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Red GrouseCharles DickensTough MudderAs You Like It - RehearsalPuffin with Sand EelsCastle Players Photo ShootOlympic Torch in Barnard CastleBSA M20 AA Bike & SidecarBarnard Castle Meet Queen 2012Brown HareScops OwlGuitar at the Old Well InnCastle PlayersGreat Spotted Woodpecker with YoungFrank - A Border CollieRaindropsMallardBC Scouts - Promise RenewalBarnard Castle Rugby ClubAlex Cunningham MPPot Bellied StoveCastle Players Publicity ImageCard SpinnerAlston RailwayBlue MosqueBlack Grouse BookBoys & Deer HoundEvening DipperRed StagCastle PlayersEggleston Show ChampionRed Grouse in FlightGun Dog with Red GrouseCastle Players CompilationS & W WeddingVulcan in FlightBreitlingWitham Hall ExhibitionCastle PlayersBullHawkMeet Queen 2011Veterans FootballEagle Owl EyesPageant of DressSlow WormAdderBroken HideCastle Players Poster ImageHide made from palletsCrossbill100 year old PorchwayWedding ALbum CoverCement PouringAerial view of HouseAerial view of Building SiteFireplaceDame in PantomineRAF TornadoTruck in MudSheep DosingTawny Owl in SnowRobinBrignall ChurchBridlington SiteHorse in SnowTawny OwlExhibitionBeck & BridgeSnowTrials BikeHooded CrowRed GrouseCaravan Club & MPSparrowhawkMoto Guzzi MotorobikeWalking StickAll's Well that Ends WellPet ShowMeet Queen 2010Meet Boat RaceSlievenamonBlack GrouseOak BeautyRoof InspectionLionRally CrossChristmas Fayre DrummingPanorama of Teesdale from Folly TopPlaying with FIreThe first TurfRichardsons FloristSt. Kevins, GlendaloughVelocetteCastle Players MummersWood TurningAirborne Monster TruckSpirit flying at Eggleston Kite FestivalTees River Transporter BridgeSt. Mary's DVD ArtworkDawn over Dunbar HarbourAerial from The Tempest

December

22nd - Seems like quite a while since I updated this page and, part of the reason is that I have been developing a "blog" which is now live. So thanks to all who may have read this ever longer page and i hope the blog is as interesting.

October

22nd - Grouse book finally delivered - apparently it got lost in Zurich so was not the fault of Royal Mail - apologies!

12th - Grouse book has apparently arrived in Zurich but not yet delivered - pretty poor for a five day service. On top of which you even have to wait 20 working days before you can claim or get any investigation. Is it any wonder the Royal Mail is in trouble with customer service like this?

5th - Busy day on moors followed by NeST Open Exhibition preview - even interviewed by Radio Teesdale - click here if you want to listen!

2nd - Went looking for Red Squirrels and managed to find some - now all I need is to go back and get a couple of good photographs.

September

28th - Posted completed Grouse book to Zurich for 5 day delivery.

21st - Just completed another book for a Grouse Shoot I attended - looks good!

20th - Helped a local artist by making a copy of her watercolour that is off to an exhibition.

19th - Received great feedback on my images from a day on the moors what was made very difficult by the high wind and driving rain.

11th - Signed up for the "Radiothon" run by Radio Teesdale for October - look forward to hearing the script on the air.

7th - Gave a talk on the High Andes to the Inner Wheel in Darlington - it seemed to be well received.

August

27th - Damp - to say the least - on the moors, but the photos were worth it.

23rd - Published an eBook version of my Black Grouse book - see it here.

20th - Damp start again on the moors but it got better by the minute.

16th - Charles Dickens (!) arrives in Barnard Castle in a coach and four followed by a carriage and two - some great costumes to be seen and a fun event.

13th & 14th - Out and about on the moors for the first day of this years grouse shooting season - the misty start turned out to be a nice dry day.

4th - Wild flower photography in the Yorkshire Dales today - before the thunderstorms!

3rd - RSPB Gelstdale and a meeting to agree an exhibition of Black Grouse photographs for next December and January.

July

31st - Took images down from the Moody Baker today - was pleased that they had been well received.

26th - Folk night at the Old Well - more indoor, low light photography.

14th - Dumfries for Tough Mudder followed by the last night of the Castle Players.

12th - A drier night at the Castle Players.

10th - First night for As You Like It - went well -despite the mud!

8th - Pleased to have dry weather for the Castle Players first Dress Rehearsal - images are here - still needed my wellies for the arena!

3rd - Continuing to beta test the Photo Ninja RAW developer - looking very interesting - especially highlight recovery.

2nd - Put some framed images and loose cards into the Moody Baker where I have the "artists" wall for this month.

June

28th - Beta testing a brand new RAW developer / processing software. Very impressed so far - the highlight recovery is really something else.

27th - On the Isle of May today - very interesting and well worth a visit if you are near North Berwick - impressively it has been a bird reserve for over 40 years. How many eels can a Puffin get in it's beak?

26th - Managed to land on the Bass Rock - one of the few landings this year. I should have brought some sunglasses as the glare from all the gannets was quite incredible and really hurt your eyes after a while.

22nd - Rain today for a press shoot with the Castle Players and the sheep for "As You Like It" - the sheep were well behaved.....

20th - The Olympic Torch came through Barnard Castle today - good weather for the crowds.

16th - Held small but very enjoyable Photography course with excellent feedback from the participants.

9th - Photographed the Golden Vale vintage Motorcycle run in Tipperary, Ireland - very enjoyable and a rare glimpse of good weather.

4th - The Barnard Castle Meet parade was very well attended - here is the Meet Queen looking good.

May

28th - Enjoyed what could be the last good evening weather for a while in the company of partridges, curlew, lapwing, snipe, black grouse, pheasant, wheatear, rabbits and hares!

26th - Went to a good Spring Fair at CrossLanes Organic Farm shop - some great products there. Northside Falconry were there with a lovely juvenile Scops Owl.

25th - Great news today - two of my images have been short-listed for a competition - now have to wait to see if they get through the next round!

24th - More photography at the "Acoustic Evening" down at the Old Well.

22nd - Agreed with Moody Baker to hang work in their shop for the month of July, so don't forget to buy a print or a card with your food!

21st - Cool evening taking some candid photos at one of the Castle Players rehearsals.

20th - Great views of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding insatiable young.

19th - Lovely image of a Border Collie running across the damp meadow on his way to collect some sheep.

16th - Set date for next Basic Digital Photography Course - Saturday 16th June - see Workshops for more details. Dropped in proofs of a compilation for a customer to ponder over as part of a design brief.

11th - Rained out of Kielder Forest trying to photograph Tawny Owls & young - not the best. Used the time to create slide show on recent visit to Istanbul.

9th - Enjoyable hour photographing Mallards & Mute Swans chasing around an estuary.

April

22nd - Covered the Scouts at the Hub (Barnard Castle) renewing their promises as part of the St. Georges day celebration.

10th - Cards seem to be selling well at Cross Lanes - long may it continue!

March

31st - On the Demesnes with the BC RUFC for their veterans match and the local derby of the 1st team against Bishop Auckland - team photos included.

16th - Caravan Club in Stockton on Tees to photograph Labour MP Alex Cunningham.

14th - The "pot bellied stove" is from Newbiggin Chapel and will appear, along with other images, in their forthcoming publicity brochure.

11th - Fun and games with Castle Players and a pet sheep for the publicity photograph for their summer play - As You Like It.

5th - Great day out at Focus on Imaging at the NEC in Birmingham - so much equipment you could purchase if you had a need for it. A great way of keeping up to date.

February

20th - Painting with light at Teesdale School today - great fun and some good images.

7th - Put card spinner and 140+ cards into CrossLanes Organic Farm shop today - display looks good though I say so myself! Hope they manage to sort out signs advertising the premises soon.

6th - Teesdale School session for today cancelled as school heating system had broken down. Attended the first rehearsal / recruitment night for the Castle Players Summer Shakespeare last night - a good audience and now await casting before taking the publicity photos.

5th - Scanned and restored 30 prints for the steam railway at Alston - they are having a celebratory year and have been going through their archives for materials to use.

4th - Had a request to scan and "resurrect" some 50 year old colour slides for a forthcoming reunion - a quick look at the slides suggest that this will be quite a challenge! At least I have a few weeks to be able to do so.

January 2012

30th - Another session at Teesdale School - macro work today.

27- 29th - Wandered Istanbul with the snow and my camera - should have enough for a presentation in the near future!

23rd - Third session at school - beginning to get into it now - some nice portraits taken.

16th - Second of the sessions for Teesdale School.

14th - Held a full day basic digital photography course in the Barnard Castle - all seemed to have enjoyed it and learnt, with several emails saying how good it was. One lass even claimed what she had learnt helped her with her interview for a college film making course.

9th - First of six "Introduction to Photography" sessions at Teesdale School for after hours.

6th - More dress photos for School for Scandal and the Castle Players.

2nd - Published book on Black Grouse and the photographic details of each image - available online (http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2896149)

December

25th - Text from "surprise photo parent" (see below) to say how much they liked the print - very pleased with this.

17th - House visit to photograph two lads and their dog as a surprise present for their mother - managed to get out without being seen, but one son then told their mother they were dressed up to get their photograph taken! Best laid plans!

16th - Photographed the Castle Players dress rehearsal for "School for Scandal" - looking very good.

November

24th - Gave my presentation on the Galápagos to the U3A general meeting at the Jersey Farm - was chuffed to see they had a record attendance and had many questions afterwards.

21st - Gave a photo presentation to the 41 Club at the Three Tuns at Eggleston - seemed to be appreciated.

18th - Spent a pleasant few hours on Schoolmaster Pasture searching for fungi to photograph.

8th - Exchanged the photos I have on the wall of the "Mon Petit Spa" in Barnard Castle.

4th & 5th - Good days out on the moors and pleased the weather behaved itself.

3rd - Gave talk on new Galápagos presentation to the Teesdale Photographic Society which they seemed to enjoy - always nice when the first showing goes down well!

October

25th - Went to see the Royal Photographic Society launch this years "International Projected Image Exhibition" at Gosforth camera club. Some fantastic images in the various categories and chuffed that one of mine - Evening Dipper - was selected.

19th - The Durham Wildlife photography group at Low Barnes seemed to enjoy my presentation on Wildlife photography - the 40 or so people present were a tight fit into the meeting room and were peering around the roof supports!

18th - Excellent morning at Wentworth with the red deer - some beautiful stags. Also received order from Town Council for images to be used on the Mayoral Christmas Cards.

17th - Despite the torrential rain, several people turned out to the Bishop Auckland Photography Society to listen / see my Wildlife presentation.

16th - Photo shoot for the Castle Players winter production of School for Scandal - lovely silhouettes.

15th - Great day with the Basic Digital Photography course with all attendees saying they had learnt a lot.

9th - Another dampish day on the Yorkshire moors collecting photos of the dogs working as they gathered the sheep in.

4th - Another delegate for the photo course on Saturday week - should be good.

1st - Celebrated the start of the month with a vintage motorcycle run in Ireland - complete with 53mm rain in one day. Could not get the bike out of fourth gear!

September

22nd - Lost total faith in Nokia today when promised collection (UPS) before 12.30hrs arrived at 16.30hrs - when I had gone out to a client! Have had an E5-00 since December and it is now going back to Nokia for third time having been giving trouble since early June. Not their best phone as I have never had any problems with them before.

19th & 20th - Two more days on the moors - wind chill was high, soon be time for thermals to be worn up there!

17th - Better weather than expected at Eggleston Agricultural show - the forecast rain stayed away. Photographed the Supreme Champion being awarded his trophy.

16th - A chance to photograph a captive female hen harrier that has been nursed back to health having been shot and left to die. What a shame it will never be able to fly again.

12th & 13th - Foul weather on the moors with the tail end of a hurricane - very atmospheric photos- rain, wind, rain, wind....!!

10th - In a bit of a back water at the Bowes show but still managed to attract many visitors to the joint stand.

1st & 2nd - Two excellent days out on the Yorkshire moors - the rain kept away and some great photos as well.

August

30th - Printed more cards to get ready for the Bowes show on the 10th September.

19th - Supplied AB Productions with some 30 images of the recent Castle Players production to include in the DVD they are making of the event.

18th - Back down the Old Well with indoor photographs of their "acoustic evening" - hand held, 1/20 sec @ ISO 6,400 makes for interesting shooting!

17th - Had to extricate myself from a bog on the Yorkshire moors today - wet wellies but the camera was okay!

16th - Back on the Tees looking for the otter that wasn't there in the early morning rain - now who is mad?

10th - Enjoyable couple of hours making a collage of images from the recent Castle Players production for one of the cast members - she was very pleased with the result.

9th - First person to actually sign up for the "Basic Digital Photography Course" in October today - an encouraging sign. Got cold (again) on the moors waiting for the Black Grouse once more!

8th - The Falconry Photography Workshop on the 24th September is starting to fill up - I do hope the weather changes to allow some good photos to be taken.

5th - Fortunate to have a lovely day for a wedding in the Bowes Museum - could even take pictures outside without umbrellas!

July

30th - Most enjoyable day at the Sunderland Air Show - despite getting soaked by the incoming tide! The Breitling girls have some pluck they way they move around the wing of those biplanes! Lovely to see the Vulcan in the air - what power from those engines when on full!

27th - Finished a successful exhibition and have now brought less stock home - always a good sign. Was very pleased with the comments received re the images on show.

21st - Up early and took all material to my exhibition. Neighbours very kindly helped me unload while thanks to John for helping me get all the prints on the wall and levelled up - all very much appreciated.

18th - Took the opportunity to record an interview on Radio Teesdale about my forthcoming exhibition - many thanks to them.

13th - Full day falconry photography workshops dates have now been confirmed for 14th August and the 4th and 24th September.

12th - Completed framing all my prints for my forthcoming exhibition - more work than you might think!

11th - High level photos of the caravan site today - fortunately the breeze kept down allowing good height to be gained.

6th - Updated website with details of the Falconry Photographic Workshops - have already had some interest from people. Processed several images from last nights Castle Players performance and sent them to the Northern Echo.

3rd - Excellent cycle race in Barney followed by afternoon capturing the Castle Players rehearsals.

June

28th - Just had email to say two of my images reached the semi-finals of the 2011 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year - these will be on display in my Exhibition next month.

27th - Good day at the falconry finalising the photography workshop details before spending the evening on the moors taking pictures of a bull!

16th - Collected all my notepads - they look really good - will be interested in customer feedback in due course.

15th - Started planning the July exhibition today - deciding what images to exhibit and how.

11th - Afternoon on moors photographing large family BBQ - great fun but cool.

8th - Started up on Twitter today - @CalicoImages - so now need to generate some tweets!

6th - Finally started to accept Pay Pal / credit cards via the web - should be more convenient for my clients.

4th - Spent much of the day manufacturing greeting cards using images from my "library" - it will be interesting to see how these go down with people.

2nd - Left in my designs for notepads - should be ready by the end of next week.

1st - Good meeting with the Friends of the Bowes Museum - we are now going to produce a book of the Pageant as a permanent record of the event.

May

29th - Another day on "Meet duty" - the sun came out and helped a good crowd for a great R&B session on the demesne.

28th - Carnival Queen was crowned today and the weather played fair - cool but no rain. The unofficial boat race took place again - several people got very wet!

27th - First event of this year's Meet - the veterans football match.

25th - Interesting afternoon at Northside Falconry - watch this space for forthcoming photography sessions with hawks and owls.

7th - Placed a number of my images in the Moody Baker for their artists wall - they look quite good up there though I say so myself!

5th - Bridlington again - the site is really progressing well and today's images should just squeeze in before the magazine deadline.

3rd - An hour with Guy Gowan today in this studio in the west of Ireland - very informative - even if he thinks I am mad for getting up when I do to get into my hides!

April

18th - Teesdale Artist Network AGM tonight and discovered that all the members - bar me - wish to change the dates of the "Open Studios" to an earlier time when I am always occupied so am not able to take part - most disappointing!!

17th - More time spent in a lek - absolutely magical to say the very least. Also quite frustrating as ISO6400, 600mm lens and 1/4 seconds do not make a good combination with fast moving black birds!

15th - Interesting evening at the Bowes Museum photographing most of the outfits worn for their "Pageant of Dress" - now discussing the possible production of a book to allow a permanent record to be kept.

11th - Another day at Bridlington - buildings are about to be tiled and the floors were being screeded - looks like it is on schedule. Hope the Club members like the photos in their magazine when they see them.

9th - Meting in the Bowes Museum to agree where the photos would be taken for their forthcoming "Pageant of Dress".

7th - Various reasons have forced cancellation of the Digital Photo Course scheduled for early May - it will be re-scheduled for later in the year.

March

22nd - Just been advised that my images have passed the vetting procedure to allow me to join the Teesdale Artists Network - should be good fun.

20th - Spent some time in the bracken today near Barnard Castle photographing adders and a very co-operative slow worm. They were out enjoying the early sun and sheltering from the breeze. They really do blend in with their surroundings.

15th - Back in Bridlington today - so much fog and / or sea fret it was hard to see the back of the building from the front of it! Have not seen fog like that for quite a while.

12th - Went and checked what turned out to be the remains of my hide on the moors - at least the pegs had not come out! Well flattened is the (polite) expression to use!

10th - Not good today - high winds virtually destroyed garden hide - back to drawing board. Wonder how my hide on the moors survived? It is probably in the next county by now!

5th - Great photo shoot this morning with Castle Players for their poster to advertise this years Shakespeare play - Much Ado About Nothing. Extracted images now with Art Director for completion of the poster.

3rd - Back on the moors today with some old pallets and "camo" netting - will see how this hide survives the weather up there!

2nd - Visited a farm that features in a picture taken about 1900 and found the same wooden porchway in existence, slightly the worse for wear, but still standing. Amazing to think it has survived at least 100 years. Had some good views of Crossbills on the Stang before a networking meeting in Darlington Business Club this evening.

February

25th - Wedding book delivered to expressions of delight - always lovely to hear the client is happy with the results.

23rd - Flattered to receive an invitation to talk to the Bishop Auckland Photographic Society next October about "Nature Photography" - will look forward to this.

22nd - Cement being poured on a misty campsite - won't be long before the walls and roof are in place.

16th - Photographing watercolours today to make limited edition art prints - not quite as easy as it sounds!

12th - More aerial photography - this time views of a house showing how well it fits into the landscape.

10th - A day in Bridlington balancing the SLR on the telescopic mast - too much wind to go much above 10m in height.

8th - More positive feedback on the 'The Glorious Twelfth' - very gratifying. Spent the day at Hardwick Hall covering a corporate briefing - constantly changing interior lights from a fixed position at the back of a large hall. High ISO was the order of the day.

7th - Just completed two albums using InDesign - the professional programme to design an album with - and they will be sent off for printing this week. Looking forward to seeing how they come back to me. Ordered three copies of the "The Glorious Twelfth" on the 31st and they arrived with me today - that is excellent service from my supplier.

5th - House interiors on the schedule today - including a selection of lovely old cast iron fireplaces.

2nd - Finally sorted out Pay Pal so I can accept payments - now to put it to the test! Have also made the book "The Glorious Twelfth" available for online purchase - where you can also see a preview. Blurb have another book of the same title - they won't get confused as the other one is about the 12th July in Northern Ireland!

January 2011

31st - More unsolicited feedback from the book "The Glorious Twelfth". A copy was presented to the estate owner on Saturday night and was very well received. (See Testimonials).

25th - Great feedback from the pantomime photos - all seemed to have been appreciated - oh, yes they were! Suckling piglets on the farm project. Great resolution to my earlier paper query - the mill agree with me and are replacing all the material - the sign of a good company is the way they deal with problems.

22nd - "Oh, yes I did" photograph a pantomime in All Saints' and Salutation Church - audience and cast really enjoyed themselves. A lot of hard work put into making it so good.

20th - Birds in flight took on a new meaning as I captured some RAF Hawks and Tornados flying below me at some 420kts. You certainly do not get a second chance with these birds!

18th - Had the pleasure of holding a wrapped up buzzard as it was taken to a release point and then watched as it was released following a period of recuperation after an injury. Slightly hesitant at first but then it realised where it was and headed off.

15th - Back to my farm project today - dosing sheep in a howling gale. These hill farmers really do work hard in the elements.

13th - Another visit to Bridlington - less snow this time - to capture site progress. So wet underfoot even the dump trucks were struggling to move.

6th - More snow and this time ParcelForce could not get through. Needless to say the only way you find out is by staying in all day and waiting... Who is the customer? Wonder if I could run my business that way?

5th - Busy sorting out my various prints to go on display in a number of local shops, restaurants etc - hope I have enough frames to go around. Has highlighted that the paper issue I raised has not been resolved - must chase next week.

4th - Posted off proofs of a wedding album and now wait to hear that I can go ahead and order the printed book.

1st - Happy new year and make all your photographs be correctly exposed and in focus....

December

19th - Christening this afternoon in St. Mary's Church, Brignall. The snow held off but it was cold outside and no-one seemed too keen on hanging around outside the church afterwards! Back to the Morritt Arms for some "warmer" photos.

15th - Paper issue being well attended to - now awaiting response from mill.

13th - Bridlington today for start of new caravan site. More snow there than home - car park still frozen. Pleased to say that customer expressed delight with resultant images to go into their magazine.

7th - Spent even more time today trying to resolve the paper coating issue that cropped up when I was printing for the exhibition. I opened a new box of 25 A2 sheets to find 15 - yes 15 - with coating defects. Not best pleased and it will be interesting to see how well and quickly the suppliers resolve it. Won't mention the brand name just yet!

4th - Tried to get hypothermia today by being in the open on the Yorkshire moors photographing a snow bound working farm. Got some great shots as you can see by the horse in the snow.

1st - Even more snow today meant I shut down the exhibition a few hours earlier than originally intended, as anyone with any sense had their head under their wing indoors. Still a most enjoyable week - will have to do it again some time. Managed to get a nicely staged shot of Tawny Owl this evening - despite having feet like blocks of ice.

November

30th - More visitors today than yesterday, despite the extra snow. Definitely does not seem to be the weather to go viewing galleries - far too busy with sledges and having fun with the kids!

29th - Snow, snow and very few visitors - only 6!

28th - Again a very steady stream of visitors with more polite and positive comments.

27th - Another busy day - managed to finish my sandwiches at 3pm - can't be bad!

26th - A busy day with some 80 people coming through the gallery today and many of them kindly made very polite comments about the work and presentation.

25th - Opening day, and a steady trickle of viewers - good to see.

24th - Made the Teesdale Mercury today - again advertising the glass negatives that will be shown at the exhibition. Spent the evening - ably assisted by John & Ren - putting all the pictures up on the walls. This took a good four hours and I was very grateful for the help.

23rd - Photographed some pastel drawings - lovely images - for a local artist to make some cards and limited edition prints. Just uploaded some images from the exhibition onto You Tube - check it out. Was quizzed on Radio Teesdale about the exhibition and hope that it sounds worth visiting. Delivered the "grouse book" - recipient was very pleased with it.

22nd - The book of "The Glorious Twelfth" arrived from the printers - they have done their usual excellent job.

19th - Teesdale Mercury called in today to talk about the glass negatives. Happy couple came back to review their wedding album and we made a few changes - about to send it for print.

18th - Collected many of my prints that are on display in Barney to rationalise them to be in line with the ones I am exhibiting.

12th - Appeared on page 3 (who, me?) of the D&S Times mentioning the old B&W glass negatives I am showing at the forthcoming exhibition.

5th - Like a warehouse today - boards, paper, mounts and frames arriving from all directions - careful navigation across what is left of floor space required.

4th - Gave a talk on Wildlife photography tot eh Teesdale Photographic Society in Middleton in Teesdale. It went well and they were very appreciative comments.

1st - Appear to be heavily consumed with getting the frames and mounts for the forthcoming exhibition - I am sure it was still a good idea to say yes!

October

23rd - Photographed a part of the Scott Trial that took place above the Stang - the weather was not the best but it could have been a lot worse! Now to start spending time on getting the exhibition ready.

22nd - Just have confirmation that I have the Witham Hall for an exhibition from 25th Nov to 1st Dec - getting ready will keep me out of mischief for a while!

19th - Gave an illustrated talk to the Stanhope Photographic Club on the my time in the High Andes which they seemed to appreciate.

12th - Spent all day on the "grouse book" - beginning to take shape very nicely. Will need to check that I have not put any people on the same page who might not appreciate this proximity!

9th - Course went very well albeit with fewer people than usual - everyone seemed to get something from it and left expressing satisfaction.

8th - Morning spent preparing examples and making sure the equipment works for tomorrows "Basic Digital Photography" course.

7th - Great day out on the moors yesterday - warm and sunny while capturing the scene at another grouse shoot - have more than enough material for the book now.

September

30th - Tried out a new lightweight camouflage cover today and guess it must be okay as a hooded crow tried to step on my foot and a pipit tried to land on my head!

29th - Successful end to a bad online experience. Ordered some camouflage kit online from "surplusandadventure.com" and was initially happy they had processed my credit card immediately. When goods had not arrived in two weeks, I rang up to be told 30 day delivery - so why take my money before goods ready for despatch? Cancelled order and told 30 days to get money back. When money not credited in 40 days had to threaten them with Trading Standards and money credited the next day. Not nice and I will not order from them again.

20th - Some more photos for the local pub - now to discuss final sizes with their web site designers.

14th - Talk on photography in Tanzania well received the Lanchester Wildlife Group - ably assisted by one of their members who helped identify the prey the birds were eating!

13th - Recorded brief message about photography course with Radio Teesdale - this will get aired a few times over the next couple of weeks.

11th - Four people now signed up for the photography course with some more enquiries underway.

10th - Photographed the local MP, Helen Goodman, at the Caravan Club site this afternoon as she had a whistle-stop tour of the facilities. Corporate PR said that "images were safely received and beautifully shot". Always nice to hear something positive from a happy customer.

7th - Photographs taken of a 1952 LE Velocette to help get it registered and taxed for the first time in 38 years. Also a very obliging male sparrowhawk in the garden!

5th - Back to see my Black Grouse youngsters - patience was not rewarded as they did not come close enough to the hide for a good image.

2nd - Two people signed up and and three more interested in the Basic Digital Photography course next month. An interesting day exploring a long established local pub / hotel who need new publicity images taken - quite easy to get lost in there!

August

30th - Afternoon at the Barnard Castle Cricket Club - finally managed to get the picture of the bails flying in the air!

28th - Framed a print of a "Shy Mollymawk" to go in the auction for the Co. Durham charity "Lifespan" - hopefully it will raise some money for their good work when the auction takes place on the 7th October in the Biscuit Factory.

27th - Good news - heard that one of my Black Grouse images had been accepted for the Royal Photographic Society 2010 "International Projected Image Exhibition" - a nice accolade for the work put into getting same.

26th - Completed brochure for Rennie Hamilton's "Fault Lines" and had her web site go live. Now just to add more segments as and when they are required.

20th - Put together the first draft of a web site of the artist Rennie Hamilton - looking good and, even better, Rennie seems pleased with it!

14th - The Mountains of Mourne pre-1931 motorcycle run - considerably quieter than my previous assignment and probably less dangerous. Fortunate with good weather.

12th - A very different day spent on the moors making a record of the "Glorious Twelfth" - the first grouse shoot of the year. Shotguns make an interesting hazard to keep your eye on during such an event as this!

9th - Completed assessment of alternative wedding albums suppliers and now have a short list of one! Time to negotiate and determine the best packages to be able to offer.

3rd - A very interesting morning in and around the mires in Kielder Forest - you can really understand where the expression "in the mire" comes from.

July

31st - An enjoyable couple of hours at the Medieval Camp held in the Bowes museum - fascinating to see how the food was prepared and cooked. Fortunately I am not quite old enough to remember how it being done like that - despite what my offspring say!

29th - Last set of photos at the caravan Club site - had to move quickly so that I did not get painted with white lines

22nd - Amazing how some black tarmacadam completes a road - the Caravan Club site is nearly there. Some interior images next week and then the first campers arrive.

21st - First stage of road laying at the Caravan Club today - really starting to look finished.

10th - Spent some time on the moors in a hide waiting, waiting and freezing - amazing how cold it can be at a height of 500m even in mid July! To make it even worse, nothing came by...

8th - Most enjoyable evening at "All's Well that Ends Well" by the Castle Players in the grounds of the Bowes Museum capturing the evening from the arrival of the Players and guests to the close of the play.

5th - Received confirmation of the Hall booking for my next "Basic Digital Photography" course that will be held in the Scout Hut, Barnard Castle on Saturday 9th October.

3rd - Long day photographing a lovely wedding in Satley, Co. Durham from arrival of Bride to the end of the Ceilidh held to celebrate.

June

22nd - Interesting day at a "Search Engine Optimisation" course - now all I need is to find some time to update the web site!

18th - Finishing touches at the Caravan Club site - will look even better in a couple of weeks when the tarmac goes down

12th - A sunny day to photograph the pre-1961 motorbikes on the Golden Vale Veteran & Vintage run in Tipperary and pleasing to sell some photographs of the riders during the evening.

8th - The Caravan Club site is really coming on and is looking so different from the original field I started photographing last year.

5th - Spent some time framing some 20 prints for local businesses to display and for one to sell.

2nd - Day trip to the Farne Islands to photograph the auks and the terns. Amazing seeing how some people react when the terns defend their nest sites - with one lady saying what a horrible way to spend an afternoon!

May

31st - Meet day parade and a great party on the Demesne with good weather to help out. Another couple of hundred images to go on the web site!

30th - Pet show followed by "Puppeteering" and a cool (read cold) afternoon of music.

29th - The Meet Queen was crowned today - not the warmest weather, but dry enough to get a great shot of the group in front of the Castle. Missed out on the Pooh Sticks competition but got some good images of the (unofficial) boat race.

28th - Photographed the Bowes vs. Barnard Castle Veterans Football match - some of the players had a lot more energy than I did!

24th - Attended the Bollywood Bash in Spice Island as my first "Meet Photographer" engagement - most enjoyable evening with good company. Images uploaded to web site with direct link from the home page.

14-16th - Attended Veteran & Vintage run at Slievenamon, Kilkenny - all bikes pre 1931 and oldest was from 1909!

7th - Caravan Club site is taking shape well - beginning to look very good with all the planting taking place.

5th - Spent time at Black Grouse lek and rewarded with many interesting encounters to make up for the lack of sleep.

April

6th - Family in for a portrait - good time resulting in many smiles and happy customers.

7th - Early morning looking at the moths in Foxglove Covert, Catterick. Well worth a visit.

14th - The Castle Players had a promotion event "Ladies to Ladettes" which generated some great images and many laughs along the way.

17th - Ran another successful "Basic Digital Photography Course" and the full house of participants enjoyed the day judging by the feedback I have received. Now have four people for another course - probably October.

20th - 70th anniversary of the Barnard Castle Rotary Club - group images when everyone could be "rounded up"!

23rd - The joy of a Black Grouse lek - getting close to these magnificent birds at 5am - what a treat.

26th - More shots of the Caravan Club site - stone work now in place.

March

31st - Carried out a roof inspection today with the 15 metre (45 foot) aerial mast - owner was very pleased to see the condition of the pointing around his chimney and roof top.

27th - Eight places confirmed for the "Basic Digital Photography" course in mid April with several more deciding whether to join in or not - time will tell.

24th - Good meeting to start planning the photographic coverage for the BC Meet and lead in events - the end of May seems a long time away but I am sure it will be here before we know it.

17th - The Caravan Club site is progressing well - so much easier to walk around when no snow is on the ground and you can see the holes before you step into them!

16th - Photographed a house for sale and ended up helping the owner get her late husband's camera to work.

10th - Advert for next "Basic Digital Photography" has appeared in the Teesdale Mercury - date set for Saturday 17th April.

9th - Attended the Focus on Imaging exhibition in the NEC and took the opportunity to finalise details on an aerial mast. This will allow a new service to be provided taking images from 45 feet up in the air. In due course, a new web page will be created to show what can be achieved with this.

4th - At last, photographs of Caravan Club site with green grass and blue sky! Still cool, but images are no longer shades of gray!

February

23rd - Caravan Club site is making good progress - despite the inclement weather. Looking forward to taking a picture showing green grass and blue skies instead of a carpet of snow. Made a change from processing the images I took while "on Safari".

1st - 9th - Spent in the Serengeti and other Tanzanian game parks photographing the abundant wildlife - a fascinating time with many good images that will form part of an exhibition later this year.

January 2010

17th - Track side at Croft for the Darlington & District Jack Frost Rally Cross event. Pleased to see sun but it was still cold when you had been outside for a few hours.

16th - Fifteen people braved the weather and made for a very interesting and informative course on "Basic Digital Photography". Am pleased that I have already had enquiries for a future course.

13th - Recording progress for the Caravan Club - all that was missing from the snowy site was a large snowman.

December

31st - Hope all have a good evening and a Happy New Year.

30th - So far have six people for the basic digital course in January and just putting the finishing touches to the images to be used during the day.

22nd - Collected framed Panorama - looks very good - needed son to help put on the wall!

16th - Good progress at the caravan site - the roads are being put in and the layout is taking shape.

12th - More street photos in Barney for the Xmas Festival - drummers, choir and balloon man.

5th - Farmers Market and playing with fire in the main street of Barney - skilful display of what you can do with paraffin and a match.

3rd - Used power of new PC to produce 2.54Gb panorama of the view from the road to Eggleston - this will print out at 16 x 84 inches!

2nd - Finished planning the "Basic Digital Photography" course and booked a room in the Witham Hall for the 16th January. Numbers will be limited.

November

30th - First turf cutting at the new Caravan Club site - fortunately the rain had stopped but the ground was very soft.

20th - Discussions with the Council to see which of my images may fit into their 2010 accommodation brochure.

13th - Gave talk on the Amazon to Ingleton and District Community Association and those people who braved the atrocious weather seemed to enjoy it.

October

31st - Photographed "The Turrets" rehearsing for the Halloween parade in the Bowes Museum and then Inter Opera, choir and brass band. Made me wish I had not already accepted another engagement for the evening!

29th - Another visit to the Caravan Club site to record progress - it is starting to look different.

23rd - Taking advantage of Windows 7 to upgrade my 3 year old PC - new system (now it has been debugged) makes quick work of changes to large (1.5Gb) images.

15th - Repeated my talk on the Andes for Probus in the Jersey Farm Hotel.

13th - Beautiful colours in Richardson Florists to go with the acrylic art by Gillian Tallentire that is being displayed. Look forward to seeing the images in the papers.

9th - Went to Barnard Castle School to give talk on BSES to the Sixth Form - was pleased that some 20 people appeared to want further information. I wonder if any will actually get on a trip?

8th - Gave a talk on my experiences with BSES in the "High Andes" of Peru to the Teesdale Photography Club.

7th - Was pleased to see my Associateship images reproduced in the Professional Imagemaker magazine that arrived today.

6th - Met with staff at Wellington Country Park to discuss format of a proposed photography competition they are considering holding next year.

3rd - Rode a 1965 Triumph 500cc Daytona in a vintage run around Glendalough, south of Dublin. Lovely bike and countryside, shame about the rain!

September

19/20th - Attended the Saundersfoot 2009 run in Saundersfoot (Pembrokshire) and really enjoyed seeing all the well restored vehicles. Again, lovely weather so I could get some good photographs of the competitors.

18th - Blessed with no rain for a wedding in Barnard Castle - how nice to be able to have the bride & groom, along with all the guests, outside and not have to worry about when the rain will arrive!

15th - An afternoon at Hardwick Hall capturing a fashion parade rehearsal for the forthcoming North Eastern Ladies Charity Dinner tomorrow.

12th - Photographed the Castle Players "Mummers" show put on for the heritage day in the castle - what lovely weather they had. Also spent some time taking (yet) more images of the castle for a future presentation.

8th - Delivered a talk on the BSES and my Amazon adventures to the Women's Institute open meeting in Whorlton. Not too sure how some of the spiders were received!

4th - Very successful launch of the historical DVD of St. Mary's Church. The first showing went very well, so it looks like the Church will be able to raise some money from the sale of these DVDs.

1st - Scanned some old, badly faded and creased black and white prints for restoration. Amazing the detail you can recover - in one scene you can even see the price labels on dresses in a shop window!

August

31st - Spent some time photographing the First Team match at Barnard Castle Cricket Club - until I retreated when soaked to the skin from a sudden downpour!

30th - Visited the Teesdale Conservation Volunteers Woodland Festival and enjoyed watching metal work along with hand / foot powered wood turning. Was pleased to meet several "old" acquaintances there.

29th - Called in to the Barnard Castle Truck Show and spent a pleasant time wandering around admiring the vehicles there. Amazing how much effort is put in to keep them looking so good. Took some photographs of a 12.5 tonne "Monster Truck" airborne over some old cars - they were fit for the scrap when the truck landed on them!

26th - Portrait time today - client needed a print to give as a present - inclement weather meant staying in the studio rather than using an external location.

21st - Phone call today to say I had been awarded an Associate Distinction from the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers. The icing on the cake is that my portfolio should be featured in the next edition of Professional Imagemaker magazine. Very pleased with this accolade.

17th - Excellent meeting with Emma of the White Wedding Planner who is offering to help co-ordinate your wedding and suggest local businesses that can supply your needs. Am looking forward to working together on a number of projects.

16th - Photographed the Eggleston Kite Festival and, while the high winds prevented some of the bigger kites from flying, there were some very interesting "apparitions" in the hills over the Moorcock Inn. The one on the left is not a ghost but is called a "spirit". Many of the other kites were equally fascinating and the technology behind them was interesting.

13th - Very interesting day at the top of the Middlesbrough / Stockton Transporter Bridge - some 160 feet above the River Tees giving great images and scenes. It will be 100 years old in 2011 - hopefully there will some good celebrations.

11th - The Historical DVDs were delivered - all 1,000 of them. Printing looks great and it played faultlessly on my DVD. I also took it around to some long suffering friends just to check it out on their players! All now ready for the "launch" on the 4th September. Thanks to all who helped out in this project.

6th - Anyone interested in bird watching or photography in the Amazon for August 2010? Positive discussions with an "eco-lodge" to take a group of 10 people for 7-9 days. A chance for Hoatzin amongst some 560 other species of birds they have seen. When the legalities are finalised, a dedicated web page will be put up.

July

29th - Unusual request today - "Did I still do black & white developing and printing for archival images?" Unfortunately not - the developer and enlarger are safely stored in the attic. It did serve as a timely reminder that there is still a specialist market for this service. Now, where can I make a darkroom?

28th - Signed off the artwork proofs for the historical DVD - the replication company has done a great job (they did not change anything) in copying the artwork over to their format. Now I just have to wait for the 1,000 DVDs to arrive - am getting impatient! The DVDs should be here in mid August - well in time for the first public showing on September 4th.

27th - Posted off the final DVD along with the artwork and prints of what I expect. A great relief to know that this project is finished and looking forward to the finished product.

26th - Carried out a further recording of organ music for the DVD to remove a small imperfection. Delighted with the final soundtrack when it had been inserted.

21st - Awake at 4am to capture the sunrise over Dunbar harbour - a beautiful morning. Enjoyable boat trip to the Bass Rock and 150,000 pairs of gannets (via the Scottish Seabird Centre). You certainly do not need a long lens over there - it is more a case of ensuring that they do not land on you! It was a bit rougher coming back and waterproofs were needed to stay dry!

16th - Some very old black & white (or even yellow) images to be scanned and restored. Amazing the amount of detail that can be retrieved with good technique. Emailed small versions to the family so they can decide between themselves which images get priority.

13 - 15th - A lot of time spent getting the DVD - A history of St. Mary's Church, Barnard Castle - finalised and listing the remaining minor issues for resolution. Now with some 160 images and lasts 27 minutes. Am very grateful for the help I have had from the narrator and the organist.

11th - A beautiful, but very energetic, labrador pup for her portrait this morning. Got some great shots despite her best efforts to confuse my focus and lick the lens.

6th - Spent the whole evening photographing the Castle Players first dress rehearsal of this years play - The Tempest - at the Bowes Museum. A cool and slightly damp evening but well worth the effort. Was delighted with the images I obtained (some can be seen here) and there are a couple that I will be entering for exhibitions.

5th - Travelled to Anglesey Trac Mon to photograph the races promoted by Leinster Motor Club from Ireland. The weather was better than expected and some of the racing was very close with not everyone making it around all the corners.

4th - Ran a successful portrait stall at a Gala held in the grounds of Raby Castle. Only problem was a large English sheepdog that refused to pose and just wanted to lie down. Made it difficult to get the owners into the picture as they did not wish to lie down with it!

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