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Farm Animals, Parrots and Dragons…….July 2015

FARM ANIMALS, PARROTS AND DRAGONS…….JULY 2015

At the beginning of the year I had a call from a well known environmental charity asking if I would like to shoot their calendar for next year. Of course, I jumped at the chance and spent a very enjoyable four days in Germany taking photographs of rare German farm animals. We spent a night in Hamburg, which is a very cool city. Young and irreverent and full of graffiti!

If you visit you will see a lot of tags of smiley faces, spirals or just ‘Oz’. This tagging was done by the ‘legendary’ Walter Josef Fischer—known in Hamburg as OZ. He had reputedly tagged his name, signature smiley faces and spirals more than 120,000 times around the city since 1977. He died last year at the age of 64, after being hit by a train(!), doing what he loved, tagging.

I can’t show you any of the images from the shoot yet, but they look great and the design of the calendar is great too.

I can though, show you some of the parrots and dragons I have been shooting, and here they are:

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_32

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_08

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Green Winged Macaw_RB_19

A Green Winged Macaw

Green Winged Macaw_RB_26

A Green Winged Macaw

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_09

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_03

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Black Headed Caique Parrot_RB_14

A Black Headed Caique

Black Headed Caique Parrot_RB_21

A Black Headed Caique

Sun Conure_RB_08

A Sun Conure

Sun Conure_RB_22

A Sun Conure

African Grey Parrot

An African Grey Parrot

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_03

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_15

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Bearded Dragon_RB_45

A Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon_RB_26

A Bearded Dragon and last but not least, and starting to pass a striking resemblance…….

Richard Bailey Portrait


Poets, Perspectives, Triathlons and a Solstice…….June 2015

 

POETS, PERSPECTIVES, TRIATHLONS AND A SOLSTICE…….JUNE 2015

Well it was a packed month looking back!

First up was the YOUYOU Mentoring ‘I’M A STORY TELLER’ project.

Stars from stage and screen gathered in the the historic home of poet John Keats to lend their support and read short stories and poems penned by young writers, mentored under the YOUYOU Mentoring scheme.

Nyasha Duri, Phoebe Thomson, Olivia Maxwell, Louella Ward and Poppy Turner were beneficiaries of the scheme and had their poems and short stories read by:

Nicholas Pinnock, Charlene White, Leanne Best, Georgina Campbell, Daisy Lewis and Laura Pradelska.

The wonderful Laura Pradelska is a long time supporter of YOUYOU MENTORING and her reading of Nyasha Duri’s beautiful short story is available to listen to on SOUND CLOUD HERE:

Thank you to all those who attended and gave their time, it was a lovely event.

You can see more about the event and about YOUYOU MENTORING HERE: and also HERE: YOUYOUMENTORING

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

Leanne Best, Nicholas Pinnock, Laura Pradelska and Georgina Campbell. (Photo Sam Errington.)

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

                                               (Photo: Chloe Thacker.)

MY PERSPECTIVES:

A few days later and we are off to the My Perspectives awards ceremony, held each year at the Orangery in Kew gardens.

This is possibly my favourite night of the year.

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 outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was David Kenward.

David has entered the competition before with very strong images, so it was great to see him win. You can see more of his work by clicking HERE: David Kenward Facebook page.

Thanks once again to Katie Pinnock and her team at GlaxoSmithKline for their continued support of this competition and the ceremony.

Winning photo by David Kenward

Winning photo by David Kenward

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Then the Blenheim Triathlon loomed it’s head, a bit quicker than expected and with my twin brother racing I was going to have to put some effort in, especially as he is now a member of  a ‘tri-club’ and competing in Olympic distance races!

We had great weather and although he did beat me, it was only by a minute and a half, we raised a ton of money for the charity ‘I Can Dance’, so it was a great day all round.

Here we are just before the swim and me on the last leg of the run.

Blenheim Triathlon 2015

Blenheim Triathlon

And then……..there was a trip to STONEHENGE for the Summer solstice!

I hired a 17 seater minibus, filled it with family and friends and headed down to Wiltshire on a Saturday afternoon.

We wandered in and out of the stones, mingled with Druids, hippies and hula hoopers, got about an hour of sleep and then up again to see the sunrise. We were very lucky that there was a ten minute window where the clouds cleared long enough for us to see the sun come over the horizon, before disappearing behind the clouds again.

It was a truly memorable experience, lots of ‘characters’, banging of drums, and there was something really very special about being able to walk in, around, and to touch the actual stones. I think I must be a punk turned hippy, or at least a ‘cynical mystic’!

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

And it doesn’t stop there, as the following week I was in Hamburg, for a very enjoyable time shooting animals for a Greenpeace calendar…….but that can wait for another time!