Saturday, 27 June 2020

Comic Software

I use Comic Life software to create custom comics. Currently I have just finished Issue 5 of the monthly Lightning Preservation Group comic.

Amazing program with so many possibilities and always have fun trying to think up captions for the photos I use.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Google Docs

Been around for quite a while, and have never bothered looking at them till a few days back when I was asked to find a workaround to Microsoft Word, now that they operate a subscription to use the program.

I knew that there were several free programs, but the request was for one which would run on a Chromebook, so being a google operating system the obvious choice was Google Docs as it would be installed by default.

So with the seed of possibilities, I spent the best part of the day, playing with Google Docs, the learning curve was not difficult and I found the program really good and it seems that there were advantages over Word which was new to me. The Docs are stored in Google cloud, so always available on whichever piece of hardware you have.

The Docs can be downloaded in various formats even Word, so am glad I took the time to explore what Docs can achieve.

Some good news

As from the 4th July my local pub is to reopen after several months closure due to the Virus. Look forward to a lovely cool pint of Batemans XB and perhaps a game of dominoes with the lads. I would think that it could be outside in the beer garden as to allow social distancing.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Sad News

Yesterday I received an email confirming what I thought might be true about Bruntingthorpe Airfield Cold War Jets as a venue which has seen fast taxi events and night photo shoots for as far back as I can remember.

As a member of the Lightning Preservation Group since 2009 and having been part of the CWJ open days as ground crew and had the pleasure of working on these classic jets up till November 2009 when we staged the  Lightning double reheat fast taxi as a twilight event for the photographic fraternity. Alas these events will be no more.

Cox motors acquired the airfield some time back and they use the airfield and its taxiways to store new and fleet cars for auction. Over the last few years, this has caused many problems for the collection of aircraft which are dotted around the airfield, basically a lot of them were hemmed in due to parked cars.

The Cold War Jets collection was the brainchild of one of the Airfield owners David Walton and over the years the collection of vintage aircraft has grown. Unfortunately Cox motors are not Aviation minded at all and have called a halt to aircraft events, so no more fast taxi days, photo shoots as we knew it. David Walton created a chunk of airfield land which allowed us to build a Q shed and on adjacent land which he still owns, he intends to build a museum to house some of the jets.

In the meantime, I believe that Cox motors have given notice to several of the aircraft groups that they need to remove the aircraft from the airfield. I know from articles that the Buccaneer Group are moving a few of their jets to another location. Unfortunately this may not be possible for the larger jets as they can not fly out and would have to be dismantled and transported to other locations if they can find them. The cost would be way too high for many, and I fear for the outcome of many. But we will see how this all pans out as time goes on.

As I mentioned earlier, the Q shed and the Lightnings are safe from all this upheaval as they are housed on Mr Waltons land and not part of Cox's take over. The Lightnings will still be worked on and kept in taxi condition, but the rub is that they may end up in the same situation as XR724 at Binbrook, where it is now hemmed in on a concrete hardstanding and not able to fast taxi at all. The hope is that we can still have smaller photo shoots and perhaps an anti-det engine run. All things come to an end, it is inevitable, but us small band of brothers will survive.

Friday, 19 June 2020

My next job

After a spell at Largs department store in Dundee town centre, I moved to one of the other branches of Largs, at Lochee a district of Dundee. I was sent to run the photo/musical accessories department. This was an exciting diversion for me, selling cameras, film, projectors etc., and also items like recorders, guitar strings etc.,

Thursday, 18 June 2020

JD Brown part 2

Initially I was employed to operate the black and white processing plant and as time went on I found myself helping out in the Photo Copying and Enlarger department, processing 5 x 4 sheet film and printing out commercial stuff on DeVere cold cathode type enlargers, but still basic white trays of developer, water and fixer, yellow wall lamps and plastic tongs, just like the old days.

JD Brown employed 3 main photographers during my time, Stewart Hill, Ken Lieper and Harry Garland, I looked after the prep for them, loading 35mm cassettes, 5 x 4 sheet film holders et., and also the processing of the film after the lads returned. It was enjoyable work.  I left for a spell of retail photographic experience at another Dundee shop  Largs, in Whitehall Street, where I learned a lot about cameras and all the gear that supports the hobby.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Moving on

Moving on from my early beginnings in photography, Lindsays photographers was sold off just a few years after I had left for a new adventure, another photographic employer JD Brown in Castle Street , Dundee. This was a modern upgrade to the rather basic laboratory I had just left. Things were mostly automated, no more manually having to lift rods of acetate film in development processing, but a new electrical system which lifted the rods and moved them through each chemical bath on a timed system, eventually dropping the rods of film in to a heated conveyor which dropped the rods into another room where the girl printers took over.

This was processing on a large scale and was probably the biggest lab in Dundee at the time. I will continue with the narrative on my next post as there are lots more to tell. JD Brown was also a commercial photographers business and I was also involved in this side.

Dominoes continued....

Have got the dominoes, now need a board to play the game on. Having just dismantled a cheap gateleg table, I now have 2 leaves, with rounded...