Thursday, 29 October 2009

Craft and Contemporary Design Show

Off to Wellington College Crowthorne (near Bracknell) early tomorrow morning for a Craft in Focus art fair over the weekend. Open 1pm to 6pm Friday and 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. We will be setting up tomorrow before the show opens so hope the traffic is all right so that we arrive in good time. Call by if you are in the area and want to see several hundred of my fine art original photographs, books, posters, talk about courses or just for a chat.
Hope to see you there. Dave

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Birkenhead Lecture

Off to Birkenhead in an hour or so to give a lecture to the Birkenhead Photographic Association. Same talk as Monday night, Peak Light. Quite a nice day here so hopefully lots of people will turn to see my pictures and hear what I have to say.

Another show at the weekend coming. This time in Crowthorne near Reading. Just the 3.5 hour drive compared to the 4 hour drive to Sevenoaks last weekend. Saw quite a few Christmas shoppers last weekend and hopefully we will see more of that as we move closer to the Christmas.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Lecture at Retford near Worksop

Not quite recovered from the show at the weekend; I strained a muscle in my back unloading the car at midnight last night after driving home from Sevenoaks. Had some acupuncture and massage this morning which has eased it considerably.

Off to Retford near Worksop tonight to give my print lecture Peak Light. Starts at 7.30pm so will have to leave in a couple of hours. Just time for a few scans for new book Lake Light.

Walking to Buxton tomorrow if back sufficiently recovered. Forecast is for rain all day which will not be pleasant. Spending day in Gallery in Pavilion Gardens.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Sevenoaks Contemporary Art and Craft Fair

We are in Sevenoaks this weekend at the Sevenoaks School for a Contemporary Art and Craft Fair. Up early on Friday and on the road by 4.20am. Setting up at the venue by 8.30am and open at 12pm. Bit of a squeeze fitting everything in, width was fine but depth 2 feet less than normal.

Friday afternoon was reasonable and Saturday was good. Lots of visitors to show.

This morning our good friends Lin and Chris, who live close-by, called in. Used to go to college, work, play football and walk the hills with Chris in 70's. Could have chatted away for hours but they were on way to North Wales so just saw them for a few minutes.

Last day tomorrow, 10am to 5pm. Come by and see my latest photos and have a chat if you are able to.

Same again next week at Crowthorne near Reading but before that have lectures Monday and Wednesday evenings and Buxton Gallery all day Tuesday.

Just watched Match of the Day. Hope we remember to turn clocks back or we could be at show very early!
Dave Butcher

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Catch Up

Still catching up after Nordic trip. Last weekend we did the Great Peak District Fair in Buxton. A busy show both days with over 10000 visitors. Shipped some orders Monday and had a flu jab. Tuesday found me in the gallery in Buxton Pavilion Gardens all day. Managed to get some exercise too by walking the 12 miles there and back. Nice morning but jolly damp on return.
Today I ran a 1-to–1 darkroom workshop. Now watching Chelsea play in the Champions league and leading 2-0 with 40 mins to go.
Tomorrow prepare for weekend show in Sevenoaks.
Dave Butcher

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Great Peak District Fair

Good to see old friends at Deeping Camera Club yesterday for lecture, especially Tony and Derek.

On way home from staying with our best friends Rob and Annie on their narrow boat just north of Coventry. Went for a walk today but it was in the rain so no pictures. Bit flat in this part of the world. Had a very nice evening meal and a few pints at the Greyhound pub at Hawksbury Junction. Very nice metal canal bridge outside pub, one to come back to.

Tomorrow we set up for the Great Peak District Fair which opens on Saturday at 10am. Entrance is free and runs to Sunday at 4.30pm. This is more than an art fair, it is combined with a farmers market and the Buxton Beer Festival. All the exhibitors are from the Peak District. Maybe see you there.
Dave Butcher

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Buxton Gallery in the Gardens

Tomorrow, Tuesday 13th, I am in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton all day, 9.30 am to 5 pm. It's a bit quiet at this time of the year so I will take my Lake District contacts in with me to mark up those that will possibly go into my new book. I am walking the 12 miles there and back so don't want to carry too much more than this. The weather today was great so am hoping it holds for tomorrow too. Did some printing today and will do more Wednesday; still trying to catch up after Nordic trip. Big show at the weekend; The Great Peak District Fair also in the Buxton Pavilion Gardens. Looking forward to that. It's a mix of art fair and farmers market, free entry so you've no excuses! Should be busy with maybe 10,000 visitors over the weekend.
Dave Butcher

Monday, 12 October 2009

More Lectures

Just back from giving a lecture in Chorley near Preston. It was Peak Light again and a reasonable audience size of 45-ish. Another very friendly club and an enjoyable evening. Next one is Wednesday in Market Deeping near Peterborough. This will be my 4th or 5th visit and we always enjoy it there.
Dave Butcher

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Oldham Camera Club Lecture

The lecture season starts today for me (September to April). Just packing up my lecture Peak Light and getting ready to go to Oldham Camera Club tonight. This is my latest lecture, and the start is 7.30pm in the Gallery Oldham building, Lifelong Learning Centre. I have been to them lots of times in the past and they are a very friendly bunch so I'm quite looking forward to it.
Dave Butcher

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Harman Ilford Film Processing Service

Just swapped emails with Steven Brierley, sales director of Harman Technology who make the Ilford black and white products.

They recently expanded the processing services they offer and now do 120 roll film through a high quality processing machine.

With about 100 rolls to process and at least 500 a year, this is good news. I hate processing film, it's not a creative step - I process every film in the same way, and it's veruy time consuming (about 45 minutes for every batch of 5 films).

Keeping fingers crossed they give me a good price and the quality is what I would produce.

Watch this space for my verdict on quality.
Dave Butcher

Nearly Home

Well, we survived the 18 hour ferry crossing, including dinner and breakfast. But it was very bumpy.for a few hours, as in ship feeling as though it had been dropped onto concrete!

Just an hour or so from home, a bit south of Ashbourne.

Quite a trip. 17 days. Started with windmills at Kinderdijk in Holland, then Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Norwegian fjords, mountains, waterfalls and wooden churches, Swedish lakes, trees and coast and some Viking boats in Denmark.

Can't wait to go back, especially to Norwegian fjords and mountains in better weather.
The End.
Dave Butcher

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ferry to Harwich

Clear blue sky and warm in Copenhagen this morning. Drove west to Roskilde for photos of the cathedral.

On way out went past harbour area and spotted some old boats. Stopped for a look and turned out to be Viking museum and the boats were reconstructions of Viking ships. Very impressive. This was mentioned in our guidebook but no idea it had such an extensive area as this.

From here we headed west over Storebaelt bridge and down to Egesund Slot (castle). One of the big attractions in Denmark, according to guidebook. Unfortunately it was closed (our info said it should have been open) and couldn't be seen from any access point outside the grounds.

Time was marching on so decided to head directly for Esbjerg and ferry home.

Now 3 hours into our 18 hour crossing having had dinner on board. Weather making it a rough crossing with winds of force 8 according to ships announcement. Will allegedly lessen to force 4 in few hours time. Yippee!

Roll on Harwich.
Dave Butcher

Monday, 5 October 2009

Copenhagen at Night

Another bright morning in Stockholm.

Not impressed by Best Western Kom Hotel. Everything needs an electronic card for access. To reach our room needs use of card 4 times. Even need card to get into breakfast room which is next to reception. Our cards stopped working and took another. 2 sets before all well. There were other issues too. Suggest it be avoided if possible!

Left Stockholm before 9am heading south. Stopped a couple of times but otherwise just kept going. Decided better to take more shots of Copenhagen than detour to Malmo and arrived in city a bit after 4pm.

Checked in, dumped bags in room and went straight out to Nyhavn for images around the harbour with old sailing ships. From here went to Rosenborg Slot (the Royal Palace) taking photos at twilight.

Walked back to hotel past Tivoli, which was in darkness. Lots of signs and decor for Halloween. Looks like they are saving themselves for this.

Took some more photos of the Copenhagen Wheel at night. Better reflections than previous set on way through 2 weeks earlier, very little wind.

Keeping fingers crossed ferry on time. It was delayed Saturday by 18 hours due to bad weather. If all well should be home Wednesday late afternoon.
Dave Butcher

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Stockholm Day and Night

After all the heavy rain of yesterday it was quite a relief to look out of the window to a dry morning. It was cloudy but there were signs of brightness.

A swift breakfast and then out taking photos. Flat light to start with then sunny late morning to 1.30pm.

Wandering around the narrow back streets near the palace it was helpful to have flat light. Any sunshine would have made the images very difficult to print.

With big cities there is a pretty standard list of places to try and photograph;
Palaces, parliament or city hall, cathedral and large churches, harbour, forts and castles, any other notable areas and buildings, well lit buildings and reflections on water at night.

I managed to do most of these before the rain arrived just before 2pm. Had a break back at the hotel before going out again for night shots and dinner, in that order!

It was dark a bit after 6.30pm and went round taking some shots.

Had a very nice meal near the palace and finished by taking a few more photos on way back to hotel. Finished for the day about 10.15pm.

Tomorrow we return to Copenhagen, maybe stop in Malmo en route. Will see what the weather brings.
Dave Butcher

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Mora to Stockholm

Woke up to a bit of a dull day although the sun was trying to break through for the first couple of hours. Bit of a frost too. Not much wind so good reflections as well.

Photos of trees and lakes before headed further south and hit rain.

Stopped off in Orebro a couple of hours west of Stockholm. Steady rain now. Tried to book a hotel but same story as Ostersund - everything was booked, this time for a sporting event.

Visited the old part of Orebro, Wadkoping, which has a lot of the old buildings from the city centre. They were moved here when the city was developed a couple of hundred years ago. All timber, mostly very rustic.

Took just a handful of shots from the shelter of a canopied gateway then made a dash for the car. Heavy rain!

Decided to go to Stockholm, if we were to be within 2 hours of the city we may as well be in it. Rang the hotel already booked for tomorrow night and extended our stay to include tonight also.

No more photos, just 2 rolls all day (20 images). Hope it dries out for tomorrow.
Dave Butcher

New Lake District Courses Available Now

We are still in Sweden but have just received confirmation from the accommodation in the Lake District that all is well with our bookings.

The new courses will run in March, early May and September and be based in Eskdale. Stanley House will be our base and provide bed and breakfast in very comfortable surroundings. We stayed there in June while checking out locations and taking photos for the new book.

There will be a short welcome meeting on the Sunday evening. Then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be full days of landscape photography. The course will finish at 4pm on the Wednesday giving time for travelling home.

We will concentrate on developing the artistic side of black and white landscape photography while helping with any technical needs. So, composition, exposure, use of light, structure in images, metering, histograms, bracketing, etc, will all be covered. See articles on use of digital cameras and landscape photography on the web site.

The cost is £550 including 3 nights bed and breakfast and they can be booked through the web site or direct with us.

We will use local pubs and cafes for lunch and evening meals. Not being tied to a base for meals means that we can venture further afield like Buttermere and Ravenglass. There are no fixed timings either, within reason. If the light is good we can continue taking photographs.

Really looking forward to them as we have some stunning locations lined up.hope you can join us still just 6 places per course and 2 tutors, Jan and myself.
Dave Butcher

Friday, 2 October 2009

Swedish Lakes (and Trees)

Left Harnosand early, after scraping thick ice off windows of car. Jolly cold for time of year!

Headed back towards hills and lakes to Sveg and then Sarna. Dozens of lakes and millions of trees; mixture of conifers and silver birch mostly.

Took a few tree shots but also typical lake shots. Used a dark yellow filter to lighten the silver birch foliage which was a bright yellow / orange colour, as well as darkening the blue sky. Good clouds this afternoon.

Also found a church and separate wooden bell tower at Alvros, just east of Sveg.

Ended day at Mora by another lakeside. Lots of photos from shore, including trees, boats and the odd jetty.

A 6 film day (60 images).
Heading south tomorrow and expect to end the day close to Stockholm so that we can have most of Sunday in the city.
Dave Butcher

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Sweden's High Coast

We were very well looked after in the Jamtkrogen Hotel in Bracke. Had to clean the ice off the windows before we could head for Harnosand.

Drove out to beach near Harnosand for a few photos. Lots of silver birch trees behind beach area. Then back to Harnosand and booked into hotel (not taking any chances after debacle yesterday).

We spent the rest of the day driving the High Coast Trail. This runs around lots of lakes, trees and little bits of coast. The changing leaves looked great and really broke up the monotonous greens that you see at the end of summer. Still lots of green conifers too for contrast. Found some typical views for photos and big views and yet more Silver Birch trees.

Had a nice Thai meal just around the corner from our hotel.

Mostly sunny today, just the odd shower around 5pm. A good day for photos.
Dave Butcher