Tag Archives: photo-art

I’m back – But not yet fully functional!

It seems like a lifetime but it is only five months since I posted ‘Taking a break’ on October 17.

Only now do I realise that post was inaptly titled. The five months have been anything but a break; more a physical and mental ordeal I promise myself never to undertake again.

House warming
House warming

I have now built two houses in Thailand which, for an amateur developer, is quite a daunting challenge. Both have been vastly different experiences and I could easily write two books; novels even!!

Forgetting the novels for a moment, my first book would be entitled ‘How NOT to build a house in Thailand’, which would be the ‘go to’ bible for any unsuspecting ex-pat attempting the feat for the first time.

The sequel ‘Second time lucky’ would be a definitive guide on how to learn from your mistakes, proof that miracles do happen and the impossible is not.

From the back garden and Lam Yai farm
From the back garden and Lam Yai farm

I can chuckle now when I recall an American gentleman, a few years younger than me, saying “You are only managing the project, I take it.” Experience has taught me that if you want the house to be built to a reasonable standard you have to roll your sleeves up.

Fortunately I have always benefited from physical activity and am a great believer in the importance of maintaining fitness throughout life. So undertaking the strain, even at the ripe old age of 73, was not actually a consideration. Perhaps it should have been; but I feel fine although 5 kgs lighter and a little weary. No doubt it will pass.

Builders finishing up party. (They had more than one!!)
Builders finishing up party. (They had more than one!!)

For now it’s time to return to a more sedate life, not forsaking daily exercise – walking and swimming – of course. I’m not surprised that the lack of stimulation I get from writing and photography has left me a little flat. Now that my focus is shifting back to my passions I’m sure my creative juices will flow again.

I am ready for action on the writing front; mentally that is. I say that because my PC, despite hours of coaxing, debugging and frustration, has decided to ‘go slow’. It is now about as fast as a one-legged tortoise on Valium! The fix is in the mix and will be done by early May when everything will be up to F1 standard.

After that, I promise that I will be doing my utmost to publish more works of interest for the small but loyal number of readers who seem to enjoy my writing and photography. I’m not sure but maybe I’ll seriously consider those house books!

However, my first job is to complete the publication of Volume Three of ‘Thailand Diaries’. In the meantime I plan to post some poems, some written, some in process, plus some short stuff which my dysfunctional PC may just be able to handle.

For now I’ll leave you with this thought;

“Life is like climbing a mountain. You spend the whole time trying to reach the summit. When you eventually do it’s time to come down and die.”

For this former contractor in Iraq, now an expat in Thailand, a picture says…

The Displaced Nation

Jackie Littletaylor portrait Canon zoom lens, photo credit: Morguefiles; Jackie Littletaylor in Iraq in 2005 (own photo). Yes, it’s a real tank, which disappeared a year after this photo was taken.

English expat, blogger, writer, world traveler and photography enthusiast James King is back with his first “A picture says…” column of the new year. If you like what you see here, be sure to check out his blog, Jamoroki.

Happy new year, readers! My very first guest of 2014 is 64-year-old Jackie Littletaylor, who, like me, is an expat living in Thailand with a passion for photography. Unlike me, though, Jackie had a past incarnation as a professional photographer in his home country, the United States, which he is now putting to use in his new life abroad.

Jackie keeps a blog as well as a travel site, where he shares information about his travels around Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand…

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How to paint beautiful wall-art with your camera

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

The fascinating technique of ICM or blurring images in camera before post processing is gradually becoming an accepted genre of photography. It is practised by a few very accomplished professionals such as Michael Orton, Chris Friel and Doug Chinnery.

One of the most exciting aspects of the process is that it is in its infancy and therefore the possibilities haven’t yet been fully explored. Nature provides the canvas in the form of the landscape and you provide the brush, in the form of a camera, as an extension of yourself and your imagination.

Another very encouraging aspect, for the inexperienced photographer, is that the playing field at this juncture is still pretty level. By that I mean that for professional and experienced amateur photographers who are trying it out it is also a learning curve. As we all experiment nobody really knows yet where it will lead and how it may be applied in the future. Continue reading How to paint beautiful wall-art with your camera

How to liven up your photography with ICM

Unless you are a ‘dyed in the wool’ traditionalist, intentional camera movement (ICM) can really add another dimension to your photography world.

Forest Waking
Forest Waking

Everything in photography is exciting for me as I am relatively new to the game. But it can be daunting to the newcomer when viewing the work of highly accomplished photographers who have perfected their craft over decades. Whilst you may well be inspired you instinctively know you have a long journey ahead of you to get anywhere near approaching their status. Continue reading How to liven up your photography with ICM