Inane Ramblings….

Clean Bandit.

For some time now I have quite liked some of the singles that Clean Bandit have out out – especially with Jess Glynne – so this morning I thought I would take a much deeper dive into their back catalogue and unfortunately I can’t say I enjoyed the experience.  To my aging ear it would seem that whoever writes the songs for Clean Bandit (having checked their Wikipedia discography if would seem that it is mainly Patterson and Chatto with a varying number of other people contributing) it would seem that  have one of possibly two styles.   Now what do I know as Clean Bandit  have won several industry awards and I think it is far to say that I am not the target audience by probably 30 plus years.  However, that is blatantly ageist so I guess my views are as relevant as anyone else.  Perhaps I should persist and I might get to like the back catalogue.  Perhaps, but life is too short and I think I’ll stick to the hits I like.

Canon FD Lenses

I’m still trying to make the A6000/Canon FD lens combo work and it does right up to a point.  That point is reached when I realise that my iPhone is more than capable of capturing the same images with none of the focusing hastles.  The only saving grace is that every now and then the combo does really work and the A6000 sensor is still eons better than the Apple because in comparison it is huge and, despite what Apple will tell you, in this case size does matter.  I will give a while longer but I am coming to the samee conclusions that I did last year.

Red Wall

What world are the contenders for the Labour leadership living in?  I really am not that sure.  Not one of them has articulated any plan to try and stop Labour doing a Scotland in their former heartland, the so called Red Wall seats. (This is before they even try and recover something of their former glory in Scotland itself.)   Now I expect Rebecca Long Bailey to regurgitate the failed Corbyn message (winning the argument, if that is what they did which is dubious,  is of no value whatsoever if you you don’t win the seats) and adopting the condescending view that the voters they lost will return when Boris Johnson fails to deliver.   I feel that misses the point because all those previous solid Labour seats are not served at all by a party that has not hope of gaining power anytime soon so why should the voters return?  There is also quite a bit of evidence now that this shift didn’t just happen in 2019 but was gestating for a much longer period.  If that is the case then the Labour party has to start to try and connect with the voters rather than satisfying themselves.

This became more apparent as I walked around Leicester this afternoon.  There are more and more  shops closing and despite the best efforts of the local Mayor it is starting to feel more like a ghost town (a bit over dramatic but it does show which way the city centre is moving.).  The city of Leicester is a labour stronghold with the MPs for Leicester east and Leicester west representing the gulf of the divide at the heart of Labour’s current problem.  The Mayor on the other hand is probably a bit more Blairite than Corbynite and no doubt will attempt to get as much money out of central government’s Red Wall spending as he can.

Now I am sure that the MPs for Leicester West and South would support him in that endeavour but the Leicester East MP is probably going to find things a lot more complicated, to say the least, should she do the same.  This in a nutshell is why the Labour party has got so far to go before they ever come within a sniff of power.  Which some might find very satisfying but I don’t.  The Government, any Government, usually functions best when they have an effective opposition.  I fear that if is going to be sometime before that is the case again.

“Without power, nothing matters” – James Carville


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Twenty minutes to kill..

Worse ways to pass the time of day…

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I just Want You…

Perhaps it is the same way that long dark winter nights make some people feel blue? Or perhaps it is the almost continuous dampness underfoot (some people have it far worse I know)?   Whatever the reason I have taken my 40 plus year old Canon lenses out for another go.  The last time it all ended in tears was because I couldn’t get the bloody things to focus as I wanted them to.  And yes this still is a problem but not the same one as I thought it was before (perhaps I’m just a bit more forgiving or less demanding).

The one thing that you do get is much smaller gear.  I can now stuff my A600 and a 24 and 35mm lens in my pocket – the same can’t be said of modern mirrorless lenses and cameras – and that certainly isn’t the case with DSLRs.   I guess another driver is that over the past few weeks I have become much more aware of the soullessness at the heart of the camera industry these days.   We seem to be in an ever increasing race to nowhere with the chasing of more megapixels, faster lenses and shutter speeds and everything must have image stabilization.  It is all insane.

These images were captured using a six year old camera with an APS-C sensor.  The lenses are forty years old both with a maximum aperture of f2.8 (not that that matters as I just stick them on f8 most of the time to try and get things to be in focus).  I’m pleased with them and as I don’t make a living from my photography that is all that matters.  If one other person happens to think they are quite good then that is a bonus.

Don’t get me wrong I love my Sony A7 and the lenses are in every way superior to the Canon lenses but each has their place and in the end of the day who cares what camera was used to capture the image?  Its the photograph stupid that matters.   So next time you hear some talking head or magazine article claiming that the latest is best ever just take a moment and ask the very simple question.   Is it really that much better than the equipment that already have?   I suspect if you are honest with yourself you might find the answer a bit more useful than wanting something with 7 stops of dynamic range.


PS – just to prove how fickle I am…I am looking forward to the Photography Show next month at the NEC outside Birmingham when guess what I too will be looking at the latest piece of tech and wondering….how can I justify that?

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Just Move on Up…

Well the latest episode is certainly a bit of nice dark anti Starfleet – Good.

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Living through Hell…

There are too many people at the moment living through their own version of hell.  Whether the overall situation in the world is that bad is a moot point.  To many it is and that is just not good enough.

I have recently returned to my historical research and I am working on a Domesday manor where Ogar the Breton was the Lord of the Manner.  I have no idea what he was like as a person but all I can say is that just after 1066 he acquired or stole a number of manors.   One of the problems when dealing with historical figures long since dead it is always very easy to start to think in the abstract and to forget the fear he and his henchmen would have caused the ordinary folk of the manor that they took possession of.   To try and remind me that these people were undoubtedly ruthless in their actions I made this quick sketch.  So ladies and gentlemen I give you Ogar the Breton.

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Sometimes the Bear…


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These Simple Things….

The wind has gone, mostly, and today promises to be just another grey winter’s day.  What better way to spend the day than just drawing?   I don’t think there is of course your mileage may well vary.

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