Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I jus' felt like runnin'....

Really finding my running mojo again. I am aiming this year to be fitter than ever before, and after 3 weeks training I am putting in a respective time of just over 23 mins for a 5km run.

There are various reasons why I am running.

Firstly, I love the freedom it gives me to think, relax, unwind and listen to music. It's MY time, just me, my ipod and the countryside around me.

Secondly for my health. Not only do I dislike feeling out of shape and wincing when I look in the mirror, but I have 2 small children who do not deserve a dad who keels over before they are old enough to look after themselves. I owe it to them to take every step I can to preserve myself until they are adults.

And thirdly, a few years ago I had the confidence to pose for an art class, au naturelle. I can't honestly say right now that I have the guts (physically or spiritually) to be able to do such a thing again. And I hate that, it feels like I've lost something. Not caring what others think is the key, but in order to achieve that, you have to like yourself a lot. And hopefully the running will help with this.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

"Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested"

Great time today with my youngest playing with his remote controlled car. It's his birthday soon and he's very excited (and hence waking up very early).

It's important to enjoy these times, because I know all too well that one day, he won't want to play with his dad... best to take it while you can!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Way Ahead Photography Website Is Up!

Finally I've got round to re-doing the Way Ahead Photography website, after several years of it remaining untouched.

Be fair to me tho, it didn't look bad before, and as I spent nearly 20 years building websites for other people, you can understand my natural reticence to want to work on my own, more than I have to.

The new site has some gorgeous full screen imagery, funky transparencies and should be far more friendly for all you lovely people who use devices with the letter "i" in front of them. Pads, pods and phones are all welcome at Way Ahead Photography :)

Hope you enjoy the new site and thanks for visiting! :)


Monday, 16 January 2012

14/366 A brief moment to rock out...

I love Mondays! My day to do all the little things that need doing, see all the people who matter and generally enjoy myself!

Today is a glorious sunny winter day, and so I took a few moments to sit in the conservatory and play my guitar, just for fun!

Friday, 13 January 2012

"Some things you shouldn't get too good at...."

"...like smiling, crying and celebrity." (U2)

We live in a world where celebrity is a staple diet, the bread and potatoes of the masses. Every day we eagerly consume news of the rich and famous. As well as the not so rich and famous.

As Russell Brand observed very wisely, celebrities have become our Greek Gods (or as a very clever man once observed, the Gods were the Greek's celebrities). And he's dead right. But as time goes on this is getting diluted, as information flow increases with ease, thanks to the likes of Twitter and Facebook. The concept of a celebrity becomes less about an amazingly talented and focussed person, and more about somebody who knows how to play the fame game.

A bit like the National Lottery. Every week it creates more millionaires, so that whilst once upon a time the term "millionaire" gave rise to visions of a hard-working, single-minded and talented individual who would stop at nothing to get what they dreamt of, it's now replaced by the image of an individual who sits at home watching Jeremy Kyle and drinking Stella in his vest at 10am in the morning. Deliberate? Calculated? I think it might be...

Maybe, just maybe, this is much more digestible than the thought of somebody BETTER than us? We've brought the millionaire down to our level, so that we can see them smiling and waving one week in the press, then in a few weeks we find out that they once kicked a dog in the park.

And this is exactly what has happened to the celebrities. Having first made celebrities our gods, we've evolved further, and brought those gods down to our level. We have created celebrity in our own image.

Reality television, and the internet mean that anyone can become "famous" very quickly, for pretty much no good reason. And the great thing is that these sorts of celebrities don't make us look inferior. Best of all, some of them can be looked DOWN on!

Humanity is essentially lazy. All we have done is create a self-maintaining garden, and removed the need to hack down the tall poppies, rather we grow them the way we want, our rules. When the time comes, we can always remove these lesser-lesser god celebrities, by judging them by the very same facts that made us revere them in the first place, and publishing it on the front page of the gutter press, or retweeting it.

No wonder it's so fashionable to denounce any person or faith that claims there is a real god out there as either stupid or dangerous. How on earth could we live up that reality, and more importantly, how could we control a real god? Better to raise up people who have sex with married footballers...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

5/366: Hoodie...

Today was back to school and back to work day. It felt rotten saying bye to my kids after such a fantastic Christmas break, but that's reality.

Started work in earnest today on the new Way Ahead Photography website. The new version will be far more "professional looking" - I am very keen that it should be fed by and tie into the various social sites that I use to promote my work, also it will be far more iPad/iPhone friendly. After all - most of the creative people I mingle with have one or both!

This return to web design after several years of freedom proved quite frustrating at first - once again CSS proved inconsistent, flawed and sometimes downright silly. After a while though I found myself back in my old world, and quite enjoying myself!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

3/366: Me and coffee

Well what can I say. 15 years as an IT guy, 4 years as a photographer - of COURSE I love coffee.

A couple of years ago, my wife, well known for her cunning and guile bought me an amazing coffee machine for my birthday. There was just one catch. It needed a kitchen to be installed in... so naturally I agreed without any fuss to buying a new kitchen.

Yes - she is THAT cunning! :)

Anyway the coffee machine remains one of my very fave things, I feel very lucky to have it. Especially at about 6.45 most weekdays, when I stagger downstairs, drop a mug under it and hit a button.... aaaaaaah COFFEEEEE! :)

Today's photo is courtesy of a chum on Instagram who claimed that day 1's photo lacked enthusiasm, and that I needed to dose up on caffeine before day 3. In fact, I've dosed up FOR my day 3 shot. So there :)

2/366 "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize..."

(Quoted from the Book of Philippians)

This is my watch. I just got my watch back from my wife - I lent her it for a few months because her watch broke. But she got a new one for Christmas, which pleased me no end :)

I am very proud of my watch because it is very symbolic of a great success.

Last year I set some goals at the start of 2011. One of these was to meet one of my photography heroes, Rankin. And I did. This watch, one from a very limited edition, was a gift from Rankin and Swatch, given to all those who attended the opening of his fantastic Eyescapes exhibition in London. At the exhibition I met him, talked to him and was very much inspired in many ways. He was a great guy! And I even got to take his photo - which was quite a moment!

So - yay! I did it! In fact I met ALL my goal targets last year. Well done me! But... what now?

It would be very easy to relax, feel smug, and keep harping on about past successes. Humans are very good at it. But the downside is that this can knock us off target, it can slow us up, or even kill our progress.

Ironically past achievements mean very little. They are in the past. They don't exist any more. They amount, to very little more than nothing... except good memories.

The only thing to do is press on, something I am setting as a massive goal for 2012...

Monday, 2 January 2012

366 Days! 1/366 - here I go again...

Well last year's 365 fell apart somewhat. I got about 180 days or so in, roughly halfway and hit the wall.

A wiser man would probably quit at this point. But I'm very stubborn...

Not only that I have a feeling 2012 is going to be another very significant year, so I want to document it as well as I can. Aaaaand - I might even try and do my blog alongside so people have something nice to read.

But no promises mind. I can be pretty unreliable at the best of times :)

Wishing you all a fantastic 2012.