Saltburn Folk Festival

This weekend saw the 11th Festival of Folk Music, Dance and Song come to the Cleveland town of Saltburn by the Sea. The event, which sees folk musicians and fans of the music from all over the country descend on the Victorian seaside town has always been well supported by people and businesses from the local community and this year was no exception.

The weekend gives the opportunity for artists to perform in many of the pubs and venues in the town and with a full programme of entertainment throughout the weekend everyone attending had plenty to keep them busy.

I took some pictures during an impromptu musicians session in one of the local pubs.

The festival returns to Saltburn in August next year and will once again pull in fans of this music scene from all over the country.

Some travel guidelines…

As someone who does not get into the Capital often it always amazes me when I do go there. I was down there this weekend on a job and had to travel from Kings Cross to Waterloo. This involved a couple of changes on the Underground to get me to where I needed to go, my timings dictated that it would be at the start of the rush hour that I would make my journey.
Maybe its because I do not go there often that I don’t get numbed to the requirements of tube travel in London.
For those planning a trip there here are some guidelines to make you travel like a local:
1: Show no expression at any time.
2: Keep your gaze constantly averted to the floor.
3: Never hold any eye contact for more than 2 seconds.
4: Never attempt to engage in conversation with anyone.
5: Expect either an abrupt, dismissive answer or a flustered “I don’t know!” answer if you do.
6: Make sure that as you approach an esculator anyone infringing on your chosen route is pushed out of the way.
7: Dont think about stopping to allow someone to go in front of you out of politness, someone else will barge through taking the opportunity.
8: Always wear headphones for your ipod or mp3 to ensure everyone can see you do not want to be engaged with in any way.
9: Display no manners or common courtesy to the elderley, women, homeless people, foreign travellers or pretty much anyone else really.
Follow these few simple rules and you to will be travelling on the London Underground like a true local.
Welcome to our Nations capital – Enjoy your visit!

A Question of Priority?

I read an article recently in Time magazine about Afghanistan and the ongoing issues affecting the country. Many subjects were looked at – security, education, public services, transport and industrial development, farming and agriculture etc etc, the list went on.
One of the key points from this report was that with more money invested into the country to develop all these different areas then the overall (security) situation would improve dramatically as the infrastructure improved and that it was not just a question of sending more troops into the country.
More investment and funding would provide the groundwork for the country to start to improve and get back on its feet, but that also, it was difficult to get the money to make these much needed changes.

I then read in another piece about how, as part of the preparation work for the Beijing Olympics, China has spent some $42 Billion Dollars (US) on infrastructure improvements, such as roads and subways.

Anyone else see the irony?

Flash Gels

I have just taken delivery of some flash gels from . The gels, as you can see from the photo come pre-cut and with the velcro you can order are pretty much ready to go as soon as you get them.
For those not in the know, flash gels are used to ‘counter’ the effects of certain light sources and as a result reduce the effects that it has on the final image. An example would be Fluorescent lights. These tend to leave a horrible green cast over an image, by placing a ‘window green gel’ over the flash head and turning the white balance setting on your digital camera to Fluorescent this colour cast can be removed. A similiar result can be achieved by placing a Colour Temperature Orange (CTO) gel over the flash, turning the white balance on the camera to Tungsten or Incandescent, this will reduce the effects of this ‘colour’ of light coming from Fluorescent lights.
Further information and examples can be found on and explains this in further detail and opens up many more possibilities when using your flashes off camera.