Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mild

 Wrapped up against the mild weather

What a lovely place to stroll

I told you it was mild and dry the other day. Probably why it's been lashing down all morning - now my pals are arriving from England. Oh well, at least they get to see the real island :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weather

We are having weather up here at the moment. Rain seems to have been falling for weeks, gales too. Mick & Bee, wintering over the other side of the Atlantic in Maine with the good ship Hannah told me this m0rning that more gales are heading this way later. I really wish I didn't know that!
Portrait of a horse

On the other hand, yesterday was lovely. Mild and dry with no wind at all most of the day. It seemed a perfect day for a stroll so off we went to the Eishken Estate on the Isle here. Twas wonderful. So quiet, so beautiful with deer on the slopes of the hills around us, seals in the loch and Golden Eagles soaring overhead. There we even the semi-feral horses to talk to.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Soggy Boxing Day

 Eh?
 MV Arran
Evelyn and my Dance Teacher

It's been raining for days up here. Gales howling too. I think The Crofter's coows have probably grown webbed feet by now. Still, it is unseasonably warm so we don't have to wrap up too much.

My dance teacher Karmiena, and Eve posed for me on a recent beach walk when I was lurking with camera with COLOUR FILM IN !. And then 'we' snapped up two views of the Harbour in Stornoway - one of which may contain my image. It vaguely resembles me anyway. It's not digital ICE I need with these colour neg scans but cryogenics!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Greetings all

Winter Beach

Many thanks for taking a look in here from time to time [and here as well ]. I enjoy taking the snaps and sharing with you all - as well as making the up rubbish I write. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read it!
Just want to wish all the very best over this Festive period - whatever it means to you. Take very good care and hope to see you all again soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shopping. What's that all about then?

We had to do a bit. Shopping that is. Tradition demands it for some reason. It's all to do with the Festival of  Conspicuous Over-Consumption don't you know. Luckily, local customs haven't embraced this festival fully yet preferring to get on with the day as per normal. But us English have been infused if not infected with this pagan celebration with gay abandon, drinking the supermarkets dry and emptying the shops as if they will be shut for a month - not the one day [possibly] that they are down there.

After coffee with Lewis Photographica [continuing] on Saturday, Eve and my good-self when into The Smoke - Stornoway, our small capital. The place was heaving. Lovely day though, sun shining and all that. Dosed up with coffee and cakes from Toots and the Windy's we raced around getting a few minor items to send southwards and an extra potatoe for us on Christmas Day. I took the opportunity to snap up the scenes of  mad shopping with a lovely Fujica Slr I have lurking - loaded this time with old Kodak Fine Grained Positive film. That's an old copy film with an iso of around 1 or 2 with a paper-type emulsion, Developed in Multigrade paper developer when I got home, I present to you;
Stornoway gone mad -Wabi sabi;[ a Homage to Nickolai Globe].





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Did I tell you about Toots?

He's happy.

I can hear it ........

 North Tolsta
  North Tolsta

 "So, you're taking landscapes now are you? And pictures of the Callanish Stones too. What an earth has got into you?"
I can just hear it as I walk into the coffee club on Saturday morning with him of the Coelyns bending my ear and Toots grinning from ear to ear - as he is prone to do these days. I must admit that I may have mentioned that 'I don't so landscapes' once or twice.  I may also have mentioned how much the endless snaps of  the stones at Callanish are a particular irritant. But these are different. The snaps at the stones were because I went there to show a work colleague - [see below] - and my picture taking finger got over-excited. The other snaps? Well, I just like the look of snow :-)
"So Mi Lud, there rests my case."


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All change

 John A and friend

 Oh no, not a Stones snap!

 Monochrome rainbow over a croft

Snow. Eh?

No, it's not snowing. Been there, done that. And maybe it'll do it again too. But it is raining now. Has been for days. But when we had snow I did take a few snaps with my trusty Zorki6 and some RolleiRetro400s. You can see some Crofter snow images here too.
And I took a snap of a rainbow - in black and white of course. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Standing

The Tooter stood in the sunlight and shadows and waited while I pointed an optical device at him 


What it says.

Paper-neg in camera then enlarged onto Ilford RC

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Anti Tunnock

The Tea Cake Connoisseur surveyed the feast before him and noticed there were no tea cakes. A candle drooped in his disappointed glare.


I always like a good title. And I think this is one I like. If you visit the Arts Show thingy in An Lanntair in Stornoway you may happen upon some more nice titles. The images there are lovely too. In reality the whole show is lovely. And I have a my eye on a little painting there too :-)

Now, I can hear you all thinking this image is a bit weird. Well, I meant it that way. I didn't happen upon it for a change but used my paper neg [Orwo paper]  in-camera and then enlarged onto more paper [Ilford] technique. Eh?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Artist

We had a visitation from The Artist -previously known as Jon - the other evening which, as you might expect, was most welcome.. Was sat, talked about this and that, ate some food and looked at some images - all in all, a great time was had by all.

 The Village

More of the Village

Only a couple of weeks ago Mr Windy loaned me his nice little Pentax Espio and so, enthused by the possibility of something interesting, I loaded it with colour film. So easy to use and easy to waste film - which, obviously I did. The result was - well, ordinary which I put down to the user rather than the machine. After all, Some people seem to be able to brilliant images out of any camera at all.

An old friend of mine from the soft south of the UK well, the north of England actually, accused my photographs of bleakness. So I show these rare colour snaps to show how bright it is here. Only, the weather is bad - again and I couldn't wait for next year's day of sunshine :-(

There's a wonderful artists work over here which I implore you to look at. It's young Carl Radford.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Was Lowry here?

[Gaelic] Homage to Lowry

After the outstanding success of the last two snaps I posted, I realised I was on a roll - the same roll of film actually - and got to work printing up one of these masterpieces in t'darkroom while a storm rages outside, threatening to rip the ventilation pipe off its fixing. The snap was shot on a camera I found on a shelf around the place - a nice Kodak Retinette 1b as it happens - loaded with movie copy film called Polypan-f from some unknown source.  Shot the image 'on the fly' with 1 sec exposure [ish]. Once the potential masterpices had revealed its negative self I then printed on Adox MCC fibre. Nice eh? Well, I think so anyway. I have an even better one drying still since its short sepia bath this morning. Nothing too much trouble :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GRINNEAS NAN EILEAN



The local arts show at An Lanntair is coming up soon. Paintings by well known artists as well as less well known ones. Photos too - although there's usually  a plethora of beach snaps and images of the Stones. I'm entering a couple and there's not a beach or big stones among them. You know, I might even get in the darkroom and print this wonderful snap of Stornoway and one of its residents. Anyone know who it is??
Still life - moving

Or what about this still-life???

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Uh?


Took me ages to figure out this snap taken with some cheap plastic pano camera. I like though.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The New Place


The Coelyns will be letting their collective hair down this weekend while on a St Kilda gathering in Edinburgh.  Hope they have a great time and come home safely.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rax




I love this fellow's work. His name is Ragnar Axelsson and his work from the far north - Greenland, Faeroe Islands and the like is outstanding. The Video here is lovely too. Take a few moments of your time and enjoy the images. A lot of this work was made with B&W film and Leica Mamiya cameras too :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

lith - eh?

Hector's Peats

Yes, it's an old neg but with a new interpretation - done as a lith print on Oriental Seagull paper. Nice eh? I had a little bit of Rollei-Creative lith liquid left and thought I'd put it to good use.I have now just about recovered from chasing The Crofter's flippin calf [Esme]around the croft - well, the next door's croft actually since it somehow got over fence and wouldn't go back via the gate. After Esme had run us ragged and had some fun in the warm sunshine, she popped down the croft and walked over the low fence. Cow's Eh?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mr Leica Man


I took a trip over to Barvas the other day. It's not generally somewhere I usually go unless the Agricultural show is on or I'm off to snap a photo somewhere. For some reason, the area has not won me over. Still, now I have friends in the area. Two just up the road who have moved there recently of which, no doubt more at a later date, and Colin aka Mr Leica Man [and tells me he's too busy to use his cameras! ] who has opened a shop selling all thing garden machinery. How good is that? The place is packed full of new and pre-used machines and others being resurrected from an early demise. Mr Leica Man has a nice little shed in there too where he can hide and drink cups of green-tea between customers and work. Go pay him a visit, he is such a nice chappie.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My dance teacher

My dance teacher - and her Mum

The sun's still shining here and it's as mild as can be. A lovely walk along the coast was great to clear the cobwebs in the morning but in the afternoon we paid a visit to my dance teacher. 
As it happens, my dance teacher was busy - busy making ginger-bread beings with her Mum while her young brother created the usual havoc and Dad placated him. The ginger-beings were fab - not overly gingerey but just nice. I didn't get any dance tuition.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eroba-Race


That's 'im, chasing at the back [of the break - obviously]

Two more snaps I found among Victor's negs - one of the bike he was / is so proud of and one of him racing :-) Both on glorious AgfaColour slide film.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Victor

 No idea who it is but I love the image!

 Victor?


Our pal Victor is currently sunning himself in Australia at his daughters en-route to a few months cycling in NZ. Before he left, Victor sent me some really old negs to look at and perhaps print. I am so impressed with these three that I post them here - hoping he doesn't mind :-)

Something tells me these were taken in Germany. Victor was in the RAF and was posted there. Maybe it was just after that as the bike was given t Vic by his pals when he left the RAF. I'm sure Victor will know when he sees them. Aren't they wonderful? Oh, and the bike; Eve, my partner rode it this year at L'Eroica bike event in Italy .

Monday, November 07, 2011

Not Morecombe and certainly not wise.



There's unseasonably good weather lurking round the island at the moment. Granted it's a little breezy but the warmth is still there as is the sun. The moon's up too which means I shall be out soaking up it's energy as my wonderful Reiki teacher tells me to.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Miasma of Mince-pie dust concern


Yeah, winter's around the corner

There’s a crisis looming. A surfeit of cheap mince-pies came on offer at the main island outlet. And when I say cheap, I mean less than a bag of chips – although having said that, it’s such a long time since I bought a bag of chips my comparison of prices may be a bit off. The last time chips were bought sans poisons – or even avec – was…. Oh I don’t know. A while back anyway. And what with the hike in prices I may have lost touch. Still, I bought several boxes of pies of the mince over-consumerist-capitalist faux-christmassy type.

I have been putting in some design-time for an on-going photographic project [that is; I thought of a snap to take] and the mince-pies lurking within the packaging on the table in the warming-room came to mind. And I was tad peckish after a long afternoon’s meditation. The box was soon opened and the first of the ‘fine’ [I use the term loosely] food items within consumed. And then I noticed the other items – crushed to a pulp. Mashed and cracked, dead, nailed to their perch. No wonder the very reasonable cost.

Fearing for my lungs from the dust, the pies were soon wrapped within the tums of this household. I should imagine that the ‘erb who dropped the case of pies from a great height in the storeroom or lowered the half-ton of bottled Highland water on top of the case of pies is now lurking down Francis Street as we speak awaiting the Lack-of-Jobs-Centre to open in the morning.

I wondering if there is going to be an outbreak of ‘mince-pie-lung’ [© Wiesmier] in years to come as a result of the miasma of mince-pie dust on  that fateful day.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Just William

The sun shone today-once the lashing rain had departed. My plans to inhabit the darkroom foiled again, as one must enjoy the light when it's here. William, a former work colleague of mine arrived unexpectedly [the text announcing William's possible visitation arrived some hours later when i walked down the road] in his new white van. No string or gaffer tape holding this one together and no odd graphics on the side either advertising a closed down pottery business. We took tea in the Warming room and then enjoyed the air on Garry beach for a while as William explained to me how lucky he was not be working for the same company as as I suffer from.
Of course I took a camera - finishing off a roll of film lurking in the Voigtlander Perkeo since our hot trip to Tuscany.
William enjoying the local Tolsta air - and not talking for the moment!

I did visit the darkroom- albeit with the door open to the warm sunshine as I developed the film.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Am I alone?


Am I alone in thinking that much of the social unrest that is around at the moment - and that is likely to come is because of the gross inequalities in the world that have helped shape the culture within which we now live? There a great article in The Guardian today and, if you want to read a fine book on the subject read The Spirit Level; Why more equal societies almost always do better. [Wilkinson & Pickett].

Friday, October 28, 2011

Darling Eve

A Tuscan day is not like an Isle of Lewis day

For some reason I am struggling with my health again. It's not been a good few weeks at all. Despite my best efforts with meditation and what have you, I'm not getting better at the moment. I am so lucky that my dearest Evelyn is always so supportive and caring and that makes life a little easier to bear.

So, here we have Eve in Tuscany recently with the warm sun pouring through the window. Nice eh? 
Postings may be a bit erratic for while - for which many apologies. Normal service will be resumed soon - I hope :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is it too hot?





To be honest, at the time it all seemed a tad hot. Italy was broiling - up to 40C some days and being acclimatised to The Isle of Lewis, it did seem too warm. Now, with rain coming down for the last few days, storms passing over the island regularly in the wake of the national MOD, the thought of sitting in the warm shade with a cup of espresso watching the world go by in Tuscany is rather more appealing.

I rather admire the hoardes of tartan clad personages who have been roaming around Stornoway in search of  a dry spot, or a dram or, in the case of one bakery, a dram soaked Stornoway black-pudding bun!

But now I'm about the brave the weather again the evening for work, Tuscany again feels along way away