Tuesday, March 31, 2009

York Un

I went to York this weekend and stayed at Chateau Clay. He is staying in a massive house which has its own library, multiple bedrooms and - rumour has it - a dungeon. Clay's primary task is to keep the house cat well fed, something he failed to do on Sunday. Fortunately I was on hand to soothe the savage beast, who was pacing up and down the hallway growling, hissing and generally looking furious. Apparently it starts every day by trying to claw Clay's eyes out until he gives it food - this particular morning however, he cowered under the duvet so the cat came to torment me.

I scooped half a tin of salmon-flavoured horsemeat into a bowl, and as if by magic the cat was transformed from wild-eyed predator to purring ball of fluff. I reckon Steve Irwin could have picked up a tip or two from me about taming the beast.

Once Clay had surfaced from his pit, we took a walk round York's city walls. The daffodils were out in force, so needless to say we took half a million pictures of flowers. All very exciting, I'm sure.

York's walls were built a thousand years ago to defend against the threat of foreign attack. Today, foreigners are drawn to the walls, to gasp and coo at the daffodils and generally get in the way. What would the Romans or Vikings have made of it all? Nothing - they would have torched the lot and put the populace to the sword.

York Deux

Later on, Marcus came round. Clay had better things to do than hang out with the likes of us, so while he went off to a barbecue, Marcus and I went to try out some informal portraiture. We started off in Wentworth College at the University of York.

While I readied myself for an intense photographic session with some combat meditation, Marcus stole some paper for me to use as a snoot on the flash. This helped narrow the light into a beam, see above.

In the corridor just behind Marcus is the entrance to Wentworth computer room. This is usually a hive of activity, and means that the corridor is normally crammed with panicking students who are trying to finish assignments. I don't know what Marcus did when he got my snoot, but no one came out of the computer room after his visit. Presumably he blocked the exit with the bodies of the dead.

The pictures above and below were taken at Clay's mansion, while he showed us some combat footage from some sort of computer game. Hence Marcus' suitably impressed expression.

I haven't got any pictures of Clay's cat just yet, partly because it moves like lightning, and is therefore almost impossible to photograph.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Les Crevettes

Bronach made the mistake of leaving me at home alone this weekend, so I had to entertain myself. I started by speaking to Marcus, and we talked about taking photos of cutlery, inter alia.

Well, it's harder than it looks. Knives and forks reflect every damn thing in the neighbourhood, and keep getting shadows where they shouldn't and so on. To jazz the photos up a bit, I added a visual device known in French as a 'crevette'. The good thing about a crevette is that it distracts from the cutlery. The bad thing is that after trying for an hour or so to get a decent photo they start to stink a bit, and have to be chucked away.

Neither of these photos are particularly good, but I told Alex that I was going to photograph a prawn and he wanted to see the results. So if you're not Alex, don't look at the photos.

If for some reason you want to buy a print, I will refuse you because you are obviously some sort of pervert. They're going for $967.50, though.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that I've added a new link to my highly selective list of links on the right. Judy Cabbages is an Edinburgh based photographer who actually knows what he's doing, and I'd recommend that you tootle over there now for a read.

Finally, based on the overwhelming success of the video in the last post I'm going to post another video from The Lonely Island. Apparently it's getting radio airtime in Australia. What I want to know is why it's not getting played wall-to-wall 24/7 on Radio 4. If I can get enough support we're gonna go down to London and have a riot outside the BBC until they play it.