Category Archives: Music

Passing QC

Hello Dear Reader

Passing QC

An odd title one might think but something of a challenge for me these past few days. QC in this instance means Quality Control. I have decided to offer some of my photographs to a website, take part in my first photographic competition, complete a written guide and write a screenplay. All of these take time of course and juggling of what comes first.

The competition was relatively straight forward given I had three pictures (that in itself was mad) to just print and frame. Underestimate a task I think is the possible downfall of almost all failed attempts. I know now differently. Just getting the printing completed was a task in itself and then frames. Well, happy to say I completed that task and handed them in. Whether or not I get selected is now just one of those things. I will be disappointed if I don’t but I have three of my photographs framed and I know what to do next time. Still, does not mean I will get selected. There are hundreds of photographers out there all doing the same.

It is the same case for writing, blogging, music or whatever. Likewise, trying to get pictures available for sale is just as hard. Again I hit those two words QC. Now, I have to admit that in this instance QC is meaningful as it helped me consider how I was taking a picture. After all many never move away from automatic and never show their pictures to others. That is fine. I realized I had to refine my pictures. This, in turn, made me review what I was considering and helped me solve a few problems. I have now successfully had three pictures admitted to the website.

Quality Control, for me, used to mean something different. However, now it is a means of helping me, at least, understand how to improve not just my photographs but my writing as well. The term QC, might not be explicit in writing as such, but it is there in terms of editing and revision. You can say that editing and revision also is in the production of photographs. Each person or website has their level of QC which you need to reach in order to pass to the next level, so to speak. Even passing QC does not mean you will get noticed, just you end up in that sea of offerings.

Doing this has raised my own levels of QC which is no bad thing. It means I hope my writing, blogging, and photography will improve again. That in itself will give me the chance to stand out just that bit more.

Tagline: ‘I am ready for my photo now Mr. DeMille – ISO 100, f8, 1/35’

 

2015 – My review

2015 – My Review

Hello Dear Reader

Well 2015 has now passed and often people reflect on their year, a personal review you might say. I am no different than millions of others, so beware spoilers ahead. (Well for time travellers at least).

2015 has, just like many other years, been filled with ups and downs across the board. It is often thought that the downs tend to come to the fore at this point and yes there were a few scary moments. It has not been the best of times but things did pick up towards the close. One of the up’s was the pleasure of seeing Michael Palin live talking about his dairies and what he wrote about. It did make me think and yes write a blog about them. Maybe more people need to remember what a dairy is all about. Another odd good moment was a trip down memory lane to the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool and yes sitting watching a lot of people waltzing around the floor. Of course there were many other good moments most of which ended up in a blog or two. I also added to my list of achievements two presentations, one for the Keele Creative writing society which I was extremely proud. Add to this a very interesting trip to Buckingham Palace, one of the afternoon BBC Proms and an evening meal surrounded by most of the cast and writers of Sherlock. Now that was different.

Normally in the past I have reviewed a few good films, so why spoil a good format!

There have been a number of blockbusters yet again and surprisingly the best was saved for last (I am sure you can guess). Here are my top films (in no order whatsoever );

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Ant-Man

Jurassic World

Spectre

Minions

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Of course they are all action based adventure films and the ones I saw at the cinema. There were a few I missed, noticeably Steve Jobs, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Martian and a few more.  It seemed as if each movie, for me, kept on building towards one of the best kept secrets of 2015. In this day it was surprising to find that there was little real information about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Man from UNCLE started a short series of spy movies this year, along with Bridge of Spies and Spectre. The latest James Bond movie, rounded what was a very well put together story and left at least one person with a dilemma. If you wish to read my review on this film here is the link; Spectre. The Man from UNCLE was good in the sense to tried to explain the origins of the lead characters. Will there be a squeal? Bridge of Spies was one of those films I missed which was a shame, but there is always rental.

In keeping with the past few years, hard to think there was a time before them, we had the latest two Marvel films. Ant-Man introduced us to the smallest of Marvel’s characters, while the Avengers (still no Steed) came back to battle their own demons. Both films gave us more to enjoy in this growing universe, well at least to the non-comic reading part. Again I enjoyed them for differing reasons; Ant-Man was more of a comic feel, the humour fitted well as did the story. It is always difficult to present a 60s or 70s comic version so taking the best from the whole comic range seems Marvels plan. Age of Ultron on the other hand showed that sometimes it is best not to mess about with alien technology. It will lead into a series of films that could tear the audience apart.

Minions, cute, yellow, strangely understandable at times and one of those hits that was not meant to be. Why? Well they were sort of supporting characters (even in animation) that just took off. There first movie and who knows what else will turn up, was funny predictable and ok. Also returning was the Park, Jurassic one, remember that? It was a major hit of the summer and well worth it. It combined the old with new, basically the Park opened as Hammond always wanted and of course someone decided to play God and well guess the rest. Another good escape.

So finally the film of the year. You can’t argue with facts and figures, not these. Even before the film had been shown it was breaking, cinema servers and records. I have not reviewed this film as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. However I did post just one word after I watched it … Emotional. It was all that everyone has said. It did take me back and yet did not reboot as many thought. It moved forward in a logical fanshion. The sets where real, the characters believable, the effects better, the story fine, yes there might be the odd plot hole but sometimes, just sometimes you have suspend everything. It was one of the few movies I could have just sat through a second time without moving. I did in fact see it twice already and plan to see it again given the chance. Many people tend to want to find problems with any film they see, I myself see plot mistakes – take IronMan 3. However, I don’t believe in just denocensing a film just because it does not explain where character A cane from.

So what else has happened that was memorable? A number of things really including having one of my poems published in the first Keele Creative Writing anthology. Completing my first book, which is due to be published in 2016, was a major achievement. That for me, is a goal I have slowly pushed for. It won’t be to everyone’s taste and I doubt it will gain me anything other than self pride. I will be able to say  not only have I written a book but it’s a published one.

Writing has been one of the more enjoyable outlets over the past few years. I have published more blogs in 2015 than before and branched out into posting photographs and a small video. I do plan on producing another short video in 2016.

To close then. 2015 another year to talk about.

Roll on 2016.

Tagline:’Are we there yet?’

 

The Joy of the Proms

Hello Dear Reader

The BBC Proms, such a varied event is underway once more. I have already listened to a few of the proms and last night I sat down to Mahler’s 5th. It is very difficult to describe to people what you end up listening too particularly here in words. There are the odd one or two you can sort of hint at, Da-Da-Da-Darrr, is one. (Guesses allowed no prizes given)

I do find that a full orchestra is something of a joy to hear. It gives the music a life of it’s own and each time there is just a little difference that makes it special. I think that is why the BBC Proms are important. They have such diversity that it does cater for almost everyone.  There are 58 days of Proms, on some days three or four concerts played over 12 hours. That is a lot of music. It is all here http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms . It’s not only the music, it’s the musicians as well. They play over thousands of hours of music, it is a mental and physical battle to reach the end.

The BBC Proms are well received and supported by a loyal following, yet it is growing and changing. Musical, film and now jazz Proms have recently drawn in a different audience. Also shows such as Doctor Who, very popular, have shown that music comes in many forms.

Each year, many people tune in to watch the Last Night of the Proms, with well known classical works. Sometimes, you have to dip into the unknown and find a gem such as I heard with Mahler.  I did once challenge a radio station to play something from Star Wars. At the time, I suggested that many film pieces were as good as classical. Last night, I found some of Mahler’s work very much like a soundtrack. Full circle.

So dear reader, this little classical work is complete, the last bars played.

Tagline: “Da Da Da Dar”