Swindon An old one makes way for the young ones

Well what a lovely afternoon in Swindon it is. After the awful weather of late and even this morning it is just delightful if a little cold this afternoon. It is just like a spring day and as such areas of The Lawns in Old Town Swindon are covered in Snowdrops and they look lovely. This is in stark contrast to the old trees that succumbed to the recent storms and wet weather.
Just goes to show though the circle of nature. For me photographing the dead is as important as the living.

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Wyvern Theatre Charity Canal Clearance Day

I spent a fun and funny couple of hours with the team from The Wyvern Theatre at their charity clean up day (not the first time they have done it) at the Wilts and Berks Canal at Shrivenham. Was an overcast but warm day and they soon worked up a good sweat and got very tangled up in all the undergrowth. They all enjoyed it though and it was all for charity.

Repatriation at Brize Norton of Two Scottish Soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Yesterday I attended the Repatriation of Cpl William Savage and Fusilier Samuel Flint of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland at Brize Norton. The soldiers were two of the three who were killed by a road side bomb in Afghanistan on the 30th April.

Despite absolutely awful weather of driving rain and 50mph winds hundreds turned out to send them on their way.

Particularly sad was watching the 27 year old wife of Cpl William Savage who is expecting their son shortly.

What was also interesting for me was I hooked up with the other photographers there from Getty, Reuters, AFP etc and had some very interesting discussions about the state of the industry!!!

Back to the repatriation though, I believe that even if you dont support what is happening in Afghanistan etc if the opportunity arrises you should try to go to at least one repatriation service. It is an experience. For me despite going to pretty much all of them and having published a successful book of images and poems about them in Wootton Bassett I still really feel for the families of those that have fallen.

Sunday Project – No More

Well no photo of Sunday anymore. Why? I have been carrying out quite a bit of research and despite it being only the 4th Sunday of the year I have decided to bin it because it is not providing any benefit to me or anybody else. Stats are showing very few hits on those posts and to be honest I can understand why. There is no theme and is therefore completely random and unless I am on another assignment then I am just taking an image just for the sake of it with very little thought behind it. With very little information around the photo, why it was taken etc then why would anybody actually be interested in reading it.

What I should be doing more of is explaining things and why I do them, how I do them etc.

So as a start, I did a small photo shoot this morning. It was only mug shots for the person to send off as part of his profile as part of a competition. It was carried out in a gym, (in the squash court to be precise) where lighting is just awful. And short of getting the flash and umbrellas out it was a case of the ISO at 3200 and hope for the best. I just did not feel happy with the results which prob will suffice for what it was for but I just did not feel satisfied. Which at the end of the day is what it is all about for me. I have to feel emotionally involved in what I am doing and I didnt. Is that true of all professional photographers? I dont want to just earn money and not feel as though I have not done a good job.

So this blog is going to go back to the Swindon News/Photojournalism and I am not going to try to combine other things with it.

Likewise I am going to re-design my website to provide a better experience, better show case for my better images from both the UK and Spain and try to make it more interesting.

An Evening of Flamenco in Freila

Many people get the opportunity to watch a ‘flamenco show’ when on holiday in Spain, although some are often ‘produced’ with the tourist in mind and don’t always reflect the true passion of the dance and the music. Freila is a small, rural, Andalucian village, with it’s roots truly embedded in Flamenco. Last night I had the opportunity to join the locals in the village to watch a concert of Flamenco music and dance. The main artist was Elena Romera, a professional Flamenco singer and dancer based in Granada. The difference was that Elena was born, and grew up in Freila, in fact her mother and father still live here and her father (a builder) actually built my girlfriends house. She was delighted to perform in her home village, no more so than the local villagers who welcomed her in true Freilican style. A wonderful evening of song, dance, colour, costumes and real Andalucian Flamenco.

12-12-12 A cold and frosty day in Swindon

I thought I would celebrate 12-12-12 (lets face it I am not going to be around in 89 years for the next one)!!!! by going out into a Cold and Frosty Coate Water and take some images. It was a lovely walk around. I met lots of different people. One who was getting in and out of the water carrying out an inspection on the bridge. He had of course a team of people with him for health and safety ( supplying hot coffee)!!! He was a nice chap, not only did he enjoy his job but was interested in photography and was more than happy to pose for me. I also met a chap feeding the birds. They must have been really hungry as they were giving him a real hard time trying to get to the food. They must be struggling a bit at the moment.
All in all a nice but cold couple of hours.

Swindon – Flowers at a Tree but who for ???? A Mystery

Flowers against a tree

Flowers against a tree

Well this post isnt news, more of a question really.

This afternoon I was walking around looking for ‘people’ shots as this week I am the ‘PeopleofSwindon‘ tweeter and was looking for people of Swindon to photograph. As I was walking through Lawn Woods I noticed this withered bunch of flowers leant against the base of a knarled old tree. No message or anything, just the flowers.

Who are they for? what happened there? why that spot?

I have lived very very close to the Lawn Woods for 12 years and I have no idea.

Does anybody out there know what the story is?

Pete