Saturday, 16 February 2019

Is it spring yet?

botley and daffodils


A very foggy cycle this morning, 17 miles mostly along a cycle path. We don't use it very often because it's very poorly maintained and there is a high risk of punctures. But it just wasn't safe to ride on the road. Streams of cars barely slowing for the reduced visibility, a lot with no headlights on.

Not far from the bus stop the bike started to wobble and as I slowed it became obvious I had a puncture.

We decided to have our tea by the Botley Arms and as Matt sorted it out I set about patching the inner tube. It was all going well until I tried to inflate the tyre. The pump was almost locked in the short position. No matter what I did it wouldn't work. I'm guessing the one-way valve that allows air to be sucked in is blocked. Everything I tried failed, luckily Matt had a pump. These past few weeks I had been on my own, a puncture would have meant a long walk pushing the bike. I don't remember the last time either of us was afflicted with this cycling blight. It's nearly always when one of us uses the cycle path.

I'm home now, new pump clamped to the bike. I never thought to test the pump as part of any maintenance routine, I'll do it from now on.

Last weekend had been a little chilly, and the weekend before that had snow. Now the daffodils are hopefully heralding the start of spring.

We chatted about Matt's recent trip to Delhi, they have a cycle scheme like London. Matt has used schemes whilst in cities around the world, but I can't blame him for not using it in Delhi. He had some videos of his trips in a motorised rickshaw. The roads are as chaotic as I thought they would be. Although the low speed everyone was travelling at may make it safer than some roads around here. Probably still not worth the risk.

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Friday, 15 February 2019

Plagiarism and art

Reading photography articles and blogs as I do can cause me to question them. One such article about Richard Prince is the latest. His pictures, copies of advertising material have sold for millions of dollars. They are even called iconic.

He takes pictures of the artwork, he calls it rephotographing, removes the brand name and it is now his art. 

Musicians go to court to defend themselves. Writers have to be sure their work is original. Technology is patented. Richard has even tweeted that “artists don’t sue other artists,”

In Richard's case he just needs to add a description to the work, telling the viewer what it now means. The longer and more convoluted the better.

The original creator isn't mentioned, 

The Telepgraph can't praise him enough, take a look. They called him the coolest artist alive. They also mention Andy Warhol, he was another one who copied advertising artwork and made it his own.

Here is more info.

I'm left wondering about art. It seems anything is allowed in it's name. If you have the right supporters and you can attach a narative to your work it's art.

Defenders of these artist often say the detractors are jealous of the success, or wish they had thought of the idea first. Neither reason is why I question what I see and read.

It always stikes me as the emperor's new clothes syndrome or, as I always ask; am I missing something?

A final thought; this could mean there is no copywrite for photography. If someone sees a picture they want to use, it appears to be okay to copy it and make only a small change. Just a new crop is enough, for it to be classed as a new picture, and not yours. Thank about that for a minute in relation to all those pictures you have posted online.


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Saturday, 9 February 2019

a balanced diet

cake sign flower farm


It's been a tough week and I was tired when I awoke. Even worse it would be a solo ride. All of this meant I had a hard time motivating myself to get out on the bike.

But out I went, with a stop at Flower Farm on the way back. It was the thought of this treat that gave me the extra push I needed.

The route was my standard one when on my own, through Woldingham past Godstone, up the Enterdent and back to the cafe at the farm.

I had a small worry as I walked in though, no-one in the cafe. Could it be closed? But then as if by magic two people came in from the shop to serve me.

Hot drink and cake ordered I went to my regular seat by the fire.

cake and coffee by the fire at flower farm


I noticed the sign at the top of this post, I only had one cake, I don't think I could have eaten two. One delicious, huge slice was enough. It included fruit so it counts as one of my five a day.

The weather forecast is for rain tomorrow. I'll have to see if I get out.

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Friday, 8 February 2019

Film or digital

This might be controversial, but why do people still use film? If you do, that's great. This is just me thinking out loud.

I am always reading that I should have the latest digital camera because it's so much better than the one I have. It will have two memory slots and produce even higher resolution picures etc.

Then I read film is better, purer, or that it slows you down so you can appreciate the art of photography.

For me, I want to use the best tool, that makes economical sense, for the job. A new feature or capabilty needs to be cost effective.

At the moment a Nikon D700 and good lenses provide what I need. I can hire kit if I really need something extra.

Higher resolution and faster frame rate. I can print my pictures big enough, even when I crop them a bit. I have never needed double digit frame rates. The motorsport I have photographed didn't need more than the older cameras I used could provide. Other sports might need it.

Coming back to film, I don't shoot fast. I take my time and ensure I have it right. So I have never understood the reasoning behind film making you a better photographer by slowing you down.

Then there is the developing. Either do it yourself or send it off. Maybe that's what is meant by slowing you down.

If you want to share on line you'll need to scan them. Will scanning and any manipultion mean you remove some of the film "uniqueness"?

At the end of the day; if you are happy, keep doing it.


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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Alone in the snow

bike next to an ice covered pond in the snow


On my own this morning, Matt is globetrotting. The snow has come and gone all week, so I wasn't sure if I would go out. It was snowing as I went to bed.

I looked out of the window, it didn't seem too bad, I checked some local Facebooks groups and they said the roads were okay. I was going to ride a lot off road but didn't do much in the end, just in case I came off. It might be a while before I was found if the fall resulted in an injury.

I also tried to avoid twisty hills, not easy when you live at the top of one.

I only did about ten miles, not enough for my hands and feet to start protesting about the cold.

As always I am glad I went out, it also resulted in the picture above. I only decided to cycle this way at the last minute.

I lent the bike up to take the picture, but it fell over. As I was picking it up I heard a car stop behind me. I looked around and the driver was leaning across the passenger seat calling through the lowered window to see if I was okay. I thanked her and said I was okay. It made a very pleasant change from near constant close passes.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

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