Oh Goody!!!

William Leymergie has FINALLY left the breakfast television show on France 2.  Made my day, if not entire week! Almost makes getting up in the morning an interesting idea…


Newspaper – what’s that?

I think we are going to have to redefine this word – I mean, they do still exist, even in paper/print form, but some of the « title’s » have lost so much credibility.

Take this one for example.

This used to be called a newspaper – now it’s referred to as a ‘tabloid‘ (a bit like celluloid, but used to cover tables, litter trays, the bottom of bird cages etc.)

Newspapers used to employ journalists who went around collecting news and then writing about it for the general public to read, and so inform themselves of what was happening around them.

Tabloids like the Daily Mail don’t have to employ real journalists as they have a staff of writers, with very active imaginations, who either invent things for their readers, or ‘interpret’ photographs with funny captions to amuse everyone.

An example of an image, and the caption obviously written by someone high on magic mushrooms:

« Jolly holiday! Never-before-seen photos capture the Royal Family being greeted by crowds in Scotland in the 1950s (and reveal the Queen Mother’s close bond with her grandson Prince Charles) »

I couldn’t invent this if I tried! If you’re really lucky you also get a thing called a « Katie Hopkins » a sort of failed Big Brother candidate who has an opinion on everything, but mostly what people couldn’t care a less about. Even after a lobotomy operation earlier this year it still goes on and on and on about, well, pretty much anything and everything – I can’t help thinking it would make a wonderful Queen or Prime Minister or road sweeper. Sadly the ‘off’ button has yet to be found – but it’s amusing I suppose in small doses.

If you have an imagination, shout a lot and can use a keyboard, I strongly suggest trying to get work with a journal such as this – after all, no spelling or punctuation skills needed, just make up all sorts of guff and get it published. Can’t think why I didn’t think of this myself…


They’re still out there – and they’re growing…Who, might you ask?

These idiots…

This is part of the clan Kardashian (There are loads: Kylie, Kim, Klitoris etc.) – they do very little, but earn money BIG time. Seemingly kept afloat by the worlds implant industry (breasts, lips, bottoms etc.) they spend their time flaunting their distended bodies all over the world’s press. The midget to the left has an arse the size of Dorset and an IQ in single digits, and the one giving « the finger » ain’t too bright neither! The one in the middle is learning to touch her chin with her tongue – beats working for a living.

Each and every one of the clan claims to be a ‘style’ icon, which I suppose is true in a way – however, the actual ‘style’ has yet to be realistically defined – ugly comes to mind – the midget has actually been seen parading around in some interesting ‘designer’ curtains…shame no-one thought to close them.

Come to think of it, this was probably the reason their step-father decided it was time to become a woman…

A Day, an Image…3

This is an unusual image.

We were visiting MAAT – the Contemporary Art Museum in Lisbon, and came across an exhibit explaining light, heat etc. and infront of us was projected a real-time image of us, filmed by a heat-sensitive camera. Great fun.

IRIX Lens update

For once UPS actually managed to deliver a parcel to the correct address, and yesterday I finally received my new lens. It’s a beaut! Very well made, with the focusing mechanism smooth and well balanced. Sadly yesterday was a day of very mixed lighting and little available time, so my initial test shots are meaningless to anyone other than myself.

To fully understand the wide angle properties of this lens you’d normally have to compare this shot with the same scene taken with a less extreme lens. Which I didn’t have time to take… A full set of comparable images will be available soon…

Suffice it to say I like: The size and weight, the infinity ‘stop’ (very useful in night-time photography) the hyperfocal distance scale (as it’s a manual focus lens) and the general build quality.

I’m waiting for the gelatin ND filters to arrive – then we’ll have some more fun!

This example was taken almost directly into the sun (fairly obvious really) and I’m impressed with the fact that there is very little flare – a well corrected/coated lens.

A Day, An Image…2

Todays image involved a little planning…

This is the Vasco da Gama bridge which spans the Tage river basin on which Lisbon is built. The older Western part is more important in terms of it’s size, but the Eastern edge of the basin is fast developing and the 12klm long bridge linking the two sides was opened to the public in 1998.

Before visiting Portugal I had seen a photograph of this bridge taken in the early morning, and it looked worthwhile to visit. I checked the time of the sunrise (6h11) and the approximate angle relative to the bridge (thank you Google Maps) and decided that it would be feasible. What I hadn’t counted on was the scale of our map of Lisbon – what I thought would be a half hour walk from our hostel was in fact an hours bus ride plus a half hour walk!

With WiFi available everywhere in Portugal, we checked for buses, metro, trams and sure enough there was a night bus that ran every hour – so I left the hotel (alone I might add) at 4am to walk down to the bus stop, where I caught the bus with a surprising number of other people (most of whom got off at the airport, presumably shift workers) and thanks to my bus pass, paid 1.30€ for my hours trip. When I arrived at the terminus, the dawn was breaking so it wasn’t too difficult to decide which way to orient myself and I walked along the riverfront to the bridge.

Interestingly I was not the only photographer there that morning – there were at least 3 others. Anyway, I think it was worth it…of course, when I go back to the hotel, it was just in time for breakfast – that’s planning!

A Day, An Image…1

In the unlikely event anyone is actually interested, here’s a little of the history surrounding some of my recent images. One a day…

This is the Place Luís da Camoēs in Lisbon, facing West. Our hostel overlooked this very animated square, with an ebb and flow of people and activity virtually 24 hours a day. One morning, as we were leaving the square to explore Lisbon, an elderly lady (Why is it always elderly ladies who feed wild birds?) poured a large amount of corn on the ground for the pigeons.

Pigeons eating infront of a monument really isn’t anything to write home about, so I decided to liven things up a little. Take the focus and frame the shot, finger on the shutter button, stamp foot – marvelous!

Style Update

I wouldn’t want any of my fan (no ‘s’ – there’s only one) to think I’d forgotten one of my favorite people – haven’t heard much from her (thankfully) recently, but she’s still here, sadly in France, scaring the locals around her hotel in Paris.

Who can this be? Well, from this photo who would you think?

Canadian Super Mario? No, it’s Celine Dion – apparently just been called out to fix a blocked sink somewhere. Frankly anyone who thinks rubber dungarees are ‘in’ is either an overpaid Canadian singer or has just returned from an extended stay in a far away galaxy.

Luckily she’s sporting her plumbers glasses – equipped with LED’s so she’ll be able to navigate under the worktop and sort out those nasty drain issues.

One could be mistaken thinking her choice of shoes somewhat odd for a plumbing job, but I’m led to understand this is actually her skin – all those years of  playing with René-Charles and the twins have taken their toll.



With any luck, this should arrive tomorrow…
(referring to blog post from March 2017)

It’s the new IRIX 11mm f/4 Full Frame – and I have to admit this is great news. Being a fan of extreme wide angle lenses, this lens is very interesting as it’s a genuine full frame (24×36) and not a fisheye. It’s a manual focus lens, which is not really inconvenient to me, and has a ‘hard’ infinity stop – which is VERY useful when taking night shots.

The downside is the huge domed front element which prevents using filters – however, IRIX have designed-in a gelatin filter holder behind the rear element.

The angle of view of my existing extreme wide angles (14mm – 114°and 16mm – 107°) is pretty wide and fairly distorsion free, but this 11mm is a whopping 126° – can’t wait to start using this…

Watch this space for examples

Back Home…

Yes, we’re back from a superb time spent visiting Portugal – what we saw we liked (particularly the bridges!!) and the people and the food were excellent.

The difficulty now is to come back down to earth – the over 2000 images I made have been sorted with a first pass on the site as an album – there are far too many images, but I’ll reduce this as time goes on.

Since arriving back I have also photographed the Fête de la Musique AND a presentation at CiRCa – I’ve decided to rest now…

This is the Vasco da Gama bridge which joins the West and East parts of Lisbon – getting up at 4am and taking the night bus, to get there in time for the sunrise, was an experience! Hopefully I’ll have time to post more images in the next few days.