Drive like a dick day

I’ve no idea what was up with people today, but the driving standards and dangerous aggression was all to evident on today’s ride.

First off, I was tailgated along a narrow road, and keeping well out of the door zone, and he finally overtook, blasting his horn as he went. Sorry mate, I’ll ride anywhere I like in the damn road. He then aggressively tailgated the car in front having to break hard several times.

Next up, a delivery van completely blocking the cycle path, as I went round him in order to continue, I noticed his reversing lights as he whacked it into reverse along the path.

Didn’t even look around, almost taking another cyclist out.

Then, on a roundabout a taxi pulled out right in front of me, causing me to brake hard. Then came the close passes. Not just a few, but almost every car, and a close pass on a tight downhill bend.

I give up. The driving standards are dropping like a lead balloon. We all have to get somewhere, we all have to learn to share. Motor vehicles do not, and have never had a greater priority than anything else.

The whole mentality of the car needs to change. We, as a society cannot allow the car to dictate our city plans. Our whole outlook on town planning needs a shift away from cars, and to sustainable methods of transport. I’m all for scrapping the VED, and increasing the cost of petrol to compensate. That way, you pay less if you use your car less, more for all those pointless journeys taking little Esmeralda and Sebastian to school in a massive 4×4, where they could easy walk it.

It is possible to live without a car, or at least use it less.


Its unusual for me to go to Leeds, I try and avoid the place if at all possible. But this time, I had to go, as I had an appointment with a Recruitment agent. So I thought sod it, I’ll take my camera and have a Wander while I am there.

I dislike Leeds. I don’t find much opportunity for photography, that might be just not looking for them, or it may be the fact that I just want to get out the city center as soon as possible. I wandered up the Headrow, and snapped a image of the War Memorial, and the Town hall. I walked back down to town, intending to go to Boar lane, to photograph one of the many Bar Flies out for a smoke.

I walked through the new Trinity Shopping centre, and was almost immediately  accosted by their security. “Cant take photos here mate”. I wasn’t, I was just walking through. Fair enough, its Private property and they have the right to ask me not to take photos. Security followed me from one end of the centre to the exit on Boar lane. Just no need.

I them walked up Victorian Quarter and took a few images of the charity chuggers up there. Again, they where not pleased, but heh, your on a public road. One of them started to get a little uppity with me explaining the rules, and I called it quits and walked off. The heat was starting to really get to me now, the buses and taxis buzzing around spraying fumes all over. People really do exist in their own little bubble in cities, head down, walk to destination, ignore everything. Which gives some very boring street images.

I went to the Meeting (Which as normal with Agents is a waste of time), and then called it quits, back to the railway station, and on the first train out. I came out with three images on my D7000. None of which I think I will keep.

I hate Leeds.



Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day in Harrogate was a disappointing affair to say the least.

Last year, the Police, Fire Brigade and Menwith Hill workers along with several other groups.

This year, the Police claimed that there where not enough Officers with Marching experience to take part. Which, to be honest is a rather unbelievable excuse. One lone police officer made up their contingent. (As reported by the Yorkshre Post here)

The only groups to show where:

  1. Sea Cadets
  2. Air force Cadets
  3. Army Foundation College (Who have also cut back on the events they attend)
Which to my mind is a pathetic turnout.
I’m currently working through the images I took. It was a foggy day and it played hell with my cameras metering system, many shots overexposed, and by the time I worked it out, it was too late to retake many images. The net result is that I need to over edit many of the shots. (Cabridge in Colour has a great article here on how to take shots in fog)
Only other issues I have are that of composition. I really have to slow down, way to many shots where various parts of people are cut off, and people half in the frame. I really kick myself when I review the shots at home.
I’ll see whats worth posting later on.


I was browsing around Photocamel earlier and came across a thread (

The poster placed an image that he had used a diorama style shot. Which, to be honest really does not work overly well with the subject. Some people critiqued this, and gave their thoughts on the image. In post 6, he rather sternly rebukes the comments made in earlier posts

Having been a photographer for 30+ years, I would like to think that I am fairly well versed in the do’s and don’ts with regards to f-stop, aperture and composition.


FWIW, it’s bad form to critique a photograph without asking first,. This is especially true in a public forum and where there are certain artistic liberties at play that one may, or may not understand.

Now I take an interest in the thread. All postings to Social sites, be they forums, flickr, private websites etc are open to public critique. You have to expect that when posting in full public view. What would art be if people did not discuss it? It would be dull and boring.

I pointed this out in my post (Post 11)

I disagree. People are free to express an opinion, critique it if they wish. You consent to that by making it public display.

You dont have to ask. people will always critique. How boring would the art world be, if no one critiqued? Art Should, and always will promote discussion. Whether the artist wants it or not.

To which he posts rather a childish reply. He offers to go to the website I’ve linked in my signature and critique some of the photos on my website.

Truth be told, I’d love him to. To learn what others think, what the images say to them is what I crave. It makes me think, gives me ideas to improve on photography. And I fully accept that others will view my photography, discuss it, think about it. Is that not the purpose of all art? To promote discussion, thought and critique?

Would Monet’s work be what it is today without people discussing it? I think not.

I’ll repeat one last time:

Art Should, and always will promote discussion. Whether the artist wants it or not.

Of Gods and Science

On the long walk home, my mind wanders. With the rythmic roar of the traffic, my mind went to religion.

Specificly the case of is religion still has a place in the modern world. Thousands of years ago, humans did’nt know why their crops died, why did the floods come? They had no other idea other than a supieror force was playing with their lives. So religion was born to give people the reasons for these events. Its Human nature to have reasons. And that nature led to science explaining more and more of these events, eroding the grip religion had on the population.

This is why the religious institutions where hell bent on dismissing science as heresy, trying to destroy all scientific research and generally being repressive as possible. But Human nature always wins. People grew to live with both religion and science. But science was always there, gradually explaining all lifes mysteries.

Is religion defunct? No, its not. It gives people a sense of worth, community, identity and continuation, even after death. Long after science explains the last mysteries of the universe, people will need the other comforts religion brings. Be it Muslamic, Christianity or Buddism or any other religion, it will never pass. It will wain and grow, but religion will always be with us. For good or for worse.