I got featured in the Rose Chat Podcast!

Remember the article about roses in Aberdeen?

yellow rose
The Yellow Rose of Aberdeen…

Well a very nice chap asked me to read it out for a podcast, so I did, and since then he’s done a lot of work getting it ready and it’s now available to listen to here:

Podcast about the roses in Aberdeen

So, y’know, you could go and listen, or something? ūüôā

It’s particularly pertinent today because I’m just getting started on my applications for master’s degrees for the September intake, and I’ve got Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen) and Edinburgh Napier University at the top of my shortlist.

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Kiss From A Rose (in Aberdeen)

The car broke down, and on a trip filled with minor disasters, it was the best thing that could have happened during the holiday.  I left it at a garage in Aberdeen city centre and I had three hours to kill before it would be ready to collect.  Walking towards nowhere in particular, camera in hand, I found this beautiful cavalcade of roses.  I was compelled to test out my new camera in what turned out to be the beginning of an afternoon of photography.  The results are below.

rose1.png

Whilst perusing them for choosing which pictures to share with you all and which ones to discard, the following little ditty came into my thoughts, and it is somewhat appropriate (plus it’s ALWAYS Music¬†O’Clock in my house; to say I like music¬†is an understatement).

rose5

rose6

.rose7

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rose4

.rose3

 

.rose2

Do you know where I found these?  Outside an unremarkable retirement complex with no interesting architecture or other heritage, in a city filled with ancient buildings.  I guess it reminded me that beauty is everywhere, we just have to pay attention to it.  When I put a magnifying glass to this patch of roses with my camera, it has become bigger in my memory than it was in real life, but if I saw these every day, I probably would never have noticed their beauty.

This was really the turning point in the trip to Scotland in August (it was two hours after that head injury), and everything started to pick up from the moment I decided to take photos of these flowers instead of passing them by in the search for something “interesting” to do. ¬†The next part of the afternoon’s photographic extravaganza can be found here, which begins around the corner from the roses pictured above.

I guess it really is true that everything in life can be pinned down to a series of tiny decisions.

In Pictures: Urban Industrial Decay by the Sea in Aberdeen

How long has it been since I last did a travel/pure delight article??  It feels like forever!

While I was in Aberdeen I saw some awesome decaying industrial objects which reminded me of Natalia Goncharova and Futurism here’s some inspiration pictures:

Giacomo Balla's Velocity of Cars and Light, 1913.
Giacomo Balla’s Velocity of Cars and Light, 1913.
Natalia Goncharova: A Factory (1912).
Natalia Goncharova: A Factory (1912).

I’m sure people much more accomplished at Art have commented on these pictures to death. ¬†To me, they remind me of the opening minute of the song “Breathe” by Pink Floyd on The Dark Side of The Moon album. ¬†It all links together. ¬†In that vein, of industrialization and movement and life borne of machines and future provided for by machines, there’s little room for the question of the inevitable death of those machines.

When I came across this bounty of stimuli just abandoned on various plots of land in Aberdeen, I was reminded of the inevitable omega – the end of all things. ¬†So I took lots of pictures of these industrial objects because their death masks were so beautiful, and I included the surroundings in some of them because their burial sites were often in direct contrast with their tortured metallic endings. ¬†Such an unnatural and contrived resting place for what was once some chemical elements separated from base rock by a blast furnace. ¬†Abandoned because their ferrous surfaces have combined with too much oxygen. ¬†One question which I cannot answer is: “How sustainable are these burial sites where we lay out our expired machinery?” ¬†There was a LOT of stuff like this in Aberdeen.

I felt sad that such amazing and titanic objects had been abandoned. ¬†There were far more pics than this but I decided to just share this set of 11 in this article, paying particular attention to texture (especially rust) and unusual focus length. ¬†I’ve written my own criticism by them in places so you can see what I thought of how my¬†pictures came out. ¬†I’m a crap photographer but I’m trying to learn, so any feedback would be appreciated, positive or negative. ¬†This was before I bought my amazing new lenses for my DSLR, and I’d had the camera maybe 4 days by this point, so all pics here taken with my 18-55 kit lens on 100% manual camera settings with no autofocus (c’mon, autofocus is for wimps). ¬†Click any image to enlarge.

A laburnum growing up a fence on a backdrop of rust.  The astigmatism and slight vignetting bugs me.
A laburnum growing up a fence on a backdrop of rust. The astigmatism and slight vignetting bugs me.
I really liked the texture.
I really liked the texture.
Some containers looking very tall and thin.
Some containers looking very tall and thin.
A metal thingy.  The sea is behind this wall.
A metal thingy. The sea is behind this wall.  I like the contrasting texture of the lichen, the wall and the metal thingy.
Is this a bunch of Johnny 5 lookalikes at an audition???
Is this a bunch of Johnny 5 lookalikes at an audition??? ¬†Apparently they’re lifeboat launches? ¬†ISO too high.
More delightful texture.
More delightful texture.  Not level (argh).
Rusty giant chain.  Each individual link of this chain was bigger than my torso!  I wonder what it was used for...
Rusty giant chain. Each individual link of this chain was bigger than my torso! I wonder what it was used for…
The rusty textured giant 30 foot maw of an enormous digger, with laburnum growing near it.
The rusty textured giant 30 foot maw of an enormous digger, with laburnum growing near it.
barbed wire
Barbed wire and concrete textures contrasting with roof tiles.  Horizontals not straight.
Crane and sky.  I know my angles are awful I was playing around with my settings to try and get the clouds visible and the crane non-silhouetted.
Crane and sky. I know my angles are awful I was playing around with my settings to try and get the texture of the clouds visible and the crane non-silhouetted both at the same time and forgot to level it out.
Texture tyres.  I know the commonly accepted way of doing this image would have been to blur the tyres and focus on the background, but I wanted to show the texture of the tyres as I thought it was a really nice texture (I love the kitemark, bottom right).  I did one the other way around but thought this was the more interesting shot as it forces the viewer to notice the gargantuan tyres (tractor tyres??  What has tyres this big??)
Texture tyres. I know the commonly accepted way of doing this image would have been to blur the tyres and focus on the background, but I wanted to show the delicious texture of the tyres as I thought it was a really beautiful surface (I love the kitemark, near bottom right). I did one the other way around but thought this was the more interesting shot as it forces the viewer to notice the gargantuan tyres (tractor tyres?? What has tyres this big??)

I don’t know what to say to sum this post up, so I’m going to let you do it instead. ¬†Feedback please!