I took this photograph of The statue of Musa Cälil, Tartar poet and resistance fighter, which stands outside the Kremlin in Kazan. There is an honour guard standing in front of the statue in the run up to Victory day (9th May 2017). Having never heard of Musa Calil I decided to do a little research.
Kazan is the capital of the semi autonomous republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation.The Qolsarif Mosque is a relatively new addition to the Kremlin in the city. The mosque, one of the largest in Russia was completed in 2005 on the site of the original which was destroyed when Ivan the terrible conquered Kazan in the 16th century. It is named after Qol Sharif a religious leader, diplomat and poet who died defending Kazan from the Russian forces in 1552.
If you ask the average English speaking person to name a city where Asia meets Europe they will probably say Istanbul – if you mention Kazan the response is often, where? Standing on the banks of the Volga and astride the Kazanka rivers the thousand year old city of Kazan in Tatarstan was founded on the a junction of the northern silk road. Kazan is still a vibrant example of eastern and western cultures meeting and mixing in harmony; even the name means cooking pot or cauldron in the native Tatar language. Continue reading →
Street photography isn’t always about accosting strangers or sticking a camera in an unsuspecting subjects face. The most useful talent a photographer can possess is the ability to observe and predict the subjects actions. To wait for Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment.
The most important piece of kit a street photographer needs is – a camera. Always carry one.
Having finally taken the plunge and given up my studio, there seemed no other way to get me out of its cozy confines I booked Meg for a location shoot. The weather forecast the previous day had promised a bright and sunny day with odd local shower and the blue sky looked promising as I pulled up outside her flat. Continue reading →
Suffering a brain haemorrhage and a head injury that leaves you with double vison and the inability to concentrate on the written word, all be it temporarily, is probably the worse things that can happen to a writer and photographer. Let’s face it here is only so much Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip that one person can stand in a month.
Recovery is slow and the continuing double vision has rather stymied the photography but now the brain can handle longer sentences I am back reading again. I have recently completed the advanced creative writing module of an open university course and my final assignment was to complete the first 4000 words of a novel. During the assignment my tutor suggested that I read the first 4000 words or 20 novels; a task that slowed down the writing but hopefully improved the standard.
Occasionally I meet writers who claim not to be readers but having the completed two creative writing modules and read or spoken to a lot of writers the most common piece of advice is to read. Not just your favourite genre but everything – good and bad. Continue reading →
Oh Joy Oh Bliss, I wonder where the model is? (First published in 2014)
I recently decided that I needed to shoot some pictures for a website with some new models: as if I hadn’t already lost enough hair. Now the internet is a wonderful place as long as you remember that 90% of it is made up by people who have no idea what they are talking about whilst only about 10% is actually useful. (Oh and since you wondered only 4% is porn *). At this point you should be saying ‘How does he know this? Actually I don’t; I just made up the first two statistics based on my personal experience and bias. The third statistic actually comes from a reasonably creditable source and if you follow the * to the bottom of the page you will find a link to where this came from. Continue reading →