Sunday, 9 December 2018

tea obsessed

tea bikes bench leaves


Cycling yesterday, and neither of us had much time so we headed to a church that was close. It still means a few hills but we get home earlier. The only problem is no covered seating. We didn't intend to stay very long so it didn't really matter.

We talked a little about brexit, but concluded as we always do that no-one understands it. Or what's going to happen. It seems most of the loudest voices are of those with agenders. The quiet majority will just have to wait an see.

The rest of the time we talked about Christmas and how we would spend it. And of course how much extra cycling we would get in because of the holidays.

The picture above sums up our cycling, we are not in to massive distances, or light weight. I bring food, Matt a flask, and we plan our route so that we can stop for tea. The few times we don't bring our own it's because a cafe is our destination.

I was looking over the many pictures I have of the cycling. There are a lot with the Stanley flask in them, plenty of cake, cereal bars and sandwiches.

cup in a bench lichen

The bench looks to have been in the churchyard for a long time, plenty of lichen on it. And another example of our obsession with tea. My cup reflecting the lichen covered surface. I didn't realise until I zoomed in how scratched it was. It has traveled many miles over the years.

No cycling today, it was just too wet and windy. Hopefully it will be drier for the next few weeks, it will means it's colder. But we don't mind that.

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Group shoot city walk

This was a little different for me, a group shoot.

natasha at the end of the photoshoot on a bench


Ashley on slatted seats
Ashley on slatted seats




















Eden on a horse cart
Eden on a horse cart
I prefer one-to-one shoots, I like to take my time, get to know the model and develop on my ideas.

But this event ticked a few boxes for me.

1. I wanted to work with Natasha again; our last shoot was brilliant. That session allowed me to develop the picture ideas I had planned and produced a great set.

2. It included four models, including a man. This would mean less standing around and another opportunity to work with a male model. The last time was with Sam.

3. It was to be a walk around an area that I had wanted to shoot in. Natasha had done this before so it took the guesswork out of location scouting.

As is the case with an outdoor shoot at this time of year, I checked the weather reports during the week. I don't know why I do this, the forecast is not often accurate until very close to the day. I must like to torture myself.

One of the models didn't turn up, Natasha just adapted. It didn't really affect the shoot too much, it was a social group and we chatted and gave advice. We acted as mobile light stands for each other. I wasn't the only one who had brought remote triggers. I held the lights for others and they did the same for me. It made a difference being able to control where the light was coming from.

The two other models, Eden and Ashley, who arrived with Natasha were great. They coped with us photographers, without stress. A model friend of theirs was in London and stepped in towards the end. I don't think anyone felt too let down. 

The theme was to have been Christmas, but the area was too interesting to just make it about twinkling lights. The first one below is next to the Lloyds building, the grey and chrome was a contrast to Eden's red hair and black coat.


 And this one used a statue nearby. I wish I could say that I noticed the guy in the poster and composed the shot to have him glancing at Eden. But alas I only noticed as I opened the picture on my computer.


Here are two pics that kept on theme.

christmas arch


Ashley took a break and laid down on a couch in the pub. The flash was on the table next to him pointed at the ceiling, so I took this shot.

Ashley laying on a couch


And to show how rebellious we all were, we got moved one twice. The first time from a pub, it was a big one and we were out of the way, but there were flashes going off so I guess it was inevitable. The second time I really don't know what the problem was. We were using a paved area fronting some shops and cafes. They were closed so we weren't in anyone's way, or blocking access. To be fair they gave us a bit of time, but that might have been because it took a while to notice us. The walk started at Leadenhall Market and no-one minded there.

It started raining and it was past 3pm so it was time to head for home. 

It's not the first time I have been moved on by security guards. The shoot with Sam a few months ago was the last time. Before that I had a problem on the South Bank of the Thames, I'd only taken one picture and the guards came running. Tourists continued to snap away as we relocated. I think it's the "big" camera. It can't be security because even basic cameras, or phones have the quality needed for any potentially nefarious uses.

I'm not sure if I have any more photography projects this year. Xandria, who I last worked with in September is next weekend. Other that that it will be pictures of Matt and I cycling through the winter for a while.




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Saturday, 1 December 2018

The weather isn't much better, but my mood is.

cycling in the rain by a puddle


My post earlier about not cycling has a part two.

My wife knows how much I benefit from cycling, mentally as well as physically. And I guess she doesn't like me moping around the house. So when the rain eased a bit she suggested I should think about venturing out.

And I am so glad I did. The rain had abated as I left the house but the roads were very wet with big puddles. The wind was still making its presence felt, especially when it caused mini showers, blowing water out of the overhanging trees. There were also some real showers, but I wasn't bothered by them. I was warm and headed for home by then.

Riding later in the day meant more traffic, which lead to more encounters with poor driving. But my mood was lifted some much, the morons couldn't bring me down.

I'm at home now, showered and contented. I'll avoid the television with its repetitive news bulletins and listen to music. Eat dinner with my wonderful wife, and maybe have a glass of wine.

Happy days.

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Before I am ready for it, another working week will begin.

rain no cycling garden


Last weekend I was tired, and it rained heavily; that meant no cycling. This weekend I was looking forward to riding, but...

This morning, the picture above was all I had. I thought I might go out a little later, but as the sun rose it became less likely. Rain isn't always a reason not to go cycling, I rode my first RideLondon through a storm; flooded roads, heavy rain and even hailstones. The first day of my ride to Paris was wet and windy. A lot of the South Downs Way was ridden through showers.

The difference was that I had committed to raising money for charity or I wasn't alone.

To be honest, this morning I received the abort text from Matt as I was typing my own. So I had decided not to go out before I knew Matt wasn't.

That's the trouble with this time of year. The days are short and the weather is disappointing; all week you leave for work in the dark, get home in the dark and then it's wet at the weekend.

The good news is that I have Christmas eve and New Years eve off this year. It means very long weekends and the chance of more cycling, fingers crossed.

Cycling is much more important to me than just a way to keep fit. For a while I can switch off from day-to-day stresses and thoughts. I catch up with friends. There is the adrenaline and endorphins that I don't realise I miss until after the ride has been cancelled. Even when, like last weekend, I am too tired and down to go out. I feel momentarily worse at being defeated. I wander around the house, restlessly trying to find something to do. And contemplating going for a ride. But as is nearly always the case the weather isn't improving and life is now in the way. I have missed my chance. It affects my whole week, I don't feel as motivated and I actually feel more tired. I'd be in a better mood too.

I am looking forward to a photoshoot tomorrow. Will the weather get in the way of that too?

And before I am ready for it, another working week will begin.


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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Remembrance

we will remember them plinth

Last weekend included remembrance Sunday. I watched the various programs over the weekend and was touched by the ones remembering everyone affected by war. It's been said we shouldn't keep having this day and looking back. Nothing I saw glorified war, if anything it should have reminded everyone how pointless war is. We have to remember what happened and work harder to avoid it in the future.

The other programs attempted to show what it was like to have been there. I don't think people realise what it was like. Obviously I don't but I had a connection to both wars. My grandad was in the First World War, my dad was in the Second. He never spoke about it, although I don't remember asking him. It seems as the number of people who lived through it has declined the effort to remember has increased, as it should.

I don't think it's taught in the same as it was, so many today know almost nothing of the two wars. It's too easy not comprehend the incredible suffering they caused. Or any war for that matter.

poppies arch church


The picture above is of a church in Godstone. The poppies looked knitted, I'm guessing the locals have created this special centenary display as have others at churches and schools around the country.
There is a war memorial in the grounds with the date of the war on as is usual. Except the dates aren't what you expect. 1914 -1919. When we saw these dates years ago it prompted an internet search. The usual dates of the war and the ones being remembered this year are for the ceasefire, or armistice. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919, officially ending the war.

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