Yellow Submarine

SIGHTS and the CITY: Liverpool, England

Liverpool; a place with so many associated names and tags I don’t know whether to go for grandiose or let my inner Mancunian out with bald mockery, so I’ll just call it… Liverpool.

I managed a lot of touristy sightseeing in my own country over the Christmas and new year period this year and thought I’d share some wintry visions of the streets and sights of Liverpool. With such an historic city, it’s impossible to capture all it has to offer in one short day-trip, but as I was playing tour-guide, I got to revisit some of the classic sights. Continue reading

A pair of fakes

Monochrome Madness 2-52: Close-up

and also close up; end of year 2

It’s the final theme of the year over at Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge, and also the end of the second year of the Challenge itself – and my first year as a contributor. It’s the challenge that spurred this blog into being and has been key in making me get out of the house in the evenings and at the weekends and Just Take Photos.

I bought my Trusty Canon (which should really have a name by now – all my other prized possessions do) at the end of 2014 and spent at least two months just learning what all the buttons meant. By this time last year, I was starting to experiment with aperture, thanks again to Leanne and some useful comment responses on her fabulously interactive and supportive blog. Now I’m fully manual and just starting to experiment with shooting in RAW.

The MMC challenge has made me get out at least once a month, often once a week, and concentrate on one, single theme idea.
Continue reading

Monochrome Madness 2-50

Coffee in colour

Coffee in colour

Is it possible? It’s nearly the end of year 2 of Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge already. How time flies!

This week, for once, I’ve submitted a quick snap I took with my ageing and battered smartphone for a mini project I’ve been collecting for my writing blog, the Parrot on the Powerlines. Even in colour, the black and white potential was stark, clear and irresistible. If you’re looking closely; yes. That is a cup of coffee sitting in a bowl of hot water. And yes, the coffee really is that black, sticky-looking and potent.

For more about my adventures in Vietnamese coffee, check out the Powerlines tomorrow.

For more marvels in monochrome, check out the many other entries over on right now; inspiring as always.

What keeps you going through the day?

MM2-50 Parrot Exposed - X hits the spot

X hits the spot

Happy snapping, folks.

Straight roads of Da Nang

Monochrome Madness 2-47: Straight

Straight roads of Da Nang

Straight roads of Da Nang

Theme time has whipped around again on Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness in what may be the penultimate theme of this MMC year’s collection. In contrast to last month’s curves, this month’s theme is straight. I’ve been looking out for lines and edges all month and realised that I take a lot of pictures of nature, and that nature isn’t a huge fan of straight.

The picture above was taken on a trip to the marvellous natural phenomenon of the Marble Mountains in Danang, central Vietnam. The five conspicuous limestone outcrops flank the southern road into the city. From the top of the largest there’s a precarious viewpoint which offers a 360° view of the city, the mountains, and the ocean, including the famous surf of China beach. Continue reading

Salisbury cathedral curves

Monochrome Madness 2-45

I went out of my way this month to make sure I got a good image for the first themed Monochrome Madness of 2016, “Curves,” and then totally failed to submit my photo on time! However, unwilling to let a nice picture go, I duly sent it over to Leanne Cole to be included in this week’s collection.

Salisbury cathedral curves

Salisbury cathedral curves

This came from another good day out on my recent extended home visit to the UK. Choosing the day that the fallout from storm Jonas washed across the Atlantic to drench the UK, we headed west from the sunny and mild weather of the Thames estuary, to the wind-battered and soaked plain of Salisbury. Continue reading

Deer at Dunham

Monochrome Madness 2-42

For this week’s monochrome madness with Leanne Cole I wanted to share another photo from my current exploration of my own back yard. I’ve had a jolly January roaming hither and thither about Merrie Englande (and Scotlande and Wales), taking in a number of historic cities and some nice bits of Nature. The picture above shows a little herd of fallow deer grazing at Dunham Massey in Cheshire / Trafford (depending on whether you read the National Trust’s website, or Wikipedia).

Below are some other sights from a bracing winter’s walk around the grounds, where as well as deer we saw geese, coots, moorhens, and a lot of people walking dogs and children.

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For more marvelous monochrome, head over to Leanne Cole’s blog to view this week’s collection.

Happy snapping, folks.

The Falcon, Stratford

Monochrome Madness 2-40

The Falcon, Stratford

The Falcon, Stratford

It’s Monochrome Madness day again with Leanne Cole and this time I’ve found a contribution from recent adventures around England. This needed very little monochroming, being a great example of the type of timbered Tudor buildings Stratford is famous for.

Back in my home country for the first time in a couple of years, and for the longest period since I left in 2010, I’ve been having a jolly time showing Wonderboy around England, Scotland and Wales’ historic cities, so there’s been quite a lot of black and white. Below are some other highlights, monochromatic and historic.

For more marvelous monochrome images, check out this week’s MMC.






Monochrome Madness 2-36: Santa (and Elves)

MM2-36 Parrot Exposed - Santa hats

Elephant Santa

This month is a themed whole month of M-Madness from Leanne Cole, so I’m trying to contribute to all of them in full holiday spirit. This week’s theme is Santa / Elves.

Here is an unfortunately creepy-looking elephant wearing a santa hat and playing in a pool by the snazzy Central Plaza in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Generally, this little fellow and his baby-elephant friends look very amiable, and when they suddenly appeared sporting neon-garlanded Xmas hats at the start of December, I was thrilled to have something for this week’s MMC. Somehow, I have captured the Exorcist nighttime version.


What unexpectedly un-seasonal delights have you witnessed?

Happy snapping, folks.