Who Remembers The 110 Compact Film Cameras?

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Today (or actually yesterday because I’ve noticed it’s actually now after midnight) I gave my first Photography lesson at the fantastic new Algarve International School near Vale do Lobo. They have a great concept of teaching in which the students are given the opportunity to learn creative subjects. I am honoured to be part of this new exciting school and will be teaching one afternoon a week.

As part of the introduction to cameras I shared my memories of the first photos I took that had a purpose other than holidays snaps. It was 1990 and I was in exam year of my GCSEs. I chose to write my Geography Coursework on River Errosion. I required photographs of bends in the local Rhymney River to include in my project. Remember this was 1990, no digital cameras and not even a PC to type it on. My school had one PC and even the IT Teacher didn’t know how to use it. He didn’t know how to turn off Jingle Bells playing everytime it was turned on either, I never did get found out for doing that, in May!

Anyway, my camera of choice was a Boots Tele 110, yes I had a fancy one that was a huge £3 more expensive than the Mini 110. It had a mechanical switch to change from the normal lens to a telephoto lens.


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The “Well” Swallows Are Back!

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This morning as I walked the dogs I recognised a familiar bird call followed by a silhouette against the white canvas of the morning hill mist. A pair of Barn Swallows, these are always the first pair to arrive in this area (even though in the Algarve, Barn Swallows can be seen in December) and they are the “Well” Swallows, named because they have their nest down inside a water well.

I was able to hide inside the Well’s pump house to get some great close up shots. I say this everytime, but please don’t approach live bird nests when the young are there, I’m lucky that I can hide away in the pump house completely hidden.

These are the shots I got last year, but I was struggling with light deep down in the well with overhanging trees.


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Flickr No More!

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Can you spot the difference in the 2 snapshots of the right-hand bar of the website?


Yes, I’ve removed the Flickr link. I have been using Flickr’s services since around 2007 as they have a fantastic platform to host full resolution images and also a great way to build albums and portfolios. However, in recent years they have been through many owners and troubled times. In 2018 Smugmug bought Flickr and already they seem to be in trouble. Last year they increased the “Pro subscribers” account from a very reasonable $25 to (a just about acceptable) $50 and drastically reduced the amount of photos non-subscribers could have in their platform. This was to try and push people to subscribe to their Pro account. Last month they announced that they required more people to pay for a Pro account to survive and mentioned a “small price” increase for the service. Yesterday this “small price” increase was announced, if you think and extra €15 (when converted) is a “small price” then fair enough, but I think this is ridiculous.

Flickr hasn’t really changed apart from 3rd party extras (printing service for example) and they still haven’t even fixed the issue many people have with the Android App where notifications don’t work. Therefore, this is the final straw for me and I will not be renewing my subscription in April. Continue reading >>

Fun Competition: Win A 2020 Calendar

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I have a couple of my 2020 Wall Calendars that have some very slight front cover scratches from being transported. The inner month pages are perfect.

So rather than waste them I thought I’d give them away, but not as easy as that, you have to test your brains and will provide a few fun competitions over the next few weeks.

I photographed a pair of birds in the garden today that I’ve not seen this close to the Quinta before, but not a rare bird as there are plenty at the river.

Here is a cropped-in headshot of one of the pair (I’m not telling you if this is the male or female!).


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