A Quick Update

Hey everybody, how are you feeling today? I hope you are well. I was just updating my services page when I remembered that I have not posted an update to my blog in a few weeks.

I am a daddy again!

My wife gave birth to our 3rd child, he arrived May 2nd at 8:44am. I ended up missing the birth because I was dropping the other two off at school! I was gutted because I thought I had more time. I was wrong, he was been born and was not waiting for me. My wife checked in at LGI at 8:38 and by 8:44 he was born. But anyway, let me formally introduce my son the only way a photographer knows how to....

 My wife and son in Harrogate

My wife and son in Harrogate

My Two Favourite Images Of April(so far!)

Good morning everyone, I know April has not ended yet. But I wanted to share my 3 favourite images of the month so far and give a little back story to how the photo was taken.

Maternity Photshoot at Valley Gardens, Harrogate

My first favourite image of April was a maternity photoshoot that I did with my wife. I know you maybe thinking that is a little biased. But let me explain why this is my favourite. 

My wife is at 38 weeks in this photo and I am always pestering her to let me photograph her. I think she is absolutely beautiful, but like most girls, she does not think it. So getting her to allow me to take a photo of her is very hard. But when we decided to take a trip to Harrogate, I jumped at the chance to have a quick photoshoot with her. 

We got into Valley Gardens in Harrogate and I pulled out the camera from my bag. My wife gave me the old roll her eyes face "You going to be taking photos of trees again?!". She did this because no matter where we go, I have my camera and I am forever taking photos of landscapes(check my instagram for proof @anthonyhimages). I turned to her and said "Don't worry, I only want to take a few photos... **I paused for dramatic effect** of you!". She looked at me with pure fear. I said "don't look so scared, you will be fine and I only want to take a few photos of you!". 

We then walked around Valley Gardens looking for the perfect location. We walked to the model lake, to the pavilion at the top of the park, but she didn't want any people around. After about 10-15 minutes, I said, "we can take one over there, under the blossom tree." and *click* the rest is history.

My wife in Valley Gardens at Harrogate

My Son at Roundhay Park, Leeds

My 2nd favourite image of April(SO FAR) is my son throwing a boomarang at Roundhay Park, Leeds. This is my favourite image because even though you can't see his face you know he is smiling. Plus it is great to see kids outside in the sun playing rather than inside on a tablet or Playstation. Let me explain why this is my favourite...

The below image was taken late evening just as the sun was sinking below the horizon. We had decided to go to the park with his big brother and cousin. My son's cousin decided to bring along his boomarang for them to play with. So my son get his turn and *click* the rest is history.

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Photography Show, Birmingham.

Hi everyone, how are you all? I hope you are all well, I really do. 

So I was lucky enough to get a free ticket for the Photography Show in Birmingham. It opened its doors to the public on Saturday 17th March and will be open until Tuesday 20th March(so still time for you to get down). 

My Journey

I set off from my house at 7:15am to catch a 8:11 train from Leeds train station. It was bloody freezing!! I had my "big coat" on so you know it was cold! When I arrived at the train station I checked the departure board to see where my train was, platform 9b, great! I headed to the platform. This is no joke, by the time I had walked to the platform the train had been delayed by 10 minutes. They must have seen me coming. When the train arrived, I couldn't find my reserved seat. I just had a bunch of first world problems. 

The NEC, Birmingham.

This was my first time at the NEC and wow, I didn't realise how big it is. It is that big, 3-4 events were happening at the same time! I think comic con, big bang, photography show and one other thing was happening all at the same-ish time. 

When I arrived at the entrance to the Photography Show everyone had already gone in as I arrived a little late. Buut when I walked in through the photography entrance I was greeted by every photographers version of heaven. Wall to wall full of photography related goodness. I spotted the Canon stand in the distance and instantly thought "home". But I had to somehow dodge the Nikon(puke) and Sony(vomit) stands haha. It was not easy, but I made it. 

 Look at this! Heaven on earth. 

Look at this! Heaven on earth. 

Canon had all the goodies out on show for me to touch and drool all over. I really felt like I was in camera heaven. But I had to cut my excitement short as I wanted to watch Thomas Heaton's talk on "The Great Outdoors" stage. 

The Great Outdoors stage

I arrived at the stage to find half of Thomas Heaton's subscriber base was already there. I squeezed my way through the crowd to get a good view of the stage. I suppose I should explain why I seem to excited to watch him speak. Well, I will tell you the short version, I was suppose to go to one of his talks in Elland, West Yorkshire, but I got sick and missed it. Sad times. Anyway, I was adamant I was going to see this talk. 

 Thomas Heaton on the Great Outdoors Stage

Thomas Heaton on the Great Outdoors Stage

And you will be pleased to know I did see it(see above photo for proof lol). After the talk had finished I went on a little wander around the hall. Well, not a little as the hall is massive. I ended up clocking about 4 to 5000 steps, maybe more throughout the day! 

The photography show really did have a wide range of stands. It had from your big brands right down to prop companies. It was amazing to see. 

Lunchtime

After doing a few laps of the hall and drooling over all the equipment I couldnt afford. I decided it was time for lunch..well an expensive lunch. £12 for a Subway and two bottles of water!! but I needed it. 

Talks, Talks and more Talks

After my expensive lunch I was ready to learn. My whole reason for going to the show was to learn. But, its not the only thing going on, if you wanted to do something different, you can. 

I headed back to my safe place(yes the Canon stand) and saw that a gentleman called Lorenzo Agius was about to start a talk. I am ashamed to say, I had never heard of him. So I thought this would be a great chance to learn some more and I am glad I did. He did a excellent talk about the process he goes through when taking a portrait. But he does not do the normal run of the mill portraits. He photographs A list stars! from Will Smith to Jack Nicholson. He even gets A list stars requesting that he photographs them! crazy stuff.

I caught Thomas Heaton last talk on the Mobile and Social stage and then I headed out to start to the journey back to Leeds. What a day! I can not wait for next year.

Brick Wall. Can't Get Past It.

If you are a creative person, I can guarantee at some point you have or will hit that creative brick wall. It is like you are on the creative motorway and then BOOM! gridlock. You just shut down. But do not be afraid I have come up with a few tips to help you out.

Take A Break

It may seem obvious, but when you have deadlines you sometimes forget about the simple stuff. Now, I am not saying take a break for a week, month or a year. I am saying it may help to stand up and change your enviroment for a bit. Go outside for a few minutes or to the water cooler. Do they still have water coolers or is it all vending machines...sorry I digress.  But take a few mintues away from your machine, paper or whatever creative thing you are going.

Exercise

This is my least favourite tip, but it does work. I find a quick walk around the block helps clear the traffic jam on the creative motorway. I also found it helps alot to do the exercise in the morning before you eat breakfast. But that maybe not for everyone. 

Watch or Read

This one has a near 100% record for me. I load up Youtube and watch a Peter Mckinnon video or a Casey Neistat video. The traffic jam clears quicker than letting rip in a small room. You obviously need to find someone in your niche to watch or read. But them two youtubers work for me.

Final Thoughts(Jerry Springer Style)

These are the tips that work for me and I hope they work for you. But if they don't or maybe you have some other ways. Please share them in the comments below, it may help someone. 

Do you accept Instagram likes?

Hello! I can not believe I am writing this. But after I read a post about a person wanting wedding photography in exchange for exposure, I felt it was something that needed to be said.

Exposure won't pay my bills

I know this may sound obvious, but exposure will not pay my bills. I can not be calling up British Gas, EE, Virgin Media etc asking if they will accept Instagram likes. I will have the baliffs at the door in no time. But still, in 2018, we have people asking photographers, videographers and other creative people if they will accept exposure as payment! No we do not. Exposure is not a payment method. 

Wrong Attitude

I have a feeling a few people will be thinking I have the wrong attitude and should be grateful. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you. But I do not think it is the wrong attitude. I am 100% sure you would kick up a fuss if your boss said "Right, this month, I am going to pay you with Facebook likes on all your posts and if you work extra hard, maybe I will throw in some retweets". I guarantee you would be out the door. 

Therefore why do some people STILL think its right?!

Charity Work and Working For Free

I do not want people to think that I am 100% against working for free. I have done my fair share of free work. It is a great way to learn without the pressure. But I am 100% against people assuming I will do it for free. If you message me asking for free work and I do not know you..then my answer is going to be no. I have a family and bills. If you want my precious time, pay me for it.

Conculsion

I apologise for the rant, but I feel like it needed to be said. I hope you all understand where I am coming from. Leave me a comment below. Maybe share the post? 

Meanwood Park to Adel Woods

OK, you have spent too much time in Meanwood Park, its time to move on to Adel Woods. If you walk to the end of the park, you will see this beautiful bridge. Then cross over the bridge and through the arch way where you will see another bridge.

 Meanwood Park Bridge, November 2017

Meanwood Park Bridge, November 2017

When you are on the bridge look towards the Meanwood Park Bridge and you could be see something like the photo I captured below.

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The Waterfall

Once you have crossed over the 2nd bridge take a right and walk along the path. If you look on some of the trees, you may see something strange(the trees have eyes). After a short walk across the path, you will be see the Meanwood Park waterfall. I am not sure if it is called that, but I think it should be. When you have crossed over this bridge, take a right and follow the path out of the park to the main road.

 Meanwood Park Waterfall, May 2017

Meanwood Park Waterfall, May 2017

House in the woods

After you have crossed the road out of the park, walk towards the ring road for a bit then take a right up a path. When you see the horse in the field(if its summer) turn around and you will see the house in the woods. Its not really in the woods, but it looks like it..well it did to me.

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The Tunnel Of Doom

After you have admired the house in the woods continue your walk until you meet the Tunnel Of Doom haha. Ok tunnel of doom is a little extreme, but it could be if you have white trainers on. When you reach the other side of the tunnel you will have crossed under the ring road.

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Scotland Woods

The next interesting part of the walk is Scotland Woods. So many different ways to get through this woods. You can follow the path you enter the woods on or drop down and visit the Viaduct, which is no longer working, but is a listed structure. You can also go up the other side of the woods and walk along the top. But whichever walk you decide to do, WALK slow and look where you are going. It can get very slippy. I did have a photo of the Viaduct, but I can't see to find it. I think it is on one of my hard drives.

Adel Woods, Adel Crag and Adel Underground Bunker

After you have explored Scotland Woods it is time to head into Adel Woods. This is where my walk ends. You can carry on the walk right up to Ilkley and beyond. When you get into the woods the first thing you can find is Adel Crag. I do not know how true this is, but Adel Crag was once a place for Pagan's to worship, but like I said, I do not know how true this is. When you have located that, the next one you need to find is the Underground Bunker.

 Adel Crag, Leeds

Adel Crag, Leeds

Adel Underground Bunker

This one is a little harder to find. But when you do, it is worth it. The bunker was used to house banking information during the World War. The door to the bunker is sealed shut, so do not try get it. But pictures from before the door was sealed are available on the internet.

 Adel Underground Bunker

Adel Underground Bunker

I hope you have enjoyed the journey from Woodhouse Ridge to Adel Underground Bunker. If you would like to do it yourself, please go on and do it. Its a really great walk. If you need an official map for the walk, click here

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Meanwood Valley Trail

Hello everyone. We are getting into January, so naturally, people will start to think about getting in shape. Don't worry, I am not trying to sell you some magic supplement or bs exercise program. But if you are anything like me and you love to walk, carry on reading.

One of my favourite walks is the Meanwood Valley Trail. It is such a peaceful, easy accessible and fun walk.

Start here

 The official start of the Meanwood Valley Trail Walk is the H.R Marsden statue close to the junction of Woodhouse Lane and Rampart Road. But I never start my walk from there as it does not make sense to me. Then you walk down Rampart Road to the end, take a right onto Woodhouse Street, crossing over Delph Lane and following it to the end where it meets Woodhouse Ridge.

Woodhouse Ridge

This is where I usually start my journey on the Meanwood Valley Trail(picture below)

 Woodhouse Ridge, December 2017

Woodhouse Ridge, December 2017

When you get to Woodhouse Ridge make sure you keep the stone walk on your left until you get to the metal gate and boulders. They were installed to stop people riding motorbikes across the ridge. As you may notice, it didn't stop anything. When you get to the gate go down the far right path, that is where the above photo was taken. If you want to capture a photo like that, tough, you can't haha. No seriously, get to this point about 10:00am. 

Crossing Grove Lane

After a short walk you will come to Grove Lane, make sure you look left and right before crossing! When you get over the road(hopefully in one piece) this beautiful nature area will greet you.

 Grove Lane, Meanwood

Grove Lane, Meanwood

Wooden Bridge

After another short walk, you will come to this bridge. When I was there, it was very icey, so maybe be a little careful if you are planning on an early winters walk.

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When this bridge is on your left, keep walking foward along the side of the building then take a left, when you get to the end of the road, go through the gate and into Meanwood Park through a break in the stone wall. Now enjoy the park! its amazing.

Meanwood Park

The Meanwood Valley Trail walk does not come to an end at Meanwood Park. It continues on to Golden Acre Park and then transforms into the Dale Way Link right into Ilkley and beyond. But when you get into Meanwood Park, you will probably not want to leave.

 Meanwood Beck, September 2017

Meanwood Beck, September 2017

Next Blog

In my next blog, I will continue the walk out of Meanwood Park right up to Adel Woods. In Adel woods you will find the underground bunker and Adel Crag!

My Goals for 2018

As 2017 comes to an end, it is time to set some goals for 2018. For the first time I am going to put my goals out on the internet for everyone to see. I am hoping this will help me stay honest and true and hopefully smash all my goals in 2018. 

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So above are my 2018 goals. I will no doubt add to them as the year goes on, but I will never ever remove a goal.

Well everyone, let me know what your 2018 goals are going to be in the comment section below

Roundhay Park(My 2nd Home)

Hello everyone, I was looking through images that I could use for the blog and I have over 2.5gb of images of just Roundhay Park!!. I think I can safely say Roundhay Park is my 2nd home. But when you see some of the photos, you will see why.

Upper Lake

 Upper Lake, September 2017

Upper Lake, September 2017

This is Upper Lake, which I once thought was Waterloo Lake. But the fine people of Roundhay corrected me. I think I actually got an image printed in the Yorkshire Evening Post with the wrong name as well. But we live and learn. 

The Upper Lake is the smaller of the two lakes at Roundhay park, it is not that deep either, around 3-4 feet. I am not about to verify that information by taking a dive. The lake is also home to Clawed Crayfish(I have never seen any) but according to Wikipedia it is.

Waterloo Lake

 Waterloo Lake September 2017

Waterloo Lake September 2017

This is Waterloo Lake, it is the biggest lake at Roundhay Park. I heard it was created by soliders who had come back from war. But I do not know if that is 100% true..seems a little harsh if it is. Also in the early 1900s, you could have taken a boat trip around the lake. I imagine it would have been something like what they do at Harewood House. The lake is about 1.5 miles all the way around, which doesn't sound much. But try do it carrying a heavy camera bag(its a killer). I have walked around the lake on many occasions and I have seen some really cool things such as a man reading a book(while walking). It can be very busy during the summer time, but I would highly recommend taking a walk around it.

Barrens Fountain

 Barrans Fountain, June 2017

Barrans Fountain, June 2017

This is Barrans Fountain..minus any fountains. I am told that water once ran at the fountain, but since has been stopped,which is a shame because The Lakeside Cafe is expensive!

I read that the fountain was gifted to the park by Sir John Barran(hence the name). I wonder if he would be unhappy you can no longer get water from it.

 The Mansion, October 2017

The Mansion, October 2017

I could talk about Roundhay Park forever, but I want you to go and explore it. The above photo is The Mansion, stay away from there, unless you have a million zillion pounds. But when you do go, try find the Roundhay Park Folly or go explore in the woods. Roundhay Park is an amazing place, I guarantee you will like it. Plus it is only a short bus ride from the city centre. Jump on the 12, 13, 13a and it stops right outside the park. So what are you waiting for? GO!

 

Today is the day

Well I made my way back to West Yorkshire Camera Shop to collect my developed film and prints...or so I thought.

I arrived at the shop at 12:30 after demolishing a Primo hotdog(highly recommend them). I ask the lady behind the counter if the prints have arrived. She nods. Asks me my name. Flicks through the mass of envelopes..”Anthony, Anthony..found them”. I hold my breath. “Blank film” she says. BLANK FILM! I have no idea what has happened! No photos have been recorded on the film. Non! Not even an over exposed one. 

 

I am devastated. I can’t believe it. I think I will be putting the camera up for sale. 

I remember one photo that I took of a window cleaner and thought I can not wait to see this image. It is going to look amazing, now I won't get to see that because it is gone. I also remember taking a few other images that I am devastated that I will never see. 

I am 100% glad that I live in a digital world because if this had happened to me on a paid photoshoot I would be visiting a high building to jump off. 

My film journey is at an end right now. I think I will pick up another film camera, I just do not think it will be anytime soon.