Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis…….September 2016

 

SNOWDON, SCAFELL PIKE AND BEN NEVIS…….SEPTEMBER 2016

Well, not quite. The plan was to climb the three peaks this year with family and friends and although we did Snowdon earlier in the year, I had hoped to have already done Scafell pike and climb Ben Nevis in September. But, time has a habit of running away, so it was Scafell Pike before it got too close to winter proper and Ben Nevis will have to wait til next year!

After someone filling the car with the wrong kind of fuel(!), we eventually left London at 7pm and arrived in the lakes at 12.30am. The next morning we set off into a very blustery day and with part of the party blowing as much as the wind and another part of the party looking at me as if to say ‘are you sure the kids aren’t going to be blown off the mountain’, I wasn’t sure if we would all make it to the summit. We did all make it, though with visibility at about 15 feet and gale force winds we didn’t stop long!

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Hadrian’s wall, Festivals and Schnoodle Puppies …….August 2016

 

HADRIAN’S WALL, FESTIVALS AND SCHNOODLE PUPPIES…….2016

 

Who doesn’t want to walk 86 miles coast-to-coast In 7 days…….

As soon as the school holidays end we all head up to Newcastle and start an adventure, walking from Tynemouth in the East to Barrow in Furness in the West, coast-to-coast along the route of Hadrian’s wall.

Through rain and shine, towns and bullock filled fields, beautiful English meadows and ancient woods, up hills and past Roman forts, spectacular countryside and history at every step, we finish up in Barrow seven days later and can tick off a quite wonderful adventure.

Something an 11 and 13 year old will remember fondly and a 17 year old who has Down’s syndrome can be extremely proud of. (I cannot even explain how proud I am of Billie-Jo completing the walk and with blisters!)

I would recommend it to everyone, especially the middle section where the wall is visible.

A few days after returning from Hadrian’s Wall, we pack up and head off to the Wilderness Festival. We had such a good time last year we are joined by some old school friends and their families. Great music, swimming in the lake, great food and most of all great company, made it a wonderful long weekend.

And if that wasn’t enough at the end of August we went off to the Welsh House in WalesNear Cardigan and ended up coming back with a little black welsh Schnoodle puppy! A long story that involved telling the kids that if they could find a breeder of Schnoodles then we might, sometime in the future, possibly, think about getting a dog. The Welsh house is supposed to have NO INTERNET, but clearly there was a chink in the sky, because the middle child finds the internet and a breeder of Schnoodles, who just happens to live a few miles from the cottage AND who just happens to have three puppies, who just happen to have had their injections are ready to go.

Well, it was going to happen and as you can see below, who could possibly resist………..

 

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I Can Dance…….July 2016

I CAN DANCE…….JULY 2016

The month starts off with a trip up to the Arts Depot in Finchley, to help Fiona hang her exhibition. Our daughter Billie-Jo, who has Down’s syndrome, attends a group called ‘I can Dance’ every Saturday morning and has done so for many years now.

It is a wonderful group that allows young people with a variety of disabilities, some quite profound, to express themselves through dance. More than that, it allows them to be comfortable around their peers.

Fiona is a trustee of the charity that runs the programme and has recently been taking photographs of the dancers with their mothers. The images are accompanied by quotes that have been taken from interviews that Tamara Pollack, Fiona’s friend and mother of one of the other dancers has conducted.The exhibition coincided with the annual ‘I can dance’ show, which is very emotional and has us all reaching for the hankies!

At the moment the working title for the series is: ‘…….and then came I can dance’, and I think that the images are simply quite beautiful. They will be featured on ShutterHub soon and I have posted below images from four of the stories.

And Fiona’s website is here: Fiona Bailey 

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Funny little Owls and My Perspectives…….June 2016

 

FUNNY LITTLE OWLS AND MY PERSPECTIVES…….JUNE 2016

So, I have mostly been photographing some little owls and some big owls and even a fat tailed Gerbil called Janet!!!

Little Owl ChickLittle Owl ChickLittle Owl ChickLittle Owl ChickEnglish Barn OwlFat Tailed GerbilFat Tailed Gerbil

MY PERSPECTIVES

A few years ago I curated a touring exhibition that was concerned with all aspects of Down’s syndrome called Shifting Perspectives.

One of the spin offs from this was the My Perspective photographic competition, which is still going strong thanks once again to Katie Pinnock and her team at GlaxoSmithKline for their continued support of this competition and the ceremony.

Of the 250 entries entered into the competition I am tasked to ‘whittle’ it down to 25 images which are then sent off to a panel of judges to select their favourites. The annual competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that:

1. You must have Down’s syndrome.

2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.

This years entries were again outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was Emily Buck and two photographers shared second place – Steven Padmore’s “Raindrops on my Window” and Carlos Biggemann’s “Colours of Fire”

Carlos’ picture also won a new award for international photographers and he flew all the way from New Zealand to attend the awards ceremony!

David Kenward, who won My Perspective in 2015, was there to present the awards alongside Dame Judi Dench, patron of the DSA.

The My Perspectives awards ceremony, held each year at the Orangery in Kew gardens and is possibly my favourite night of the year.

Buck, Emily - 1Emily Buck – Winner of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.

Biggemann, Carlos - 2Carlos Biggemann – Runner-up of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.

Padmore, Steven - 2Steven Padmore – Runner-up of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.

Davies, Rory - 1Rory Davies – Finalist of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.

Chamalidou, Konstantina - 2Konstantina Chamilodou- Finalist of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.

Phippen, Ed - 3

Ed Phippen- Finalist of the My Perspective 2016 photography competition.


Friendships, Climbing mountains and book launches…….May 2106

FRIENDSHIPS, CLIMBING MOUNTAINS AND BOOK LAUNCHES…….MAY 2016

 

The Three Peaks are going to be ‘conquered’ this year and I’m dragging the kids along as well.

A snowy Snowdon is the first to go on a wet and rainy day with no visibility at the top, but still lots of people! Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis await, for later in the year.

And then we had the ‘launch’ of Darwin’s Pigeons. It was a lovely do at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, with lots of friends milling around drinking wine and chatting.

Now I just have to sell the book……HERE if you fancy one!

A year or so ago I worked on a campaign with MENCAP called ‘Hear My Voice’.

This month we travelled the UK photographing friends. It can sometimes be hard for people with learning difficulties to make friends, so MENCAP are highlighting this in their campaign. I always enjoy working with MENCAP and it was lovely meeting and taking photographs of the couples. The people we met were lovely and ranged from friends who were non-verbal and communicated through sign language to a lovely couple with Down’s syndrome who had just got engaged.

After all, we all want to laugh with someone, to confide in someone, to share good times and bad times, to hold someone’s hand, to feel wanted.

We all want to love and be loved and it is no different for people with learning difficulties.

The Guardian featured the images which you can see on the link HERE:

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/gallery/2016/jun/20/learning-disability-week-relationships-love-friendship

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Top of Snowdon 2016

And then just me at the top of a cold Snowdon with a lot of other people…….


Boxer dogs in Paris, Radio plays and Tractography…….March 2016

BOXER DOGS IN PARIS, RADIO PLAYS AND TRACTOGRAPHY…….MARCH 2016

Well…..we’re now into June, so I’m catching up…….again.

Had a call from an agency in Paris asking if I would like to come over and take some studio photographs of a boxer dog for their client Kleber.

Nipped over on the Eurostar Thursday evening, had a lovely shoot (and lunch) in a great studio on Friday and back home by 9.30 Friday evening.

Animals and Paris…….can’t go wrong, hashtag smiley face!

The annual Wellcome Image Awards ceremony and private view came around again.

I particularly like this competition as the photography is quite different from what I usually look at or take, so is always very interesting, and they always put on a good ‘do’.

Just a quick note to say that it is always a good idea to read your invite…….after turning up at the Wellcome trust on Euston road where it is usually held, we had to quickly jump in a cab to the Science Museum in Kensington.

The winning image is of the nerve fibres in the brain and is quite beautiful in every way and used an imaging technique called ‘tractography’. No, me neither.

Have a look for yourself here: WELLCOME IMAGE AWARD WINNERS 2016

My good friend Gordon Kennedy called up and asked me to take a few portraits of the actors in his latest ABSOLUTELY  radio production, The Break by Ian Brown and James Hendrie.

Starring Alison Steadman, Mark Benton, Shobna Galati, Rasmus Hardier, Tom Palmer and Philip Jackson it is out now on Radio 4, which you can catch up with here: THE BREAK

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Credit: Alfred Anwander, MPI-CBS. Wellcome Images

The Wellcome Image Award winner 2016


Birthdays, Skinny Pigs and Rats…….February 2016

BIRTHDAYS, SKINNY PIGS AND RATS…….FEBRUARY 2016

It happened, the half century creeped up on me!

And it doesn’t feel too bad at all!

Not bad at all!

So, here are some funny little creatures called skinny pigs, basically a hairless guinea pig a flat nosed rabbit and some baby rats. Why not…….

And they were ‘nice’ baby rats, not ‘hard nut’ London rats.

(That said I’m not quite convinced enough to have one as a pet.)

What else.

Oh, the Greenpeace calendar got Bronze at the Gregor International Calendar Awards, which was nice!

Flat nosed rabbitRatBaby ratBaby ratSkinny pigSkinny pigWhite mouse

White mouse

White mous

Baby ratFlat nosed rabbit

Greenpeace Calendar

The Greenpeace Magazine Calendar for 2016 gets a Bronze Award at the Gregor International Calendar Award.