Wednesday, 2 September 2009


On the way home from the second wedding, I briefly stopped to take a photo of these towerblocks as I thought they would suit a landscape in black and white.


Another weekend of weddings. Due to old advertising and word of mouth, nearly all my wedding bookings are still in Scotland so I went back up to spend my last night in our cottage in Dumfriesshire and Galloway. It was quite sad to see it so empty. The weddings were enjoyable at least.


It seems every city in Britain has a giant wheel now and Sheffield is no different. Recently I learned the one in York had been sold and moved. I wonder if this is the same one...


The Hillsborough Barracks have been converted into a Morrisons supermarket which seems a bit of a waste of a fantastic building. Still, at least the trolley signs are in keeping.


We even have a cellar in our new place. Perfect for locking the cats or Sandra in when they've been bad.


While exploring our new house I took a photo of the top of the boiler. I just thought it looked like a face...


It seems I was up and down like a yo-yo as the following day I was back up in Dumfries. This bed was a nightmare to put up when we got it. Sandra and I were both heartily cursing it for a good couple of hours. Taking it down at least was pretty easy.


Back down to Sheffield once more with yet more boxes. The attic room in our new house offers a great view over the houses, though the window opens an awkard way which makes it a little difficult for photographs.


I had some family portraits to take today, and had planned to do them in the park. However, some heavy rain put paid to that so most ended up being done indoors. It cleared up towards the end though so we at least managed to go into the garden for a couple of shots.


If in doubt over what to photograph, just go outside with the cats in tow...


The light in our living room was reflecting back off the mirror on the opposite wall to create strong shadows next to the dining table. Sandra's profile on the wall brought to mind some kind of 60's detective drama so I made her put on my hat while I took a photo.


I hadn't used my 105mm macro lens for a while so I spent some time experimenting with testing my two flash guns on this pin. It seems so much easier using the Nikon multiple flash system than setting up seperate lights.


I can't rememeber where I took this photo... That'll teach me to update my blog more often. Still... yellow eh?


Back up to Dumfries yet again the following day. Another photo of the day taken late on at night because I hadn't gotten around to it sooner. I added some grain to this to try and make it more filmic.


Waterton Park Hotel, the venue for Steven and Sarah's wedding was fantastic. It was set on its own little island with a footbridge over the water so plenty of opportunities for taking photos. In the evening, Sandra and I took a stroll around the grounds and I took this photo of a man bringing his row boat back in to dock.


...and back down to Sheffield the next day for Sarah and Steven's (Sandra's brother) wedding which was in Wakefield the following day. Heading over the Pennines always provides some impressive views.


On the way back to Dumfries to collect more of our things we stopped at Tebay service station which is probably the nicest motorway service station I've ever seen by a long long way. It even has its own farm shop and duck pond aswell as some impressive views.


This was the day on which we picked up the keys to our new house in Sheffield. Our shoes were together on the mat and we thought it looked quite romantic. It was also quite a good symbol of moving into a new place.


The shed yet again proved useful for today's photo. I noticed my shadow appeared to be taking a photo of me, so I quickly took one of it in return.


We had this small bamboo pot on the mantlepiece for most of the time we lived in Dumfries. Neither of us ever remembered to water it though so it didn't fare too well and its leaves were mostly brown when I took this photo.


This is one of a series of photos I took of Sandra in the garden while she pulled various goofy expressions in an attempt to smile. This is the closest she got to pulling it off.


I took a detour on the way home from the recycling centre to find today's photo. I've no idea where this was exactly as I just drove in random directions until I found something that I thought would make an interesting photo.


On arrival home, I found that the SB600 flashgun which I'd ordered before leaving to take to Japan had arrived. A little late for the trip maybe but I had some fun trying out some of the different lighting options that having two flashguns gave me.


The final leg of our journey home was from Paris to Edinburgh. We'd been on or above the wing for every flight so far on the holiday and this trip was no different. Being below the wing on this occasion did at least make for some good shots of the ground far below.


Our final full day in Japan had us wandering around Ueno. We walked for about 15 minutes around the park where this was taken trying to figure out how to get in, before realising we had to go back to where we'd been initially.


A trip to Harajuku in search of people dressed in unusual outfits turned out to be a bit of a disappointent. The only outlandish costumes happened to be when we were sat down to eat so I missed the photo opportunity. I think we'd just gone at the wrong time of day. However, at the very end of the street we saw this interesting looking character sat on a wonky bench while the world went on around him.


After Nara, we headed to Tokyo. In the evening we went up to the City Hall observation floor just in time for one of the most magnificent sunsets I've ever seen.


Still in Nara, we visited a rather peaceful garden which was full of a huge variety of plants. This huge grasshopper was quite happy to sit perfectly still while I got closer and closer with the rather wider than I would have liked lens. In the end I was only a couple of feet away.


After Kyoto we went to Nara which is dominated by its huge park full of wandering deer. This pond and 5 storey pagoda was just on the edge of where the park began and near to our ryokan.


We were in Kyoto during some of the Gion Matsuri, which is a big and colourful festival. These monks were waiting to transport huge golden caskets up to the Yasaka-Jinja temple. It took hundreds of them to lift the heavy things up to the shrine, looking like they might tip over and be crushed at any moment.


Taking this photo gave me some idea of what it would be like to be a paparazzi photographer. Something I never ever want to do. In the Gion district in Kyoto at certain times of the day, it is possible to see Maiko (apprentice Geisha) occasionally walking between tea houses. The huge crowd of waiting tourists point them out and chase them down trying to get a photo which can't be very pleasant. This one looks quite scared and I felt pretty guilty about it afterwards.


This was taken in the 'London' izakaya (Japanese pub) in Kyoto. Nobody could speak any english but everyone was very friendly and we still managed to have a conversation which tested my smattering of Japanese to the limit.


Matsumoto Castle was a pretty amazing structure and one of the few original castles left in Japan. This swan handily swam towards us to give me something interesting to put in the foreground.


On to Japan, and our first stop was Matsumoto. A fantastic town that I wish we could have spent more time in. We got their quite late and were running out of clean clothes by that point in the holiday so went in search of a laundrette.


This is the water fountain at City Hall in Seoul. Everyone was having a fun time running backwards and forwards getting soaked, including Hannah and Sandra. I just stood at the side and took photos though.


Hannah and Simon took us to see some baseball on the Saturday with some friends of theirs. Before that we sat by the river and I took some photographs of passing cyclists on a variety of unusual bicycles.


100th photo!

While in Insadong we were passed by a parade of passing bears and girls with drums. I think it was for a local theme park though I'm not quite sure. This bear was happy to pose for a photograph anyway.


This is Hannah. One of my favourite people in the world. She and her boyfriend Simon are teaching English in Seoul so we took the opportunity to go and visit them on our way to Japan. This photo was taken in the Hongik University area near to where we were staying.


This was taken on the morning of our trip to South Korea and Japan. We had to leave early for the airport which meant the fantastic scenery we pass on the A702 was made even better by the mist and still glowing sky.


This is probably my least favourite photo of the day so far. It's the infirmary again but a far less interesting angle. Looking at it again, I can see it's not even straight. I'll have to process this again at some point to see if I can improve it.


While waiting to pick Sandra up after work I took some shots of the infirmary. I liked the lines on the walls so went for a close up of one of the windows to highlight them.


My parents came to visit on the Sunday, so I met them at the Drumlanrig Castle farmer's market. Afterwards we went for a walk around the grounds and I liked the look of this split tree, and track through the park.


The second wedding of the weekend took me to the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club. This girl started dancing on the fairway and it reminded me of those old photos of faeries you see.


Two enjoyable weddings this weekend. I thought these attached seats would make a good place for a wedding photo and since I didn't have any posed wedding shots on my blog yet chose this one for my photo of the day.


A rusty screw in the shed that I'd spotted the day before, while photographing Charlie. I just thought it made for a nice simple shot.


Whenever I'm in the garden Charlie follows me around. I was pondering what to take a photo of when he took the opportunity to explore the shed roof which I was standing next to, which was pretty useful since it provided me with a subject. Charlie isn't usually so useful. He hasn't made a habit of it at any rate.


This is a photo I took for local press at Drumlanrig Castle for their 'You're Welcome' initiative. My first press assignment!


Here's a macro of a Daddy Longlegs that was hanging around our bathroom. Sandra is scared of Daddy Longlegs so cringes every time she sees this photo. It is pretty disgusting if you look closely.


Some potato wedges. My own recipe, or at least one I found on the internet.


This was taken during the Guid Nychiburris (Good Neighbours) Parade in Dumfries. There were lots of interesting characters and costumes but I liked the expression on this guys face which is why it made photo of the day.