Ordinary People Doing Ordinary Things

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The Dog’s Tail

I’ve noticed some of my blog posts now come with adverts. I don’t endorse any of these products but I’m guessing it’s the price I’m paying for this free blog writing facility here on WordPress ? Such is life. I’m also guessing that my blog is now sufficiently popular at 602 subscribers to warrant such advert attention. I’m flattered kind of.

That’s not me in the image above by the way. This bloke was capturing the sea so I took the opportunity myself. He didn’t mind although I’m not sure he fully understood my approach. He had a standard digital camera with a neutral density graduated filter on. Not my approach but hey it’s a broad church this photography lark. I very often find photographers a bit reticent to talk, engage in conversation. They can be a bizarre bunch can photographers.

the wife with her own camera and a straight horizon

My main problem with shooting seascapes is getting the horizon dead straight. I know you can straighten in the edit but for me the challenge is to get it right in the camera and negate the need for cropping. If it isn’t straight it tends to get deleted. The Fuji X Pro with the standard lens I find is easier than the Nikon D300 with zoom lens I find but it still takes practice and concentration.

The wife has discovered the joys of mobile phone photography while on our holidays. We were sat in the caravan listening to the rain and looking at her images from that day and doing some impromptu editing although she didn’t realise it. Two very similar images of the dog on the beach and it came down to the angle of the dog’s tail. Whether the one with the tail pointing up was better than the one with it pointing down. Yes it was that finite ! In my opinion the one with the tail angled upwards was the better, she turns to me and says “is this what you spend hours upstairs doing on your computer?”. I think she’d finally arrived at a point of understanding with my images.

 

A Traditional English Pastime

Filey Bay – East Coast of England

Every silver lining has a cloud in front of it. I’ve given up bothering with the Top 75 Blogs in the World Badge posting it onto my Blog front page thing I was awarded the other day. It’s technically beyond my capabilities. This can be the frustrating thing about utilising the internet to show your work digitally. There’s far more digitally savvy blogs and websites out there on the net than this one but my mantra at my age is to keep it simple or if you want an acronym ‘kiss’ …. ‘ keep it simple stupid’. I mean I’ve still not got my head around such things as ‘trakbaks’ or ‘pingbaks’ and other such jiggery pokery. I think I’ve just about managed widgets which I initially thought were little nitrogen gas things that were put in the bottom of cans of beer to give putrid keg  beer that just pumped out the barrel flavour and texture. Horrible, ghastly stuff it was too.
I’m guessing by the number of followers this blog has gained since I started it that my Photographs that Inspire me Series has been quite popular and well received. I’ll continue it for as long as I can but I can’t hang on to the shirt tails of the Masters for ever and so I’m duty bound to post some of my own stuff.

Here  is one from my recent holiday to the East Coast of England. It’s grand to see that despite today’s modern life that the building of sandcastles and sculptures while Grandparents and Parents look on still exists. This one surely would not look out of place at one of the world’s top racing circuits ?

Recently one of my work colleagues was described as a ‘common Northerner’ by an irate lady he was trying to placate. I had to laugh. You can’t take an insult like that seriously. It has to be treated with the mirth it deserves but if has got me thinking of a possible long term photo project. Stay tuned. I do hope you enjoy this blog.

Basking in the Glory for now

 

Firstly a warm welcome to the 600th Follower of this Blog. It feels like a milestone reached although amassing followers is not my primary aim for keeping this Blog going. Believe it or not I do it for the pleasure ( and pain ) and challenge. There is no financial gain here.

Another achievement this week is an email from an admirer. This Blog it seems has been selected to be in the top 75 Street photography blogs in the world. I owe this success to you the followers and I thank you for your continued support.

Anuj has sent me the code for a badge of honour which I’m entitled to proudly display on this blog which I will do just as soon as I can work out how and where to put it. If you’re reading this Anuj then I’d welcome some guidance please ?

I shall of course be looking at all the other street photography blogs in the link, not to check out the competition but to continue learning from others.

Hi Andy, 

My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot. 

I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Engage the Street has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 75 Street Photography Blogs on the web.

http://blog.feedspot.com/street_photography_blogs/

I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 75 Street Photography Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

Also, you have the honor of displaying the following badge on your blog. Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your blog.

Photographs that inspire me – A series

Chris Killip

From Chris Killip’s body of work and book In Flagrante I’ve always been fond of this image. I have the poster showing this image from Killips’ Serpentine Gallery exhibition. Martin Parr has a large print of this in his office. There’s elements in it which remind me of my own childhood. The duffle coat, the sock and sandals. I looked a lot like that little boy. The man reminds me of a character Ken Baggaley  who used to live just down the road from us at Salisbury Crescent. I’m sure he’d often wear a jacket like that and a shirt buttoned at the top just like that. He used to work at a local engineering firm where my Dad worked and if he saw you he’d shout across the road at you, “hey up how tha goin on?” no matter who you were with. This image was taken up in the North East of England.

Convention ? Conventional ? Not If I can help it !

Last weekend me and the wife went to a party. A very special party which by most standards let me tell you was quite something. It was a Golden Wedding Anniversary and Staff Party combined given for about 1700 people. So special was this party that the Company responsible for the catering was so proud of their achievement in producing a three course sit down meal for said number of guests that they produced a marketing video to show on You Tube. Just watching this video brings a lump to my throat in remembering the evening………… and I was just a guest !

Me and the Mrs with matching trousers !

The invite to this party which arrived several weeks ago placed no dress restriction on the guests other than with it being a Golden Wedding Anniversary suggested a hint of Gold and to ‘look fabulous’, the interpretation of which was open. After much deliberation the wife and I decided we’d dress smart and casual for a warm summer evening. Now I’m not normally someone who likes to stand out from the crowd but then again I’m not a suit and tie, dickie bow and cumberbund man either. Frankly I’d rather dress up as Coco the clown than wear those things ( some might say I did do? ). It’s just not me and it’s not the Mrs either. So in taking up the Gold theme I got myself some yellow chinos which I knew I’d wear again and pushed the boat out with some cheap and cheerful Gold LED trainers off Ebay. The shirt I’ve had about two years and being vaguely goldish fitted the bill perfectly. So the get up didn’t really cost me much at all.

However arriving at the doo I immediately began to regret my fashion enterprise. I kinda stuck out like a sore thumb and I have to say I could feel some odd looks from both men and women. Not from people that knew me but from strangers. Strangers who’d stuck to some unwritten convention and were in the main wearing suits, jackets, Dickie bows and cumberbunds etc. I even got a couple of comments, one of which suggested I’d dressed down and the other from a man who queried whether I’d come as the clown, ‘did I do turns?’ he queried. How rude ! By the time we got into the massive and sumptuously decorated marquee ( a posh tent ) I was feeling slightly nervous and anxiety had kicked in the point where I was wondering where my appetite had disappeared to. It took a glass of wine to settle down and begin to enjoy myself and dismiss any negative vibes that I might be feeling. As it was I got more positive comments than negative but sometimes if you’re not a wholly confident person you always focus on the negatives instead of the positives don’t you ?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this little episode this week. It’s no use saying I didn’t give a shit about what others thought or how I looked because clearly I did otherwise I wouldn’t be talking about it now would I ? and It wouldn’t have played on my mind ?

The thing is, I don’t do convention or the conventional. I positively strive against it and the older I get the less conventional I’m determined and want to become and this applies to my photography. Simply put I don’t want my photography to be like everyone else’s. I don’t want to have to play by the rules of others If I don’t have to, written or unwritten. Nobody pushed the boundaries by being conventional and the same applies to photography. It was an important reminder to me.