Illuminate York 2016

It’s that time of year (2 months late) where I take out the camera gear and take advantage of some brilliant lighting installations that York put’s on as part of illuminate York.

If you read this blog you’ll know this comes around each year and I’m a kid in a sweet shop, using all sorts of camera tricks to really capture the experience of the installations.

I have to say I struggled a bit this year, the first part is my fault on the night I said I’d go take photos. I was delayed by about an hour so didn’t have loads of time to devote to the night. This meant I didn’t take my normal glut of photos, but hey I’m a dad of 2 and getting free time is a challenge.

The second issue is…it just didn’t seem as much as an event this year, admittedly I didn’t go to the paid Minster light show but in previous years avoiding the paid for part wasn’t so much of a pain, this year it was. Some installations were nothing short of lights against buildings…we’ve come along way from that and we deserve better.

The third issue was the toy/mech re-sellers. Me and Pete met outsider the Minster, at which point 9 (NINE!) hawkers were congregating selling flashy light wears. The problem with selling these at a light festival where people attempt to take stunning images is that that amount of rapid flashing green and pink light actually impacts the image. As it was this was only an issue in this location and and installation wasn’t good enough to be captured but my goodness it was just too much.

The fourth little thing was the tidiness of it all, take a look at the roman walls with the cross on. Try as I might, without significant editing I can’t hide those light sources, all it needs is a black cover but it didn’t get that and so I left it untouched to show you what I meant…anyway enjoy the trains and look forward to next year!

The railway museum provided a great platform yet again (no pun).

Illuminate York 2016 - Duchess of HamiltonIlluminate York 2016 - NRM Warehouse warp driveIlluminate York 2016 - Cross on wallIlluminate York 2016 - Steam under bridgeIlluminate York 2016 - The DuchessIlluminate York 2016 - EurostarIlluminate York 2016 - Mallard


YSP – October – Not Vital, Ai Weiwei and more

I’m not sure if it’s coming from Castleford (home of Henry Moore) or just an innate love or decent art but my goodness I love a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), it always has something good installed and this visit was no exception.

Not Vital had a great series of artworks across 3 rooms in a new extension to the indoor exhibition space. We then went over to Ai Weiwei to see his tree sculpture “Iron Tree” which is a truly complex and labour intensive piece of art and therefore dam good art.

We saw other things but that was the highlights…Photos below, enjoy!

Me, Bobbie and bubblesNot VitalNot Vital - The headsNot Vital - The head is in his handBobbie - there she is!Not Vital - AntlerNot Vital - Bobbie's lookingSculpture at YSP 2Sculpture at YSP 1Ai Weiwei - Iron TreeWall of sound

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

Illuminate York 2013

This Year for my ‘favorite thing that happens in York’ I went round with Mr B and explored the festival with him.

The images don’t really explain themselves but that’s nice isn’t it? Enjoy the best festival York puts on!

Cliffords tower rainbowCliffords tower moonTags on string 2Tags on stringSmoke dearFire through metal 2Fire through metal

If I was in Q magazine…

A sad little fantasy of mine has been to appear in the pages of Q magazine. I have a subscription and read mostly the whole magazine each month, I’m a little behind at the moment currently reading last month’s issue. In this issue Graham Coxon was interviewed talking about his musical influences, so I had an idea, I’ll ask my self the same questions!

Hello how’s your day been?
Quite good, I’ve got a lot done and really had an enjoyable day. I put my daughter to bed tonight which I don’t normally do too often so that was nice.

What was the first album you ever bought?
That would have probably been a Michael Jackson tape… Dangerous or Bad I think… I’m really unsure of his personal life but musically he is just brilliant and even at a young age I knew that.

What was the first gig you saw?
My parents from a young age used to take me to pubs in Castleford and we would watch bands on a Friday and Saturday night. One band (deep blue maybe…) had a talented drummer who would play most gigs with his eyes shut, at the time I thought this was stunning, I now know this is easy to pull off. The first big gig was again Jacko at Sheffield Don Valley (might had been obsessed…slightly)

What album made you want to write music?
Peter lent me OK Computer, enough said really. The album blew my mind apart, so many levels, so atmospheric and still is to this day. I knew I needed to make music with other people, if only to cover Radiohead!

Have you ever bought a record on the strength of the album cover?
Yes only once, Massive Attack’s 100th windows. I found it in FOPP in Manchester and picked it up for £3, £3! It was a stunning gatefold vinyl and thought I can’t go wrong with Massive Attack. I was right it is pretty good.

What do you listen to in the car?
It changes often, also I can plug the iPod into my car so that opens most of my music collection up for use. Somehow Take That also seem to be present but also some decent electronica or instrumental music isn’t far away.

Is there a classic album that does nothing for you?
Bon Jovi – it’s just nothing to me (sorry Gemma if you are reading!) its just non-impactful to me, I just think ‘stick some ACDC on and everything will be better’.

What album do you never tire of hearing?
Oh anything by my musical hero’s 65daysofstatic – ever album is a work of beautifulness. Even EP’s of tracks that didn’t make albums would be any other bands peak of output but this is 65 cutting room! Every album is just brilliant and never tires.

What was the last record to inspire you?
I think possibly the last Beastie Boys record – So good, some of the rhythms used are hard, raw and uncompromising. When I listen I think ‘I’d like to play this live’.

What do you want played at your funeral?
The song that comes to mind is Jimmy Eat World’s May Angeles Lead You In but also Sufran Stevens Predatory Wasp, it wouldn’t be totally true to my life but it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

My reply to “Why does Amélie’s sweet smell of success linger on?”

So first read this:

Now I know not every film is for everybody, one persons masterpiece is anothers dross. It just happened to trigger my memory of something Thom Yorke said in the Radiohead documentary ‘Meeting people is easy’ charting their success with OK Computer.

While touring in the US he said something along the lines of ‘the difference between success in the US and success in the UK is that in the UK people think you have cheated somehow if you get mass adoration from critics and the public a like. It’s like you’ve paid someone off or some how had something the rest didn’t, had an unfair advantage’. Thom’s point was I think, just because something is good and most people liked it, it doesn’t mean you then have to dislike it or be suspicious of it; at least that’s one way of taking his point of view.

So while the very publication not a week earlier to this article being written gave it a retrospective 4 out of 5 Phil Hoad lives up to the horrible stereotype that ‘because I’m a critic I can’t love popular films’. Yes it’s dreamy, yes it’s idealistic France, but to be honest having visited some of the locations on holiday they mostly look like that in real life! It’s hard to make a film in France without it looking french – just like in most countries.

Amélie will long live on as one of the best directed and darkly funny films of all time, and if you can’t at least see it’s directorial brilliance then you may well be blind.

Oh it also has my favorite lines of any film…
<Amélie walks over to begger in Train station goes to offer him money>
Begger: No, sorry, I don’t work Sunday.


Edinburgh – A return to a quite beautiful city (part3)

The technique here is to do with tilting or moving the camera during the shutter being open. I first came across this in practical photography magazine, where Editor Andrew James titled his piece ‘Tilt’. This confused me at first as ’tilt’ photography is a popular technique used to make scenes look like they are made in miniature; just type ’tilt photography’ into Google and set facial expression to awe!

Anyway what I tried was actually titling the camera  while the shutter is open on the camera (so the camera records all the light it receives in a weird track like motion). So this image…

Edinburgh's Camera Obscura - big clue to next blog

…was a clue to what I was going to do, the endless lights behind me in the picture are from the Edinburgh Camera Obscura visit, so I choose to experiment with this technique and see what I come out, I was very pleased when it came to editing these results. Do let me know what you think of these images on either facebook or twitter – or on the comments thing below.

Thanks for looking.

Sculpture Park…in Yorkshire!

Just as Autumn started to kick in we met up with Carol and Twinkle (so named for his job in lighting tech), with thier two kids and went for a wonder around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (or YSP if you prefer). We had a great time, Hazel the young girl of the group wanted cake towards the end of the day but this is not anything new!

As normal my Nikon D3000 came for the ride and I took some photos of lots of great stuff including Henry Moore bronze pieces.

For more info on YSP click here

So take a look at Yorkshire Sculpture Park  along with two smashing kids! No explanations needed!

Tree’s, flowers, locomotives, food, and a deer…

Morning/afternoon/evening, I have a rather large back date of blog posts I should have done so excuse the massive post but here are the images from the last few months and the stories behind them.

The order goes left to right.

1. Basil -after we had some work done on the house my rather silly cat thought rolling in all thr builders dust was a great way to get used to the new layout, his paws are grey while his body is white(ish) very silly cat.

2-12 Are all taken on a day out to Dunham Massey around May time I think. They are a mixture of glorious landscape images and macro flower images and one with a deer and a tree. I love taking macro flower images so much detail colour and vibrancy, which is why the landscape ones are featured I think the mix of colours are truly amazing, what a great pallet God has to work with.

13 & 14 These taken on my camera by Tish Bolton I think and see me learning how to drive a miniature steam train in the grounds of my old work place the NRM in the UK, it was a great experience to have before I left.

15 & 16 show the movement of a loco called Sterling single from the north yard through the tunnel on Leman road, York with about 5 cm to spare! It wa son it’s way down to London to take part in the railway Children play in Waterloo station.

17 & 18 a few pics of the last exhibtion i took photos of at the NRM all to do with the celebrations for 175 years of GWR ‘God’s own railway’ as it used to be known.

19 during my last meal out with work mates, Emily is centre with lou and gem either side, just thought it was a really nice image.

20 just a nice image from the banks of the river ouse on my walk home after my last day at the NRM.

21 – 23 Mairi with Basil our cat (we do have Sybil as well but she is less photogenic) and Mairi at her birthday party at our house.

So that’s it really, in my next post I’ll have gone through the 300 or so image I took on our Paris holiday and sorted them down to like 30 or so of the best images. So until then thanks for looking. Roy