Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Oxford Colleges

Visited Oxford on Sunday where all the Oxford Colleges were offering free admission to visitors. Here are some photos of a few of the principle colleges.
Magdalen College Cloisters
The Cloister or Great Quad was built in 1474-80 and has been altered several times since then. In 1822, the north side was in bad shape, and was knocked down while most of the fellows were away from college (only a small group of fellows were in favour of demolishing it). It was rebuilt shortly afterwards. In the early 1900s, renovations were performed, and it was returned to a more mediaeval character.
Magdalen Gargoyles
Gargoyles on the walls of Magdalan College Cloisters, Oxford, England, UK. 
Magdalen New Building
The New Building at Magdalen College, was built across a large lawn to the north of the Great Quad beginning in 1733. Its spacious setting is due to the builders' intentions to create an entirely new quad, but only one side was completed. Edward Gibbon and C. S. Lewis had their rooms in this building, and as there are very few student rooms (many being occupied by tutors), they are highly sought after.
Magdalen Tower
Magdalen Tower is one of the oldest parts of Magdalen College, Oxford, situated directly in the High Street. Built of stone from 1492, when the foundation stone was laid, its bells hung ready for use in 1505, and completed by 1509, it is an important element of the Oxford skyline. At 144 feet (44 m) high, it is the tallest building in Oxford. It dominates the eastern entrance to the city, towering over Magdalen Bridge and with good views from the Botanic Garden opposite.
Merton College
Merton College, viewed from across Christ Church Meadow. The stone wall that divides the College site from Christ Church Meadow follows the route of the medieval walls of the city. Merton College's foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to support it. The important feature of Walter's foundation was that this "college" was to be self-governing and the endowments were directly vested in the Warden and Fellows.
Merton College Gardens
Merton Gardens
Merton College Gardens fill the southeastern corner of the old walled city of Oxford. The gardens are notable for a mulberry tree planted in the early 17th century, an armillary sundial, an extensive lawn, a Herma statue, and the old Fellows' Summer House (now used as a music room and rehearsal space).
Mob Library
Merton College MOB Library and Merton College Chapel. The top floor of the building was built in 1373-78 to house the College Library, which is now one of the oldest academic libraries in Europe.
Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera, in Oxford, England, is a large circular building with a lofty dome, was built by James Gibbs between 1737 and 1749 with money bequeathed by John Radcliffe (1650-1714), the famous physician, and was designed to house a library endowed by Radcliffe.
University Church Of St Mary The Virgin
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin (St Mary's or SMV for short) is an Oxford church situated on the north side of the High Street. It is the centre from which the University of Oxford grew and its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings. 
St Mary's possesses an eccentric baroque porch, designed by Nicholas Stone, facing High Street, and a spire which is claimed by some church historians to be one of the most beautiful in England. Radcliffe Square lies to the north and to the east is Catte Street. The 13th century tower is open to the public for a fee and provides good views across the heart of the historic university city, especially Radcliffe Square, the Radcliffe Camera, Brasenose College and All Souls College.
Trinity College
Trinity College, Oxford, England, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. The college was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, on land previously occupied by Durham College, home to Benedictine monks from Durham Cathedral. Despite its large size, the college is relatively small in terms of student numbers at approximately 400.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.



Monday, 12 September 2016

Britain from A to Z - T

Our main photos today depicting places beginning with the letter T, are the Thames River and the Tower of London. We do however start with a Tithe Barn!
Tithe Barn Interior
The Tithe Barn in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England. The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust, and attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance. 
The Tithe Barn, in the heart of the historic village is a limestone barn with a raised-cruck roof and a very long wagon porch. 
The village, which dates from the 13th century has many limewashed half-timbered and stone houses.
We now move up to the Thames, first showing it at Marlow and Henley, before moving downstream to London, where it is crossed by Tower Bridge.
River Thames At Marlow
The Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire on a crisp November afternoon.
River Thames At Henley-on-Thames
The Thames at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, looking toward The Angel.
Tower Bridge
London's Tower Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world. Its Victorian Gothic style stems from a law that forced the designers to create a structure that would be in harmony with the nearby Tower of London. It was built 120 years ago to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy Pool of London docks. Built with giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, it is to this day, considered as a great feat of Victorian engineering.
View Through Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge framing modern London buildings. From left to right the main ones are 20 Fenchurch Street, AKA the Walkie Talkie, 122 Leadenhall Street, AKA The Cheese Grater and 30, St Mary Axe, AKA The Gherkin.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.




Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Britain from A to Z - S

For the letter S in our photographic tour round the UK, we have a host of Saints, churches and a cathedral.

We begin in the north of England in the city of York, with a view of the ruined St Marys Abbey.
St Marys Abbey
The Abbey of St Mary is a ruined Benedictine abbey in York, England and a Grade I listed building. Once the richest abbey in the north of England, it lies in what are now the Yorkshire Museum Gardens, on a steeply-sloping site to the west of York Minster. The original church on the site was founded in 1055 and dedicated to Saint Olaf II of Norway. The abbey church was refounded in 1088 for Abbot Stephen and a group of monks from Whitby by the Anglo-Breton magnate Alan Rufus, who laid the foundation stone of the Norman church in January or February that year. The monks moved to York from a site at Lastingham in Ryedale in the 1080s and are recorded there in Domesday. The surviving ruins date from a rebuilding programme begun in 1271 and finished by 1294.
St Edmund Of Abingdon
We then move south to Oxford where we find the statue of St Edmund of Abingdon, after whom St Edmund Hall College is named. He was born Edmund Rich in the town of Abingdon, just south of Oxford, in about 1175. After studies at Oxford and Paris, he taught in Paris and in Oxford. Outstanding priest, administrator, teacher, and man of peace and prayer, Edmund was in charge of the finances for the great cathedral of Salisbury, then being built, and in 1234 he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. The church in the background is now the college library.

Keeping the connection with St Edmund, we next visit Salisbury Cathedral.
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral is officially called the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, and one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. The main body of the cathedral was completed in only 38 years, from 1220 to 1258. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (123m/404 ft) and also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain. It contains the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and has the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta. In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration.
St Cyriac's Church 
Travelling back to the north of Wiltshire we reach the beautiful old village of Lacock where we find St Cyriac's Church. The original church was Norman and while the dedication to St Cyriac is unusual in this country it is not in Normandy. A major rebuilding took place in the late 15th century by which time Lacock was a thriving township involved in the wool trade. Although the main part of the church as we see it today was built about 1450, the Lady Chapel predates it by about 30 years. The spire was added in the 1700s. Further restoration took place in 1861 when the transept arches were raised to their present height and old box pews replaced by the present pews.
St John The Baptist
Finally we continue north to Burford, in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles west of Oxford, and considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. Here we find the Parish Church of St John the Baptist which dates largely from the 15th century. The church has a Norman tower capped by a slender 15th century spire. Lengthy restoration of the church took place in the 1870's. In 1649 mutineers in Cromwell's army (Levellers) were imprisoned in the church - one of them carved his name on the font! - before being forced onto the roof to watch their ringleaders execution in the churchyard. Those executed are commemorated on a plaque close to the porch.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.


Monday, 5 September 2016

Featured Artist Nancy Ingersoll

This weeks featured artist is photographer and artist Nancy Ingersoll.

Nancy Ingersoll is a full-service creative resource. Nancy is a teaching artist, which means she practices what she preaches. With one hand in the creative side, she stays up to date on the current trends and techniques, while the other hand is teaching young artists which keeps her immersed in a creative environment. It is this creative energy that she thrives on. She teaches a high school Advanced Placement Studio Art for Photography class where 100% of her students earned college credit for the portfolios that they created under her guidance and submitted to The College Board, an organization that prepares and administers standardized tests that are used in college admission and placement.

Nancy is both a photographer and a graphic designer, who manages all aspects of her projects from idea to execution. Her work has appeared in ads on billboards and Muni buses in San Francisco, in addition to many other smaller scale exhibits. Her graphic design work includes both digital art and hand lettered pieces. Some of her hand lettered pieces have been converted to digital pieces that are available in a variety of products, such as apparel and home decor items, in addition to prints.

Documenting environments is how one might describe Nancy’s photography. While some of Nancy’s other work utilizes puns that show her sense of humor and other pieces express her faith.


On her site, you can choose from over 350 images, in a variety of styles. A fair amount of her work is in chalkboard style, which is one of the latest trends in home decorating and perfect for nearly any style of home.  

or follow her on Instagram @thephotocottage


Friday, 2 September 2016

Centenary Square

I spent a little time with my camera in Centenary Square, Birmingham earlier in the week, on a glorious sunny afternoon. 
Centenary Square
Centenary Square is a public square on the north side of Broad Street in Birmingham, named in 1989 to commemorate the centenary of Birmingham achieving city status. 
In 1991 the square was redesigned to complement the new International Convention Centre with new paving, railings and lamps designed by artist Tess Jaray, a fountain and several sculptures. During the construction and opening of the Library of Birmingham on the square in 2013 several of the elements of the 1991 design were removed and a library amphitheatre was built into the square. 
The square is used as a staging area for many of the city’s main cultural events including the Frankfurt Christmas Market, Arts Festivals, Remembrance Day Services, New Year’s Celebrations and during Christmas hosts a temporary ice rink and the Birmingham Wheel. The buildings, from left to right, are the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and Baskerville House.
Library of Birmingham
Library of Birmingham Facade
The Library of Birmingham is situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep (to which it connects, and with which it shares some facilities) and Baskerville House. Upon opening on 3 September 2013, it replaced Birmingham Central Library. The library, which is estimated to have cost £188.8 million, is viewed by the Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the city's redevelopment. It has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe, and the largest regional library in Europe. 2,414,860 million visitors came to the library in 2014 making it the 10th most popular visitor attraction in the UK. 
The exterior of the building, from the first to the eighth floor is wrapped with an intricate metal façade, echoing the tunnels, canals and viaducts which fuelled Birmingham’s industrial growth.
Birmingham Symphony Hall
The Birmingham Symphony Hall is a 2,262 seat concert venue in Birmingham, England which looks out onto Centenary Square, next to the Birmingham Rep. It was officially opened by the Queen in June 1991. It is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and hosts around 270 events a year. It was completed at a cost of £30 million. The hall's interior is modelled upon the Musikverein in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The venue, managed alongside Town Hall, presents a programme of jazz, world, folk, rock, pop and classical concerts, organ recitals, spoken word, dance, comedy, educational and community performances, and is also used for conferences and business events. 
The Symphony Hall, widely considered one of the finest in the world, was designed by Percy Thomas Partnership and Renton Howard Wood Levin, with specialist help from Russell Johnson of Artec Consultants Inc..
Birmingham Symphony Hall Reflections
Reflections from Birmingham Symphony Hall showing, from left to right, Baskerville House, the Library of Birmingham and, on the opposite side of the road, the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Reflections from Birmingham Symphony Hall
Reflections from Birmingham Symphony Hall showing the Crowne Plaza and the new HSBC building.
Boulton Watt And Murdoch
Outside the House of Sport (formerly the Register Office) on Broad Street, opposite Centenary Square, stands the statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, nicknamed 'The Golden Boys' or 'The Carpet Salesmen'. It is the work of William Bloye, formerly head of sculpture at Birmingham School of Art and was unveiled in 1956, although preliminary designs were drawn up in 1938. 
The larger-than-life size figures are in bronze, with a gold finish, on a pedestal of Portland stone and are depicted discussing engine plans. 
The three men pioneered the industrial revolution in late 18th century England. James Watt's improvements to the steam engine and William Murdoch's invention of gas lighting have made them famous throughout the world. Matthew Boulton, entrepreneur and industrialist, harnessed their talents in a company that made everything from tableware and copper coinage to steam engines. His home, Soho House, is now a museum. All three men are buried in St Mary's Church Handsworth, known as the 'Westminster Abbey of the Industrial Revolution'.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. 





Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Britain from A to Z - R

Continuing our photographic journey around Britain, we have two rivers, a statue and a building!

Starting in the far North East of Britain, there is the River Brora in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland' followed by the Great Ouse in Buckinghamshire.
River Brora
The River Brora (Scottish Gaelic: Brùra) is an east-flowing river in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland which is formed as its headwater streams, the Féith Osdail, Allt Gobhlach and Allt nan Con-uisge meet at Dalnessie before flowing southeastwards down Strath Brora to Dalreavoch. The river turns briefly northeast then east and then southeastwrads once again to pass through the three distinct basins of Loch Brora to enter the Moray Firth on the North Sea at the town of Brora. Its one principal tributary is the Black Water which enters on its left bank at Balnacoil. The Black Water is itself fed by the River Skinsdale and the Coirefrois Burn.
River Great Ouse
The River Great Ouse is the longest of several British rivers called "Ouse". From Syresham in central England, the Great Ouse flows into East Anglia before entering the Wash, a bay of the North Sea. With a course of 143 miles (230 km), mostly flowing north and east, it is the one of the longest rivers in the United Kingdom. The Great Ouse has been historically important for commercial navigation, and for draining the low-lying region through which it flows; its best-known tributary is the Cam, which runs through Cambridge. Its lower course passes through drained wetlands and fens and has been extensively modified, or channelised, to relieve flooding and provide a better route for barge traffic. Though the un-modified river probably changed course regularly after floods, it now enters the Wash after passing through the port of King's Lynn, south of its earliest-recorded route to the sea.
This photo is taken where it passes through the town of Buckingham, the county town of Buckinghamshire.
Richard Coeur de Lion
Richard Coeur de Lion is a Grade II listed equestrian statue of the 12th-century English monarch Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, who reigned from 1189–99. It stands on a granite pedestal in Old Palace Yard outside the Palace of Westminster, facing south towards the entrance to the House of Lords. It was created by Baron Carlo Marochetti, an Italian sculptor whose works were popular with European royals and the nobility, though often less well regarded by critics and the artistic establishment. The statue was first produced in clay and displayed at The Great Exhibition in 1851, where it was located outside the west entrance to the Crystal Palace. It was well received at the time and two years later Queen Victoria and Prince Albert headed a list of illustrious subscribers to a fund that aimed to raise money for the casting of the statue in bronze.

It was installed in October 1860, though it was not until March 1867 that it was finally completed with the addition of bronze bas-reliefs on either side of the pedestal. It narrowly escaped destruction during the Second World War when a German bomb dropped during the Blitz landed a few metres away and peppered it with shrapnel. The pedestal and the horse's tail were damaged and Richard's sword was bent by the blast. In 2009, the Parliamentary authorities undertook a project to conserve and restore the statue.
Radcliffe Camera

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, was built by James Gibbs between 1737 and 1749 with money bequeathed by John Radcliffe (1650-1714), the famous physician, and was designed to house a library endowed by Radcliffe. In 1860 the Trustees of Dr Radcliffe's will transferred all works on natural sciences to premises in the University Museum, where they formed the nucleus of what is now the Radcliffe Science Library. 

The Camera itself was first lent to the Bodleian Curators and later, in 1927, the Trustees presented the freehold to the University. The exterior stonework has been cleaned and partly refaced at the expense of the Historic Buildings Appeal. The Camera now contains two reading rooms, mainly used by undergraduates.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

5 Ways to Keep Your Photography Talent Sharp


Todays photography tip from our friends over at Picture Correct is provided by Lorna Kirkby, a baby and newborn photographer based in Melbourne, Australia (lornakirkbyphotography.com.au). She serves as a coach and mentor to both newbie photographers and old pros who need refreshment. Lorna writes:-

There are so many rewarding aspects in life, and one of them is growing in something you love, something that you’re good at. Not only do we feel a sense of accomplishment, but we feel larger on the inside. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic hobbyist with a knack for photography, improving your talent is a special thrill. 

On the flipside, there are few things more frustrating than that feeling of being stuck under a glass ceiling where you feel jaded, your work starts to feel dull, your passion begins to wane, and your creative juices dry up. We all plateau from time to time, and it’s important to get out of the rut quickly. So, how do you sharpen your photography talent? Here are five ways to get back on track.

Follow this link to read Lorna's full article....5 Ways to Keep Your Photography Talent Sharp: 
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One of Lorna's tips is to stick your neck out and enter a competition, or submit your photo to one of the many photography forums around and ask for a critique.

The first competition I entered was in 2012, with my Three Headed Giraffe which became a finalist. in the  "Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year" in the Wildlife section.
Three Headed Giraffe
More recently I entered a competition run by a local firm of solicitors to publicise the opening of their new office. The following image, of a Bicester Night Scene was placed third.
Bicester Night Scene
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.