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The Mille Miglia Revisited


Last May we were at the Mille Miglia in Brescia and  we had a lot of fun photographing the event and generally soaking up the wonderful atmosphere in the weekend. This week I revisited the photos and found a few that I had not touched, so decided to do the post processing and see what came out. While in Venice back in February of this year we stumbled upon an art shop that specialised in car photography. The artist liked to get up close to the car and make it almost burst out of the photograph by saturating, sharpening and ramping up the dynamic contrast. I loved the resultant photos. In the above picture I was recreating this modus operandi from a post process viewpoint, although not being close enough to the car I wasn’t going to ever achieve the full effect. However, I like the larger than life look of the car and I love the background rammed full of people, giving a real feel of how Brescia is on Mille Miglia weekend. Cars are just littered all over the streets and you can see this here by spotting the number 34 on the front grille of a wonderful Alfa Romeo. For me this photo typifies the event – larger than life cars surrounded by crowds of admirers! Continue reading

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Venice For The Carnevale February 2015

Carnival MaskOk so Wikipedia is my friend but it does explain the Carnevale in Venice:

The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is famed for its elaborate masks.

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In the honor of this victory, the people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started on that period and became official in the Renaissance. In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world. It was very famous during the eighteenth century. It encouraged licence and pleasure, but it was also used to protect Venetians against the anguish for present time and future. However, under the rule of the King of Austria, the festival was outlawed entirely in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the nineteenth century, but only for short periods and above all for private feasts, where it became an occasion for artistic creations.

After a long absence, the Carnival returned to operate in 1979.The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of its efforts. The redevelopment of the masks began as the pursuit of some Venetian college students for the tourist trade. Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for la maschera più bella (“the most beautiful mask”) placed at the last weekend of the Carnival and judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers. Continue reading

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Venice In February – The Photography Mission


We had a recent holiday break in Venice for the Carnevale and to enjoy St Valentine’s day together and you can see our holiday photographs for this here. We also took a collection of photographs of people celebrating the Carnevale and these can be seen here. We were sold on going to Venice in February by our good friend and keen photographer Andy Williams, who explained how the people dressing up for the Carnevale would happily pose for photographs etc. He suggested we get up before breakfast as the models are around then and you can photograph them without all the tourist being around. Continue reading

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Venice In February

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We had dinner with an old friend of ours Andy Williams sometime this winter before Christmas and we were telling him of our love for Venice and our recent adventures there. He mentioned that The Carnevale was on in February and  to cut a long story short he inspired us to go there. We looked at this and then found out that it fell over Valentine’s Day so that was it, we were hooked and the trip was booked. We went for Hotel Ambassador Tre Rose which is just off St Mark’s Square and right in the thick of the action and for once we decided to fly.

We overnighted at my cousin Lorraine’s in Ashtead from where we booked a taxi to catch an early flight on Wednesday morning. I don’t like flying, not because I hate flying as I love that part, but I don’t like the whole airport experience anymore. Too much queuing and The Easy Jet model discourages hold luggage. Anyway Gatwick was fine and in truth we got through very quickly and were able to enjoy a mooch around the expensive shops post passport control.

At Venice airport we had a long walk to the water buses where we soon boarded one  that meandered its way to St Mark’s square  and by about 2 pm we were unpacking in our centrally placed but frankly small bedroom. I learned to love this room though as it was very warm and cosy and to be honest I feel that any city break demands a centrally placed hotel and tin truth it doesn’t get more central than the Tre Rose! Continue reading

Life Blog – A Happy New Year


Originally posted on iBeastie:


Best wishes to all my family and friends for a happy and healthy New Year.

It’s that time when we look back at the year just gone and ahead to the year in front. For us looking back is quite easy, looking ahead though is a harder game to play.

Well looking back, as said, is easy and for us it has been a great year. Every day has its tests when you have the Big C hanging over your head, challenging your resolve and reminding you that nothing is forever, but in truth we have dealt with it really well and this has been due to two main things. First, the support I have had from work has meant that we have had a strong framework of normality to hang our lives on and secondly, we have had a simple plan of always having something to look forward to…

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Looking At Bruges

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Looking At Bruges – 28th – 30th November 2014

Bruges By Night

On a bit of a sudden whim we decided to go to Bruges for the Christmas Markets that they have in several of their squares The journey to Folkestone is the hardest part of this trip by far, as once you are across the Channel it is only an hour and a half of easy driving and you are there. So we drove down to Mrs P’s Mum’s on Thursday night so that we could catch an early crossing on Friday morning and as it all went to plan we were in Bruges  at our hotel just after eleven. We had deliberately chosen somewhere within the city walls so that we would be able to easily walk around, but even so our satellite navigation in the Paceman effortlessly took us to the front door of the hotel. Continue reading


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The Imperial War Museum November 2014


We have been a bit lazy with our blogging lately and there is no real excuse. You might well think we had done nothing for the last few weeks but in fact we gave been quite busy and this is the first Sunday at home for a while, so now we have some time to post some pics and tell our tales.

Mrs P has been absorbed by World War Two in various guises. This started with a trip to the Tower to see the poppy display. It was only when she realised it was a temporary display and would be dismantled after Armistice Day that we made plans for the trip and as it also coincided with her son Duncan having a play put on for Halloween on the 1st November it would make a good weekend break. Continue reading


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