Park Life

It is now over 12 months since the world changed and we entered an extended period of enforced soporific stasis due to Covid-19. So much has changed, social & family life exists only online, so does so much of my work life. Thankfully I have now been vaccinated with my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I just hope it is not too long until Mrs G receives her inoculation and we can start to plan a route back to a post-Covid normality. Birding has been ‘parked’ over the last year. I still don’t think that birding is a form…

Three Thrushes

I made the Mid-winter Jewels post https://wp.me/pa4Ku3-gd about December rarities I’d seen and realised I’d forgotten about a magical three week period in 2016 when I photographed three rare thrushes in a three week period in December. I had to dig deep to unearth the images as I had not saved the original Raw files in the usual place nor in my main photo archive. Instead they all laid in a folder on a portable HDD that I had filled. A year and a day since ticking the Crag Martin in Chesterfield on 5th December 2015 as it flew around…

Garden Safari II

It is almost a year since I posted a selection of images of wildlife taken in my small urban garden under the title of Garden Safari. The enforced absence from work from the March 23rd 2020 Covid-19 lockdown coincided with a period of sustained good weather, this meant that I spent more time in the garden and walking around our neighbourhood. During the first lockdown air traffic reduced to less than 95% of normal in the skies over Liverpool and the sunny days lead to clear night nights. The UK Govt stated that we were allowed 1 period of exercise…

All the young dudes & a couple of girls

I had so many gigs on the wish list and already booked. I wanted to try to make the jump from someone who does the odd gig to getting authorised for arena gigs for some of the larger acts, and who knows, even a festival. Had already arranged and got authorised for Joanne Shaw Taylor and a meet & greet and was on the list for Joe Bonamassa at the Liverpool Arena. That was going to be epic. The UK Govt announced on March 20th that the UK was going into lockdown from 23rd March which meant the JST gig…

Mid-winter Jewels

As I write the start of this it is January 1st 2021 and I haven’t been birding for over three months, and have only been out three times since the start of the pandemic. I know that most people will think that birding is a solitary hobby so why lock yourself away. Simple! I just don’t want to catch this. Birders just find it so hard stay away from each other in the field, especially on a twitch. The result of this inactivity is a complete lack of images to play with, edit and file. This has led me to…

2020 Hindsight part 2

We are still in February 2020, and news of a flu-like virus started to come from the Chinese province of Hubei and the city of Wuhan. At the start of the month it was still confined to mainland China, but as early as the end of the first week of February it had started to appear all over the world with infections in throughout Asia and the first European instance was in Belgium on 7th February. Despite this it was still considered by a lot of folks as a Chinese problem. Donald Trump even called it Chinese Flu. To be…

2020 Hindsight part 1

It all started so well! It was the year I was determined to enjoy my photography again and get my mojo back. I was determined to get out more birding, attempt some nightscapes with a new lens and I had a stack of gigs lined up with photo passes and a meet & greet for an intimate gig with Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Liverpool Arts Club. Harnessing that enthusiasm I was at Crosby Marine Lake on a bright and sunny January 3rd for a Long-tailed Duck. It was yet another 1st winter female, oh how I long for another…

Bone Muncher

The last time I watched a Lammergeier I was parked alongside a dry river bed, the river had washed away the road bridge in the wet season. We were having an al fresco breakfast on the road back North from Yabelo, Ethiopia. Breakfast consisted of sweet bread rolls, fresh pineapple and mini bananas and was the the best breakfast I had during my 2003 trip. The Lammergeier flew direct over head and was about thirty feet above me. Huge, immense and unforgettable. Fast forward 17 years and the next sighting. Yorkshire, yeah really, Yorkshire. A Juvenile that had previously been…

Evolution of an image

In July last 2017, I attended the Summertime Festival at Pyramid Parr Hall, Warrington. The aim was for a friend and I to watch Joanne Shaw Tylor, however there were four bands performing that night, the aforementioned JST, Bad Touch, Stevie Nimmo Trio and Xander & The Peace Pirates. I tried to get a photo pass but failed so took my compact Canon G5X. A great little camera that really performs well but is no match for the bigger sister and my favourite, the 1DX. Anyway as the camera does not have a detachable lens, it was deemed safe to…

Are all Bass Players Deranged?

The bass player used to be the statue the back of the stage, hardly moving and just supplying the constant thrum to compliment the drum beats. Meanwhile upfront and centre was the exuberant guitarist, strutting his stuff, writhing around the stage in bouts of ecstasy whilst alternatively teasing and thrashing his instrument. However these days the bass players have sharpened their elbows and thrusting themselves to the front, no more hiding near the drum kit, the inner animal has been released. Some of the bass men that I’ve photographed over the last couple of years have been as entertaining as…

What’s in the Bag?

My Social Media feeds have been reminding me all week that I’m usually somewhere warm and tropical at this time of the year. Eight out of the last ten years I’ve been away with the camera. Each year there is the usual angst about what to take and what to leave at home. As I never put camera equipment in the hold of the aircraft it means everything has to stay in the cabin. Airlines have got stricter about the weight of cabin bags and often weigh them. Jeanette and I have the same discussions about how we carry all…

New Direction & New Heroes

It can’t have escaped anyone that either follows me or is friends with me on any of my social media platforms that 2018 was for me a year when I added a new photography genre into my portfolio. Live Rock photography. All my life I’ve been a rock music fan, mainly classic rock music with Led Zeppelin being top of the tree for me. Travelling as much as I do in my car I’ve had thousands of hours listening to my iPod/iPhone over the years whilst visiting customers. During that time I’ve sometimes complained that I would like to experience…

Feeding Station Marauder

Today was supposed to be a ‘payback’ day for disappearing yesterday to photograph Waxwings, my penance was to paint the bathroom ceiling and door. A day of sanding, filling, painting & cleaning began whilst listening to music and occasionally joining in with the lyrics. Mrs G even went out to get additional supplies to keep me employed with my brushes, getting every possible minute out of my DIY day. I’m a reluctant painter, but once I’ve started I like to crack on and get it done. With the ceiling filled and painted I started on the door jamb when I…

Garden Safari

We’ve lived in our house for 25 years and I’ve always kept an eye on what wildlife we have had in the garden during that time. Over the years I’ve had a lot of different birds either fly over or land in the garden. A couple of years after we moved in during cold winter I watched 5 species of thrush feeding at the same time on my windfall apples. Five years ago on Christmas Day I finally connected with Waxwing, although this was observed ‘from’ the garden. I remember one Spring we had a pair of amorous & noisy…