Entries by leeaspland

Photo Marathon in the Welsh Valleys

Last weekend I took part in the Rhondda Cynon Taf Photo Marathon. For those of you not familiar with the place, it encompasses a few glorious southern Welsh Valleys, which grew towns to support the local coal mines. Thatcher put paid to the industry and the valley towns have struggled ever since. The photo marathon […]

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A walk in the park

Mindful Photography is a walk in the park, or a walk on the beach. It could be twenty minutes sat on a bench, as the world passes by; camera in hand, observing what is there. At such moments I intend to wait for a photo to arrive. I don’t set out looking for something particular. […]

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I’m in the Amateur photographer, again!

In October 2020 I had an article in the national magazine, the Amateur Photographer, titled How to be a more mindful photographer. It was written from an interview with the journalist, Tracy Calder. Last month she was back in contact and asked if I would contribute to a new article. The latest magazine has just […]

Indian Tales 10 – Final days

Varkala was a tourist resort before the pandemic, but that changed everything. The Kerala regional government was proactive during the crisis. I can remember reading a long article about the Health Minister, K. K. Shailaja, who received international recognition for her state’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Unlike the UK government, she had set up […]

Indian Tales 9 – Varkala

It was hot. We were on Ernakulam station waiting for them to announce which platform the train to Varkala would arrive on. This time we had seats in an AC carriage confirmed. Meanwhile, we sat under an ineffectual fan and imagined the air was cooler. The morning had been concerned with finding an ATM with […]

Indian Tales 8 – Munnar Tea Plantations

In India it’s not uncommon to hire a car and driver for certain journeys. They may be when you’ve left booking a train too late, or more often where there’s no direct route. Our driver for the trip to Munnar was booked by our Homestay host, and arrived promptly at 9am for a long drive. […]

Indian Tales 7 – Fort Kochi

Next morning after a Keralan breakfast of fresh fruit, veg curry and chapati, we wandered down to the beach. Fort Kochi was once a small fishing village, and it is still known for its fishing nets, which drew us down to the coast this sunny morning. We first strolled along the path; even though it […]

Indian Tales 6 – Train to Kochi

Next morning at breakfast we walked into a scene of carnage. Every table was covered in used crockery, cutlery and glasses. No staff were about. The buffet was devastated; nothing had been topped up, nothing much was left. A kitchen porter wandered about, not sure why he was out of his usual realm. I asked […]

Indian Tales 5 – Madurai

After our early morning arrival, we had to set the alarm to make it to breakfast, but it was worth it. Although a buffet, it was Indian style, with a chef to cook fresh dosas and omelettes, a selection of veggie curries, breads, potatoes, fruit and a toaster. The latter was a nod to western […]

Indian Tales 4 – Night Bus

I’ve never been very good at sleeping when travelling. I can’t get comfortable sat upright. But then I have never tried a proper night bus. You know the type; curtained off flat beds, often on two levels and an invisible journey through the night. I booked the tickets with a degree of regret and trepidation. […]

Indian Tales 3 – Pondicherry

Our driver pulled into the entrance to Hotel le Royal in Pondicherry. The curved drive led to glistening glass doors and a liveried doorman. We stepped through into air conditioned, marbled elegance. A step up from the austere room at our Chennai Hotel and yet cheaper. We only picked the hotel because it had a […]

Indian Tales 2 – Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram is easier to say than it first appears. Try this: Mammal-lap-uram. See, easy. The town, which is in the Chennai metropolitan area, is 35 miles from the big city. Not far, you might think, but factor in the crazy, urban traffic and you’re likely to take two hours by road. We booked driver for […]

Indian Tales 1 – Chennai

Our 5am arrival at Chennai Airport was misleading. The road outside the terminal was deserted. The only man driving a cart saw our confusion. The direction and distance to an ATM was unclear. He offered to take us, luggage and all. Rupees acquired he took us back to an area where we could get a […]

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Future planning

There was a time, not so long ago, when I couldn’t see what I would be doing in the future. Cancer does that to you. Only the day you are living is relevant. Just get through that. The future is a distant country. Now, it’s clearer, like the view on a hazy day. I can’t […]

Street Photography in Birmingham

Earlier this week I went up to Birmingham with fellow keen photographer, Ralph, to create some street photography images. Not being familiar with the city I found a useful guide from Oliver Krumes who’s recommendations we used to highlight a map with locations to visit. We arrived in the afternoon, dropped our bags in our […]

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How it all started

I am writing a memoir that covers the last twenty years of my life. It’s a tale of middle age and Margaret Thatcher; how they led me into a health crisis and how I lived through it. One positive event that came from this is Mindful Photography. What follows next is an excerpt from my […]

Street Photography from London to Swansea

Last month, with a friend, I took part in a Street Photography Workshop in London with Mark Fearnley. Mark (the one in the trilby) specialises in Fine Art Street Photography and offers London workshops in small groups or 1-2-1.  We travelled up and stayed the night before in the big city. Arriving early for a 10:15 start […]

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Multiple Exposure Videos

For those of you fascinated with the photography skills of Multiple Exposure and Intentional Camera Movement (ICM), here are six key videos from my course, previously released online. I am making these and the accompanying Cheat Sheets and Photo Activities available for free. Donations are gratefully accepted on the home page. All profits go to […]

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Costa Rica – Top Twenty Photos

Our trip, to visit my sister and family in Costa Rica this January, helped to rekindle my dwindling passion for photography. There was something about the place that provided a great filip to my jaded seeing eye. It was the equatorial light that changed the sunsets. The marvelous wildlife. The fabulous scenery. The people. My […]

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One year on

On 8th March last year I was diagnosed with a tumour in my bowel. Later, it was discovered to have spread to my liver. Two operations in April and July went well, and no chemo was possible, due to the type of cancer (MSI). From July onwards I have been recovering, from the physical and […]