Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Watercress Line: Back to the 1940's

Hang on? Back to the 1940's? I must say, I've never actually been, myself.

Yet, I found myself at Alresford on the day after Boxing Day buying a ticket for a (steam) train to Alton surrounded by people dressed in fur coats, feather hats, soldiers' uniform, stockings and other such items. The children were running around in their flat caps with their name tags billowing from around their necks. Gas mask cases at their sides.

I'd been invited to one of these wartime train journeys before by my good friend Stephen (ex-colleague and biscuit-stealing buddy) but had always previously had prior commitments. Even this time, I had expected to have my Dad down for a couple of days for Christmas. As it happened, he could not make it and therefore here we were, Martin, Stephen and I, tickets in hand, boarding the 45379 to Alton.

On the train there were loads of people all dressed up in some really quite wonderful clothes. I had to, of course, take a few images of some. Please excuse any 'out of character' cups, cars, people and anything else you might notice. This wasn't strictly for the dressed up. I didn't actually dress up and so probably ruined a couple of other people's photos myself! :)

I tried various different effects of colouring and playing with contrast and saturation whilst editing and couldn't really find one I particularly liked and so, they're all a little bit different actually...

The girl in the image above and the one below, I believe were twins.
They looked awesome.

Mother and daughter. How lovely.

This guy actually reminds me of Jack Dawkins. The Artful Dodger. :D

Lovely lady here aswell. I initially got her partner in the image but unfotunately he blinked in both photos. Tsk. Men.

This one, as you can see, I went for a black and white but I really like it actually.

And these two looked lovely as well.

Outside the train...

... and when we got to Alton... we came straight back to Alresford again!

Not before I got this shot though:
... which I liked rather a lot. :D

For this one (as I think it was my favourite edit/effect) I brought the saturation right down and then upped the red by about 20 and the yellow by about 40 with the 'Colour Balance' tool. May re edit some others as I liked the effect a lot.

Back at Alresford, we had a walk round and a little explore.

I snapped these sisters again:

Lovely girls.

And then I spotted this of all things:

This may not look like much, but this happens to be the top of a set of Avery scales.

Now then, (prepare to be potentially bored to death) as the Industrial Revolution 'gathered momentum' in 1813, a smallish scales/weighing company was passed to two brothers, William and Thomas Avery, who renamed the company W&T Avery. From this point, the company grew tremendously and Avery scales soon became the highest selling scales in the world (I think).

The reason I'm bothering to tell you this (as I know most of you will think that it's incredibly unimportant), is that it turns out, Thomas Avery is in fact my great, great, great, great Grandfather. W00t. :D

Well done Great (x4) Grandaddy Thomas! Your ancient scales are still testing time!

The company has since been adopted and is now called Avery-Weightronix. It sounds like the scales could now potentially transform into robots. Avery-Weightronix, form up! Just me?

Anyway, sorry about that. Back to the train station:

Ol' Winston was there of course:

Ohhhhhh yes!

and then next we went back outside the station to have a little look around.

There were people dancing:

and smiling...


... and just chatting.

There were cars...

more cars...

(now that's what I'm talking about)

Kids with guns...

... wait... what?

Everyone was having a great time.

And then, of course, we had the engines themselves.

I had this image in my mind that I was going to get this train on it's last run before I was on it again, coming under the bridge pulling all it's carriages and billowing smoke from it's, err, pokey-uppey thing. (Joking Stephen. I mean funnel.)

Unfortunately, whilst standing on the opposite platform waiting for this train, Stephen informed me that this one (51806) was in fact going to be coming in 'tender first', more commonly known as backwards. :D

Like this:

However, later on, I got some images of it coming back up the line to turn around, or to shuffle across the line. I'm not sure of the term for it switching lines and reversing, which is what it does, but I am sure Stephen will me kind enough to swiftly educate me, lest I embarrass myself any further.

(In fact, he's probably told me already and will tell me off for not listening. :s )

So here's the other:

And then a little later, I got another from the platform.

(Odd colouring. Not sure on this one yet...)

This time, because I am in fact, a girl (benefits and special priviledges!) I got to have a little look inside the engine at the furnace. It was one of those 'woah, what does this lever do!?' moments.

I would have felt a bit guilty about being let on the engine my first time on a steam train when all these enthusiasts come here constantly and are never invited up due to being the wrong gender...

... but when I was trying to peep over and get a picture with my camera from the platform, one of these enthusiasts, literally shoved me out of the way to get his own picture!

So I hopped on board and took some pictures up close. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

We then boarded the train one last time (or, technically, this train for the first time as we initially went on the other engine running that day) and made the journey to Alton and back before going back home.

A lovely day out. Perhaps next time, Stephen will take me on Thomas the Tank Engine who frequents this railway in the summer.

I think not.

NB: If I have taken your photo at this event and you would like a copy of it (even if I took it but you haven't seen in on here) send me an email at: and I will happily send you a copy. Thanks.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone. :D

After an amazing year of shooting at every given opportunity with my beautiful camera and some incredibly wonderful people, I'd like to thank everyone who has supported my work thus far.

I'd like to say to all that your support certainly hasn't gone unnoticed! Whether retweeting and sharing my posts and pictures or including me in their own blog, I've really appreciated each and every little bit. Thank you all so much. You've all helped to spread my work around and get it seen.

Also, welcome to all the new followers that have joined 'the following' throughout 2011.

Have a really wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a fantastic holiday.

Roll on 2012!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Here Come The Goulds! (hide)

On the 18th December I had the terror pleasure of having all the Gould children (+1 honorary Gould child) over at the same time for a Christmas family shoot as a gift for their daddy, Ronald.

As you can probably imagine, if you have also been fortunate enough to meet them, they were fighting, bouncing off the walls, eating and swinging from the light fixtures.

We had Chinese food from the local take-away to fatten them up a bit before the pictures and then we got to it!

We started with Kiera and Jemma and got some lovely shots initially...

But as usual, Kiera 'let off some steam' and a fight broke out.
(you might see a tear in her eye in the picture above from all the straining)

I know, I know, blow up pool and mud but there honestly wasn't time and Robin would have broken my camera...

So we moved onto Kiera and Bill for a while:

We got one and then as you can see, Bill couldn't behave himself...

... he'll fit right into this family. Don't you think?

So I tried the boys instead.

At this point I just figured it was best to give in...

Though this was a beautiful shot. I love it so much.

Needed more make up though...

Thanks Kiera.

Family shots? Well no, of course I wasn't ready. I was never going to be but they had to be done, didn't they?

Yes Bill. You as well.

We had all their pretty faces up close.

Things were going OK...

We even had one with Matt in, just in case the parents wanted to print one off but were too ashamed of Adam...

... and then Kiera and Bill started kissing...

... things got ugly and another fight broke out...

But then Kiera finished it as usual.

Not by being nails.

Oh no.

Like that.

 I decided one at a time would be better...?

Jemma reading:


Adam twiddling on the guitar:

But Kiera thought she'd try the vocals so we moved on pretty quick...

Kiera being strong:

...and demonstrating with Bill...

... and carrying off her kill...

Robin with his sword. And muscles.

What was I thinking!?


Sword fighting in the bloody house. Jeez!

How did I not see this coming!?

Did I survive the bloodshed? Stick around to find out...

P.S. Merry Bloody Christmas, Ronald Gould. x