Tag Archives: iPhone Photography

My 41st Birthday, Yay!!! :)

A portrait photo of me wearing Oakley Bat Wolf sunglasses and my hair braided

⇧ Portrait of me in Montego Bay, Jamaica ⇧ 

Today i’m celebrating my 41st Birthday, Yay!!! If you’ve already read my “About Steve” page you’ll know i should’ve died when i was 25….but God in His endless Mercy and Grace gave me a second chance. Now i thank God for every year and Sarah & i try to go away in April for our Birthdays to capture and enjoy part of His amazing creation! 🙂 

Also…I thank God everyday for Sarah as i know i don’t deserve her, but God never seems to stop expressing His love. My heart overflows with love for her. She has encouraged, inspired and loves me in spite of all my faults, she is the sunshine that warms me along my journey. I really don’t have the words to fully express how blessed i am to have my best friend as my wife to cherish and share every moment of this amazing life! 

We have just returned from Jamaica, Honduras & Mexico so i have a few photos to edit…but as soon as i get them ready i’ll do a day by day account like my other adventures

I must appologise to you all for not quite finishing my last tour posts for Azores and Spain…but i’ve got the photos sorted and ready to post. Sorry for any overlap from this holiday and last holiday, i hope you enjoy! 🙂 

My Holiday Adventures:

Tuscany Tour

Transatlantic Tour 

Tuscany Tour: Day 3 – Vinci & Chianti

 As we left the amazing Pisa, Chiara (our tour guide) gave us some more interesting yet gruesome Tuscany history about the Medici family killing everyone again and taking over more villages and cities. She also mentioned a man called Leonardo Da Vinci, “no way” i said to Sarah “I thought he was a ninja turtle, not a real man!” She gave me a swift elbow in the ribs, and Chiara continued.

Welcome to Vinci…

The image below is of the landscape that greeted us from the coach.  

Sarah looking over the Vinci Hills

After taking in the amazing scenery, we headed off on foot to the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci.

A view overlooking the town of Vinci with a bell tower on the left

A beautiful bell tower with purple blue sunrise over vince

A close up black and white of the Vinci Bell Tower

I really like bell towers!! 🙂

Sarah & i found inside the museum much too dark, so we struggled to see any of the fantastic creations on display. Sarah was using her iPhone 6 Plus with it’s wide aperture of f2.2 to view each design as it showed much brighter on her screen, rather than the dark blob in front of her (she’s a genius).

We did find a cool bike though!!

Vinci Bike

Now it was back outside to have a wonder around and see what we can find. It wasn’t long before we found a familiar object! 

Vitruvian Man

Sarah wasn’t happy with the “Vitruvian Man” and thought Leonardo had missed something out. So we added something extra……The Vitruvian Man & Woman! 🙂

Sarah stood in front of the Vitruvian Man  doing the same pose

Now for Chianti…

After another trip on the coach through amazing rolling hills, olive grows and vinyards, the coach parked right up at the top in Chianti where we were to do a little wine & local Tuscan food tasting.

I didn’t have time to take any photos as we were guided straight to our table and greeted with a lovely plate of local baked bread, olive oil, cheese and spicy meat.

The lady first pour a little Chianti Simple (table wine) into the huge glass and as she was going into great detail of how to hold the glass etc, i continued on the food (i couldn’t see anything she was doing, so her over complicated directions were wasted on me, lol). As i don’t really drink alcohol except a very full bodied glass of red wine on special occasions (normally 1 bottle a year and that’s usually Châteauneuf-du-Pape i receive as a Christmas gift). My thought is that if i’m only going to have one glass on rare occasions, then i would like one that i enjoy! 🙂

I really know nothing about wines, only that some are red and some are white, and some are watery and some are thick (like coffee, lol) and i only like the thick ones, which now i know are called full bodied! 🙂

Then she poured a little of the Chianti Classico (full bodied..Yay!) and that was much better! 

But probably my favourite taste of the day was the 30 year old Balsamic Vinegar we got to taste! Wow, now that’s amazing, but expensive so didn’t get any to bring home! 😦

As we finished there was a mad rush to the little shop area. I stayed at the table as Sarah went to have a look and take a few photos for us!

Chianti Bottles on a shelf

Chianti barrells

look inside the Chianti shop

I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip so far?! Next stop Siena!! 🙂

⇍ Previous DayNext Day ⇏

Tuscany Tour: Day 3 – Pisa

I forgot to mention in my older 2 posts in this Tuscany Tour series, that i didn’t take any of my DSLR’s with me to Italy (you’ve probably already noticed, lol). All of the photos taken were using my iPhone 5s or Sarah’s iPhone 6 Plus. 

I’d like to split Day 3 into 4 separate posts, as i don’t want them to get too long, and dare i say boring! If you’re just joining the “Tuscany Tour” for the first time then you can click here to start from Day 1.

Christmas Tree in the lobby of the Hotel Brunelleschi

Sarah & i were up bright and early, excited yet anxious for today’s big adventure. As we were in the reception area admiring the beautiful Christmas tree (see image above), the entrance doors opened as our taxi driver entered and escorted us to his taxi. It was still very dark (especially down the narrow side street) and already raining, and when i noticed the black minivan with blacked out windows (which only appear on episodes of 24) and the voice of the driver say “Get in”, i had a funny feeling that this could be anyone and we were in some kind of movie (this didn’t do my slight anxiety any good at all, lol). 

The driver was very friendly and nothing like the man i was imagining, he dropped us off at the exact collection point for the ‘My Tour’ coach stop where we were met by Chiara, the tour guide. She already knew we were blind & partially sighted and said it would be easier for us if we sat on the front 2 seats of the coach. “Yes!” i said as they’re our fave seats too, good start! 🙂

It took about an hour until we arrived at Pisa, Chiara was telling us lots of interesting facts and history of the Tuscany regions we were passing through, this (and my excitement) made the journey seem really quick. The coach parked right near the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) and after a short walk in the group Chiara said “Now you have one hour free time, then meet back here”. This was just perfect for Sarah & i as we now have a point of reference to go from and to return.

Welcome to Pisa!

First for my tourist pose! 🙂

Me stood in front of the leaning tower of Pisa

And now it’s Sarah’s turn! 🙂

Sarah stood in front of the leaning tower of Pisa

Everyone was rushing straight for the tower, so we hung back and got a few photos of the Baptistry and the Cathedral.

Pisa Baptistry

Pisa Baptistry 2

The Cathedral  the tower

Lookin up at the Pisa Cathedral

Me looking at the tower

Sarah sneakily snapped me tower gazing and trying to soak up the atmosphere, and the fact that i was actually in Pisa, looking at probably the most famous bell tower in the world! 🙂

Pisa Tower

A zoomed in photo of the top 3 layers of the tower

There was only one small cafe opposite the tower, so Sarah & i went to check it out. We ordered 2 Cappachino’s and to my delight, a slice of pizza. I know you might laugh, but i just had to try the Pizza at Pisa! 🙂

Tower from the cafe

The image above is the view from the open windows at our table, it was just amazing being sat with the leaning tower of Pisa as the backdrop. 🙂

A panaramic shot of the baptistry, Cathedral & the tower in one shot

After this final panoramic photo, we met up with the group and headed back to the coach. 

This visit already made my day and i’d of been happy if that was the end, but this was only the beginning!!

Oh by the way…..The pizza was fantastic!! 🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed the first stop of this “Tuscany in a day tour”. Please take your seats and see what’s coming next! 🙂

⇍ Previous DayNext Day ⇏

 

Tuscany Tour: Day 2

As Sarah & i were about to leave the room to try our first breakfast, we suddenly heard a faint sound of bells. We quickly rushed to the window and opened the inner windows and the outer shutters, and the sound was immense! I wanted to record the sound but the video below doesn’t do it justice.

The Breakfast…

Breakfast, i can only describe as an amazing taste sensation. The chef must have only had one knife though, as everything was sliced about an inch thick! What seemed like a block of cheese to us, was a slice to them. lol, but i didn’t want to seem rude and waste any! 🙂

The search for the Palace…

After filling up with breakfast, we started out on our primary objective for the day…to find the Palazzo Medici Riccardi where my photos will be exhibited in a few days time. 

Once out on the main street, i stood facing north (towards the Cathedral) and opened the Blindsquare app on my iPhone. I had save 2 locations to the favourites – the hotel and the palace, so they would b read out instantly and hopefully tell me (if the cellular network is good) where the locations are using a clock face description. It said “Palazzo Medici Riccardi is at 11’o clock at 350 yards”. Right let’s go! After passing the Florence Cathedral it was just a straight road until the Palace was on our left. Now to find the entrance which was another mammoth task for us …

A black and white photo of the amazing brick work of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi 1

We started walking around the outside of the whole building finding everything including a cash machine (very useful, clothes store & even a McDonalds (the poshest one we’ve ever seen). Finally we found it but we couldn’t see any sign of the Art Senses posters anywhere. We went inside anyway to have a look around where we’d maybe stumble across a tiny room being set up for the exhibition.

Inside the Palace…

Black and white photo taken from the inner courtyard looking up to the roof of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi arches 2

Black and white close up of the arches in the inner courtyard

Palazzo Medici Riccardi 3

As we were walking around, we both kept saying “I think we’re in the wrong building, there is no way the exhibition will be in here somewhere. But this place is amazing so we’ll keep looking”.

A photo of me looking upwards towards some amazingly designed door frames!

⇧ We totally need to get door frames like these!! 🙂 ⇧ 

Then a few minutes later i found a ceiling design for our home too!! lol.

an increible fresco ciellin g

As we entered the next couple of rooms, Sarah was oooing quite a lot, and now as i’m looking back over the photos to see what i was actually looking at, i should’ve known there were shoes!

Sarah shoes gallery

After being amazed for a while longer, we decided to double check outside to see if this really was the Palazzo Medici Riccardi….It was! 

I said “There is no way my photos are being exhibited in there, just no way”. 

Then as we turned to find our way back to the hotel, we suddenly realised there was a marathon going on!!

Yes a marathon, actually the 31st annual “Florence Marathon (Maratona di Firenze)”. Now the streets were not only packed, but worse still for us, blocked off so we couldn’t get back the way we came.

Photo of theFirenze Marathon

After a few hours of getting lost, trying different coffee shops and of course the clothes and shoe shops, we found ourselves by the river. Sarah said “oh, this is the river!!” I said “But isn’t the river south, way past the hotel in the other direction?”

Firenze River

We both realised we had no idea which way to go and we were both really tired from dodging people and with all of the noise, so we just decided to pick a street and walk up it. Then to our complete surprise as we were getting really fed up, Sarah said “That’s the sign to our hotel”, “No way, i had no idea we were here, now let’s get a takeaway coffee from our new local and rest for a while”.

A blue light shaped as a bell hanging over the street

After an eventful and tiring day, we decided to try heading east but only down one street as it’s dark now and we really don’t want to get lost again. The hanging street lights were beautiful and we found lots of clothes shops and a nice little sandwich/coffee bar to relax in for a while. 

As we returned to the hotel we booked a “Tuscany in a day” tour for the morning. We knew it was a lot in one day but it will be ideal for us. Now we were getting even more excited. I could be stood next to the leaning tower of Pisa!! No way!! 🙂 

Please join us on day 3 to see how we got on!!

⇍ Previous Day — Next Day ⇏

Happy 5 Years To Our Friends At Sicily Restaurant!

Last night Sarah & i had a lovely evening at our favourite restaurant celebrating 5 years since Sicily Restaurant opened it’s doors. We had no idea how this was going to bless us, and how we would make some loving and wonderful friends, amazing food, and the best coffee, it’s just a beautiful and peaceful place to be! Grace, Francesco, Dora and family work tirelessly everyday, and it was an honour to celebrate this milestone with them. 🙂 

The meatloaf, potatoes and leaves presented like a flower!

⇧ Green & red pepper meatloaf with tomato and pepper sauce, served with fried potato cubes ⇧ 

After tasting the best meatloaf ever (see image above), and if that wasn’t enough…Dora created one of her amazing cakes for the occasion! 🙂  we decided to challenge ourselves and walk home in the dark, not knowing how cold and foggy it was. I attempted to capture just how foggy and spooky the walk home felt. 🙂

The Fog looking spooky as it creeps across a road with a tree on the righthand side

⇧ One of the foggy roads home ⇧ 

An old school building covered in fog illuminated in the darkness

⇧ The school on top of the hill ⇧ 

Meet Rafael

This evening Sarah & i went to visit our brother & sister in Christ Ben & Rosie, and got to meet 5 hour old Rafael, beautiful! 🙂

Rafael

⇧ Rafael ~ “God Has Healed“⇧ 

Father  Son

⇧ Father & Son! 🙂 ⇧ 

Me  Rafael

⇧ I got to hold Rafael for a minute! 🙂 ⇧

i C Photo Challenge: Food

 i C Food

It’s been 14 years since i’ve been able to see what i’m eating!! Sarah will often tell me where things are on my plate when eating out, or at other peoples houses. There are also some foods that i stay away from if i’m with a group of people, sat facing a crowded restaurant as they are just too messy, e.g Spaghetti, Full english breakfast (the eggs are just invisible on a white plate!) & salads can be hard to chase around too. So i often order things i can pick up like Pizza, burgers etc.

i chose ‘Food” for the theme this week, and i’d love to sit at your digital table and see a glimpse of your favourite food, favourite places, food that’s really hard to eat or has amazing detail, and of course the messy stuff! 😀

Remember to link back here so i can see what you serve up!

Love heart biscuits

⇧ Sarahs love heart biscuits! ⇧ 

Fillet steak with love heart potatoes

Fave Place: Fillet steak with love heart potatoes at Sicily Restaurant ⇧ 

More i C Photo Challenges:

i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks

I C Photo Challenge Logo“You don’t need sight to see, you need vision”

As a “Blind Photographer” I love taking part in photo challenges and seeing how creative other bloggers can be with their images. This has fired my imagination and prompted me to host a photo challenge of my own!!!

The “i C Photo Challenge” will have a theme each week – To get you thinking about the things you’d miss if you lost your sight and provide a chance for you to be as creative as possible – Taking photos you may never have considered taking before, of things you would usually overlook. I’d like you to show me things you think I’d love to see…. things I’ve missed since loosing most of my sight.

Use any camera you have available … it’s about the thought going into the image not the image quality… although high quality will make it easier for me to zoom in and see. 

And above all ENJOY 😀 taken from my “i C Photo Challenge” page.

Week 1

i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks

Pickup Truck

 ⇧ Looks like Mater ~ Photo taken using iPhone 4s ⇧ 

I chose ‘Cars & Trucks’ as my first challenge, as when i was fully sighted i used to be a panel beater in a body shop, where i repaired, restored and customised cars. I’ve driven many cars ranging from Citroen 2CV’s unto Rolls Royce’s and a lot in-between.  I love american cars and love the sound of a V8! It’s just not the same listening to cars but not seeing them! 

For this weeks challenge, create a new post with a photo/photos of any car or truck you think is interesting or i might not of seen before. This can include close up shots of engines, badges, lights…… anything relating to the theme, be creative!! 🙂

 Please remember to include a link back here so i can see (and not miss) your creations. New challenges every Friday!

Planting Seeds

Growing Strong B W

 ⇧ Photo taken with iPhone 5s ⇧ 

The image above is a photo i’ve just taken of a mystery plant (i’m not sure what it is?) that was grown from a random seed that was given to each of us who attended our evening service about 2 months ago. Richard (one of our Ministers) was preaching about the sower and during the talk gave us a seed to hold and think about what beauty could lie within even though it seems like a dead seed at the moment. He then asked us to plant it when we got home and just see what happens. As i was playing guitar during the service, i just put the seed into one of my many pockets in my cargo shorts. By the time i got home i totally forgot it was there. It wasn’t until about a week later when i remembered and hoped it was still there, it was and Sarah & i quickly planted it into it’s own little pot.

After 4 weeks there was still no sign of life and just a pot filled with soil……..then overnight (to our amazement) it seemed to just shoot up and this is how it’s getting on now after about 5 weeks! 🙂

 Parable Of The Sower

Matthew 13:3-23 The Voice 

3 And so Jesus began to teach. On this day, He spoke in parables. Here is His first parable:

Jesus: Once there was a sower who scattered seeds. 4 One day he walked in a field scattering seeds as he went. Some seeds fell beside a road, and a flock of birds came and ate all those seeds. 5 So the sower scattered seeds in a field, one with shallow soil and strewn with rocks. But the seeds grew quickly amid all the rocks, 6 without rooting themselves in the shallow soil. Their roots got tangled up in all the stones. The sun scorched these seeds, and they died. 7 And so the sower scattered seeds near a path, this one covered with thorny vines. The seeds fared no better there—the thorns choked them, and they died. 8 And so finally the sower scattered his seeds in a patch of good earth. At home in the good earth, the seeds grew and grew. Eventually the seeds bore fruit, and the fruit grew ripe and was harvested. The harvest was immense—30, 60, 100 times what was sown.

9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Disciples: 10 Why do You speak to the people in parables?

Jesus: 11 The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but it has not been given to them. 12 Those who have something will be given more—and they will have abundance. Those who have nothing will lose what they have—they will be destitute. 13 I teach in parables so the people may look but not see, listen but not hear or understand. 14 They are fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

You will listen, but you will not understand;
you will look, but you will not see.
15 The people’s hearts have turned to flab;
their ears are clogged;
their eyes are shut.
They will try to see, but they will not see;
they will try to hear, but they will not hear;
they will try to understand, but they will not comprehend.
If they, with their blindness and deafness, so choose, then I will heal them.

16-17 Many holy prophets and righteous men and women and people of prayer and doers of good have wanted to see but did not see, and have wanted to hear but did not hear. Your eyes and ears are blessed.

18 This is what the parable of the sower means. 19 It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart. This is like the seeds sown beside the road. 20-21 You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil. 22 And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. 23 The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.

Our Father in heaven plants many seeds in order to ensure that some seeds bear fruit. The final harvest, however, is worth any amount of hard work.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

This week, share a texture found in an unexpected place. It could be made of natural materials, as in these images, or with man-made objects.

A black and white photo of my Taylor Koa K22 with lots of textured shadows

I thought this weeks theme was an ideal opportunity to post a photo of my Taylor K22ce acoustic guitar, which is made from the exotic tropical wood Hawaiian Koa. I just love the textures of this beautiful wood. 

Photo taken today using my iPhone 5s and edited with FX Photo Studio Pro on my mac.

Description from the Taylor Guitars website:

Hawaiian Koa

Origin: The Big Island of Hawaii

As a tropical hardwood, a koa top will initially project a bright and focused tone, especially together with koa back and sides, but as it’s played, it matures into an increasingly warm, rich, sweet sound with healthy overtone “bloom,” especially in the midrange.  resonant tone.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

You’ll Never Believe This…. (Part 3)

Wow, Part 3 already! If you’re wondering what i’m talking about pleas see my older posts (Part 1 & Part 2). 
I’ve just sent my exhibition entry form with descriptions of the photos etc and i’m doing my video interview this Sunday in London. Also Sarah & i have booked our Hotel for 7 nights with flights in Florence, Italy for the opening meet and greet. I’m a little excited! 🙂
I thought i would share with you which photos were chosen and my descriptions & aims of the images for this Florence exhibition in December.
Please comment and let me know what you think, as i’d love to hear your feedback on my descriptions, aims & photos! 🙂
 
My Exhibition Photos
 
Image 1: ‘Stormy Bay’ – Ilfracombe, Devon, England

P1020199

Brief description: Photograph taken in a huge storm with my iPhone 4s camera. (I wouldn’t get my Nikon camera out of it’s bag as the weather was too bad). I’ve applied a grayscale effect to bring out how I felt on the day (very wet, cold and shivery). A great memory of the English southern coast on New Years Day.

Aim of the work: I felt the strength of the storm (with howling winds and lashing rain) and wanted an image that captured the moment. Using dramatic black and white I wanted to draw people into the strength and power of the elements so they could feel the strength of the storm for themselves. 

Image 2: ‘The London Eye’

London eye 7

Brief description: Stood close the Eye looks big but through the wide angle lens of my Sony Alpha a100 camera it felt like a huge bike wheel in the sky ….very sureal.

Aim of the work. Looking at life from a different angle.

Image 3: ‘Arches’ – Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Brief description: One of my very first photos taken as blind photographer. Taken with a Fugi F10 camera. I was visiting Hampton Court Palace and was struck by the contrast between the heat in the sunny parts and the cool in the the shadows when walking down this corridor. I wanted to reflect this in the patterns made by sunlight playing though the arches. I used black and white in this image to capture this feeling.

Aim of the work. To demonstrate the amazing effects sunlight can have on it’s surroundings.

Image 4: ‘Life on the water’ (canal boat – Heartfordshire, England)

Canal Boat

Brief description: Walking along a peaceful, tranquil path by the canal I was taking shots of different things around me with my Sony Alpha a100 camera. I heard the rumble of this boats engine and took photos as it passed. On returning home and zooming into the images with my computer this one stood out, as when seen in detail there was much more in it than I had first thought. It captures a story of the man with his dog living a laid back lifestyle on the boat … all the materials of his life surrounding him. The photo I felt encompassed this mans life and told his story whilst also conveying the peace of the day and tranquility of my surroundings.

Aim of the work. A single photo that tells the story of this mans life – the more you zoom in the more you see.

Image 5: ‘Portsmouth Cathedral’

Portsmouth Cathedral

Brief description A dramatic image of Portsmouth Cathedral on a hot but cloudy day.Taken with my iPhone 4 camera at a friends ordination ceremony.

Aim of the work. The ceremony was very grand and I wanted to capture the feeling of the spendour and grandeur of the ceremony and Cathedral in a photo. From experience I know that using black and white on architecture creates a dramatic feel, especially on a cloudy day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

 This weeks challenge reminds me of the 6 years (starting with our honeymoon) that we stayed in the lovely Old Hunstanton Lighthouse. It was a fantastic chapter in our sumer holidays that we’ll never forget! 🙂 

If you’d like to join the challenge, click here.

Sarah Sunflower

 ⇧ My Sunflower Sarah ⇧ 

Sarah eating a sugar doughnut

⇧ Sarah enjoying her yearly doughnut! ⇧  

The old lighthouse2

⇧ The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse ⇧  

The Sun on the Cross  PNG

 ⇧ Sunset taken 100m away from the lighthouse, on top of the cliffs ⇧

The Pitstop (Yorkshire – Spain Road Trip)

Sarah & i were blessed last night as Sarah’s Dad & brothers came down to stay for the night on their way to Spain on holiday. Sarah’s Dad & Brother Alfie enjoyed played my old Gibson guitars for us which was lovely. Marshall also showed us how to build biscuit buildings with swiss roll towers and become a gingerbread man with a zombie head on Minecraft! It was great to see them again and i hope they all have a fantastic holiday! 

Alfie playing 1960 Gibson J45

 ⇧ My Brother in law Alfie playing the 1960 Gibson J45 ⇧ 

Father in law playing 1960 Gibson J45

⇧ My Father in law Steve playing the 1960 Gibson J45 ⇧  

Alfie playing Gibson SJ200

 ⇧ Alfie playing the Gibson SJ200 ⇧

Marshall  Alfie

⇧ My Brother in laws Marshall & Alfie ⇧

The Heights Of Abraham

After travelling up to Derby and spending the day with “Our Friends The Wigley Family”  Sunday came and we woke up to a lovely view over Derby.

Hotel Room View overlooking a road and a landscape

⇧ View from our hotel room ⇧

We then headed to the train station to travel to Doncaster to see Sarah’s family.

Sarah Portrait

⇧ Sarah sat in the train station café ⇧ 

Little did we know that the Tour de France was in Yorkshire on this day, but to our surprise the reservations were overloaded and the train was full so we got upgraded to first class (for free) which was empty! 🙂

Sarah s First Class

⇧ SARAH’S FIRST CLASS!! ⇧ 

We arrived in Doncaster for Marshall’s birthday dinner at Cosmo’s where we met all of the family. We had a lovely meal and it was great to catch up with them all! 🙂

Marshall on left, Sarah in the middle and Alfie on the right

⇧ Marshall (left), Sarah & Alfie ⇧ 

After arriving back in Derby that evening, Sarah & i went to our fave italian Zizzi’s for a lovely meal. I also got to have the lovely chocolate, banana & ice cream calzone, which Sarah stole most of! 🙂 

Sarah  the calzone

Then it was Monday 7th July our 7th wedding anniversary where we would enjoy “The Heights Of Abraham” at Matlock Bath.

Cable Cars  Sarah 2

Cable Car View 2

We we arrived at the top we found a tower (which was too dark for us to climb) but it looked nice! 🙂

Tower  Cable Cars

And i met a new friend…….

Me and Donkey

⇧ My new friend (i love donkeys in case you didn’t know!) 😀 ⇧ 

And after my amazing driving in the bumper cars (see here) i found another vehicle i had to drive……..

Me driving school bus

⇧ Getting the chance to drive yet again! ⇧ 

Cable Cars  Sarah

⇧ Descending back down to ground level ⇧ 

Cable Car View 3

Cable Car View 4

Cable Car View

⇧ Views overlooking the villages from the cable cars ⇧ 

After a fantastic (and exhausting) weekend we finally checked out and headed home!

The Hotel

⇧ Sarah outside Jury’s Inn, Derby ⇧ 

All photos taken using my iPhone (i left my heavy DSLR’s in the hotel)

Work, Rest & Play! :)

Chessington World Of Adventures

This week i finally got to drive again after 14 years!! (see image of the custom car below)

Me driving a custom hotrod

Ben & i took Vini and 5 of his friends to Chessington world of adventures for his early birthday present. We all had a fantastic time going on rides, eating doughnuts and meeting the animals at the zoo.

picture of me & Vini chatting and laughing!

⇧ Me & Vini ⇧ 

Me kneeling down next to a little goat

⇧ Me with a new friend ⇧

Me at the top of the log flume

⇧ Me at the top of the log flume ready for the big drop! ⇧ 

Vini  Bruno on the log flume

⇧ Vini & Bruno on the log flume ⇧

Baby Gorilla

⇧ A baby Gorilla ⇧

Tiger

⇧ Tiger ⇧ 

Sea Lion

⇧ Sea Lion ⇧ 

Goat

⇧ Goat ⇧

Cisswood House, Horsham RNIB Supporter Reception 

RNIB Horsham Reception

⇧ Cisswood House ⇧ 

I once again pretended to be a photographer and went with Sarah to Cisswood House in Horsham to a supporter reception to interview some inspiring people. The day was fantastic and we met some truly amazing people who are simply inspiring, and also heard about some of the great services provided by RNIB

Relaxing At Sicily Restaurant 

Me relaxing with a refreshing drink in Sicily restaurant garden

⇧ Me relaxing with a summertime special drink ⇧ 

Sarah relaxing in the garden of Sicily restaurant

⇧ Sarah also relaxing with my drink! lol. Only noticed it was my drink after zooming in on this photo! 🙂 ⇧

My Sisters Wedding

Sarah & i travelled back up to Derby over the weekend for my Sisters (Charlotte) wedding. It was a blessing to be there for her & Marcellus and share their special day. We loved being around family and also got to catch up with others i’ve not seen in years! 🙂 All photos were taken using my iPhone.

C  M Wedding 10  Charlotte  Marc

⇧ Marcellus & Charlotte ⇧

Marcellus  Charlotte 2

⇧ Marcellus & Charlotte 2 ⇧

Marcellus  Charlotte Kiss

⇧ The Kiss ⇧

Me Marc Charlotte  Ambber

⇧ Me, Marcellus, Charlotte & Ambber (my other Sister) ⇧

C  M Wedding 3

⇧ Family & Friends ⇧

Friends

⇧ Marcellus & Tony ⇧

C  M Wedding 17

⇧ 🙂 ⇧

C  M Wedding 7  Taylor

⇧ My Niece Taylor (right) & friend ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 4  Saff

 ⇧ My Niece Saffy ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 12  Saira

⇧ My Niece Saira ⇧ 

See also: Weddings Page

Happy Birthday Sarah! ~ A Suite For My Sweet

For Sarah’s birthday (Friday 11th) i booked a surprise Spa Suite at Thistle hotel in Brighton that had views overlooking the pier. We had a lovely few days.

Thistle Brighton

Brighton Spa Suite

Sarah relaxing in her Suite 1.jpg

Sarah relaxing looking over brighton pier from her suite window seat 2.jpg

Sarah on the beac

⇧ Sarah enjoying the beach ⇧ 

Brighton Pier

 ⇧ Brighton Pier ⇧  

Brighton Beach  Pier

Brighton Beach and sea front

⇧ View of Brighton while standing on the pier ⇧ 

Visiting Family In Doncaster

 I was blessed again last weekend to visit Sarah’s family up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK, and be there to celebrate Maddie’s (my sister in law)18th birthday and also get to meet everyone again. We had a lovely few days spending time and catching up with family. 

Maddies 18 cake

 ⇧ Maddie’s 18th birthday cake ⇧ 

Sarah  Maddie

 ⇧ Beautiful sisters Sarah & Maddie ⇧ 

Me  Maddie

 ⇧ Me & Maddie ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Maddie

 ⇧ Me, Sarah & Maddie ⇧ 

Brothers  Sisters

 ⇧ Brothers & Sisters Sarah, Maddie, Simon, Marshall & Alfie ⇧ 

Sarah  Marshall

⇧ Sarah with her brother Marshall “” 

Marshall

 ⇧ My brother in law Marshall ⇧ 

Me  Sarah

 ⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah ⇧

Sarah  Gran

⇧ Sarah & her lovel Gran ⇧

See also

People 

You’ll Never Believe This…….

You’ll never believe this……Some of my photos have been chosen for Several exhibitions around Italy, starting 4th April in Ancona.

Info taken from website:

5 – 27 April 2014
Openig 5th April 5.30 pm
Museo Tattile Statale Omero, Ancona

The exhibition presents sculptures, paintings in various techniques, bas-reliefs, pictures, installations and video clips realized by 30 blind artists from 6 different countries, as well as full-sensorial fruition works crafted by sighted artists.

I’m so honoured to be chosen and i still can’t believe it! This first Ancona exhibition, my photos are presented on a forex panel with 3 photos they chose from the iChristian ‘Blind Photographer” page….see image below.

Photos on forex panel for Ancona Exhibition

Photos on forex panel for Ancona Exhibition  

 For the final exhibition in Florence, Italy in December, i’ll be sending them 6 mounted & framed images and we’ll be actually going to visit the exhibition and meet the people etc at the museum. As you can imagine i’m really excited! 🙂 

More Info…

I SENSI DELL’ARTE| ART SENSES 2014

AN INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE

 

The exhibition ART SENSES 2013, dedicated to blind and visually impaired people, starts in Ancona 4th April 2014, and then Tuscany, region in Italy, on October 26th in Massa Marittima, and it ended in Grosseto on December 3rd, with a conference on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

More than sixty works by 28 blind or visually impaired artists – out of them 15 are from other countries – became part of the art exhibition reserved to them, that includes a wide variety of languages and media.

The thirteen Italian artists mixed with the fifteen from England, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Slovenija, thereby showing a community geographically distant, yet close due to the desire to participate and get involved. 

Among all the works selected for the exhibition, six artists was chosen by a technical jury, as

Award winners

The aim of this artistic path falls within the overall significance of the event, that of appreciating, producing, living art with our other senses, participating together and closely to the experience of those who just cannot see, especially now that the world is increasingly dominated by visual messages. 

ArtSenses starts just from there, and invites everyone to explore “other” ways to experience the creative reality.

 

THE TRAVELING EXHIBIT in 2014

The exhibition will then travel to other exhibition halls, as the OMERO Tactile State Museum in Ancona, Italy, from the 4th until the 27th of April 2014 placed into the important Mole Vanvitelliana; in December 2014 the prestigious PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI in Florence. 

This event thus creates the chance to take the concept also beyond national boundaries and it becomes a source of cultural growth and of social and ethical participation, demonstrating the interest in a project that can be regarded beyond the standard canons of art.

 

INVITATION

The UK blind or partially sighted artists are invited to participate to the exhibition from the 3nd until the 15th of December,in FLORENCE, Italy, within the Galleria delle Carrozze of the PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI, one of the most famous historical buildings of the city. 

The works selected will be exhibited from 3th to 15th December 2014 in the historical centre of Florence, Italy, within the Galleria delle Carrozze of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.

 

Concept and organization

Associazione culturale Art@ltro

in collaboration with

UIC- Italian Blind Union

 

Info:  

www.artaltro.it  – facebook: Artaltro Associazione culturale

info@artaltro.it  – artaltro@gmail.com 

Visiting Family In Derby

If you’re wondering why i’ve been so quiet for the last few days…..…Sarah & i have been visiting family & friends in my hometown of Derby, Derbyshire,

It was amazing to catch up with as many as i could as i don’t get to see them very often, and it was sad not too catch up with my brother Paul. Below are some great memories of my trip. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Me stood in our hotel window

⇧ Surprised to find this great window in our hotel room! 🙂 ⇧ 

Sarah next to the river with the Cathedral in the background.jpg

 ⇧ Sarah & i had a lovely riverside walk ⇧ 

Derby Cathedral

  ⇧ Derby Cathedral (i proposed to Sarah inside, 9 years ago ⇧ 

Me  my 2 sisters Ambber  left  Charlotte

 ⇧ Me and my 2 sisters, Ambber (left) & Charlotte ⇧ 

Ambber Sarah Me Charlotte  Marc

 ⇧ From left: Ambber, Sarah, Me, Charlotte & Marc ⇧ 

A photo of me with my beautiful niece Saira

 ⇧ Me with Saira (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Saira (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Saira ⇧ 

Saffy (one of my beautful nieces) .jpg

 ⇧ Saffy (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧  

Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Me, Eileen (step mum), my Dad, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor 1.jpg

 ⇧ From back left: My Dad, Eileen (my step mum), Me, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor “”

Ben  brother in law my Dad Eileen  my step mum Me Saira Saffy  Taylor

 ⇧ From back left: Ben (my brother in law), Dad, Eileen, Me, Saira, Saffy & Taylor ⇧ 

All photos taken with my iPhone 5s

Related Posts: Families

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

My Drums

My Thoughts 💭 

For this weeks ‘Weekly  Photo Challenge‘, i thought i would use my acoustic drum kit as my OBJECT & INSPIRATION! 

For me, i get so inspired when i can sit among my drums and play them loud, it’s such an amazing feeling!! It’s just not the same now i play the digital ones. I can’t wait for another opportunity to get them out again! 🙂

View More: Weekly Photo Challenges

Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible

The Daily Post Logo DP

“Tell us about the favorite dish or food that you simply cannot turn down.”

My Thoughts 💭

My number one “simply can’t turn down” is a Lamb Doner Kebab on a naan bread. I don’t have a photo of one so i posted my 2nd fave, Chips!!! 

Chips

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Weekly Photo Challenge Logo

This week, show us something that’s a HABIT. It could be your daily walk to the bus stop, or your daily paper lying on the doorstep. Maybe it’s the guy behind the counter at the deli you always visit for lunch, the stuffed bunny your child must have at bedtime, or the view from your desk as you sit down to blog.

Mocha

 My Thoughts 💭 

For this weeks challenge i wanted to share a photo of the daily fuel that keeps iChristian going (other than the obvious ‘Holy Spirit answer).

This is a Mocha fresh from our excellent little coffee maker (Dolce Gusto)! I love Mocha, Lungo intenso, Cortado & Expresso’s and hot chocolate (not all in one day! lol) 😀

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

Elephant’s Feet

Elephant s Foot

My Thoughts 💭 

After being back in my home town of Derby this weekend, i didn’t want to leave without having an ‘Elephants Foot’ from Birds. Other bakers around the country do similar styles of cakes, but never taste anything like one of these beauty’s, they simply can’t be beaten! My sister got me a box of 4 to take back home and Sarah & i can’t thank her enough! 😀

If you visit Derby or Derbyshire then i recommend that you try one! Please let me know what you think! 🙂

Spirit Levelling

Spirit Level

My Thoughts 💭 

Travelling back home on the train this morning, I was showing Sarah the new (but hidden) spirit level on iOS 7 on my iPhone (to get to it, just open the compass app and then swipe from right to left with one finger to reveal). As I was tilting my phone up and down and showing that when the surface is level the whole screen goes green, suddenly I had the thought….

This is the same with our spiritual lives. How balanced/instep am I with the Spirit that dwells within?!

Are you instep with the Spirit?

Verse Logo

Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

More Thoughts 💭  

At or around harvest time I like to think about my life and how much its changed from the fruitless dead tree and how God is healing me by his Love and Grace by trying to grow the fruits for his glory. I need to keep my roots deep in him and be in step with the Spirit so I don’t just wither and die.

V8 Pickup

Pickup Truck

Description

While on holiday last year in Hunstanton, Norfolk I kept hearing a fat american V8 driving around the town, and one day it was parked up so I could snap it with my camera!

My friends dad always had american cars  and vans and I’ve enjoyed them for most of my life, so I was excited when I could finally put a picture to that beautiful sound.

Camera Used ~ iPhone 4s

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Brooklands Museum

 

RNIB Supporter Receptions

Ageas Bowl panoramic

Yesterday Sarah & I attended an RNIB supporter Reception at the Ageas Bowl in Hedge End. (image above taken using the panorama option on my iPhone 4s)

As part of Sarah’s work as a legacy marketing officer at RNIB and editor of Outlook Magazine, she gets the chance to attend some of RNIB’s supporter receptions, held all across the UK at some amazing locations. She interviews people, finds case studies and learns more about the ever changing new technologies and services that RNIB provides to help transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people and offer them a brighter future to look forwards to. On a personal level we also like to speak with the people to inspire them and more importantly, for me, break their misconceptions of what a blind person should look and act like. (as a blind photographer I often inspire a range of questions which I am happy to answer)Sarah interviewing

Portrait of one of the lovely ladies who help support RNIB and Action for blind people

Portrait of one of the supporters Sarah interviewed

Candy enjoying helping and chatting to James

Sat listening to the speakers

One of my memorable moments was when John walked to the front and said:

Today and everyday  in the Uk alone 100 people will be told by specialists that they will lose or have lost their sight and there is nothing that can be done. Yet 80% of those 100 people could have avoided it, see Spot The Signs

The reception ended with this moving video.

It was a great day and we always learn so much, meet some lovely people and leave feeling well informed on all of the amazing services and work that go on behind the scenes to help blind and partially sighted people have a brighter future!

Related Links:

Rainy Ilfracombe

 

Ilfracombe 2

Description

This is another photo from our new years holiday to Ilfracombe. I took this while in the most powerful winds I have ever expierienced and it was raining really hard too, which is why I used my iPhone! 😀

Camera used ~ iPhone 4s

See also ~ Ilfracombe


Kebab Man!

 

Kebab Man

 

Description

For my pre birthday treat Sarah created “Kebab Man” a new super hero made from my fave items from the local takeaway! I just love his Doner meat hair!! 😀

 

Camera usediPhone 4s

 

Happy Birthday Sarah – Part 2

 

For part of Sarah’s birthday present I booked a 1 night stay in the Thistle Hotel in Brighton. The hotel was lovely and the view from the room had a full panoramic view of the beach and pier.

Sarah sat in the window relaxing with the view of the pier

We had a meal in the restaurant inside the hotel on the first evening which was lovely as the table had a similar panoramic view, and I had the best scotch egg (cooked in a posh way! lol) I have ever tasted! 

Posh Scotch Egg! :D

On the second day my friend Ben (excellent poem creator), Rosie & Vini came down to meet us for the day. We enjoyed a walk along the pier and Vini had a ride on the Horror Hotel!

Brighton 1

Horror Hotel 2

Brighton Roller Coaster

Helter Skelter 14

Rosie & Vini

hen…..

The Chocolate!

Choccey Wocky

 

Camera usediPhone 4s

 

 

Portsmouth Cathedral

Portsmouth Cathedral

Description

I took this photo of Portsmouth Cathedral when we travelled down for our friend Lynda’s ordination.

The Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth, commonly known as Portsmouth Cathedral, is the Church of Englandcathedral of the Diocese of PortsmouthEngland and is located in the heart of Old Portsmouth. It is the seat of the Bishop of Portsmouth.

The Anglican cathedral is one of the two cathedral churches in the city, the other being the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth which is located about one mile to the north. (Read more)

Camera usediPhone 4


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