Barter Books, Alnwich

I love Barter Books. My first visit to this fabulous second-hand bookshop was quite by accident, back in 2011. We were visiting Alnwick, primarily to go to the castle and gardens, and discovered Barter Books whilst wandering around the town one day. This time, when we decided to go back to Alnwick, the bookshop was on my list of must see attractions.

I decided to make a short film about our visit to the bookshop, and wanted record a short introduction. Talking to the camera in public is something I’ve found difficult, too difficult to even attempt, but I decided that I had to at least have a go and record a short introduction to camera. I was a tourist and it didn’t really matter how daft I looked.

All in all I enjoyed making this short film, and of course the shop was everything I’d remembered and more. I’m not 100% happy with the video, but it is progress in my photographic journey, and as my first vlog style recording marks a little milestone.

Anyway, enough words, here are some moving pictures ….

 

 

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Early evening photoshoot with Katarina Marie

Shooting with experienced models always fills me with confidence. If they’re also photographers then I know the results will be good. Katarina Marie is one such “modelographer”, talented on both sides of the lens; a true artist.

For our first photoshoot together we decided that we should head up to Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We wanted to capture some of the late afternoon sun, and if the weather wasn’t with us at least there would be ice cream at the world famous Nardini’s. Fortunately we did get some sun, and so here are the photos we created together.

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First look was in the bag, so Katarina did a quick costume change and we walked along the coast a little and found a shelter which we thought would look good.

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There is no point going to the coast if you’re not going to visit the beach, so after getting bogged down in some deep sand we eventually found a nice section of the beach we could shoot at.

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We’ve now got some great images stored, but the sun was starting to set and we were losing the light fast. A quick costume change and a chance to capture the last throws of daylight.

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As the sun set we started to notice some beautiful colour in the sky so tried to record that too.

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I think we managed to fulfil our brief of capturing the late afternoon and early evening sun. This time of day, golden hour and beyond, is a great time to create photographs. There is almost magic in the light, and something I should do more of. Sadly we didn’t get to visit Nardini’s for ice cream, but I am very happy with the images we created together. This would not be the last time I shot with Katarina, but that’s a story for another day.

Danny.

Being nice to new people

I’m sure that a lot of us have had the experience of being the new kid. Perhaps you moved schools as a youngster, or have changed jobs recently and need to get to know new colleagues. It can be daunting, and it’s always nice when the people already there are kind and welcoming. When I first joined a photography and modelling website last year I posted a “Hello, I’m new” kind of message. Lots of people very kindly welcomed me to the community and wished me well. This helped me settle in and was a nice gesture. Since then, I do try to keep an eye out for other new members and say hello, give them a welcome, and generally try to repay some of the kindness I was met with.

One such “new starter” was a local photographer who had just opened up a studio. I wasn’t familiar with the photographer, John, but I saw his post about the studio account being new so I wished them well in their endeavours and thought nothing more about it. A few days later John contacted me to express his gratitude on my welcome message, especially as nobody else had done so. 22,000 members on the site and I was the only person to have greeted him. John was grateful for the little attention I’d paid him, and as a thank you offered me free use of the studio, and all as I needed to find was a model to shoot with. That part was easy.

Becky and I had been in touch a couple of times about arranging a photoshoot together. I told Becky about the free studio time and she jumped at the chance. We met at the studio and made some photos together,

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Beauty portrait
Beauty portrait

We then decided to brighten things up a bit. John helped set up a nice bright background, and Becky put her wig on. We experimented with different facial expressions and Becky acted out some emoji style poses.

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All in all it was a fun shoot, and I’m delighted with the images that were created.

Moral: Be nice to people. Sometimes it pays off.

 

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
Fan
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?

Abney Hall Park

Yesterday we had a day out at Abney Hall Park in Stockport. I never knew the place existed until last week. It seems the place to go if you are a dog owner, with lots of open spaces for your pooch to run around and chase after sticks. It is also a wonderful place to go for a walk, away from the stresses and strains of modern living, and get away from the city streets. Unfortunately the hall was closed for maintenance, and no doubt this is the wrong time of year to visit. There is however a waterfall, cows, plenty places to walk, and lots of places to sit and stare at just how beautiful nature can be. Definitely somewhere I’d like to go to again.

Abney Hall Park entrance
Abney Hall Park entrance
Lone leaf
Lone leaf
One of nature's more beautiful creations
One of nature’s more beautiful creations
Trees in the throws of autumn
Trees in the throws of autumn
Vivid green moss
Vivid green moss
All the leave are brown
All the leave are brown
Couple taking a stroll
Couple taking a stroll
Waterfall
Waterfall
Dogs at play
Dogs at play
Woof!
Woof!

Colours of Autumn

Leaves, turned red and yellow by autumn lie on the ground
Autumn colours

It was a cold morning today. The sun was shining brightly, but in the northern hemisphere we’re just too far away to avoid the frosts at this time of year. Cold it may be, but the world around just looks so beautiful at this time of year.

I took an early morning stroll, well wrapped up against the chill, and took a few images of the glorious display of colour available to see. If you have the chance you should get out and enjoy the final throws of autumn just before the winter approaches.

A solitary leaf is seen in the foreground, with a street fading off into the distance behind
Solitary leaf