Ghost boats

Ghost boats, originally uploaded by Zardoz67.

This week is speeding by in a bit of a blur and I am having difficulty finding the time to slow down and enjoy the view. Not only am I extremely busy at ‘real’ work it’s also been quite hectic photography wise, what with the exhibition going up in Didsbury and my first proper photoshoot at Pinchjo’s tapas bar on Monday. To say I was nervous would be a bit of an understatement and so I had everything planned to the nth degree: extra memory cards, tripod, monopod, flash gun, etc, etc. However being the amateur that I am I forgot one vital piece of equipment (no, not the camera even I’m not THAT stupid). I forgot the attachment that screws the camera to the top of the tripod… Now when you are shooting inside a restaurant, at night, in subdued lighting this is a quite a problem.

After 5 minutes of panic I calmed down enough to ask the Didsbury Life people if they had a tripod and could I borrow it. Thankfully, the answer was yes on both counts. The shoot went OK and some of the colours were pretty amazing but given that this was a commission I am not sure I should be blogging any of the images until Joe, the owner of the restaurant, has seen them. Thankfully, the restaurant was open only to a select invited gathering who knew they were there to be photographed so all was well (although I think the free [and gorgeous] food and proseco might have helped oil the wheels of conviviality). So, disaster narrowly avoided and another experience to tick off on the imaginary ‘things-a-photographer-should-do’ chart.

I still have a load of pictures from the weekend to process which have sort have gone on the back burner in light of all the above. So today’s picture is from several weeks ago and is another one of the pictures I took on the river Dee in Chester, during January. So why this picture now? Primarily, at the moment, for its stillness and calming influence. I can shut my eyes and remember the conditions in which it was taken: early evening, heavy snow, total silence, on my own. Also, its another one of those pictures that has taken on a second life. I initially dismissed it out of hand but when I asked friends to suggest photos to include in the exhibition, this one kept coming up. Therefore, I revisited it and converted it to black and white; in fact the print that is hanging on the wall in Manchester now is the black and white version and it looks pretty good. This is the original version though and thanks to everyone who prompted me to go back to it. If I had to sum it up in a word it would probably be ‘ethereal’ and that would probably be the wrong word anyhow.

That’s it for now but before I go a reminder that my small exhibition of pictures is currently hanging on the walls of the offices of Didsbury Life, 212 Burton Road, West Didsbury (opposite Folk bar).

My photographs are being exhibited in the vicinity of a wonderful painting by a proper, talented artist, Lisa De Prudhoe. In order to raise money for the UNICEF effort in Haiti, this painting is to be raffled and can be seen here. Very soon you will be able to buy a virtual raffle ticket online – however, in the meantime, if you’re near to Didsbury you can buy a real raffle ticket from either Didsbury Life or the Wendy J Levy Art Gallery, Warburton Street, Didsbury Village, Manchester M20 6WA [0161 446 4880].


About Mark

I am a 43-year-old amateur photographer from Chester, Cheshire UK. I took up digital photograpy a couple of years ago after hitting 40. See it as my mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, unlike, say, forming a band, having a tattoo or buying a motorcycle I have come to realise that the particular hobby I have chosen as a means to escape the drudgery of the day job is probably one of the most expensive. On May 12th 2009 I spent a marvellous informative day with professional photographer Stewart Randall. This has prompted me to take my photography more seriously and, although I don't expect it to lead to a career change, maybe sell or license some of my images so that I can fund my hobby. I hope you like the images I post and please feel free to comment. All constructive criticism is welcomed. This blog will document my attempts to get to grips with the digital medium and see if I can get some wider recognition for my images. View all posts by Mark

One response to “Ghost boats

  • vividity

    Yep! Been there done that with the nerves thing! The only advice I will give you is BREATHE. Ah, that’s better, isn’t it. (I’m yoga teacher as well as a photographer. Oh, and I have a PhD. Yep, a real one.) Hope you get permission to share the images here. Looking forward to seeing them.

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