View From Gurney Drive, Penang

View of Straits Quay from Gurney Drive, Penang – January 2016

Years ago, I lived in Penang. On a Wednesday afternoon after work, I used to walk from Island Plaza into George Town – where I would usually have my dinner. At the time, I believed that this was a fair way, but looking back, I can see it was only a few miles. I used to love this view across the bay to Straites Quay and on this occasion, I think the clouds look quite impressive. On other occasions, there were huge storm clouds which warned of bad weather ahead.

Straits Quay, Northam Beach, Penang – August 2013

I know that this view has gone now – the beach has been drained and the land reclaimed for building. One day, I hope to see what it is like now.

Trees in Moonlight, West Sussex

Trees in Moonlight, Southwater, West Sussex November 2020

My first post of the second lockdown!

I’m back to walking in the park either early in the morning, or late at night, when sensible people are snug in bed.

I missed the full moon (which was smothered by thick cloud anyway), but I’m still pleased with the amount you can see. In reality, it was a really dark night, but in the photo, I think it almost feels like twilight. In the latest update, all you have to do is hold the phone up for a count of five – and hey presto! No need to blend photos because the Moon is so bright. I love it, but the ease makes me uneasy. A bit like satnav, rice cookers and booking flights – making something which required skill and judgement, fairly routine.

Lightning, Batu Ferringhi

Lightning, Batu Ferringhi 2014

“Crash!”, it was the middle of the night and my bedroom ceiling was lit up as if it was day time. And when the thunder sounded, it shook you as lay there. My adult brain knew I was safe, but there is a difference between knowing something and feeling it.

I used to live here, with a view of the sea. In good weather, the sea had a green/blue tinge to it. When there was a storm, it was dark green. I lived near the top of a high block of flats with a front row view whenever a storm came in.

In Malaysia, they have big tropical storms, with finger sized drops of rain and thunder which you can feel, even from a long way off. As I remember it, I was woken up by the lightning first, which lit up my bedroom. Then, I think my wife and I went into the livingroom to watch the light show.

I put my camera on a tripod and kept taking long exposures (several seconds each time) until the lightning flashed. I tweaked the photo to be a little darker, because the brightness looked too unreal.

Roxette Concert, Beijing

Roxette, Beijing 2012

Last post of the year.

I was sorry to read of Marie Fredriksson’s passing on the 10th December. Apart from their chart hits (which aren’t always a real reflection of a band) I didn’t know much about Fredriksson or Roxette.

My wife however, who is younger than me, is a big fan. So when I heard that they were doing a tour including China, I got some tickets for the Beijing show.

In my mind’s eye, I imagined a nice cozy venue, but it turned out to be a huge stadium, which was absolutely full. With a long lens, this was as close as I could get. Anyway, it was a good evening, as they went through their songbook – and my wife was able to sing along to all of them (which was unexpected).

Morris Men, Wokingham

Morris Men, Wokingham 2017

This is an example of a “found” photo, I was walking to the supermarket, when I came upon these men dancing outside my local pub. The UK can be like that – nearly everywhere is.

If I were to give this a little more time, I would like to bring the sky in a little more, since it was twilight and it would give a truer impression of what it was like.

Shakira, San Salvador

Shakira, San Salvador 2006
Shakira, San Salvador 2006

In a rash moment, I splashed out for VIP tickets to see Shakira and as a consequence, I was not that far from the stage. VIP feels like the wrong word. She was very popular at the time – i think “Hips Don’t Lie” had just come out.

But, it did mean that I could see what was going on without looking at a screen. It also meant that I could take ok pictures with my compact camera (a Fujifilm F30).

It was a nice concert. My impression was Shakira was very professional and everything went without a hitch.

Riding a Bicycle in Bejing

Riding In Bejing, 2011

Thanks to Katie Melua, most people tend to think of Beijing as a place with lots bicycles and 30 years ago, that was probably true. No so much now. Mostly cars.

But, there is lots of street life, which I was trying to show a little bit here. And there is a bicycle.

Sometimes, when I look at my photos I try to imagine a narrative about what I can see. In this case, I imagine that it is a mother and son, coming home from dinner. And they seem happy, which I like.

I’m afraid it isn’t perfectly asharp. A few years before I did a session with Gavin Goff (a noted travel photographer), who became known for a while for doing sharp panning shots of street life. To make it really work you need a fast wide-angle lens, be quite close and use a slowish shutter speed. Done just right you get a sharp figure moving through blurred surroundings – which looks good.

Walking in Snow

Snow, Wokingham – March 2018

Last year, as we were almost past Spring, the clouds suddenly emptied a layer of snow on us. I can remember looking out my classroom window and seeing large snowflakes cartwheeling down the window to the ground.

I love walking at night, Berkshire can be quite urban, so that is when it is quietest. I wasn’t particularly expecting to take photos, so I took my RX-100. The original is in colour, but I think I prefer it in black and white.

Goober Gun at Loreto Fest 2010

Paul Dymott – Lead Guitar

Too many landscapes lately – so I thought I would post from a concert.

One of the nice things about less formal concerts, is that you can get a decent view of the stage, so it is quite easy to take pictures. Technically, concerts are quite difficult, because there isn’t a lot of ambient light and the light there is, is usually from a spot source. I was using a Canon 50D and a 35mm f2 lens, working at 3200 ASA @ f2.8 or so. I’m pleased I caught his hair with what was probably quite a long exposure. Anyway – liked the bouncy hair and the grimace.

 

A View of Hong Kong Island

Stitched PanoramaI never really left the UK until I was well into my thirties. Never felt I had the money, or to be honest, the inclination. But then, I got a job working overseas – and it has never really stopped since then.

This is a composite made from about five photographs of Hong Kong. All hand-held with a DSLR and then stitched together in software. And I quite like it. Part of me wants to crop the bottom of the picture off, but I like the light on the waves. I also like the two ferries in the foreground, with the warm light in their cabin. For some reason, I always enjoy going on the Star Ferry, particularly at night and watching the lights across the harbour.