Tag Archives: Dorset

Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

I have been so busy this summer that my poor blog has been sadly neglected.  Thankfully thing are calming down now so its time to get back into the habit.

A attended a group photo session on Saturday five photographers and six models in a studio housed in an old brewery building.  During the shoot I captured these images of two people who had certainly been on a quest!! 😉

Transformational Digital Art

I love taking photographs.  I spend so much time taking photographs that it is easy just to hit the delete button when you take something that just didn’t emerge from the camera as I envisaged it.

About a year ago I got interested in transforming my photos into pieces of art.  I am not trying to fool the viewer into believing I have created the perfect photograph.  Far from it, I want to make pieces that I would be happy to hang on my wall.  I haven’t had much time for creating in recent weeks so with a little time on my hands I spent a few hours turning the terribly dull photograph below into something a little more dramatic.  I hope you like it.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Alphabet

This weeks photo challenge asks that we go back to school with our photos.

These shots were taken at Tyneham, an abandoned village on military firing ranges in Dorset.  The villagers were forced to move from their homes in 1943 as the area was required for training in advance of D-Day.  Sadly the villagers have never been allowed to return.  Most of the village is now in ruins but the village school and church still survive.

Tynham 29 Dec 2014-7

Tyneham Schoolhouse Interior

Tynham 29 Dec 2014-6

Tyneham Church interior

Tynham 29 Dec 2014-5

Tyneham Church interior

Tynham 29 Dec 2014-4

Tyneham Schoolhouse


Tobias Ben Jacob & Lukas Drinkwater – Square And Compass

My word I have some truly talented friends.  Last evening saw my wife and I jumping into the car for the short drive to Square & Compass in the tiny Dorset village of Worth Matravers.

The pub is tiny and homely with a great range of beers and ciders.  It is a real taste of old Dorset, it has been an alehouse since 1776, but you can be assured of a very warm welcome.  The pub also puts on a range of musical that would be the envy of many a large venue.

Lukas and Tobias-3

The Square and Compass is essentially divided into two cosy rooms separated by a corridor.  Bar service is through a hatch in the wall in the corridor.  It is a small cosy and incredibly intimate venue  as Tobias Ben Jacob and Lukas Drinkwater played a beautiful set to an unbelievably attentive audience.  The room the boys played in only holds about 40 people at a squeeze but the sound is superb and the atmosphere was absolutely superb.  As the gig was about to start there was a lovely buzz in the room as Saturday night drinkers enjoyed their beer.

As soon as Tobias and Lukas started to play an almost reverential silence descended as people watched and listened totally engrossed.  The set opened with an incredibly intricate instrumental piece that segued into “The Devil and Tobias Ben Jacob.”  This song with its whispered lyrics was a stroke of genius as it ensured that everyone was paying rapt attention.

It is amazing how much Tobias and Lukas’ sound has developed in the fairly short time they have been playing together.  There is a chemistry between Lukas and Tobias when they play.  Even with such incredibly talented musicians it takes time to develop the almost telepathic understanding that Lukas and Tobias enjoy.  Lukas’ percussive bass work compliments Tobias’ intricate guitar work superbly well their voices also compliment each other wonderfully well.

Lukas and Tobias-1

As the evening progressed we were treated to almost two hours of top class entertainment as Tobias and Lukas progressed through their set we were treated to all of the tracks from their recently released The Burning Low.  The highlight of the evening for me was a beautiful rendition of “It’s Still A Beautiful World.”  Other highlights included covers of Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm” and a version of “Blind Willie McTell” that rivals the master himself in terms of its passion and delivery.

You can’t help but feel that Lukas and Tobias are creating something really very special here.  They are working on a full length album at present and with luck we will see that in the coming months.  In all  a brilliant nights entertainment from two of the nicest guys in the music business.

Lukas and Tobias-2

The Square & Compass website is here but for information on upcoming shows it is worth checking out their Facebook page.




Fall Out Boy - Bournemouth

Fall Out Boy: Bournemouth – live review

Fall Out Boy

Bournemouth International Centre

10 October 2015

What do you get when you mix a long established pop punk band with a UK hip-hop artist and a couple of alt-dance acts?  Alan Ewart went along to the Bournemouth International Centre to find out and discovered a damn fine evenings entertainment.

Back in February this year my son asked me to buy tickets for Fall Out Boy’s gig in Bournemouth for him and his mates.  Being an obedient parent I complied and last night saw me packing my camera and heading off to bournemouth’s international centre with four 17-year-olds.  I have to confess I was a little bemused when I looked up the acts that were supporting Fall Out Boy.  UK hip-hop star Professor Green was obviously already familiar to me but both Matt & Kim and Charley Marley were new to me.  It is hard to categorise the later two acts but I guess you would plump for Alternative Dance  if you were pushed.

Professor Green

Professor Green

My interest was piqued when Fall Out Boy’s UK PR company dropped me a note advising me not to miss Matt & Kim as they are great to photograph.  As a result we were at the venue nice an early to catch all four bands.

I guess it is a sure sign that you are getting older when your kids are amongst the oldest at a gig.  I may be an old fart but, as i keep telling my son, at least I’m not a boring old fart.   The vast majority of the crowd were under 21 and female which I guess goes with the territory when it comes to “pop-punk” music these days.  I was a little surprised that most of the audience seemed to know all the words to Charley Marley’s songs, especially given that I had never heard of him before.  His dance groove was not my bag but he went down really well with the audience who were bouncing and singing along to his four or five song set.  To his credit he was very entertaining and very energetic.

Matt & Kim also fell into that sort of dance groove but in a different way.  They were a massively entertaining duo with Matt playing the Mac Book Pro and Kim playing drums and thrilling the crowd with her antics.  Kim was on top of the drums, leaping around the platform and even went onto the hands of the crowd to shake her booty during one of their songs.  Whilst this is certainly not my kind of music you can’t help but be entertained by Matt and Kim.

Matt & Kim

Matt And Kim

I have seen Professor Green a couple of times over the course of this summer and again he is entertaining and one of the best around at what he does.  His backing singer was excellent and his set was packed full of crowd pleasing sing-alongs.

The main event was of course Fall Out Boy.  The Chicago based pop-punk heroes have been around since 2001 and have an extensive back catalogue to draw on.  I must confess that their most recent album American Beauty/American Psycho left me a little cold as it is most definitely more pop than punk.  That said I try not to write something off until I hear it live and to be fair the seven songs from American Beauty did come over better live than on disc.

The show opened with a video screen that spread the width of the stage as a Cathe style news reel played.  The crowd went totally nuts as the screen was raised to reveal the band.  Front man Patrick Stump and Bass man Pete Wentz were straight into their stride as the bounded around the stage leaping onto little platforms and waving their guitars around.  Starting out with sing-along favourites like Sugar We’re Going Down and The Phoenix got the crowd onside quickly and the concert seemed to be really into it’s stride when the video screens came down and the band disappeared.

I must confess I was confused.  From my position at the side of the stage I could see that roadies were running around resetting aspects of the stage and then we were treated to something I have never seen before.  A separate small stage had been set up at the back of the vast room and Stump, Went and Joe Trohman popped up to play a couple of acoustic numbers.  This was the sort of creativity that was evident throughout a show that was full of surprises and entertaining from first note to last.  We even had on stage fireworks complete with explosions that almost gave me a heart attack.

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

The video screens at the rear of the stage and above the stage ensured that everyone had a great view of on-stage proceedings and I must say the camera work and light show were the best that I have seen in a very long time.  After no fewer than 20 songs Fall Out Boy left the stage after nothing more than a mumbled “thanks” from stump.  They returned about a minute later to play a two song encore with “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” and “Saturday.”

With a total of four acts in evidence, a set of just over 90 minutes from the headliners, a superb set list, a ton of energy and the best light show I have seen in a very long time this was an incredibly good evenings entertainment.  I would rate the evening a solid 9/10.  It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a Saturday evening.

Incidentally all of the kids agreed that it was one of the best shows they had ever seen.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Eye Spy

This weeks photo challenge is called Eye Spy and we are asked to take “Eye” as our inspiration.

As normal I take a slightly different view on the theme with some photographs of Bournemouth’s Eye in The Sky, a tethered balloon that gives views across the town and beyond from the central gardens.

Bournemouth Night Lights

Bournemouth Night Shoot Fun

Last night I went into Bournemouth Town centre where they have a Christmas market and had a little fun shooting lights, traffic trails and night scenes.

These were all long exposure and I like the effects I was able to achieve.  I would love to hear your thoughts.


Heathland Photographs

Strangely I don’t always take my camera with me when I walk my dogs locally.  Perhaps because I see the same scenes on a daily basis I am guilty of thinking that there is nothing to photograph.  As a result I stop looking.

This is always a mistake.  There are always things to photograph, you just have to open your eyes and use your imagination.  These shots were taken this morning.  i think they are rather pleasing, what do you think?