Running – Collecting Kit or Kit Fetish?

I’ve been suckered into hobby phases in the past and I’m determined for my running not to be a phase and it to be a life style change (self righteous I know). So like anyone my first run was undertaken in knackered trainers and old shorts and football shirt hanging around in my wardrobe.

What to Change?

For a starter there’s no need to spend a fortune on top notch gear. For the mileage people like me do the only real area to look at is your shoes. A good running shop will do gait analysis an provide good advice on what to get. There’s so many different types of shoes for the different biometrics of the individual. It really pays to take this advice to heart. If you don’t you’ll no doubt pick up the niggles at the start of your career and many people give up before they’ve even begun.

The Inevitable 

I visited a popular running shop in Manchester on my lunch hour with one of my work mates (coincidentally he’s one of my inspirations to start running). I started with just looking and over a couple of weeks had bought a couple pairs of running pants/tights, three running tops and two pair of shoes.

Did I need all this??

No, I went against the above advice and spent a lot of money that at the moment at my level isn’t required. I’m using this as a motivation technique. If I don’t keep running it’ll be a complete waste of time and money!.

Completely in the ‘all the gear and no idea’ range of runners.


Running – A New Hope


This is a brand new shiny section to my blog. I’m branching out from just covering Photography for the new year. In this happy section I’ll be talking about my new fitness regime/hobby.

Born to Run

For my sins I’ve recently taking up running. The last few years I’ve been progressively becoming less active and wider than I am tall. This year approximately nine to ten weeks ago I decided enough is enough and to do something about my weight and fitness. Humans have an innate ability to run, it’s in our genes but over the course of our civilisation/humanity changing our inner abilities are sometimes left behind in search of easier fulfilment. I’ve been a keen sportsman, footballer, cricketeer and rugby player however over the last seven, eight or maybe even nine years I became lazy, niggling injuries not properly looked after and a lack of a ‘excitement’ to sports and teamed with a bad drinkers diet meant I ballooned up to 16.5 stone at my heaviest. When you have to search for jeans/pants in tesco or asda because the high street doesn’t stock your size then it’s time for a change.

Take the Long Road

Deciding to run and actually getting your arse out are two different things. Many people say they’re going to do exercise, they buy the kit, they but the book, they buy into the ‘look at me’ or in other words all the gear and no idea. However to all the chagrin of the above, I bought some kit, I bought runners world and on the 3rd of August went for my first run.

The First Step is the Hardest

The first run is often fraught with issues. You probably wont warm up properly. You’ll decide that ten years of no exercise isn’t important but the 6 months spent playing football/Cricket when you were 16 your muscles will remember. You’ll also more than likely go off at a far too hard pace and burn out before you get to the end of your street.

But ……. and a BIG but

You made it out of the door onto your track and you planted your first step onto your running experience.

The Next Mile

Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be updating on my progress or lack of….. I’ll look at the training schemes and other nuances of this hobby when i delve a little deeper.

Take over the World

Take Over the World

Take over the World

Originally uploaded by Lenses not Included

So as I sit here in my slightly precarious state thanks to last nights engineering teams xmas do. I’ve decided to do a little blog review of the previous 12 months.

It’s been an interesting year in my professional work career, it’s been mental but proven fruitful having pushed myself further than I have for the last couple of years. Personally ….. I got married!!!!, I’m not sure the day’s really sunk in still, with so much planning and with how much stuff we actually made ourselves it’s hard to think it was just for one day (if that make sense). The whole thing was awesome and I’m blessed that I’ve found someone like Pam (who was silly enough to say yes to the big question). I can’t imagine my life without her she’s been a rock when it’s been choppy with the extra pressure from work this year she’s defiantly guided me through.

So, my wedding provided something else…….. I’d always dallied with photography, having owned various compacts and a previous DSLR however with my enthusiasm was on the wain and drifting away. This changed when we met our wedding photographer, I’m definitely blaming Karen for my now obsession with apertures, F stops, exposures, ISO settings and prime/zoom lenses. Watching someone who loved taking photos and who loves what they do pushed me back into my hobby. I always be grateful for that and the awesome pictures Karen got on the day. This leads into what I want to talk about next….

Influences, one thing I realised after I demanded a new camera from my wife is I needed to develop my style of picture and there have been three people who are helping me develop and improve in what pictures I take.

The first I’ve touched on, my first and probably most influential person is Karen Julia, our wedding photographer, Karen basically got me picking up a camera again. I love the style of photograph she takes, a really quality modern take on wedding photography. Karen’s always been really helpful when I’ve asked questions over facebook and has been a real help with me getting my photography off the ground.

My second influence, Kevin Cummins is a Manchester based music photographer. Covering anything from MCFC, The Smiths through to Joy Division. I especially admire the black and white photos of Joy Division ( I recommend the hard back monograph of JD). Cummins photos of black & white expanses and space are now seen in tandem with Joy Division and there music.

Thirdly and rather an off tangent to photographers, my last influence is Shane Meadows. Meadows is an awesome director/writer, among other films (small time, dead mans shoes & once upon a time in the west) he’s created ‘this is england’ series (two series and film). Meadows shooting style seems to be large aperture with small depth of focus, lots of close up candid portraits and colours are drained with desaturation. At anytime you could take a still from ‘england and it would be an awesome photo. This seems to be the arc of my photographic journey, looking back on pictures I’ve taken they all seem to have the same common theme. High apertures and low depth of field are a favourite and I always tone down the colours when I process them in Lightroom.

What am I planning in the future?, I’ve been bought another lens for christmas (thanks Pam), I’ve got the 50mm f1.8 the ubiquitous ‘nifty fifty’ it seems a path well trodden as it seems everyone has purchased this lens at one point or another in there photography life. I’m planning a project to use my new lens, many people undertake a 365 project were they take a picture everyday but that seems a little bit daunting at the moment and I’m not sure I’ll be able complete a full year. So I’ve decided to do a shorter version, a 50 day project using only my 50mm lens. Expect to see the results over flickr/facebook and blog updates soon. It’s something I want to do so I can push my self and develop my skill with my camera.

Lastly what’s been my favourite photo I’ve taken?, I’m not sure I can pick out a direct ‘one’ however I really like my Caravan , NQ graffiti and Alex pictures and hopefully I’ll be able to better them next year.

Blimey, that’s longer than expected, this is probably going to be my last post for 2011 so I’d like to wish everyone who reads it a good christmas and a happy new year!!!!

peace out


Reflections (Dunham Massey)


Originally uploaded by Lenses not Included

I’ve been enjoying a week off work with the wife to celebrate her birthday. So far it’s been very relaxing but today we made a short journey to Dunham Massey in Altrincham. Evoked a few childhood memories walking round with the folks. Traipsed round the gardens, house and the deer park.

Photo’s aren’t the best but I haven’t blogged anything for a while so needed to shake out some cobwebs.

You Shall Not Pass

The Loneliness of the Caravan

The Loneliness of the Caravan

The Loneliness of the Caravan

Originally uploaded by Lenses not Included

We’ve just returned from a weekend away. Travelled to Trearddur Bay in Anglesey. Weather was typical UK summertime …. so overcast with showers. Didn’t really do a lot apart from eating and drinking. We did go for a walk along RAF Valley nearby. Which is were we found this caravan, alone, isolated and in the middle of nothing.

This is as close as I got didn’t fancy knocking on the door.

Chopper Chopper Chopper