30 minute photo challenge

I read somewhere a blog post about a quick 30 minute photo challenge. The basic idea is you walk for 10 minutes, any direction you fancy, take photos for 10 minutes of what you find there, and then walk back home, which should take you approximately the final 1o minutes of the 30.

This time and location restriction should really focus your eye on capturing subjects in short space of time. No faffing about with different gear and gadgets, just get there and start snapping.

I fancied having a go, so at lunchtime today I put on a hat and coat, picked up my camera, and walked for ten minutes and started shooting. Here are the results.

An old car
Rain on some tiny leaves
An abandoned rucksack
Abandoned cycle helmet
Identification numbers

I quite enjoyed completing this challenge today. I only used one lens, my trusty 50mm, for this. I think I’ll have another go at this but each time try a different lens, just to mix things up a bit. I’m thinking that a macro lens will really lent itself to this sort of challenge, so may try that next.

Christmas Market with Harley Monster

Slightly out of order with my blog posts, but this has to come next seeing as it’s Christmas week, and the photos are all from the German Christmas Market in Manchester. This photoshoot was arranged by the fabulous model Harley Monster who I’ve been lucky enough to work with before. As previously Harley and I didn’t have much of a plan, we just met up at the market and had a mooch.

I wanted to get some wide open aperture shots, hoping to catch a bit of bokeh from the lights on the market stalls. I also find markets a great place to capture some candied street moments, so this was my first combined model shoot and street photography session. Hope you like the results.

Harley loved this bear
Harley loved this bear
Trying on hats
Trying on hats

The guy working on the hat stall was a real character. Earlier in the day he’d cycled to the clinic to get some injections ready for his upcoming trip to India. The story of his immunised wobbly ride home was hilarious, and more than a tad dangerous. He was kind enough to pose for a picture, but I was too scared to ask if he’s be a part of my 100 strangers project. Guess I’m out of practice.

Hat Seller
Hat Seller

It wasn’t all about Harley and hats though. I did get the chance to capture a few candid moments of the other stall owners and their customers.




But of course if you have a wonderful model in tow it would be a shame not to take some more pictures of them.




I would like to say a big thank you to Harley for dragging me around the streets on Manchester once more. Having such a beautiful model really does help bring out the best in my pictures. Thank you.

Thank you all for reading this, and hopefully enjoying the images. I wish you and those you hold dear a very Merry Christmas.


Evening kick off

Anfield stadium is illuminated in the dark of night
Anfield stadium is illuminated in the dark of night
Anfield by night

I watch a lot of football. This usually takes place at the weekend when I’m off work. Sometimes there are mid-week games, but because I work away a lot I often miss these games. This week however I was fortunate enough to be at home whilst there was a mid-week match. I took the opportunity to take my camera along and try to capture some of the occasion.

Photograph showing array of Liverpool scarves, hats, and badges.
Hats, badges, and scarves
Photo opportunity
Photo opportunity
Ticket information
Ticket information
One section of the largely empty ground. A few seats have been taken, but most are yet to be occupied.
Seats waiting to be filled
A young fan turns and faces the camera whilst waiting for the game to start
A row of seats. Seat 182 is prominent in the frame.
Seat 182

If anybody is interested in the game, my favourite team won the game 3-2 in a close and thrilling game. I wish it were like this every week?

Stranger 43 of 100 – Ewan

Stranger 43 of 100 - Ewan

I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be able to add another person into my 100 Strangers Project. If you’re a regular reader of my blog (thank you) then you will no doubt know that I quite like street photography, and those that know my Flickr Photostream will probably have seen more in my Street Photography album. The strangers however are different.

I must ask permission from each stranger for them to be included in the project. Sometimes I have a little fear and trepidation with the street photography, but walking up to somebody and asking them if you can take their picture is terrifying for me. Right outside my comfort zone. I was lucky with Ewan as we’d been introduced by a mutual acquaintance an hour or so before. I didn’t feel the same level of fear as usual. As it has been about five months since my last stranger, Brian, I was happy to have it a little easier than usual. There was no guarantee that Ewan would agree, but I felt it was a little easier than usual. A welcome confidence boost when he complied. I was also pleased with how I stood him where background distractions would be as minimal as possible, posed him, and used bounce flash to create a nice soft light. All in all I’m very happy.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Why is this photo so popular?

I took this photograph in January 2012 at Glasgow Central train station.

Each generation has its own books

It shows two women reading. The older of the two is reading a printed book, the younger is reading from a tablet computer. It struck me that this would make an interesting observation on how technology moves on, but things fundamentally remain the same. A brief observation, nothing special.

The photograph has however become my most popular image on photo sharing website Flickr. By some distance too. My photographs usually get about 100 views, sometimes less, and sometimes a few more if it’s a good one. Some of my strangers may achieve three or four hundred views if the rest of the group like them. I’ve taken photographs of professional footballers that may achieve a thousand views, and the few photographs I’ve been lucky enough to have in Flickr’s Explore have reaches two thousand views.

The photography of the two ladies reading has over four thousand views. This I know is not earth shattering, but for me it is unprecedented. It is by far most viewed image but was not explored, is not in a popular group, and doesn’t contain any sports stars.

It’s a mystery.

Working away

Tower Bridge at night
Tower Bridge at night


I’ve been working away a lot recently. I usually go up to Scotland, but of late I’ve been back and forth between home and the capital city of London. When I was a younger man, working away was a time of excitement, a chance to go out partying, and quite possibly a little wooing. These days are all behind me now. I’m more likely to sit in the hotel room with a nice hot cup of tea and watching television. Recently however I took the opportunity to take a short stroll around and about London town with my camera.

Cycle hireBoris BikesThe KissTower BridgePart of the London cityscape at nightA tourist takes in the sights.