Millbrook Warren

15 January 12

Posted at 7:47

On Saturday we decided to go for a walk for a number of reasons. We are walking the foothills of Mount Ventoux later in the year so need to get fit. It was a lovely frosty winters morning. I fancied taking some moody frosty and misty photos. Well by the time we got going the sun was well up and frost and mist were dissapperaing fast. I was begining to think it was a mistake lugging my gear around in bright sunlight and clear blue skies. However I was not to be disappointed. I managed this capture in the woods of Millbrook Warren.

Millbrook Warren

Millbrook Warren

So that made the effort worthwhile. The walk was glorious as was the lunch at The White Hart at Maulden on the way home. The only negative was we got to see close up the impact that the new Center Parcs in going to have on the little countryside we have left in Bedfordshire. The majority of Millbrook Warren is now fenced off and closed to the public with threats of 24 hour security and dog patrols - the warren looks like a prison camp!. The footpaths and bridleways we planned to walk on have been diverted and now run more or less parallel to the A507 instead of going deep into the warren as they always have. Great swarths of pines have been uprooted and I guess the abundance of wildlife that frequented the area will soon disappear as the area becomes another holiday theme park. They say that Center Parcs will bring employement opportunity to the area but at what cost to our heritage, countryside and indeed our access to the countryside? Soon views like this will exist only in photographs.

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Kaya Mar - Aritist and Gentleman

10 January 12

Posted at 7:58

 

Kaya Mar

Kaya Mar

Today I went to Ealing to photograph Kaya Mar. I first met Kaya when I was shooting the N30 protest march last year. He had a lot of attention from the press as he had with him one of his rather large political satire paintings. I photographed the painting and gave it a mention, together with a link to Kaya's website, in my photoblog . The link was with a photo at the end of my blog. I had intended to contact Kaya witha view to perhaps taking some portraits of him.

At 1330 on Christmas Day I received a phone call from a number I did not know. A foreign accent began to enquire if I was Chris Gravett , my immediate thought was 'an Indian call centre on Xmas day whatever next?' But the voice mentioned my blog and I then caught the name Kaya. Kaya told me, with some excitement, how an American couple had contacted him on Christmas morning, visited him and purchased some of his works as a present for a friend. Kaya was overwhelmed with the sale and explained the couple had found him through my blog - he could not thank me enough. It really was like a slushy Xmas movie scene. I have to say though it kind of made my day.

So today I visited Kaya and photographed him with his work, in his studio (shed!) and in his garden. Kaya is an amazing guy. Born to Spanish parents in Istanbul he has lived in Turkey, France and then London when he was initially an animator. He has travelled widely I gather as he talked of being in Russia and Germany as we chatted. He is primarily a landscape artist and tells me he can usually be found on the riverside at Richmond. He describes himself as left wing but not a militant. With his politcal satire paintings he aims to portray images that will make the people smile as they identify with his message. These images have brought him a lot of exposure over recent months with news agencies, newspapers and TV companies clammering to portray his work and involve him in doucumentaries.

It was a pleasure to photograph him today and to spend a few hours listening to his view of the world and his love of life as an artist. An honour to be in the company of such a modest and wise gentleman. Click here for Kaya's website

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London

08 January 12

Posted at 7:38

At the end of last week I had a number of places to go in London, visiting some exhibitions and meetings trying to help the estate agents sell my flat!! My camera is always with me so I took some time to take a few snaps. I've been remiss with my photo blog recently - too busy writing an essay that has to be in by tomorrow. So I thought, why not share a few images from last week?

The Royal Exchange

Royal Exchange

I am looking to enter photos in the Sunday Times travel photography competition each month. In Olympic year the competition demands images of London and the first prize is a photography trip to India. It was dusk when I took this so the colours from the lights are more interseting than it would have been a hour earlier. I took the opportunity to try out some graduated filters that were a Christmas present. They work! without using one here the sky would have been burnt out white.

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

Again being dusk helps this image. The downside is that the market is open lunchtimes so other than some early drinkers outside the pub bottom left the place was deserted!

Lloyds Towers

Lloyds Towers

A third architecture image. I read somewhere that this became a listed building last year

Graffiti

Rivington Art

There is lots of interesting graffiti in Shoreditch and Hoxton. I call this one Rivington Art.

Kentish Town Girls

Kentish Town

Last shot today - street photography. I enjoy candid street photography and there are always good opportunities on the tube and buses. Throuble is my camera is a bit too conspicuous. Got away with this one though.

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