Carrying on a little bit from yesterday, and the fifteen year milestone this blog reached. When I first started blogging, I did so on an entirely self-built site I created using Adobe Dreamweaver pointing to the first domain name I ever purchased – garydenness.com. Everthing was .com back then, so it didn’t occur to me to do anything different. Dreamweaver is still going, although how strong a product is I don’t know – I have long wondered why they didn’t evolve it into a more WordPressy type product.
Decision One: A friend of mine bought his partner a new camera, her first ‘proper camera’. Very generous! It’s a Canon DSLR. Nice. He’s taken her for a couple of photo walks already. Good way to start off. Now he’s thinking of spending £300 on a ten lesson photography course – what do I think about that? No f*****g way! For that sort of money, you could take a three night break to a fantastic European city, including flights and meals, and throw in a Photography for Dummies book to read on the way. I’m pretty convinced that spending a few days roaming somewhere exotic shooting at everything and anything will be a more productive and enjoyable experience. I’m a big fan of on the job training. Not such a big fan of classrooms.
I like my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, actually. From both a job satisfaction and a financial point of view. Sure, I don’t love it so much that I’ll keep turning up if they stop paying me. And I’ll never be a millionaire even if they do. It is, after all, a job. That said, I like it. It doesn’t sound a particularly thrilling job. I sell train tickets. Sometimes I refund unused train tickets. And there’s plenty of other odd jobs around the station that need doing. Usually I work alone, but sometimes I work with others. It depends where I am on any given day.
I am a very modern religionist. Tots up to date. When I go to church for nourishment, I go to the local in Westbourne. Very pretty it is, with lots of stained glass windows, as you’d expect in an old English church. People do often have their favourite parts of a church. Mine is upstairs, where Plates and Co serve a delicious three course meal for a very reasonable price. And it’s all very romanitcally lit as the sun streams in those stained glass panes. If it upsets you that such a lovely church has been converted into a restaurant – and it did upset some back in 2010 when it happened – then you probably don’t want to know that the downstairs became a Tesco Express convenience store.
The court of King Arthur, the Loch Ness monster, the ‘Good Old Days’ and the British spring of 2018 – all frequently talked about, but never actually seen. Despite the occasional, unsubstantiated rumour of a sighting from persons of dubious integrity, there is no hard evidence that any of them exist. Or have ever existed. They are simply part of British folklore.
Today is the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force, the world’s oldest independent air force. Once upon a long ago, I served in the RAF. Why did I choose the RAF? Well, I got a bit too seasick for the Navy. And bullet dodging with the British Army wasn’t something that appealed to me. The application process was quite the balava. In between posting my application form and turning up for basic training at RAF Halton, eighteen months passed. Numerous tests, interviews and a pair of medicals filled the time. Two medicals, rather than the usual one, because I failed the first for being a couple of pounds underweight, courtesy of a ten day bout of flu.
When I left Mexico in 2011, the city was making some effort to spruce up a few of its landmarks, historic streets and monuments, The Revolution monument perhaps being the best example. I rather hope they got around, or will get around, to fixing up the La Raza monument. It was looking very much the worse for wear the last time I ventured past. It had certainly seen better days, as shown in the photo below…
This chilled out hound lives in Faro, Portugal. He pretty much ignored me as I took this shot. So I inched a little closer. An inch too close, as it turned out. The hound saw me off. From cuddly pup to killer in a flash. With a telling flash of his fangs. He is indeed a good boy. He did his job. And I still had my photo, so all is well. The dog is mans best friend for a whole bunch of reasons. Security is just one of them.
That’s Mrs P, strutting her stuff in the mid 30s celsius midday sun at the observatory in Jaipur. Signs of the time indeed. Why did I not think of that title for a post before? I rather miss India. I enjoyed it. This may come as a little bit of a surprise to anyone who read my opinions of India shortly after the holiday. You’d expect me to add a caveat, at least. But no, I shan’t. Pick any point of my life, a high or a low point, and I have only fond memories. Positive recollections of people I’ve met, lessons I’ve learned. Happy memories of places I’ve been Nothing negative lingers in the soft grey matter betwixt my ears.
If I’m asked what to do, where to eat, and where to go in Mexico City then I’ll waffle on forever with a billion suggestions. If I have to narrow down my response to a single sentence with no more than five words? Go and see Lucha Libre. Is there anything more ‘Mexico City‘ than Lucha Libre? Methinks not. Food recommendations are all well and good, but the truth is you’re never more than a ten minute walk from a dozen damn fine places to eat. And the guide books and leaflets in hotels will list all the main tourist sites – there’ll be more than you can ever hope to visit. Sheesh, I spent six years trying and still have places to go.
The London market place, where time stands still. Years, decades and centuries pass it by. The produce and faces change, buildings come and go, but the location stays the same. The centre of the community. Those that idle and stop to stare stand out like the masts of wrecked ships in a raging sea. This is where you find the colours, sounds and smell of the city. Where new meets old and the latest fads mix and melt with antiquity. Where cultures collide and create a place in which the known world exists. Continue reading
Once upon a long ago, I worked in central London, in a posh convenience store frequented by the wealthy residents of Kensington. And tourists. Horses of them. Many of whom were also on the wealthy side of stinking rich. Tourists will often ask for directions to the most famous parts of the city. And they would rarely come even close to pronouncing Leicester Square correctly. On a slow work day, one would take a perverse pleasure in feigned ignorance when asked Continue reading
I was a reasonably early adopter with digital photography. My first camera was a Sanyo 1.3mp model, when anything over 1mp was considered cutting edge technology. The problem it had was excessive noise in low light. Which was the bane of digital photography for many years, first with dedicated cameras and then with phone based cameras.
Why do I like photography? Why that and not some other expression of creativity? The answer is simple. I can’t paint to save my life. See above. Yet I am better at painting than singing, playing musical instruments, dancing, acting or any other form of artistic creativity. So I take photographs. It’s easy. Let the camera and computer do the hard work, and then pass off its produce as my own.
I feel that I’m closer still to ditching my iMac as my primary photography processing machine. I’ve used my iPad Mini 4 a few times to process and upload my photos. I shot my recent trip to Cheddar in RAW to see how it handled the format. I imported them into the iPad and used Lightroom Mobile, rather than VSCO. The latter has some nice filters and produces some good results. But Lightroom Mobile is by far the more powerful tool for general organisation and processing. And both iPad, Lightroom and VSCO handled the RAW files just fine. Continue reading