Sam The Game Maker

Had a fabulous day out today in Hitchin with my lovely photographer friend Sharon. We met up with Sam, a beautiful model whom you might recognise from The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of The Games. She was Miss USA flag bearer. And to top the day off, she brought her dress to the shoot. Check out all the Game Maker faces on it. Result!

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Isle of May

When away in Scotland, I headed for the Isle of May. Beautiful little isle that in season is a home to a colony of 40,000 pairs of puffins and some 200,000 other birds. Yes, I did get the number of zeros right. I cannot quite imagine how loud and crazy the place must be with so many seabirds on such a small isle but I will find out next year when I return. I’ve been wanting to shoot puffins ever since I saw pictures of them in Iceland last year so let’s hope come next July I will get to snap those curious creatures.

The Isle of May is also home and a breeding ground to a large colony of seals who use the pebbled beach as their ‘delivery room and the nursery’. It’s their isle now for the next few months. I do recommend a visit if you are in that part of Scotland, especially if you are there around the brid breeding season from April till mid-August. It’s supposed to be an unforgettable experience. I am kind of picturing it a little bit like Hitchcock’s Birds but more birds and maybe a little friendlier.

There are four lighthouses on the isle and they are there for a good reason. The rocks around the isle have a rich history of being responsible for a lot of shipwrecks over the years.

Edinburgh

What’s the best place to hit for bank holiday weather guarantee? Scotland, of course! Rain is always well, almost always guaranteed. I went up north last weekend and decided to spend a day in Edinburgh. I’ve been to Scotland many a times. I love Scotland, highlands in particular for the amazing views and outdoor experiences they offer you. Scotland rocks tourism.

I haven’t been to Edinburgh for a while so I thought I’d spend a day there, climb Arthur’s Seat (yes, I too read One Day and cried like a baby) and do some street photography. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired but here’s a small selection of the shots from the day.

Cuban Painters

Reading my guidebook prior to my Cuba trip, I fell in love with Cuban art. I knew my pocket will be seriously depleted by the end of the trip so it wasn’t much surprise to anyone when I kept stopping by every gallery admiring the local work and snooping on painters at work.

Meet three Cuban painters, whose work I absolutely love: Martha Petrona Jimenez Perez, Luis Eliades Rodrigues Martinez and Martalena.

Martha Jimenez’s studio is located in Camaguey. She is one of the best Cuban painters and an avid supporter of women’s rights. Her paintings of women often address the issues of liberty. She is an incredibly lovely lady, keen to answer questions about her work and her inspirations. She tends to work on a few pieces at the time perfecting them with each sitting.

Luis Eliades is a well-known Cuban painter of Afro-Caribbean gods, working and residing in Baracoa. Quoting directly from his website ‘Born in Baracoa on 22 June 1942. He graduated as Art Professor at “Jose Joaquin Tejada” Art School in Santiago de Cuba in 1969.’ He draws inspiration from Santeria. He is very proud of the brush technique he has developed as his trademark, which I can only describe as twirls. It makes his paintings fascinating when looking at them up close.

My dream painting hangs in his studio and I am hoping that if all goes well, it might hang on my wall at some point in the near future. His personal favourite, which you can see here, is also somewhere in England.

And finally Martalena from Havana. A fascinating lady, who only paints the portraits of Frida. Her whole gallery is full of different versions of Frida. Martalena believes that Frida as a very inspiring artist protects her against all evil.