Friday, 23 July 2010


Please do not COPY or use any of my images on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.

At last, our friends from the Continent had arrived, the long wait was over.
For some time Paul and I had wanted to go back to beautiful Staithes, on The North-Yorkshire Heritage Coast.
We decided to wait till we could all go together!
The weather was perfect, not too hot, some interesting clouds in the sky, we drove North through some impressive landscapes, however wanted to reach our destination as quickly as possible,
Up hill, we come around a bend and are gently encouraged to slow down and give way to three horse-drawn wagons.
We carry on behind them,
overtaking them as soon as possible! Of course! We are modern people… in a hurry!!! LOL.
I ask Paul to stop a bit further down, and jump out of the car, camera at the ready, all exited! I photograph them as they trot towards me,

all too quickly, they pass. One of the travelers has shouted in passing, to please put the images onto Facebook, under Jimbo.
Back into the car, we are now behind them and in a queue, eventually we overtake them again,

, I take shots from the car with now the song firmly in my head, I WAS BORN UNDER A WANDERING STAR!
Another stop, now everyone is ready, we are and so are they, they holler where they are heading for…
Back in the slow queue, we debate what we are going to do… another bend, more uphill, the traffic moves, when suddenly I see one of them at the entrance of a lay-by, wind milling his arms, inviting and guiding us in.
They decided to have a tea-break and we are welcome to photograph them.
I can’t believe my good fortune! I’ve been wanting to do that for years. The occasion just never materialised before. Or when we saw some along the road, either no place to stop or too rushed!
The last Bowtop wagon is Tony’s, by the time we’ve parked the car and taken our gear, he is already tending to his horse, named ‘Cowboy’ so he informs me.
The animal perspired and gets dried…
I see the magical relationship between gypsies and their most treasured possesions, their horses.
After that it is time for his two little dogs, they get watered

and hugged;
Tony takes out a stool, sits down and rolls a cigarette.

A bit further I see all the horses are grazing now from the verge-grass.

The younger guys are making the tea,
Jim comes and tells me that his youngest son is sleeping in his wagon; yes of course I can photograph him. I gently climb into the Bowtop and look back at a very proud, smiling dad. This is definitely the ‘softer’ side!

The camera is in ‘overdrive’, I see image after image!
I drift back to the guys and we exchange email-addresses. They are also willing to sign model-releases. They ask question, we ask questions… There’s laughter and joy.
We leave them to drink their tea in peace and continue the long road ahead.
It’s been a brilliant experience.
In the car, I’m thinking, yet again, how people are ‘judged’, ‘categorised’…
You cannot tar everyone with the same brush! In every culture you have good people and not so good, to the downright bad. . I’m convinced that you do have less savoury characters in their society… then…so do we!

I see travelers as our European Nomads; they have their life-style, religion, habits and rules.
Long ago I decided to trust my instinct; (I’m mostly right) otherwise you could miss out on something good!!!

Thanx, M, (*_*)
For those interested:
(The Gypsy Horse is a hearty little draft horse which was developed by and is currently used by the Gypsies of England and Ireland. They typically stand between 13 and 15.2 hands, and have an unusually quiet and gentle disposition. Their exceptional stamina allows them to go all day at a steady trot while pulling a loaded living wagon with the whole Gypsy family. They are sturdily built with solid bone and have a good deal of feathering and hair. The Gypsy horse comes in all colours, with the most common being the "pinto" patterns, piebald and skewbald. Although they have been bred for a particular type for generations, they are originally descended from several draft horse and pony breeds, namely the Shire and Clydesdale along with Dales, Fell and other native British breeds.)

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Please do not COPY or use any of my images on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.


‘Envy is the religion of the mediocre.
It comforts them, it responds to the worries that gnaw at them and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues.
Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude – and destroy if possible – those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind and guts.
Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.’

An excerpt from this beautiful book:
“The Angel’s Game” by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n.

Nowadays, I encounter it too much.
I speak from my point of view as a photographer:
There are many sites to upload your images. A blessing and a curse, methinks.
It brings out your work; yet, it allows it to be stolen and copied.
We’re all hungry for interesting and meaningful feedback… not all can handle it!
Some people get VERY defensive… and sadly nasty, constructive and ‘kind’ as the advice was.

I have years of learning behind me, wore out many a camera, broke the odd lens… even ‘lost’ a 400mm Nikon at sea, ouch… trashed all types of film, missed hours of sleep over some images, either ‘creating’ or agonizing how to ‘better’ it…
Went digital only 3 years ago, I’m on my third camera there, still use it very much as an analogue camera, quality rather than quantity.
A whole new world opened, a new learning process, a different ‘dark-room’ with so many ‘easy’ facilities and gimmicks. I’m again learning new stuff every day!
I’m a creative and confident photographer, not pretentious, however I feel I can tell the difference between a great, a mediocre and a bad image… objectively, not taking into account personal taste. I’m not above constructive criticism, can’t stand cheap words that clearly reflect ignorance, usually the mark of the absolute beginner or the amateur with the latest and expensive camera, who read somewhere about the rule of thirds in a second-hand book. Learn the rules (preferably not on a so called ‘learning’ site, photography is one skill you do NOT learn on a site, where mostly the blind are leading the blind), practice, practice and practice, so you can break them, in a creative way? That’s how we progress and develop (pardon the pun?) the medium of photography.
Not by over-saturating the colours, nor by over-sharpening, or by making a sky a ‘non-existent’, unnatural blue.
Not by taking a photo of the sea with a skew horizon and call it ART?
We’ve all been there, it is a process we go through, see a quirky doorknob, play with a mirror and immediately think that it has NEVER been done and you are the next Ansel Adams or Robert Mapplethorpe?

Day after day, we and our precious photos are being judged by people who do not have a clue, do not know the basics of photography or composition, some don’t know what ‘negative or positive’ film are anymore, aperture, exposure are alien words to many.
They started with a digital camera. That’s fine! The same principles apply though…
They go and proudly come home with thousands of images, there’s bound to be at least ONE good one?
I often take just one frame; however it can take me a long time before I do, composing and lighting everything correctly.
I’ve been envied, vilified, bullied, plagiarised, and stolen from (both the ideas and images) … daily.
Ultimately it doesn’t get me down anymore. I know my images came out of my brain, not somebody else’s. I have done my utmost; they go out immaculate and up to my personal standards. The moment you bring them out, you open them up to criticism.
People form an opinion, it is theirs!!!
Do I have to accept it and agree? NO.
Do I have to accept negative criticism, foul language, and envious venom? NO.
What I DO accept is that not everybody is going to like your work, just like I don’t like all of theirs.
Your ideas also aren’t always understood, but when they are, you’ll get a compliment that will touch you deeply.

A blog to mull over… All the best and thanx, your constructive comments are welcome LOL, M, (*_*)