Frames on a Plane


On a flight back from JFK the other night I happened to sit next to a fellow photographer – and had a very long and enjoyable chat about all things camera.

Upon arriving home I checked out his portfolio, and there are some fantastic shots there – go check them out. Earl – it was a pleasure meeting you…

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I was lucky enough to spend Sunday at Sacha Blackburne‘s photography workshop in Fairylands. There was good food, good company and lots of shooting opportunities. Thanks to Sacha for putting on such a great day, and to the models for being so patient. Here are a few of the shots I took during the day….

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Just back from a whirlwind trip to NYC, during which I was lucky enough to spend a day with the Voltron of Awesomeness himself, Jeff Newsom. Here are a few select shots of mine from the day. Jeff also posted his, (including one of the workshop group in the dark, and one of us “jowling”).

Voltron I

Voltron II

Voltron III

Voltron IV

Voltron V

Voltron VI

Voltron VII

Voltron VIII

Voltron IX

Voltron X

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… or Thank God it’s Raining.

Friday we saw some welcome rain after many weeks of none, and as we rely so much on rain water, it is nice when you get some good, solid tank rain. Makes the sky nice and moody too.

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Back in April I took some shots of Emma, Mark and their daughter Isabelle so they could send them to Mark’s mother. We ventured down to Astwood Park on a beautiful evening, and were fortunate enough to have some long grass for Isabelle to play in. Here is a small selection of the final set.

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Automoblox CS9 Berlinetta
I have said before that I am a big fan of cars. So when I found the Automoblox site, selling high quality wooden designs with style and innovative features, I was sold (for Conor, obviously).

So I ordered a sports car and a jeep, and when they arrived they were a big hit with the little boy. He would sit for at least 10 minutes (that’s a long time in toddler time) spinning the wheels and pulling them apart. Because they are so solid, he could throw them and they would not break. So after three months of surviving some heavy kiddie punishment, I was impressed enough to order a few more to add some variety to playtime.

This was where I made the mistake. Instead of being a good Dad and picking the fastest or sportiest of the models, I selected two based upon colours. That in itself is a schoolgirl error, but once they arrived I realised the error of my ways. I had ordered a pick up truck and a minivan (UK=people carrier). You don’t have to watch Jeremy Clarkson to know that Brits don’t like pick ups. They are big, low-tech gas-guzzling monsters. Not something you want you child to grow up liking.

But a minivan – that really takes the biscuit. I can imagine it now. Instead of Conor saying to his friends “Let’s see how fast it can go”, it will be “I wonder how many people can fit through the sliding doors”, or “Let’s see how practical it is”. So the task now is to undertake a Top Gear type challenge and turn the minivan into a convertible. It will be the only way I will be able to redeem myself (and it will give me a chance to use my power tools).

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Cold Case

Don't turn your head, Pretend they're all dead and gone by now

I have always wondered about being one of the detectives assigned to those Cold Case files. I assume that it is probably considered some sort of demotion – I can imagine the Captain saying:

“Well, you’re not very good at solving regular crimes, and your fashion sense sucks, so let’s give you some of those old cases to tackle. You can pretend to look wistfully back into the past whilst you waste taxpayer’s money”.

I would also imagine that having to spend all your time trying to solve old cases means a lot of abuse from colleagues who work on “current” crimes and don’t have to live in the past.

So what’s worse than being a cold case detective? Being an actor who plays a cold case detective. I imagine Kathryn Morris doesn’t get much of an opportunity to rub shoulders with the likes of William Petersen of CSI fame. He’s a big hitter with a lab and everything, whilst she just has a cupboard full of 60’s albums and bad clothing.

Actually, I bet there s probably some sort of league table for where your “cop show” ranks and how much pull you subsequently have as an actor. So CSI (the original) would be a tier one show, with tier one benefits to match. Law and Order is probably second division (especially now Lennie Briscoe is gone), with Cold Case relegated to league three. The only show ranking lower would probably be CSI:Miami, mainly because Horatio Caine is such a one-line plonker.


What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A.

Imagine the scene – Our hero arrives home from work late, after a tough day at the office. There is a lightning bolt strike in his head as a migraine kicks in to full effect. His pain is visceral. He needs relief – fast.

He sheds his clothes, slips into his dressing gown and starts the search for pain killers. He checks the bedroom – no luck. Looks in the kitchen cupboards – nothing there. He then starts hunting through the bathroom cabinets. All in complete silence as he doesn’t want to wake his son sleeping in the next room, and jarring noises would make him cringe with pain anyway.

Success! He finds a bottle of Tylenol Extra Strength, but upon prising the lid open realises that all that remains inside is cotton wool. He curses, wondering why they put cotton wool in pill bottles anyway, but there’s no time to waste and his hunt continues.

Finally he finds a bottle at the back of a bottom drawer which looks like it will ease his pain. He grabs for it and slowly turns it around so he can read the label. His vision screams as his headache kicks into overdrive. The white type on the red background jumps out, and he reads it aloud: “Women’s Tylenol – Menstrual Relief“.

Now his mind is racing – is he willing to cope with the pain of his headache, or does he choke down some of the pills regardless of the consequences? This is like the red pill/blue pill scene in “The Matrix“, but only worse, because there is only one choice … the red pill.

Our hero cracks open the bottle, throws four white bullets down his throat and swallows. He crawls into bed, passes out, and dreams of waking up with no backache, no cramp, and enjoying temporary relief from water-weight gain, bloating, swelling and/or the full feeling associated with premenstrual and menstrual periods. But above all, he dreams of waking up without a headache.

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Looking Back

I drew a line for you, Oh what a thing to do, And it was all yellow

Last year was a learning experience for me. Becoming a father exposes you to so many new things and experiences, and I was exposed to some very interesting items which I would never have wanted to know about otherwise, such as:

  • Butt Paste – yes, it does what it says on the tin (or in this case, tube). But what puzzles me is why it is a horrible brown colour…?
  • Exersaucer – this fiendish contraption serves multiple purposes: it tires out babies, it catches crooks breaking in at night, and is the most effective way to break your big toe, all whilst playing a tune that you will never get out of your head…
  • Rectal Thermometer – OK, so it may be more accurate than an oral version, but come on, what’s a few tenths of a degree between friends if I don’t have to stick a glass tube filled with mercury up your bottom…
  • Projectile Vomit – I remember once seeing this phenomenon in The Exorcist, but I thought it was just some Hollywood invention. Not true. It turns out that this phenomenon in alive and well right under my roof, and often times all over my trousers…

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2008 has been a life-changing year, what with the arrival of Monkey Boy into our lives. That has meant less photography, although I do have a new muse (Hamish is not impressed).

I have also been blogging less – updating my Facebook status has basically taken the place of posting entries to my blog.

So what are my resolutions for 2009?

Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!

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