National Memorial Arboretum was peaceful and I saw parts of it I had not visited before. Dodged showers and marvelled at the beauty of everywhere after the rain,

My favourite images from the day:

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Dr John Dee

"I never met any man living
nor any book I could yet meet with all,
was able to teach me those truths
I desired and longed for."

Dr John Dee
Elizabethan philosopher,

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Poor woman lost her leg, but blue tac and super glue and it was back on.

Have been testing the set-up I've created with the shops and people. This will give me ideas on what to do next. I can already see I need to be very careful about the background/backdrop.

I have also been talking to a friend about copyright. I need to be protecting my ideas. I have started by putting information on my blog and referring to the infringement clause on my website. My website is copyright protected. There are a couple of legal things I need to do and have put those into action. Then all will be safe and protected in the Small World.

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25 August 2011

Power of Networking

I am using my WIBN membership to the full today and visiting another group - Derby. The rule is that if a group does not have a representative of your profession your membership allows you to attend. This is a great opportunity for me to get my message across to another 20+ local businesses, have a lovely couple of hours out with a delicious lunch and talk about my passion.

The stairs at the venue were a riot of marble
Stained glass window above the marble staircase

The venue was just down the road from Derby Cathedral
Another brilliant meeting - superbly organised, a group of very interesting women doing very interesting things and the possibility of lots of new business ideas. Bring it on.

I am also planning myself a little treat - I am going to pop into Staples on the way home, my stationery fingers are twitching. Oh I have had an even better idea. Wonder if there are any model railway shops in Derby?

Didn't go to Staples there was all sorts of nonsense going on in the car park - so drove in and out and went home.
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24 August 2011

Small World on Tour

The small world plasticine characters went on holiday with me to Yorkshire and I have finally processed the images - here are a few of my favourites:

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A Bovine query

Is this a thick cow?

I agree it's a very powerful Bull.

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Like a nightclub in the morning,
you're the bitter end.
Like a recently disinfected shit-house,
you're clean round the bend.

You give me the horrors
Too bad to be true
All of my tomorrow's
are lousy coz of you.

You put the Shat in Shatter
Put the Pain in Spain.
Your germs are splattered about
Your face is just a stain.

You're certainly no raver,
commonly known as a drag.
Do us all a favour,
here ... wear this polythene bag.

You're like a dose of scabies,
I've got you under my skin.
You make my life a fairy tale
... ... ... Grimm!

People mention murder,
the moment you arrive.
I'd consider killing you,
if I thought you were alive.

You've got this slippery quality,
makes me think of phlegm.
And a dual personality,
I hate both of them.

Your bad breath vamps disease, destruction and decay
Please, please, please, please take yourself away.

Like a death at a birthday party,
you ruin all the fun
Like a sucked and spat out smartie,
you're no use to anyone.

Like the shadow of the guillotine
on a dead consumptives face.
Speaking as an outsider,
what do you think of the human race?

You went to a progressive psychiatrist,
he recommended suicide
Before scratching your name off his list,
and pointing the way outside.

You hear laughter breaking through,
it makes you want to fart.
You're heading for a breakdown,
better pull yourself apart.

Your dirty name gets passed around
when something goes amiss
Your attitudes are platitudes,
just makes me want to piss

What kind of creature bore you?
Was it some kind of bat?
They cant think of a good word for you
But I can ...

JCC - the bard

Went to see him last May with Frank Sidebottom as support - it was the funniest thing I have ever seen I had tears of laughter streaming down my face. The saddest thing was that 'Frank' died a few weeks later. Am seeing JCC again in the Autumn - tickets are already in my sticky little fingers.

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Having some work done in my bathroom (finally) and this means it is out of action.

So I decided to go for a swim this morning and make use of the showers there.

All this make for an early start but that's good as I have LOADS to do today.

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23 August 2011


Treated myself to some UHU glue. This meant the completing of the second half of my shop fronts was done in no time. This glue meant I could reposition and didn't instantly become permanently fixed. Also this evening I don't have super glue finger tips.

The All Purpose Adhesive or Precision Glue

Really enjoyed making the buildings. Very satisfying. Might pop back to the shop in Anstey soon to see what they have that I could make.

My row of Shops

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Where would you be without your friends?

I followed my Plan B yesterday and went to see my model railway enthusiast friend. I asked to borrow 3 of his buildings, he said yes. I have the church, which you have already seen, a pub and a workmans shed/hut.

The Masons Arms

Workmans Hut

On my way home I couldn't resist popping into the toy shop in Ashby de la Zouch (Shellbrook Toys) to have another look at their railway models. I couldn't resist the challenge of the building kits. I chose one to make my own shop frontage.

It took me 3 hours to make half of it and I continued until the light became too dull. I went to bed with super glue on my finger tips. Thankfully nothing else was attached to them.

Once created I will line up all the buldings, get all the little people out of their boxes and see what might occur in the Small World.

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Canal trip

Today I am off on a peaceful, relaxing, slow trip along the canal. Should be lovely. Might take camera and little people see if any amusing opportunities present themselves. Will be with my favourite person so I am really looking forward to this.

The weather was supposed to be rain - and heavy rain - all day long. We were all very pleased that it was wholly incorrect.

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There seems to have been quite some discussion on facebook about who is my favourite person. This will be an unpopular choice for some people - but the answer is ....

My Favourite Person - hurrying her old dears along

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22 August 2011

Assistant failure

Today was going to be a full on immersion into the Small World. I had lined up a model/assistant to help me. Not only were they going to help they were also going to provide some props in the shape of 00 gauge buildings. However they are no longer available (the curse of the self-employed is that you have to take work where you find it). Best laid plans and all?

So onto Plan B - will pop over and see a model railway enthusiast friend to see if I can borrow some of their buildings for a couple of days!

After seeing the results of what I shot yesterday the weather can make or break some of my ideas. Perhaps that is just an excuse and I blame it on the weather if the result is not good? However once I have had time with my new strobist friend and learnt new skills and techniques with off-camera flash - then perhaps all that will be behind me. I will be in control of the lighting in future and not have to rely on the weather! Oh the joy of being in control. Doesn't happen often in my life.

off-camera lighting

Have just opened the black out blind and guess what? It is a beautiful day - so now I have no excuse.

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21 August 2011


"To effectively communicate we must realise that we are all different in the way we perceive words and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others."
Anthony Robbins

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The Boys

It was a lovely Sunday morning
so the boys went climbing

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Betty was very confused by the new
pedestrian crossings installed on her street.
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I have struggled to get to grips with lighting, particularly off-camera lighting. I am lucky enough to have a Speedlite 580 EX II flash for my Canon 5D which can be swivveled and the light can be bounced off ceilings, walls, mirrors or reflectors. But when it comes to lighting kits my skills are a little, well hesitant.

Speedlite 580EX II

Recently I have been getting around this inefficiency by borrowing and using a Bowens lighting kit whenever I can - this is helping my confidence handling the kit grow and I am already noticing my abilities and techniques are improving.

However, last night I met up with a fellow photographer. It turns out his skills in the strobist field are immense. I have found someone that not only can teach me the alchemy required to master off-camera flash but also is going to let me try out his radio controlled triggers on his set-up before I go and purchase my own.

Right I am clearing time in my diary for this.

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20 August 2011

The Secret Diary

The Secret Diary of Maisie Moo can be found here. I loved having the opportunity to photograph her and I am hoping - with help from Lucy (Maisie's Mum) - that I will be photographing more gorgeous babies in the very near future.
In the meantime enjoy this shot of Maisie.

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Paths cross

When I first met my new friend - Michele, who owns Redroo Creatives at the WIBN Burton launch meeting - she said she recognised me. I have an appalling memory so I took her at her word and more efficient memory. We have been friends now for 10 weeks and during that time we have talked about previous careers, ex-boyfriends, countries we've visited, friends, clubs, societies, keep fit classes to see if we can find out where she recognises me from and where we might have met before.
After spending a couple of days with her, house sitting, and photographing the gorgeous Ruby, we got to talking about training and college courses. And guess what? We found it. We found where our paths had crossed.
It turns out we were both on a dreamweaver course run by Burton College back in 2004 ish. That's why she recognised me - well I think she recognised the back of my head cos she sat on the back row. (Back of my head has always been my best side). Finally we can relax and just get on with being friends.
Michele tells this tale much more eloquently than I do so click here and go and read her telling of the story.
Such fun.
Raise your glasses and make a toast ... "to new friendships".
Ooooo toast - right I'm off for some breakfast.

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19 August 2011

A language

"I think of photography as a language and I think a language should be used to speak, to say what you have to say. So, the only things I have to say about my life and what I know about the world, is the way I use photography."
Antonie d'Agata

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"The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place."
George Bernard Shaw

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"Thanks for the helping hand,
but will you tell Alan to stop mucking about"

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Roger and Keith

Roger really was embracing the extreme climbing rules  
as he gripped onto the mountain with his teeth

Roger had made it,
but he wasn't sure where Keith was

'Hey, I can see the pub from here'

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18 August 2011

Tough shit

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"One short sleep past, we wake eternally, and death shall be no more."
John Donne
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Lighting Kit

Out with the lighting kit again today - this time photographing a gorgeous dog. Will take my little people out with me see if I get any inspiration.

This is my favourite


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17 August 2011

Another wedding

I have been asked, once again, if I do weddings. I said that I haven't yet but am doing one in 2012 and they said 'perfect we're getting married 2013'.
Not only did they want a business card for themselves - but they are often asked if they know a photographer in connection with their work - so they took 3 more cards to hand out when people ask.
Word of mouth is truly the best way of marketing yourself. 

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16 August 2011

Falling in Love in Paris in the Rain

Je t'adore

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What a beauty

This morning I am in Leicester catching up with a friend. I need to man-handle the lighting kit into the car again (good for the muscles) as I also have a photo-shoot - family portraits. This should be a fun day, honing techniques and catching up on gossip. Also have a meeting this afternoon that I promised to go to on my bike. I even bought a brand new padlock and chain so that I could. If the rain holds off this afternoon I will.

How adorable is Maisie? She melted my heart.

She has the coolest mobile above her cot

Little wave from Maisie

It was a pleasure to meet you Maisie and great to catch up with your Mum after 3 years. Thanks Lucy.

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