April 26, 2015

The St. Georges Day dragons of West Hagbourne

Another year, another St. Georges Day, which means another excuse for an evening walking around the lovely West Hagbourne to photograph their annual display of dragons.

This year I was joined by friends including fellow photographers and bloggers Ryan and Emma.  Walking around the village with a small army of people taking photos seemed to produce some odd looks from the locals - as if they weren't expecting folk to actually want to see the dragons they'd put on display!

As ever there was a great range of dragons on display, from shop-bought children's toy dragons to artistic home-created dragons and everything in between.  I recommend a walk around the village next year to see for yourself!

I suspect this dragon burnt himself with his own fire.
The village duck pond hosts the largest dragon, whose eyes light up after dark.
A camouflage dragon.
A driftwood dragon.
One garden had about a dozen dragons, including this little fella.
A dog-like dragon, and a bush with solar lights that look like googly eyes!
A dragon held up by rope, swaying in the wind.
Looking like a Jonny 5 (from Short Circuit) hiding in the bush.
A colourful dragon on the wall.
At the end of the walk through the village, the pub.
We didn't call in, instead opting go to the aptly named George & Dragon pub in nearby Upton.

April 10, 2015

Gadget Show Live 2015

Another year, another trip to Gadget Show Live (here you'll find the post from Gadget Show Live 2014).  

This year the show was smaller than last, but the stands seemed more hemmed in. In the few times I've been, the show seems to go from large to small to large over alternate years. 

There were some new and interesting appearances, as well as the usual suspects.  It was good to see big names such as Dyson, Synology, and EBuyer there, as well as a section dedicated to British inventions.

Disappointingly there were no major camera manufacturers at the show, even though I'd been told Olympus would be there.  There were some photography related gadgets, the best of which was TurnsPro, a Kickstarter funded time lapse camera mount.  There were also some add-on lenses for mobile phones which were a tad expensive for what they were.

My wallet nearly escaped unscathed, with just a couple of car phone mounts from Osomount in my bag.  But then, with some help from the excellent Synology and EBuyer teams, I bought a DS415+ network attached storage device to keep all of my photos safe and sound.

A Dyson humidifier looks great close up.
A Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Speccy) remodelled as a bluetooth keyboard and games console for tablets.
Framed Lego figured from Framed Up drew in the crowds.
Great to see children trying out BBC B computers, just like I did many years ago.
Some kids make their political feelings known, exactly four weeks from the UK General Election.
Although there was no Olympus stand this year, it was good to see their name.
Cube clocks from Ginko Electronics 
I've no idea either...
An exhibitor in fancy dress managed to nap behind his stand.
Staring down the barrel of a gun, thanks to the Corps of Royal Engineers.

April 01, 2015

Views of Liverpool

On my recent trip to Liverpool I deliberately avoided anything to do with football or The Beatles - both pull in the tourists, but neither were of interest me on my adventures around the the city.  

Maybe Liverpool should spend more time shouting about its amazing views and stunning architecture and move on from bragging about a band which broke up back in 1970...

What makes for great photos in Liverpool is the mixture of old and new architecture.  Liverpudlians seem uncomfortable with the modernity of some of the buildings...  C'mon Liverpool, it's time to embrace them!  Both the old and new can exist side-by-side in the beauty of their contrast.

I was lucky with the weather, and the blue skies were a real treat for March.

This is the third of three posts about my recent trip to Liverpool - here you can see the previous posts about Shiverpool and the Cathedrals.

For anyone thinking of visiting Liverpool here's a few links for things to do and see that I'd recommend... Shiverpool, Albert Dock, The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Liverpool Cathedral Tower, City Explorer Bus TourThe Mersey Ferry (see here for a money saving ticket for the Cathedral, bus tour, and ferry) , Antony Gormley's installation in Crosby, Mowgli restaurant, Bold Street Coffee, St Luke's Church

An old light boat, now a cafe bar, creates a sunny contrast against
the buildings. 
Old and new can exist side-by-side and still look amazing.
The Albert Dock makes for a great skyline photo.
The new buildings can even create abstract art.
The Liver Building, one of Liverpool's most iconic.
The Liverpool skyline from the River Mersey.
St Luke's Church still stands, although roofless, after a bomb strike on 6th May 1941 at 0336. 
Antony Gormley installed one hundred cast iron figures at Crosby beach,
just north of Liverpool.
One of the more random photos - these toilets, in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms,
reputedly worth £1m due to their listed status.
The rest of the Philharmonic Dining Rooms is pretty impressive too.