THE BLOGGY BIT... Having had this page as a 'guestbook' for eighteen months and not doing anything with it, the least I could do is promote this page to 'BLOG' status.
Wednesday 30th April 22:15
I have just witnessed a truly entertaining Champions League semi-final.
One of the finalists, namely Manchester United, managed to defeat Barcelona with a Paul Scholes wonder strike in the 14th minute and then managed to defend their slender lead until the end. This meant that whatever happened, it would be the first ever all-English final.
Tonight's affair was a totally different story with regards to protecting slender leads. Chelsea went 1-0 in front with an amazing goal by Drogba, albeit distinctly offside. It seemed that Liverpool couldn't find the magic they needed to keep their dream alive until Torres scored an equally excellent goal which then took the game into extra time. Chelsea dominated this period of the game and scored a further two goals, courtesy of a Frank Lampard penalty and another goal by Drogba. Just as you thought the game was well and truly over, Ryan Babel scored to make it 3-2 but it wasn't enough to take Liverpool through.
The final is to be played at Luzhniki Stadium on the 21st May - should prove to be a scintillating game between Manchester United and Chelsea.
The amazing graphics (and possibly the font) were designed by The Works, a creative team based in Leeds.
Tuesday 29th April 17:37
What a horrible day, weather-wise. It started off quite nice in the morning and then gradually became worse to the point where it constantly rained all afternoon.
I haven't had much of an opportunity to take any photographs this month so I put my macro lens on and focussed on some raindrops on the kitchen window. The droplet underneath the first picture is an enlargement of the circled area, detailing the distorted view of our back garden and the houses behind us.
Monday 28th April 17:16
I like Italian food, it's up there along with Indian and Chinese food.
I particularly like pasta dishes and one of the most traditional has to be lasagna (as a matter of interest, lasagne is the plural of lasagna and the word derives from 'lasanum', Latin for chamber pot).
Anyway, the most scrumptious lasagna I have ever tasted was a home-made one in The Blue Bell Inn in Emsworth by the head chef, Thomas Giles Babb and it's worth £6.25 of anyone's money!
It's rare that we eat pre-cooked meals at home but I was tempted by Chicago Town's Deep Fill Lasagne for it looked very appetising, was a decent size and the price was incredibly realistic as well. I have to say that it is by far the best pre-cooked lasagne I have ever tasted and it therefore deserves to be mentioned.
By clicking the logo, you will be taken to the Chicago Town website. As a matter of interest, I found it completely impossible to find any decent sized jpeg of their logo and ended up having to redraw a vector-based graphic of it.
Sunday 27th April 21:04
Since Pompey lost 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers, I thought I'd skip my match report today and concentrate on music used in adverts again.
In the hunt for the music used in the latest, rather cool, Oxfam advert, I discovered two rather cool websites.
The first, vixy.net, is a fantastic website where you're able to download a free video/movie converter (for both Mac and PC platforms). The application program allows you to convert FLV movies (found on YouTube and the like) into AVI files for Windows, MOV for Mac plus a few other options as well. Please click their logo below to visit their website.
The second website, FreeCovers.net has a huge archival database of virtually every CD/DVD cover that you can think of. Simply register (for free) and you will then gain access to thousands upon thousands of covers - you can also upload to the database. For a relatively small annual fee, you can access very high resolution copies of covers.
I found out that the music used in the advert is called 'New Born' by one of my favourite bands at the moment, Muse. It's taken from the album 'Origin of Symmetry', the cover is pictured below. Please click on the cover to watch the Oxfam advert (it will open a new browser window).
Saturday 26th April 21:23
Had a busy day today - I've finally finished the reverse of the flyer (albeit needing to make some minor amendments).
Later, we walked along part of the Billy Track from Havant to Langstone and back, so called because The Hayling Billy train used to run along it. It's now a popular walking/cycling path which takes you through woodland and along coastal paths. Click the image below to download a PDF brochure about the cycling route.
Havant Arts Centre is just off part of the track and is a popular venue for theatre, plays, musicals and local bands. It also hosts Havant Camera Club's photographic exhibition every other year (this year it will be at Portsmouth Museum).
Please click on the logo below to find out about the centre and to see what's on right now.
Finally, (told you it was a busy day!) a design of the BPE logo was chosen and I'm delighted that I will also have a link to my design site included on their home page.
Friday 25th April 22:44
I should have continued working on the reverse of the flyer tonight, but didn't... I ended up designing a logo instead!
Tanya had directed me to the BPE website. BPE is an acronym for British Photographic Exhibitions. The list includes virtually every external photographic competition outside of club level.
I noticed that the organisation didn't have a logo, and with me knowing one of the committee members, namely John Tisbury, I thought I'd submit some ideas to him and await his feedback.
Here's a compilation of the designs I submitted.
Thursday 24th April 23:32
I have spent the majority of the night working on the reverse of the flyer that I've been designing for the exhibition that we're part of. It still isn't complete so it may well be Friday (or even over the weekend) before it's complete.
Today though, I thought I'd review an up-and-coming website, full of many benefits for designers, whether they're looking for corporate logos, specific images to fit a brief, or even a mixture of the two. You are able to browse for (and download) almost any form of media which, in turn, means that they can be shared both publicly or by invitation only. It also means that designers, like myself, can use the website to upload to, rather than having to wait to send and receive emails, which can add valuable time to deadlines.
It's pretty much a first in its field and, once established, will no doubt be the leader in the field in the coming months.
Wednesday 23rd April 07:51
An early entry into my blog today.
Couldn't help but notice this morning that Google have changed their logo to celebrate St. George's Day - not that anyone ever DOES celebrate it. I think that we should take a leaf out of the Irish' book and do it in style. People, the world over, celebrate St. Patrick's Day with passion and many of them aren't even Irish, they just like to party!
Nevertheless, Happy St. George's Day!
20:22 - It's unusual for me to come back with a late report but I felt it necessary to upload a poster that I've designed for an up-and-coming exhibition that myself, Tanya, and six other photographers will be exhibiting at.
If you would like to contribute to helping promote the event, please click on the image below to download a high quality PDF of the poster.
Tuesday 22nd April 21:46
Although it was Camera Club tonight, Tanya and I both had too much to do to spend the entire night there but knew full well that we would have to go there to hand in our entries for the 38th National Open Photographic Competition, hosted by Havant Camera Club at the Portsmouth City Museum. The winning entries, along with the higher scoring images will be exhibited between Friday 20th June to Sunday 7th September 2008.
These are the images that I have submitted...
Monday 21st April 21:00
Thought it may be a case of 'The Fixer' withdrawal symptoms tonight but luckily Channel 4 came up trumps. Tanya and I regularly watch 'Time Team', presented by Tony Robinson, of Baldrick fame from the BBC's 'Black Adder' (bet he sometimes wishes that he could put that behind him!)
Anyway, tonight's episode was a 'Time Team Special' based on 'The Lost Dock of Liverpool'. The programme was much easier to follow, since we had only visited the city a month or so ago. It was absolutely fascinating, particularly as it seemed that they discovered the lost dock purely because Liverpool's Docklands are being regenerated with a huge facelift whilst the city is the capital of culture this year.
More about the history of the dig, along with clips from various shows can be found by clicking the Time Team logo below.
Sunday 20th April 15:31
It has been a surprising day weather-wise... the forecast had been the same today as it was yesterday. They were wrong! It's been a beautiful sunny day, albeit slightly blustery. Anyhow, when we had realised that the day was looking good, we ventured out and walked from Warblington to Emsworth and back. Whilst we were out, I noticed a rather unkempt VW Beetle and I just had to take a photo of it - this isn't the first time that a VW has caught my eye and once I have enough images of them I shall create a featured gallery.
Once this update of my blog has been uploaded, I should be in perfect time to sit down and watch Manchester City v Portsmouth. Aston Villa managed to pound Birmingham by 5-1 earlier so that means that Bolton have retained their new position in the Premiership.
Saturday 19th April 20:11
Today has been nothing to speak of, weather-wise. It's rained practically all day and has been dull, grim with a biting easterly wind. 'Orrible.
However, the sun was shining over the Riverside Stadium, for Bolton Wanderers that is!
At last, we're out of the bottom three, although that may well be short-lived. Luckily, Reading lost 2-0 against Arsenal which means that even if Birmingham beat Aston Villa tomorrow, it still guarantees that we're out of the bottom three due to a superior goal difference over Reading.
Anyway, The Trotters won 0-1 with a close range Gavin McCann in the 59th minute. That'll do me for the moment - we're not safe by any stretch of the imagination but I'm hoping the second win on the trot will give the team a huge boost in confidence and make them believe that they'll remain in the Premiership.
Enough about football and on to Doctor Who. Tonight saw the third episode in the new series, 'Planet of The Ood'. Please click on the image below to watch the latest installment.
Friday 18th April 22:18
It has to be advert time again... not only is the music brilliant for Wrigley's Extra Fusion advert but the graphics are exceptional. I've saved a frame from the advert, in the hope that you will be able to appreciate how much work has gone into it. I am aware that this advert was released some time ago but nevertheless it stands out in my opinion.
As a matter of interest, the music is by The Klaxons and is called 'Gravity's Rainbow' (van she remix).
Please click on the graphic to open a new browser window and watch the advert.
Thursday 17th April 23:34
'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' made an appearance over on BBC2 at 10pm. Simon Amstell is a perfect replacement for Mark Lamarr, in fact, I'd go as far to say as I prefer Amstell. Anyhow, here's a link to the show's website (I'd have thought that you'd be able to watch previous episodes via the BBC iPlayer, bizarrely enough you can't!
There isn't even a 'Buzzcocks' website, however, I did find this rather cool link on the BBC2 website featuring all the old and new 'Idents' that they have used over the years. Please click on the image below to access it...
Wednesday 16th April 15:56
At work, I have been given the opportunity to design a beer label. This will be a limited edition beer called 'Fouled Anchor', brewed solely for the NAAFI by Shepherd Neame. Having had a meeting with one of their representatives on Tuesday, he asked that there be a humorous cartoon included on the label so, after several sketches, this is what I came up with! We'll have to see if the design isn't too controversial, plus I have other ideas in mind...
Tuesday 15th April 19:47
For those of you who didn't know, I'm a graphic designer and I particularly love designing logos.
Some time ago, not quite sure when, I stumbled upon a fantastic site called, 'LogoSauce'. In a nutshell, people from companies, whether they be brand new companies or companies that are looking to rebrand, invite the members of LogoSauce to compete against each other to win a competition to design their new logo. You have to be a member of the site (registration free) and there is no limit as to how many entries you submit. Payments are usually made via PayPal, so if you haven't an account already, just set one up, it takes no time at all.
By clicking on the LogoSauce below, it will take you directly to my profile and from there you can access the rest of the site.
Monday 14th April 21:00
Well, I can't believe that the first episode of 'The Fixer' was broadcast on ITV1 five weeks ago. Where has the time disappeared to? Ah well, it's better not to ponder on that thought for too long!
Tonight's installment gave John Mercer some serious decision-making. He had the choice of killing two people, one of which was his boss, Lenny. He could've shot them both, he had both the time and the range to - that would've been too easy though and wouldn't have left much of a storyline to continue with (I would expect that there will be a second series, given the success of this one).
Anyway, rather than give too much away, click the image below to watch the last of the series.
Sunday 13th April 19:38
I woke up this morning with a photograph in mind, one similar to 'The Mannequin Project'. I took the relevant photographs and then spent a good hour or more trying to compose the image I had in mind. I couldn't make the idea work. I had several other ideas, took several more photographs, spent further time on those and couldn't make the idea work.
Went for a lie down.
Woke up an hour later.
I ended up watching the Premiership clash between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford. It was a very entertaining match in which United managed to seal a 2-1 victory after going 0-1 behind to a contentious Adebayor goal. Ronaldo made it 1-1 with a well-taken penalty and Owen Hargreaves finished the job off (and Arsenal's chances of becoming Premiership champions) with a superb free-kick that left Arsenal 'keeper, Jens Lehmann, rooted to the spot.
David Attenborough narrates a fantastic new series shown from 8-9pm on BBC1, called 'Tiger'. When I say new, the third episode was shown tonight and I think it may well be the last one next week. Ah well, better late than never! Click the image below if you would like to watch the latest installment of the series via BBC iPlayer.
Saturday 12th April 19:08
Had quite a hectic day today. First of all we ventured into Emsworth to do our grocery shopping and to buy the world's best sausages from H H Treagust & Sons, unfortunately they don't have a website (even though I've offered to do one), so I shall provide their address and phone number instead: 17 High Street, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7AQ Tel: 01243 372484.
More about Emsworth can be found by clicking the artwork below.
In the afternoon, we cleared out our garden shed so that we could throw away any unwanted stuff and replace it with junk that had accumulated in the house! Surprisingly, it didn't take as long as I had anticipated and Tanya and I managed one trip to the tip, with junk in both of our cars. Job done.
It was an early-evening kick-off for the Premiership game between Portsmouth and Newcastle United. It was a very lacklustre game and finished 0-0 with very few chances for either side; the best coming from Michael Owen with a superb reflex save by David James.
I have to add that my team, Bolton Wanderers, notched their first win in eleven games against West Ham United - it doesn't mean that they're out of the doldrums but at least they still have a fighting chance of surviving relegation.
Friday 11th April 21:11
Spent a fair while chatting on Skype to my mate Lee who lives in America and catching up on what we're both listening to music-wise. There's an awful lot of great music out there, a lot of which seems to be used on many television commercials (I mentioned 'Non Stop' by Whitey last week).
The YouTube link below just has to be one of my all-time favourite songs - it will go down as a classic.
It's called 'Shoot Your Gun' by the 22-20s off an album called 'One Tree Hill'.
Thursday 10th April 16:41
Tanya and I had a walk around the Mill Pond in Emsworth this afternoon...
A gentleman, looked rather 'major'ish with a curly moustache stopped right in front of us and said....
"What's the difference between a slice of toast and a Frenchman?"
Slightly astounded, we said, "We don't know"...
To which he replied, "You can make a soldier out of a slice of toast" and off he went...
Ten minutes later, we see the same gentleman again (we were walking around the Mill Pond in the opposite direction to him).
He stopped in front of us again and said, "What's the difference between a slice of toast and a Frenchman?"
This time, Tanya interrupted him and said, "You told us that round the other side of the Mill Pond",
to which he replied, "I have a habit of repeating myself" and off he went...
Wednesday 9th April 15:42
Not only do I have a fascination with photography and design, I also have a huge fascination with typography and fonts. I don't particularly like serif fonts (serif n. a slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter) and there more be less than a handful of script fonts that I would even contemplate using.
At the moment, one of my favourite fonts (albeit a few years old now) was designed by Whitestone Sports, based in London. The font was designed specifically for the 2006 World Cup Finals hosted by Germany and was named 'Welcome' (or should that have been 'Wilkommen?') To find more information about Whitestone Sports, please click the graphic below.
I am in the midst of designing two fonts, both of which have the lowercase letters and numerics designed, I just need to complete the capital letters and punctuation of both.
It was the last league competition of the season at Havant Camera Club and both Tanya and I were in with a chance of winning two of the separate 'A' Leagues. Before tonight's competition, I was level on points in the 'Open A Prints' and Tanya was half a point behind the leader of the 'Set Subject A Prints'.
I had entered two prints into the 'Open A League', one from my Dungeness Gallery which I'd like to thank my friend Ian Aldcroft for coming up with the great title of 'The End of The Line' and the other was my strange creation, 'The Mannequin Project' (shown below). I gained a 9 and a 9.5/10 respectively. This meant that I missed a joint first place by half a point, nevertheless, second place isn't bad at all!
The judge for the evening was Andrew Perry ARPS and I have to say that it has been a long time since I totally agreed with a judge's comments whilst being thoroughly entertained in the process. A great sense of humour to the point where I looked to see which club he was a member of... and I'm none-the-wiser! Having said that, I did find out that he never intended to be a photographer and that his main passions are music related - more information can be found by clicking the graphic below.
Monday 7th April 21:00
Tonight saw the penultimate episode of the six-part series, The Fixer - shown at 9pm on ITV1.
Born in 1968, Abi Morgan, the series' writer, has written for television, film and theatre.
Her plays include Skinned, Sleeping Around, Tiny Dynamite, Tender and Splendour, all of which have won a number of awards. For television, My Fragile Heart, Murder, Tsunami- The Aftermath and Sex Traffic, a multi award winning drama for Channel 4. The film Brick Lane, an adaptation of Monica Ali’s bestseller, was released in cinemas in Autumn 2007. White Girl, a 90 minute film for BBC2 was broadcast in March of this year.
Sunday 6th April 22:25
I was awake at around 07:15 this morning and it just seemed like any other morning... just after 8 o'clock, the skies turned very dark indeed and next thing I knew, it was snowing, rather heavily too! I may sound over-excited about the whole thing, as if I'd never seen snow before, but believe me, I saw some fantastic winters when I lived in the north west. The reason for the excitement today is because, according to many locals, snow down here is like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We drove here, there and everywhere and I've included what I would consider as the best six shots I took today - I shall be adding some, possibly all, to my gallery soon.
Later on in the day, I sat down to watch the other FA Cup semi-final between Barnsley and Cardiff City. I was really hoping that Barnsley could go all the way to the final, especially after seeing off both Liverpool and Chelsea - unfortunately it wasn't to be and Cardiff City managed to win by 1-0 with a superbly taken volley in the ninth minute. Joe Ledley, never took his eye off the ball and hooked it past Barnsley 'keeper, Luke Steele.
Saturday 5th April 23:38
A very busy day today, especially sport-wise. Tanya and I managed a quick visit to Emsworth and had a walk around the Mill Pond, bought our groceries for the week and a loaf of bread from Westbourne Bakery. We managed to get back in time for me to cook us both bacon and eggs before sitting down to watch the first FA Cup semi-final tie between Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion.
Pompey won 1-0, regardless of quite a blatant handball by Milan Baroš, before providing the ball for Kanu to put one past one of his former teams. Nevertheless, I'm delighted that they're through to the final!
Shortly after that, it was time for The Grand National - would you believe it, my horse came second and I have therefore won £15 at work, which isn't bad at all.
18:20 saw the return of Doctor Who on BBC1 - not the best opening episode I've seen though.
To round the night off on a sports-themed day, I watched Amir Khan's fight against Martin Kristjansen on ITV1, televised from the Bolton Arena. It was Khan's 17th fight and he despatched the Dane in the seventh round.
Friday 4th April 12:30
Had a rather hectic day today at work, which was made even more so when I asked whether they ever had a Grand National sweepstake. No sooner had I mentioned it, I was then put in charge of the proceedings! Luckily, there is a petrol station right next door to where I work, so I nipped in there to buy a newspaper; knowing full well that it would have the full listing of horses that were running, along with a corresponding list to fill in the names of people who drew out the horse's names.
I drew out No. 20. Joaaci (66-1), No. 26. Cloudy Lane (5-1 Fav) and No. 27. King Johns Castle (16-1).
Let's see how I do tomorrow!
Thursday 3rd April 16:50
Every now and again, a great advert comes along, accompanied with an equally great 'soundtrack'... here's one for the girls really, although the music, 'Non Stop' by Whitey is fantastic.
Wednesday 2nd April 22:17
Sat and watched the Champions League football match between Arsenal and Liverpool which finished 1-1, both goals given away by dreadful defending and, I hate to say it, Arsenal had a valid penalty appeal, yet the referee either didn't see it or chose to ignore the challenge. Either way, I do feel that Arsenal were robbed.
After the match, I decided to have a quick look on the net and noticed that an ex-work colleague, Lee (who now lives in North Carolina, USA), had been trying to contact me via Skype. I quickly typed a response and before I knew it, I'd had a webcam conversation which lasted some 1 hour 45 minutes!! Managed to catch up on all sorts of news and it was great hearing from him. He is the main artist for How Stuff Works and designs their monthly Express magazine, amongst many other roles he has within the company.
Tuesday 1st April 19:05
Tonight was the hand-in night for the last league competition of the season at Havant Camera Club. Both Tanya and I have every chance (albeit slightly minimal) of winning the two 'A' groups. The 'A' stands for advanced, not that either of us would class ourselves as advanced! Anyway, Tanya is half a point behind the leader in the set subject league and I am level on points at the moment in the main league. It would be absolutely fantastic if either of us won our leagues and a near-on miracle if both of us did it!