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the new rules on passport photos are very exact and it's important you get your eyes at exactly the right part of the picture.  but that's tricky if you are 7 years old and the seat doesn't go high enough.

kezia and i thought about this in advance (following a rather disastrous and expensive trip a few months back) so decided to take a cushion. but when we got there we realised we'd forgotten it.

we weren't going to be beaten so instead we popped in to the local supermarket and bought 4 rolls of environmentally friendly kitchen rolls.  in their packets they were just the right height (when placed 2 on 2) for kezia to get her mug shot in comfort.

this was our first attempt with just one layer which wasn't enough.  i didn't take a picture with the two layers as i was holding on to her so she didn't fall off !

this was my final LRPS panel (minus image 8 as it was of a friend's son so didn't think i should put it on flickr)


i've got my rps panel for my licentiatiship beginning of next month.  i used a big desk at work to lay my photos on to try to work out a coherent panel.


well, the photo show i had my pictures in at the weekend seemed to be a great success.  loads of photos, great turn out, great pictures and friendly people.  what more do you need !

just in case you are interested, here's the pictures i presented







what are you doing this weekend ?  well, if you are in the south of england you could do no better than pop in to this two day photo exhibition in All Saints Church, Swallowfield.


i've got 6 pictures on display and will be attending myself on midday on sunday.  with over 120 prints on view i think it's going to be quite interesting !


"i ordered too many signs, where shall i put them ?"


i've not updated my davescollections website for a long time because the software behind it is so broken that if i attempted to update it it'd probably all fall apart !

i spotted this work pass on a wall.  it was face down, although it did have a nice smiley face drawn on the back.  i ended up taking it to the local tube station which turned out to be unmanned.  so i pushed it down the money return space in the ticket booth, giving it a good flick so it landed on the counter.  unfortunately i nearly got my hand trapped due to my watch getting caught under the underhang.

i'm free now.  which is more than miss whoever, who is probably still locked outside her office.


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i was delighted to get my results back for the Open University course i did last year.  you can read about it here  I was pleased to get 97% !  These photos were my final portfolio

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i should also thank all you kind readers and even kinder commenters who have encouraged me taking photos.  i'm simply loving all the comments at the moment - they are the funniest bit of the blog i recon.

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i'm now thinking of doing this course at the Open College of Arts  Would anyone be interested in enrolling at the same time to swap notes as we go through and each save £100 on the fees ?  could be good fun to have a group of us doing it at the same time. 

drop me an email if you are interested. enthusiasm more important than skill - the less you know the more you'll learn !



the final week with the lazy eye doll (cost 30p from some charity shop). she's been on our shelf for a few years, but it was only on wednesday night i realised she did this which was quite alarming ((try here if the video below doesn't work))

here are two other objects:








the third man in our group was a mysterious no-show. hopefully we didn't frighten him away after our sad attempts last week. Anyway, after fiddling around for ages with tins and chocolate and beer and wine mike came up with the great idea of putting maltesers on a mirror.

below is a selection of things from tescos. all day breakfast in a tin was my favourite


and here's a picture of a can of beer. probably.


and here's dave the lecturer despairing at our poor attempts to subvert the genre and avoid cliches (or clinches)



i'm doing another photo course with tony, although we're in separate groups this time. i see he's put some of his excellent photos on his flickr stream already.

my group concentrated on my glass head.


and a posh watch


next week we'll be reconstructing a tombola. or so we've decided.

i nearly managed to get a fantastic picture here. the idea was to get the police phone box between the two police men, flanked either side by the two zebra crossing lights.

i even thought i might chance a zoom in to get their helmeted heads either side of the light at the top of the box.

but ... it was raining and very windy, there was a lamppost in the way, i wasn't sure if you are allowed to take photos of policeman on duty and the policemen themselves kept moving about so it was difficult to line up (and i thought they might turn round).

perhaps more importantly, it was just in front of the US embassy in london, so i thought i'd best not look too suspicious (or i might have been shot by the armed police standing near by)

call me a coward, but some photos i just have to do without ! still, you get the idea



i had a picture published in the Reading Festival programme which has won me some festival goodies apparently (the mind boggles what they may be!). here is a corner of the page - mine is the action man


well, this year i didn't win the trophy for the best photo in show, but i did get a few first, two seconds, a third and two 'highly commendeds', with only my portraits failing to get anything. still, after 3 years it's good someone else wins isn't it ;-)

i went on an experience seminar yesterday with my friend Richard. The course was excellent and i really recommend it for anyone who's got a canon digital SLR camera (i've got the 350D)


hopefully you'll start noticing the difference next time i go photoing with my big camera !

if you are in edinburgh on a sunny day, you must go and see the camera obscura. it's quite fantastic, especially the bit where you can lift up cars etc..


here's the town

and here it is with the light on

fantastically, i won best-in-show for my photo of a snail at the Swallowfield Show.

here i am proudly receiving the trophy

all of the other photos i entered have appeared on the blog at some point, but in case you are interested here is what else i entered (in each category):

a journey (1st):



texture (3rd):

skyscape (2nd):

my favourite place:

song title (1st):

4 seasons (3rd - best viewed bigger):

i went with others' advice on my previous attempt and re-approached the song title thing. so, here's my new song title picture. i think i cropped a bit too tight on the right though. oh well.

do you know what it is yet ?

i'm not sure if this works or not. it's an attempt to capture a song title in a photo for a competition i'm entering on sunday (tomorrow).

any ideas what it is or am i going to have to go back to the drawing board ?

there was a village show today and i entered a few photos in the arts and craft section

i won one first prize which i was very pleased with. the category was 'through an arch"

this being a classic british village fete there were people dressed in funny clothes and people in funny hats and umbrellas in the sun::

and flower arrangements which fell down:

and vegetables which won prizes then got eaten by a caterpillar:

(the caterpillar was still around)

and where there are jars of home preserve and runner beans as far as the eye can see:

and where people check the winning items very closely:

it was also a place where everyone was really friendly and seemed to be having a brilliant time !

yeah. my camera came back from the menders, all mended under warranty, in less than a week.

welcome back my friend. it's been ok using a different camera (and thanks to jane for lending it to me), but i do love this little chap and i certainly missed some of his features and performance.

yesterday was a sad day. i'm rarely parted from my camera, so it was with very sad to have to send it off to the menders in an inflatable padded bag (a very neat invention).

i'm hoping it's just a dodgy CCD which will be covered by the warranty. meanwhile i'll be using jane's Casio Exilim EX-240 which she's kindly leant me.

i'll miss my W-12 terribly whilst it's gone though

i've thought about providing some links to a photo buying service via the website for people who might want to buy one of my photos. but then i think no-one would be interested anyway, so why depress myself by setting it up if it wouldn't be used.

but maybe if i sold cakes featuring my pictures, well that would be a different matter ! here's an example birthday cake (not featuring one of my pictures)

there was no flash photography in this art gallery so i ended up with this quite attractive Silhouette of a lady looking at a black and white painting

click for big

1. take a picture with your own shadow in.
2. convert to black and white.
3. convert to negative.
4. adjust brightness/contrast to taste.
5. enjoy the eery result.

click to inspect

this lady was sitting outside this bar looking very photogenic. perhaps she's paid for by the local tourist board. pity i didn't manage to get this in focus.

click to enlarge

so, here is the photo which won the best photo. i nearly didn't bother creating it but then had a moment of madness on saturday morning when everyone else was out of the house.

click to be dismayed amazed

it's been a bank holiday today. esther and i did really well at the Swallowfield Show. we both entered stuff in the craft show. here are our award winning entries:

esther got Highly Commended for her butterfly and vegetable chariot:
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i got a second place for 'transport' and 1st place for 'about the home':
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i also got second place for the song title (as seen here)

but my best was my '24 hours' collection which not only won 1st prize in the category, but also won best photo in the show:

This year i only won 6. not quite a lucrative as last year.

this was the photo i entered in the category of "leaves" which came second place. the comment was that it could have worked better in black and white. so here it is. in black and white.


it's a village show tomorrow. here are my photo entries. they still need sticking on the cardboard. time is running out and tiredness is running in. an exciting day due tomorrow. (note the final pub picture!)


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esther and i spent ages taking pictures of balloons this morning. i think this is one of her pictures.


it's time to return my trophy ready for this year's competition. but first it needed to be polished.

polishing metal is very satisfying (especially if you get your children to do it)




i walked past the white wall man again yesterday. he was just about to paint the window i think.

i spoke to him and told him he looked great with his white overalls and white wall and yellow ladder. he seemed very pleased.


this chap was painting this wall in the middle of the street. i grabbed this photo in about 3 seconds and zoomed on my way. i wish i'd stayed a bit longer to frame it better, but there you go.

click for generous biggernisation

here is ian bowling. i think this photo is fantastic. the exposure time was just the right amount to keep his aura !

click for big


wellington country park

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(click for big version)

there's another challenge at the excellent sh1ft.org:

it's a 20 question interview which you can answer in photos:


click for big versions

this picture was esther's idea. she said "look at all the wheels". so we did.

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i swapped a photo of some leaves or a photo of some snow drops. i think this picture is superb so was more than happy to let my leaves go !


here are some double yellow lines on the road and the curb stone. i thought you'd like it. think of it as an early valentine's present.


here is a residential tower block. there is beauty in 1970s concrete symmetry


it was a bit chilly this morning and i spotted this holly nicely frosted up.

pity i didn't spot it in similar conditions on Advent Day 5


these blokes are from Brazil and i bumped in to them twice on my walk down the South Bank. each time they asked me to take their photo with a famous landmark in the background. they must have heard i was an award winning photographer.


here's an idea for an advent photography project you could try.

take a photo of whatever appears behind the door in your advent calendar each day. this will work especially well with completely random cheap advent calendars.

for example, if the picture is of some holly, go and find a holly tree and get an interesting spikey photo.

if it's something totally unfindable like a reindeer (if you don't live in Sweden) then you could take a photo inspired by a picture of a reindeer (like a nice meat pie for example, or someone with a bright red nose).

let me know how you get on. i may have a go at this myself !


beach shelter (protects from sun in summer and icey wind in winter)

here are some nice autumn scenes for you



20 pence cash to the first person who guesses what this is correctly.

sh1ft.org projects

i'm now an official award winning photographer ! I entered 7 photos earlier in the week for the Swallowfield Show.

My total prizes were:
3 first places
1 second place
1 third place
Best Photo in Show rosette
Best Photo in Show trophy (for one year)
and ... 7.50 in prize money

The Best Photo in Show and Rosette:

the prize envelope (containing the 7.50 winnings):

winning the trophy was mixed blessings. prize giving wasn't until after the raffle was drawn (which seemed to have about a million prizes - he mentioned that the ladies filling in the details on raffle tickets had filled so many that they had got "writers cramp". we call that RSI nowadays don't we?).

Anyway, we got to the show at around 1pm and didn't get away until after 5.30pm ! kids weren't particularly impressed. Although esther is proud of her dad, and of the fact that her knees won first prize in the hoovering picture (see below)

the trophy prizes being announced:

collecting the trophy

proud trophy winner

more details:

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