Black & White Photographic Exhibition – September

Sam Steams Back To The Future
As part of Somerset Art Weeks (SAW) 2014, Sam Burton of ‘zummerzet photography‘ and a member of Exposure47 will be using Black and White film this exhibition will be exhibiting ten darkroom handprints which show a glimpse into the life of England’s Longest Steam Railway. The images show a typical day enjoyed by a steam locomotive driver. Burton, who is passionate about traditional techniques, used a medium format camera and black and white film to be in period with the subject. Alan ‘the driver’ has already achieved fame in advertising campaigns for companies such as Aldi and is the ‘face’ of ‘REAL’ crisps and was very excited at being in Burtons project.Links to Aldi advert and ‘REAL’ crisps.

In keeping with the period theme of his project Sam Burton will explore Victorian photographic working methods and then evolve the images with the latest technology during the launch of his SAW exhibition that begins September 20th 2014 at the Bishops Lydeard Station Museum.

Background

During the infancy of photography in the mid 1800s it was common practice to use mobile darkrooms; usually a horse drawn carriage blacked out and fitted with a safe light panel for illumination. The photographer would load his camera plate; make the exposure and process on location. Sam will be using 1950s version of the Victorian view camera with the public invited to take part by having a portrait made, Sam will develop negatives in wet chemistry and participants and spectators will be able to watch the process take place. This practical event will open take place on 20th September.

Venue address

Gauge Museum, Platform 1

Bishops Lydeard Railway Station

Bishops Lydeard

Somerset

TA4 3RU

Dates & Times

10am to 4pm

The exhibition will be open for view every day from September 20th to October 5th. I will be at the venue on 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 and 28 September and 2, 3, 4, and 5 of October.

 

 Directions: 

Follow signs for A358 and once you get to Bishops Lydeard follow the brown signs for West Somerset Railway at Bishops Lydeard, the station is not in the village itself but is off the main road. The exhibition is in the Gauge Museum on platform 1.

For more information look at our blog

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Event Kindly Sponsored by ‘The Golsoncott Foundation’

The Golsoncott Foundation

TRAVEL – Agra – India

From the minute you alight from the train to the moment you leave Agra there are many waiting to greet you and they all say the same thing: ‘I have got a good price and remember it’s especially for you’.

The very persistent old man, once we finally bartered him down from his initial high price, bundled us into his car; the luggage bumping around on the roof which, despite the size of the speed bump and the violent breaking, never seems to fall off.  Once we left the car park, or it may have been the moment he turned the ignition key, the sales pitch started. Over the whole 30min journey there would be a never ending stream of things he could offer at a special price just for us. Then he would start all over again and the sites would be listed once more and a better deal would be offered. Finally we arrived at our destination and enjoyed the peace and quiet of …. Nothing; no bartering, no sales, no traffic. Later, even walking to the restaurant 15min down the road, the rickshaw man peddling beside us all the way; his price getting cheaper by the footstep!

Agra is often swamped in smog and it was when we were there, the taste in your mouth every time you take a breath. At sunrise, on the other side of the river, it loomed out of the mystical fog or smog around it. Dimly the white was shining though, breathtaking, magical as the birds moved around only to be disturbed by the persistent gardener asking for money. Later, to see it in its full splendour in full light, we entered through the South gate, which is the least busy.

Then through the main gate you can see the tomb looming through the gateway. It like an ever brightening jewel the closes you get, majestic, pure, shining white, a wonder!  It’s certainly worth 750 rupees although if you think you can get away with it, say your Indian: it’s only 20 rupees then!  There was no queue the day we were where there but there isn’t much inside compared to the stunning exterior. The actual tombs in there are replicas of the actual tombs below but they are placed over the exact spot. The Taj was never designed to be for the King’s final resting place just, for his dearly loved wife, but it was his son who decided to place him there. His tomb is the only thing not completely symmetrical as it was all built around her tomb. From the South there are many shops and many of the ancestors of those who build the Taj Mahal  still live and work here producing marble products and gifts. You have to be a hard barterer to get a good price here and if you go into one shop you are asked why you won’t go in every other shop down that lane.

The lavish Agra Fort is not far up river. Only 20% of the fort is open but that is large enough. It has many optical illusions, a room with precious stones and a rosewater fountain. There is also a secret passageway.

‘You see baby Taj?’ the next auto rickshaw driver says after he guesses you haven’t been there yet. Actually we were after a late lunch and we agree on the guides suggestion of a certain non-veg restaurant. ‘You want veg or non-veg?’ he asks half way; ‘non-veg’ we say; he says ‘this one is veg only’; we agree veg is fine then only to arrive at a non-veg restaurant. Agra is one of the places to ignore local knowledge or advice as it will probably mislead you!

That evening we arrive at the train station for our onward journey west to Punjab, Jaipur. Four orphaned children, aged between 3 and 6, who live on the station came and asked for money. An Indian man explains this is their home, it is all they know, and they are happy here.  Our train arrived over 1 ½ hours late and it turned out to be the slow, bumpy, stopping train. Luckily our cheerful, larger-than-life driver was waiting at the other end and we sat back in the old Ambassador as it pulled away from the station with a deep rumble from its engine.

 

 

 

Dawlish – Storms

Dawlish has been one of the top news stories over the last couple of days, here as some photos taken  on Saturday of the repair work going on, network rail working shift work in-between the tides and rough sea. Many houses are still evacuated along the stretch where the seawall is no longer. To protect these houses old containers were placed in front of the exposed section and filled with ballast and stone to try and keep the power of the storms and waves from further erosion.

Just round the corner beach huts are left battered, broken and smashed, as if a mini devastating tsunami has washed over them.

Below is a gallery of photos taken on Saturday, one was taken before the storm as a train passes the famous section of railway line.

Somerset Coastal Flooding

Above: Blue Anchor seafront this morning (03.01.2014)

14 Severe flood warning were issued for the South West this morning.

The North Somerset Coast was on alert with Minehead, Blue Achour and Burnham seafronts closed for safety. Watchet Harbour was exceptionally high with the waves pushing up the drainage covers.

This unusually high tide has been caused by the High Spring tide and the wind direction and unusual storm weather throughout the UK over the last few weeks.

Above: Watchet Harbour this morning (03.01.2014)

The Somerset Levels continue to be flooded & A361 to Burrowbridge is still closed.

For the latest weather click here

For Pictures and news see links below.

Also see Somerset County Gazettes website for the latest news

And for West Somerset News – here

Minehead Seafront this morning above (03.01.2014)

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North Petherton Carnival 2013

If you are a Carnival Club and wish to use one of our photos on your website please do contact me and I will supply with a high resolution image.

Above - Vagabonds CC – Skool of Rock

A week after Bridgwater in which we were participated with the West Somerset Railway we documented the same procession with a smaller audience from the 100,000 people that watch Bridgwater’s – which claims to be Europe biggest illuminated event.

Bridgwater Carnival’s website  –  North Petherton Carnival’s website

Dates of the carnivals in Somerset can be view on the Visit Somerset website & Somerset Carnivals UK website

Above - Sidvale CC – Legend of the Crystal Skull

Despite the wet weather the show went full blast ahead, Marketeers CC suffered a power failure at 10,000 lightbulbs on their cut remained unlit and quite possibly the loudest entry remained silent through the procession, they received the biggest cheer of the night.

More photos on Facebook and Twitter page – why not like or follow us.

Above - Harlequin CC, City of Rock,

Carnival Results – Winners at North Petherton Carnival.

Open Tableau Class

LA BARRICADE Gemini Carnival Club


Local Tableau Class 

OZ: THE EMERALD CITY Pentathlon Carnival Club

Open Feature

Winner – SWARM FORCE Ramblers Carnival Club

                                                      

Optional Feature Class

VOODIKA Renegades Carnival Club

Local Feature Class

END OF THE LINE! Westonzoyland Carnival Club

 

Comic Feature Open Class

F*RTBUSTERS Newmarket Carnival Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juvenile Tableau/Feature Class

JITTERBUG BOOGIE Marina Sydenham Carnival Club

Runner Up:

Gremlins CC, Xtinct, – With their fire, smoke, light, sound float.

     

West Somerset Railway App project

Over the past two weeks zummerzet photography have been working with the West Somerset Railway with their new ‘Heritage Hunter’ App. We have photographing the locations featuring in the new app for Matmi who is undertaking the building of this app.

Here are a few of the photographed locations:

For more information on the App please see West Somerset Railway news story here

If you have an event or just need to update your images library of an area, town or business, get in contact and we will be delighted to work with you.

 

 

Some of the Best Indian shots

This is a section of digital colour images from my Indian Visit that almost started a year ago now.

To see some of my Black and White images click here

I spent two months working in one of India’s most basic orphanage in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. There was no running water and at least 14 hours without power everyday, millions of flies that came during the day and when you slept buzzed though your ears, nose and mouth.

The images in this portfolio are of Indian children; most are of the orphans we lived with, showing the undiminished lives of youth, with nothing, yet a clear degree of contentment. This comes from an important lesson, life’s vital needs of friendships, food, sleep and faith in God. For them, its life without the material clutter of the Western world, basic but happy. They are the life-blood for the next vibrant generation and India’s pioneers striving to grow out of poverty.

Royal Garter Ceremony – Monday 17th June 2013 – Final

Royal Garter Ceremony – Monday 17th June 2013 – Final 

There was a buzz in the air as we ascended the steep street, with Windsor castle overshadowing. Security checks: blue tickets entering the chapel spectators with green tickets went up the street.

We found our designated spot surrounded by top hats & fancy clothes, with the sound of the Heathrow planes roaring overhead.

The armed guard marched down lining the route. The band could be heard ascending and passing the gate on the outer wall, the sound rising as they got to the keep for the appointed time of the procession. The chapel doors opened as people slowly queued to go in.

An American accent rose above the general conversation he was a descendant of a Knight of the Garter. Another man weighted with medals explained each one.

Most were silent, waiting, looking; clutching a card invite, inscripted ‘the most Nobel Royal Garter Ceremony’. To remember the day it was time to buy a programme as they waited, a search for the money in the 3-piece suit, as they try to distinguish under dark sunglasses or spectacle between the £5 and £20 notes.

BOOM BOOM; the triumphant sound of the brass bands making their way from the Keep on the hill. It was at this point two stern men with policemen walked by and a thumbs up was acknowledged between them and each police officer.

The atmosphere ecstatic; the noise of voices zero. With the ceremonial music was echoing within the fortress the main gate closed. One band marched beside us, the other marched on past, flags were waving, and cameras were on fire with a great clamour to see the oldest Royal Ceremony in Britain.

With the music still pulsing round the grounds the men with the stick wings passed followed with the Knights of the Garter, to whom belong the Queen, Prince Philip and Charles and others. A cheer rippled down as the queen at the rear was spotted, along with the whisper was ‘look how short she is’. For the first time she was flanked with her son Charles and grandson William, as Philip was still recovering from being in hospital. They were followed up by the beefeater.

As they entered St Georges chapel a fanfare could be heard and the service commenced. This also started the long stream of cars for the members of the garter and other dignitaries as well as the Royal coaches. It was also a rest break for the bands and officers although those who lined the route remained vigilant.

We managed to negotiate a place across the other side to get a good view of the carriages coming round the corner.

The guards and the band then returned for duty, once again a ceremonial atmosphere was created and the gallop of horses could be heard. The leading coach carried the Monarch with the heir to the throne. One small voice nearby shouted ‘there’s the Queen’ and you could see the smile and look from Prince Charles and the Queen as they share the priceless moment of making a little persons day. They were followed by the other Royal Garter Knights, and then those who where not part of the Royal family followed in the chauffeur cars. The Chapel guests were waiting to cross over and after along wait the gates were opened and Windsor’s streets were filled with dresses, hats and a flurry of movement.

More information:

http://www.royal.gov.uk/RoyalEventsandCeremonies/Garter%20and%20Thistle%20Services/GarterDay.aspx 

 

More photos of the event see Jason’s Blog: http://jasonwain.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/order-of-garter-ceremony.html

Garter Ceremony Windsor Castle 17th June 2013

Crowds gathered yesterday (17th June) for the Garter Ceremony held at Windsor Castle yesterday.

It is the most senior and oldest British Order. The patron saint of the Order is St George, this ceremony happens yearly and members of the Royal Family including the Queen are present.

Prince Philip was not present as he has recently left hospital. The rain held out and the Queen with Prince Charles on one side and he Duke of Cambridge on the other walked into St Georges Chapel. They returned by horse and carriage to the castle.

Full Gallery photos to be uploaded on the 3rd July.

 


More information about the ceremony: www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk/garter/