Saturday, July 30, 2005


It's hard to resist such a widespread cultural phenomenon as the summer break in France. So much just stops; back home this would be somehow to be excused. Here, it's just the way it is. July is bad enough, August is worse.

So I've given up trying to resist. That's my excuse for a distinct lack of posts anyway. Which is not to say I haven't be busy mind you. No no. I've been very busy. Photography. I've just completed and presented my first piece of AV documentary work, which went down very well. I spent a week at a summer camp with 14 kids, taking somewhere in the region of 1000 shots on film (B&W and Colour) and on my digital compact.

I've completed my first restored window frame photographs and prepared the next 5 windows. I'm in the middle of choosing the next photos to go in them, and have to see our local retired carpenter in the village about some finishing that I haven't got the tools to do. He's about 88 we think, and still remarkably active. I'm going to prepare three as an a bonus part of my exhibition in September.

Speaking of which, the prints have been ordered, 8/12 frames sorted out, and the publicity material has had a first drafting, together with my names and addresses for the mailing list.

Plus there's the garden of course.

I've also got another idea for a photography project, with a small specialist wineyard nearby. I've been talking about it for ages, but have now managed to get his phone number, and will go and see him during August. Hopefully I can start with the harvest and see where we go from there.

I have one or two other ideas for my next career(s) too, and they need some following up.

Anyway, I'm off to the UK for a week on Wednesday, back here on 10th with our next visitors...

I think we may have a Welshman visiting neighbours in the next day or so too.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

If it's not one thing it's another

So with the RSI dissipating nicely since the arrival of my new trackball, and the post-giroles massage being followed up this afternoon by a post-wild strawberry acupressure, everything was looking rosy again. Then someone in the family gets taken off to hospital for a week, taking my attention fairly comprehensively away from many of my other diversions such as blogging. The news today is that the culprit is due to be let out on parole this afternoon, and so, with something approaching a sigh of relief, I almost feel like I can entertain some diverting linguistic doodling.

Since I have been on a sort of strike from one of my major projects for the past two months, I have benefited by looking ahead to my next project, and spending time on honing the skills I will need for it. This is not a work blog, that can be found elsewhere, so I won't go into the details of the project. But this is a nice opportunity to bring you up to date with some of my photography over the past few weeks, for indeed it is my photography skills that I have been working on.

Below is a selection representing a few themes I have been using to compose portfolios, which will give you an idea of what I've been up to. This work is based on the last six months of work, and particularly the winter images. Looking forward, the new theme is people and portraiture, and so I am inviting my neighbours to 'sit' for me in naturalistic situations of their choice, some of which may well be standing! I had a stroke of luck earlier today when one of them called round with some raspberries for 'my little apple', and stopped for a coffee. I had a chance to chat about my plans, and she agreed to help me out. So I'm off round there on Saturday to see her and her sister. We're off with the neighbours, great!

The other thing I've set up is to follow a week-long project (with a theme, beginning, middle and end - more the style of the work project) at my apple's after school club. Out of the four they have planned, I think I've settled for the medieval week, which has the added dimension of being based at a medieval camp site, and includes lots of costumes and a visit to a medieval chateau. That should be lots of fun, and will be happening from 18th July. As a warm-up, I took some shots of the end of term play and gym demonstration, and put together a little package for those kids that were involved. They know a little bit about who I am and what i do, and are already used to seeing me around with the camera.

So with all that, by the time I roll up to my first school in the autumn, I should be well and truly into the groove.

Apart from that, I've also joined the Royal Photographic Society and their Digitial Image Group, which is proving to be a great move. having found my way around the group and it's activities, I'm planning to contribute images through their various opportunities soon, and to get some feedback before submitting to the panels for their levels of recognition (LRPS, ARPS and, gulp, FRPS) as and when I'm ready.

So anyway, enjoy the pictures, and feel free to make any constructive comments ...