Clacton Air Show 2015 – Vulcan Bomber XH558

Taken by me at Clacton air show 2015 (Edited image)
The Red Arrows taken at Clacton air show 2014 (Edited image)

It’s the second day of the Clacton Air show and it looks like it will be a fine day by the sea. My wife and I went yesterday to see the Vulcan bombers XH558 last show in this area. It’s one of the most impressive planes I have ever seen and while it can no longer roars like it did (engine must be preserved) it never the less still puts on a fine display. Considering the XH558 first flew in 1960 the plane looks as modern as ever. Sadly this will be the Vulcan’s last show year, so if you can catch her at one of it’s last shows I highly recommend you do. It goes without saying we will never see the likes of her in the sky again.

DCF 1.0
Vulcan bomber in its last year of powering on.
Vulcan at Clacton yesterday
Vulcan at Clacton yesterday

In This Moment My new Favourite Metal band

For More info on the band go to www.inthismomentofficial.com

The world is a big place and it’s impossible to know or follow every band from it’s inception. Sometimes just a chance link or even an advert will bring a song or a band to your attention. Often what happens to me is I just discover a band (that everyone else knew about) only to discover they broke up 3 years ago.

So today I discovered ‘In This Moment’. As I have said before I’ve been listening to Metal since the early 80’s. I have always like Metal which gives it’s listener space to breathe which may be an odd thing to say. I personally find little enjoyment in just being washed away by a wall of thrash guitars and a vocalist that only ever growls . If that’s your thing cool but it’s not for me.

Whilst washing the dishes, I just wanted that certain something kind of metal and after a few clicks I found it. Macabre twisted and full of light and dark, In this Moment, hit the sound spot I was looking for. In This Moment, an American metal band from Los Angeles, California may have been around since 2005 but today I discovered them and like a fine whisky they have been getting better every year till I stumbled across the bottle and took a sip.

I’m sure there are hundreds of bands that have just the right texture of metal for me and maybe you can let me know about them or I will discover them myself one year.

So here are the New to Me Band, In this Moment

Question your doctor

Question everything
Don’t get it then your have to do a bit of searching ;)

Never be afraid to question the number of pills you are on with your doctors. I’m not saying you should stop taking anything. What I am saying is you’re well within your rights to have a discussion with your doctor about why you are taking something and do you really still need them if you been taking something for a long time that no longer seems to work. Doctors are not Gods, they are fallible even if we would like to think they aren’t. People often feel intimidated by those in the medical profession or they don’t want to take up the doctors time. This is just stupid.  We are talking about your health and life. You have a right to question your treatment no matter how inferior you feel. A doctor who is not prepared to answer questions or listen to your concerns is a person who shouldn’t be dealing with the public.

Medications can and do save lives, but they can also give you a whole bag full of side effects worst than the conditions they are meant to fix. This is especially true I have found in pills for the treatment of mental conditions. A number of bipolar pills I have been on over the years have made my condition worse.  At other times I have been prescribed medication that really isn’t best to treat my exact problem. This occurs by mistake or because the doctors don’t have the time or aren’t really listening to your symptoms.

Do I believe the whole medical profession is corrupted by pharmaceutical companies that have twisted doctors into prescribing pills to boost their profits in return for kick backs? I don’t think it hurts to keep that in the back of your mind as corruption and peer pressure is everywhere in life. All I can say is I’ve met some very good doctors and some very bad ones and unlike many professions a doctors incompetence can and has cost lives.

The web is full of nasty stories about every drug ever made, you should not base your health on what one or two websites say. What I believe is if you don’t feel right about your doctor get a second opinion or change doctors even if it means going to a whole different practice. Sure you could just be paranoid but if your condition is life threatening you would be foolish not explore to other options if you, your friends and family don’t feel right about your treatment.

Pharmaceutical companies operate for profit some may make great products but do you really think they will be sad if they find out you have just one more condition that could be treated by their medications?

Creating a beach in Clacton on sea

Just a quick unedited video shot on a handheld Sony DSC HX400v of sand being pumped up from a floating pipe line connected to the recharge vessel “Freeway”. Clacton will now have a much bigger beach thanks to the many fishtail groynes (the new sea defense system) one of which can be seen behind the bulldozer. Note the talking in the back ground is not me.

This is my first Youtube video upload, can’t you just hear Spielberg is trembling in his boots :). Joking aside I have always avoided uploading videos on youtube because I new they would be poor quality compared to other peoples polished productions. Sure my shaky attempts may not win any awards, but they are a record of a moment in time and who knows someone now or in the future may find them of interest. I decided to just go for it and I will now upload more in the future, as the process is much easier than when i tried in 2006. I will not enable comments as I find them to be the most disempowering part to youtube. I don’t know about you but I’ve no interest in what complete strangers feel about other peoples videos.

So if you have ever wanted to upload a video to Youtube give it a go stop waiting for approval , just remember to disable comments unless you enjoy being beaten over the head with verbal sticks :)

A wobbly Panoramic shot of beach building
A wobbly Panoramic shot of beach building

The Red or The Blue Pill ?

AVfoaRpill

In the classic Sci-fi movie The Matrix, Neo is offered a Choice between a blue pill which will allow him to remain in the fabricated reality of the Matrix, or a red pill which will unplug him from the Matrix and show him his world as it really is. The choice is irrevocable and Life changing.

Most of the people I know can’t choose what they want for dinner, let alone make a life changing  decision. The simple fact is that few of us really know what we want from our life, even when we get what we think we want, we are soon looking for something else. Generally speaking most people have enough trouble getting through the day let alone searching for the meaning of everything. That said there are those that do dedicate there life searching for the ‘truth’. I often wonder if they ever discovered the ‘truth’ would it, could it live up to their expectations? They may end up having their belief system shaken to it’s very core, but equally they could simply discover that life is not really that mysterious.

For all of us there are things in life we have discovered that we wish we could forget, knowing the truth often makes life much harder than those that live in ignorance. Discovering exactly how millions if not billions of animals suffer every year in the worlds food chains can be horrific, It may shake you enough to become a vegan or a vegetarian* which many would see as a good thing. What few non meat eaters would admit is that just sometimes it would be nice to go back to the unknowing, just to eat a burger, or pick something off the ’normal’ menu.

Another example would be the person who thought themselves happily married, only to discover one day that there partner has been having an affair for years. The second before the knowledge life was good, then a second after a whole life time would seem like a lie. The broken hearted seldom ever repair, they will always find it hard to trust, some may never really ever love again. Their are those that spend a whole life time yearning for the return of Innocence as the worlds truths slowly strips their souls bare.

So if you were Neo what would you choose? To see the world as it really is or live in your current lie. My guess is most people would rather live in the lie and I can understand that. I like to think I would be brave enough to take the red pill but I can’t say for sure. Then again i’ve made so many wrong decisions in my life what would be one more lol.

*I have been a vegetarian for over 11 years since seeing a documentary that meant I could never eat meat again. I will admit to you somedays I wish I had never seen that program, especially on sunday mornings when everyone in the neighborhood  is cooking bacon :)

Thank you Erasure

The music of Erasure has always played a roll in my life from the 80’s to the present day. Sure I’ve let a few albums pass me by, but despite the many years under the bridge Erasure stay the same musically and that’s a good thing.  Through love and loss the voice of Andy Bell and music of Vince Clarke has made me smile, laugh and yes even cry. I’ve been buying erasure records (yes with real money) from the beginning with ‘Who needs love like that’ . I first saw them live with my girl friend at the time, It was ‘The Innocents Tour’ at Hammersmith Odeon London, in 1988 if my memory serves. It was a great night only spoiled by a homophobic dickhead security guard that kept shouting crap out.

Later on I saw them on the Wild! tour, where my wife who I didn’t know at the time was also at the same gig. Some years later we saw the group together again at Hammersmith, I can’t recall for what tour that was but it was the first and only gig I’ve been to where the group called our bingo numbers lol. It has always been the shear singabilty that has attracted me to them that and the fact you can actually here all the words. Growing up I was a bit of a synth head and followed Vince from Depeche mode to Yazoo then to Erasure, I confess I began to wonder if this man would ever stay in a group, but stay he did creating with Andy a catalogue of music that has stood the test of time.

Below are some of my Favorite songs
Check out their websites for more info:-
www.erasureinfo.com
www.vinceclarkemusic.com
www.andybell.com

Finally the song that for me sums up life and old age to me

For the love of Glamour

One of my model friends from what seems like a lifetime ago said I should repost my old posts on Glamour as she alway liked them. So I thought I would seeing there is little to nothing about my time as a glamour photographer on here. So here is my first one hope some will find it interesting Please note all this work was created under my old name and websites not Aric Voss:-

When I was about 15 (1992) I was standing in the play ground at school and a group of boys asked me what I wanted to do when I left school, I answered just for a laugh, be a glamour photographer. Little did I know that many years later that is exactly what I would do who say’s ‘dreams’ don’t come true lol

My first dip into glamour  photography was to start from a simple e-mail. It went something like this:-

‘I’m a model and I own a studio, I love your digital art and was wondering if you could turn me into a vampire’

Some weeks later, ill equipped and nervous as hell I was taking photos of a complete stranger it was a leap of faith that started a whole new chapter in my life. I did turn this lady into a vampire and fortunately she liked what I did. Over the coming months I had requests from her model friends who all like what I had done.  At the time Photoshop still wasn’t the everyday glamour tool it now is, so what i created still had a Wow factor. While changing women into vampires and fairies was fun up to a point, I had got a taste for studio glamour photography and wanted to learn how to take everbetter shots .

Turning a White studio shot into something else was a still cool when I did it not it's just old hat
Turning a basic white background studio shot into something else was cool when I did it, now it’s just old hat

Some months later I met a man who was running a studio locally. He said he would give me some tips in return for a few grains of my Knowledge of websites and digital art. So off I went with my camera and met him. The studio was big but cold the guy that run it Martin was a helpful chap and over the next few weeks I began to grasp the basics of how to light a shot. Time passed and an odd friendship grew as we were very different people, then one day the idea of a model agency came up. I had been using models for my work but half the time they didn’t turn up or had no clue what to do when they arrived, they weren’t models just good looking women. There is a significant difference trust me.

We decided that if we started a model agency up it should be different than others we had used. We would take everyday women who wanted to be models and show them what it was like to work in front of the camera so they would see if they liked it. Martin could tell them what he knew about the industry (more than me) so they would be forewarned before taking the plunge and best of all we do it for nothing. The only time we would make any money is when the girls got a modelling job. It seemed the perfect idea the girls got free promotion on the web, plus a hand full of images/or a cd to start a portfolio. We got the chance to offer photographers brand new models and we also got models to promote the business. I’m sure as many of you are reading this you are think it was a scam or had a seedy side to it and it really it didn’t. I never pushed any women into doing topless or nude work and in fact we had a number of models on the books who never did that for all kinds of reason. This was a strictly no ‘touchy feely’ operation we where both married and over stepping the professional line with a model was a no no for us. At the high point we had over 40 local budding models on our books but of course not all of them got work as they were only ever book if people like their look. What people look for in a model is not always as it would seem, sometimes the most unassuming girls got jobs while the real Physically ‘stunning’ Women (to my eyes anyway) sometimes never got asked to do anything which was really frustrating for me.

Time went on (as it always does) and I soon discovered I did not have the pushy personality to be a model agent, but I did have a natural affinity with women and the innate ability to get the best out of them during a shoot. Sadly I also found I was becoming very bored not to mention more and detached from the agency side of the company and where my business partner wanted to go with the company. I made the difficult decision to leave and left on as good as terms as possible. Martin kept the company name all the photos and all the problems and I left with a big dent to my wallet (I had invested a lot of money in the company has had Martin) but I did have an invaluable schooling in studio photography. I created my own small home studio and decided I would only work with models who fit my look requirements. Much to my wife’s frustration and disbelief I still didn’t rate my ability as a photographer, despite most telling me they loved my work. Once on my own I mainly undertook time for print shoots (which will be explain in another  blog’).

I kept learning more and more about photography and most important of all lighting (which is everything in glamour). Over the next few years I produced some great images which I hope the models are still very proud of. I poured hours into digital darkroom work (Adobe Photoshop) to create images that were visually stunning without looking too fake a problem that plagues the industry to this day. Sometimes I would spend 8 hours on one photo and so the rod for my own back began to grow. Normal images no longer worked for me or the models, every photo I gave my clients had to be spot and blemish free, perfection was a reality in my world. Just before my holiday to Scotland in late 2006 and the subsequent awakening with my first visionary work ‘oppressed’ I was physically but most of all mentally exhausted. I had grown to hate glamour photography because of how much of my life it was taking up so I decided to call it a day.

While I haven’t shot glamour in nearly 10 years I can’t say I will never shoot glamour again, as it is in my blood and sometimes i really miss the challenge of giving everyday women that one picture they will remember forever .

My view on the human body
For me a Naked body is just a body, it is meaningless. Everything you think or don’t think about is all down to your own perceptions or fetishes. It is you and your belief that makes boobs/bums sexy, nudity crude or something taboo it’s never the body, the model or even the photographer. Yes all three are trying to tap into general perceptions of Western sexuality but once you strip out you mental programming you are just looking at bodies that were designed ultimately to attract the opposite sex and reproduce, which is no different to every other creature on the planet.

The Eyes are what is important in glamour
The Eyes are what is important in glamour

And now?
I still have hundreds of ideas for great images, but in all honesty glamour photography done well requires a great deal of money sets, lights and the right outfits do not come cheap. Yes you can make great glamour on a shoestring but right now I don’t even have a suitable studio camera. In all honesty the Classic Glamour I loved is now seen by many as ‘politically incorrect’ and old fashioned and to tame by others. Much of the sexy illusion is dead in our modern world, most old style glamour models have quit or had to move on to hardcore Porn, dancing or TV sex phone chat to make a living.  My feeling is there is little glamour or beauty in any of those industries, but I understand why women decide to do the work and I respect that, life moves on. I’m not a Prude far from it, but I have always felt once the wrapping is off the mystery is gone and I love mystery .

I guess many people would disaprove of this image but it's tame by internet standards this was as 'hard' as I ever wanted to work. Yes that is Tommie Jo
I guess many people would disapprove of this image, but it’s tame by internet standards this was as ‘hard’ as I ever wanted to work. Yes that is Tommie Jo

Want to see some great glamour?
I am a great admirer of the work of the American photographer David LaChapelle as that for me is what true glamour should look like visionary, fun and at times hot. I guess many people would keep a past like mine a secret but I have never done anything to be ashamed of. My only regret from my glamour days is I didn’t have enough money to make it work as I would have liked. In fact I am still paying off the many thousands I invested in equipment and studios. Also it’s a shame that I have thousands of photos of some wonderful women that will never see the light of day.
I’d like to thank all the women that ever took time to work with me and hoped that wherever they are now (yes I know some are ‘famous’ in the adult world), the photo’s still make them smile.

Amazon Prime Music up and Running in the UK

For those of us that don’t want to be totally trapped in the Apple universe Amazon Prime members in the UK  now have another option. While I doubt the music catalog will initially be as vast or up today as Apple it’s basically a Free extra to the already great value for money Prime Service.  Amazon says you can ‘Listen to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists online or on your mobile device with the Prime Music app’.

I’m using it on my PC as I type, you can’t download tracks on that at this time, but on the Amazon music prime app on my Hudl (UK Android Tablet) you can.

This makes the Amazon TV products even more relevant to those can hook it up to a quality sound system.

Lets hope this service grows and offers a real alternative to other music streaming products. I have to admit I feel sorry for Spotify, as I have always used that, at the moment their business model from the outside would appear to be under attack. That said it will be interesting to see what happens in this field over the coming months will Microsoft and Google up it’s game who knows.

As long as the Artists get paid a sensible fee and that is vitally important, I’m happy to sit back and watch the ever changing landscape of big business music and where possible reap the rewards as a music lover.

Image copyright of Amazon.com, Inc

Saying No to New Houses then…

A brilliant protest sign East Bergholt  East Anglia
A brilliant protest sign East Bergholt East Anglia

Saying No to New Houses? Then you must say an even louder No to mass immigration.

As I drive around Essex and Suffolk, I see village after village with signs that say things like ‘No to New Housing developments’  ‘This is a Village not a town’ ‘Don’t Kill  our Village’ etc etc .

I have to say I get very, very angry and not for the reason you would think. Despite what those in power would have you believe, a large majority of these houses are being built to accommodated our ever expanding immigrant population. That is not some racist rant, this is an obvious statement of fact. You simply can not have a never ending stream of immigrants coming into the county legally or illegally without being forced to build houses to accommodate them.

I have been an immigrate when I went to live in America and I’m also married to one (even if her mother was English). I like difference and I actually believe that a sensible level of immigration is healthy, not to mention necessary for a country’s continuation and growth.  But what is happening here and to many European countries is not healthy, right or necessary. It should be every countries first duty to maintain the quality of life for it’s people, be they indigenous or not. Those in power also have a duty to defend their peoples ways of life against abnormal erosion. By that I mean all nations change overtime but mass immigration into any area destabilizing the traditional ways of life for people that have lived in that area for generations to the point they feel aliens in their own land.

Politicians and the Politically correct brigade can throw numbers at this argument and claim as they do that immigration has no impact on housing or peoples ways of life but that is just a lie, THE BIGGEST LIE OF OUR TIME.  I can walk around markets and streets locally and believe that I have taken a trip to some eastern block country, I’m not talking about people’s colour or appearance, I’m talking about that fact I don’t hear the official language of this country being spoken or even attempted. If I can not communicate with the people around me in my own tongue or understand them then I for one think something has gone very wrong . I’m constantly being told that immigration is ‘low’ in our area if that is the case then I find that even more worrying.

All countries change and ways of life and thinking are eradicated overtime I do not dispute that. I fully believe in but a few generations this will be a Muslim county and then generations further something else.  For now it is still Great Britain and for now the Government must reduce the impact on the people who have created the very country that everyone in the world finds so desirable to come and live in. Rightly or wrongly the UK is perceived as the candy store of Europe.

So, if people are saying No to New Houses and saying Yes or saying nothing to mass immigration, because they don’t want to appear ‘Racist’ or uncaring, I suggest such people take down their protest signs and evaluate the cause and effect of all things. Much like the people that want power in their homes, but don’t want any way of producing it near them they are being naive at best and stupidly selfish. Why should someone else suffer down the road just so we can feel good about our ‘ideals’ and  local area.

This is a small country and as the saying goes ‘You can’t get a quart into a pint pot.’

There are no ‘good’ answers to this problem, there is no way everyone will be happy with the way of solving this Mass immigration , but solve it we must and fast if we want to maintain a quality of life for the whole of the country and it’s people. Asylum seekers may indeed have had a horrific life, but a life boat can only hold so many before it sinks and everyone drowns, this is a metaphor for countries and cultures as well.

I love the British countryside that is why I discovered I could never live anywhere else. I despise the way nature has so little value in eyes of governments and the soulless money men. I support all those that fight against the erosion into our green belt. I just believe most people have their heads in the sand about why things happen. They think that the world ends at the end of their drive, street, village or town. All this post and all my work is asking is for people to really look at a problem and understand that in life there are no real solutions, but the needs of the many must always out way the need of the few. That is just the law of nature which after all is just a elegant war zone.

The night is still young

I’m glad ‘The night is still young’ as I’ve still got loads to do..  I love this track very uplifting

Female Pop stars never look like Nicki Minaj in my day (well we only had Kate Bush), come to think of it, women never looked like that period. Sexy underwear was always well hidden under at least seven layers of petticoats, well it was cold in Ruislip when I was a boy ;)

If we were lucky they would flash us their ankles behind the bike sheds lol. As we have established over the years of blogging my musical tastes are all over the place I refuse to be tied down to one style or era. When I listen to a track like this it does bring back the hope and dreams of the younger me, that is believe it or not alive and well in this old husk of a body. No matter how old you get never stop believing the night is still young.

When it comes to Entertaining music that just makes you smile Nicki is the real deal, thank the Gods for girls like her, they lighten the world for the rest of us.