The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

HDR

Nuclear Skyline

IMG_2807 watermarked


Sunset Silhouettes

Sunset Silhouettes


Pepperpot Sunset

Looks peaceful and serene eh !!.. Yeah RIGHT !!..

This is St Catherine’s Oratory, better known as the “Pepperpot”. It’s a medieval lighthouse first lit way back in 1328.

As for the serene part though, this was most definitely NOT. To reach said lighthouse was probably only about a mile from the car park, but the car park was at the bottom of the downs, and the pepperpot at the top of the downs. The climb must have easily been 45° !!, or at least that’s what my knees were telling me..  If that wasn’t bad enough though, this particular evening was a tad bit breezy… Breezy enough that I had to physically hang on to my tripod to prevent it blowing away whilst taking the shots.. I kid you not, and no more than a few miles from here they recorded 82mph gusts later that night.. It was so strong that my youngest WAS actually blown clean over.. Not that I laughed at all… Strangely enough though, she wasn’t too keen on my holding on the the cords of her jacket, and flying her down the hill like a kite !!.. No pleasing some kids !!.. I thought they all loved kite flying !!..


Goodbye Old Friend

 

A shot from a rather exceptional day out today with old friends, and also making of new friends too… such as the urbex legend that is Andre Govia… All in all a mixed day of sorts.. Always good to be out with old friends, always good to meet new friends, but sad to think that this was probably the last visit to Lillesdon School for Girls, as it has now been purchased, and its precise future is pretty much unknown, other than it’s earmarked for development of apartments… Will they try to keep the building ??… I do hope so, as it would be such a shame to see a building of such ornate architecture demolished to make way for new, but it’s already cost someone £2.1 million ($3.3 million), and would likely cost as much again to renovate… We shall see…


Going Down

And now for something a bit more… well.. Maybe “normal” isn’t quite the right phrase, but normal’er… or for me at least… Still one of my favourite urbex locations is this place… At least that is until we manage to get in to the next on the list of must do’s, without being caught… ;)


iMazing

So yesterday I managed to blow the dust off, and get out with my camera for the first time this year… and very quickly realise the reason why I HAVEN’T  been out with my camera this year… It was COLD !!..

Took this one with my real camera, but also decided to test the capabilities of my iPhone too while my blood was slowly crystallizing… and I have to confess, for a camera phone it’s pretty iMazing to say the least… I’ve been impressed with it already on a number of occasions, but last nights picture almost made me put my real camera away !!.. Only almost though, as it will never compete with a Canon obviously.. :)

If you’re on Instagram, then you can find it / me by searching for funkyslug… Or here’s a link to it for those who aren’t on Instagram… http://instagr.am/p/j-hff/


Brrrrrrr..illiant Skies

Have to confess to not having taken many pictures recently, cos… well… not to put too fine a point on it… IT’S TOO COLD !!!… and if it’s not too cold, then it’s too… well… Ok  ok, maybe it’s not actually TOO cold, but it’s as good an excuse as any to just stay snug and warm in front of the fire at this time of year… lol.. Actually I tell a lie, as I have been out, and have plenty of shots from some recent urbex explorations, but figured that maybe I should dig back through some as yet unused pics from our summer holiday, if for no other reason than they LOOK a bit warmer than my recent urbex pics… This was a beautiful day, plus, who doesn’t love a sky like this… :)


Beam Me Up

I seem to have cultivated / acquired / developed / produced a bit of a  problem… or an illness… or an addiction… or some may even consider it the early onset of insanity (although my kids may argue it’s not so early… lol).. Anyway, this “problem” I speak of has been slowly worsening over the past few years, and I can definitively trace the source back to its origins… which was HERE… An old abandoned iron foundry, that had a very convenient human sized hole in the fence…  I think I must have been bitten by something when I was in there… Fortunately though, that foundry is no longer in existence, so hopefully others won’t suffer the same fate as me…

The symptoms of said illness ??… An inane desire to seek out and sneak in to any and all abandoned and derelict locations I can find… Schools / Colleges / Hospitals / Mansions / Nursing Homes / Industrial Factories… If it’s old and unused (and generally unsafe) then that’s invitation enough normally… lol… Other symptoms also include cuts / abrasions / not being able to get clean for a week / dirty blood stained clothing, and smelling like something no human should really be smelling like…. It’s small wonder I have so few friends these days !!!… although I’m pretty sure it’s only mildly contagious…

Oh, and it also means that my much more “general consumption” landscapey type photography has suffered a bit, but then given that it’s fast heading in to winter here, that’s no bad thing…

So the latest offering is an old abandoned Girls School, which I’ve been to before, but on this occasion we also managed to find the basement, and the beams of sunlight streaming through the small windows were nothing short of awe-inspiring… You certainly can’t beat spending hours in the dark and damp basement of an old and long abandoned girls school on a sunny Sunday afternoon… Isn’t that every mans idea of the perfect way to spend their weekend ??… ;)


It’s Been A While

So, It’s Been A While… (love this song btw, go give it a listen if it’s not familiar to you)… Anyway, as I was saying, it’s been a while since I put anything on here for various reasons… It’s also been a while since anyone tendered any care and attention on this particular building, which is such a shame as it’s a great building… but getting VERY dangerous…

So a brief catch up with me… Started a new job end of Sept.. reverting back to a previous career of mine, and I have to say it’s going great… I’ve also had a number of urbex outings too recently, one of which this shot comes from, so apologies to those of you who prefer my more tranquil landscape’y type posts (and flowers !!), but I do find a certain beauty in these places too… Plus it’s one heck of a challenge to find and capture something appealing, and also quite the challenge to get out without having fallen through the floor… Oh, and getting in can be quite interesting too sometimes.. ;)


Feeling Reflective

Spent rather a pleasant afternoon strolling along the river with a good friend, and her new Canon 5D Mk II (no fair… lol)… Spent most of the time with one eye open for any potential photo opportunities, and the other eye on her… waiting for her to fall in, so that I could do the decent thing that any friend would do… and grab her camera before it got wet… Well, if she were washed away, I’m sure she’d be only too happy knowing that her camera was going to be looked after !!… Right ??… :D


Dinner is Served

Dusting off some of my old archived shots here that have never before seen the light of day, and mefinks the shots are not the only thing requiring dusting here…

Honestly, this is not MY kitchen.. which I think is pretty obvious, as naturally there would be more beer and pizza in the fridge… ;)

This is a shot from a long past visit with a good friend, to the highly infamous Potters Manor. You may recall that this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this particular derelict manor house, which has unfortunately now been pretty much ransacked judging by other people’s shots I’ve seen recently… If you’re interested in how it looked when this shot was taken, you can see a few old posts here, there, someplacesomewhere else and even over there… ;)

Cannot wait to get out for a spot of urbexing again, and fingers crossed that opportunity will present itself real soon… Watch this space.. :)


A Tangled Web

It’s that time again… Time for another of my favourite subjects… Sunset…

Nothing much more to say than that… Oh, and that’s my daughter at the top, and oddly enough she wasn’t QUITE so interested in the photography aspect when their was a play area involved !?!?! Go figure !!!…


Slugs In Print

Well I was asked, and did promise to post more info on the two shots I’ve just had published in two camera magazines… So here they are…. finally in glorious print….

I have to confess to being ever so slightly pleased to have had some shots published, but the best part for me is that I never submitted the shots to the magazines, but was actually approached and asked if they could publish them…

The double page spread “Potters Rays” is in this October’s issue of PhotoPlus magazine (Iss 40), and “Part Deux” was in September’s issue of Digital Camera (Iss 103)… Sorry once again for blowing my own trumpet, but it’s the first time I’ve ever been published… :D


Celestial Sunset

Just another quick sunset from the frantic 10 minutes spent looking for a shot before the colour disappeared… It was a nightmare though waiting for the clouds to clear the moon before the light went… I LOVE Sunsets… lol…


Mini Days Out…

Strange isn’t it how great minds think alike… I had plans yesterday of taking some shots with the sole purpose of doing a fake tilt-shift…. and it would seem that Angelcel must have had exactly the same tilt shift ideas too….

Yesterday we decided to take a trip to Southend… Yeah I know it’s a real cliché English seaside resort, and doesn’t appeal to everyone, but my Dad came from there, and I’ve not been there for  such a very long time… and my Mum fancied a trip down memory lane… and plus the kids LOVE it… even though it’s the first time they’ve ever been… The worst of it is though that we can SEE Southend so clearly from my little Island… It’s probably no more than 6 or 7 miles as the crow flies… but to drive there is a whole different story due to a small river called The Thames… which extends that 6 or 7 miles to closer to 65 miles each way… lol…

Not sure how well-known this fact is either, but they have the worlds longest pleasure pier… It is reportedly 1.341 miles long…. and even has its own trains to ferry the less hardy to and from the end of the pier…

Sadly though a fire tore through and destroyed most of the original head of the pier back in 2005, but fortunately it has now been pretty much restored… To save me writing oodles and oodles of stuff on here though that no one wants to read, I’ll just throw in the ever faithful Wikepedia Link… which always comes in very handy…

It certainly is quite the pier though, and hopefully this view helps to give you a sense of how far out to sea it really is… Not sure I’d fancy being out there in more inclement weather though…


Stranded

Another view of one of my favourite trees… Yeah I know I’m weird… but not as weird as a tree that lives in a pond… ;)

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend…


HayDaze…

It’s been far too long since I’ve been out of an evening to capture one of my favoured subjects… the perfect sunset…. and unfortunately mostly I only have myself to blame for that, as sunset is late, and by that time of day I’m normally settled after getting the kids to bed etc…. so the thought of getting ready to go out again is one that’s all too easy to convince myself “maybe tomorrow”….

Well last night was almost another “maybe tomorrow” yet again… and I uuum’d and ahhhh’d until it was virtually too late…. The other problem being that I can’t just step in to the backyard to capture anything…. as my backyard is none too interesting… so I have to drive somewhere…

Well I left it sooooo late before deciding that I WAS going out, that my location options were severely limited, but this particular field is only 5 mins drive away and I’ve not shot here before… so that’s where I ended up… and I ONLY just made it too, and this was the very first shot I took…. Did manage to get another 20 mins shooting in before the colour drained away completely, so all in all it was definitely worth dragging myself out…. That is all except for the mosquito’s…. I really could have done without their interest in me last night… itch itch itch…. ;)


Looking Up

This is another from the night spent cruising the streets of London… and even though the weather itself was rather uninspiring, this particular building was the highlight of the evening… and where the two absolute extremes of security personnel were met within minutes of each other….

You may recall the national security threat I posed when standing on someones step… Well this was that very same building… and the curved building you see here directly opposite was where the complete antitheses in security guards resided… I guess they have to work that closely so as to maintain the security balance….

I was just setting this shot up when he came out… and there was me wondering exactly which toe had set in motion the next cataclysmic event of the evening…. when he took me completely by surprise by informing us that the lights on the Lloyds Building go off at exactly 10pm… so we have only 3 minutes in which to get any other shots we might want before darkness descends…

And he was right… On the stroke of 10pm precisely the lights went out…

So proof that they do exist…. elusive as they may be to find, there ARE some nice security guards…


Bathtime

Fortunately not mine though you’ll be pleased to hear… as I had my bath in February, so I’m good for at least another few months… unless the flies return again in too vast a quantity that is, then I’ll concede to a wipe down with some wet stuff… Anyway, bathtimes are dangerous, especially for me… as I have a tendency to fall asleep in the bath… and that’s when the bath toys are at their most mischievous…  And as for Errol the rubber duck… Well I remember this one time when.. ummm.. Yeah ok, maybe that story can wait methinks…

Back on track again… So this was one of the few shots I got from the interior of Leeds Castle, before I got told off for “appearing too professional”… lol… Next time I think I’ll just take some paper and a few crayons…and plant myself in the middle of the floor and start scribbling…

They were quite happy though to let my daughter snap away with her point and shoot though… Maybe I should have loaned her my camera… Lol…

And as promised, here’s a couple of extra shots of the black swans from the castle grounds…


Sunny Knights

Well it has to be said that one thing we’re blessed with here is an abundance of castles… Within an hours drive from me I can think of at least a dozen, if not more… and I’m sure I’m missing plenty too… And they’re mostly genuine castles too… So today (as the kiddies were off school for the day), a visit to our local’ist local castle was required…

This is Leeds Castle, and was built in 1119, and is most renowned from the Tudor times, when King Henry VIII visited frequently with his Queen Catherine of Aragon, and the entire royal court…

It’s a wonderful place to spend the day though, when the weather is nice… and comes complete with an amazing landscaped estate, and the compulsory moat, black swans, and a maze, and of course its own golf course… lol..


A Harty (Ferry) Rant

WELL… I now officially dislike people…. or let me clarify… I dislike people involved with the  jobcentre where I have just had to go and “sign on” for the first time ever in 25 years of my working career so far… just so that they can pay me £64 a week, as long as I can prove in triplicate that I am actually genuinely looking for a job, and not just playing the system…. cos IF I’m just playing the system, then apparently it seems I can claim lots more, and don’t really have to prove I’m actively seeking employment…..

I tell ya though… I had previously wondered why they had 2 huge security guards walking around in there…. Now I know…. I’m normally a very placid easy-going sort of person, but I very nearly lost it today…. and I took about 6 months worth of rubber off my tyres driving home….

I had 2 appointments… One at 2pm, to “prove” I’m looking for work, and one at 2:35, just to get a form so I can claim on my mortgage insurance (yeah right)….. Well the 2pm kinda annoyed me, as I’d got a complete list of jobs I’d applied for…. through “recruitment agencies”….. They wanted “employer” details…. which I couldn’t give them, as you don’t GET that information through agencies…. Surely they should KNOW that…. Anyways, I gave her the first 2 jobs that I’d applied for, from my long list, and she said “That’s enough… I don’t need any more”….. WHAT !!!….

Then I was told that if the 2:35 appointment was free earlier, then I’d be able to go straight to that…. Apparently it wasn’t… Apparently it was taken right up to 2:30…. It was 2:05 at this point…. So I left and came back at about 2:20…. Sat in the waiting area opposite some desks where the job centre peeps were merrily sitting there doing nothing….. Sat there for 15 minutes across the room from some woman sat at her desk…. Then at 2:35 precisely SHE looks up and says “Mr Stevenson”…… “I couldn’t believe it”…. I’d been sitting there 15 minutes, and had been told she was BUSY with another person right up to 2:30…. and she’s sitting right in front of me … doin’ nowt…

Then it got worse…. She was the most snotty arrogant conceited individual I’ve met in a looooong time… Sat there looking down her nose at me like I was a piece of #@!$ on her shoe…. So I politely explained why I was there…. And she said “Have you got your insurance policy”….. Ummmmmm NO…. I’m here to get a form from YOU, so that I can claim FROM my insurance company…. Why the heck do THEY need MY insurance policy details…. They’re not paying me…. They just need to give me a form that says I am claiming benefit…. That’s IT….

She said…. “I need your policy, or I can’t give you a form”…. I was still polite, and said… “Well it would have been helpful if someone had told me that when I made the appointment”…. She said “Well you’ll need to book another appointment, and this time don’t forget to bring your policy with you”…. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. So I politely said… “Ok, can I book another appointment then please”….

She said…. “You have to phone us up and book it”….. WHAT… You have GOT to be kidding me !!!!….. I’m sitting here right in front of you…. but oh no… She’s not allowed to book appointments… I HAVE to phone up to do that…. So I had to come home… and phone THEM… Where I’d JUST been…. to make another appointment !!!….

Ooooooooh…. I tell ya…… NOT a happy bunny….. They make this sooooooo degrading to those of us who’ve worked ALL our lives, just to support the….. Ooooooh…. Don’t get me started on that… That’s another beef of mine completely….

Does anybody know anyone who requires a full time photographer ??… Now there’s a dream job… :)

SOOOOO… To mellow things down, here’s Today’s Sounds from one of my all time favourite albums…


Not FS…

Not “For Sale” that is…. lol… Thanks to a fair barrage of support and encouragement from a few good friends I have decided (for now at least) not to hang up my photographic “boots”… So I’m afraid you will at least have to put up with me on here for a wee bit longer…

I do also though have to say a very special thanks to a very special bonkers friend… You know who you are… lol… and to do that I recorded an ickle message, but you would not believe the amount of trouble I had in actually trying to not only record it, but also in trying to upload it… Why does wordpress apparently tell you it accepts mp3 files, but apparently they are NOT acceptable once you try to upload them !?!?!…. Anyways, I managed to upload it “somewhere”, and you’ll have to just make do with a link to it HERE… Don’t get too excited though, as it’s really not that interesting… Be warned also that I’m not a healthy bunny, and that’s my excuse for sounding like a freak… ;)


Errhhh… A Bridge…

And some boats too, with a bit of mud and sky type stuff…. Yeah ok, it’s fair enough to say that titles elude me tonight… as do descriptions…. ;)

Well we’ve had some pretty amazing sunsets around here recently, but I’ve been working later than normal and unfortunately missed most of them, and coincidentally the weekends have been lame…. and this weekend was about to prove the same when all of a sudden the skies broke and there were a few minutes when the heavens lit…. So in the car I jumped and headed out… and got stuck in traffic…. on a Sunday…. in the middle of nowhere !!!!…. Arrrrrghhhhh….. So this was as far as I got before the colours started to fade… So this I’m afraid will have to do… :)


Come Dine With Me…

Seriously, I am definitely going to have to have some stern words with my staff…. Not only has my interior designer had a relapse, it would appear my head chef has run off with the cleaner…. I came home the other day, and all I wanted was a caviar sandwich and a mug of 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam, and this is what I done did gone and discovered…. I had to make my OWN sandwich, and pour my own wine….

You just can’t get the staff these days….


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,900 other followers