Valencia

Since spending a very enjoyable time in Seville a few years ago Spain has been firmly on my list of places to explore. It's taken a while to get round to a return visit, but a few weeks ago I set our for Valencia.

Granada, with the nearby Alhambra, was my first thought as a destination and looked like a good bet for some good winter weather. After investigating further transport practicalities suggested that Valencia might be a little easier at this time of year and, since it sits on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast the prospects of catching some sunshine looked equally good. As Spain's third largest city (after Madrid and Barcelona) it certainly had plenty of streets to roam - I walked around 40 miles - and no shortage of things to do.

The resulting photos? Follow the link here.


Fluorescent onesie

I was taking photos in London at the weekend when it started to rain. Having forgotten my umbrella I took shelter in a doorway while waiting for it to clear, keeping my camera ready in case something interesting happened. And after around half an hour, it finally did.

Possibly an escapee from a stag weekend, a man appeared and headed in my direction, carrying a dripping wet fluorescent pink wig in his hand and wearing a very damp fluorescent yellow onesie. Not something I see every day of the week.

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Chelmsford Photo Marathon 2016

What's a photomarathon?
The 'photographic marathon' was conceived in Spain in the 1980s, but first made it to the UK (Cardiff) in 2004. It involves competing against others and the clock to take and submit a set of photos — one image for each of a set of previously undisclosed topics — with no off-camera processing allowed.

Normally this involves 24 photos on 24 topics in 24 hours, or 12 photos on 12 topics in 12 hours.

Chelmsford Photomarathon
In Chelmsford the regular format is obviously far too easy, so they've halved the normal time limit, requiring 12 photos on 12 topics in only 6 hours. That really isn't much time to digest the topics, think up potential ideas, look for locations (that aren't already inundated by other photographers), take photos and decide what to submit; I know because I went to Chelmsford to take part in the 2016 Chelmsford Photo Marathon last month!

The rules clearly didn't put people off as around 100 people met up at the start, with some apparently joining in remotely from the USA. The topics turned out to be Water, Wheels, Change, Graphic, Rest, Bokeh, Handmade, Flipped, Converge, Mirror Image, Behind the scenes, and A Gift. After a fun but frantic day I made the deadline with a few minutes to spare and was finally able to stop to eat.

Winning

I wasn't able to get to the opening of the exhibition a couple of weeks ago, so also missed the announcement of the results. When I did make it a couple of days later, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd won three categories — Graphic, Handmade and Rest — as well as the 1st prize for the competition as a whole (thanks for your sponsorship, CameraWorld!)

Here are my three category winning photos, as taken direct from the camera (no post-processing):

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1,200 rolls of 1950's film to process

While I'm sure it would be would be very interesting, fortunately it's not me that has to process the film, but the Rescued Film Project. The Rescued Film Project is dedicated to rescuing, processing and online-archiving old rolls of film that never made it to the processing lab.

Last year they had a donation of 1,200 rolls of film, all shot in the 1950s by the same photographer. And, to make them even more interesting, the photographer went to great trouble to note the contents of each film and date them, before packaging them up in cigar boxes, protected with multiple layers of newspaper, aluminium foil and athletic tape.

As you might imagine, developing the photos is going to cost money, so the Project has launched an appeal for funds. You can find the appeal, and more details of the find, on Indiegogo. I'm sure they'd appreciate your support.

And, should you come across any old rolls of undeveloped film, don't through them out! The Rescued Film Project may well accept them; although they are based in the USA, they accept film from anywhere in the World.


Jordan Gray

Well, I went to an awesome gig by Jordan Gray (aka Tall Dark Friend) yesterday - a superb live performer, full of energy, and with a great crowd treated to three encores. I didn't have a camera on me so no photos from yesterday, however here she is, before she achieved national fame on The Voice, jumping off the stage after her equally outstanding performance at the 2015 Fling Festival. Click on the photo for more pictures from the day.

The Fling Festival 2015: Tall Dark Friend (Jordan Gray)


Year of the Monkey / 丙申年一月

While shooting at the Chinese New Year celebrations in London at the weekend, I came across Zac Goldsmith being interviewed in the street. Since he wasn't wearing a monkey mask or a dragon hat, I guess he was pursuing his campaign to be London Mayor. And naturally I couldn't walk past without taking a photo. It doesn't belong in the Chinese New Year album, but if you'd like to see it then hit the 'read more' link.

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Don't throw out your old photos!

Are you thinking of throwing out some old snapshots - or maybe the old family albums that have been collecting dust in the attic for years? Don't do it!

Yes, thanks to the Internet, your unwanted photos can now be rehoused - irrespective of their quality, condition, size or content. All you need to do is to package them up and put them in the post.

The Photo Fostering Project is based in the UK and was launched in February 2014. Its aim is 're-homing found, forgotten and unwanted photographs' and they're looking for more. Each donated photo is scanned and added to their online re-homing service, ready to be chosen by someone prepared to stump up the £1.00 postage to provide it with a good home (or £1.50 if you live outside the UK).

While I've no connection with the project I do hate to see old photos thrown away. So, if you have some old snaps surplus to your requirements - or if you fancy re-homing someone else's - do take a look at the project's website at www.thephotofosteringproject.org.