PJWebb Photos: Blog https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog en-us (C)pjwebbphoto pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:31:00 GMT Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:31:00 GMT https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/img/s/v-5/u802332322-o837357868-50.jpg PJWebb Photos: Blog https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog 80 120 Life in St Leonard's on Sea https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2017/7/life-in-st-leonards-on-sea We've been here for nearly two years now, here being St Leonard's on Sea. Made the move from the big city to a small coastal town in East Sussex.

Hastings, which is adjacent to and merges with St Leonard's is home to the largest beach launching fishing fleet in the country, although diminished in size, there is still plenty of fresh fish to be bought down by the net huts. Two large dressed crabs cost me £10 the other day. Boats are pushed out by tractors into the sea. Having been brought up in a town with a river this seemed unusual to me when we first moved here, now it all seems perfectly normal. We often sit on the balcony of the Jerwood Gallery and watch the boats go out or the process reversed when the boats are pulled back up the beach.

Seagulls are a big feature of every day life here, huge, well fed birds. They, like all wild life in this country, are serious scavengers. In the first week we were sitting outside a cafe drinking coffee when there was a crash from the table next to us and the beating of wings as a gull took off carrying the sandwich it had grabbed from the plate. 

As I said they are big birds and they don't just do smash and grab they can also be very patient. They utilise an edging closer technique which can be quite unnerving.  

I love the big skies and the constant of the sea down here. The sign of a storm approaching as the clouds roll in or the blue sky clearing the white clouds to let the sun warm us. The sea moves, sometimes benignly at others with so much power that it threatens to overwhelm the human beings braving the weather to watch the waves crash on the shore. 

And the light is wonderful down here, opening up those corners that would be hidden in a city.  Nearly every night is a light show at the moment of the sun going down and magic hour lights up the cream of the late victorian houses that line the streets.

And of course the sky provides spectacular photos and good light for all the pictures  I have taken on the pier, around the pier and under the pier. Good or bad weather there is always something to photograph on this simple structure that has given me so much pleasure. Voted Best Pier this year it is also up for an architectural prize which says a lot about the overall style and simplicity of the design.

Back lit by the sun.

Stretching out into the English Channel on a hazy day.

And reflections in the rain. This photo is currently on display in Cafe Des Arts although it will soon be replaced with the backlit pier shot.

The other phenomenon in Hastings is the willingness on a large part of the local population to take part, enthusiastically, in the three main events of the year which require dressing up. Actually the quality of costume and participation means that dressing up doesn't really do justice to what occurs here. The three events I've mentioned are the Jack in the Green day, Pirates Day and the Bonfire Day celebrations.  The following photos are just a few to highlight the quality of these events.  

There are lots of shades of paganism, and downright anarchy to be honest. Loads of drumming and an array of costuming that would put the RSC to shame, plus the sheer numbers of people who get involved. 

Next on the annual agenda is Pirates Day. Which makes sense as there are historical smuggling tunnels along the coast and it's another opportunity to get dressed in clothes from another time and is also somewhat anarchic. There is a pattern emerging here.

And finally to the big one, the Hastings Bonfire Procession is one of the biggest along the coast, Lewes is the largest. Of course the papist plot of Guy Fawkes has a lot to do with it. The fact that the gunpowder used was allegedly procured from Battle, just up the road from us could be fiction, but who knows. The more recent celebrations were re-invented in Victorian times and mark something just as political. The numbers of protestants burned for their faith by Mary, Queen of England, sister to Elizabeth 1 and popularly known as Bloody Mary, are marked by crosses in the processions. 

Bonfire societies from around the coast attend each others' events and preparation is feverish in the months leading up to the day. The event is quite dark, lots of fire and dark clothes and makeup. The feeling is, well the only word is anarchic.

One costumed woman in the procession last year. I should add that it was pouring with rain for most of the parade, slashing rainfall coming straight at us and my lens, so the following shots may or may not include rain spots.

Here is one of the Lewes Bonfire Society participants. 

Parent and child join in the parade.

And lastly a picture of sunset to close the piece. 

A reflection creates molten gold in the signage and windows of one of the cafes on the seafront. 

So there you have it, never let it be said that coastal towns are dull. The sea, the sky the celebrations the marking of the seasons all brighten the year.  Do I miss London, well I miss people and galleries but in truth I have settled here. I don't miss the crowds and the lack of sky. And the undertow of eccentricity in this community appeals to me. 

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. I am not writing so frequently but I hope it remains interesting.

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) celebrations costume fishing hastings pier sea seasons sky https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2017/7/life-in-st-leonards-on-sea Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:31:14 GMT
Stories from Hastings Pier https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2017/3/maintaining-the-pier

 

Hastings Pier, pier of the people, owned by the local populace and a brilliant example of design. I've walked on it, drunk coffee on it and stared out at the sea from it. I love it, that's not an overstatement, many hours of my life have been spent on it. On the boards, I never once thought about what is going on underneath. Not until I met Francesca who is one of the maintenance team. I hadn't thought about the work that regularly needs to be done underneath the decking, the important work that keeps the pier upright. Take a look under the pier and you will start to understand the other world.

 

What happens to the detritus that is in the water? As you can see from the picture, all sorts of rubbish is sent backwards and forward because of the movement of the tides. The waves cause the the various pieces of net and rope to wind themselves around the structure, causing stress to the metal. Most of today's rope and netting is plastic  which means it doesn't wear away. It will one day, but the fact is that all this rubbish has to be cut or burnt off and it is a complicated and awkward environment to work in - it's the sea. Which is tidal, so either all the work has to coincide with the tide being out or the maintenance team has to resort to other methods. 

First a couple more shots of the sort of rubbish that binds itself around the pier supports. Some are eerily beautiful, some a scary jumble of tangles.

 

It's so eerie under the pier, especially early in the morning.

Some of the rubbish is old rope and it would eventually rot but the plastic is there to stay until it's removed.

So standing and cutting at it at low tide is one option.

or kayaking in is another way. Which helps me understand that this sort of maintenance is not something to be undertaken lightly. First the weather, then the sea and the variety of skills that are required. In order to get to the supports you either have to take to the water or go over the side. 

The maintenance team have to learn these skills and then be tested on them. Even if you are qualified, anything to do with the sea is not predictable. Swell, cross currents, wind, tide, none of these are easy to negotiate. Not a job for the average person. The people working on this job must understand the risks. 

    And if you can't get at the supports from underneath then the only other way is over the top and down the side. Francesca let me know when the     crew would be going down to do some maintenance on one of the bolts. The following photos are a further example of the maintenance team's skill.

Francesca and the climbing trainer who was on the job that day - a cold February morning.

Francesca over the side and ready to climb down. You can see how awkward and difficult this is. Safety is paramount as an unexpected dip in the sea at these temperatures would be very unwelcome - if not dangerous.

Going down to get to the job. The sea was rolling in that day. The bolt that needed work on was low down close to that churning sea.

And finally Francesca is where she needs to be. She and Peter get on with the job.

So, that's a couple of days in the life of the maintenance team on the pier. Not your average 9 - 5pm, and not many chances for coffee breaks when you're hanging on to a support just above the sea. I'm more grateful now for the team who collectively does the important work to maintain the structure of the pier. Just people doing their job out of sight of the public doing what needs to be done to ensure the safety of us, the public. 

Thanks for reading, and spare a thought for the invisible workers, the ones who do what we cannot.

PS. I hope to revisit in the summer when it's sunny and warm, in a few months time.

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hastings Pier maintenance risk safety skill https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2017/3/maintaining-the-pier Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:30:48 GMT
A Proper Tourist in Istanbul https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/6/a-proper-tourist-in-istanbul A recent visit to Istanbul had me wandering the tourist trail. My host, Jerri, pointed me in the direction of Aya Sophia or Hagia Sophia. A church, which was destroyed and was built again as a church, became a mosque and is now a museum. And what a delight it was to wander gazing at rediscovered mosaics and frescos. Staring in awe at the arches and lights, the windows with daylight pouring in and the beauty of such an ancient building which has celebrated different faiths over the centuries. 

This is the exterior of the building. The current structure was constructed by Isidoros (Milet) and Anthemios (Tralles), who were renowned architects of their time, by Emperor Justinianos’s (527-565) orders. Information from historian Prokopios states that the construction that began on February 23, 532, was completed in a short period of five years and the church was opened to worship with a ceremony on December 27, 537. Resources show that on the opening day of the Hagia Sophia, Emperor Justinianos entered the temple and said, “My Lord, thank you for giving me chance to create such a worshipping place,” and followed with the words “Süleyman, I beat you,” referring to Süleyman’s temple in Jerusalem.

Link- http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en/history

Aya SophiaAya Sophia Windows and lights are the first to catch my attention.

chandelierchandelier

And then with this view from the upper gallery the sheer size of the building, this with half of it shrouded in scaffolding. DSCF9241DSCF9241 The discovered mosaic of the Archangel Gabriel

GabrielGabriel The place to speak from, and the different sorts of marble which is everywhere. The white marbles used in the structure came from the Marmara Island, the green porphyry from Eğriboz Island, the pink marbles from Afyon and the yellow from North Africa. The decorative interior wall coatings were established by dividing single marble blocks into two and combining them in order to create symmetrical shapes.  

DSCF9221DSCF9221 More rediscovered mosaic. On the western wall of Northern gallery, there is the mosaic board where the Deisis stage, considered as the start of renaissance in East Rome painting, is located. In the portrayol, Ioannes Prodromos ( John the Baptist) on the right and Virgin Mary on the left and in the middle Pantocrator Jesus Christ are located. In the mosaic, Virgin Mary and John the Baptist's prayers to Jesus Christ for the mercy of people during the doomsday are portrayed. If you would like to know more go to this link http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en/mosa-deisis-composition DSCF9231DSCF9231 The great rounded calligraphic panes on the walls of the main place had been written by Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi who was one of the famous calligraphers during the repairs between 1847 and 1849 of Sultan Abdülmecid period (1839-1861). Rounded calligraphic panes with 7.5 meters of diameter are written by gilt on green background made of hemp. There are 8 of these panes containing the names of Allah, Muhammad, and the four caliphs, namely Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali as well as the grandsons of Muhammad, namely Hasan and Husayn. The wooden hangers of the panes are made of lime since it is light and durable. The calligraphic panes are the largest ones in the Islamic world. http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en/call-great-calligraphic-panes

DSCF9233DSCF9233

Discovered angels - The pendentives feature four unidentical angel figures. It is believed that these one headed six winged angels (seraphim) protect the Lord’s Throne in Heaven. The angels featured in the East are composed of mosaics whereas the two in the West have been damaged during the Eastern Roman period and have been renewed as fresco.http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en/mosa-dome-angel-figures seraphin-Editseraphin-Edit From above, the lights, window light and tourists, who were crowding in by this point in my visit. The detail on the walls, the stone carving, a visual feast from so many decades.

Aya Sofia 2Aya Sofia 2 Such an extraordinary place to visit. I spent a long time, probably about two hours entranced by architecture, the way light played in the grand building and a sense of spirit and sheer awe at the idea of how many different people must have worshipped their particular ideas of god across the ages at this magnificent home of worship.

You can read more about the museum and its history here, which is where I have taken the detailed information in this blog post. http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en

Thanks for reading. More about Istanbul in the next post.

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hagia Sophia Istanbul ancient architecture icons light marble https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/6/a-proper-tourist-in-istanbul Tue, 14 Jun 2016 11:20:07 GMT
On the Pier https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/5/on-the-pier the pier gets some colourthe pier gets some colour We have a new pier. You may have heard about it on the news, or perhaps you thought 'what's all the fuss about?'

Well this is quite a radical departure for piers as we know them. No amusement arcades. very little in the way of funfair activity and a wide open view of sea and sky. The other departure is that this pier is owned by the town, not the council, although they have contributed some funding as have the heritage lottery, but the town residents. There are people who don't like the new pier. Too bare, not enough to do, but for those like me who really love to walk out to the end to gaze out at the sea and sky without too much distraction then it is a wonderful thing .

DSCF9144DSCF9144

I have seen it in various lights, full sunshine, under cloud and the best for me when the sea rack had rolled in and was swirling around the structures, blurring the edges. Turning away from the sea and there is the town like a lego structure tiny and no longer surrounding me but set back, away and manageable. 

DSCF9050DSCF9050 So much wood involved in the building of a pier. In the centre is a cafe on top of what James calls the bridge and I call the mound and others call the lump. Up the top I have already sat and stared around me at the Channel surrounding the pier. Somehow what is a small stretch of water feels large from the vantage point of the pier. The sense of space is quite extraordinary as I look towards the mound.

DSCF9054DSCF9054 And finally the view looking towards the town one misty day. 

In the haze of the sea rack2In the haze of the sea rack2 I love piers especially this one. 

Thanks for reading

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hastings Pier Hastings St Leonards on Sea Pier https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/5/on-the-pier Wed, 25 May 2016 15:48:43 GMT
News and Views https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/4/news-and-views Hello from Hastings and St Leonards, blossoms are beautifying the landscape the temperature is rising slowly and with these changes optimism rises.

DSCF8946DSCF8946 St Leonard's is warming up, the sky has been blue, at least for a couple of days, and it is pleasant to walk along by the sea, even if the wind can be chilly sometimes. Even the pier is beginning to look as if it might be finished soon, the minimalist design now splashed with the colour of a couple of fairground rides. 

DSCF8940DSCF8940

 

the pier gets some colourthe pier gets some colour

 

Everything is in preparation for the summer season when the tourists will be upon us. They are already here but well covered up and not too many yet but next weekend will be different. In one weekend, the May bank holiday, the town will be filled with Jack of the Green revellers, bikers and maybe a few refugees from the big tattoo convention being held in Brighton.

So what is the Jack in the Green? Or the Green man. Take a look at this link.

 https://thecompanyofthegreenman.wordpress.com/who-is-the-green-man/

Or this one for a detailed programme of events

http://www.hastingsjitg.co.uk

To add to the mix, May Day is also the day that thousands of bikers descend on Hastings for the Mayday bike ride rally. So pagans meet bikers. I haven't yet seen this mix and don't know whether it's combustable or friendly so I'll be down in town over the weekend to try and get a flavour in pictures. Link for the bike run as follows.

http://www.bike1066.com

Plus there is an exhibition of Artisan motorcycles films and art on Saturday 30th April - Monday 2nd May at the Observer building in Hastings.

http://www.revoltmotorcycles.com    The details of the exhibition are here.

Phew, it's going to be a mad weekend down here, if any bikers we know are thinking of coming down then drop an email or text to either me or James.

Plus, just in case Hastings sounds like a mash up then in the slightly more sedate setting of Brighton is the annual Tattoo Convention.

http://brightontattoo.com

I'm aiming to get to that as well. It may be a bit ambitious but I can give it a go.

church in old townchurch in old town

Hastings Old Town will not be this quiet on the bank holiday weekend. Revellers and morris dancers, men in green, bikers in leathers and the rest of us residents trying not to get trampled in the rush. 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hastings Jack in the Green Mayday Motorbikes tattoo convention https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/4/news-and-views Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:15:58 GMT
Portraits in a New Location https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/1/a-new-year-in-a-new-location This post is about portraits. I am inspired, currently by older women and how they continue to dress well, work well, have elegance and wit, or quirkiness and style. This first portrait is all about elegance and shyness. 

I have tried to persuade this woman to let me take some pictures of her for three years or more. I managed to snatch a few while we sat outside a cafe in London which were cluttered and in really bad light. She, quite rightly wasn't impressed. So when I asked this time if I could do a proper session at her home I was so happy when she said yes. We took quite a few and there are some good photographs of her but this one seems to highlight her introspection while her elegance still shows clearly. It is a quiet portrait of Moira, with a sense of stillness and contemplativeness that I like very much.

 

 

The next image couldn't be more of a contrast. We had only just moved here when I spied a newly opened tattoo shop that I like the look of. Even more so once I'd gone inside. The woman who ran it was welcoming the room was airy and comfortable and the whole place said safe to me. The other thing was that I wanted to take a photo of this woman. Not a snatch but a proper set up with off camera flash photo. In contrast to the previous sitter this woman had to be photographed in colour, her hair, her tattoos, her dress and the room all required colour. 

​I wasn't feeling particularly confident that day and I was, and still am, aware that I haven't got all my equipment back from Thailand yet so whatever I am doing now has to be kept very simple. I left, but a week or so later saw a picture in the local paper of the same tattoo shop and the couple who own it standing outside. Suffice it to say it wasn't the best of photographs. That galvanised me to go back in and offer to take some pictures that the couple could use for publicity. They were thrilled by the offer and after a slight stumble we found ourselves in the shop, and I was able to take a whole set of photos for whatever they want to do with them. That is the story behind this next photograph of Betty. I particularly like the echo in the image behind her.

The last shot is another complete tangent. This older man is often around the streets of St Leonards and I have discovered that he is not the 80 years old I thought but simply a ravaged 70. This is here-say so I do not know it is true, but the same source told me that he has been a session musician all his life and has played with some big names in the music business . All I know is he is quite extraordinary looking and I saw him on the street and asked him if I could take his picture. He was quite content to let me. This is a natural light picture, on the Fuji, 18 - 55 lens whereas the first two were taken with the Nikon with a 24-85 lens. The look is totally different but I like this one too because it is a captured shot and he was so benign and gentle.

elderly session musician street captureelderly session musician street capture So three very different portraits for your enjoyment. Thank you for reading this. Another blog with more pictures of the coast and surrounding views will be coming soon.

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) England Fuji Location Nikon Portraits off camera flash https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2016/1/a-new-year-in-a-new-location Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:45:00 GMT
Autumn https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/10/autumn This is the season that I missed the most while we were in Asia. Although it is a time of decline, how colourful is nature as she waves goodbye to the summer. 

It is the flourish before death. The leaves will fall and branches will be revealed as winter settles. For now the colour show continues.

  The autumn colour palette on one tree, but so different on another.

This is the oak, with tawny browns. Here is something more brash.

And here is the richness of the red

​Finally the exoticness  of the acer

What a colour fest. How beautiful, riding along the country lanes and seeing flashes of yellows and reds and gradually the trees turn, from green, through yellow to orange and reds. Beautiful nature, showing us again what an artist she is.

Thank you for reading

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) autumn change colour leaves oak orange red yellow https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/10/autumn Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:39:01 GMT
Sky Sea Jetty and a Rainbow https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/9/sky-sea-jetty-and-a-rainbow This post is all about the photos. Now I'm living on the coast I am constantly drawn to the sea and the sky. 

sky and sea St Leonardssky and sea St Leonards How can we compete with nature for drama? 

skysky Or for beauty

JettyJetty for calm 

RainbowRainbow or lighting effects

Here the sea is used for work as well as play 

FishingFishing The pier is slowly being built below the sky

PierPier And if you want to know the time, look up, there's a clock

Clock and CloudsClock and Clouds Thanks for reading, I hope you like the views. They are inspiring me to get out and see how the sea and sky is changing every day.

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) clock cloud coast sky https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/9/sky-sea-jetty-and-a-rainbow Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:55:07 GMT
On the Move Again https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/8/on-the-move-again So the birds have flown. Far away from the city that I have lived in since I was 12 years old.

All our stuff was packed in one day, and a few more we spent, sort of, fiddling at packing. We had boxes, I never want to see that amount of boxes ever again. And the flat was empty.

St Leonards-2St Leonards-2

St Leonards-3St Leonards-3 Our time of leaving.

Then we got in a car with three suitcases and a couple of the hated boxes, with a kettle and coffee and a couple of plates and we were off. Through central London because I hate the North circular and the M25 and also because we could wave goodbye to our city as we left. Past MI5 on the river and moving at about the same pace as the commuters were walking. The cyclists were going at three times the speed we could manage.

St Leonards-5St Leonards-5

We had a map. And I was navigating.

St Leonards-4St Leonards-4 And we followed the route that I chose which meant we had to go back to the Elephant and Castle because they closed the road on me. It meant I could say goodbye to the area I lived in for 23 years, and got incredibly drunk in for 20 of them. And then I stopped drinking and all my neighbours breathed a sigh of relief. And I suddenly noticed that there were other people living around me. 

​So off down the Old Kent Road and onwards we went. My route was impeccable and we arrived in St Leonards with only a few doubts from me that I'd got it right. 

To the Royal Victoria Hotel. Because we were now officially homeless and all our possessions were in a lorry somewhere in North West London. We did have a kettle.

St Leonards-1St Leonards-1

 We're officially moved now. And we did move into our new flat but I don't want to take pictures of it with the boxes still around. Here's the pier instead, on two different days and in two moods. The pier is being rebuilt, remarkably quickly as I see it, so one day soon I will be able to wander along it and take photographs of the people who enjoy walking the pier.

St Leonards-1St Leonards-1

Well not so much of the pier, more the beach and the sun, but in the background...

And with the clouds

St Leonards-2St Leonards-2

Au revoir London, I will be back frequently to visit. A last memory was a couple of days before we left I caught these two very classy characters who were waiting outside their home, I hope someone let them in.

St Leonards-1St Leonards-1

Thanks for reading. I owe you another London blog which got lost in the packing but I haven't forgotten.

 

 

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Dogs Hotel Leaving London Moving Pier St Leonard's on Sea https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/8/on-the-move-again Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:52:16 GMT
London in Many Parts (Section 1) https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/6/london-in-many-parts I'm still here in London and, if I'm honest, enjoying these weeks. Okay the plans are upset and the stress has been horrible but I've been rediscovering my city. With no motorbikes at the moment (note the 'at the moment'), we have been walking, using the bus and tube but not yet bicycling. Although I am tempted. 

So, beautiful Regents Park is not far from where we live. We had heard that a friend was training at trapeze there and after finding out where it was we went looking for the rig so that I could make some decisions about camera and lens. Not a huge decision really as my long lens is in back in Hua Hin, one big mistake leaving it there, but I had a couple of choices. I did wonder if the Fuji would manage it but the shutter was just not fast enough for the movement. It caught some shots but I wasn't as comfortable with it as I am with the Nikon for fast action.

We walked through the very busy Sunday filled park and caught this group of people dancing, really dancing to music in the sunshine.

trapeze-1trapeze-1 Round the corner and on the water was a moor hen sitting on the nest. Such a contrast within 200 yards from the packed lawns to the bridge with the water flowing below us and the bird ignoring everyone except encroaching ducks.

moorhenmoorhen

And so we found ourselves in a part of this grand London park in which we had never been. We are mostly, rose garden tourists and visitors to the inner circle. This was west and slightly off the tourist trail. It felt much more like a local park. Runners and dog walkers and wild grasses were replaced by formal plantings and then around the corner unexpectedly was the trapeze. The Fuji was the camera I had with me so against the sun and at the best angle I could manage I took some pictures. I like this one simply for the sense of height and for me the strangeness of this rig on the edge of the park. These alien super beings, flying above us lowly humans.

trapeze-3trapeze-3

People sat around on the grass, entertained as beginners and less beginners flew through the air. It was certainly a spectacle and I would suppose has become a regular stopping point for walkers in the park to watch and admire. On that day I was disappointed with most of the photos and I arranged to go back the following day with the Nikon and with permission to go inside the fencing I was hoping to get better pictures.

Out of the park, we were set for the bus when we saw steps going down to the canal and realised we could walk alongside the water from there  to Lisson Grove and board our preferred 139. A small adventure, somewhere neither of us had ever been. So down we went.  

As with all good adventures first there was a gateway the hero had to pass through.

canal-1canal-1

 

 

Then a path, overhung with trees alongside the river, substitute canal for river and we were on a quest. 

canal-2canal-2

So we followed the path until we arrived at the community of canal boats and long boats where their horticultural skills abounded. Amazing flowers and further along the towpath a fantastical arrangement of cacti growing up the wall.

canal-3canal-3 canal-4canal-4

The canal has always seemed to me to be a secret magical place where monsters may lurk and heroes will appear to defeat the dark forces.

The next day was not the sunniest, better for me, I thought, to capture people flying through the air. With my Nikon on my back I went back to Regents Park and the rig which was and is there courtesy of Gorilla Circus.http://www.gorillacircus.com  Watching people fly had its own thrill. Apparently weightless until they tumbled into the net, the sight was glorious. Bodies silhouetted against the clouds and sky created pictures which I hope you will enjoy as much as I did while I was taking them.

trapeze-1trapeze-1  The flyer was Hortense who teaches yoga and was there practicing her trapeze skills. And skill she has without any doubt.

trapeze-2trapeze-2 Against the cloud everything she did was highlighted and the more remarkable for the fact that this is not her primary skill. It is something she is doing because she loves it. If you want to see more of her yoga then look for http://instagram.com/yogaflux and see her yoga pictures. Extraordinary. And below the best shot of that day.

trapeze-3trapeze-3 So that is the end of part one. Keep an eye on my feed and part two will be here very soon.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the photographs. 

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Cacti Canal Dancing Flowers Flying Lodon Nest Park Regents Trapeze https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/6/london-in-many-parts Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:21:32 GMT
When Life is About Moving and Other Things https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/5/when-life-is-about-moving-and-other-things When boxes are the primary image in one's brain there really isn't much room for other ideas, visual, imaginative or anything.

We have many boxes, plastic crates, the normal cardboard variety, the one above which contained all the mail we'd received over the two years we were away. Because we are now in a quiet patch, the difficult time between the initial rush of selling a property and buying another as questions are flying between lawyers I have some brain space to spare and time to put together a blog.

​I have been getting to know London again. The architecture in this crowded city is so varied. I've picked out a few examples, all buildings that I see regularly on my route in and out of central London. The first is a shot of the Coliseum in St Martins Lane, the 'other' opera house which has in the past consistently pushed the boundaries of opera presentation. Plus the tickets are cheaper than the Opera House.  This picture was taken with my iPhone, edited on the Pad and finally transferred to the computer in order to add into the other blog shots.

 

I'm learning loads of different techniques. I use a combination of apps. Snapseed, Lightroom mobile and Photoshop touch. I've been learning how to use them and what works for me and the different ways of editing. I like this way of working and that it can be done on the move but I do love a big screen. At home I've finally hooked up my laptop to an oldish screen that a few years ago used to be attached  to a pc. 

Next to Baker Street tube station is a 1930's building that was being gutted when we left for Thailand. The clock tower was left while the rest was gutted and some of it demolished. It's not easy to get a decent sight line of this, I took several shots on the phone and then took a few with the Fuji, in this case the Fuji shop was by far the clearest which is what is needed for these lines. Then edited in Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.

 

My phone is full of buildings and gardens which I will post at some point, I need to get this blog out, but I love the range of styles and design. This city is full of sights that please me if I take the time to notice.

Changing subjects completely, I have been also going through some pictures from Hua Hin that were never put out anywhere. This next shot is of the army beach, west of Hua Hin, at sunset. It was simply beautiful light. I miss the fact that twilight is between 5.45 and the sun has set by 6.30, every day. Not so in England.

For a deserted beach there was a lot of diverse activity happening here. A wedding couple on the right, having their photos taken. Clam diggers on the left who had been working for the whole time we were walking on the beach. A typical bike with side cart which I presume belongs to the clam diggers.

The photo below is further up the beach on the same evening and is an image which may explain why I like this place. It is so peaceful and a perfect place for an evening walk, quiet with only a few people around and the sea rolling onto the sand.

Finally a complete change from everything that has come before. Our first rose of the year was a beauty. It was hanging down sadly so I cut it and brought it in to brighten and scent our room.  

Natural light, on the Fuji, taken in the light from the window.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I will try and post again soon but we are still trying to sort out our move. Please check in, I have lots of photos just not that much time to do the work on them. Thanks for reading.

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hua Hin London buildings flower light sea styles sunset https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/5/when-life-is-about-moving-and-other-things Sat, 23 May 2015 14:44:27 GMT
Nature is Showing Off https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/nature-is-showing-off It's spring in England and the sun is shining. Nature has responded with a glorious show of blossom. I was in Regents Park and sat with the sun warming my face and surrounded by blossom. The pictures tell the story, nature at her most showy best.

Bursting out and decorating the tree trunks.

Apple blossom and cherry blossom festooning the park.

And all around this enormous park were people enjoying the sun and the blossom.  

Thanks for looking at the blog. 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) London Regents Park blossom spring https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/nature-is-showing-off Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:44:12 GMT
A Glimpse of London https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/a-glimpse-of-london So back in London. I thought I'd be a tourist and snap a few tourist pictures. Somehow I never seem to take those pictures, it's all about being a Londoner and not wanting to look like a tourist. Fact is, I am a tourist, here for three months after a two year absence. For the first week I was wandering around gazing at everything as if it was the first time of seeing. 

So Trafalgar Square, I walk by it every week and would never dream of taking a picture of Nelson's column. 

Horatio Nelson, a British flag officer in the Royal Navy, noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of decisive naval victories. He was shot and killed during his final victory during the Battle of Trafalgar. Now he stares down Whitehall towards parliament from Trafalgar Square.

The National Gallery looks out over Trafalgar Square, beautiful cream stone columns outside and inside the gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world. Vermeer, Titian, Seurat, Monet and Rembrandt to name a minuscule number of the artists. A must visit for any one who even vaguely likes art. 

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk

St Martin in the Fields peeps out over the top of the new spring leaves emerging on the trees. A vibrant and inclusive church, St Martin's supports the homeless and vulnerable through the Connection at St Martin in the Fields. On the steps of this church are tourists and local workers getting lunch. Inside there are world famous concerts and at Christmas they raise money through the St Martin Appeal which goes to members of the community who are experiencing hardship to give them a step up out of poverty. It really is an active church.Have a look at what they do.

 http://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org/church/

Not really a tourist attraction but more a picturesque smoking spot. Everywhere in London the smokers stand outside offices and buildings. This was a good day for smokers, the sun was shining so pneumonia was not such a risk.  

​And finally, because it's spring and the blossom is out everywhere in London and the daffodils have been beautiful. Here are a handful of blooms to brighten your day.  

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and words, thank you for reading.

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) London National Gallery St Martin in the Fields Trafalgar https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/a-glimpse-of-london Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:00:58 GMT
A Bientot Hua Hin https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/leaving-for-a-while Leaving anywhere or anyone is painful for me. Some people manage it well, I do not. So leaving Hua Hin for England was no different.

The last few photos I took are already uploaded, no decisions to make with this jet lagged brain.

First Pete, who is also leaving. He and his band were the first people I took pics of two years ago. What a change there's been. Pete has grown, he is the musician he was beginning to be. Confidence, experience and regular projects and gigs have all contributed to this growth. Strutting off the stage, growling the vocals and playing his guitar with a fire that wasn't there before.

Band-2.jpgBand-2.jpg

 

And again Band-1.jpgBand-1.jpg

And with the band 

Band-4.jpgBand-4.jpg

So good luck to Pete, wherever he moves on to.

I took photos of the chess players a long time ago but this game was in progress as I made my way along the market a couple of days before we left. This man was being totally beaten, and I arrived just in time to see his last move. I asked if I could take photos and surprise, the almost winner was very happy to allow me. At the end the loser grumbled in Thai, 'Great now my defeat is recorded on some foreigner's camera.' Or something to that effect.

Chess.jpgChess.jpg On the walk I also found a picture perfect Tuk-tuk just wishing for a camera to arrive and snap it.

Tuktuk.jpgTuktuk.jpg This man surrounded by pieces of material and stuff was busy sewing just around the corner.

Sewing.jpgSewing.jpg And as it's Easter Sunday, new life in the form of Sun, pronounced with an up tone. Who is the centre of attention at the moment for the family who have been so kind to us all the time we have been in Hua Hin.

new beginnings-1.jpgnew beginnings-1.jpg He is lovely.

​So before one last picture, A bientot Hua Hin, see you soon all our friends who are there and all the others, scattered around the world, we have met there. Here is my goodbye shot,

goodbye-1.jpggoodbye-1.jpg  and goodbye. Thanks for reading.

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Band Hua Hin Pete Thailand chess new life sea sewing tuk-tuk https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/4/leaving-for-a-while Sun, 05 Apr 2015 10:33:43 GMT
Not a Suitable Job for a Woman https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/2/not-a-suitable-job-for-woman “This is a job for a man not a woman” was Kanthima’s first reaction to the idea of becoming a tattoo artist.

 

Now she is a well known, award winning tattooist who also runs a school for budding tattooists. Her students come from all over the world.

 

 

Self taught, in the beginning, Kanthima studied all day, everyday. She watched videos, read books, watched other tattooists and spent some time in Germany learning technique. Her first tattoo was for an ex-sailor, a boat and a woman, old school, traditional and very different from the style of tattoos she makes today. But that tattoo is still a fine piece of work.

 

The ethos for her business is best summed up in Kanthima’s words, 

 

“Yes this is a business but that is not the most important, we work from the heart.” 

 

And that shows in the detail in the original designs, the willingness for the tattooist to put in the extra time to ensure that the tattoo is the best it can be because they love doing the work.

 

The studio is extremely hygiene conscious. The tattoo artist wears gloves and his/her skin is covered, the inks are imported from the USA where the contents are listed by law. With other inks the contents cannot be verified which leaves the possibility of infection open. So the Thailand Tattoo School pays the extra cost of customs duty rather than put their customers at risk.  

 

 

Although Thailand’s image is modern, male to female attitudes are traditional, I asked if Kanthima had experienced prejudice as a woman in this profession. Her husband told me of one. 

‘Kanthima was invited to do tattoos at the Bike Week in Hua Hin. The man who was sent to deliver the invite, saw Kanthima and her daughter Gitta, who also tattoos, and told them that ladies could not come and do this work, but invited me. I have never made a tattoo in my life.” 

The mistake was rectified immediately after Kanthima spoke to the organizers.  

 

 

When her husband first mooted the idea of tattooing to the shy Thai woman (as Kanthima was then), he was worried about her future security. Now Kanthima not only runs a well respected tattoo school and has international clients for her work, but both her daughter Gitta and now her son Dimon are producing beautiful original tattoos. 

 

 

 

She has made this into a successful job for a Thai woman.

 

NB The image of Ganesh behind the lower photographs is Kanthima's own favourite, original design.

 

https://www.facebook.com/TLC.tattooschoolthailand

 

http://www.tattooschoolthailand.com  

 

Thank you for reading this blog.

 

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hua Hin Tattoo Tattoo School Thailand art family https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/2/not-a-suitable-job-for-woman Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:31:49 GMT
Chinese New Year https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/2/chinese-new-year Chinese New Year-3.jpgChinese New Year-3.jpg

Happy Chinese New Year

So here are some pictures taken randomly on New Years Eve. I don't think text is necessary here. I did spend a lot of time chasing the dragon, literally chasing the dragon dancers, they move so fast. Except when they're stopping for donations. Insurance for a good new year I suppose. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

 

Chinese New Year-14.jpgChinese New Year-14.jpg Chinese New Year-1.jpgChinese New Year-1.jpg

Chinese New Year-4.jpgChinese New Year-4.jpg

 

Chinese New Year-12.jpgChinese New Year-12.jpg And now the dragon

Chinese New Year-9.jpgChinese New Year-9.jpg Oh yeah

Chinese New Year-5.jpgChinese New Year-5.jpg

Look at the dancer crouching 

 

Chinese New Year-6.jpgChinese New Year-6.jpg And onwards. The dragon was around the town from 4.30 in the afternoon until I saw it at 6.30 when they'd been on the go for about two hours so I suppose they were quite weary by then.

Chinese New Year-7.jpgChinese New Year-7.jpg

And a smaller dragon

Chinese New Year-10.jpgChinese New Year-10.jpg ​Finally another beautifully made light decoration of a warrior

Chinese New Year-2.jpgChinese New Year-2.jpg

Happy Year of the Sheep/Goat

Thanks for reading

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Chinese New Year Dragons Hua Hin Thailand celebrations https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/2/chinese-new-year Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:26:02 GMT
A Proper Fight https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/1/a-proper-fight I have taken a lot of photos of Thai boxing training, to get my eye in, to learn the moves and to get up to speed. This week I got to a fight night at the gym I've been following and it turned out that the speed part of my practice wasn't much use. The tempo of the fighting was at least three times the speed of training. Plus I couldn't use flash, although I noticed several mobiles with lights on as they videoed.  Am I complaining, not really, I wouldn't want to be responsible for a fighter losing his (they were all males) focus and getting injured because of me.  I was balanced on the corner of the boxing ring while James stood on the floor below to prevent me from stepping back into mid-air if the fighters slammed into the rope I was shooting over and I panicked.

First came the boys. The before fight ritual. There was some praying, showing respect.

 
fighting-10.jpgfighting-10.jpg

 

Then the fighting...  

fighting-1.jpgfighting-1.jpg Here's the referee so you can see how small these boys were,

fighting-2.jpgfighting-2.jpg And the young men. The action is so fast that my eye could hardly keep up. Fortunately my finger was ready to press the button and all that watching training had paid off. I got into the rhythm of the fight which I believe is the result of watching the moves repeated in training.

fighting-4.jpgfighting-4.jpg

The noise was tremendous because down on my left the betting was going on. Every kick or blow that was landed was greeted with an enormous roar. People  were adjusting their bets according to every move the fighters were making.  

betting-11.jpgbetting-11.jpg betting-12.jpgbetting-12.jpg

I was using the Nikon. The shutter speed was as low as I could hand hold and the aperture wide open. ISO up high. In short I was trying to get as much light as I could into the camera. The room was spot lit from above the ring so the light came and went. Not ideal, but then what is unless you are in control of the lights in a studio and even then the electricity could fail.

The blow before and the knockout blow.  

fighting-6.jpgfighting-6.jpg fighting-7.jpgfighting-7.jpg The victor.  

fighting-8.jpgfighting-8.jpg The loser was still being checked over on the floor. He was all right a few minutes later.

One spectacular move.   

fighting-5.jpgfighting-5.jpg And one quiet moment with the trainer

fighting-3.jpgfighting-3.jpg Good night and thanks for reading

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Fight Hua Hin Thai Boxing Thailand fighters ring https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/1/a-proper-fight Sat, 24 Jan 2015 13:32:33 GMT
A Happy New Year and a Look Back https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/1/a-happy-new-year-and-a-look-back First of all, I hope that all the readers of this blog have a Happy and Healthy New Year. The old spirits of the year past have been stamped out and the fire of the fireworks have burned them away, leaving a space for new and it is hoped better thoughts and actions and energies to come pouring in. That is a very rough and ready précis of the Chinese view on new year celebrations. For our part James and I are hoping for a smoother year with no accidents and hopefully some reuniting with friends and family early in the year. 

It has been a very long year, or so it feels. So the first big event was to go to Burma in March of last year. Looking through the photos I've found some that did not feature and a few of the best.

This a woman trader I saw in a market we visited outside of Bagan. 

Modern Burma with the traditions coming along in the background. 

A young noviciate on his way to the monastery.

Most of our year was spent in Thailand, in Hua Hin. Mending my ankle and working hard at getting it back to usable again.

A sand castle and wild dogs on the beach early in the morning in Hua Hin.   

Literally scraping a living on the beach. 

Taking photos of Latifah who has recently been back to China and fought there again.

Taking shots in St Leonards while I was in England.

Goi brother and cafe-1.jpgGoi brother and cafe-1.jpg Goi and her brother who I photographed in their cafe in Hua Hin.

The man who sells soft drinks off a stall outside the local supermarket.   

And finally and poignantly as the anniversary of the Asian tsunami has just been observed, a couple of water pictures one of fun and one which illustrated the power of the sea.    

jetty and waves-2.jpgjetty and waves-2.jpg

Finally the lights are still twinkling in Hua Hin. Happy New Year to you all.     

Thank you for reading.

 

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) 2014 Burma Hua Hin Sea St Leonards Thailand beach market portrait https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2015/1/a-happy-new-year-and-a-look-back Thu, 01 Jan 2015 08:02:46 GMT
Sea Power https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2014/12/sea-power jetty and waves-1.jpgjetty and waves-1.jpg  Late one afternoon and early the following morning the weather had been deteriorating. Not as bad as last year but enough for the sea to demonstrate the power it possesses. The damage done to the jetty the previous year gives a clear indication of the strength of wind and waves. 

jetty and waves-6.jpgjetty and waves-6.jpg This is the result of years of pounding on the concrete. There are notices everywhere saying 'Danger'. This hasn't stopped the hardened fishermen who sit with their rods on the edge and simply carry on. And photographers of course. 

The waves are relentless.  

jetty and waves-2.jpgjetty and waves-2.jpg There is no doubt that the sea will win the battle. The big fish trawlers who used to dock here and  empty their catch into lorries for transport, no longer arrive. Only the navy uses the jetty once a day to change crew.

The smaller jetty which was intact last year has faired worse.   

jetty and waves-5.jpgjetty and waves-5.jpg The young man sitting at the end has better balance than me, and a head for heights, he simply ran along the left hand leftovers of the jetty and sat himself at the end. I looked to follow, took two steps and decided I'd photograph from this angle, I don't have perfect balance or the confidence of youth.

Still the waves keep coming.    jetty and waves-3.jpgjetty and waves-3.jpg

And on the now closed off car park only wild dogs lay in the early morning sun as another day begins.   

jetty and waves-4.jpgjetty and waves-4.jpg

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Fuji XE1 Hua Hin Thailand jetty power sea waves https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2014/12/sea-power Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:08:35 GMT
Misc or Scattered or Varied https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2014/12/misc-or-scattered-or-varied Events in my personal life have caused a pause in my blogging. I've been taking photos but have not seemed to have the organisation skills necessary to choose pictures and link them together to create a story. Brain overload I believe it's called. So in desperation to get some information out there I have pulled together an assortment of pictures from the last month and I will post them here. 

Firstly Loy Krathong. A festival it is believed was originally celebrated to appease and to thank the water Goddess for taking fish from the water and using the river water for washing and cleaning. Now it is more aligned to Buddhist beliefs as a way of letting go of bad events from the previous year, bad characteristics which the individual wants to be rid of. 

​So the individual purchases or makes a Krathong or small boat ma​de of banana leaves and coconut tree base and decorated with flowers. Then a candle and some incense are pushed into the boat plus some hair and nail clippings from the individual and the Krathong is launched.  

Krathongs may be simple or ornate but they do essentially represent the act of letting go.  

I used both cameras, Fuji XE1 and Nikon D300s to take these images. I used an off camera flash with the Nikon and a very high ISO plus low shutter speed with the Fuji. For stability on the slow shutter I jammed the camera onto a rail. The Fuji doesn't seem to move when the picture is taken so as long as it's reasonably steady, slow shutter speeds are very possible. 

​Next come the kids. Out on the beach one day I saw these children and really wanted to be out there with them. The wind was up and the waves were crashing. They would wait for a huge wave to crash and then scramble back onto the rock for more. 

All these shots were taken with my walking about camera, the Fuji XE1.

There is a man, rather eccentric, locally who makes drinks and delivers them to shop workers and local people around the area near his small stall. This is my second go at taking a portrait of him and he is gradually getting used to me. I really like this character.  

Also taken with the Fuji. He will feature again for sure. Lastly, today is the King of Thailand's birthday and the lights are blazing in Hua Hin, home to his summer palace. 

These were on a slow shutter using a monopod for stability. They were taken with, yes you guessed, the Fuji.  

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

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pattij2@gmail.com (PJWebb Photos) Hua Hin Loy Krathong Thailand beach children illuminations lights portrait sea waves https://www.pjwebbphoto.com/blog/2014/12/misc-or-scattered-or-varied Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:31:59 GMT