Friday, 31 May 2013

Power Cut in Tunstead Milton and Impromptu Walk to Shepherds Arms

We had a 9 hour power cut today. The local electricity company had some planned maintenance to do in the area.

After 3 hours of doing odd jobs and having no power for computers or enlargers I decided to go for a walk over the hills. As I left the rain stopped, always a good sign.

It brightened up and turned into a pretty good day to be out on the hills. 10 miles later I found myself at one of my 2 favourite pubs, the Shepherd's Arms in Whaley Bridge. What are the odds of that happening? After a 10 mile impromptu walk ending within 2 miles of home at the Shepherd's!

May is Mild Month so I had a couple of pints of Jennings Mild and jolly nice it was too. Then it was home via the cricket ground and, yes, the power was back on!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Ideal Home Show Scotland Day 3

Much busier day today at the Ideal Home Show Scotland at the Glasgow SECC. Sold lots of photos, Glasgow, Edinburgh and New York as the best sellers, and a few books.

Last day tomorrow. Visit us on stand S230, between 10am and 6pm.

Tonight we're in the Counting House Wetherspoons in Glasgows George Square. Started with Wildcat and now moved on to Mayhem Mild. Both in good form.

Jan just asked me if blog stands for beer log. Quite apt!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Ideal Home Show Scotland Day 1

Interesting day at Ideal Home Show Scotland at the Glasgow SECC.
My new Glasgow and Edinburgh photographs sold well. The best seller for the day was taken in a blizzard at night in March in Edinburgh! It shows the view from Victoria Terrace, near Edinburgh Castle, over snowy rooftops and was taken under a pub umbrella to keep the snow off the lens for the 20 second exposure.

Expecting a busy next 3 days over the bank holiday.

Walked around the corner from our Premier Inn for dinner, at Hengler's Circus Wetherspoons on Sauchiehall Street. Dark Munro and Wildcat with fish and chips, well it is Friday.

The photos I forgot to take yesterday are attached, all taken on a Panasonic Lumix compact before the show opened today.

The show is open through until Monday night, 10am to 6pm each day, £15 entry, we are stand S230.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Ideal Home Show Scotland - All Set Up!

Jan drove us up to Glasgow today to setup for the Ideal Home Show at the SECC. It's our first time at this show but it's much easier than at the NEC where they give you just an hour to unload, unpack and remove packaging back to car and return to the payment station on the furthest boundary of the NEC site or you forfeit a £50 deposit that you have to pay in advance (you may have gathered that I hate the NEC). It's also within walking distance of our hotel and the city centre. This is our 3rd show at the SECC in 18 months and we like coming here, so far!

I forgot to take a photo of the stand today so I will do that tomorrow. We found space on the walls for 20 framed photos and have another 300 or more in various browsers and spinners. I worked hard to do new stuff for this show, lots of Scottish shots of both landscapes and cities. Some large new photographs of Glasgow and Edinburgh too.  Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland castles also feature in the new prints. Fingers crossed that visitors to the show like them! For example, quite a lot of the photographs are in sizes and formats not available through the website such as lots of square pictures for square frames. Now there's a novelty!

We also have some posters and lots of copies of my 4 books. Good special show prices on lots of the items too.

Our stand is S230 near the lecture areas in the shopping area. Try and come along before we sell out (I dream of doing this one day!).

New Old Enlarger for Large Format Negatives

I recently bought a new enlarger, well an old one actually, but it's new to me! It's a DeVere 504 with an Ilford MG500H head. It was a chance conversation before the show opened one day at Focus on Imaging at the NEC in March, with Mike McNamee, the Editor of Professional Imagemaker magazine, that started the ball rolling. It was his personal enlarger and he hadn't used it for years and wondered if it was any use to me. A bit of bargaining later Jan and I collected it from his house on the Wirral and it's now fully installed in my darkroom, as you can see from the photo (taken with Jan's Nikon D90).

The DeVere came with an old 500C keypad that doesn't have any memories so I switched it for the spare 500CPM keypad that I happened to have. This is what I'm used to using and having 9 memories makes all the difference when using split grade printing, as I do for every print that I make.

The 504 also has the advantage of baseboard focussing. My old Durst 138S doesn't have this and making big prints can be a bit of hassle getting the focus correct, I can't reach the focus knob next to the lens while looking down the grain magnifier on the baseboard.

The Durst is still a great enlarger though, I bought it from the ex-Ilford Head Printer Mike Walden 4 years after he retired from Ilford. He decided that 40 years working in the dark was long enough for anyone and sold all of his personal darkroom gear, mostly to me!

I'm still getting used to the DeVere. It is easier to use than the old one but I prefer the bigger baseboard and negative carrier on the Durst. The Durst chassis is much older than the DeVere but the head on the Durst is newer. They both work the same though.

That makes 2 enlargers with Ilford MG500 systems in my darkroom, as well as 3 Durst M670's. I either do 1-to-1 private courses or group courses for 2 people, so you have even more choice when it comes to enlargers. The MG500 heads print all negatives up to 5 x 4 inches in size. The M670's print negatives up to 7 x 6 cms.

Thank you Mike for your hospitality on collection and generosity. Hopefully it will now give many more years of use as I have no plans to switch to digital cameras from my Mamiya 7's anytime soon!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Living Crafts at Hatfield House Until Sunday 12th May

We are doing the Living Crafts show at Hatfield House. The first day was today and it runs until 5pm Sunday 12th May.

We are in marquee G with lots of photos, books and courses. Show offers too.

Here are some photos that I took on our little Panasonic Lumix camera.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

International Graphics at Grand Designs Live with Dave Butcher Photograph

I'm at Grand Designs Live and didn't know it!

I have just discovered that International Graphics Walmsley, who publish my photographs as large prints, have one of my images on their stand at Grand Designs Live at the London Excel exhibition Centre.

The show ends on Sunday 12th May 2013 and covers everything to do with designing, building, equipping and decorating your new or renovated house.

If you are visiting they are in the Interiors section on stand L85.

My photo of St Paul's Cathedral from the London Millennium Bridge at Night is displayed centre stage at 1.8m x 0.9m. That's quite large!

Ian Cairns from IGW took these photos to show the stand with my picture and gave permission to use them here. Thanks Ian!

IGW have been publishing and selling my work around the world as large prints since 2008.

All images copyright © Ian Cairns of International Graphics Walmsley GmbH.