Tag Archives: Nelson McGrath

Blur

No, not the band, but rather, using the focus, or lack of focus for effect. 

Four great photos – 1) Colouring pencils; 2) Those who know JZ, will know that he is not afraid of a camera and showing all and any of his moves.  Here is one of ba-zillion I have of him posing for my camera, or any camera matter of fact; 3) This little fella was laying easy on a beach on Stromboli, Italy.  Pity he was dead; 4) A great photo of Cuba at Jav’s and Jordan’s goodbye party.  Appreciate the blur!

Get the Point!

The JZ Blurred Boogie

Praying Mantis on Volcanic Rock

Cuba and Javan


Holidays

What do you think of when someone says ‘holidays’?  Maybe sand between the toes, cool cocktails and long lazy sleep-ins? Or is 5 star hotels, taxi rides and city spots?  Or early flights, lonely planet guides, and ‘stretched-arm-photos’?  A mixture of all of the above?  Yep, I hear what you are saying.  I can almost see your dreamy eyes stare into space as you contemplate a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

I too had mind-pictures of what kind of photos I should add into this weeks post; a close-up of a colourful long drink beside a turquoise pool, or a footprints winding away down a long golden beach … yeah, couldn’t find those; how about a nice hotel in a funky part of an old European town … nope, not there either.   I was getting worried, thinking my photos are just not going to cut it, but I started to see a common theme in my photos.  Let’s see if I can explain what I mean.

When you travel, holidays can mean many different things.  However, you always have the opportunity to spend time with the locals …

When in Rome, prepare to pay

… but you should try to blend in …

Which one is the local of Edinburgh?

… and even if you feel top of the world …

Jungfrau - top of Europe

… and you want to hug everything you see …

Travel does strange things to people

… things can change.  You can be easily confused with cultural differences …

Always pack the right shoes for the circumstances

… or stuck in traffic …

Moove, hairy coos

… remember to rest when you get the chance …

Comfort was a rare option for this little one

… and lean back, take a load off …

Its good to see the entire group relax together

… because no matter how you feel …

Do I look fat in this?

… you’ll always have a great time  with your friends …

Great image for a great bunch

Enjoy all your travels and holidays!


Black and White – Part 2

 Back in Black and White!  As you remember, from my previous B&W post, Black and White photography is a classic form.  Whether you like the way it looks on your wall, or the focus on subject rather than colour, or they way it makes your portrait photography look classy, you have to admit there is something about it.

The photos I have posted can be grouped in twos; a pair from Portobello Road Markets, and a pair of animals from Africa.  Portobello Road Markets are quality markets in a nice area of London.  As usual, they are directed at tourists, but there is something extra there, something that if you had the money you could get yourself some very groovy bits and pieces to display in your house.  That, of course, means there are some very cool things to take photos of, including rows of old cameras and retro sporting equipment.  I can’t have the items, but the photos will dress up a wall very nicely. And the Africa photos … well, the rhino stood in the water long enough to give me a great reflection, and the elephant has more character than the Muppets!  As always, enjoy!

Rhino Reflections

A line of lenses

Old boots and a boxing bag

Ivory and Wrinkles


London Southbank

I love obvious titles, and London Southbank satisfies.  In London, and on the south bank of the Thames.  So clever.  With smart remarks to the side, the Southbank is a classic and must-see, or should I say ‘must-do’.  It has a path that winds along the river, through markets, past culturally-iconic buildings, displaying postcard views, and delivering food and streetside entertainment throughout any season.  Do my photos capture that?  Not even close.

I’ve watched street dancers flip and spin, I’ve bought books that are over 100 years old, I’ve watched the sun set through the buildings of London, I’ve experienced street hustlers trying to scam tourists in games of shells or cards, I’ve been there in the rain, the cold, the summer, in a rush, at a stroll, by myself, with friends, late for an appointment, as a tourist, as a local, before dawn, after dusk, to see photos, to take photos, to hear and see Shakespeare, to experience the London Symphony Orchestra, but … but …

Do my photos show the Southbank? Not properly, not even close.  However, a small taste until next post.

The Eye at Night

The Lights light the way

Pow - graffiti at the skate park

Blurry vision of the Eye


People

For most of early photos, back in the day of my automatic 35mm camera, I used to wait for people to get out of my photos. My interest was nature and landscape, not tourists and slow-coaches. But, as I have progressed and learnt as a photographer, I realise that people can bring life to a photo. Even if the image I’m trying to capture is a landscape or wildlife photo, sometimes a well positioned person can show depth and scale to a photo.

And then other times, people just make great photos. Smiles and laughs, poses and stances. You would have to agree, make some of the best memories!

Speaking of memories, here is a few I’ve captured. The first shows that too many cooks don’t spoil the broth, or the barbeque in this case. The ever busy, ever bustling square of Djemaa el Fna is always good for some food action. The next is a humourous little moment I caught in one of my many wanders around Hampstead Heath; it was a beautiful day with everybody out enjoying the weather, and this couple obviously enjoying the tree.

The third is a stunning photo. William would be the first to say that he is no supermodel, but I think Will, his hat, and two paintings from Jane, his wife (I always think of the line from the Jetson’s when I say that), make a very striking image. Some brilliant colour.

And finally, one of my favourite people photos. It kind of speaks for itself. Jackie has great facial features for photos. Congratulations on being a mum, Jackie!

Djemaa el Fna Smokey BBQ

Two sets of legs in one tree

Three of Jane

Jackie - B&W


Panorama

Richard is the guru of panorama, he has some very classy panoramas (as you may of already noticed).  However, I had a fair go at it.

Two photos are just cropped (giraffe and elephant), but two others are six or more photos stitched together.

Elephant on Etosha salt pans

Giraffe on Etosha salt pans

Greenwich Panorama

Three cliffs Bay Panorama


Sunsets

Sunsets – The end of the day is just the beginning!

I have seen some amazing sunsets in my time, as, with no doubt, you have as well.  Sunsets defy our constant need to rush, and make us slow down.  With the burning ball of bright light sinking slowly but steadily towards the horizon, we stop and stare.  Protected from its intensity by the impurities in the atmosphere, we are amazed over and over again as the sun sets to make way for the night.

The first two photos are from Namibia.  The first at Etosha National Park. Since you have to be back in the fenced campsite before sunset, so you don’t get locked out, our truck pulled into camp after an afternoon safari with only minutes left of the sunset.  With camera in hand, I jumped out the back door before the truck had stopped and sprinted through camp towards the nearby waterhole, hoping for a nice reflection, or maybe an animal.  As I came close, a group of giraffes were meandering towards the waterhole.  Without pausing I circled the waterhole, putting one of the giraffes in front of the sun.  I rattled off a few shots before he moved for a drink.  The second one, on the beach at Swakopmund, Ingrid and I were taking a relaxing stroll on the beach when a father and son came to fly a kite in the afternoon breeze.  The silhouette is so striking.

The third was taken during a walking safari in the Okovango Delta.  As we were heading back to camp, we passed a larger section of water.  Another small group were being ferried across.  I just had to wait for them to get into position.

And the final shot was taken from the roof of a textiles store among the souks of Marrakech, where we had a great time with Mohammed, a wonderfully friendly local happy to serve us Moroccan Mint Tea and talk about the recent changes of Morocco and his experiences living in different cities.

Sun framed giraffe

Father flies kite

Mokoro bathed in Sunset

Birds above Marrakech