Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Time to Leave

Thats its I'm afraid, after a lot of soul searching this Blog is closing down, and there will be no further entries.

As a lot of you know, a Blog is pretty hard work to keep up, and I am afraid that these days I have other priorities without wondering what the next post will be about, and when can I find the time to post with the current demands on my time.
It's been fun, and I am getting out before it becomes a burden. You won't find me on any of the other Social Media outlets as I consider them a pointless waste of one's time and energy. 

I will continue to develop my small Photographic website at Triple P Imaging but that's really for me, and will be done at a pace of my own making. A picture speaks a thousand words, so I'll let them do my talking from now on in.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Home...and Away

Apologies for the longer than anticipated absence from the Blogger World, but My Good Wife surprised me with a week way somewhere warm and relaxing in a more civilised part of the World than I had recently been in.
It was just as well in fact, as I had come back to weather about 30 degrees colder than I had been used to and the Old Body was not standing up to it too well to put it mildly. I did manage a couple of walks however before jetting off but as you can see from the Picture below the days were very overcast and dull and generally pretty damn boring, from a photography point of view.

This is a view from Elliot Beach just south of Arbroath, which is looking kinda scruffy these days due to the number of fairly intense storms that have hit this part of the World these last few months, which has washed up all sorts of debris both man made and natural, on to the Beaches.
We jetted back in to the UK on the 24th February to clear skies and sunny but freezing days, and I managed to take one of my better pictures of an almost full Moon at close to midnight in temperatures of -6 degrees centigrade ! helped of course by a hip flask of Scotlands finest...

I have always struggled to take a decent picture of the moon, never quite getting the settings correct, but a wonderful Guest post over on the Nikon Rumors blog opened my eye's and I managed this humble attempt.
Now its back to reality and the Chore list...I have 2 weeks to complete the tasks set and then it's back to work for me. Where I am heading off for is still to be decided but I can put money on to yet another journey to the Continent of Africa...wonderful.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Angola here we come...

Well how does one go about travelling to the lush pastures and golden beaches of Angola then ? The answer is, with some difficulty, although obviously not as difficult to get into as, lets say North Korea, but awkward enough without becoming too much of a Drama Queen.
First you need to apply for an STV.....pay attention at the back, its a V, not a D......that may come later, but its not relevant to this story. A Short Term Visa, when issued from your local friendly Embassy or Consul, allows you 72 hours from the time of issue, to get your Butt into the Country. 73 hours, and wahaay its jackpot time and you get a fine, the size of which very much depends on how well the Immigration Officers Date progressed the previous night. If you are really unlucky you could also face deportation on the next Plane to....well anywhere really, as long as its not Angola. Deportation can then begin to get really interesting if they fly you into another Country for which you have no Visa for (which is likely), as then the whole Immigration process is repeated in a rather Catch 22'esque manner with local added tweaks which invariably require money heading in the opposite direction to which you want it to go.

However, if only an STV was as easy to obtain as described above. Now you have to factor in the Individual Embassies and Consuls continually changing requirements for what they perceive they need from you; so as to give you in return, a valid 72 hour Visa. The first couple of times for all of us it was quite simple, too simple in fact. You supplied by Post a completed application form, a copy of your Yellow fever certificate, a letter of invitation (dont ask), and some Money, and then Bob's your Uncle an STV would appear in your passport about a week later, nicely timed to coincide with your pre booked flight to Luanda.
Then, the Angolan Embassy in Paris wanted fingerprints from our Colleagues across the Channel. Fair dues we Brits all smugly thought, they are French after all, so probably deserve the added inconvenience of turning up at the Embassy in their break, rather than using a postal application.
Anyway, next it was the Scandahooligans turn; they were all asked to attend the Embassy in person each time they wanted a visa on their way to Angola, a slight complication being that the only Angolan Embassy able to pass out these visas was in Copenhagen, which was all very useful for our predominantly Norwegian crew! However, this system is not quite as efficient (!) as you would expect, as so far they have been delayed for various amounts of time for the last 3 crew changes for a) The Person who stamps the Visa went on holiday with the Stamp (It must be a serious relationship?), b) They ran out of paper for the Visa printer (I kid you not), which gave a 3 day delay, and finally c) They decided to take a long unannounced weekends holiday (probably with the Stamp), so shut the Visa section down until the following Monday, by which time, the Guys should have been on the Boat.
We Brits are still smiling kind of smugly....for now, but rumours are rife that not to be outdone, the London Embassy is currently cooking up some devilish scheme of their own, so as to make our lives a little more awkward in the future...watch this space.
Now where was I ? ah, the Photo.....this was taken one very early morning last year in August, while the Vessel I was on, was seeking shelter from the inclement North Sea weather. We were in the Moray Firth, about 10 miles along the coast from Fraserburgh. The colours you see here, are what I saw, there has been no colour boosting of any description, it was just a magnificently menacing rolling sky, with a Seagull flying very conveniently through the picture, a question of being in the right place at the right time, but isn't that what a lot of Photography is about....timing ?

Till the next time...

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Happy 2013

Happy New Year to you all from the World's worst blogger....yup I know, there I go and trumpet far and loud that I am back, and then the deafening sound of silence for three months.....Typical Man I hear you say !
What is worse, it's not as if I am going to regale you with some amazing adventure that I have been through, or a description about a recent trip of a lifetime, Oh no. Essentially I didn't get off my skinny wee butt after all the work I put in to starting up my new Photography website, and time just ran away with Me.
To be a little honest, I was also beginning to feel a tad jaded staring at Computers, and looking through thousands of Photos (with a lot more still to go!), and then trying to make sense of designing a website. Don't take me the wrong way about this website design; Zenfolio and others do a remarkable job for us Computer illiterates, and do make it very easy for us to get up and running, but as always, knowledge (and over confidence) is a dangerous thing, especially when you get drawn into the "options" syndrome.

Oh yes...options, don't go there and this is Mr Hindsight speaking! First it was a little twiddle changing the font, then the size of it, followed quickly by testing out various colours and themes. Not satisfied with just leaving well alone, the next stop was to change the layout...several times, followed finally by some subtle changes to the shopping basket, so on and so forth. The damn photos began to be incidental to the whole process in the end !
Anyway, sanity finally prevailed (The Wife spoke sternly to me !), and I remembered what the heck I was doing, and why. So the fiddling stopped and the KISS principle came to the fore, and I let the photo's do the talking. After that decision I discovered that strangely enough I had a lot more time in my life !
So now, full circle here I am, currently sailing off the paradise shores of Angola, a Country from which I appear to be unable to escape from, for any lengthy period of time. I have absolutely no idea what I did wrong in a previous life, but boy am I paying for it in spades at this moment. Angola is; let me see... different, but hey thats another story or two for later, and I promise it won't be 3 months later either.
For those of you remotely interested, the photograph is taken from my 2013 calendar, and shows one of my Clematis growing in the garden and showing off its vibrant colouring, brought out by that rarest of Scottish commodities....Sunlight.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Almost Hello once again !

Well its been a busy few months, much busier than I expected to be honest, and in fact its still all very much work in progress with regard to moving my Blog somewhere else, and my Photos to a new hosting company.

I am having 2nd thoughts about Blog moving right now, as the Blogger interface is one that my Walnut sized brain has become very familiar with during the time I have been in the blogosphere, and the blog that I was thinking of associating with my new website is certainly not as feature rich and as simple to use as this one.....so well done Google...for now. Should I stay or should I not will be pondered further over the next month or so, so watch this space.

The Photo hosting site however, is up and running and hosted by Zenfolio, with whom I am very pleased with, so I can definitely recommend them to any of you who wish to showcase, or sell your Photos. The use of this referral code when applying for a Zenfolio site provides you with a 1st year discount, and me some pennies, and they are quite literally pennies as well, so I'm not going to survive on the referrals is all I can say ! SNY-GD1-SGQ is what you need to put in, in the correct box when signing up.

Anyway the Photography site is Triple P Imaging, You are all welcome to peruse, comment or even knock yourself out and purchase a small photo or two. Shipping is worldwide from several major photographic printing labs near to you...