Cute doggie pics!

Here are a couple of photos of a friend’s cute Lakeland Terrier. It’s a shame that in reality the dog is a real diva!


One of my photos made it onto the BBC News website

Last December, I posted a photo I took of King’s College Chapel in this blog. I submitted it to the BBC News website magazine last night; following on from an article written by a friend of a friend, they requested photos of buildings. I was pleasantly informed by a few people today that they saw my pic on the BBC website – nice of the Beeb to have selected one of mine :D

The BBC page is at – my photo is the 3rd in the picture gallery.

King's College Chapel Silhouette

I have a fan!

I just got a message from KT Tunstall saying she liked my photos! OK, so she’s really nice and contacts lots of her fans, but it still got me beaming again after last week’s encounter :D

She’s on tour in Australia at the moment, and had chance to look through the photos I took of her performance at the Cambridge Folk Festival last week – it’s rather neat that we’re, ahem, fans of each other’s work. :D

KT Tunstall

It almost seems like a dream now, but I just met KT Tunstall!! She’s SO nice!!!

KT & Claude

I first saw KT Tunstall perform live at the Cambridge Junction back in May (my cousin first told me about her and wanted to go), and was blown away by her talent, energy, and great songs. Her performance live is an order of magnitude better than her album, which is itself fantastic. I decided against taking photos back then, and we both enjoyed the concert much more for it. Since then, her debut album has gone platinum, and she’s been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

So when I saw KT Tunstall on the billing for the Cambridge Folk Festival, I contacted the festival organisers and her manager to see if I could get a photo pass. The festival organisers couldn’t help me out (they didn’t get my original e-mail until it was too late), but KT Tunstall’s manager and tour manager were really helpful and arranged my photo pass and festival entrance. I only found out on the morning of her set that I could get into the festival to use the photo pass they’d arranged a while back, and still wasn’t convinced until I turned up and was given a wrist-band and guest pass!

I had a bit of a wander around, bumped into another press photographer I’d met before, who shared some useful logistical info. About 10 mins before her set was due to start, met the Media Liaison people who escorted us to the pit area. There were about 20 other press photographers there with me (from the music press, local news, photo agencies, folk magazines etc.), and we had 3 songs to get our photos. I snapped my way through a load of photos in that time, which seems like a blur now, and for the rest of her amazing set, took some more photos from the guest area at the front/side of the stage. I spent most of Saturday sorting through all of them, and they’re now on CantabPhotos, along with photos of The Proclaimers, and general shots around the festival. On first glance through the pics when I got home that night, I was worried that they were all blurred or out of focus (low light, difficult angle), but now I’m really happy with the photos I got of KT; I think my very favourite one (for lighting colours and her pose) is photo 48 on CantabPhotos (shown below).

Getting great photos wasn’t the best part of the evening though – I hung around afterwards and asked the media liaison/stage management people nicely if I could say thank you to her tour manager, for arranging my photo pass and ticket. The media liaison person let me backstage and introduced me to the assistant stage manager, who had a better rapport with the performers. I met her tour manager, Murray, who was as friendly and helpful in person as he had been in all of his e-mails while arranging my ticket for the festival. While waiting for KT and her band to finish their discussions, and then for KT to finish talking on her mobile, I spoke with Murray and a couple more musicians (Ryan, the Australian bassist of Cat Empire, and then some of KT Tunstall’s band), before meeting the lovely lady herself! Had a chat in her dressing room, (what exactly we talked about is lost in a blur now!). While she was talking to the one or two other people there, I called up my cousin and said “You’ll never guess who I’m standing next to right now……KT Tunstall!” – she wasn’t sure if I was joking, or how I’d managed it, until I gave KT my phone and they had a chat – my cousin was rather speechless afterwards! Of course I got the requisite autograph (on the concert ticket from May) and photo with her :D before she had to leave, bound for Australia the next day. I was still smiling when I woke up the next afternoon!

She’s SO nice! She truly deserves all the success and happiness that her considerable talents afford her.

These seem to be the most popular photos in the gallery:

Is Trinity a Den of Thieves?

There are hundreds of tales recounted about Cambridge, many are probably apocryphal, but they’re still juicy enough to tell people who haven’t heard them yet (or gullible tourists in a punt). While taking the photographs shown below, I noticed the inscription on the Trinity Chapel, which reminded me of one of these tales. I’ve not checked the veracity of the tale, but shall pass it on anyway…

Lying on the John’s Backs in the summer, you’ll often hear the reason why the John’s New Court Wedding cake has no clock. Allegedly, there was a race between St. John’s and Trinity to build a clock on their new courts, as they didn’t want to have clocks interfering with each other’s chimes on the hour. Trinity being Trinity, cheated and finished their clock tower in wood (while John’s built the New Court Wedding Cake with stone). The terms of the deal meant that Trinity now chimes the hour twice – the first time for Trinity, and then again immediately afterwards, for St. John’s. In return, St. John’s was able to choose which inscription should be placed on Trinity’s Chapel entrance, as long as the text came from the Bible. So a verse was chosen from the New Testament Gospels:

Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur

“Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur”

which translates as:

“My house will be called a house of prayer”

Sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it. Except the line following on from this line is:

“Vos autem fecistis eam speluncam latronum”, which translates as:

“You have turned it into a den of thieves”

So, did John’s exact their revenge for not having a clock tower? Perhaps, but the same inscription can be found on the church of Ste. Madeleine at Rennes-le-Château in France, so perhaps Trinity chose the inscription of their own free will…who knows…..

More night photos…

I took some more photos at night this morning – as I got home at 2:30, I noticed a clear sky and rising moon, so headed out again with my camera. Got distracted taking photos down St. John’s St and Trinity St, and completely forgot about the moon! Dawn came at 4am and ruined the light though :(

Here are two quick processings of some of the photos I took (I’ll process the RAW pics properly later on). St. John’s Chapel, and Trinity Chapel. The rest will go on CantabPhotos when I have processed them all.

Trinity Chapel at Night

St. John's Chapel at Night


Lucky, lucky me.

Another week, another conference, another country. This time I’m in Prague, and am relishing the opportunity. Having got up at a ridiculous hour (4am, after 3 hours’ sleep), my colleague and I got into Prague at 9am. Quite impressive, considering most people back in Britain were still enjoying their Saturday morning lie-ins…

The Charles Bridge early in the morning

From the airport, we had the choice of paying the princely sum of 700 Koruna (about £18) for a taxi into town, or of using the efficient (and very cheap) public transport (bus, then metro), for 15 Koruna (30p). I learnt my second word in Czech (Vystup = Exit) – the first Czech word I learned was during my previous visit to Prague, 9 years ago. Somehow, I still remember that ice cream is called “zmrzlina” – maybe I considered it a useful word to retain, or perhaps its run of 5 consonants made it particularly memorable.

We found our way to the conference location, and our accommodation – the Prague Hilton. In a thoroughly modern area of town, away from the charming old architecture, the large glass building looked rather uninspiring from outside. Once within, the reception area opens out onto an expansive and very impressive Atrium, creating a huge courtyard topped by a glass roof 10 floors up. For some strange reason, they only have elevators on one side of the building, and due to the central space, reaching my room involves walking half way round the circumference of the building to reach the other side. The room’s window looks into the Atrium, with plants and waterfalls below, and the glass ceiling above – all very futuristic.

My French colleague and I spent the afternoon visiting Prague, walking the “Silver Route” from the Powder Tower and Municipal House, past the Cathedral and Astronomical Clock on Wenceslas Square, over the Charles Bridge, and up to Prague Castle. Each building we passed seemed more ornate and impressive than the last, and by the time we reached the castle, our reaction to yet another beautiful spired rooftop was rather blasé.

Having walked around for nigh on three hours, we returned for a short nap before setting up our booth in the conference venue for the opening drinks reception, and offering product demonstrations to passing conference delegates. Now joined by our third colleague, we returned to the centre of Old Prague in the evening for dinner on Wenceslas Square, surrounded by the beautifully-lit Cathedral and Astronomical Clock Tower. We had another wander to Charles Bridge, to see the towers and Castle lit up, and to help digest yet more fried fare.

Prague Castle at Night

The bridge seemed a world away from its daytime persona – all of the street vendors and masses of tourists had disappeared. The gold-bearing statues along the sides merged into the night, and you’d see the occasional beggar, lying prostrate on the ground, head almost touching the ground, proferring a cup for charity. Giving the appearing of a meek, unworthy soul, it is certainly a radically different approach to the all-too noticeable beggars of London & Cambridge.