Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Week Day Photo Challenge Submission 3 by Ethos Photographic

This week we are entering the Week Day Photo Challenge with the following submission(s):

Nature: Ocean waves

Macro: Jewellery

Urban: Boat / Ship

Creative Colours: Sepia

Click here to see more from WeekDay Photos

Project Peter

Project Peter
I met Peter who is from Trinidad on the streets of Reading in the United Kingdom.. What first caught my eye about Peter was his brilliant white beard as I passed him on the street. His clothes looked old and in need of repair or better yet replacement with a bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other at about midday. Peter seemed cheerful as he walked along the street humming to himself. I went back and stopped him and asked him if I could take his picture, a little risky admittedly as he could have been drunk or high on drugs. Luckily Peter was sober enough to hold a conversation and told of how he had come over in the late 50s as part of a drive by the UK government of the day to fill job roles that had shortages, bus and train drivers I believe. He had settled here, married and had children. However his marriage broke down and he was estranged from his children and now sleeps rough or in a shelter. He talked of how he wanted to return to his beautiful homeland but with no family still alive or living there or money for relocation the life he now lives is his only option. The final picture of Peter looking into the sky is the point when he considered memories of his homeland.

The 'Big Brother' Generation Seeking Privacy

This collection of images aptly named 'The Big Brother Generation Seeking Privacy' is the result of a photo shoot that was borne out of the question of privacy in this modern 'global' world. David Aaronovitch told in an article he wrote for the Times Newspaper that we are reported to be captured by Closed-Circuit Television [Security Cameras] (CCTV) on average 300 times a day in the United Kingdom on a network of 4.2 million CCTV cameras dotted across the country. This in addition to the simplicity by which on can gain often detailed knowledge about another person simply by 'googling' them leaves me wondering if there really is any privacy left in our society. The latter is down to one's control of their personal information, however the latter is so far beyond our control that we can go through life without even noticing it is happening to us at such an alarming rate. how often do we go into a public place and interact without noticing the thirty or so cameras that are sharing that experience with us and some even recording it?
We hear of celebrities being hounded by paparazzi photographers and gossip mongers and we look at that and say, well they have put themselves out there on the spot light so what else do they expect. Yet when it is closer to home and by the mere act of stepping outside your home you are photographed up to 300 times without your knowledge, images you will never see yet they may lead to surveillance of your home, internet usage, your family...particularly in the age of intensified terrorism where we live in fear and suspicion. The result is that we involuntarily live in a country sided 'Big Brother' house without applying to join the reality show or any change of winng the prize money at the end, or indeed getting an end.
Some would argue of the security benefits when we consider that such CCTV footage has lead to the detailing of the last movements of a missing or murdered person; the case of the Ipswich murders comes to mind, or the tracing of suspected terrorists. Whilst others would take the position that if you have not committed a crime or behave in appropriately why should you worry? This is when the question of a Right to Privacy is most important. Privacy is the the right to be free from unsanctioned intrusion; the quality or condition of being removed from the constant view and scrutiny of another.
When we correctly deduce the essence of its meaning, privacy goes far beyond being able to live behind closed doors. It is also the ability to be able to live without said doors whilst enjoying an absence of penetration from any source without your express consent, no without your invitation. That is the fundamental human right that is evaded through this excessive monitoring in every public place from the street you live, the bank where you keep your money to your local shopping centre and petrol station.There is a lot to be said for one having the liberty to have privacy; particularly in a democracy that prides itself on the choice of the individual and the protection of said individual's human rights. However thus far, this right to privacy has eluded us and is poised to continue to do so as the global threats of terror turn the free man...the law abiding citizen into a goldfish in a bowl...a suspect...a caged bird whose life is on display for all to see...

E:thos...Looking from the inside out

A collection of images from within looking without...the story of a concrete jungle...

Recycle me a planet or two...

Trees... An optical illusion
In the last three or so years I have had various encounters with the 'go green' movement that is aimed at 'saving the planet' from mankind's destructive behaviour! With increasing emphasis and attention on an organisations 'Corporate Social Responsibility', I found myself cast as the 'environmental champion' at work. This role required me to join an environmental sterring group, organise activities and campaigns to highight the issues around how people are damaging the environment and manage our sub contractors in a way that their actions improved our carbon foot print position. I must say however that I do feel somewhat of a fraud because at home I am not so motivated to 'save the planet'. The reason for this is that the systems I have to live within or rely upon for travel and waste disposal all seem to work against the environmentally not so-conscious! 

Travel being the chief culprit in my battle to be green in that public transport is shockingly unreliable and shrouded with inexplicably frequent delays. For one to rely on the bus or train to get to work and around generally, literally means to allow these services to dictate your day. I remember many a Sunday in winter particularly waiting at a train station to get me to church and an hour or hours could go by at times before a train arrived going your way. This coupled with the virtually non existent Sunday bus service was frustrating at the best of times and the lack of buses after 8pm then hindered any socialisation one may want to partake in on an evening. The answer? Buy a car and burn Co2 so you can be on time and have flexibility!

My personal favourite is that of the conundrum that is garbage  / waste disposal! We are encourage to the point of being impressed upon to recycle as much of our waste as possible to the point that our general waste is only collected fortnightly and the bins provided for it are small to limit the amount it will hold whilst we get six different recycling bins of varying sizes. The main deterrent for me when it comes to recycling at home unlike at work is separating everything down to types of plastic, cardboard and glass! I am not really a 'greenie tree huger' type so I only have a measure of motivation which is easily defused when I am expected to separate my household waste into six different bins!!!!! Crazy or what??? In my new neighbourhood the local council expect this to be done or they will punish you by not collecting your trash! The result often is that everything goes into black bags for general waste collection. 

So my petition is thus, many people, (myself included) are not so passionate about saving the plant but are willing to contribute to the effort provided that the process is not time consuming or frustrating... So if the powers that be would make it easier for us to pick 'green' or 'greener' options then we would pick them! That said it is indeed a noble cause to save the plant and where and when we can we should all do more towards preserving our planet for the next generation... 

Monday, 30 August 2010

It is my right to be uncommon

The secret lives of men
To know me is to know that I am not one for conformity, or one to follow a crowd aimlessly in any one direction. To know that I am opinionated and once convinced of something beyond reasonable doubt, my convictions are unmoveable, unshakable and underailable. So as I prepare to explore the concept of being uncommon, as a choice and indeed even a right, it is from a position outside the proverbial box that I begin.

To be common once meant that an individual was an average or standard person upholding the principles of propriety and morality / decency and having a generally honest and 'hard working' ethic and approach to life; down to earth yet lacking in great expectations or ambition. When I considered what it means to be 'uncommon' in today's society in all fairness I struggled a little to conjure a picture. The difficulty lies more in the status quo of the day where there is now so much liberality, hand outs and 'no blame cultures' that allow individuals to make excuses for their failings . There is less and less that is left to the imagination, that entices the mind to enquire further or captures one's interest. If you do not desire to do anything, the state will support your addiction to laziness, if you want to be self destructive the state will label you with a mental illness and tell you it is not your fault. 

Education, achievement and respectability are optional extras to life rather than the rule. There is no longer a sense of looking to moral yard sticks to measure one's life and choices and individuals are encouraged to, 'just do it!'. 'It' being whatever action or activity that will deliver maximum self gratification and satisfaction with the least effort on the part of the individual. 

I arrived at the conclusion that it is in fact uncommon to be common in today's society! Granted this is a syndrome most easily identified in western cultures however elements of it are in all modern day societies. The challenge is therefore two fold for the ambitious, self motivated 'go getter' today in that we are not simply fighting to rise above the 'pay check to pay check' style of life but also this modern culture of 'living by your feelings'. The result is that the strong manage to rise above the current social standards to achieve a 'common' state of life which is commendable in light of the challenges one faces when they have the option to do nothing at all and become a ward of the state. 

Therefore to be 'uncommon' is to be remarkably more, decidedly better and exceedingly more accomplished than the average. One who cannot settle, will not accept circumstances as a barrier and who seek to set or raise the standards rather than fall in line behind those set by others. The imagery of a diamond in the rough comes to mind when we consider the 'uncommon person', yet by sheer determination they gleam bright enough to stand out in the crowd.

 recall hearing this saying that truly brings the point home; There are three types of people in life; those who see and do nothing; those who see and say someone should do something and those who see and act. I therefore conclude that to be uncommon is a state of mind, a disposition of the soul a decision each individual can make for themselves. The blessing of the modern society is that the barriers to accessing education and opportunities are less than they were in times gone by. So if you are tenacious, focussed and driven you can be whatever and whoever you want to be, the sky is the limit! 

"It is my right to be uncommon. For I do not choose to be a common man, 
If I can, I seek opportunity. 
I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the government look after me. 
I choose to take the calculated risk, to dream, to build, to fail or succeed. 
I choose not to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to a guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the state calm of Utopia
I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.” 
Author Unknown

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Shutterday Challenge: Taken from the hip

This image took a little creativity in order to capture the full length of the boat which involved using the view finder and holding my camera low on a cold winter day this year.

For more images 'shot at the hip' visit Shutterday here.

The Weekend in Black & White: Glass Towers

Forms of modern architecture
London, England.

Visit more of the Weekend in Black & White here.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Round Robin Photo Challenge: Express a feeling

My entry for the Round Robin Challenge this week is that of my friend Sue's grandson Juke.

This image was taken the Christmas before Juke turned one. He is a delightful boy to watch and be around and I was captivated by him. Sue asked me to take a picture of Juke wearing a santa hat and as it was too big for him he had a little trouble with it which perplexed him as can be seen in the majority of the pictures until finally! In the last shot he emerged (literally) as the victor over the hat and that is the expression you see in the last frame of this montage photo story called Juke and Santa's hat! 

More expressions here

Friday, 27 August 2010

A walk through the city

On the day I attended an exhibition at the Design Museum which inspired my collection of images of Paolozzi's 'Head of Invention' I took the train into the city (London). The images below are my record of the walk from the train station through the south side of the Thames River Bank and up towards the Design Museum, a breathtaking walk with a beautiful bridge at Tower Hill and an array of tourists and Londoners alike navigating through the city...enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Tower Bridge

This is a collection of images of the famous Tower Bridge, London, England.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge over the River Thames.
 It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name.

I created this aged image of the bridge to give a feel for its age.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Week Day Photo Challenge Submission 2 by Ethos Photographic

This week we are entering the Week Day Photo Challenge with the following submission(s):

Creative Colours: Violet
My 'violet' submission is in support of the Surrey UK Probation Service Project that provided a subway for youth offenders to create graffiti art. This one in particular is my favourite.
Click here to vote for this picture!

Macro: Flower
A floral centre piece at a wedding reception table
Click here to vote for this picture!

Urban: Intersection

An intersection in Windsor, England, with a backdrop of Windsor Castle
Click here to vote for this picture!

Creative Editing: Changing the background to a colourful background
This is a picture of my friend Belle that I took when we were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago. I added the deep red background, streaming light from the top left hand corner, changed her skin tone, added a pencil drawn reflection and deepened the colour of her hair.
Click here to vote for this picture!

Click here to see more from WeekDay Photos


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