Playing With Lines And Colour

Buildings, people and cars reflected in a metallic surface

This week’s photo challenge is a strange one at first reading. It’s about a different style of portraiture:

Explore silhouettes, shadows, orientation, and other ways to mask your subject… Explore the use of anonymity to express both that which is common to all of us and the uniqueness that stands out even when the most obvious parts of us are hidden.

I’m not a portrait photographer so I planned to sit this one out, until I remembered this series of pictures I had so much fun taking.  Continue reading

Cheeky Roadside Memorabilia (With A Coulrophobia Warning)

Retro advertising signs and characters

I’m sharing these pictures, taken in the backyard at Austin’s Roadhouse Relics, for the weekly photo challenge, cheeky. I recommend you take a look at the other submissions, if only to see Michelle’s cheeky parrot, shared for our inspiration.

The figures along the roof are the cheeky bit in this picture, although the picture is doubling as a delaying tactic as I know there are increasing amounts of people with a fear of clowns.

I assume quite a few of these are not familiar with the term coulrophobia, which makes me wonder why we give such strange terms to fears. Believe me, if you have a phobia, you want a good clear warning. Obfustication is the last thing you need with danger approaching (that word must have more than a hint of irony in it, surely?).

But, to back to my ~~~warning~~~ if you share this fear, please look no further.  Continue reading

At The St Louis City Museum of Fun

View through a screen at St Louis City Museum

The weekly photo challenge asks us to share something that is layered, with depth, density or texture. My first choice is a view through a mesh screen into a cafe in St Louis’s City Museum. It’s not really called the City Museum of Fun, but it’s a play house for all ages, and a bewilderingly fertile gathering of inspiration and creativity.

How many galleries can you think of that hold family sleepovers – i.e. can persuade whole families to spend that much time in a museum? The longer I was there, the more I felt like my head was going to explode with impressions.

A pair of retro robots

In the midst of the madness, the repose of these retro robots completely captured my heart – although I’d have felt a bit worried if the closest one had started shaking that cocktail shaker. Continue reading

Cities at Night

New Orleans at night seen from the river

Many pictures have a hidden story. We can all see how the river softens and reflects the city lights, but this picture has a mental soundtrack for me. A wisp of smoke towards the top right brings back memories of the steam calliope playing its wavering tune of valediction to New Orleans as we paddle off up the Mississippi River on the other-worldly American Queen steamboat.

The shot below was supposed to show bats streaming out at dusk from their home under Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. You might just make out the heads of some of the watchers peering from the top of the bridge on the left, but you’ll have to take my word that there were bats – hundreds of thousands of them – all with the invisibility cloak of my faulty technique. But no matter.

Bat vigil in Austin, Texas

While scoring nil out of a hundred thousand for the bats, by serendipity, I’ve ended up with this Gustav Klimt style view of the city and its people gathered on boats, bridge and banks to witness the little creatures emerging from their bat bridge.   Continue reading

Happy Christmas! Sprouts anyone?

Christmas Tree watercolour effect

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter than usual. I’ve been travelling, but later today, I’ll be setting off home for Christmas.

I’ve never flown at this time of the year and am wondering whether we can expect more fun than usual on the journey, or mild chaos. In retrospect the timing of our great value flights does seem a little – well – rash. I’m naturally optimistic (hence the ‘mild chaos’) but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see emotions rise if there are any delays.  Continue reading

World Traveller? Me too!

Shack Up Inn, Mississippi DeltaI’ve had the chance to travel quite widely on business, so my experiences have gone well beyond what I might have expected as a child growing up in a Lancashire valley.

The recent scenes from Hong Kong took me back to my time in that remarkable city. I began to realise how the hotels I’ve stayed in around the world – with pleasure or more reluctantly – have changed my thinking about business, and given me insight that helps me lead a happier life.  Continue reading