Steampunk in Lincoln

12. 09. 2010 at 22:32

I went to a Steampunk gathering at Lincoln this weekend.  I’d heard a bit about steampunk and knew it was a visually interesting dress style, but wasn’t expecting to see quite such incredible  characters and costumes.

After talking to a few of the “fans”  I soon learned that steampunk is based on the fictional era depicted by Jules Verne and HG Wells. Half science fiction, half fantasy steampunk takes elements of British Victorian fashion, culture and architecture and merges it into a visual feast.

steampunkExpect to see modern items redressed to give a period feel of neo-Victorianism. Fans make weird and wonderful looking contraptions, and wear brass goggles often with flick over magnifying lenses. Gadgets that would feel at home in Wilf Makepeace Lunn’s house are common sites, many attached to clothing to give added three dimension.

The Steampunks of the modern era make all their own costumes and none seem quite so spectacular as Liam Brandon Murray, who you’re likely to see at the Whitby Goth Festival too. His costumes are forever changing as new items are added to the base shell.  An outfit of leather brass and copper, merged with clock dials, pipes and furnishing makes for fascinating viewing.  You can see several of his creations on DeviantArt here:  SteampunkOverlord.

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Fashion shoot

08. 07. 2010 at 21:27

I recently took some photos to help young fashion designer Harriet Brookes produce a portfolio for her degree. She was awarded a First Class Honours.

Here’s Harriet at her exhibition at Manchester Uni with my pics are on the wall in the background. I’m really pleased for her and glad I could help.

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First Sound of Flak tracks released on MySpace

11. 06. 2010 at 23:39

We have added two tracks to the Sound of Flak MySpace page to give a flavour of what’s to come on the forthcoming 11 track album titled The Unbalance. Enjoy

Sound of Flak

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Flak is born

29. 05. 2010 at 16:16

After what appears to be ages David Burleson and I have created our first CD’s worth of material under the name Flak. We’ve been pulling it together over a one year period in Friday night sessions. And now have it mixed down and ready to roll.

We will be launching the CD on a variety of media soon. Watch this space!

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Back in the hills

03. 05. 2010 at 10:37

It’s been a while, but I’m now feeling good about climbing hills and venturing off the beaten tracks. Last week I took the day off and walked from the Strines Reservoir Car Park over to Derwent edge and did a round walk across the edge, downto Cutthroat Bridge and back over to the Strines Inn for a pint of the guest Ale. I think it’s about 6 miles. I wasn’t phased and the legs didn’t give in.

So yesterday I did what I’ve been meaning to do for several years and visited the crash site of the B-29 Superfortress on Higher Shelf Stones, nr Bleaklow. It’s not too difficult to get to, but is very exposed, and, despite it being May, we hit a short hail storm. Thankfully it quickly passed.

The quarter mile area of airplane wreckage isn’t marked – basically you walk the Pennine way from the top of the Snake Pass, heading towards Bleaklow and then take a left to cut over the moorland and head for the trig point on Shelf Stones.  The wreckage is about 500 yards or so from the trig point.

It’s an incredible site and quite Eerie. Fragments of riveted aluminium and stainless steel, engines and various other objects are scattered everywhere. Poppies and remembrance crosses have been left over the years, some made from nearby gritstone on the exposed peat.

The site is well worth a visit.

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Victoria Baths

05. 04. 2010 at 21:51

Victoria Baths, ManchesterI’ve neglected my blog here so though I’d update with a recent photography excursion – yesterday in fact. I ventured out to Manchester Victoria Baths – a fascinating restoration project taken on by locals when the baths closed in 1993.

The Baths has a small entrance charge (£2 at the time of writing) and offers free guided tours around the premises. Unlike most NT and English Heritage buildings you’re free to wander around with a camera, even tripod, and take photos. The Victorian fixtures are brilliant subjects to photograph. Wandering around is almost like urban exploration, but without the trespass element.  Derelict areas, partly restored, old glazed tiles vivid green and fabulous coloured stain glass windows, rusty metal works, broken showers, taps, buzzers, victorian electrics, old flaky doors – it’s almost an urbex dream.

Victoria Baths, Manchester

The volunteers are really helpful and there’s a cafe serving baked potatoes with Chilli, Beans or Cheese and sandwiches, along with some great home made cakes.

Allow a couple of hours and be prepared to shoot loads of tripod mounted HDR brackets.

Victoria Baths, Manchester

Building an Igloo

11. 01. 2010 at 22:32

I decided this year I will try to do as many new things as I can. I’ve made a list of places in the UK that I haven’t been as part of that resolution and I will also be on the look out for new activities.

My first challenge, to break me in gradually, was something I’ve never done with snow before..and that’s to build an igloo. I’ve done snow men and snow sculptures before but never attempted an igloo.

I also decided to record the building of the igloo photographically and then shoot the built igloo at night with an inner glow. I’ve uploaded the result in my portfolio and the rating is favourable, so I’m pleased with that.

I’ve also written how to do it on my foliopic site blog Building an Igloo so you can get an idea a) how to build an igloo, b) how to photograph one and c) view one of the strengths of a foliopic site’s article system.

Stopped for taking photo on a bridge

07. 01. 2010 at 12:32

traffic at night with Fuji FinePix F70EXRYes that’s right last night I was out in the dark taking a photo from a bridge running over a dual carriage way and I was stopped.

I was playing with the Fujifilm Finepix F70EXR compact’s Pro Low-light mode. It’s a great mode for shooting in low light with static subjects. It takes four shots in quick succession and merges them to create one lower noise and sharp image free from camera shake. It works well, but I wanted to see what would happen with car light trails, so I’d gone to the bridge to get an overhead view of passing cars.

I was holding the camera over the rail when a car slowed down and drove past. The driver and passenger were both looking at me. The car turned into a pull in a few yards up the road and stopped. Minutes later a woman got out of the car and came towards me. And asked if I was ok???

Ok, I guess that’s not what you expected this post be about, in the light of all the police and security issues that are topical at the moment, but it got you hooked 😉

It took me a few seconds to comprehend, and then I realised she may have thought I was about to jump? I’m not sure, but it was quite surreal, and also very encouraging that there are people around who care enough to stop and check.

And the picture I took? Well that was rubbish as you can see. I’ll stick to static shots for this mode, as it was intended.

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One year on…

11. 12. 2009 at 15:37

pete-2795This is my thinking aloud. It would probably be best kept internal, but it helps to put it down on paper so to speak. And this is where I put things down.

It was the same Friday one year ago when I came away from hospital…at this moment in time I’d sat in a chair waiting to be discharged after five days of the strangest period of my life. I’d had an unexpected heart attack and I hadn’t seen it coming.

Now a year on I know much more about the heart and healthy living, but from a personal point of view I’ve changed. I used to think I was a 20+ year old in a 40+ year old body with an energy and fitness level of a 30+. Now I feel more like a 50 year old in 40+ year old body with a 60 year old fitness level. They say you go through an period of denial. Well mine seems to have continued. On the outside I put on a brave face, but on the inside I’m still feeling shaken by the whole thing.  I can be thankful I’m still here, and I now know that certain food and a more active lifestyle is necessary, but I haven’t exactly done anything drastic with my “wake up call”. Ok I’m eating more fruit, nuts, fish and less chocolate, cheese and cakes, but  I seem to be wasting much more time, turning down more invites, avoiding more things. It’s a weird feeling, like I’m not in total control. That’s hard to accept from someone who likes to be in control.

I’m going to have to do something…I’m just not sure what yet.

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New model Chloe Bleackley proves to be a little star

04. 10. 2009 at 23:48

Chloe BleackleyI recently over heard my cardiac nurse saying “she wants to be a model” and couldn’t help push my nose in.  I soon found  out she was referring to up-and-coming model, Chloe Bleackley, who’d done some catwork work, but never modelled before. So I offered to take some shots to kick start her portfolio.

I spent Friday evening in the Turbine Studio with Chloe. It’s the first studio shoot I’ve done since the heart attack last year.

Chloe turned out to be far better than I expected for a first shoot. In fact, she was much better than some models who’ve been doing it for years.  She’s very alert to how models pose and has spent time watching TV etc to learn. So when she started moving I was gob-smacked at the ease of flow.

Happy as they come, but also capable of turning on a sultry pose.  I’m sure she’ll go far.

You can see Chloe on Model Mayhem here Chloe Bleackley

And a few photos from the shoot in my gallery pages here:  Chloe Bleackley

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