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Creating art with your camera #photography

The first users of cameras in the late 19th century were professional people who could afford such devices and artists who were fascinated with the new medium. They experimented a lot and in doing so they became quite skilled photographers. Some of those early images of their models are sought after today because even though they are black and white or sepia, they capture a moment in time that will never be seen again. They also demonstrate the skill of the photographer. This week one of my photographs was accepted for the Sandwell Arts trail. The works of art  will tour the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell going from art gallery to museums and to the Art cafe. This was my attempt at creating art with my camera –

BLUEBELLS IN THE HEDGEROW

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Out in the spring sunshine #ramble

Yes, it’s Sunday morning again and so once again I’ll let you into the dark labyrinth that is my mind and share my thoughts once again. I didn’t really have a good week but the sun’s shining and I’m thinking of going out to enjoy the spring sunshine.

spring sunshine

Hydes Pool, Wednesbury

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Rule Britannia! #politics #GE

Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the waves.

Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

Except we are slaves. We are mostly slaves to debt and credit. Most Britons have mortgages or credit cards and so are slaves to the bank or building society. We strive for freedom not by opposing our oppressors but by playing the lottery hoping to win enough to buy our freedom from serfdom.

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Art and culture #ramble

I think the town I live in lacks some cultural opportunities. The art gallery rarely seems to have anything interesting on and only opens three days each week. It closes altogether in the winter. I think we could make a bit more of an effort to get funding from the Arts Council for a summer exhibition. The Royal Academy of Arts has a summer exhibition and so why shouldn’t we? Yes, today I’m sharing my thoughts with you as I usually do on a Sunday morning. I have art and culture on my mind this morning.

art and culture

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Social media and blogging channels #media

It is difficult to engage with users on social media and it is even harder to engage with readers with a blog. To engage with readers with a blog you have to write about subjects they are interested in, or are passionate about. Something quite personal that they identify with is even better.

social media image

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Thinking about the little things #Wednesbury

I’m going shopping today and so I’ll add to my box of food for our ‘Breaking Bread’ food bank. While I think it is ridiculous that we need food banks in a country as rich as Britain we have to help because we can’t change government policy. My small contribution will help and it is the little things that count.

Wednesbury - thinking about the little things

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Poetry for the weekend #culture

I met Jen Coley at a soirée of music, poetry and spoken word at Wednesbury library recently and she offered to contribute some poetry to my blog. So here are a few poems, the first is inspired by autumn. It is poetry for the weekend.

poetry for the weekend

 

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Style never goes out of fashion #thrifty

It can cost a fortune to be a dedicated follower of fashion. Many people want a look that is associated with something considered fashionable. However, we can often achieve the same look, essentially the same style, without breaking the bank. It is the overall look that is important not the detail. I take photos and those expensive designer labels can’t be read or identified in the photos, it is the overall look that is seen. Your taste in clothes says something about you. So think about the style and also about colours. Depressed people and negative people tend to wear black and dark colours more than the light and bright colours.

style without following fashion

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Building bridges with China #opinion

This week Wolverhampton Wanderers announced a deal to show their matches on pay-to-view television in China. Is this a good idea? Well, Wolves new Chinese owner Jeff Shi must think so. Do I think it is a good idea? Well, I know many Chinese students at the University of Wolverhampton quickly become Wolves fans when they come to Wolverhampton, their halls of residence, Randall Lines, is close to the Molineux stadium. We have to start building bridges with China and with other nations. We can’t become isolationist.

building bridges

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Parking charges at Sandwell Valley #Wednesbury

Sandwell Valley

Sandwell Valley Country Park is the nearest bit of countryside to Wednesbury and a popular place for a day out. I often go there to take photographs. Parking charges will be introduced at my favourite beauty spots starting on the 1st of November. They work out to around 40p an hour because the council are short of money. I doubt if it will raise much money after they have paid for the meters and the wardens. There could have been better ways of making money from the park. Forge Mill has a lot of potential.

near Wednesbury

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Metro ideas for a growing metropolis #opinion

Metro

It has been announced that the Midland Metro tram system will be extended from Wednesbury to Merry Hill via Toll End and Dudley. Work on the new ‘super hospital’ in Smethwick, also called the ‘Metro’ will be speeded up, too. The government will go ahead with HS2 as well which will sort of link with the Metro tram system in the Midlands. Who will benefit from all this infrastructure construction? The big construction companies will benefit, but I’m not too sure about anyone else.

Midland Metro

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Are we all equal? #philosophy

We are all different, some of us are smarter and some of us are stronger. We all have positive attributes and negative attributes. There is a tendency to infer that some people are inferior because they haven’t yet found what their attribute is. Some people are regarded as inferior because of the social class they were born into, some people are even regarded as inferior because of the colour of their skin. Shouldn’t we all be treated as equal?

Are we all equal?

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A walk in the park #satire

A walk in the park

I went for a walk in the park this week. Life can be a little hectic and so a little walk can be calming. I’m told by a friend that he misses the park now he lives in the countryside. You would think there would be more places to have a nice walk in the countryside, not fewer. I have experienced that problem, rich landowners don’t make people welcome.

walk in the park

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Heritage weekend and nowhere to go #ramble

Yes, it’s heritage weekend and yesterday I went to the local art gallery and museum to listen to a talk by local historian Ian Bott on the mansions of the Black Country. Most of those are long gone or there are plans to turn them into flats like the Redhouse in Redhouse Park and Great Barr Hall. The art gallery and museum only opens a few hours three days a week. Meanwhile, in London, they get shed loads of money for the arts and heritage.

DSC_2149

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Because they are worth it? #philosophy

We’ve all seen those simpering L’Oreal adverts with the fake smile that accompanies the “because I’m worth it,” quote. These over-paid stars actually try to convince themselves that they are worth their obscene rewards. They might think they are worth it, but do they feel they are worth it?

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Sams Dream and other events #photography

Soft focus

I’m getting better at photographing events and last Tuesday I was at the local library for an evening of poetry, spoken word and music. I shot some video last month, but this time, I wanted to take still photos and use a professional flash because the lighting was mixed and that is always difficult. I used a wide aperture for nearly all the shots and tried spot focusing on individual people. Then I decided to try something different and removed the flash and fitted a soft focus filter, boosting the ISO up to 12,500.

LIB (72)

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Higher aspirations #life

Higher aspirations

We have heard a lot about aspirations in the past few years from the government. Remember the ‘Big Society’ idea that was meant to promote a new kind of civil society based on capitalist ideas. We did see a few Community Interest Companies spring up but that was about all. The higher aspirations that are most talked about are concerned with aspiring to a higher income level and social class. (more…)


Carnival time #Wednesbury

It was carnival time again in Wednesbury yesterday and I was there to take a few photos again. I try to promote events around Wednesbury and take photographs at charity events. We need to improve our communities and heal rifts, not provoke hostility and division.

CARNIVAL TIME

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pseudo-democracy without education?

I’m getting a little tired of the fallout from Brexit. People voted in a referendum and the people decided but on what evidence and did they understand the debate? Democracy is supposed to be government by the people but if we are honest the people of the United Kingdom rejected the European bureaucracy precisely because it is undemocratic. Yes, we elect MEP’s to the European parliament but they are then just representing themselves. They get fat salaries and expenses and we hear little from them until the next election. The media ignores them and they debate irrelevant issues like how straight bananas should be. We have a pseudo-democracy without education, the people do not understand the system or the issues.  (more…)


Copyright considerations #photography

This is a bridge over an arm of the Walsall canal at Wednesbury. Will this exist in 50 years time? I have put a copyright notice at the bottom showing who took the photo and when.This helps preserve my rights as photographer.

WEDNESBURY CANAL - COPYRIGHT

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Revolting British #ramble

It is Sunday morning and the sun is shining here in the Black Country despite everything. So I will start the day by sharing my thoughts with my readers because the news was a little revolting. I’ll start with a nice picture to cheer you all up.

Moorcroft Junction

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Now what was my backup plan?

Sam's dream and my backup plan

This is a weekend of celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. I photographed this event yesterday which went well until the heavens opened. I’m getting to be quite a good sky watcher and weather predictor and was in my car driving home when the rain came down. That was my backup plan. (more…)


F-bomb Britain #satiresaturday

Wednesbury party

A weekend of events

In a few hours a weekend of events will begin here in Wednesbury, where I live. This is the one today to raise money for surgery for Sam who needs an SDR operation to help him walk. Being the Black Country, I expect people to pull together and make his dream come true. (more…)


Tarnished image #Saturdaysatire

Tarnished image or green and pleasant

Britain’s image as a green and pleasant land has been turning into a  tarnished image for quite some time. Now there is a nasty nationalist fever sweeping the land as the referendum on Europe approaches. This fever seems to be headed up by the infamous nastiness of Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove, aided and abetted by those  creepy clowns, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. (more…)


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