Illuminate York 2015

Hello people,

As a demonstration of my lack of time to write this blog here are the photos from illuminate York 2015 (taken October 2015). The main things I looked at where the light boxes at the Guildhall, NRM train lights and disco balls down the Shambles. Not much else to say about them but to click and take a look.

I do truly love Illuminate York it’s my favourite arts event York puts on and does separate it from other cities in the UK and indeed the world. Long may it continue.

Illuminate York 2015 photos:

A brown tankEvening Star light trialGlitter Ball light trials 3The rocket being watchedDuchess illuminated 2Glitter ball light trials 2The Duchess illuminated 1Glitter Ball light trials 1Square light boxes 2Eurostar illuminated 2The ghost of children on cobblesDiesel PowerSquare light boxesChinese Loco in blueGlitter Balls all in a rowEurostar illuminated 1Southern C1 lit upGuild Hall entrance of flowersThe Glitter Ball in YorkMe with mirrors

Edinburgh's Camera Obscura - big clue to next blog

Where have you seen me?

Hello people,

Interesting few months of offers to use photos of mine to market things. I always find this a little odd as I don’t go out to take “stock images” nor do I post to things like Getty Images. My images get found though this blog, google and flickR and then it’s up to the plucky people to find me on the web (they are quite good at doing that).

Opportunity number 1

Charming fella by the name of George Del Barrio approached me to use this image…
Edinburgh Camera Obscura 5

This was for his camera obscura exhibition in his gallery all the way in New York “The House of Ideas” I agreed, it looked like this:

Now I find my work appearing in any form odd, just knowing my words written at work are read by millions a year is a little freaky so my image appearing in New York is doubly weird. Now I won’t go into prices in this blog as I price things differently depending on project, person and requirements but I was just super proud to have my image used in this way at a proper art gallery, in NYC!

Opportunity number 2

This came from the rather good Lazenby Brown who I know from previous work with Your Move (who i used to work for) but I think they found me indepently from that link.

So we talked and sorted that out which turned out to be some marketing to encourage people back to york after our massive floods earlier this year, something I’m very much behind.

Doesn’t that look good? I’m rather proud of both of these uses to be honest, it’s great to hear someone else think your images are good other than your own ego!

I’m quite busy at the moment, just recently I had to cancel 2 things to fit one thing in, it’s that sort of time. But the family is growing up well so more photos and videos coming soon.

Banning prayer – miscommunication of communication?

52 - Amalfi Cathedral

On Sunday my Twitter feed was full, not of lovely thoughts of sleeping in but of the DCM banning the Lord’s Prayer.

There was more but you get the gist, now as a marketer the word “ban” and “banning” raised eyebrows. Adverts are very rarely banned prior to going into the public sphere it’s normally as a result of a complaint to the mighty ASA (Advertising Standards Authority). They have the power to give you a good telling off, ban an advert in it’s current form and various other powers.

There was no mention of ASA but instead lots of talk of DCM (the cinema advertising channel controller). Now DCM have a lovely set of rules here: Rules and that, around 2.2 you’ll find the rules on Religious advertisement. Which begs the question…what’s happened here then.

Rumours gained from talking and listening to various people in Christian circles (Bishops mainly but also comms director of CofE) is that the DCM offered the CofE some sort of 60% discount (likely due to end of year coming up), then presented this rule change. Here is Rev Arun (comms director for CofE) stating that…

So two possible scenarios happened…

  1. Ad sales man needs to reach his target approaches new markets in a brain wave. CofE think “brilliant” Only issue is that it goes against policy …oh dear commence full on PR storm.
  2.  Ad sold as above but for some reason they thought better of it and changed the rules to stop it being put on.

Either way the word “Ban” seems misused here it’s more an odd misunderstanding. The oddness extends to the way DCM issued a statement regarding it

“In a statement, DCM said it had a policy of not accepting political or religious advertising content in its cinemas.

It said that “some advertisements – unintentionally or otherwise – could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith,” and that “in this regard, DCM treats all political or religious beliefs “. BBC

Now it would be perfectly acceptable in PR terms to leave this with the first part of the statement but for some reason DCM thought they would explain the situation and then suddenly a non-news story turns into a storm, all because of that word…”offence”.

The idea that my Christianity is offensive to a Muslim is laughable; in fact I have had many a chat with Muslims and we aren’t offended by each other, in some respects we may well be worshipping the same God but from a different angle (another blog post perhaps!). The idea it’s offensive to a person of no faith or faith that there is no God is laughable. A friend of mine; an atheist, bonded over the fact we both think Richard Dawkins is fundamentally wrong on his ideas of faith and atheism.

So in PR terms that was wrong and both Atheists and people of faith have come out to defend Christianity’s right to advertise. And quite right we can advertise where we like….unless it goes against a defined set of rules by the advertising body responsible for that channel.

There is a debate to be had looking into if these rules are correct. To condense this down somewhat I feel either way is fair, you either allow all religious and political advertising or stop it all, no voice is overpowered by another.

This is not an attack on free speech as far as I can tell and have knowledge of, it seems to be a miscommunication that this advert was allowed via the DCM policy (who looks at a policy before advertising…I don’t!) and a miscommunication from DCM suggesting why the advert is not allowed.

Now I’ve researched this as much as I can given the limits on my time, the whole story appeared to be a little crazy and I was right in thinking that it wasn’t “banned”. The advert should never have got to the stage of going past the DCM as it goes against it’s rules, whoever was selling the advert should have been aware of this but these things happen we all drop a few balls at work and we move on (although if the advert was created for this purpose then compensation should be discussed).

Update: Before I even posted I was checking to see if anyone had done any detective work it would seem they have good old Guardian:

However, church sources claimed the section of the policy relating to religious advertising had been added only after the C of E sought approval for its Lord’s Prayer promotion.Guardian

Interestingly if we all do some simple digging the current document mentioned above was edited on Friday (20th November) around 11am, gotta love a pdf date stamp :-). We don’t know what was edited but it was changed on that date.

I’m sure this will now rumble on for a few more days but it does put the cat among the pigeons if the rules were changed for this instance.

The advert in question is here at the moment: Just pray advert. It’s quite nice.

Bobbie’s 4th Birthday

Wow has it been a long time, I’ve been a busy bee. So busy in fact that I’ve not edited and uploaded images for what seems like ages! But here is Bobbie’s 4th Birthday images, she enjoyed her day so much.

I took a great deal more photos than this but they are of her mates and I’m not running round getting permissions to publish them all. Carol provided the entertainment via ShortStoryLady a most excellent time was had by all!

Amelie just waking up//'s Cake// and Mummy// Birthday Cake// blowing out her candles// Cape!// meeting// Cake withTiger candles// out Bobbie// cake//

Tsk men – a small response to Jessica Valenti

Men who have been taught to believe by pop culture, advertising and beyond that women’s bodies are there for them. And if they have to see a woman that is anything other than thin, hairless and ready for sex – well, bring out the smelling salts.

Having a fair amount of female mates and living in a house full of women (and little women) I’m more than aware of the world and it’s view of women in it. Which is why I tend to lean a feminist way, in the sense I don’t feel gender should matter in many senses.

I do despise the phases “oh you’re a girl, you won’t like that” said to my train, racing car, craft loving daughter. In the same way I don’t like “oh it’s fashion he won’t know anything about that”. Errr excuse me, I might not be constantly on point but I know a fair amount thanks!

So when anyone says “Men…” my ears perk up (or in this case my eyes… Open?), in this particular piece by Jessica Valenti in the Guardian comment is free section, I was almost offended (I only say almost as I’m a calm fellow). Frequently she remarks and makes the assumptions that Men are some singular minded entity being subjected to Western media and unable to think out of the realms of the media given to us.

I truly hope that women and men can co-exist on a level playing field but making sweeping generalisation about how we must think and feel is only a cannon ball into wall when many are trying to build a park with flowers, arranged by a man?!? Never!

Don’t walk backwards and making roads smooth

I’m normally indifferent to the York Council’s road system. I mean it is there but some roads are not in in fine fettle, poor patch up work and one local road to me I’ve observed 5 different surfaces in one square metre!

Imagine my surprise as I went on my way to work and end up in the middle of a resurfacing project! Hey the exciting life of me never stops, this video shows the start of the work with near crash with builder and then another close shave, they must know I’m not going to hit them!

My 7 inch

What do you mean misleading title?

When I was reorganising my 7 inch vinyl collection I realised what a stunning collection of records I’ve collected over the years, so here are some of those images and a little description for each…


This is the amazing The Twilight Sad with the emotional song The Room. I got this last time I saw them live and had a wee chat with their drummer and discussed the merits of the song, turns out it his favourite too. The expanded audio depth on vinyl is generally something else but when you put that to a band like TTS then it goes beyond that… It’s an experience.


On the rare occasions I get to Leeds I almost always go to Crash records and filter through their 7 inch collection. On one of those days I found this, it was swiftly purchased… “Here we go with Leeds United…”

Electric Light Orchestra with Mr Blue Sky 7 inch on Blue Vinyl… Need I say more.



65daysofstatic made a limited run of vinyl so to make sure I got at least one I purchased one from Crash records but I also somehow got another. This second copy fell into the first 1500 which each have a unique polaroid to them. I have also kept the branded paper bag like a GEEK.


My limited edition Death Cab For Cutie vinyl – expensive finds but worth it.


Ah the Duke (Duke Special) a little treasure this is, hmv can be useful sometimes!


Hot Club De Paris were always a delight to watch live as they would start gigs with a gorgeous acapella number which would make you take notice if they happen to be the support band.


And finally from the quite stunning Pontefract music scene in my high school and college days The Machines Will Take Over. Of all the bands around at the time I think I enjoyed their music the most, they seemed to have ambition and quality musicianship throughout. This was underlined when most bands struggled to get studio time these guys made 7 inch vinyl.

This is not by any stretch an expensive list of the collection but a few highlights. Hope you enjoyed this little post, more posts soon – I’ve just been a bit busy being a dad.

X rated music videos and the Children

While reading Q magazine this month (issue 340) I came across an article by Eamonn Forde discussing the soon to be introduced age rating on music videos.

His argument that went along the lines that this is the first measure of a slippery slope of the government saying “you can’t sing those lyrics” which of course is a road no artist wants to go down however I think the ‘powers that be’ have a bit of a point.

I have a 3 year old daughter and I attempt to show her music videos on TV and so often a massive number of channels are skipped through because the content of the video just isn’t suitable for a child to watch. Now I’m not expecting mtv to be cbeebies in the day but bar some highly censored videos you can see things that would make BBC 2 blush during the day.

And this is an issue, so often the most suitable channels are kerrang, scuzz and mtv2 because so often those genres of music are more concerned with how the instruments are played not getting some hot guys or girls in that make up for a lack of content or to follow the mantra of the song.

So what to do?
It’s alright moaning but what should be done? Well why don’t we have the same rules for soaps and television applied to music videos then after 9pm you can show Robin being a creepy man.

Essentially if Emmerdale wouldn’t put it on at 7:30pm then mtv can’t put it on at 8 am.

(I’ve published this on my phone as laptop is out of action for the moment so if it looks crap…that might be why)

Wales Holiday – the rest of it

Bobbie and WoodmanWell it took me until now to collect all my welsh holiday photos for the next post, we went to a slate mine, bronze age mine, narrow gauge railway, visiting the amazing Mr B’s bistro in Llandudno, visiting various castles, visiting a tropical world come wildlife centre adventure playground and awesome pancakes.

Still rocking my Nikon D3000 🙂


A little bit of YorkshireThese trucks don't move anymoreSilhouette and lakeLakeside on the way backHood up - rainLakeside canoeBobbie the train driverI saw this...A hude water wheel with the family.Old crane, not been used for a little bit...Narrow gauge level crossing!Nothing like an old fashioned signSlate mine train - but where is the slate ...ohhhBobbie on a narrow guage with MairiWeighing up options 2Weighing up options 1A great view with metal railsCastle with football pitch?Mairi watching Bobbie playLooking up at the Castleclimbing on chainsReachShe's queen of the castle...The little bird that tellsA good climber never gives upA rare family shotCannon at the doorStained glass Royal classicthrough the doorA face with no bodyBobbie and the wooden manThe crown aloft in the pit

Commonwealth Flame and first meal – Wales Holiday Part 1

Day 1 Commonwealth flame (in Congleton, Cheshire and our first family meal in Wales)

Sorry this has taken so long, I went to Wales ages ago…here are the photos of our first day watching the commonwealth flame in Congleton and us getting to Wales and doing something.

That something was going to Llandudno and up the Great Orme tramway – it was ace, we also got two vintage Porsches climbing up the hill which made for an excellent photo.


Commonwealth flameWaitingTramPlease queue HereBobbie and Mummy on a tramCable cars on the top of The Great OrmeBig Cross on The Great OrmeTram, 2 porsches and a walkerTram away