I’m Still Partying

Oh my god. After Richard went to the meeting yesterday I had a walk around in search of quality clubs.

Jager bombs are amazing aren’t they. They loosened my lips and got me talking with a group of guys, and we hit the town.

Somebody, and I can’t remember who, gave me this silver vial, and I think he said it was nitrous oxide, or was it helium? Jesus, high as a kite, my legs are so wobbly, so I’m having a break before I take the next one.

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I have to be on my best behaviour today. Richards meeting one of his peers from foundations in photography. Think I’ll just hide in the rucksack and sleep.

And This Is Why I’m A Soldier Not A Sailor

What a fab day Richard and I have had. We started off at Stratford and paid a quick visit to the Olympic Park.

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Being six years late meant there was no running, no swimming and something called West Ham United are now squatting at the Olympic Stadium. Bit ironic really, West Ham, in East London and no pigs around???

We then hopped on a bus and had a walk along the Thames to the Cutty Sark and the Old Royal Navy College and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Must admit I stopped on the way for something to drink. Richard had flavoured water (raspberry and cranberry) water flavoured with hops.

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Now the Cutty Sark is a wonderfully preserved Tea Clipper that was once owned by the Dutch East India Company. As well as bringing tea from China to the UK it imported wool from Australia, as well as importing and exporting all kinds of wonderful goods. History is wonderful and the boat is amazing. But…

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A bilge pump. A boat that sails on water, around the world, and needs a damned pump to keep water out. That’s a risk I’m not prepared to take, and that’s why I didn’t join the Navy.

The  Old Royal Naval College is absolutely stunning. The architecture is drop dead gorgeous, but greatly improved by my presence.

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A pro photographer introduced himself to Richard at this point, he liked Richards creative approach to travel photography by tagging me along. Well I’m the star and Richard gets the glory, is this fair?

After Richard carried me up the steep hill to the observatory, I needed a rest.

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Maybe it’s the fresh air, or maybe I’ve become lazy since Richard has insisted on giving me piggy-backs. I just had to lay down and have a nap.

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Apparently I slept on something called the Greenwich meridian. It’s supposedly 0 degrees longitude, which means that east is one side, west is the other. My head was in the east, my feet in the west, so where on earth was my chest? Greenwich mean time is also important in relation to time. If your to the west your said to be so many hours behind GMT, and to the east your ahead of GMT and clocks are set worldwide according to this. Really? Somebody has come out here with some rolled metal, stuck it in the ground and made this up. Bring back quantum physics and special relativity I say.

Anyhow, Richard’s been brave enough to head off to an eating disorders self-help group. R E S P E C T. His first actual day of his holiday, going to his first ABA meeting.

I’m still off to get drunk though.

 

My Heart Is Racing – I Need To Run

Two coffee’s and it’s only 11am.

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I have no idea why Richard is buying me coffee. I don’t drink it, ever! Perhaps he’s trying to fill my belly to keep me off of the beer. I’m a bit of a party animal, it’s second nature for a soldier.

The drinking got worse once I left the forces. My mental health was bad, and I wasn’t sure how to cope with daily living without regimented routine and a string of blokes who had each others backs.

Since I started getting help from SSAFA, who are an armed forces charity, life has started to turn around. I’ve got so many transferable skills from my military career and I’m starting to see how I can use them.

It helps having a mate like Richard. He’s a bit of a dick sometimes, and he does go on about curving the excesses and finding balance, but he’s a good, caring bloke and I love his sense of humour.

He doesn’t understand what it’s like to serve, to be on the front line, but I’ve learned that he doesn’t need to. He listens, he lets me talk my shit out, and he never tells me what to do. Priceless.

Anyhow enough of this gushy, soppy shit, time to finish my coffee, then fuck him, I’m on holiday and I’m gonna get so pissed he has to carry me home.

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Action Man Turns His Back On Richard

mdeI did turn my back on, but after a period of silence and reflection I have forgiven him.

He’s found his lenses, thank god. My distress was that he was thinking that I had stolen them to fund my cigarette habit, so I got more wound up as the day went on.

What happened was he repacked both rucksacks last night AFTER TAKING HIS MEDICATION (damn fool). To be fair he needed to. He had got way to much and hadn’t packed tidily. Should have listened to me, but doesn’t understand how soldiers have to live and travel in confined spaces.

The rule is that camera, laptop, lenses go in the small rucksack so it can be kept on his person and never put in the luggage hold. But with pills inside of him, once he had taken stuff out of the large rucksack (it was too heavy for me), he put the lenses in there. Of course he didn’t search it because the re is ….

The Underground Distresses Action Man

From Victoria to Wanstead in rush hour and I’m at my whits end. Its been a hard day as Richard has either lost his spare lenses or left them at home. The bus company say they weren’t on the bus and Nero said they aren’t there. I hope he has left them at home. Somehow Richards so calm he’s updating WordPress whilst I’m left having a smoke, maybe two.

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Deferring University – Preperation For Part Four, Still Life – Prep For London

Having been unable to find appropriate accommodation in the locale of Farnham I have deferred university until next year. A lot can happen in a year, so I am open-minded. I’m going to keep looking for a home swap, but I’m also happy to finish Foundations in Photography and then make a decision as to whether to take the photography degree with the Open College of the Arts, which is distant learning, or go to the University for the Creative Arts. There are advantages to both, but with my mental health as it is, then taking the degree with OCA has become my preferred option. Distant learning suits me, I can study part-time, have less pressure with deadlines, and not have the stress of moving. These are all protective factors for my mental health.

cofIs this still life?

I am shortly going to begin part four of Foundations in Photography, which is a section based upon still life. With the new medication that I am on and how it is affecting my energy, I decided not to begin part four until I return from London. However, I have been exploring thoughts, and making photos for my digital sketch book, which I hope to upload before I travel. We’ll wait and see. My aim is to read part four in the FiP manual, so that I can make the most of being in a new, dynamic environment, and begin to make photos, or at least test photos for the coursework whilst I am away.

IMG_20180805_101352.jpgIs this still life?

London, here I come. I am very excited about visiting London. My initial plan was for it to be for a few days. But I haven’t been too London as an adult. Yeah I have passed through it, and been to two football matches there, but I have never explored. I have activities planned, a few people to meet and an OCA study visit/field trip.

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Lots of wonderful opportunities for photography in different environments and with several genres, as well as museum and gallery visits, West End shows, football match, and nature. Lots and lots of nature, animals, birds, flowers, macro. I have Lightroom on my laptop now, so I may upload some photos as I go along, although my lap top is incredibly slow compared to my PC with its huge RAM.

cofIs this still life?

Consequently I am not going to be able to keep up with everyone’s blogs anywhere near as much as I would like to, but normal service will be resumed upon my return.

London

On the way home from my interview at the University for the Creative Arts in April, I had a few hours in London.

St Paul’s Cathedral and Millenium Bridge

London, April 2018

St Paul’s Cathedral

London, April 2018

Kings Cross Station

London, April 2018

Houses of Parliament

London, April 2018

The London Eye

London, April 2018

The women of world war II

London, April 2018

Field Marshal Earl Haig

London, April 2018

Horse Guard

London, April 2018

Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square

London, April 2018

St Pancras Station

London, April 2018

Exercise 3.5 – Photographs From Text

Brief:- History painting was a specific genre of painting that depicted scenes from religious, historical or mythological texts.  Choose a text that has meaning for you. It can be anything from a poem to a newspaper report, a biblical passage or a scene in a novel. It can be a long text, but it would probably be best if it was reasonably short, even a few lines. You’ll need to know your text by heart, so read it repeatedly.

Try to generate visual ideas that communicate something about the text. Discuss the text with other people and find out what images spring to mind for them. Write down any ideas you get from the text. They can be visual ideas or thoughts about the subject.

How would you turn that text into a photograph or a series of photographs?

  • Begin by thinking of a literal translation from the text, like a movie or a biblical painting.
  • Next, try to think in more metaphorical and symbolic ways. Text can be didactic, but you don’t have to illustrate the text; you can use it as a starting point for your picture making or you can create a broad interpretation based on the intuitive or emotional meaning the text has for you. For example, the Resurrection may cause joy and this joy could be metaphorically expressed in an explosion of colour, as in the work of Polly Apfelbaum.

When you’ve finished your work, place the photograph or photographs you’ve made with the text, side-by-side.

Leisure

by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Leisure by William Henry Davies

Reflections

What a lot of fun I have had whilst making this sequence, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Because I read the course manual before I started Foundations in Photography, I had planned to use Leisure by William Henry Davies from the outset. It is probably my favourite poem, and one that is etched in my memory. My intention had always been to make this as close to a literal representation as I could do.

Technically this has been quite straight forward, with the only challenges coming from using Photoshop to remove an electric fence in the scene with the cows, and also from trying to get the text size correct. This has been difficult because I have taken the photos on four different cameras, each with their own dimensions, and because they have all been cropped to different ratios so that I could make each omage how I wanted them. I felt that it was important to get the text correct on the full size image, rather than the 1080p that I have saved the photos as, so that if I need to rework a photo then I have the original in its complete form.

The text has not worked out, and this is easy to correct by saving the original without text to 1080p and then increasing the canvas size and adding text, which can now be added at the same size.

I am going to go back and do this, but I felt that it was important to, as my former school teachers would say, show my workings out not just the answers.

Because this has been planned for a long time, than I have had the opportunity to take these photos in many places that I have visited, although I have had to include two from before I began Foundations in Photography so that I could retain the narrative, and two portraits from previous coursework.