Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My Day With Menna

Yesterday I spent my day looking after my nearly three year old cousin. We had a very busy day together, spending time drawing, singing and doing role plays...

You be rapunzel and I’ll be Prince Charming..
Who is your Prince Charming?
I don’t know, he hasn’t arrived yet.
I’ll be your Prince Charming
Oh thank you, are you rescuing me?
*10 minutes later* I’m not your Prince Charming anymore, I’ve retired.

We also played with dogs, visited the chickens, fed the rabbit, watched some cbeebies, made crayon coffees, read a story, played with dollies - feeding them and putting them to bed. But we also did my coursework, where Menna found out how much fun a ruler can be and loved drawing lines on her piece of paper. The rubber also provided some fun, rubbing out my pencil lines. And we did some gluing. She was ever so helpful.

But the most fun came when I took some pictures of Menna. I have borrowed a Hassleblad for Easter and wanted to try and get some shots of Menna playing. This worked for a while. But then Menna wanted to take some shots of me. So we struck up a deal that Menna could take 5 pictures of me and this is what we got.

At the top is an image I took of Menna while I checked the light meter reading. Below is one of Mennas photographs of me.

I had a wonderful day, and I cannot wait to see what images I got using the Hasselblad. That will be a few weeks wait though while I finish shooting.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Street Portrait 2

When you think that this gentleman's target audience is children, for a balloon seller he does not look most impressed. In fact, I'd argue that he looked bored and fed up, not at all impressed with his job.

For me however, this is a good thing. Check out the photo..

In my opinion this photo would be much less interesting if the guy was smiling. He just appears to be standing there for the sake of it, not because he enjoys it and considering how colourful the photo is the mood isn't overly bright.

On another note, is there anybody out there that wants portraits doing over the Easter period? Get in touch and let me know so we can arrange something. I have three weeks free to photograph.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Street Portrait

How often do you see the men stood outside shops whilst their partners are shopping?

Very often. Yes.

I hit Birmingham City Centre with my camera and decided to photograph these people and grab a cheeky portrait from them. This is what I got.

This gentleman was waiting for his wife, he didn't want to be snapped with his glasses on but I caught him as he took them off. I just love this shot, I think a lot of his character comes through.

Street portraits are something I will be shooting more and more in the coming weeks as I intend on getting a project out that is just photographing the interesting people I come across whilst out and about.

Also, I have three weeks with no set shooting or work timetable, if anybody wants a photo session, please get in touch and we can arrange something.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Maccy D's

I was sat on my own in Maccy D's and needed something to do to fill the time. I opted for photographing the empty chair that was opposite me. I wasn't expecting to get anything from it, and you might not think it is anything, but I like this photo. Strong emphasis on the empty chair with a hint of busy surroundings behind.

I have added an effect, it is the old polar preset in Lightroom. Otherwise this photo has not been modified.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mooove Over! Females Coming Through

Every child grows up dreaming about what will one day be their career. Some make it that far, but others do not. Little girls that want to be dairy farmers will sadly never achieve their dreams because this modern society continues to determine who will do what and when. Sexism remains ever dominant.

Recently I paid a visit to a local farm where I met a very lovely man who is clearly passionate about his work in the dairy industry. However, I found myself feeling most frustrated when he told me he was stuck in a “difficult position”. Despite, having four daughters and a two year old grandson, he proclaimed that, when he passes on, he will have nobody to take over the farm.

Personally, I cannot see anything that sets males from females apart in the industry and there is no reason a woman should be stopped from taking on such a role should it be what she desires; not only men are capable of running an effective business. We know it is not all numbers and paperwork but we are not scared of a bit of grafting. We are prepared to get our hands dirty if needs be and we will not be fussed about the state in which our clothes are at the end of the day. In fact, I would prefer the grafting – I have a phobia of math.

There is no reason that only men should be able to work in this environment. I know it sounds ridiculous, but cows are female. Perhaps that is why men do thing this way; they simply can’t get enough of the female attention. The fact that these females are cows is irrelevant to them. But let us be honest, we, as women, are not going to get all embarrassed about milking a cow. There is a chance a few of us might be grossed out at calving time but that happens with men too.

“Relief worker”, a position where people take over when others are sick, or there is just too much work, is also not a role I would appreciate to be given. Essentially, you are being told that, despite being obviously capable of the job, it is only the case when the top dogs are not. I would rather have no job on the farm than a relief role. After all, if it is such a man’s domain, and he is perfectly capable every other time, why is he not capable now? Why should he need a female’s help?

It seems that, within the dairy world, the tradition of the wife staying at home to cook and clean is still what is expected. Possibly, women are given the accounts to look after and occasionally allowed out of the kitchen and onto the farm as a “relief worker”.

Although I am not convinced it is just dairy production where this takes place, it is the most obvious and most recent I have myself had to bear witness too. However, as Australia’s Dr Cannold says “business is still a man’s world”; women clearly have a long way to go to prove society wrong.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


It's been a ridiculously busy week for me so I haven't managed to get much done and I'm trying to get this article on dairy farming written. However, I have done a teeny bit of reviewing of images. These have no been edited in any way.

All of these photos were shot at John Platts dairy farm in Wimboldsely, Cheshire. They milk just over 800 cows at two different sites and I was given full access to everywhere. Amazing to see

The first calving shed, all calves here are between 4 and 14 days old.

One group of cows on the way out of the miking parlour whilst another is milked.

Looking down the milking stands. They cows were held in by what reminded me of a roller coaster barrier.

This is Gem, a very well loved Australian cattle dog. 

I was very lucky to get this shoot and a big thank you to John Platt for allowing to me go around. I am now officially over my phobia of cows as well having spent time in the calving pens and the cow sheds. Not to mention having one stood right next to me while I photographed the milking parlour.