Travails with my camera


Aventura at Tower Bridge

For some reason Flickr have deprecated WordPress support. Just trying out Gigya.


Northumberland Day Out

I’ve been looking for photography ideas recently, and Northumberland features in a lot of travel photography books.  I grew up in Northumberland, I’ve been to just about every location they list, with parents, the Scouts or friends.  I know quite a lot of it really well.  It’s an overlooked jewel in the UK’s crown.  I’ve also looked at various travel photography courses – people are paying £800+ for a long weekend in Northumberland.

So, this got me thinking, what can I do in one day?  I’m not expecting perfect, but am hoping that I can get some decent images.

My idea so far:

Dunstanburgh Castle


Harthope Burn


Steel Rigg

Adventure Travel Show

Last weekend I went to the Adventure Travel Show at Kensington Olympia.  Despite some teething troubles (who has a show on the 3rd floor of a building with no stair access?) I managed to get in.  The show was small – much smaller that Destinations or the TNT Show – but the vendors were quality.

Wandering around I spent nearly 30 mins talking to a guy from Botswana about camping safaris, some crazy guys who were going to sail across the Pacific and chatting to some conservationists about their work in the Scinde province.  I also bumped into Austin Vince of the Adventure Travel Film Festival (An email to him is on my  to do list for this weekend).


Like every engineer, I love a good gadget – and I ended up parting with £20 for a WaterToGo bottle – a combination water bottle and purification filter.  It doesn’t need chlorine tablets, but it can be used with them.  Filters just about any fresh water source into safe, drinkable water.

Trailblazer Books

I met Chris Scott at the Adventure Travel Film Festival last year.  These publishers do some great books, 2 that caught my eye are:

Available online here.

Globetrotters Club

I’m always looking for interesting things to do in London.  At the show I bumped into the Globetrotters Club.

The aim behind Globetrotters is to provide a way for like minded people to meet or communicate to exchange ideas, information and experiences.  They have some fantastic talks coming up and some fantastic discounts available.

On The Go

So then I bumped into the On The Go Tours stand.  I’ve been to Russia, Turkey and Egypt with them and love their tours, budget but good value and employing local tour guides and family companies.  And there, on their stand was what I’d just been chatting about at a price I could afford – 12 days on safari for the sum total of £280 plus national park entry fees.


So, I booked!

  • Victoria Falls
  • Chobe National Park
  • Okovango Delta
  • Maun
  • Palapye
  • Blydepoort
  • Kruger National Park
  • Johannesburg

I’ve signed up for a few optional extras – A boat trip on the Chobe river, canoeing down the Okovango Delta and hiring a Land rover to explore the Kruger National Park.

So I’ll need

And I’ll need to get these out of the wardrobe (seriously guys – these £40 Meindl British Army Desert Boots are the most comfortable boot I’ve ever owned – better than even Berghaus)

It is a camping safari – but that sounds so much better than the lodge ones.  I can’t wait to get under canvas again – it’s been too long for someone who had over 450 nights under canvas by the time he left the Scout Association.  ROLL ON NOVEMBER.

Stunning Image

Through my journey to Ypres, I’ll be doing a lot of preparation work before boarding the Eurostar. Whilst looking for contemporary images I came across a stunning colourisation by Doug Banks of the Colourise History website (

It is a recolourised image from the Imperial War Museum collection. The caption reads: “A Sergeant of the Lancashire Fusiliers in a flooded dugout opposite Messines near Ploegsteert Wood. January 1917”.

I would love to know how to even start doing something like this recolouring of black and white images in GIMP. The results are stunning, I’m assuming that the monochrome image forms a luminance signal and chrominance details are added on top.


How Much Is A Return To Ypres – Blog

Ypres Blog


I’ve added a second blog to my WordPress account to deal with my trip to Ypres.  I’ll cross post on both blogs, but decided I wanted a standalone record of my trip.

See it at:

How much is a return to Wipers? – intro

As most people know, my main interest in photography is fine art (seascapes, landscapes etc.) and documentary. I’ve been pushing myself to learn to take photos of humans which is pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I’m enjoying it. So for about 6 months I’ve been thinking I need a documentary project that combines some fine art shots, some human candid photography and has a purpose. Last year, I had hoped to take a documentary photography course, it fell through due to them messing around with dates.  This year I’ve decided I’ll take the course.

Next year is a unique opportunity to spend some time documenting the remembrance events that will be taking place to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War.  So, today I decided to book a room at for a hotel near Ypres. I’ve booked in at a B&B called La Passarelle-Hooghe Crater just to the east of the Town.  It is within 15 mins of the Menin gate, Ypres, Tyne Cot, Essex Farm, Hill 62 etc.  I’d be particularly interested to see the areas where the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers fought.  I find the number of men they sent into the field remarkable – prior to the war they had 3 full time battalions, by the end of the war they had 52 with 29 overseas.

I’ve chosen to go at the end of February as it will be cold, there should be morning frost and mist, there should be mud.  I’m hoping to take some scenic photos, some photos which are almost recreations of some old photos and some images of the people who keep the memories of the Western Front Tommies alive.  I’m hoping to write to the Pompiers who play the Last Post at the Menin Gate and see if we can organise a photo shoot.

I’ve also purchased a book called “Major and Mrs.Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Ypres Salient” which will be delivered to the Amazon Locker on Saturday.
Book on Ypres Salient

Next – transport and a tour guide.

I’ll use this blog to update plans, ideas etc. over the coming weeks.

NFL Fan Rally

NFL Fan Rally by GeordieCy
NFL Fan Rally, a photo by GeordieCy on Flickr.

Future Planned Shoots

Over the next few months I’ve got a couple of ideas for shoots.

The Meetup group that I’m a member of is asking me to organise a location lighting demo.  There’s a pub I know that is quite Victorian looking (in dark light).

I’m getting sent to Paris for work in November and travelling to Budapest in December.   Hope to grab some shots around the Hapsburg baths etc.

Next year I’m contemplating a 4×4 trip through the Sahara and hope to document the trip.

Finally, I’m going to undertake a 52 photo challenge.  1 photo a week for an entire year.


“Can you take some photos in the style of the new Great Gatsby movie?”. An acquaintance had a friend, who had a friend who was a singer/model.

I’d never seen either movie or read the book so I headed to the Internet. It seems we were after art deco, flapper girl look. Luckily, they already owned a costume.

With the usual micro-budget, it was time to think about the look. We wanted a really shallow depth of field, f/2 or so. We hung up a large sheet of bubble wrap and sellotaped some fairy lights to the back. We then shone a work light through one end. We then got some super cheap, plastic flowers from Shepherd’s Bush Market – didn’t matter they looked awful, they weren’t going to be in focus. Some were in front of the model, some behind.

Finally, another work light was used to light the model.


In post, I either went for a sepia look, a vintage look, or added an art deco or Egyptomania graphic.




Le Weekend in Paris

En route to a work meeting join Geneva I had the chance to head to Paris for the weekend. (Not at the companies expense). After weeks of beautiful weather in London, Paris turned out to be hot, raining and Windy.

I started early and headed down to Gare St Lazare. It was made famous by Henri Cartier-Bresson in his decisive moment photo. I tried to find the exact spot, but couldn’t. I think I got close.


Next, Place de la Concorde. It was grey and miserable so I tried out some HDR.

Then onto the Louvre and Ile de la Cité.

I even managed to find Rue does Ursins. It has changed since Atgét’s day.

After a brief break from the rain, I visited Eglise Madeline.

Then up to the top of the Tower Montparnasse.

Finally some light trails. This shot needs rethinking – do not stand where I did, the driving is insane, and could be lethal. Next time I’d try further down Rue des Grande Armée with a telephoto lens.