Tag Archives: Hipstamatic

Avebury Henge & Silbury Hill

Avebury 02

Very occasionally I indulge my self with a trip out with my camera. As I’ve posted here previously about the various ancient monuments that I’ve visited around the UK it can be assumed it’s a standing stone of an interest.
Towards the end of 2014 when staying in Winchester we visited Stone Henge which without doubt the most well known neolithic stone circle in the UK. I’d hoped to drip in on Avebury on the return journey but time didn’t allow.


So, ignoring the weather forecast I took a drive down to Avebury for a look around. I went there maybe 25 years ago, and as sleepy villages go, its hasn’t changed. The National Trust & English Heritage now look after the site and its noted as a World Heritage site.

As a child I remember watching the quite scary series ‘Children of the Stones‘. Whilst based in a the fictional village of Tilbury, this was filmed inane around Avebury. I rematched this recently and its still a potent little story.
Avebury is the only village that sits inside a stone circle, surrounded by a back and ditch. Construction of the circle is dated to around 3000BC although as in the case of Stone Henge there are suggestions the site was important prior to this as recently discovered evidence of Wood Henges indicate.

aveburymap2Avebury 01

The weather was pretty blood awful unfortunately (note rain spots on the lens) but I’m pleased I managed to spend a few bracing hours walking around the site. There is a mass of speculation about the meaning and intent of the architects of the site. Undoubtably giving the scale of the site and the effort required to create it, it was important to them.

Avebury 03

The following is a more atmospheric gallery of Hipstamatic pictures – still my go-to iPhone app.

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Avebury 05

Avebury Stone Detail

A little one a mile to the south of Avebury is Silbury Hill. At 30 metres (98 ft) high,[1] it is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe and one of the largest in the world; similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids of the Giza Necropolis although constructed somewhat later around 2400BC. Despite numerous excavations there’s no real indication of its function.

Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill 2016

I’m now off to read John Drews book ‘The Silbury Revelation‘ which i bought a while ago but neglected to put in the ‘to read’ pile.

And finally in the spirit of ‘if you liked this, you might also enjoy’ heres some pictures and sounds from Dol Tor stone circle.


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YSP & Hepworth Wakefield


A couple of weeks ago I had a random day off work with no commitments that couldn’t be ignored. The weather wasn’t entirely clement but with an intention to do something I’d hoped to do all summer I took a ride up the M1 to Bretton and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There are 500 acres of open country park which hosts some of the most important modern sculptures by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Anthonys Caro & Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elizabeth Frink, Jaun Miro, James Turrell, Ai, Weiwei, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Quinn, Julian Opie & Richard Long.

A steady walk around the grounds takes upwards of 3 hours with the enticement of another artefact in the distance to keep you going. I had hoped to take some ‘proper’ photographs but the light was flat & grey. The best results came from Hipstamatic using a near monochrome fine grain high contrast film.

This first set of pictures are all YSP. Highlight for me was the James Turrell Skyspace which only the experience of it justifies. The Turrell pieces are more commonly known in the wide open spaces of North America but this construction in an old Deer shelter on the estate is graced by the noise of crows and our steel skies. The 20mins I spent there was fortunately solitary and all the better for it.

James Turrell - Skyview, YSP

Click on a single image to open the gallery view.

The gallery spaces are used for temporary exhibitions and currently they have work from artist Bill Viola – not an artist I was previously familiar with. One of his large digital projects was also placed in the Chapel on the estate. This was a stunning piece relating to Ascension & Recension. The short film below gives a flavour of the work but its better seen and experienced with scale the artist intends.

After exhausting the collection at YSP (and my legs) as I was in the area I went over to the Hepworth Wakefield. This is wonderful contemporary art space built to place and celebrate the work of Barbara Hepworth and host temporary exhibitions. Its a surprisingly expansive space with numerous galleries. The current show by Enrico David was defiantly worth a look but the numerous Hepworth pieces and reproduction casts contributed to an engrossing view. This is the gallery view…..

Follow the embedded links for more information about both places.


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November Fog


Woodthorpe Grange 01

A quick diary style photo post. I awoke earlier than seemed reasonable this Sunday Morning. Last nights Halloween celebrations didn’t keep me awake and with the family lost to a lie in and spying an early morning fog I took a walk to our local park, Woodthorpe – with my camera & tripod. At 9.00am there where mainly dog walkers and a few council workers.

Woodthorpe Grange 02

These set of images are post processed in Lightroom with VSCO Kodak Gold filter and a touch of Snapseed.





….and of course, some cobwebbery….



Once my shoes were completely soaked through I took a trip into town. These are all Hipstamatic using Black Keys Ultrachrome & Murry lens. Pictures include Victoria Park, Sneinton Market, The Lace Market, the Market Square and finally some cake.

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Nottingham Carnival 2014


August 17th, weather – irregular & intermittently annoying. The carnival ran slightly late which would have had no differing effect on the effects of sporadic deluges. A massive effort provided by the various organisations, and in particular the young people who made such an effort with costumes & moves.


We waited at the bottom end of the Market Square, dashing under cover at Costa when the rain came. GBoy burned the battery on his phone taking pictures, some of which I’ll add to this tomorrow.

In the mean time, soca!!!








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Sea Song (Water In My Eye) Revisited

I’m posting this for house keeping as much as interest. This has been on the blog as page for quite some time. That particular page will be replaced to reflect the larger project in the next few days but I didn’t want to lose this entirely. So, step back in time to November 2013 and dive into ‘Sea Song’.


This piece started life in the back of my mind a month or more before we went on holiday in September. I used some ‘field noise’ in a few of my previous audio creations and broadly had in mind something in the ambient vein, lengthy and unstructured, painterly if at all possible.

As I’m not bound by the need to be taken seriously or to generate income from these exercises I’m blessed with the freedom to let the process happen. As with many good intentions I collected far less environmental noise than I had hoped and ended up with only limited material. From the beginning of the piece there is an almost white noise wave hiss, this has been chopped, echoed, stretched and spliced through out the piece.


The rhythm track is built up using 60bpm sequences created in DMX#1 on iPad. The intent being to slow down the heart rate, much like the calming experience of watching waves hit a beach or as is used further on, watching the flow from a water fall hit the pool below.


Further related images and sounds were gathered from both Wollaton Park and Newstead Abbey. Newstead in particular has a feature lake that feeds a number of water features, falls & streams that have all given poetic and meditative pleasure for many years. Like the wind effects I used in the Gib Hill piece these environmental backdrops provide an anchored and enduring point of reference for deep lying human experience.


I had very much intended to create a single lengthy work and the overall extent of the final item (which runs to a little over 24mins) was determined by a 4x stretch of the base wave noise recorded in Majorca. True speed usage of the sound also reveals the only human noise, the voices of children jumping waves.

Through the more intense third quarter the sounds from the waterfall at Newstead take precedence, that absorbing crushing flow (recorded from behind the fall), linked with the guitar feedback and single note bass.


The still images included here are shot on an iPhone using the Hipstmatic app. Hipstamatic was the reason I first got an iPhone four years ago and still find it to be a hybrid of dice and sketch pad when it comes to snatching an affected memory. In the first instance these had a monochrome sepia tone but this has been removed for a pure grainy B/W final image.


In much the same way the video content has been captured on the iPhone and processed, de-coloured, filtered and slowed down using iMovie. The hypnotic effect of letting your eyes  defocus whilst staring at the sea or a reflecting pool, Narcissus face flowing into the weeds and pebbles under the surface of the water. The movie was shot in HD and all credit to You Tube for taking the best part of 24hrs to cook the file into a viewable movie.

This is the full audio version of Sea Song (Water in my Eye)

This is the video.

Please enjoy, download and share freely.

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Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey.jpg

Another Sunday road trip and a day out with the boys, this time to Calke Abbey about an hour away from us in Ticknell, Derbyshire. The National Trust describes Calke as an un-stately Stately Home. In brief the house is not an Abbey but was built on the site of Priory, destroyed by Henry the 8th. Owned by the Harpur-Crewe family over numerous generations it was occupied in reducing degrees until eventually in 1984 when it passed into the hands of the National Trust as a way of paying Death Duty. Rarely modernised many of the rooms had been abandoned to entropy whilst filled with the often bizarre and excessive collections (rocks, birds, rabbits, plates) of the owners.


It sits in the middle of a vast country estate that includes a walled garden, extensive stables, a grotto, kitchen gardens, a brew house, service tunnels, its own church and a nature reserve. It’s one of those places you could visit a dozen times and still find something new. It was the day of decent sunshine this weekend and I would love to go back later in the spring / summer when the landscape is a little more colourful.


Rather than refurbishing the house the National Trust have illustrated it as a project of managed decline. They have undertaken many repairs but have avoided any real restoration other than a few rooms and particularly precious artefacts. It’s a photographic goldmine and I took the best part of 100 shots during the 4hrs we spent there, a large number with Hipstamatic as well as roll of 120 Fuji Colour film on a Holga.

This is the Hipstamatic photo stream.



















This is a Snapseed edit of a Canon pic of the main facade. We debated column styles. Is this Corinthian?


ADDENDUM (Now with added Holga)

I received the 120 film back today and had them scanned. Other than splitting the roll into four sections these are pretty much as they come. I shot the whole roll partially over layering the images and using intentional motion blur. I really like the random juxtaposition of elements, some in focus, others hidden, as an abstract atmospheric narrative. I could extract any number of sections but quite like the ‘lens to final’ nature of the unedited versions.





Click on the images to see them full screen

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Winterval Interlude

Fairground 01

Welcome to 2014 on one of the least overrated blogs on the inter web. This is my year for art, music, activism and unfulfilled promise. I will be regularly missing self imposed deadlines, relying on the the tolerance and disbelief of my audience and increasing my already embarrassing typo count by homophoning it in with scant regard for linguistic convention and spell check. Your patience is appreciated.

First up this year is a little sound scape that made it through the distractions of seasonal celebration. It will probably go with the ‘Sea Song and Other Fictions’ project although i’m still undecided in which direction to take this. I have an urge to be a little more punk in approach but I might need to hit on Amazon Local for some cheap studio time in which to do some shouting.

‘Winterval Interlude’ uses sounds and images from Ye Olde Market Square in Nottingham. They have an event called Winter Wonderland and I have to confess that I do….wonder… But the kids quite like it and you can never have enough German Markets and Ostrich Burger (or is the Austrich Burghers?).

Here is the video. It uses iSuper8 spliced up in iMovie with lots of filtering. Although its a little overused I really like the ripple drop  transition between shots. There are a few shots of Nottingham’s Victoria Centre in there as well although I’ve tried to avoid anything specifically ‘Christmassy’, aiming more for the Winter Holiday event itself.

If however you are a committed audiophile and more interested in the sonic qualities in the music, please enjoy the following link from Soundcloud.

Now, I recently read a piece on LinkedIn about how the British are often unnecessarily self deprecating when promoting their skills and creative endeavours. Currently I am free from the need to promote my ‘content’ in order to generate income or credibility. I enjoy my spare moments of creativity and don’t try to intellectualise the materials I release into the world. That isn’t to say that I don’t put a good deal of thought into them and try to produce a sequence of ideas that feed on their siblings.  Out of this sequence the thing I am most content with is the following image.

This is piece of pure app lead iPhonography, using three separate images a stew of 6 editing apps. At full resolution it would be half a meter square.

Winter Drops

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Wollaton Hall Revisited


I’ve probably taken more photographs in Wollaton Park than any other single location. It’s a great place to find pretty and interesting things, a soft option to visit, and a good place to try new photo apps. Today me and GBoy went to see the bat based exhibition in the Yard Gallery and also managed to walk around the lake and enjoy the encroaching autumness. G took nearly as many pictures as I did and experimented with set up shots and motion blur with out prompt. I’m pleased he is finding his own visual language.

This is my collection. All Hipstamatic new film paks with some Snapseed edits.











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The English Riviera


As an add on to the day job, last Sunday I skittered down various motorways to Torquay for a monday AM meeting. The weather was quite clement until about 30miles from the coast when it became what I can only describe as mizzely.

I’ve never been to the English Riviera before that I remember, but it turns out it’s rather nice. If you squint tightly it does look a little like Monacco from a certain angle. The pictures I managed to take are decent enough to warrent their own post so here you go.


The following are Hipstamatic pictures, some varying light conditions raging from dull and rainy, early morning misty, sunset shiny to massively over filtered. Enjoy….





Small text break here. I’m really pleased with the last two above. The next one below is a little odd. I spotted this lying on a merge near the big wheel. A dead gull isn’t anything strange by the seaside but the precision of the twig and its almost runic symbolism make this more than passing road kill.



Another odd little seaside aside was the little clutch of original Mods and scooters gathered outside the bay side Harvester…. Enjoy here.




…and this is the final stretch. Some are quite pretty.









This last one is an HDR picture, early morning pre-meeting blue sky moon shooting… Ppppfffttt..,


Can you believe it?! Nearly missed the best one. HDR & Snapseed from a precise moment …..



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With a little reluctance due to aching bones and pre-cold symptoms (raging hypochondria) we took the boys up the road to Woodthorpe for a little sledding and snow fun. Woodthorpe has a good long run that incorporates some of the bunkers on the golf course for daredevil fun. As usual there was the the expected mix of families, school kids and curtsies with every form of friction efficient slide & glide equipment. I heard a woman on her phone explaining the the Woodthorpe experience was more chill than than Wollaton which had been crazed and extreme earlier in the day.
Whilst we didn’t have fresh powder the ground was safe and child friendly. GBoy9.01 immediately took to head first descents whilst DBoy6.01 took a more cautious traditional line.
JBoy2.09, whilst initially interested soon succumbed to the cold and cried apocalyptically until I took him home.






That picture should carry the subtitle ‘Mind out where the Huskies go and just don’t eat the yellow snow….”

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