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culture

Time for change #review

You might have noticed that my blog posts have changed this week. I want my writing to be more successful and to be read by more people. I’ve decided to concentrate my efforts in one place on A Zillion Ideas and make better use of my photography too. I can optimise the SEO better on my other site using a plug-in as well.

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Summer events and landscapes #photography

The end of spring and through the summer is the events season for me and I hope to do a lot more this year. The first carnival is next weekend. I’ll still do landscape photography, but will be photographing people more and so I’ll try to either get close to them or zoom in with a 18 – 105 mm lens. (more…)


Pollen and other hazards #Sunday ramble

MANOR HOUSE (10)

Welcome to another Sunday ramble when I take you on a wander around the less trodden pathways of my mind. It’s the pathways up my nose that are concerning me today as my sinuses get blocked with spring pollen. (more…)


photography and writing #review

HYDES POOL (156)

Just about everyone has a camera now and so professional photographers complain that it is hurting their business. I think the professional can still get much better shots and so will be used for weddings, but these days news photographs and stock photos often come from expensive smart phones. (more…)


Community events #Sunday #ramble

1 Brendan Hawthorne

Welcome to my Sunday ramble, when I ramble on about whatever happens to be on my mind. I was out at the local church hall taking photos for a charity event last night and so I’m struggling to stay awake today. (more…)


Driving me crazy #review

BC (41)

I’m not as young as I used to be. I look at things I can’t change and become resigned to it. I appreciate many things more as  experience has taught me they are valuable. I saw a comment by a young driver who thinks all old people should be banned from motorways, because  to him they hog the outside lane. (more…)


Offers and special buys #thrifty

The Aldi super-six this week are red onions (1kg), sweetbite peppers (150g), chestnut mushrooms (150g), rhubarb (400g), Jersey Royal new potatoes (500g) and green beans (220g). They are all 59p each and the offer lasts until Thursday 4th of June. (more…)


local landscapes #photography

BC (52)

This landscape is nothing special, unless you live in one of those houses on the right or recognise the road as being in your neighbourhood. Photographs are part of art and so stimulate interest and the more ‘engagement’ there is the more valuable the picture is to the viewers. In 50 years time this will be treasure! (more…)


Dark secrets #Sunday #ramble

Welcome to another Sunday ramble and today my lead picture is of the mill pool. It looks scenic, but if we dig into it’s past will we find dark secrets ? On the other side of the pool is heathland, but part of it is now a school field for what used to be Menzies high school. (more…)


How to get the perfect shot. #photography

SANDWELL (43)

Most cameras are really smart now, they can recognise subjects and have built in light meters to help you get that perfect picture. They can’t do everything though, what if you want a dark mysterious picture? Then you have to set the camera yourself, rather than relying on auto settings. (more…)


It could be worse #Sunday #ramble

So, the Tories pulled a fast one. Instead of targeting Labour seats they went after the Lib Dems instead. It makes sense, rather than go after  the left wing constituencies, they swayed the middle of the road voter to turn right. It could be worse though, even though we have five more years of austerity. (more…)


online and offline marketing #thrifty

The Aldi super six this week are baby plum tomatoes (275g), baby corn (135g), salad potatoes (1kg), snack pack grapes (170g), fun-size apples and white mushrooms (380g). They are all 59p each and new offers start on 21st May. (more…)


American civil war re-enactment #photography

WEST BROM MANOR HOUSE (122)

My first picture today sets the scene, you can see the soldiers and their tents, but you want to see more. This was an American civil war re-enactment that I photographed on Sunday. It was hard to get close to the action, but I tried to zoom in as much as I could, despite the explosions! (more…)


Rain, what rain? #Sunday #ramble

Boer war  (146)

I took today’s photo a year ago at West Bromwich Manor House. The Boer War re-enactment group is there again this weekend for a re-enactment of an American civil war battle. The bank holiday weather isn’t good. As usual, we have rain. At the moment it seems to have stopped and we’re British, we just go on! (more…)


Changing light

HYDES POOL WEDNESBURY

As we move through spring, everything changes for landscape photography. There are amazing floral displays as the trees blossom and the light seems to change every day. There is now a better chance of getting good light and dramatic effects in the evening now the days are longer as we approach the spring equinox. For some photos you need the morning light. (more…)


Perceptions #Sunday #ramble

DSC_0118

Today’s picture is of the Walsall Canal as it passes by Moorcroft Wood. Someone said it could be the English Countryside. This is what I see when I’m taking photos, others see the graffiti and a much more scary place. They see  symbols showing support for  nationalist EDL and the tags that say I’m someone, when they are really no one. No one of any importance anyway. (more…)


Nature changes #review

MANOR HOUSE (10)

Time doesn’t stand still, the leaves are coming on the trees and many are covered in blossom. Nature changes and we have to change with it and adapt. Nature does fail to adapt to extremes, the frost often kills off plants. Nature likes gradual change and so do we, we can adapt to that. (more…)


St Georges day parade #photography

STONE CROSS  (72)

It’s St George’s Day on Thursday, but the events were last weekend. This is the Stone Cross St George’s day parade in West Bromwich. When I’m photographing an event, I try to tell a story in pictures and then add words to the story. (more…)


Memories #Sunday #ramble

7 APRIL 2015  (61)

This is Wednesbury Market, my local market. In the past the council have tried stopping other markets and car boot sales setting up too close, by claiming that this market has a royal charter. It is generally accepted that the market does have a royal charter, but the truth is the royal charter was given to the lord of the manor and not the council, for two fairs a year; not two markets a week! (more…)


Markets #GE2015

7 APRIL 2015  (18)

I photographed the local market in Wednesbury this week. Do you suppose all the goods on sale were British? Me neither. We live in a global market now and everything seems to have a price. I have been helping students with their writing and one has graduated and got a job in Shanghai, she asked my advice this week. (more…)


Markets and shops #thrifty

The Aldi super-six this week are cucumber, lemons (3), little gem lettuce (2), broccoli, onions (1 kg) and baking potatoes (4). They are all 39p this week and the offer ends on the 22nd of April. (more…)


Tipton Narrow-boat gathering #photography

TIPTON BOATS AND CANAL

It was Easter weekend and there was a narrow-boat gathering and although the weather was cloudy I got some decent shots. I took this shot on a landscape ‘scene’ setting, but then switched to manual for this better shot. (more…)


Heritage, art and culture #Blackcountry

In the Black Country the culture has an eclectic range of influences. People have come from many countries and brought their cultures to influence ours. The main source of influence though is the industrial past. (more…)