Curse It Photography: 10 Ways to Drive Yourself Spare

An occasional series revealing my own shame for the benefit – or at least amusement – of others

1. Forget spare camera batteries

2. Forget spare flashgun batteries

3. Forget £$*$%^ing flashgun

4. Forget spare spare camera/flashgun batteries / £$*$%^ing flashgun

5. Forget you live in the kind of house where slugs come up through floorboards

6. Forget which bag you’ve left spare spare camera/flashgun batteries / £$*$%^ing flashgun in

7. Forget the light in the garden is slightly different to the light in the cellar

8. Turn up with kit you’ve never used

9. Think, “it’ll be ok”

10. Repeat any / all of the above YET AGAIN


What a waist…

When I’m not fiddling with lenses and flashes and things (and am awake), odds are I’m either stuffing my face or – increasingly – preparing stuff to stuff in my face. So while I knew I’d be an inconsistent bloggist my recent lapse has a reasonable excuse: I’ve been profoundly greedy.

Bacon. Roasted. With Honey. Oh my...

Bacon. Roasted. With Honey. Oh my…

My latest obsessions have been MiMi Aye, Uyen Luu, Ching-he Huang and, er, Guy Fieri – though I assure you our relationships are, if not Platonic, entirely Epicurean.

If explanation were needed: our trip to Burma last year has inspired us to pay proper attention to Asian cooking at last, while the American thing . . . well I saw Diners, Drive-Ins & Drives and it had MASSIVE burgers…

Never mind the burgers - here's my chillidogs

Never mind the burgers – here’s my chillidogs

And so inevitably there is food photography, which is kind of tough: not only is it a very particular skill, it’s also quite hard to concentrate when I’ve just cooked the stuff and I’m hungry, dammit. Plus the wife gets cross if I hold up the noodles too long.

Nooodle om-nom-nom-nom Noooodle

Nooodle om-nom-nom-nom Noooodle

Good fun though, and something I look forward to improving at. In fact we’re enjoying it so much the wife and I have started a joint food blog: (In case you’re wondering, the name is a spinoff from her CrinolineRobot blog, and for the avoidance of doubt, Mrs Robot is her!)

So in all likelihood I’ll be even worse at updating this, not least because there won’t be room for a laptop on my lap. On the other hand, perhaps I’ll have more to write about – if you’ll forgive the slurring when I type with my fingers full.

Vietnamese pork skewers do not play nicely with keyboards

Vietnamese pork skewers do not play nicely with keyboards

Oh Christmas Tree . . .

Gosh, I knew I’d been rubbish at updating lately but hadn’t realised just how rubbish. Life just getting in the way I guess. And two months after getting back from Burma I STILL haven’t done anything with those pics. Coming soon – promise!

Anyway, ’tis the festive period and we’re quite sappy about all this stuff so here – just for the fun of it – are a few snaps around our tree, all taken with my beloved Sigma 35mm, and all shot wide open because it’s just so lovely. (These are all straight out of the camera, by the way – absolutely no processing at all, partly because this is just a bit of fun but mainly because it’s 2am and I’ve just finished wrapping presents.)

Each year we accumulate at least one new decoration, often animal based (I did say we’re sappy), and this year it’s a lil’ birdie. In a scarf.


IMG_8916And for reasons I have no hope of adequately explaining our tree is topped, not by an angel, but by a red panda. The wife likes them, ok?

Once upon a time he had lace wings but they’ve disappeared over the years.

Probably no bad thing really – they didn’t do his dignity any favours.

A holdover from my childhood is the presence of bears on the tree. No idea why, but we always had them.



Sadly the originals are long lost (and I miss them to this day) but we have of course found some replacements.

IMG_8934The odd reindeer doesn’t go amiss, mind.

IMG_8921Not that it’s all animals, you understand – we do have the odd angel, star and so on.



And of course a zillion regular baubles. Far too many in fact. After all this time we have something of a rotating gallery – it’d just get way too messy piling them all on.


This year there wasn’t even room for my Homer Simpson, but I’m sure he’ll be back at some point. Poor Homey.

Our tree will never look styled: it’s always going to be a mishmash of stuff accumulated over the years, and generally involve a good degree of silliness. But that’s as it should be: our tree charts our time, and the fun we have, together.

Merry Christmas folks.IMG_8919

Hello world . . .


Hello there, and welcome to my new blog.

How long it lasts is anyone’s guess but we’ll just start off and see where we get to. The last couple of years have seen my photography increasingly occupied with “jobbing” stuff – specific shoots leaving little time or inclination to just indulge myself. So I’m hoping this will give me the excuse and motivation to just get out there and play a bit more.

In the process, with any luck, maybe I can provide a little amusement and diversion you as well, dear reader, and perhaps learn a thing or two myself.

Who knows, given time I might even end up with one of those Artistic Statement things I find so baffling, and which accounts for my sad lack of profile blurb.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of fun from the Waltz on the Wye 21012 steampunk weekend in Chepstow . . .

Cancan ladies from the Pink Kitten Dance School, Bristol