Monday, December 31, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Remember the real reason for the season.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So back to today's topic: print-on-demand (POD) enterprises. Some of you may remember how excited I was about finding a company that made prints of my work that were just as good as if I had made them myself slaving over my own square-eyed monster (the computer). ImageKind has continued to prove themselves as a firm I can entrust my most prized images to for top-quality treatment. Case in point: my Mammatus and Crepuscular images.
This series of images was captured from the drive in front of my English farmhouse and lasted for, oh goodness, almost 2 minutes. Luckily I was able to capture a few that exceeded my expectations. One in particular I got my creative digital artist fingers into and made what I think is a stunning image very suggestive of an oil-on-canvas painting. So, off it went to ImageKind to be printed on canvas and shipped to me.
Awesome doesn't begin to describe what I pulled out of the shipping tube a couple of weeks later.
Rich colors, fantastic textures and the incredible feel of heavy canvas boasting an image I created on its surface. It went right from the Post Office to the Frame Shop at RAF Lakenheath(since this is a personal piece I can use their services) and now, hanging on my family room wall, it a piece of art I am very fond of.
Now, as promised: bad news and good news.Bad news: this particular print is MINE and if you want it, you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.
Good News: this particular image is available for you to purchase (along with many, many other of equal quality) from my ImageKind New Arrivals galleries. The print you see is 32 inches x 21 inches set in a 1-inch deep distressed black wood frame.
Well-done ImageKind and RAFL Frame Shop. You make my images (as well as my walls) look great!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So imagine how chuffed I was (chuffed is an English term meaning excited and currently without a Wikipedia entry) when my wife called from the States saying she had found a large American flag at a second-hand shop. From her description of it, it sounded like a "casket flag" of the type used at the funeral of a US Armed Forces veteran upon their burial. Sadly, it was folded and hanging from a coat hanger.
Upon the flag's arrival back here in England I found it was indeed a casket/storm flag measuring 5x91/2 feet in size and manufactured by the Valley Forge Flag Company of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The stars are made of individual pieces of cloth sewn onto the blue field as opposed to being completely embroidered as most flags I've seen lately are. The two brass grommets have the number "2" stamped on them. Not sure if this gives an indication if it's age or not. Sadly, there were a series of stains (they appear to be from the flag being wet, perhaps stored wet) below the star field running through many of the white stripes. Happily, after numerous washings and a couple of attacks with a toothbrush and stain removed they're almost gone. I'm still in the process of trimming the stray thread from the stars. As far as age I can only say that it is a 50 star flag and dates itself to the post-1959 timeframe.
OK, you have a big American flag. So what?!?!?!
I photograph many US Armed Forces family members to include active duty Air Force members as well as a fair number of Boy Scouts, both of which look just cracking in front of a huge US flag. As this one was 1/3 the price of a new one, if nothing else it was certainly good value for money.
But here's the nostalgic part of me making an appearance:
What's the story behind it? The thrift store it was found in (Valley Thrift) is located just a few miles away from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Dayton has quite a large number of military retirees. Casket flags are used in the funeral service of an honorably discharged veteran and presented to the family at the conclusion. Was this flag used for this purpose? What was the history of this veteran; what had they seen, what stories could they (or did they) pass along to the next generation? Had the family member passed away and the flag been found and donated? Was it used as a casket flag at all or as a storm flag?
I wish I knew as I have mixed thoughts about using it. Am I showing disrespect by using it in the course of my photography (properly displayed according to the US Flag code, and only for the aforementioned purposes)? On the other hand, might it mean more to someone having their portrait made with a flag honoring a veteran?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I was fortunate enough to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Paris and witnessed young couples in love staring deep into each other's eyes. In one instance there was a proposal at the top of the eiffel Tower and in another Paris was where an engaged couple purchased their wedding rings. Love was definately in the air.
Along with the veritable bucketloads of love being flung into the air is the flip-side of love: war. Paris was the scene of revolution, upheaval, plague and the depths of human suffering at the hands of one another in the name of... whatever you mind can come up with.
Just outside of Paris is the palace of Versailles, a spectacular display of planning and workmanship. It very nearly bankrupt the country of France as it was being built. Aside from the intrigue and treachery it was witness to over its lifetime, Versailles is a marvel of engineering at its pinnacle. Engineering on a grand scale no less. I've been in many a village around the world that would fit nicely inside the stone and guilt iron perimeter many times over with room to spare. Impressive for sure.
Many more images are on the way from this trip, I'm working hard at trying to get them out in time for the holiday season. Check back to see if I've made my self-imposed deadline!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
An Active-X plugin from Photodex is required, the software company that is responsible for dragging me kicking and screaming into the world of streaming image content!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Arriving home I opened the case and no kidding, I think I was the first person ever to rent the movie. Not a single scratch on the disc. Not a smudge. Clean as a whistle. And it was utterly enjoyable until about the 10th minute when it started to crap out. You know, pixels appearing, stutters and the like. And yes, I checked it in other players and with similar results and it continued throughout the remainder of the program. So much for seeing singing dancing cats.
On a similar topic, my daughter's copy of Barbie of Swan Lake looks as if it was mauled by a belt sander yet doesn't skip a beat.
Thanks Mr. Murphy, wherever you are.
PLEASE NOTE: I've gotten a couple of comments from my European readers that some of my "James-isms" don't readily translate. So, where possible, I'll try to link to sources that help explain some of my peculiar terminology. Love the Wikipedia!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I am, of course, referring to the lawn.
Arriving in England in one of the driest summers one could remember I foolishly assumed every summer would be like that one, that the tales of rain and mist and cold penetrating fog were the by-product of a people wanting to keep the "good stuff" to themselves.
And then there was THIS year. No kidding, I would have to take the battle to the lawn every 5 days. Not even a whole week went by before I stepped out into this 3-acre nightmare of continuous greenery once again. With a walk behind mower, no less.
So I was filled with glee (scary thought) when I 'rounded the shrubbery in the front yard and came across a small stand of silvery mushrooms sprouting up through the lengths of grass blades and fallen leaves. So, in typical James style, I quickly abandoned lawn care and grabbed my gear for a 30-minute session spent on my belly trying to capture this little treasure, this fall surprise that I found in my yard.
And when I was done, in typical James style as well, I mowed it flat.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It is forcast to rain quite a bit here in England today so it is a perfect day to sit inside and be creative with my images!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
First, let me say that the Apollo Victoria Theatre is a grand structure seating just over 2,400 people in a very classy art deco style (as it was built in the 1930s) and fits the production quite well. The stall seats on the floor have nary a bad view until you get close to the front. Reasonable priced drinks and all the fixings for a fun evening to include popcorn and ice cream at intermission.
So, without going into any plot-wrecking details, let me say that this show was simply fantastic! There were quite a few twists and turns along the way that made good use of the existing Wizard of Oz plot and certainly give one a thought or two to ponder on the way home. The singing was spot-on and for once the sound didn't blow me out of my seat (unlike our experience seeing Phantom of the Opera last month). The leads were strong singers as they usually are but Kerry Ellis, who plays Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West), just blew me away with her voice. She is quite impressive and reason alone to go see the show (if you only needed one).
So suck it up, spend the bucks and have a fantastic night getting WICKED in London.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Yes, eggs. The kind that chickens lay. On the farm. Not the sterile uniform shapes you see in the local supermarket but the eclectic variations of size, color, texture and shapes that you only get from chickens that run around the farm eating who-knows-what and laying their eggs behind office doors and on the seat of the tractor.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
When friends and family come to visit us (no matter where we are) its an excuse for us to visit the places we don't get to see because we're stretched a little thin. Yes, you're all an excuse for me to have a holiday! So, when Jill's folks came to visit one of the places we visited was the Queen's cozy little getaway at Sandringham in Norfolk county not far from the city of King's Lynn.
Inside the house proper there was no photography allowed and after viewing the incredible number of art works I can see their point (reluctantly) but what a feast for the eyes of a confirmed car nut when you entered the museum's car section which is thankfully open to photography!
This Rolls Royce was one of my favorites and the touch that set it off for me was the hand-painted seal just above the trunk (boot) release. With my reflection in the mile-deep paint I couldn't resist my one chance to show everyone that I really HAD been "seen" on the hood of the Queen's personal car!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
So, if you wonder if I've dropped off the edge of the English coastline, fear not. Just getting organized (again) and preparing for a week of my wife's parents and one of her brothers coming over the pond to visit us.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Not long ago I was able to photograph the time-honored task of sheep shearing. A couple of observations I made during the event:
- You should be of short stature in order to minimize your need to bend over,
- You should be strong as an ox in order to wrestle a full-grown ewe or ram into an unnatural position,
- You should love what you do.
By month's end the livestock will be moved to summer pastures, my twice-daily walks through the farm will be but to collect eggs. I'm glad to think of them in a large grassy field, but then again the kids and I enjoy greatly the chance to go to the barn and walk among the, to talk and pet Ben and Dave and Daisy in the cow pens. To look for Puppy, Spot, Patch, Dominic and Mr. Texal in the sheep pens and chase the wayward lambs back home to their mums. But they'll be back in the fall and we'll welcome them.
Friday, May 04, 2007
On the home front: still no rain. After the driest and warmest April in recent memory we still haven't gotten any measurable precipitation. A fencing project around the yard (for rabbit control, pesky little, well... pests) is on hold as you can't get into the ground at all. Good news is the clouds have moved back in, let's pray for rain!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
The "kids" a.k.a. the 3 song thrush chicks talked about in this post and this post have been sighted multiple times in the yard acting just like three brothers: dive-bombing each other, fighting for food, that kind of stuff. Great to see that they've stuck around as the thrush population has dwindled in this area from what I've been told. Hopefully they will discover their singing voices soon, right now they're just yappy noisy kids!
The mole is no more! My youngest son Jordan discovered it in a trap Saturday morning whist mowing the monster, er... the yard. From his size I'm guessing it was the Poppa mole. I was amazed at how soft his coat was and how HUGE his paws were. Now I know why they're so destructive.
In related mole news, the boys caught a LIVE mole. In our BATHROOM! More as that situation develops.
The Boy Scout trip was great, a 1-mile hike with full gear from camp to the beach end and back, then a 10-mile hike from Stiffkey to Wells-next-to-Sea along the salt marshes of the north English coast. No injuries during a session of sand dune free-fall time and everyone made the hike with only minimal injuries to feet due to new boots (despite warnings, don't get me started).
And finally I've discovered the incredible diversity in the (seemingly) mundane world of eggs. I grew up with eggs coming into our home 12 perfectly formed copies at a time, all white and clean and perfect. Well, they don't all come out that way, especially if you have "farm" chickens around. Here's a sample of my egg portrait series.
Monday, April 23, 2007
With any luck they'll hang around and settle into our little corner of paradise so I can write about them a little more and perhaps take a better portrait next time.
No, not MY kids. The kids in the nest. You know, the thrush chicks that hatched just before we left on holiday. THOSE kids. They're gone. Outta' here. Flown the coop, so to say.
I will say that they were in real need of a bigger place. Three of the four eggs hatched and they were jammed into the nest rather snugly. No, it was worse. It looked like a soup bowl with three feathery gaping squawking beaks in it. I was happy to see the mum in a wanut tree in the front yard this morning, singing her heart out. So, I'll assume the kids are fine and growing fast since I didn't discover any of them with the lawn mower. Egads, that would have been horrible.
It was a short stay but it was great seeing what I almost pulled out of the double-blossom cherry tree go from mess to nest to home. Fly fast, fly free (but stop in for family photos if you please)!!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Having been gone on holiday this past week I'm always poking my head into camera stores around the world. While in Innsbruck, Austria I finally found one that takes photography as seriously as me!
But seriously, holiday was great. We were back in the mountains and of all the topography we've experienced over the years these are our favorites. We saw some incredible sights, met some great people and might have even gotten a decent photo or two. Most importantly I'm fully recharged and back at work full-steam. More from our trip to come in the weeks ahead.
Friday, April 06, 2007
I was quite excited a few weeks ago to discover the beginnings of a bird nest in the cherry tree of the front yard. Initially a collection of birch twigs and straw, I wasn't sure it would even hold water much less a wiggling young one. But as the weeks progressed I was amazed at how it began to take form and as of 2 weeks ago the inside was a perfect bowl shape, lined with soft grass and moss. Amazing. Not long after, 4 blue speckled eggs appeared. I was going to have quadruplets (surrogate, that is)!
Yesterday while mowing the monster (a.k.a. the yard) I took a quick peek in and saw one chick out and a second struggling to get the shell off of his head. A quick snap and I've left them alone to get a bit of nourishment from mum. Hopefully I've correctly identified the egs as belonging to the Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) with the help of our farmer friend, Graham. Close cousin to the common blackbird (Turdus merula) I'll keep observing from a distance to get a definative ID as I've yet to get a good look at mum on the nest.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
In other news, the weather in England was AWESOME for 3 whole days and is now back to what is considered stereotypical English weather: cold and fog. Even at 3pm I can barely see the Necton church steeple and the wind turbines of Swaffham are somewhere out there (white windmills in fog, even I haven't figured out how to photograph that situation... yet). I'll let you know when that photo is available!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Despite being covered in 6,000 hard spiked spines, the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) doesn't top my list of creatures to be feared while "in the wild" much to the disbelief of some of the Boy Scouts I work with. While camping on Terceira Island in the Azores, Portugal I had one crawl inside my tent and wake me while sniffing around the opening of my sleeping bag. When I realized what it was, I went back to sleep and lived to tell the tale the next day.
This guy was almost flattened by my van as I pulled out of the driveway. Luckily he survived and later in the day I was able to photograph him (or her) whilst rummaging through the flowering hyacinths for bugs and slugs. He's welcome in our yard anytime and quiet honestly would love for a group of them to move in, as long as they sleep in a place where I wouldn't accidentally run over one with the mower.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Despite being covered in down and feathers, the birds feel the cold as well. Winter finds them in need of high-energy food and the reason suet cakes exist (bird feed in cakes of lard... YUM!). A trick they use to keep warm is to fluff-up their plumage. The spaces between the feathers holds in the heat they generate and is the reason why poofy down jackets are so warm. This little guy (a blue tit) was fluffing-up and looked like he was about to explode!
We also have a new neighbor; a cow in the buildings behind our house delivered a calf over the weekend. I'm doing a sort of "farmer apprenticeship" program with the father and son who run the farm, what fun! I'm sure it will provide the meat of many a future post. Stay tuned.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Take this morning for an example. The birds in my back garden feed pretty heavily between 7-11am, thus I'm pretty active at the camera stand during those hours (see my blog posts for the on-going saga of "the blind", link below). As the morning went on I would shoot, switch cards out and continue shooting while downloading and running images through CaptureOne. I'd shoot a little more, switch cards, run the keepers through my Photoshop template actions for my CafePress greeting cards. Shoot a little more, keyword, upload, create descriptions, shoot a little more. So, in those three hours I was not only able to capture my little friends feeding and grooming but process the images, catalog the images, create products out of them and have them available for purchase all within (literally) minutes of the images being captured.
Despite all the changes that have taken place in the process, the motivation is still the same:
We've come a long way, baby.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Paul is one of a handful of old-fashioned honest-to-goodness print makers using traditional methods involving such items as plates, ink and presses (like, no electricity or CPUs). He and a group of fellow printers had the ability to have a gallery show in London and I was invited to attend (and I said YES of course)!
So, Saturday found Jill and I driving down to Epping to catch the Tube into London. Morely Gallery is just a short walk from the Lambeth North tube station and the Imperial War Museum and a 5 minute walk from the south bank of the Thames River and the London Eye.
We met Paul who was not only nice as could be but also took us on a tour of the print making facilities of Morley College where he creates his masterpieces. Here's a photo of Paul and I (he's the distinguished looking chap on the right, I'm the pale hobbit-ish bloke on the left) in front of his display area.
Be sure to visit his website to learn more about him and his art, fantastic stuff. An incredible day topped off by incredible weather and my first ever serving of fish and chips at the Three Stags Pub. Highly recommended though you might want to take your cholesterol medication just before eating.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Birds are cool.
Most of the people I know would agree but have already conjured mental images of bald eagles, red tail hawks and the like. I'm referring to the little guys that are coming in ever-increasing numbers to my back yard feeding station.
Blue tits, robins, sparrows, blackbirds. THOSE birds. Plain old ordinary residents of everyday backyard feeders. If you have the time and can sit and watch then, it can be quite a laugh.
Our yard has what I refer to as a "yard boss" and he is the smallest of the three robins I see regularly. But there is no doubt that HE is the boss, HE controls who comes and goes to the feeder from his perch on the bird bath. He squawks, he jumps, he flitters and chases if he were a child of mine I likely would have tied him to a tree just to hush him up. He is quite comical to watch when he gives chase to a blackbird 3-4 times his size AND WINS.
They say that when you pet an animal it releases 5-6 different pleasure hormones and helps lower blood pressure. I haven't given bird-petting a go but I will say that as the "yard boss" does his thing and the blue tits burst into a furious fit of movement (see photo) all seems right with the world for just a moment, and sometimes a moment is all you need to make it through the day.
Monday, March 05, 2007
I mention this as I had the distinct pleasure to finally go camping (if for only one night) in the fabled woods of England called Thetford forest. As if that wasn't exciting enough (for me at least) it was also the first night camping for many new Boy Scouts that had made the transiting from "cub" to "boy" and were now entering the world of the boy-led camping world (and all that one might imagine that entails).
Having just endured a week of stuck-on-the-couch illness I figured a night in a tent would either cure me or kill me and at the moment either was a welcome option. Suffice it to say I survived with nary a scratch and was pleased beyond reason to discover we hadn't missed the total lunar eclipse. Best of all, everyone lived although the kids with wet sneakers (trainers) weren't all that pleased about it. When asked by my wife how it was I remember thinking it wasn't quite a "fine and pleasant misery" but it certainly had potential.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Photographing military aircraft or the aurora is much easier than photographing teeny-tiny birds. Even the bigger ones are wiley and smart with eyes like eagles (duh James).
While not a fantastic shot, this is an example of how close I'm able to get to our resident red-legged partridges (called Frenchies by the local farmers). My office has 2 large doors that open onto the back yard and with the air of curtains and some clamps I'm able to create a "blind" of sorts to view the action.
With spring approaching, more and more visitors are showing up. Earlier this week we saw a pair of great spotted woodpeckers. My youngest daughter was watching blackbirds in the bird bath when she said one of them "looks wrong" and upon closer inspection I realized why. Improvements on the blind are planned, will advise when there is more to report.
I should also let you know that more and more images are being added to the fine-art print galleries. Having recieved works from this fantastic e-commerce partner I can say with utmost confidence that you will LOVE the results. If you're looking for something extra special consider ordering a print on canvas. Incredible. something you'll pass down to your children.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
So finding myself in the middle of London during the Chinese New Year celebrations left me a bit... wanting. Mostly for solitude.
We had taken our family to London for the day so you might imagine how a parent with two little ones dealt with the crowds. Mostly by afflicting the girls with the grip o' death among the swarming masses of humanity. This was also my first real trip into London (I had arrived at Heathrow 6 months ago but promptly boarded a bus for new diggs in Norfolk) so I was attempting to take in this historic city in between glances around me to find the little ones. I must say it is an amazing place and one which I plan on documenting in my own way at a later date (sans children and crowds if I have my way).
Since this wasn't a "working" trip photography was a second-tier activity but I was able to get an image or two which lent themselves to my artistic interpretation of the day and have just been released as a short series of blank greeting cards. We'll see if subsequent trips to the urban jungle produce similar results. Hopefully without the whole of England along as well.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
With great joy I announce the publication of my book:
"Unique Imagery From Around the World: Stories and Techniques Behind Their Creation"
Filled with some of my favorite images from Alaska, the Azores, China and Venice, Italy this book endeavors to let you in on what happens behind the scenes of a single image. Weather, culture, technical considerations, the whole lot.
More information as well as excerpts from the book are HERE!
Friday, February 09, 2007
As you may or may not have heard, England is suffering from one of the biggest snow falls in 4 years.
Well, most of England is.
Knowing that chance favors the prepared mind and that mine is nice and new (I keep it in a box so I don't use it un-necessarily) I set up Jill's nifty little Canon S3 on a tripod in hopes of recording a series of images showing our yard filling with with a glorious gift from the clouds.
And yes, the titles are on the correct images.
The top photo was at 9:30am. The bottom one at just before 11 as I returned from my accountant's office.
The kids got out of school early.
They had a 2-hour delay today.
They got sent home just after being picked up.
There is LESS snow in my yard now.
I love the Brits but they don't know JACK about snow.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Mother knows best. We all have heard it over and over again but for some of us (me) it takes a couple of hard knocks to the head for me to listen sometimes.
My Mom has told me numerous times how she wished she had a certain image on a notecard. Mom is a big fan of cheering people up by sending a card with a simple message inside. In this day of instantaneous communication using modern technology the art of hand-writing a card or letter is becoming a lost art (and a sin I'm blatantly guilty of).
Finally realizing yet again of just how smart Mom is I have begun releasing a series of notecards featuring my images in full-color on the front and a "ghosted" black and white image inside. Each package contains 6 cards as well as envelopes and are available in a growing number of designs. If you have a favorite image you's like to see on a card simply let me know!
Monday, January 29, 2007
Bullfights are scarce in England.
Birds, on the other hand, are not. Even in the course of the winter season there is a plethora of both big and small feathered friends about the property. So, adapting to what has been presented me, I have began in earnest to photograph my littlest friends.
Late last week I was working on capturing a very active resident of the property feasting at the seed feeder. The Great Tit (Parus major) is a small bird with vivid yellow breast covering and moves with great speed. Setting a position to photograph from is greatly eased as they feed just outside my office doors that lead into the garden. Closing the curtains and applying a couple of clothespins and I have an instand blind which also allows me to coma and go at will.
During this session a subject suddenly presented itself, a bird of a different color, so to speak. Skimming just above tree-top level came a pair of RAF Apache Longbow helicopters, the same kind that recently participated in the extraordinary effort to rescue to downed British soldier. Quickly shifting from one bird to another I was able to get one frame of the helo before it disappeared behind another line of trees.
Then the Great Tit, as if missing the attention, chirped and sang while on the feeder. Posing for me.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
But most of the time its work, work, work. Keywording images for stock publication distribution (boring). Cleaning camera equipment or backing up image libraries (more boring). Filling out paperwork for governments or accountants (the worst).
Somewhere in between those two extremes is time spent creating designs based on the images captured during the exciting times (made possible by the work done in the boring times). Yesterday I was in front of the dual-screened devil known as my computer creating note card designs and as usual took a short break to peer through the curtains into the backyard to watch the birds at the feeder. My spirit soared with delight at the sight of fat fluffy flakes of SNOW falling from the sky.
Just a couple of posts previous to this I had lamented at how my winters seemed doomed to be remembered as the time of extreme rain and wind storms instead of lawns filled with the main ingredient of a well-built snowman. Now, a million unique designs a minute were washing away my cares. I was rejuvenated.
Design on, photographer. Design on.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
My guess is it will never equal the massive dump we saw on Saint Patrick's Day in Anchorage but at
this stage anything would be a welcome change. I should also mention that the SEE ROCK CITY birdhouse in the photo was supplied by my Mom who was kind enough to send me another one for my garden here in England. LOVE YOU MOM!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Winter to me used to be snow, snow and snow (and not necessarily in that order). With those three magical ingredients you could become occupied for hours making snowmen, quinzee shelters or pelting the city busses with snowballs. But for the last 2 years (and perhaps the next three) winter has taken on another meaning.
England is the second island I have lived on that is in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite being a 4-hour plane trip north of the Azores, winter here seems to be the same as it was there: windy and rainy. This morning just around 8am there have been wind gusts of 99mph reported at the Needles on the coast south of London. The winds here have picked up greatly and torrential rain squalls are frequent. Polar winds are to follow the storm but I'm not getting my hopes up for any form of wintery precipitation. In fact, if you were to peer into my head when someone says winter you'de likely see this image flash into my brain. Storm battered coastlines appear to have replaced snowmen.
Experiencing life around the world is part of the life we lead and because of this we can bring you such images. We continue to meet fascinating people and make great friends and often we both wax and wane about the "good old days" when winter meant snow. What will it be like when my kids are grown I wonder?
To view the image shown in various framing and matting options, click the link below to be taken to my ready-to-hang fine art print gallery:
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
From the news it sounds like the "typical" weather of my childhood has reared its ugly head in the States with my mother-in-law reporting 7 inches of snow and -10F temps in Nebraska.
It may be hard to believe but strange weather can often give you fantastic results with your camera if you seek out the opportunities.
This image is from the forthcoming image gallery of amazing cloud images I have collected over the past few years. When strange weather happens at odd times the sun is often in a different position than it normally is when this type of system develops giving you a chance for a rare series of images.
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