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Pent-up demand #FinanceFriday

The stock market seems very jittery going into the weekend. British Airways owner IAG posted a massive 7.4 billion Euro loss but the market was expecting something like that. The big worry this morning is inflation. People have been spending much less and have been saving so there is a lot of pent-up demand. What will they spend that money on? My bet is that some will look around for new homes and there has already been some evidence of that. Others may shop around for a new car. Everyday, spending might increase a little, stoking inflation so we could see it hitting the Bank of England 2% target.

pent-up demand

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Artistic expression through pictures #photography

Some artists simply ‘express’ themselves and even throw paint at a canvas to express their anger or frustration. Photographers also express themselves in that they choose what to shoot and they have some choice in the way their work is displayed to others. We don’t just take snaps, we see the beauty and we capture it. Our artistic expression through the pictures we create is made by our choices.

artistic expression through pictures

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Time to ease lockdown? #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as usual I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Well, leaks from Downing Street lead me to believe that lockdown will be eased soon. According to the BBC, the vaccinations are leading to a fall in hospital admissions. There are still a lot of people in hospitals and the transmission rate is still relatively high, though.

time to ease lockdown?

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The return to normality #financefriday

Major banks posted losses this week. They shored up their balance sheets following the 2008 crisis so will survive this crisis but what of other major companies? They will need to raise investment and as the banks reassure shareholders that they won’t lose out so other companies will have to reward their shareholders for their investment.

the return to normality

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The many uses of photography #photography

I remember a few years ago, a photographer on television saying that photographers could no longer earn a living because everyone has a camera now. Of course, everyone has a camera for taking snaps but few people would rely on a camera phone for their wedding photos. There are still plenty of opportunities for photographers. I’m admin of the History of Wednesbury so I’m aware of the need to record our history, as it happens. Before Christmas I photographed the buildings in the town centre before that are renovated and I often photograph events in the town.

many uses of photography

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Warmer weather sweeping in. #sundayramble

Once again it Sunday morning and so as usual I’ll share my thought with you. What’s on my mind this week? The weather at the moment, it’s freezing! There is a warm front beginning to sweep in over Britain bringing high winds and rain with rising temperatures. I’m going to have my covid vaccination at the hospital later and so I’m pleased it’s going warmer. I’m wearing my warmest jumper! I hope the sleeve pushes up far enough for the jab!

warmer weather sweeping in

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Planning for the future? #financefriday

The lockdown is making life difficult for everyone and causing more financial hardship. It’s frustrating and makes planning for the future difficult but when we have some time to sit back and plan that might be the best option. GDP for the UK in 2020 turned out to be slightly better than expected at 9.9% down on 2019. The leisure industry will need to raise investment to survive and we will undoubtedly see price rises. Leisure isn’t essential though so if the price of essentials doesn’t increase we don’t have to worry too much. A few pence on beer and a few pounds on holidays isn’t going to impact us too much.

planning for the future

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Life after lockdown #health

Will life return to normal after this lockdown? Just reopening schools is taking a risk as children catch the virus or become carriers taking it home to their parents and grandparents. It would seem sensible to require older children in high schools to now wear masks and adhere to social distancing. It would help them understand the seriousness of the pandemic and encourage them to take precautions outside of school as well. Life after lockdown won’t be a return to normal as many hope.

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Art and photography #photography

The traditional view of art is painting but these days all forms of art are considered important. I’m entering some of my photos in an art competition. One of them has already been in an exhibition so I hope it has a chance of winning. I’m not too concerned with winning, though. I have to choose photos to enter and I needed a photo that was taken in 2021 too, which wasn’t easy to get. So, taking part is important. 

art and photography

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Covid vaccination and other thoughts #Sundayramble

It’s Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I haven’t been vaccinated against covid yet but I will enquire about my covid vaccination next week. I went out in the snow to clear it from my car and that triggered a bad migraine so I couldn’t go to the vaccination centre. I can get my vaccination at the surgery nearby if I wait, so that’s good enough for me. Now many people have been vaccinated for covid will they all want flu vaccination later this year? Maybe they can do a combined vaccine for flu and covid?

covid vaccination

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Getting started in photography #photography

I am occasionally asked about getting started in photography. You need a camera, obviously. That might be a bridge camera or a DSLR. There are now lots of new mirrorless cameras that are very good like the Nikon Z series but they seem more expensive and so too are the lenses. My cameras are a Fujifilm bridge camera, a Nikon D3200 which is an entry-level DSLR and the one I use most of the time now, the Nikon D750 which is a full-frame DSLR.

Getting started in photography

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Ideas for the future #Sundayramble

As always on a Sunday morning, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’ve just done the last daily challenge from 64 Million Artists. Now we will have weekly challenges to do. It keeps my mind active and challenges me to think laterally. Creativity has become important to me in recent years. We have to be creative to produce anything and being able to be creative helps us solve problems too.

ideas for the future

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When they short stocks #financefriday

This week has seen some excitement in the US as the big hedge funds shorted a company called Gamestop. Small investors using an app became aware of this and started buying the stock which would cost the hedge fund shorters billions unless they closed their position quickly. The small investors were stopped from buying yesterday by the owners of the app. This might seem like market manipulation but with peer to peer trading, the company in the middle of the deals are basically market makers who will not want to hold a stock that looks like crashing at any time. In times of trouble stock prices fall and hedge funds make money shorting stocks. When they short stocks they actually make the situation much worse but it does offer opportunities to small investors to get in at below the bottom price just as investors in Gamestop have done. Now they increase the value of their asset it is time to sell and sell quickly. Then the price will tank! I suspect many of the new investors are fans of Gamestop so maybe they will hold for the long term?

when they short stocks

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When freestyle turns to chaos #ramble

We have snow! Just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse we have snow and a yellow weather warning. I have to travel on Tuesday to get my covid vaccination. I think we need an answer to the question, why aren’t local surgeries doing them? The worst affected area for covid transmission is Smethwick and people are being asked to travel there for their vaccination. They are opening up churches and even supermarkets as vaccination centres. The doctors’ surgeries have the fridges and the staff why aren’t they vaccinating people?

freestyle

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Will the world economy recover from covid? #financefriday

The world is still in the grip of covid but investors are quite positive. The good news is that the USA has a new president and we now have vaccines against covid. So should we be jumping for joy? Not quite, at least not yet. We still have to roll out the vaccines and here in the UK, where 1 person in 6 now has antibodies to covid. I am left wondering if the “herd immunity” plan wasn’t shelved after all. The easing of restrictions and the socialising at Christmas does seem responsible for the recent surge in infections. I also ask myself why the borders have been open until now.

recover from covid?

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Photography has many uses. #photography

Photography has many uses. It’s used extensively in marketing to sell products. A photograph, like music, can be used to set the mood. The mood can be sombre or it can be light-hearted. Photographs can be representative. A photograph can represent a person or a place, for example. Photographs have many uses. Commercial photographs, taken by professional photographers,  should be of high quality.

photography has many uses

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Artist, writer, photographer? #ramble

Regular readers will know that I just ramble and share my thoughts on a Sunday morning. It is Sunday and the sun is shining in the Black Country! After 2 weeks of staying in I feel the call of the wilds! I think I’ll go for a walk this afternoon and take some photos. I am undecided about where to go. I can understand people who want to go outside their immediate area but we should stay local So Wednesbury or Darlaston? I  live between the two!

artist

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Pent up demand #FinanceFriday

Most economists agree there is a lot of pent-up demand in the economy now. People are spending less but many people still have their usual income so bank balances are growing. Many are asking what they will spend that surplus cash on when things return to normal. When the lockdown ends, many will rush out for a haircut and the ladies will be looking to improve their appearance in all sorts of ways. Can barbers and hairstylists offer a little more and take extra into their tills when the lockdown ends? Many other businesses might have an opportunity to increase sales too.

pent up demand

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Live streaming with a DSLR. #photography

I have set my camera up for video capture this week and specifically to live stream the video for Zoom meetings. I have two DSLR cameras and both have a HDMI socket so I connected that to a video capture card plugged into the USB on my laptop and once set up it worked great.

Zoom

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Covidiot morons #ramble

As always on Sunday morning, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I saw a news flash on my phone as I got dressed this morning. The death toll from Covid has now passed 80,000. I’m sure it will pass 100,000 before it is through. Looking out of the window, I see fewer visitors going to my neighbours houses. It is too little, too late, the virus is now out of control. The covidiot morons have done too much damage.

Wednesbury town

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A slow recovery? #financefriday

I didn’t do a finance post last week because the stock market was closed and there wasn’t much to say. There now seems signs of recovery despite the rise in covid cases. It is going to be a slow recovery, however.

slow recovery
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Keep an eye on your exposure #photography

Now winter is here we often have dark skies and the poor light makes taking a photo more difficult. If you just point and shoot with your camera on auto then you’re likely to get blurred photos. A DSLR gives you more control over the camera and you can make the camera’s sensor more sensitive to light when the sky is cloudy.

exposure

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Morons and fireworks #ramble

It is Sunday morning and as always I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Too much! I’m tired and so not thinking as clearly as I would normally. Why am I tired? Because the morons kept me awake the other night with their fireworks. The morons are still spreading their stupid ideas about covid on social media too. They seem to think that making the elderly and vulnerable expendable is an option. Don’t they realise that they too will be elderly and vulnerable one day?

Snow at night

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Pictures of the snow #photography

I woke up yesterday to see everything covered in snow so I had new photography opportunities. I decided not to clear it from my car and took some shots out of the window! The sky was quite dark so I had to raise the ISO but often when we have snow there is plenty of light if the sun comes out. Snow does reflect the light quite well.

Snow in gardens

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