Fly Free

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Imagined Conversations Vol. 1

…”You know my feelings on our family, I’m sick of being treated as a small child – I am adult!

“You need to relax, you know you are in a very lucky position being able to live at home still, sure dad may stick his oar in where it sometimes doesn’t require, but just put up with it for the minute”.


…..”How beautiful is this lanscape, this beach and the rolloing waves?”

“It’s cold, I’m cold! Can we go home now?”

“Just a bit further, a bit longer….”

…”I’ve hit the bottom, I know I have.  I’m sick of this job, sick of not doing anything each weekend, I need to escape, I need something to hang on to”.

“The job is fine, everyone is in the same position you know, you should count yourself lucky that you can do what you do.  Have you though about writing any more or trying to meet new people?”

“Well I have tried, a bit, but it’s tough and then….”

…”Your grandfather used to work on the ships you know, in the merchant navy.  Went around the world, spending weeks and months at sea, only to have a few days of shore leave at the end of it.  A different story today of course, where shore leave is ever more compacted, don’t have the fun that you used have!”

“Dad, shut up!  Tell me more about grandad and his adventures on the high seas…”

The old thought was on my mind as I took this picture.  What are you doing, where are you going?

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The Sky is Blue, The Grass is Green

The vertical limbs of the small trees are waving peacefully to the deep grey clouds that are slowly ambling across the sky.  The seagulls are racing one by one, climbing higher on the drafts of air that rage across the invisible sky, barely having to flap their great wings to keep pace with each other.  I am sat by the white hot coals of a small dying fire, kept warm on one side as my other side rests against the cool of a leather chair.  Next to me, resting on the floor as I do, are a few books nearly finished.  One straddles the comprehension of what photography means to Barthes, the other straddles the world of the rebel by Camus.  I am content doing nothing, being no-one.  All pressure has eased.


If the photograph is used elsewhere, please credit as appropriate.

The Swimmers Paradise

You may have gathered from a previous post that I love swimming (or even just floating) in bodies of water, in both seas and lakes and man-made pools; that I love the feeling of being immersed so completely that you forget what it is like being tied to the land for life.  I am a lucky person as I live near the sea but, unfortunately, I haven’t swam in it for nearly 8 months now.  I remember the last time as if it were yesterday: the last rays of a summer sun that shimmered on the golden empty sands, of the waves that towered over my friend and me, those same waves that crashed onto our bodies and carried us along on the surf towards the shore, of being able to stare into the empty sky from a free floating position further out at sea, away from the swells and broils of the surf.  It was a fantastic experience and one well worth the arduous mini-trek down to the front.  I cannot wait until I am in the sea again, ensconced in that liquid love of two parts hydrogen covalently bonding with one part oxygen, and I hope against hope that it will be soon.

I see ships coming into the hometown port all the time, the cable layers and dredgers, along with the bigger container ships and oil tankers lining up to enter the bigger port that lies to the south of my town.  Often I spy the dredgers that go between the two, keeping the sea lanes free of silt.  I’d love to hop on an ocean going vessel again, to be taken away to see the world from the vantage point of a porthole.  Although the ships rarely spend long at port these days, the days of having wild nights in port cities long gone having been shunted aside by the necessity of the commercial world of shipping, I’d still get to float on the beautiful body of water that surrounds our ground bound forms.  I dream every night of being a part of a crew that rides the waves of the ocean, drifting between continents and between lives, not walking but gliding gracefully through the water.


A sea shot of a dredging ship, altered with some basic colour mixing via media player. Taken by me with a Pentax S1a on cheap colour film, please use CC if reproduced.

UP Photography

I have the great pleasure in introducing and highlighting the wonderful photographic work done by Ulises J. Pastran.  He runs the website UP Photography, and a Facebook group, and has dabbled in photography since 2010.  The following examples are just a few of his works, but they help to capture the essence of his skills as a photographer, whether they are landscape, nature or portrait shots.

Perhaps, for me, one of his most interesting shots is this one below, of the entrance hall in the Natural History Museum.  Whilst capturing the flow of the visitors to this wonderful public museum, we can see that the time lapsed photography has highlighted the fast flowing lives of humans as they flow throughout the hall, who in turn are juxtaposed against the impressive monolith of the Diplodocus dinosaur in the foreground, standing still against all time.  Touchingly, the shot has also captured a resting mother with her two children in the bottom right hand corner.

A time lapsed photograph of the entrance hall in the  Natural History Museum in London (all rights reserved).

A time lapsed photograph of the entrance hall in the Natural History Museum in London (all rights reserved).

A recent Masters graduate from the University of Sheffield, Ulises hails originally from the Central American country of  Nicaragua, but is currently living in the United Kingdom.  After having met him whilst also studying in Sheffield at the same time, I have to say I have rarely met a person more full of life than Ulises.  He is influenced first and foremost by his mother, who was deeply interested in photography as a way of capturing the world, although never owning a decent camera led to constraints on her efforts.  Ulises is propelled for his passion for photography by the inherent beauty of natural world, “I try to capture nature in my shots, because I think people rarely take the time to appreciate how beautiful the simplest things can be”.

'A bit of my inspiration comes from wanting to make mom proud,  most of the time I just do it because it calms me down' (all rights reserved).

“A bit of my inspiration comes from wanting to make mom proud, most of the time I just do it because it calms me down” (all rights reserved).

His photography also helps capture the vibrancy of life, whilst often taking a contemplative perspective, as found in the sublime photograph below.  This photograph highlights the wonderfully intertwining colour’s of the sky, with the  beautifully positioned clouds helping to give depth to the picture. I personally look forward to more examples of this man’s art, so keep an eye on the website for future updates.

A view from 30,000 feet up, from UP Photography (all rights reserved).

A view from 30,000 feet up, from UP Photography (all rights reserved).

Ulyses is always seeking inspiration so catch his most recent shots in the sources below, because, as I hope this post has demonstrated, you never know quite what next he is going to capture with his camera- be it an act of nature, a staggered photo scene, or a clutch of portrait shots that ooze emotion and feeling.

Further sources of UP Photography: