Bike Love

'Bad Boy' and 'FiftyFixy' in the morning light.

‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Fifty Fixie’ in the morning light.

I remember my first unassisted bike ride like it was yesterday. It ended abruptly with me crashing into my Dad’s car. Since then I’ve had many an inglorious tumble off my various bikes. The most recent sudden departure from my BMX a couple of months ago after a mistimed drop in into the skate bowl in Victoria Park left me with a crushed thumb and six stitches.

Regardless of the bumps and bangs, I simply love cycling and the simplicity of bicycles. I liked the way the sun created the highlights and shadows in this picture of my ‘Fifty Fixie’ and my trusty old ‘Bad Boy’, especially the way the circles and lines interacted. Shot on Nikon 85mm: f1.8 :1/500: ISO 100.

Six stitches

Six stitches

Back Again

Biggles

Biggles on Ardroil Beach, Lewis Oct’14

It’s well over a year since I’ve written in my blog. Moving house twice, filming in Africa, shivering in Siberia and back and forward to the States, it has all been a little bonkers. In amongst the madness has been the arrival of Biggles to our home. He’s just over a year old now and has become such a part of the family that it’s hard to remember what life was like without him. Alongside getting a dog, I also invested in new camera kit. I’ve replaced my old Nikon D200 with a D610 and a new suite of relatively fast lenses to fit its full size sensor. There is something about being back in the familliar territory of 35mm focal lengths that I’m finding has rekindled my enthusiasm for photography. The new Nikon is a beast to get used to but I can see endless possibilities. The shot above of Biggles was taken using a 50mm lens fully open at f1.4. Critically low depth of field and virtually impossible to get sharp without autofocus. It is amazing how technology is changing the way we make pictures and so see the world.

Snapseed Manhattan

Manhattan Island with snapseed work.

Manhattan Island with Snapseed work

I know this sounds like a sponsored advert but I love Snapseed. It’s a great photo app I have on my iPhone. It’s got more controls than Instagram  and is really easy to use. I like it much more than Adobe Photoshop’s app which is great news as I have a real problem with Adobe. In my experience they have the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered and any competition that threatens to break their stranglehold on the market of digital image manipulation is good news. Above is a picture I took through the window of a plane over NYC last week and worked on with Snapseed. Below is the original picture.

Manhattan Island with out snapseed work.

Manhattan Island without Snapseed work

Highland Dancing at Hogmanay

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We are driving from Pitlochry to London to start back to work tomorrow. It’s been a great New Year break or ‘Hogmanay’ as its called in Scotland.

Yesterday the main street of the town was closed to traffic as a large highland dance took place.

Tweedy, blue-rinsed ladies danced with baffled Italian tourists while white haired highlanders in regulation kilts gave novice dancers a crash course in rock-n-reel.

As I ordered a haggis roll, (yep that is haggis in a white bread roll) I met a man who knew my Aunt. She used to be a teacher in small highland schools.

The man and I didn’t spend long reminiscing, he was particularly concerned that he’d seen a number of men with kilts that were ‘too long at the knee’.

He was shocked that people nowadays didn’t know (or worse care) how to wear the kilt. So top tip from Pitlochry pie shop is: when you next put on your kilt to go dancing in the streets you should kneel on the floor and swipe two fingers between the hem of the kilt and the floor before leaving the house.

And the good news is that even if your kilt is a little long, you are still allowed to enjoy yourself. At one point there must have been around three hundred dancers all bouncing, whirling and laughing around the street.

Highland hospitality, culture and community at its very best.

Hemingway’s Toilet

These are the urinals in the men’s toilet at the Hemingway Pub in Victoria Park, near where we live in London. The barman says they are meant to be funny but I can’t see the joke.

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Silver Birch on New Year’s Day

I’ve been majorly neglecting the blog. Amongst my rather ambitious list of New Year resolution’s is to update the blog more. So here goes. These are Silver Birch trees caught in winter sun on the banks of Loch Faskally in the Highlands of Scotland.

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Olympic London

Street art in Broadway Market East London


There is an amazing vibe in London today. The streets are deathly quiet as people stay at home to watch tv, go to parks to watch big screens, or for the lucky few, attend the Olympic venues to witness incredible performances from the British team. As we live in the East End of London, we decided to take our summer holidays over the two Olympic weeks. We spent a small fortune on tickets and crammed the family together in our little flat. I’m so glad we did. It’s been amazing so far and we have a week still to go.

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