31 January 2010

Vista Print

So, 250 business cards came through the post yesterday and went into the recycling bin today. I know it was only £22.00 but still, you'd think, as a printing company, they would know the difference between a beautiful black and white picture and someone drawing an approximation of a photo in purple-tinged coal dust using a large stick.

30 January 2010

Florence, Alleyway

Florence, Alleyway, originally uploaded by patrickdodds1.

Getting the odd view on Flickr. Out of sync here, timing wise, but there you go - the perils of easy Flickr blogging.


Waterloo, originally uploaded by patrickdodds1.


Oyster Bed

stir crazy: the cats won't cooperate

So they looked cute with little oyster shell hats on. But they wouldn't stay still so I had to pose and lark about myself, hence this nonsensical piece of whimsy.

28 January 2010

Catcher in the Sky

So farewell then, Mr Salinger. Apparently your "lover" reports that you were controlling and drank your own urine. I've always wondered about the latter - wasn't it an actress who looked very young who did this? Sarah Miles I think it was. Convinced me in any case, although not enough, of course (lacking in adventurousness as I sometimes am) to try it. Anyway, thank you for Holden - he was interesting.

27 January 2010


Mmm, no multi-tasking, looks like a huge iPhone, screen size 3 inches smaller than a MacBook Pro? Uh uh, back to work Mr Ives.

26 January 2010

Uzbekistan - A Shameful Leadership

The photographer Umida Akhmedova has been locked up by the Uzbekistan government for pictures like this one - a dreadful pity, as the government are making themselves look very foolish indeed. What would bring shame on a country and her people more quickly - dreadful authoritarian nonsense like imprisonment for photography, or photos showing life as it is lived there? More of her pictures can be seen here, though for how much longer who knows.

24 January 2010

Anthony Gormley's "Another Place", Crosby, nr. Liverpool


A tad grainy I will admit, but at something like 5000ISO, not surprising.



Banding? I do apologise.


Hoodies and (too small) Hound

Oh, and banding. Horrible banding.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart


Feeding the Birds

Industry at Dusk



Too many drugs you think?

Another Place, Crosby Beach, Nr. Liverpool

(Waffle warning: Patrick Dodds attempts to talk seriously about Art).

Some more pics coming up (when I have the time to get to them) of Anthony Gormley's Another Place which Jane and I visited again yesterday. Some thoughts about this artwork, which I would rate (even trying to allow for the recency effect) as amongst the best I have ever seen:

1. I was talking to a photographer's assistant (the band Anathema were on a photo shoot on the beach at the same time as us) who hadn't been there before but who loved what he saw - he said that what interested him was the way in which the figures faced outward towards the incoming (at that time) tide in an impassive manner, accepting of their fate.
2. Jane liked the fact that the statues are, on the landward side, in a fairly run-down, industrially ravaged area and thought that this suited them well.
3. We both liked the fact that the statues are left to gradually erode and rust away, turning various different colours as they do so.
4. We both liked the way in which people dress them up, play and have fun with them - seaweed for hair, hats put on them and, in one case, they have painted on a swimsuit (Jane wasn't as keen on this but I thought it ok, partly because this too would wear away over time, and partly because this had only been done to one of the statues - to have done this to all of them would have been an aesthetic mistake).
5. I like the fact that they appear almost mythological, they inhabit an area larger than their material reality, between them they fill the space and make it monumental, and the large distances between them and enclosing them is fundamental to this - if they were bunched together the whole piece would not work as well (there you go, I did warn you about the waffle). Kind of like how a novel takes the prosaic and, when done well, lifts it towards the sublime.
6. They look incredible against the plain backdrop of water, or sand, or sky - they are aesthetically magnificent.

That is probably enough for now isn't it? Yes it is.

20 January 2010


Fantasm (!), originally uploaded by patrickdodds1.

Ooh this is almost too easy....!

UPDATE: Ah there we are, the problem. Life eh? Well, I shall leave this up as a reminder that any pictures I use from Flickr are technically intimately linked to Flickr and therefore if they are removed from there they go from here. That plus the cropping silliness means, of course, that the "easiness" is non-existant.

10 January 2010


Isleworth Allotments

Went with a neighbour to take some pics at her allotment site this morning; had been hoping for more snow but instead there were the beginnings of a thaw and I thought for a while that I wouldn't go. However, to have said "no" would have run contrary to my new year's resolve to say "yes" to as many new experiences as possible (except country dancing, obviously) so I went along and the shot above is one of a few that I quite like. On arrival Ellie, whose allotment we'd gone to see, said that she'd occasionally been lucky enough to see kingfishers nearby and, just as she'd finished her sentence, we saw a tell-tale blue flash - beautiful. Thereafter we saw a sleek looking fox, a pair of woodpeckers as well as a number of herons and about a dozen magpies. So, there you go - just say 'yes'....
Oh, and BTW, a few yards from where I was standing to take this, apparently a local resident set light to the dismembered remains of his wife whom he'd just murdered and brought over to the allotments in a wheelbarrow. He was caught after asking someone to mind the fire for him whilst he went to pick up his children from school. Mmm, methinks he was either (a) not hugely gifted in the intellect department or (b) his mental health may not have been all it could have been at the time.


Needles and Snow

Swan and Icy Water, Kew

Kew Gardens

The one on the right clearly has something naughty in mind.

.... and stttrrrretch

9 January 2010

Time Warp courtesy of South Wales

Many thanks to the DVLA, Swansea, for taking me back in time today. Firstly, I got a reminder that my driving licence is due to expire because the photo is out of date (picture is 10 years old soon.... lordy). Secondly, I had to write them a cheque - remember them? Looking at the stubs in my book, the last one I wrote was in August 2008 - getting on for 18 months ago. I had to think how to do it. Next up, dealing with paper pictures that I have to use scissors to cut out, stick to a form, and put in the post - crikey, it was like an episode of Blue Peter. So, thank you for that but here's hoping by the time of the next renewal in 2020 there will be some form of digital replacement for this malarkey.
BTW, as an aside, I think I will have to get a 2nd set of pics as one is meant to "look natural but without expression - your mouth should be closed, you should not be grinning, frowning or raising your eyebrows." Now I don't know if the pics below show me "grinning" or smiling, but I do think the language interesting, and the request that no joy is shown in your face - presumably they don't want people "grinning" (i.e. smiling) because it is less easy to see everyone as a criminal if they look human and happy...

Happy Easter

Easter "treats" available in the shops now. Indeed. Thanks for that Mister Tesco, I'm dumb as a plank and wish to will my life away waiting for "holidays", that is, enforced periods of confinement to quarters by the end of which I am ready to go outside with a bazooka. Yep, thanks, I'm glad you have EasterTweaks or whatever they are on your shelves.