art conaghan photography: Blog https://www.artconaghan.com/blog en-us (C)2009- 2021 art conaghan photography all rights reserved art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:07:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:07:00 GMT https://www.artconaghan.com/img/s/v-12/u1012321753-o937847715-50.jpg art conaghan photography: Blog https://www.artconaghan.com/blog 120 80 Brigitte's 50th Birthday Bash https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/brigittes-50th

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/brigittes-50th Sun, 21 Aug 2016 11:45:27 GMT
love and dancing https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/love-and-dancing "Show me a person who found love in his life and did not celebrate it with a dance"

Shah Asad Rizvi

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Peter Veronique dance dancing love tango https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/love-and-dancing Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:06:26 GMT
A moment https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/a-moment A moment

האהבה היא חזקה
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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/a-moment Wed, 17 Aug 2016 08:00:00 GMT
Blur? https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/blur Blur? What blur. I see only focus

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/blur Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:32:28 GMT
Your feet https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/your-feet Your feet

 

When I cannot look at your face

​I look at your feet.

Your feet of arched bone,

your little hard feet.

​I know that they support you,

and that your sweet weight

rises upon them.

Your waist and your breasts,

the doubled purple

of your nipples,

and the sockets of your eyes

that have just flown away,

your wide fruit mouth,

your red tresses,

my little tower.

But I love your feet only because they walked

upon the earth and upon

the wind and upon the waters,

until they found me.

Pablo Neruda

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Caroline Hiller Pablo Neruda Poem Your feet https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/8/your-feet Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:26:14 GMT
Gotta Goa Way https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/2/gotta-goa-way

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2016 february goa india https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2016/2/gotta-goa-way Sun, 21 Feb 2016 14:31:10 GMT
By Brancaster beach, I set off and walked https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/12/by-brancaster-beach-i-set-off-and-walked Brancaster beach in winterBrancaster beach in winter No amount of adverse weather can stop those from their Christmas walk

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." Albert Camus

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 Brancaster Norfolk beach walk winter https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/12/by-brancaster-beach-i-set-off-and-walked Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:36:22 GMT
Friendship https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/12/friendship Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. – Khalil Gibran

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/12/friendship Sun, 27 Dec 2015 12:25:24 GMT
Darkness and light https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/darkness-and-light

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jnr.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Plato

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/darkness-and-light Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:30:00 GMT
The Face https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/the-face "The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart." St. Jerome

 
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." Anom

 

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." William Shakespeare

 

"A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth." John Singer Sargent

 

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter." Oscar Wilde

 

"I used to try to draw my girlfriends. I think one of the most romantic things that anybody can do is draw a portrait of the person you love." Nick Carter

 

"In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view and to be conceptual with a picture. The image may not be literally what's going on, but it's representative." Annie Leibovitz

Garden party 2014 (2 of 12)Garden party 2014 (2 of 12)

 

"Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is the one they would like to show to the world... Every so often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe." Irving Penn

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Faces Portrait https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/the-face Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:30:00 GMT
I am Legend https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/i-am-legend Art Conaghan Northampton legend (1 of 1)Art Conaghan Northampton legend (1 of 1)

"I set about seeking a thread, a theme, a style, in the realm of legend. Something that might allow me to give free rein to my juvenile sense of romanticism and the beautiful image."
Leni Riefenstahl

 

Art Conaghan Cooling off in Northampton (1 of 1)Art Conaghan Cooling off in Northampton (1 of 1)

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Boy Fountain Legend https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/i-am-legend Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:51:44 GMT
A camera within a camera, an image within an image https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/a-camera-within-a-camera-an-image-within-an-image  

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Dalyan Mirror September Turkey Villa Gokbel https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/a-camera-within-a-camera-an-image-within-an-image Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:00:00 GMT
Turkish delight https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/turkish-delight  

Arslan and Mucella Turkogul

“Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning-bolts
and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.”

Pablo Neruda, Love Sonnett XII

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Arslan Turkogul Couple Dalyan Love Mucella Turkogul September Turkey Villa Gokbel https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/turkish-delight Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:11:20 GMT
Storm Cloud https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/storm-cloud

 

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

 
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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Dalyan September Storm Cloud Turkey https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/storm-cloud Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:49:31 GMT
Turkish edition of Waiting for Godot https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/turkish-edition-of-waiting-for-godot A view of the world famous Iztuzu beach from Villa Gokbel, Turkey

"Let's go." "We can't." "Why not?" "We're waiting for Godot."

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Dalyan Hats Itzuzu Beach September Turkey Turtle Villa Gokbel https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/10/turkish-edition-of-waiting-for-godot Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:15:04 GMT
More tales from Kerala and Tamil Nadu Part 1 https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/8/more-tales-from-kerala-and-tamil-nadu It's difficult to describe India, but boy can you feel it. It is home to well over a billion people and projected to overtake China by 2028 in population terms as the most populous state on the planet.

It is a nation state, but not a country. It is an enormous patchwork quilt of differing cultures, traditions and peoples. It is more a continent than anything else and after all it has well over 1000 different languages spoken on a daily basis. 

A pilgrim in Kanyakarmari

So there I am, 1,241 billion people and little old me with my cameras.  The first thing that you notice is the cordiality and friendliness of Indian people. Well, actually, it is the second. The first thing that hits any traveller to India is the preposterous levels of bureaucracy and senseless queues and checks. The Indian state took British bureaucracy and the propensity of queuing to an altogether different level. It is painful, but once you manage to pass through customs and border control, India comes alive. Mainly through the nostrils at first, then as an ocular overload. Although I have been to India before, this was the first time I visited Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Kerala was one of those states that was on my teenage bucket list of places to visit. Even though it was, and is one of the poorest states in India, it has some of the highest literacy rates in the country and now produces some of the best computer technicians and programmers in the world. One thing that I did notice quickly in Kerala was the lack of beggars on the streets compared with other states.

Unlike most other states in India, Kerala gives its poorest a small regular stipend to survive on and the local police take a hard view on those to attempt to beg, especially with those from outside the state. It is true to say that I have seen more beggars in places like Dublin and Manchester than Trivandrum, the state's capital city.

When attempting to describe India, it's difficult to strike a balance, as it is an easy and well worn path to look and describe its poverty. There is poverty and lots of it, but to concentrate on this alone misses everything. This country is alive with some of the most hard working, industrious and entrepreneurial people in the world. It innovates, invents, solves in the most creative fashion. Life goes on and evolves in surprising ways  We have lots to learn from them. The canvas of Kerala is a kaleidoscopic smash of old and new. Keralan politician and author Shashi Tharoor puts it better.

"India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay."

Most mornings, after my wife went off to yoga, I normally made the journey on foot into the small coastal town of Kovalam and make my way religiously to the famous German Bakery for breakfast. Every morning I had to pass the fishermen who had come in from a night of fishing and were well on their way to mending and resetting their nets.

The German Bakery has the best position on the seafront of Lighthouse Beach and by far has the best array and quality of food. Perched on their first floor balcony I ate their egg masalas and watched the market traders and tourists below, then delving into another, (not so Italian standard) cup of coffee, before retreating back up to the villa in a tuk tuk. This was my daily little luxury.

Tuk-tuks are funny little machines and certainly were never designed for my 1.90m frame. But there are cheap and they do the job. On our first evening coming out of Kovalam, our troop of friends, sardined into two tuk-tuks ended up in a race out of town. It felt like an 80 miles an hour race, but I would be surprised if we had ever succeeded 25mph.

One of the icons of India has to be the Hindustan Ambassador car, based on the old Morris Oxford car. This was the first car to be made in India and is the staple choice of taxi drivers. It was first produced in 1958 and sadly production ended in 2014. During its 56 years in service the Hindustan Ambassador saw relatively few improvements making it a very special vehicle indeed. After all, in 2002 Top Gear declared it the best taxi in the world and I couldn’t agree more. As you see from the photo below, it is also the car of choice for those stray dogs that need some mid afternoon shade.

And the transport theme of India would not be complete with talking about the humble bicycle. With the exception of China, India is the second largest producer and exporter of the bicycle. Although in recent years with the growth of mopeds and motorcycles as the vehicle of choice of India's youth, there are still plenty of bicycles roaming around. The photo below shows an old boy selling his ice cream to the daily throng of Indian families who came to our beach every day for a stroll and some family time. This one reminded me of my grandfathers old bike in the 1970's.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Bakery German India Kerala Kovalam https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/8/more-tales-from-kerala-and-tamil-nadu Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:57:56 GMT
India 2015 https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/7/india-2015

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 India January 2015 Kerala Kovalam https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/7/india-2015 Sun, 26 Jul 2015 19:46:24 GMT
Aviva Women's Cycling Tour 2015 https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/6/aviva-womens-cycling-tour-2015

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2015 Aviva Cycling Stage 3 Tour Women's https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/6/aviva-womens-cycling-tour-2015 Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:30:51 GMT
Grace Kempster, the storyteller and the staff who will miss her https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/3/grace-kempster-the-storyteller-and-the-staff-who-will-miss-her

"Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." Rumi

Grace Kempster O.B.E. Seed planter, knowledge mother, embracer, educator,  standard bearing word warrior, ameliorating aspirator, go getter and marvellous maven. We will miss you terribly.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2015/3/grace-kempster-the-storyteller-and-the-staff-who-will-miss-her Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:49:57 GMT
The Conservative Party Conference 2014 https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/10/the-conservative-party-conference-2014

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/10/the-conservative-party-conference-2014 Sat, 04 Oct 2014 22:28:48 GMT
The photos that tell the story of my summer https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/9/the-photos-that-tell-the-story-of-my-summer I was commissioned to take a series of photographs for a book that is being published next month, called Icons of Northamptonshire. The image below of the Francis Crick Memorial did not make the final images for publication, but nevertheless, I always come back to this photo, time and time again. It is fitting that it is a statue in memory of discovery. Discovery is about exploration and exploration is about freedom, and you need freedom to discover and I see this monument as a strong symbol of freedom. There isn't a day that when I pass Abington Street that I don't look up at it. It is a such a strong landmark of Northampton town centre. The Francis Crick Memorial, Abington Street, NorthamptonDedicated to Francis Crick, a son of Northampton and a co-winner of the Nobel prize for Medicine for the discoveries of the structure of DNA

 

Sessions House in Northampton was built in 1645 after the big fire that destroyed the town. It was the judicial centre of the county for the next three hundred and fifty years. To take this photo, I had to hump all my equipment up a medieval circular staircase in the pitch dark of All Saints Church Adjacent the old Court House. When I finally reached the roof I found I was on the wrong side of the building and had to scramble over a number of unsteady gangways to reach the spot to take the photo. Still, it was worth all the effort.

Sessions HouseThe Home of Northamptonshire's Judicial system since 1645. It is now the headquarters of Northamptonshire County Council As you may gather my summer photography has had a strong Northamptonshire feel to it and you can't get more Northamptonshire than shoes. Northamptonshire still produces some of the finest shoes in the world. Church's, Crockett and Jones, Loakes, Barker's, Edward Greens and John Lobbs are just some of the many prestigious manufacturers still located in the county. Below is an image I took of a craftsman from Church's shoes. They take immense pride in their work and hand shine all of their shoes before they go onto the world marketplace. There probably isn't a footpath in the world that hasn't had a Northamptonshire shoe cross its path.

Church's ShoesChurch's produce some of the worlds finest shoes and are based in Northampton

 

And from one Northamptonshire icon to another. The 50th anniversary of the British Grand Prix took place in Silverstone this year. It was a momentous day and a script that could have come out of Hollywood. Starting from 6th place and against all odds, Lewis Hamilton outwited and out performed his teammate Nico Rosberg to win the 50th British Grand Prix. That day had the weather, the crowd and the drama and made Silverstone one of the most memorable of the competition.

Trumpeting the 50th British Grand PrixBands and dancers festooned the party atmosphere amongst the crowd MarshalsMarshals wait as the race was delayed after a crash on the first lap Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton in his Mercedes AMG car that scorched his way to first place Grand Prix fans
The whole day was a mix of champagne and petrol fumes, the thump of DJ's mixing dance music and the whirl of the helicopter filming the race from above.

Throughout the morning, the sky was log jammed with helicopters ferrying in the rich and famous. The carpark was heaving with Bentley's, Ferrari's and McClaren's amongst the more numerous and more modest cars of the majority of passionate racing fans.

 

The photographer becomes the photographed The photo above shows one of the rare times that I get photographed. When I go to various family or personal events I almost always become the photographer which means I almost always am the one that is never photographed.

It was taken at my brother and sister in laws wedding anniversary party in Lincolnshire. It was a 70's and 80's themed gathering and as usual I was collared to take the photos. Not that I complained. It gave me a good excuse not to embarrass myself on the dance floor.

Last year, I saw a band from Melbourne, Australia play on the streets of Cambridge. They were a superb group and I leaped at the chance to see them in concert this year. They were playing in Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth's music venue, The Stables.

The group are called, The Wishing Well and I had a ball listening to them. They remind me of The Waterboys and I grew up on the music of the Waterboys. They came complete with violins and a cello for good measure.

But the highlight of my musical summer had to be Jools Holland and his Orchestra. They played at kelmarsh Hall, the venue for the annual Shambala Music Festival. They certainly know how to entertain an audience.

No blog entry could be complete without representing our bi-annual weekend in Norfolk. Every winter and spring we make the pilgrimage there, but this year we were a little late and ended up spending our weekend in the summer.

It's an opportunity to take our dog who originally bodes from North Norfolk. It's all about deck chairs, coffee and cake and long danders on Brancaster beach. It's the place in England I really get to unwind.

Well, that was my summer. As autumn rolls in I will have a few interesting commissions to complete and I can't wait for my winter travels to Southern India again. This time, it is Kerala.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2014 Northampton Northamptonshire Summer https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/9/the-photos-that-tell-the-story-of-my-summer Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:38:54 GMT
30 years of Fun, Family and Friendship https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/8/30-years-of-fun-family-and-friendship So, we came, we saw, we celebrated! 30 remarkable years of marriage were marked in fantastic style. Sausages from Lincolnshire, potatoes and photography from Ireland and all set in an authentic village cricket club with real beer, an ample supply of bell bottoms and all tied together with some genuinely binding, bonds of friendship. What more could you ask for. Thank you Paula and Nigel for such a lovely evening. Keep the faith baby!! You can find the rest of the photos by clicking here Leave your comments to Nigel and Paula below.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2014 Anniversary August Nigel Paula Wedding Woolnough https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/8/30-years-of-fun-family-and-friendship Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:17:09 GMT
What I did in the summer holidays https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/8/what-i-did-in-the-summer-holidays It's been a while since I last added to my blog and to be honest, too long. I have been busy and been taking lots of images of interesting people and places. If I go as far back as May this year I was asked to take some photos of a road opening near Corby.

The Corby Link Road OpeningNorthamptonshire County Council representatives with Roads Minister Robert Goodwill open the Corby Link Road

The event was well attended by local people and schoolchildren along with an ancient local fire engine, the Queen Eleanor, which belongs to the local Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade.


Robert Goodwill Roads MinisterThis was the first brand new road opening that Robert has opened since becoming Roads Minister

Before the Government summer reshuffle Northampton and Corby had a visit by the then Secretary for Education Michael Gove who did a tour of Malcolm Arnold School in Northampton and the David Brook Academy in Corby. The two MichaelsMichael Ellis, Northampton M.P. and Michael Gove at Malcolm Arnold Academy

October will see the publication of a book called Icons of Northamptonshire. I was asked to contribute some images toward the publication. I have included some of them here and a few more that weren't chosen. Photography and history does go hand in hand.  Northampton GuildhallNorthampton Guildhall is the seat of Northampton Borough Council. It is an impressive building, a testament to the wealth and power of the 18th and 19th century British Leather and Shoe Industry that was based in Northamptonshire

The Francis Crick MemorialThe Francis Crick Memorial is situated in Abington Street in Northampton. Francis Crick was born and raised in Northampton. With James Watson and Maurice Wilkins he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for discovering the structure of the DNA molecule

 

Sessions HouseSessions House is now the headquarters of Northamptonshire County Council. It was built in 1675 after the Great Fire of Northampton and is still one of the finest examples of a provincial courthouse in the country. The summer of 2014 also saw the 50th Anniversary of the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. Silverstone is the hub for a £2 billion High Performance Technology sector in Northamptonshire and a vital part of its local economy. The county is the home of British motorsport and this years race was truly thrilling with a crucial win for Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton in his Team Mercedes AMG carThe Mercedes AMG factory is located near Brixworth about three miles away from my village The Earl of Dalkeith with Jim Harker O.B.E. Grand Prix carnival atmosphereBands and dancers helped make the event a wonderful carnival atmosphere Racing and timing go hand in hand During the summer, Bob Jones the West Midlands Police and crime Commissioner died sparking a summer by-election and a pre-general election stampede in Birmingham. I was commissioned to take the images of one of the Candidates, Les Jones, (no relation to Bob Jones). It was a full day shoot including a visit by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Les Jones Les Jones in Walsall Les Jones with Home Secretary Theresa May Les Jones outside Birmingham Library And finally, the County Council organised a civic reception for Northampton Saints who are double cup winners this year, winning the Aviva premiership and the European Challenge Cup, a tremendous feat for any rugby team.

The Aviva Premiership TrophyA very proud Andrew Langley holding the Aviva Rremiership Rugby Trophy Buff Marshall with Joan Kirkbride and Jim MallinderBuff Marshall played with Northamptonshire Saints from 1963 to 1973. Joan Kirkbride is Chairman of Northamptonshire County Council and Jim Mallinder is Northampton Saints Coach The Saints on TrialNorthampton Saints players finding out what justice was like in the 1600's They took part in a tour of the old court and jail

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/8/what-i-did-in-the-summer-holidays Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:58:21 GMT
Redsprings regeneration https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/3/redsprings-regeneration  

On Saturday morning, Walgrave locals came forward to continue their regeneration work of Redsprings nature reserve. Whilst the clearing up of the wood was taking place others were busy planting forty elms around the village as part of a project to improve and make our village better.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2014 Community March Northamptonshire Walgrave https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/3/redsprings-regeneration Sat, 15 Mar 2014 15:11:16 GMT
Goa and the Art of photographic maintenance https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/2/goa-and-the-art-of-photographic-maintenance

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2014 Arambol Goa India Mandrem Yoga beach https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2014/2/goa-and-the-art-of-photographic-maintenance Sat, 08 Feb 2014 00:37:10 GMT
Cambridge https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/cambridge

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 August Cambridge Cambridgeshire https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/cambridge Mon, 26 Aug 2013 21:03:06 GMT
Crete as Heaven https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/crete-as-heaven

 

There is something about Crete that makes it a magical place to visit. When I go there, I feel at home and it makes me feel truly relaxed and content. It ticks all the boxes. It has beautiful beaches, clement weather, mountains, history, lots and lots of interesting history to explore. But most of all, the people who live there are gentle, kind and very hospitable.

 

When nights begin to close in earlier and the dull British winter sets in, I reach for my photographs of Crete to remind me of the summer to come. We usually hire the same beautiful villa with an infinity pool, tucked halfway up the mountains overlooking the marvellous vista that is Souda Bay. It's our secret retreat, the place to shake off all the stresses of work and grey skies and begin the journey to redeem ourselves.

 

 

It's also an opportunity to read snuggle into a local café with a nice hit of coffee. Zorba the Greek was filmed in the area including the village near to our villa. There are some in the village who remember the week Anthony Quinn came for filming. It still provokes discussions with the villagers today and forms the mortar that binds villagers and visiting tourists together.

I had a similar experience about ten years ago when I visited Savoca in Eastern Sicily. I met a woman who ran the local bakery and was an extra in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather. She talked about the gentleness and easy going nature of Al Pacino. These conversations are universal.

 

In Crete fishermen meditate and meditators fish. It is the way of things. Through the throb of ice creamed tourists and port restaurants, old men cast their line into their deep still, pool and be.

 

 

All holidays end, but the memories linger on. I remember sunsets, calm evenings and drowsily watching the night ferry pass as subtle sounds of Miles Davis filled the air.

 

 

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 Crete Holday https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/crete-as-heaven Thu, 22 Aug 2013 21:40:56 GMT
Highland Glory https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/highland-glory  

 Ruthven Barracks

 

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,

The birth-place of valour, the country of Worth,

Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,

The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

 

My Heart's in the Highlands by Robert Burns

 

 

 The view from Ben Nevis

 

The views from the Scottish Highlands take your breath away. You can sit for hours watching the clouds paint patterns on the ground below.

 

The Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge

 

 Near Spean Bridge, we came across the Commando Memorial and its Garden of Remembrance. The cast bronze sculpture looks south towards Ben Nevis. The soldier depicted at the front is thought to be Commando Frank Nicholls. It is over five metres tall and is the most dominant landmark for miles around.

It became the most poignant part of our mini pilgrimage to the Highlands. The Garden of Remembrance houses the memories of hundreds of fallen Commandos from the French beach raid of Dieppe to the dusty roads of Afghanistan.  

 

The Garden of Remembrance

 

 The Majestic View of Ben Nevis from the Commando Memorial

 

On our way back from Ben Nevis we found a small waterfall with a pool and the end of a modest Loch. We stopped for a visit and found a swimmer cooling off from the sticky humidity that prevails when the Sun opens up to Bonnie aul' Scotland.

 

 

 

Scotland is a place full of interesting characters, with interesting stories to tell. This chap below we met when we went on a steam train for a spot of lunch. He was at one of the stations, complete with a top hat and a smile.

 

 

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 August 2013 Highlands Scotland Summer UK https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/8/highland-glory Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:49:12 GMT
At Rockingham castle https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/7/at-rockingham-castle

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 Bonnell Castle July Rockingham https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/7/at-rockingham-castle Sun, 07 Jul 2013 23:51:57 GMT
The Portrait https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/3/the-portrait It's been a little while since I last posted a blog. I have been busy doing other non photographic contracts which have been fascinating. I always long for the camera though and fortunately I have had the chance to get the camera out as part of my work. When people ask me what do I love photographing the most, I have to say people.

Whether in the studio or in the street I love taking pictures of people. So then I thought, why don't I put a few of my photos here on my blog for you to see. Every photo has a story. Every face has a story. Whilst we live life in the present, It is in the past that we take time to observe, reflect and re-live. The portrait photograph is an important part of that narrative. I hope you enjoy these images. Some are serious, others not. Some are set in the studio and others in the street. They are in no particular order and feel free to comment. I'd love to hear if you have a favourite and why.

 

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 Portrait march https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/3/the-portrait Sun, 17 Mar 2013 23:55:49 GMT
Sledging in Walgrave https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/1/sledging-in-walgrave

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2013 Children Community Fun January Sledging Snow UK Walgrave Winter families northamptonshire https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2013/1/sledging-in-walgrave Sat, 19 Jan 2013 16:11:17 GMT
Bollywood nights https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/12/bollywood-nights

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/12/bollywood-nights Sun, 23 Dec 2012 11:24:02 GMT
Around the house without a flash https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/12/around-the-house-without-a-flash

It's been a very busy week, full of highs, lows, variable weather, dinner invitations and lots of travel. Sunday has been the first day of proper rest, a time to take stock and re-energise the batteries. So the morning started with a lie in listening to BBC World Service and a long walk with the dog over the back fields and nature reserve followed by a hearty brunch.

The afternoon was taken up with domestic chores and processing the photographs from the past few days. Amongst this was a conspiracy with my wife not to go out and do the food shopping, but, batten down the hatches, get the fire on, devise a lovely winter supper and make some flapjacks.

As Lesley was making supper I had a moment of boredom and decided to challenge myself by taking a few pictures with the camera, without the flash of various objects around the ground floor of the house, just to see if I could make mundane objects look interesting.

Did I succeed? Well, you will have to be the judge of that. Included in the photographs is an image of Lesley's father in uniform taken in 1945, a button from my jacket and another framed picture of Lesley's paternal grandmother You can clearly see the similarity. Whilst I enjoy taking images of various objects, I still come back to people. They are much more interesting and fascinating to observe and record. I'm looking forward to getting some more studio work done this week.

 

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Home House Objects Walgrave https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/12/around-the-house-without-a-flash Sun, 02 Dec 2012 20:23:14 GMT
The New Studio https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/9/the-new-studio What happens when you build your new studio and christen it with a photo shoot wth three beautiful models?

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 New Studio Portrait shoot September September 2012 Studio https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/9/the-new-studio Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:11:39 GMT
Indian Summers and British Birthdays https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/9/indian-summers-and-british-birthdays

Isn't it always the same old story. Just when the summer holidays end, the great summer weather begins. I am, for sure not complaining and it certainly complimented my brother in law's 60th birthday celebrations. 

It was a simple family lunch gathering full of sumptious dishes, warm and sincere toasts, smiles and a few tears. Nigel and Paula are exquisite hosts and through the course of this important celebration you could see that their passion for each other has never diminished.

The birthday lunch had an extra air of poignancy as their children have all started their careers in various parts of the U.K.

The eldest son has secured a fantastic situation as a solicitor in Devon. The middle son is carving out a successful career as a restauranteur. He was headhunted and moves to Jersey soon to oversee the construction and running of a new restaurant. And last, but not least, their gorgeous baby daughter has just registered as a nurse after four years of long hard study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 60th Birthday Celebrations September 2012 https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/9/indian-summers-and-british-birthdays Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:46:57 GMT
The Umbrella Fair Northampton Part Two https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/the-umbrella-fair-northampton-part-2

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 August Fair Hippies Music Northampton Reggae Umbrella festival https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/the-umbrella-fair-northampton-part-2 Mon, 20 Aug 2012 06:52:09 GMT
The Umbrella Fair Northampton 2012 Part One https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/the-umbrella-festival-northampton-2012

Wonderful weather, great music and a lovely ambience. The Umbrella Fair had it all.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 August Hippies Music Northampton Reggae Umbrella Fair festival https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/the-umbrella-festival-northampton-2012 Sat, 18 Aug 2012 22:13:38 GMT
Caffe' d'Italia in Northampton https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/caffe-d-italia-in-northampton

A little celebration of Caffe' d'Italia, Emanuele de Palma, and the people of Northampton who pass by. Grazie Emanuele!!

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 August Caffe' d'Italia Northampton Street Photography https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/caffe-d-italia-in-northampton Fri, 17 Aug 2012 19:19:52 GMT
An Ettinsmoor Labrador https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/an-ettinsmoor-labrador One year in the life of an Ettinsmoor labrador

http://www.ettinsmoor.co.uk/

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) Dog Ettinsmoor Labrador Fox Red Labrador Labrador https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/an-ettinsmoor-labrador Wed, 15 Aug 2012 22:34:33 GMT
My love for Wooly has a haka https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/my-love-for-wooly-has-a-haka The title of this may seem very strange on the parchment of a professional photographers blog and website. 'Where are the pictures of a haka and who or what the hell is Wooly,' I hear you say, 'and what has this to do with photography?' Those are fair points and I will address them in due course. Wooly is my adnomentum for my wife by the way.

Her term of endearment for me is Artie and if she uses my name in full, (Arthur) I have reasonable grounds to suspect that I am, in some way, in the doghouse. It's usually because I've lost the key, forgotten to buy something I should have, bought something I shouldn't, or in a rare moment, just in a grumpy mood. I bought a dog last year, hoping that this would distract her during any grumpy moments. It did not, and now I have serious competition for her attention and affections. It is not only a dogs life for a dog.

There is an urge in every photographer to constantly showcase an amazing image with each blog, each one better than the last. This can and does leads to periods of crisis to find better, sharper, more unusual images in unusual locations with unusual subjects. The images I put up on my blog are always recent, so I can never guarantee a spectacular shot on each blog.

But then blogs are not always solely about the image. The image can speak for itself. Blogs can however add narrative, tell a story or just direct a theme. So can the haka.

We walk the dog every morning and most evenings, weather permitting, and we drive down to a beautiful valley that's almost always deserted. We frequently spend up to a couple of hours or until sundown to wander, sit around and play fetch with the dog.

These walks with Wooly are just magic. It's the occasion when I feel closest to her, and yes, the dog too.

Yesterday I proclaimed that my love for her was so hot it had a haka. Her face said it all. "WTF!!!" So having spurted this profound statement out, I did the haka. She collapsed in fits of laughter. My love for Wooly has not only a haka, but enough momentum as to be the subject of this blog.

On our daily walks you never know what will turn up. Yesterday we saw the most amazing rainbow. We also discovered that, not for the want of trying, I just cannot do a haka, but that didn't matter.

My love for Wooly has a haka and my love for photography has an image. The most profound feelings and experiences can be found even in the most routine and familiar of places.

Over the past 72 hours the farmers and their contractors have been out in force harvesting the rape seed crop which has completely changed the view. The clouds have been heavy in the sky and the sun periodically has been blasting through creating some lovely contrasts on the landscape.

Katrina Parker, Alicia Schofield and a couple of other women from our village came by, cycling up the valley on their way to Cottesbrook village and back again. Every September they do a sponsored cycle to Norfolk in aid of the local church.

They've been out training over the last few years long before the Olympics have made it August trendy. Katrina and Alicia are two of a number of villagers who give a lot to Walgrave. If something is being organised for the benefit of our community their names are usually not far away.

They went on their way, and we went on ours, but not before I took another photo of the wheat fields and a nice view across the valley. The light was difficult and the best time had already past, but good enough to return for another day.

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art@artconaghan.com (art conaghan photography) 2012 Alicia Schofield August Hanging Houghton Katrina Parker Landscape Northamptonshire https://www.artconaghan.com/blog/2012/8/my-love-for-wooly-has-a-haka Thu, 02 Aug 2012 14:42:46 GMT