Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Giallo e Blau

A nude self portrait using blue and yellow gels over two 550ex speedlites in a loft hatch, flash sync cable and a Bronica ETRSi.  Set to ƒ8 pre-focusing and firing via the self timer.

Complimentary Colours


Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Swiss Cuckoo Clock Speech

From the lofty ferris wheel cabin observing the Viennese below Harry Lime ponders, then delivers the follow speech to his friend Holly Martins:

"You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

The Third Man, Graham Green - Directed by Carol Reed, 1949

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Malteser Challenge: How many can you put in your mouth without eating them¿

This challenge is more difficult than it first appears.  Being quite stoic, i'm not for shirking these occasions, especially when being provoked by two other competitors insinuating that they will beat me.  This stirs a deep emotion, forcing me to prove them wrong.  Childish, very, but aren't most things?  If it wasn't childish it would not be fun; as long as i win, of course.

My two contenders for the crown of 'Biggest Gob' were Louise (Tough as 'Fork Handles') Hardwick 31, and Luke (Northern Beauty) Booty 27, both body builders.  They like to think of themselves as tough and competitive, with youth on their side may be a touch of naive confidence.  When i said "i'm gonna win", they mocked me.  Well that just spurred me on even more.  What do these youngsters know about winning, this was going to be easy.

Scott Phillipson equally dispersed the large bag of Maltesers on the three plates whilst we prepared ourselves with sledging jousts.  The aim was to see who was able to place as many Maltesers in their mouths without eating them.  Everyone had surmised about 30, but after investigating my own facial cavity I estimated 40 would be adequate, and was promptly laughed at, "I have a big mouth" I exclaimed.

A few deep breaths, a last look and "Go" was energetically barked.  Grabbing two handfuls of chocolate covered honeycomb balls I thrust them in my gob, plenty more room available.  Another two handfuls claimed and I passed 30, turning to my left the challengers were struggling to find room for 15.  Easy, too easy. There were only 17 more Maltesers on the plate I selected and deposited ten more to reach 40.  After 36, space was becoming a premium, time to utilise my squirrel pouches.  By now the chocolate was starting to melt, the honeycomb collapsing.  There were a few strategic holes available to breath and i could feel them moving down my throat.  Ah, more space.  Forty!  I had done it, achieve the level set at the start.  All good sports people need goals to be set and achieved, it is how we improve.

The final seven Antipodean airy spheres now presented me with a challenge.  More so than the cackling figures next to me. Where to put them was the question.  The only crevasses that i could find were under my cheeks and lips.  The final sphere only contained 11 calories, it couldn't be that hard amongst laughing competitors.   Forcing the last ball in, arms aloft in celebration it then dawned on me that i had just created a solid lump of honeycombed chocolate which i could neither swallow or extract.  Breathing was becoming more difficult, the solidifying sugar cement was now started to block my airways, i had no choice.  I started pulling out lumps and finally it was over.  I had won.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Father Ted & Jack - Feck, Arse, Girls, Drink and More

Hilarious from Father Jack at 03:50

Ted: “Where did you get the air freshener?”
Jack: “Car”
Jack: “Drive the Car”
Ted: “Have you been drinking?
Jack: “Yeeaaas”
Ted: “Where did you drive?:”
Jack: “Shop”

Superb, just superb.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


Defiance - Phil Richardson
Phil Richardson
A composite image from May 2005 at St Peter & St Paul Church, Little Gaddesden.  The subject (me) photographed in a studio (Little Gaddesden village hall) using one softbox on white roll paper (Black would have been easier if i had a roll) and the background in low evening light at the church.

A green paper roll could be used as it is easy to chroma-key against, add black card for shadowing. In Photoshop afterwards apply dodging and burning, using levels to add colour and flatten for outside light.  Personally i prefer to use a desaturated layer to remove some colour.  

The figure has a slightly yellowish tinge and the background more green.  The background has had some selective dodging and flattening applied but little else.  You will need to need to trim the figure and darken the edges, to enhance the shadows further. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Are vampirestat and 7secretsearch altering your stats?

Who are vampirestat.com and 7secretsearch.com?  They seem to generate the most traffic on my blog post when they are posted.  They are also clearly in the US of A, what is the point of them and why does google not ban them?  Both are in the USA and Blogger/Google must be able to see them and as they are of no benefit to me or you, why are they there?  I don't want them to refer from my site to theirs if they are going cause problems for users.  Surely it would better to have them screened from your blog and the real visitor numbers revealed, that way you are able to judge the popularity of posts and if it is worth put up similar articles.

Having researched this previously and found them to be only refer links it seems that they do you no harm unless you click on the links, so don't click on the links.  But that is missing the point, they are altering your blog stats.





Google are simply don't care about this issue, so are they making money from them?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Fay Godwin - Portrait Photographer

An interesting story about Fay Godwin, how she became a respected portrait photographer, then an equally renowned landscape photographer.

She used natural or 'ambient light' as she was self taught and didn’t know how to use flash! Excellent pictures, concentrating on the person, their environment, her connection to them at the time.  The images are about who the subject were at the time rather than just concentrating on techniques.  This often, as this case makes for a more interesting portrait.  They look human!

Great image of Clive James resembling Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Levitation in Little Gaddesden

Levitation - Phil Richardson by Chris Faulder, Little Gaddesden, Ashridge.
Levitation - Phil Richardson
by Chris Faulder, Little Gaddesden, Ashridge.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Where is MelenStudios?

If you were wondering how to find MelenStudios it is in Gaddesden Row near Hemel Hempstead.  A lovely old barn with a 300 year old timber frame.   A superb location for a photography studio.

MelenStudios, Great Barn, Whitehouse Farm, Gaddesden Row, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 6HG

Friday, 15 November 2013

What connects me to Bill Bryson?

My Great Uncle Charles Routledge was an inspiration for  Tom Courtenay who played Norman in the The Dresser.  Courtenay starred in Billy Liar, a film we watched at school when i was 12, later we read the book in English.

Link to Billy Liar
"A tribute to miner's son Charles Routledge who became a dresser to the stars of London's West End."

Billy Liar was the first Penguin book bought by Bill Bryson, he first came to Britain in the year I was born 1973.  An interesting year, for me at least.

What is happiness?

Relationships and connections.

Graham Greene,
The Third Man,
Anton Karas,
And the Zither.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Which is the best city London or Paris?

It is interesting to learn that Paris borrowed ideas from London, which became quintessentially Parisien.   This is similar with other French traditions; Croissants ou Viennoiserie en Française.  The British have also taken influence from other cultures and absorbed them in to theirs and taken ownership.  For example, "I don't give a Dam, about wearing my Pyjamas on the Veranda.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

HMS Hood

My parents marriage on board HMS St Angleo, Malta 1968

Terence James RICHARDSON, aged 21 years, bachelor, Radio Operator, HMS Ashton, the son of James Ronald Richardson, married 10th February 1968 to, Jacqueline ROUTLEDGE, aged 20 years, spinster, Women’s Royal Air Force, the daughter of Edward Routledge. This Marriage took place in St.Michael’s and All Angels Royal Navy Chapel HMS St.Angelo

Terence James Richardson, Falmouth, Cornwall 23 July 1946

Jacqueline Routledge, Kilburn, London, 19 June 1947

James Ronald Richardson, Rawdon, Leeds 1915?

Edward Routledge, Seaham Harbour, Co Durham 15 April 1915

Signal Operator Training - Ted Briggs from HMS Hood.

Contrasting connotations in iconography

It is just flag,
Sonorous sanguinity,
Genetic Tetrad,
Emblematic of death.

Lorenz Machine, Bletchley Park

There are two denotations of the swastika which could not contrast more.  The polarised interpretations produce opposite reactions amongst those who use this four armed icon.  The Nazis hijacked this symbol and for most of the western world it represents evil, bigotry, oppression and anti-Semitism.  Despite the occupation of most of eastern Europe from 1939-43 by the Nazis, this flag is still used and displayed by far right groups.  To most Hindu's, Buddhist and Jains this view and iconographic exhibition is both bewildering and insulting as for them the Swastika represents good luck and health. 



Thursday, 7 November 2013

Basketball Team, Swastika Logo Vests

Who are these basketball players and what does their symbol mean?

Chilocco Indian Agricultural School basketball team in 1909.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Photography Studio Hire, Hertfordshire: MelenStudios

MelenStudios, Phil Richardson
MelenStudios, Phil Richardson

Amazing large studio, MelenStudios, available for hire to photographers, art classes,  performance, training days and training. Located just off the M1 J9, Hertfordshire in a 300 year old barn. The studio space is 5x10m, with a smaller room, 3x4m with backdrop and product studio area.

Plenty of parking, WiFi, kitchen are, two toilets, reception area and superb outdoor locations. Small orchard and garden area, creative natural backgrounds, farm buildings and easy access countryside fields, paths and woodland.

No Longer for hire.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Grayson Perry - The Reith Lectures 2013

Grayson Perry, Turner Prize winner 2003 - 'The Final State of Art'

These are superb lectures from Perry.  A useful insight in to his thoughts on art, his life as an artist and the 20 years it took to earn some money from it.  

It really is worth listening to his open and honest appraisal of the art world.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Kodak Portra 400NC - Bradley Richardson

A photograph of my nephew Bradley Richardson, taken in 2000 on a Bronica ETRSi with Kodak Portra 400 NC film.

The image is a negative, the colours were reversed using an iPhone app - Negative Me photographed against a window, hence the poor quality, varying colour cast and if you look closely enough you can see the clouds that were outside.  I used to love this film, the grain and the way it rendered images with good shadow and highlight detail.  A look that i try and put into a lot of my digital processing.  

It is odd how we have moved away from film and yet most of us spend hours developing our skills producing presets to replicate a look created easily last century by selecting the appropriate film and paper. There is far more control with computers, but it is so arduous.  A question to ask ourselves: is this process any easier and has the post production generation just become obsessed with style over substance?  Most photographs online are praised for their look, the way that the photographer has altered the digital file and not necessarily for the subject or image itself.

This is an image i love.  My nephew was only 30 months and my brother was alive.  I still have the basketball and still live in the same house.  The negative is on my shelf near to one of our old cat Jack.


Bradley Richardson.
Kodak Portra, reversed using iPhone.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Turning 40 is shit.

Over the last few months i have been talking to people about what it is to turn 40, but no one really wants to do this; are they in denial?  The number 40 is a human creation after all and means nothing in terms who we are or what we should be.  Being alive for 35-45 years does.  Over this time period the body degenerates fast, recovers slowly and finds it difficult to adjust to both physical and mental exercises.  Often to regress the symptoms we take up a sport or even an academic hobby, but this is in vain.  As with most of our regrets, we probably should have started to address them earlier, this could of helped us with our aches now.  That also depends on genetics, upbringing and circumstances.

This is just about embracing change, something i love to do but have noticed that few are willingly to accept.  People can be resistant to change and try to grow old disgracefully, it fools no-one, least of all ourselves.

Still, could be worse you could be much balder, greyer, miserable, moaning, depressed, more tired and nearly 50!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

At the Dentist.

How do you feel about going to the Dentist?

Amazingly 25% of us are afraid to go to the dentist.  Mainly due to the fear of pain that we may experience.  The paradox is that by not going we are likely to damage our teeth and gums which will need repairing at some point in the future. Quite possibly painfully.

Take a regular check up every six months, they will clean your teeth with the screaming toothbrush, charge a small fee and you might not have any drilling or expensive bills in the future.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Are Apples good for your teeth?

Apples may not be as good for teeth as you think. With some modern apples containing about 15% sugar they can corrode tooth enamel as much as the usual sugarery foods. But they do taste good.


Apple Bite Phil Richardson
Apple Bite
Phil Richardson

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Equality is reached once the oppressed oppress their oppressors. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Multiple Image Portraits

These multiple image portraits are superb.  I have played with idea on and off for many years but not really explored this fully.

Maurizio Galimberti has produced some wonderful examples, i might have to try out some new ideas.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A Thousand Words

What does this picture say to you?  What do you think happened?  How connected are they and is there anyone else with them in their group?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sors virtutis michi nunc contraria.

O FortunaO Fortune,
velut lunalike the moon
statu variabilis,you are changeable,
semper crescisever waxing
aut decrescis;and waning;
vita detestabilishateful life
nunc obduratfirst oppresses
et tunc curatand then soothes
ludo mentis aciem,as fancy takes it;
potestatemand power
dissolvit ut glaciem.it melts them like ice.
Sors immanisFate - monstrous
et inanis,and empty,
rota tu volubilis,you whirling wheel,
status malus,you are malevolent,
vana saluswell-being is vain
semper dissolubilis,and always fades to nothing,
et velataand veiled
michi quoque niteris;you plague me too;
nunc per ludumnow through the game
dorsum nudumI bring my bare back
fero tui sceleris.to your villainy.
Sors salutisFate is against me
et virtutisin health
michi nunc contraria,and virtue,
est affectusdriven on
et defectusand weighted down,
semper in angaria.always enslaved.
Hac in horaSo at this hour
sine morawithout delay
corde pulsum tangite;pluck the vibrating strings;
quod per sortemsince Fate
sternit fortem,strikes down the strong man,
mecum omnes plangite!everyone weep with me!