Saturday, 31 January 2015

The most beautiful cabbage in Belfast

Today, in St George's Market, I bought what must surely be the most beautiful cabbage in Belfast. It cost £1.30, from the fabulous Helen's Bay Organic Gardens stall. Good value for an hour's happy photography in the back garden and a super-pretty vegetable dish for this evening's dinner...

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Today I had a second attempt at photographing Wolfgang Buttress's fabulous RISE sculpture on the Broadway Roundabout. Or the Balls on the Falls, as it's more colloquially known. I was fortunate with the light and the range of potential angles - within about fifteen minutes I got clear, light blue skies leading to the beginnings of a lovely sunset. All much better than my failure two weeks ago, when I forgot to bring either a rain protector or a lens cloth for my camera. And raindrops kept falling on my lens.

RISE is a lovely example of the structural principle of tensegrity, which I'd never heard of before today, but is really quite interesting. The structures which it informs are elegant, airy and strong - it's worth doing  a little image search using this term.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Fishy #2

I was at the Sainsbury's fish counter again yesterday - initially to avoid speaking to someone who, on our last encounter, asked me was I not married or retired yet. What? Are these the only two states to which any sensible person would aspire?

But there were some appealing langoustines on the counter, marked down to half price. So I bought a few and had a little photoshoot this morning, continuing with my theme of vintage button eyes...

I'm your lobster.

Hippy langoustine.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Cathedral fix: St Edmundsbury

I couldn't let my Christmas break in the south-east of England go by without another fix for my cathedral habit. So during a shopping trip to Bury St Edmund's I abandoned my family for an hour and went to visit the cathedral of St Edmundsbury. I hadn't seen this cathedral before, and my first impressions were of vivid colours and complex, almost Moorish patterns. The low afternoon sun created beautiful highlights and shadows. 

St Edmund must have been an animal lover. Possibly an imaginative one? This is his throne.

The ceilings here are particularly lovely, and I appreciated the clever hinged mirror, below, which allows visitors to see them clearly, without lying on their backs on the floor (...which I have done in other places, but which tends to attract a lot of concerned attention...)

And so, back to H&M to spectate at my nieces' fashion parade, as they decided how to spend their Christmas vouchers...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


I don't do much still life work, but last weekend I took a fit of inspiration at the Sainsbury's fish counter. Their fresh whole sea bass looked so pretty. And they're delicious too.

So I picked out the three most appealing ones and added them to my basket of nutritious and stylish foodstuffs.

I tried photographing them first on a simple grey linen cloth.

I quite liked this, and I got a few nice instagram shots with my phone at this point. But, to put it politely, there was an element of seeping onto the cloth that wasn't quite so pretty, and I was also concerned about their eyes. No offence, Sainsbury's, but I think that one of the signs of a very lovely fresh fish is that it has clear, bright eyes. These poor ladies were looking rather dull and sunken round the eyes. I have every sympathy with that myself, but I thought that something more sparkly might look more attractive.

So in another stroke of inspiration (unusual to get two in as many days) I got out my extensive vintage button and chose some substitute eyes. These were my favourites.

They also looked quite cool in sunglasses.

And then I started to pose them in different combinations.

An enjoyable morning's surreality, all in all. I'm still pondering what the meaning of fish with vintage button eyes might be, but I suspect I'm just not deep enough to work it out.  

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Shooting swans

Just a couple of images today from a walk I took with my dad by the River Cam, near the village of Milton. I enjoyed shooting (I know that sounds a bit inappropriate, and I may go to prison) the very photogenic family of swans who hang about here. 

For anyone who's interested, apparently swans make excellent guard-creatures for your house. They'll behave in hostile fashion towards everyone who isn't their parent (that would be you), so they'll deter intruders. And although they can't be house-trained, they can become accustomed to wearing a little plastic bag under their tail feathers, thus avoiding embarrassing messes. A splendid thought altogether.... But they are pretty.