The Photographer’s Diary : Summer 2014

We’ve fallen out of sync over the past few months so I thought now would be as good a time as any to fill you in on what’s been happening since we last spoke, well, read.

It’s been a busy four months or so with plenty going on, hence why I’ve not had chance to sit down and write earlier. This brings back memories of my bumper holiday posts during my 365 a couple of years ago! How I managed to write and post everyday will never cease to amaze me.

Anyway, down to business.

Aldridge Does Variety 2014

In May I was the official photographer for Aldridge Does Variety which was a great pleasure. It was also a great show organised by my fellow photographer chum Luke Forbes. Scouring the local area for talented youngsters is no mean feat as I discovered when I was on the audition judging panel. There were a couple of X-Factor moments, especially when my fellow two judges and I couldn’t agree on certain acts. Thankfully though, there were no sob stories. The quality of talent was pretty high and we narrowed it down to 10 acts to perform at the live final.

A mixture of singers, dancers and guitarists entertained a 100+ strong audience on 3rd May and the show was a huge success. The eventual winner was Amie Faulkner who sang a chilling rendition of Pink’s Dear Mr President . I saw the show twice, once at the dress rehearsal where I was able to get some great close-up shots of the show’s stars, and again on finals night. A big well done to everyone who took part and a huge congratulations to Amie for taking the Aldridge Does Variety 2014 title.

I wanted to showcase some of the images from the night as it was a great pleasure to be part of the show. Incidentally, if anyone wants to purchase any, they can be downloaded for £2.50 each from my website. A blatant plug, but who cares.

Devon, April 2014

Earlier in the year, April to be precise, the family and I took a trip to Devon for the Easter weekend. I’ve stayed in a caravan before but other members of the family weren’t quite so keen. To be honest, it was pretty cold, even I wasn’t expecting that. Mind you, I’ve always been in the summer! It was a great weekend though, and despite there not being a beach as such (pebbles and shingle don’t count!) we still had a very entertaining couple of days exploring the local area.

Minimum Monument, August 2014

Next, a very moving tribute to the World War I Victims. Birmingham Hippodrome hosted Minimum Monument which saw 5,000 ice sculptures lining the steps of Chamerbain Square in Birmingham. It was a great sight and seeing the installation come together was brilliant. I think I must have placed about 5 sculptures down and watching them melt was rather haunting. There was such a huge turn out which was really great to see and the atmosphere was one of enjoyment and remembrance. In this centenary year, lest we forget those who gave their lives for us.

Barmouth, August 2014

Next on TPD, a recent trip to Barmouth. Now those who know me will will know that this is one of my favourite seaside destinations. It holds some very special memories, especially from my childhood. It’s been ever such a long time since we visited last (May 2013 to be precise, I checked!) so it was nice to finally get a free day when we could venture to the sea.

We picked the best day for the weather – it was beautifully sunny and warm all day! After a leisurely drive we arrived just in time to get our breakfast at Davy Jones’ Locker. Tradition is tradition and every time we visit Barmouth that’s where we’ll be for breakfast. Needless to say, it filled us up for the day which was a good job really because we ended up going on rather a long ‘hike’.

The railway bridge that crosses the harbour was a walk that we had done only once before, many, many years ago when I was very young and so we thought it would be nice to give it another go. It was a great place to get some photos and it proved to be a very relaxing walk. Eventually, we had walked all the way from Barmouth round to Fairbourne where we caught the train back. It’s also been a number of years since we rode on the miniture railway and I have to say I was impressed to see my favourite childhood engine ‘Russell’ still working hard, and he ended up chugging us back to Barmouth which was great. Why was he my favourite I hear you ask? Well, I’m not entirely sure, but he is red which is my favourite colour so that’s more than likely the main reason behind it. I’m sure I’ve still got a model toy of him somewhere!

After jumping off the train we boarded the ferry for the quick crossing back to Barmouth Harbour. Then it was time for the beach. Despite everything, we still couldn’t get Jack to enjoy the water. He must have been the only dog running away from the sea! We managed to get him to put his paws in though. Sadly, it wasn’t windy enough to fly my kite – that’s when you know you’ve got good weather in Wales!

Rounding off the day was a leisurely meal of fish and chips on the harbour road which made a change from buying them from the chip shop and eating them in ‘our’ layby on the way home. It was the perfect end to a great day. And of course, there’s plenty of photos!

Newquay, August 2014

With the summer looking as if it’s well and truely behind us, there wouldn’t be an issue of TPD complete without the annual summer holiday photos. I have to say that I was quite surprised that I didn’t end up taking half as many photos as I used too. Even my ‘unofficial’ Instagram pictures only gained 1 image throughout the entire week – here’s hoping it was because I was enjoying myself too much!

We spent plenty of time on the beach, sampled 18 different ciders and wines at Healey’s Cider Farm (hiccup) and said hello to lots of animals at the zoo. It was a week full of laughter and fun that just simply flew by. Who knows where we’ll end up next year!

There we are then, that’s that. You’re bang up to date will all the goings on. I can’t believe summer 2014 has now been and gone, but we all know what that means – we’re heading into my favourite time of the year, September to December. The nights start drawing in (well, they have been since July!), the winter coats come out and the heating goes back on, but I love all that. I don’t quite love the increase in my electricity bills, but it’s a small (not!) price to pay. Hopefully the Autumn will have many exciting events planned and even though I haven’t actually got anything set in stone at the time of writing, I just know it’s going to be great.

I hope this bumper post makes up for the sparseness of updates over the past 6 months or so – I’m not quite sure where the time has gone!

Don’t forget, if you want to keep up with the latest everyday shenanigans, check out my Instagram feed for the ‘unofficial’ photos.

Until next time…