Monday, 3 May 2010

A different camera

Some 5 years ago I bought Gill a pocket 5mp metal digital camera with a decent lens from a proper camera maker. She started making images and now many thousands of images later it has been used almost to destruction. Now it has bits of tape keeping the battery and Sim card in and about a third of the screen is greyed out. It still takes pictures though and for what it did there was little to beat it so finding another one seemed a sensible option. However, E-bay only had her camera new from Hong Kong at about £200 or second hand with similar faults and eventually the later model, which had forsaken the direct viewfinder in favour of a larger rear screen, seemed more promising and I duly purchased one for £35.

At the same time my Leitz lens 12mp pocket camera vanished, and in the middle of having a new boiler and central heating system installed I broke my leg so some of the kitchen and breakfast room work is still 'on hand' and we have no ceiling there.

Our local Morrisons supermarket tend to heavily reduce their flowers at the end of the day and Gill makes use of them, so when about 30 red roses were selling for 59 pence they were an obvious buy and duly found themselves being dried. We now saw why old farmhouses and French / Swiss chalets had wooden beams showing in the ceilings as that is an ideal place to hang flowers and herbs to dry.
Our breakfast room is also resplendent in unpainted new plaster (not the finish that we were intending but my leg prevented us from using the cladding we intended and since the walls had to be finished before the pipes were installed a local plasterer did the job for us. Now to my mind a natural plaster finish is a great background for images, so this is taken in our breakfast room with a £35 second hand 5mp camera...

Thank you Morrisons.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Under Construction 2 : a long time in the making

Sometimes construction work is a long process....

The weather and waves have been working hard on this small isand (off the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland) for thousands of years, changing the cliff face, wearing away the rocks, bringing soil, and creating the gullies where water runs down.
What will the finished construction be like, when will it be complete, indeed will it ever be 'formed'?

Yet here it looks like a new creation emerging from the mists that sweep down and back into the sea.

Check out othe construction images on Carmi's blog

Under Construction... Work in Progress

Manchester is a city undergoing extensive regeneration, sometimes worthwhile and necessary ... sometimes dubious and unnecessary... The desire to cram everyone into small spaces near their work, to go for newly created ideals that have no bearing on reality and where 'community facilities' means the chain restaurant, or to assign a totally unrealistic name in the belief the area metamorphoses into its designation. The Green Quarter is not and never will be green other than the colouring on a map designating the area: even the Northern Quarter is not 'North'.

So massive construction, compulsory purchases, tearing down whole streets, development grants, development agencies and groups with the consequential short term or failing businesses as easy access is temporarily denied while work is in progress.

Sometimes though the reconstruction is delightful, the new sympathetically blends with the old, features are retained and history does not become a casualty of progress.

Thankfully the super casino and Las Vegas style quarter for Manchester has been rejected. But why do some in power see the need to advertise for organised crime to have a major stake in the city? Oh the lessons from Las Vegas and Atlantic City have been learnt and would not happen here; neither would the by-products that came with the criminal environment? So to those who wanted this why not have a cheap alcohol city, a cheap tobacco city, a cheap drugs city, a prostitution city ~ perhaps near you ~ as it would help your local economy, improve job prospects and tourism would benefit.

In the 1960s I lived in Portsmouth, about 300 meters from the city centre with WW2 bomb damage and bomb sites all around. Compared with other cities that suffered in the war Portsmouth was left out of the party. Back to back housing was being cleared and signs of ‘Gas Out’ and ‘Elec Out’ painted on derelict houses were common place as horizontal poor housing was replaced by vertical poor housing. Communities went and wind funnels came in, Gog and Magog, the names given to the pile drivers involved in the construction work were relentless. By the 70s much of the work had been completed, hopefully by 2020 it will have been taken down and something better put in its place.

Even our house is under reconstruction as we have had walls taken down, new walls built, plastering, plumbing and central heating sorted out, electricity to be brought up to modern standards, drains installed and then the decoration…

So having ranted here are images from Manchester’s reconstruction. For more images check out Carmi’s blog for Thematic Photographic 92 – Under Construction.