Friday, 21 July 2017

Free Lens Hood for Proper Cameras

Pictures via
A lens hood can improve photos in may ways, especially when the sun is low and bright and you seek some diffusion,

This quick and free solution was found on the site of this Helsinki Lomography dealer which also happens  to be a coffee shop.

Not just any old coffee shop, but the sort I would be proud to own. But only if it was on the seafront in a warm country! ... or Margate!

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Pilot

"An older gentleman called and reserved a one hour flight in our DC-3. At 73 years old he had enjoyed a long and impressive career in aviation.

But he wanted to fly a DC-3 and that was the only reason he was there. So, together we flew.

Although this was his first time in the left seat he handled the craft with smoothness and finesse, like this flight was one he had thought a lot about.

Back on the ground he produced his thick, black Pilot's Log Book and asked for my signature. The book was worn like his hands but it represented a lot of history and a lot of flight time.

I signed the entry line with the aircraft number - N143D, the date and the aircraft type 'Douglas DC-3'.

When I was done he took the book back. With a black pen he drew a diagonal line through all the remaining entry spaces on the page. I watched as he wrote the word END. He closed the logbook. Wrapped a rubber band around it, then shook my hand.

He said, 'This was my lifelong dream. I am all done. It's been a great ride. But it is too hard to keep my medical now and my vision isn't what it was. There is no better way to end my flying career than with this flight in a DC-3'."

Please don't wait until it is too late to follow your own dreams. Off you go now!

The sky is NOT the limit, so dream big!

Extract from interview with Dan Gryder in Together We Fly, Voices from the DC-3, by Julie Boatman Filucci.[2011]

Header photo from Hans Wiesman, author of The  Dakota Hunter and owner of PME aviation clothing Inc.

N143D Copyright Michael Prophet 2013

Friday, 7 July 2017

Photo Journaling Week 8

A photographer and journal creator can spot interesting angles from most unlikely sources.

Like these traditional Crittall steel window frames with unusual twist mechanisms to open and close the high level fanlights. There were so many layers of gloss paint around the hinges that they may never open again.

The main tourist spots are featured on postcards which is why I chose to grab these Italian pictures ... from the wall art in Costa Coffee on the High Street. Caffe Nero have a similar collection in their branch near the bus station, but this can be very noisy and crowded at peak times.

None of this will appear in the journal for this month, which brings me to the end of this series by answering the most common reason why people surrender their journaling resolutions within a few weeks: It is because the have insufficient editorial discipline and try to cram too much in, often more than one narrative can handle.

The answer is several slender and brief journals instead of one obese publication.

My 365 project pocket book has what it says on the cover. I have an A5 version for words and pictures about excursions and holiday themes and a paperback 'copybook' for fountain penned thoughts on family matters, feelings and other stuff.

I hope this series may have given you at least one idea that you can use. There are thousands more floating around the internet, so go exploring.

This Costa branch was excellent when we visited, unlike the Sandwich branch which looked as if the staff had given up even trying. So highlighting the problems of maintaining an established brand when it is weakened by too rapid expansion via franchising.

Maybe that's why Caffe Nero remain our first choice unless there is a queue or a screaming child in evidence.

Now Costa are about to open a large new branch just a few minutes from my home in what used to be Martell Press. Hope they do it right and prosper.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Now that it is summer

Konica Eu-Mini in red and Vivitar UWS

It would be unfair to expect great results from these simple old-time cameras in anything much less than bright sunlight.

So their time has come for another outing.

With real 35mm film. Wow! 

Now that July is here, this blog will be less prolific and I aim a maximum of just one posting per week - probably on Fridays - until Autumn.

Enjoy your summer.
A proof page from my 2013 book ...Viva la Vivi

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy Birthday America!

Photo by Liverpool photographer Alex Scott
I wish all my Stateside friends and readers a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.

As a small child in WWII I fell in love with all things American, especially Hershey Bars and comics.

A little later it was the accent and smart military dress uniforms that impressed as did my young visits to the movies.

I bought into the   American Dream while they were still dreaming it and whilst England was wallowing in post-war austerity of drab greyness. Later I learned to enjoy the crooners who sang 'The Great American Songbook' with patriotic pride.

I was 18 before I made my first of many visits ... and my last was to Manhattan just two weeks after the nightmare of 9-11.

United States of America, thank you for so many happy experiences over all those decades.

I still love you, even although you seem intent on making it so difficult recently. I pray that you will survive your current presidency unscathed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ramsgate Close Up

June 27 walked from one end of Ramsgate seafront to the other. 

Looked over the balustrade down to Military Road. 

Took a quick snapshot with this cheap old camera acquired for around a tenner on Ebay because it was a 'bit scuffed but works ok'. As usual it was set on Automatic.

 Yesterday I figured I could crop out the date and the van and concentrate on the girls  eating a 'full English' for their lunch.
 Then, flushed with this success, I cropped it again ... still using the free and simple PicMonkey software.
 Wondered if I could crop again and still have acceptable definition?
 And THAT'S when I noticed the 'tablet' and what looks like the inserts from a MidoriStyle Travelers Notebook.

Alas, one more attempt to repeat the trick was a step too far so I couldn't read the label on the cover.

Amazing what you can do with a basic camera and some free  software.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Photo Journaling Week 7

 No pictures this time - just a feminine take on a journal.

Pages from The Journal Keeper - a memoir by Phyllis Theroux.
all pages copyright 2010 Phyllis Theroux  with thanks