A mixture of news, views and pictures...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Roll 11 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Elite Chrome)

A trip to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. 

The Palace was gifted by a very grateful Queen Anne to the Duke of Marlborough after winning the decisive Battle of Blenheim in the War of Spanish Succession. Many would argue that this victory was an important stage in Britain becoming the powerful nation of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Winston Churchill was also born here. He was cousin to a more recent Duke and spent much of his childhood at the Palace.

Roll 10 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Elite Chrome)

We jump back to Roll 10 and photos taken with Kodak slide film one month ago on a vist to Kotor in Montenegro. Kotor is a world heritage site and beside The Bay of Kotor. It is often described as a fjord, but it is in fact a ria; or a disintegrated river.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Roll 13 / 52 Rolls of Film (Rolleicord, Kodak Portra Film)

We jump straight to Roll 13 (role 10,11 and 12 are being developed). This week, it was the turn of the Rolleicord and some medium format fun. Only one ok photo this week - unfortunately the photo lab chewed up some of the film.... Oh well, these are the risks one takes with film. It's part of the process.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Thoughts on the Visit Wiltshire Tourism Forum

Yesterday, I was invited to attend the Visit Wiltshire Tourism Forum and lead two workshops on using social media more effectively.

Prior to my workshop, there was a morning session which included four interesting and insightful presentations about tourism; its value to the UK economy and how to market it more effectively.

While it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share some of what I learned.

a) Tourism is the UK's third largest export and it is still growing fast.

b) France and Germany provide the most visitors to our shores. Then the US and Ireland; but the US is top in terms off spend. Australia is 10th in terms of the number of visitors, but fourth for the amount they spend. See more here.

c) Here is a video called The Sounds Of Great Britain, made by Visit Britain:

d) In times of recession, people look to the safety of the past in an uncertain world, and so the power of heritage becomes stronger. An alternative name for this could be The Downton Effect (or the Brideshead Effect in the early 80's...)?

e) At least two of the presenters encouraged the use of stories as a powerful way to communicate. I'm glad they did, as I had also included a slide on the same topic for my workshop. So, we were all in agreement. People relate to stories. They remember stories.

f) Everyone was encouraged to go and visit the Library in Birmingham. I intend to.

It was an interesting day and it was great to meet so many local tourist providers excited about future opportunities.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Roll 8 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Elite Chrome)

We go back a week or two or three to Roll 8 - photos from a recent trip to Budapest...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Google and Facebook Ads

A couple of things have happened recently that make me suspect that advertising with Google and Facebook will carry far more weight in increasing your company profile than was the case before.

The influence of organic results look like they will decline as a result....

Social@Ogilvy have carried out some research into over 100 branded pages on Facebook and discovered that their organic reach (in other words, their non-paid for reach), has declined by 50%. In 2012, brands could hope to reach 16% of the people who 'liked' their page. The research suggests that this is now down to 6%. Bigger brands with over 500,000 likes, suffer even more and are down to 2% reach.

So, if you want to be seen by your customers on Facebook, it seems that soon, the only option will be to pay for the privilege.

Here is a link to the original Ogilvy article.

With Google it doesn't seem to be quite so pronounced. However, you may have noticed that the Google search results have subtly changed.

Previously ads had a yellowy shaded background to all of the text, which made them more noticeable. Now, the only sign is that they have an Ad icon to the left and the background is the same white as the organic results. A small change but one that reduces the visual difference between paid for and organic search results....

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Roll 9 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Kodak Portra 800asa)

Roll 8 is being processed (slide film takes 3 weeks), so I hope you don't mind but we are jumping straight to Roll 9. 

This is the first time I have used Kodak Portra 800asa film and I like the flexibility the film offers for low light colour use. Perfect for the interior of a moodily lit church in Budapest!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Roll 6 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Ilford HP5)

I have finally developed Roll 6.

Taken in beautiful Budapest. Many were taken in the Castle.

I was visiting Budapest on business but I still managed a half day walking around. It is a wonderful city with some very impressive architecture. Similar to Prague, but without the crowds (although that may be because it was January). I recommend a visit.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Roll 5 / 52 Rolls of Film (Leica MP, Kodak TMax 400)

Roll 5 was taken over a couple of weeks. The start of the film includes my trip to Warsaw and the end is from Budapest. Both are beautiful Eastern European cities worthy of a visit. Budapest reminds me a little of Prague, but with fewer tourists.

A couple of weeks ago, I read this thoughtful blog by Ming Thein about how he chooses when to shoot with film and when to shoot with digital. His views very much echo my own. There is a time and a place for both.

Here are my selection of photos from this week. The top two were taken in Warsaw Old Town, while the bottom two were taken at the Liberation Monument in Budapest.


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