CitizenM/The Commitments/Carnaby Street

Longleat: Festival of Light

Hello Ladies and Gents,

So just before New Years I visited the Festival of Light at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park. I didn’t take many pictures of the animals living here, or of inside the historic stately home though.  The main reason for this visit was the impressive display of chinese lanterns set up throughout the park.  These impressive structures were all made from silk and ranged from delicate flowers to wild beasts on parade.  I’ve never really tried taking photos like this before as it poses quite a difficult situation; balancing increasing darkness as the evening progressed, but also the vibrant colours and light produced by the subjects.  With this in mind I tried my best to capture the event as best I could.

I hope these images give you an idea of how impressive and stunning these structures were.

As always please let me know what you think of my work, any criticism is gladly welcome. Did anyone else manage to see this impressive display?

Take care,

Iain x

Butterflies and Beasts

Hello Ladies and Gents,

So this is going to be just a quick little post with some photos I didn’t include in some previous posts. This little selection of images have come from recent visits to Longleat and London Zoo. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how much I enjoy going to Zoos to practice my photographic skills, but with this I found a way of coping with a specific fear I have. Now this may sound silly but I have a slight fear of Moths (the ugly cousins of Butterflies), I’ve no idea why but whenever I see them my skin just crawls.  So when visiting a zoo with a Butterfly house I usually don’t hang around as much as everyone else, but this time I challenged myself to stay a little longer and capture a few images of them.  I’m so happy that I did this, as the shots that I got I am quite happy with. Just goes to show that sometimes beauty can be found in the things we are afraid of, it just takes a bit of bravery and a change in perspective (in my case; looking through a lens).

I hope you enjoyed seeing this small snapshot, and the rest of my work on the blog.  I really appreciate the continued support/follows/and likes the blog has received since I started posting. Its a real confidence booster to know people like the images I put on here. So thank you to everyone that continues to come back and see what I’m up to, it means a lot.

All the Best,

Iain x

A Weekend in London

Hello Ladies and Gents,

So a little while ago I went on a little weekend away to London. I always like going on trips to the capital, it’s a bustling and vibrant city (as are most national capitals), but there’s always something special about going there for a weekend away.  This time I was seeing the lovely Jenny from fashionfromafield (you may remember her from a few previous posts, again if you’re into fashion I suggest checking out her website). Recently there has been a few big sites to see in London; the Poppies at the Tower of London, the Shard looking over the city skyline, and the limited edition Paddington Bear statues dotted around town.

Thank you to those of you that take the time too look at my photos, it really means a lot. If anyone has any tips/tricks, queries or theories, then please give me a shout.

Catch you later,

Iain x

Visiting Norwich – A Weekend Away

Hello again Ladies and Gents,

I’m going to keep the text to this post short but sweet. Last weekend I got to visit Norwich City while seeing a friend, the lovely Jenny from FashionFromAField (if you like all things Fashion and Beauty check her out). While wondering around the city we visited the Cathedral, had a stroll around the Castle, and enjoyed a relaxed afternoon at the Plantation Gardens.  Fortunately I remembered to bring my camera and got to flex my photography skills, even tried my hand at some fashiony outfit photos for Jenny’s Blog <<<here>>>.

So that’s a brief look at my trip to Norwich City.  It’s a fascinating and vibrant city with a mixture of culture/history/and curious little shops.  I will definitely be making a visit there again.

As always I love hearing back from those of you that take the time too look at my photos. If anyone has any tips/tricks, queries or theories, then please get in touch.

Catch you later,

Iain x

Visiting Thorp Perrow

Hello Ladies and Gents,

So recently I’ve been a bit all over the place with work, socially, and dealing with a few things from the past that are finally getting resolved.  To celebrate this I decided to take some time off over the last week, to just chill out and go see some very good friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.  After a little haggling with dates I embarked on a 4.5 hour drive from my hometown of Southampton up to the beautifully scenic Yorkshire.  That seems like a long time to spend in a car for some, but I actually really enjoy driving, helps when you’ve got one of your best mates sat next to you rocking out to a bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd!

While visiting we did the usual things friends do when they haven’t seen each; catch-up, get as much friendly banter in as possible, and have a BBQ followed by some beers (or whatever your tipple may be). We also spent a day at Alton Towers, which I can honestly say was amazing. Not been on a roller-coaster in far too long, so didn’t mind spending almost an hour in a queue waiting to ride The Smiler, the world’s first 14 looping roller-coaster. I’m sure you can all appreciate why I didn’t take my camera along for this, no way I would risk losing/damaging it while on a ride.

That being said; the following day we all had a well deserved lie-in, then took a small trip out to Thorp Perrow. The picturesque arboretum is home to ornamental lakes, charming walks and trails, and hosts a popular Birds of Prey centre.  Here’s where me and my camera came into play, we were lucky enough to catch both displays of the Birds of Prey in flight (well for the most part, there was an owl called Colin who prefers to strut his stuff by walking instead).  All the birds that were flown were reasonably well behaved, I’ve been to a few of these in the past and inevitably one bird will fly off and do their own thing leaving the handler floundering to fill time. Full credit to the falconers on the day, they knew exactly what the birds were capable of, when they were starting to get tired, and how to keep their audience captivated when the birds were resting.

I’ve never really tried this kind of photography before, specifically capturing a bird mid-flight which I found particularly difficult. Another challenge that presented itself was photographing the birds when they were in the aviaries, behind wire fencing. I tried my best to get the shot with the bird in focus, while keeping the fence as blurred as possible. So how do you think I got on? Personally I am happy with most of the images I captured, and I learnt a lot.

I always enjoy hearing back from those of you that take the time to visit my little blog, so if you have any advice/tips/just want to say hey, then please get in touch either on here or with one of the links below.

Take care,

Iain

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Visiting Prague – Sedlec Ossuary !WARNING CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES!

Hello Ladies and Gents,

As discussed in my recent post, located <<here>>, I visited Prague for a short weekend away.  Now a bit of backstory for you all; I hadn’t really heard much about Prague before I visited, with the exception that everytime I mentioned I was visiting I was met with the following response:

“Oooh Prague, you going for a messy Stag Weekend away?”

Which immediately made me question what to expect, and also why my parents wanted to visit there. Other than this my knowledge was limited, but I did have a foggy memory of seeing a television show years ago listing a must-see attraction based just outside the capital city (well approx. 1 hour long coach journey). Before I continue to with any more details I feel a warning must be issued;

The rest of this post will contain graphic descriptions/images of real human remains.

So if you are of a nervous disposition or sensitive towards deceased bodies I advise you not continue reading.

I completely understand that this will not be to everyones liking.

 

This macabre and yet intriguing little site is the home to the remains of 40,000 people, now I realise describing the area as small and then following that with such a large number seems like a contradiction but let me explain. Walking up towards the site you would have no idea that there is anything overly fascinating to be seen here. There stands a fairly quaint little church atop some much older foundations, surrounding the church are lots gravestones varying in size, shape, and age.

But it wasn’t the church we were there to see, instead it was what laid beneath it. A better term to use for what is under the church is ‘a burial chamber’. As you walk through the doorway into the foundations of the church above you are greeted with a stunning sight. Surrounding the walls and alcoves are human bones, not anatomically laid out but placed/arranged in an artistic manner.  The first large ‘sculpture’ that caught my eye was the goblet-esque structure nestled into an alcove next to the stairs.  The majority of the structures in the chamber are made entirely of human bones, which I found morbidly fascinating, but this was just the start! As I descended the stairs into the main room, mine and everyone else’s eyes are drawn to what is hung from the centre of the room.  A chandelier made, or so I was informed by the tour-guide, from every bone in the human body. The chamber is only small so it does not take long to look around but I have to admit I spent a while trying to make the most of the experience. There are a few key ‘sculptures’ worth taking note of; in each corner of the room stands a large pyramid almost acting as alters, the aforementioned goblet, the chandelier, and a coat a families coat of arms (including a raven).

Even though I was aware of what they were and the fact every bone in sight was real, I did not feel uneasy being there in fact it is strangely peaceful. I think the fact that it is so surreal my brain didn’t fully appreciate the full impact of what I was surrounded by, that and I was trying to get the best photos I could in quite a short space of time.  I know some may say that this is disrespectful to those that passed away, but once you know the history and the reasoning behind why this was done it actually is pretty amazing. Many of the remains were brought to the site/found at the site due to it being built on sacred soil brought from a holy land.  Most of the people honoured here died either from dreadful plagues or were casualties of the Hussite Wars, therefore were not awarded grand funerals. There is a lot more history behind this amazing place, and I would not be able to do it justice, so if you want to know more simply search ‘Sedlec Ossuary’ for a more detailed account.

I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading/looking at the photos posted here. I tried to capture as much as I could, and give you a feel for what it was like. Again, if you want to read about the rest of my trip and see more photography check it out <<here>>

As always I love getting feedback from you about my posts, be it negative or positive, so please leave a comment.

Catch you later,

Iain