Archive for March 2008
The half time dash
Most of us in the CDP community have our own favourite sports teams and Curly in South Shields is no different to the rest of us. I have followed Sunderland AFC since 1964 when my father started taking me to games at the old Roker Park (it’s only 7 miles from South Shields). We now play in the very modern Sunderland Stadium of Light, and those of you familiar with the Premier League in the UK will know that Sunderland have faced an uphill struggle to establish themselves in the league this season. As is common with the fans at most football games (soccer to you lot in the USA) there is nearly always a dash to the bar at half time, and on Saturday it felt like all 45,690 fans were trying to squeeze into Mulhall’s Bar in the North West upper corner of the ground.
There are many catering outlets in the stadium offering the usual fare, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, burgers, hot dogs, tea, coffee, bovril, coke, beer etc., as well as better quality restaurants with a wider and higher quality choice.
They are named after famous players who played for the club in years gone by; George Mulhall, for example, played in the team that won promotion to the old First Division in 1964. He was a Scottish international outside left and played for Aberdeen before being transferred to Sunderland in 1962 for £25,000. He won three caps for Scotland and played more than 250 times for Sunderland, including a record 125 consecutive games, he scored 66 goals for the club.
Oh yes, incidentally we beat West Ham United 2 – 1 on Saturday.
Camera details: Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, 35mm lens, 1/13 second, f2.8, iso 200 (Hand held so it’s a little shaky, and I’ve used a familiar tint and tone action in Photoshop).
South Shields Daily Photo in the news
Some of you may be aware of the difficulties faced by photographers in today’s modern society with it’s constantly shifting attitudes towards safety and privacy as illustrated in the post that I made in Curly’s Corner Shop on Monday 24th of this month. The story was subsequently picked up by our local newspaper The Shields Gazette and it was featured both in it’s printed issue and online edition yesterday.
It was a matter that I felt quite strongly about as photographers here in the UK and several other countries are afforded some basic legal rights and protections which are now becoming threatened by arbitrary police action and changing public perceptions. I don’t know if female photographers face the same “challenges” as males in this respect, or if they are less likely to be challenged by other members in society. I would welcome your views.
The situation has changed so much in recent years that Austin Mitchell, a Labour MP has tabled a motion in the House of Commons to try and return a little common sense to the issue, and to inform both the police and the public about the enjoyment of photography and to remind people that photography in public places is perfectly legal. If you have a couple of minutes to spare and would wish to help inform the debate, I would appreciate your comments added under this post.
The photograph above is of Tim Richardson’s Nikon (he is The Shields Gazette’s Chief photographer) and it shows my image in the display screen, one of several that he took for the news article -thanks Tim. The picture was taken at the rear of The Gazette’s office in South Shields.
Please add your comments about this “self portrait” under this post.
Camera details; Pentax K100D, 82mm lens, 1/180 second, f5.6, iso 200
This small island is in Marsden Bay, South Shields and the path to it is always submerged at high tide. Camel Island is reached via a small path leading down the side of a gently sloping cliff face and it is reputed that the Romans had a quay here and used this route to supply their fort at Arbeia.
This one has had a fair bit of work in Photoshop, the original picture was in colour and taken on a grey lifeless afternoon, you can see it here. So after converting to black and white, removing the sky and replacing it with new clouds and a moon, I then needed to to some additional dodging and burning to create this effect.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28mm lens, 1/60 seconf, f5.6, iso 200
Graham Sands, South Shields
This is a variation on a theme taken from a batch of shots produced at Graham Sands just behind Trow Rocks, South Shields. This was subjected to a fair degree of manipulation in Photoshop to try and reproduce the effect of infra red film. The original colour file was converted to black and white before loading an infra red action (which is available from Action Central), after that I used an Alien Skin plug in filter called Exposure to add the selenium – split brown toning, and finally introduced more noise from Photoshop’s built in filters.
That is the reason why the sea and the sky are mainly black!
Caught in a reflection
This is a clever crop, from a larger image amongst the batch that I shot on Good Friday. It was taken in the Market Place, South Shields as some of the Salvation Army bandsmen laid down their instruments, if you look closely you will see my reflection in there. (Click the picture to enlarge)
The original image was inverted in Photoshop and then I made a very close crop, I then made a selection with the polygonal lasso tool to pick out the instrument, inverted that selection and desaturated the paving to black and white for added contrast.
You can see the original image – here.
(Some might think it was a decent enough composition as it stands!)
Camera details; Penatx K100D, 70mm lens, 1/500 second, f6.7, iso 200
A bad afternoon in the fairground
It’s quite incredible how resilient South Shields folks are!
Easter time is the time to go to the fairground and have some fun, it’s a family affair for many, and a few sharp showers of hailstones, sleet, or snow, isn’t going to stop us.
Lady with a head full of hailstones takes shelter next to the dodgems.
You need a slow shutter speed for shots like these, blue toning added in Photoshop after desaturating.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 75mm lens, 1/20 second, f5.6, iso 200
The Ocean Beach Pleasure Park
It was Easter Bank Holiday Monday yesterday and surprise, surprise, lots of people were out enjoying themselves at South Shields fairground, despite the hailstorms and snow showers! It’s almost like a tradition at Easter time here. The fairground is a permanent fixture, not one of those travelling shows that comes and goes, more like Blackpool, but on a much smaller scale.
I had a fairly testing time taking a batch of pictures yesterday, you can read all about it here, it left me wondering if it’s worth all the bother. I hope somebody tells me that it is. If you like fun fairs, I’ll post a few more pictures from here over the next couple of weeks.
Camera details; Pentax K100D, 28mm lens, 1/60 second, f22, iso 200