Tag Archives: portraits

Backwards glancing…

When we look backwards what do we see? Times gone past. Childhood. Memories bubble up. Rocking back and forth. Here and now, then and gone. We wind our way, on, on. Seize the day! Make it pay! Squeeze the essence and live every moment. So our mind’s eye can see and not forget…

 

Memories of childhood

A long glance backwards

 

The winding path

The winding path

 

Making memories

Making memories

 

 

 

 


Generational battle on the slopes

Now, all that drinking and dancing malarky in the last post (see here) is actually peripheral to the main event of a skiing holiday. Which, of course, is to get the adrenalin going by carving down the slopes as fast as possible whilst looking as elegant as possible.

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Me. Going fast. But not elegant…

I have to admit, there is some rivalry in the camp on this point. And, to be honest, I’m losing on both counts. The problem is the teenage children. They’re faster, they’re more elegant, they’re more skilful. Godammit, they’re just better, and there’s bugger all I can do about it!

13, going on 23, and skis like the dancer she is.

13, going on 23, and skis like the dancer she is.

Handbrake turns, easy when you're 15.

Handbrake turns, easy when you’re 15.

Even the jumps hold no fear

The jumps hold no fear

Even a coxcomb hat doesn't slow him down

Even a coxcomb hat doesn’t slow him down

Youth of today

Youth of today

Luckily I can divert my put my pent up ambition to be the fastest slope-man to one side and admire the view. Stunning.

The mountain pass

The mountain pass

The volcano mountain

The volcano mountain

The run into St Christoph

The run into St Christoph

But then the boy whizzes past me at over 100kph and the race is back on! Elegance be damned – I need the speed!!!

Schuss, c'mon - Schuss!

Schuss, c’mon – Schuss!

 


Dancing underwater

I think I must be a very trying father. The kids start to complain the moment they catch sight of a tripod. If we go for a walk they demand I leave the camera at home. Not that I ever listen. And secretly I think they like some of the images…

A nymph and jewelled light

A nymph and jewelled light

This summer I got them to dance underwater for me. Immy went for the elegant look, Charles the muscular…

the joy of being a teenager

the joy of being a teenager

Dancing to her fingertips

Dancing to her fingertips

Me looking at him looking at me

Me looking at him looking at me

 

I wonder what the kids will think? They’ll probably remember how I got them to swim back and forth endlessly posing underwater. But given I’m a trying father I shall keep on trying. And one day they will see these pics as the joys of summer – good memories now the weather is deteriorating.

Immy and her shadow

Immy and her shadow


In praise of fun and exuberance in front of the camera!

 

I was doing a shoot for a corporate client the other day. Portraits for their new website. The blokes were easy – in, pose, snap snap, thanks and out. The ladies were sooo much more concerned – lots of primping before they would come near the camera. But I photographed the kids the other day and it was the other way round. Easy with the girls, tough with the boys. So when does that switch happen then?

 

Good friends

Ah, 13 is a good age…

 

Not a happy chappy

Not a happy chappy

 

Photoshoot turns into dance off

Photoshoot turns into dance off

 

He cracks, and I almost get a smile...

He cracks, and I almost get a smile…

 

…and now the girls really go for it!

…and now the girls really go for it!

 

There’s nothing like a good jump shot. Loved them ever since I saw Lartigue’s photos from the 1920s. Fun and exuberance in front of the camera. Maybe I could try that next time I do a corporate job…? Mmmm, maybe not. Just to show I can be a dour old so and so, but also love a bit of a jump, here’s a couple of me:

Cool beard!

Cool beard!

 

Peck - you're bonkers!

Peck – you’re bonkers!

 


An emotional evening of dance…

 

Dance show-27bw_small

 

Josie is a dance teacher. Every other year her dancing classes put on a show. 24 dances, performed by the kids, on stage, full lighting & music, packed audience of Mums, Dads, Grans, Grandads, Aunts and Uncles (and in our case a slightly reluctant teen brother…). The show is very slick and professional. Pride bursts out from the audience. But the best emotions are on the stage, writ large by the kids…

There is passion and beauty…

Passion and Beauty

Passion and Beauty

Elegance and refinement…

Elegance

Elegance

Refinement

Refinement

Hesitation…

Hesitation

Hesitation

Fun and laughter…

Fun

Fun

 

Laughter

Laughter

 

There is calmness…

Calmness

Calmness

 

and confusion…!

Confusion

Confusion

 

There is belief…

Belief

Belief

 

And there is ecstasy…

Ecstasy

Ecstasy

 

And finally, there is love

Dance show-62bw_small

 

A big thank you to Josie. How wonderful to be responsible for all these emotions…

 


Dubrovnik is full of character(s)

There’s nothing like a bit of street photography – a chance to capture some character portraits. And Dubrovnik is full of characters. So here’s a selection from a Dubrovnik day.

Marin Drzic, poet.

Marin Drzic, poet.

OK, so I’ve cheated a bit at the start. Not so difficult to capture this Croatian poet. But he’s got a good smile, a bullet hole in the neck (the recent war) and a shiny nose ‘cos people stroke him for luck. Clearly a character, he’s in!

Going shopping

Going shopping

Next is a nun on a shopping trip. Early morning croissants for the nunnery… Well, maybe not, but provisions must be bought, and she’s not hanging around. Off to the market…

Stuffed peppers for dinner

Stuffed peppers for dinner

Once shopping is done, gossip must be shared. And there are lots of ladies doing exactly that:

Gossipers 1

Gossipers 1

Gossipers 2

Gossipers 2

Meanwhile, outside the city, the oysters are harvested for fancy restaurants. All done by hand of course.

Oyster catcher

Oyster catcher

This guy is fishing for his lobster dinner

This guy is fishing for his lobster dinner

And it all ends up at the fish market

And it all ends up at the fish market

Some have time for an afternoon stroll, whilst others have to do the chores

Time for an afternoon stroll

Making the most of the afternoon

Whilst the young ones do the chores

Someone has to do it…

As evening kicks in the youngsters kick off. First of all the good girls come out and strut their stuff.

Still gossiping of course...

Still gossiping of course…

And inevitably the good girls turn into the bad girls, the way of the world…

Out for some fun...

Out for some fun…

What a fantastic place! Everyone a character, and all out on the street. Couldn’t put the camera down. Loved it. If you get the chance, go.

(If you like this post, check out this one about the beautiful city)


From Thin Lizzy to the Beatles…

I haven’t been to pub gigs for years, and now I’ve done two in two weeks (see last post). Just like London buses!

Crap Beatles-17bw

This one was for charity (Streetchildworldcup.org) and instead of Irish folk and Thin Lizzy I was back in the 60s with  The Crap Beatles. (That’s not necessarily an ironic band title…)

Crap Beatles-22bw

Crap Beatles-10bw

A good chance for a singalong you might think. After all everyone knows the songs… But surprising how rocky and hard core the classic Beatles songs can be when stripped back to guitars, bass and drums.

Crap Beatles-3bw

Crap Beatles-6bw

The evening was made by the antics of the singer. He’s clearly in the wrong band. He’s got more in common with Roger Daltrey or Freddie than either Lennon or McCartney. His voice isn’t quite the same, but posing is his forte…

Crap Beatles-16bw

Crap Beatles-23bw

A night impossible to forget… And some money raised for a good cause. That’s probably my last pub gig for some time. Get me back to the O2!

And colour crashes in!

And colour crashes in!


The boys are back in Dublin town

When I was about 14 I trekked up to Newcastle Uni with a bunch of mates to see Thin Lizzy. Got my Dad to drive us up. The band, being a hardened, boozy, tough-guy rock ‘n roll outfit, didn’t come on stage until midnight. By which time we needed to head back home (….@*!?@?…) 

Jody Cahill from The Crooked Jacks

Jody Cahill from The Crooked Jacks

All this came bubbling up because I’ve been in Dublin for a week, and Phil Lynott, bless his bass playing soul, is all over the place. Statues, photos, memorabilia. Actually the whole city seems dedicated to its rock stars – U2, Van M, Shane MacGowan etc. They’re everywhere. It’s a music city!

Live at the Temple Bar Inn

Live at the Temple Bar Inn

So it was great to see some trad Irish music at the Temple Bar Inn, and sink a few pints of the black stuff. Tourist bar it may be, but hey, once work was done, I was in tourist mood.

4 piece band - it's all you need.

4 piece band – it’s all you need.

Bit cramped, but they're young and can cope

Bit cramped, but they’re young and can cope

The music was provided by The Crooked Jacks, and very good they were too. And I loved the Temple Bar  (500 whiskies to try out… and that’s on top of the Guinness). 

Banjo twang

Banjo twang

Thin Lizzy may have to remain a distant dream for me, but I got my fill of Irish music (and Guinness), managed to see the whole set and get back to my hotel room for a good night’s kip. Beats trekking up to Newcastle!

The Crooked Jacks

The Crooked Jacks


How do you know you’re on an exotic island?

Apart from the lovely warm weather and the beautiful hotel (check out: what makes a hotel great ) there were some other signs that we were somewhere rather more exotic than cold windy octoberish Essex…

Soufriere and The Pitons

Soufriere and The Pitons

St Lucians are house proud, demonstrated by their colourful roofs. Much care and attention goes into choosing just the right colour. A choice, all of our taxi drivers assured us, best left to the ladies…

Banana leaf

Banana leaf

Fern and coconut

Fern and coconut

The vegetation is extraordinary. Luscious and green, and huge: warm weather and lots of rainfall. Exotic vegetation leads to exotic food – bananas of course, plus pineapple, mango, breadfruit, plantain, sweet potato, cashew nuts, nutmeg and mace. All the sorts of fruit we buy in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – it comes from here, literally…

not for the faint-hearted...

not for the faint-hearted…

Mixed up with the exotic food are some exotic animals. The island specialises in tarantulas, boa constrictors, and a particularly poisonous snake called the Lance de Fer. Not that we got close to any of these – you can see in the pic that Mrs P and Immy were staying well back from the spider. Got a lot closer to the fish however – snorkelling on the reef by the beach was amazing. Just zillions of fish!

John the Fisherman

John the Fisherman

A dog's life

A dog’s life

Fishing village

Fishing village

Some exotic characters too. John, the chap above, is a fisherman by trade. He told us he is 53 and has never slept outside his village, not one night, ever. Why should he? He has everything he wants here.

Our lovely beach

Our lovely beach

Getting in amongst the waves

Getting in amongst the waves

So we have to leave this lovely place and get back to reality. And therein lies a truth about the exotic. It seems exotic because it is so different to home. But you need home to allow you to recognise that difference. Long live exotic holidays!

St Lucian view

St Lucian view


Sunday lunch gossip…

Sundays has always been a time for the family to come together and talk. Roast beef provides the occasion, Gigondas the stimulus, and off the conversation flows…

A certain amount of alcohol has already been consumed...

A certain amount of alcohol has already been consumed…

And when two brothers come together then of course the old stories flood out. The re-telling of family anecdotes provides much merriment.

Have I told you this one before?

Have I told you this one before?

Did you really say that?

Did you really say that?

Do you remember when...?

Do you remember when…?

The Sunday meal has done its job

The Sunday meal has done its job

And the next generation, and the next but one, is there to soak it all up. Long live Sunday Lunch!

(At least he hasn't grown a beard yet...)

(At least he hasn’t grown a beard yet…)