Category: Interesting

In Search Of Cilla Black

Yesterday I had to be in Liverpool for a very short meeting and whilst I was there I thought I’d go and see if I could find Cilla. Who, you might be asking, especially if you are not from the UK?. Cilla Black of course, long time friend of the Beatles, you must have heard of them, and a UK “pop star” in her own right.

Cilla was born in Liverpool and wanted to be an entertainer. She got a part-time job in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, made famous by it’s connection to The Beatles and her early performances impressed them. During the 60’s Cilla released a total of 37 singles and 15 studio albums making her the best-selling British female artist of her time.

Cilla Black

Unfortunately Cilla suffered a fatal accident and died at her home in Spain, aged 72. Her funeral was held in Liverpool and crowds lined to the streets to pay their final respects. During Cilla’s funeral The Beatles song “The Long And Winding Road” was played as her coffin left the church.

The statue of Cilla represents her 60’s look and was only unveiled on Monday the 16th January 2017. Paid for by her sons, it stands outside the original entrance to the Cavern Club, which featured so much in her early career. On the chequered dress are song lyrics, images and signatures Theres a little flower just to the side of her left foot and the statue is standing on a copy of one of Cilla’s most recognised songs “You’re My World”.

Speaking of The Beatles, just up the street from Cilla and almost opposite the new entrance to The Cavern Club stands a statue of John Lennon. Normally you can never get a photograph like this, because there are always tourists having their photograph taken with this iconic figure. Bot on a wet and miserable day in Liverpool and with Cilla not too far away, John has been left on his own. Good for me as I’ve been trying to get this photograph for some time now.

John Lennon

Have a look at the brick wall behind John, kind of interesting, isn’t it?

That’s it I hope you enjoyed this post – Mike

It’s That Time Of The Year.

I don’t know if you know this but all photographs on Say It With A Camera by Mike Hardisty (that’s me) are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This mean you can use them for blogs, desktop wallpapers etc as long as you accredit me – you can find out more about licensing here

I say this because here’s a few photographs that you might be able to use at this time of the year.

Weekly Photo Challenge Let There Be Light

This is one of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, long gone now to Rainbow Bridge, but forever immortalised in this photograph. It’s my current desktop background.

Bah Humbug!

I was sent this a good few years back and I have published it before on Say It With A Camera. At the time I could not find any providence for copyright and it seemed to be freely available on the web. If you are the original copyright holder just let me know and I will either withdraw the post or attribute it you. Anyway……

I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends and colleagues, but it is difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my solicitor yesterday, and on advice I wish to say the following :

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all .

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012 , but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that Great Britain is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/ him or others and is void were prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Best Regards (without prejudice)

Name withheld (UK Data Protection Act 1998)

It’s A Kind Of Magic

Well for me it is. Over the years I have tried to capture a Kingfisher with little success. Too far away, or flying too fast for the camera focus to lock up on, always a disaster when I looked at the photographs. Until yesterday. So here it is my first ever Kingfisher that I’m happy enough to show you.


To me that’s magic….

That’s it for this week, a really short one but I wanted to show you the photograph, not ramble on.


Update – 25 November 2016 17:18 hrs: Not long after I posted this to the Weekly Challenge I received an email saying it had been selected for Discover, a place where WordPress highlight some of the best content published with WordPress. Wow, that is an honour.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

annembray Magic Moment – From Studio to Gallery
aNadventures Magic
Fairy Tale World – Lizz Beth Ashley
Colline’s Blog View from a Train
magic – Photographic Trek
through the luminary lens All about the magic of water & photons – no joking!
Weekly Photo Challenge- Magic
It’s OK Because You Made It – The Foxy Igorota
Ruth E Hendricks Photography Late Afternoon at U of Pitt Campus
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist WPC – Magic

Blackpool Illuminations–A Festival Of Light

Blackpool Illuminations have been going since 1879 when eight arc lights lit up the promenade. Nowadays the light show stretches for approximately 6 miles (10 km) along the promenade from Starr Gate at the south end of the promenade to Bispham at the northern end. This year, 2016, the light show will run from the  2nd September until the 6th of November and use over a million bulbs in the light displays. For more information you can follow this link.

Anyway let’s get going with the photographs. As we set off from our hotel I caught this murmuration of starlings before they settled down to roost for the night. It was interesting to watch for a while but I was here for the lights, so time to move on.

Black Cloud

Without the light show Blackpool’s sea front is already quite well illuminated as the various attractions have their own lights which are on all year round. That’s the Blackpool Tower in the background.

Blackpool Tower

Still waiting for the lights to come it was time to take a wander around the amusement arcades on the Central Pier. Free entry, but you pay a fortune for everything else. Yeah I know I’m just a cynical grumpy old man. Oh! By the way, it was half-term this week. All the children were there, the little darlings……..

Ice Cream

Like all amusement arcades there’s the usual mix of “pay your money and take your chances” stalls. Oh! And of course don’t forget your highly over-priced miniature doughnuts, that’s the correct English spelling, ask the BBC.

Hot Donuts

It’s starting to get dark now and it’s time for the donkeys to come off the beach. They were moving so fast that they’re just a blur.


We’re still waiting for the lights to come on and so is everyone else. Way down at Starr Gate the traffic is queuing to start the run, well actually it’s a crawl, along the seafront. It’s at a dead stop and the whole time I was there, about twenty minutes, that white bus moved forward exactly 0 feet. It’s far easier to buy a 24 hour tram pass. You can hop off and on as often as you like, in either direction, for £5 GBP or $6 USD.

Queuing Traffic

Lots of light are on by now, including rides, street lights amusement arcades. Great for photographers to practice shooting lights at night,

Globe Lights

For fans of Doctor Who, who isn’t, there’s a static display on one of the roundabouts as you head towards North Shore.

Doctor Who

But this is what I really was after. Light Trails. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has a great feature called Live Composite Mode. It works by taking one photograph but constantly adding light as it changes. It makes it so much easier to get these light trails which are of trams passing by the camera. Watch the video, it’s only 1m 34s long and it explains Live Composite far better than I can.

You can see the fixed lights all along the seafront but the trails are from moving objects. I love this feature and I’m still experimenting with it to get the right settings.

Light Streaks

That’s it, just a few photographs from our one day trip to the amazing Blackpool Illuminations.

The Mach Loop

I’m on a roll at the moment, so here’s a quick post about the Mach Loop. It’s an area here in North Wales where low flying military aircraft can be photographed as they fly through the valleys. There’s no timetable of when this will happen, but generally you can say Monday to Friday, usually during daylight hours, although Friday is usually POETS day so there may be limited traffic then.

To get there I have to leave the house at six and after an hour and a half drive it’s time to climb up the side of a hill to the vantage point which puts you level or even above the aircraft as they fly through the valley. In reality there are several vantage points but my favourites are CAD East and CAD West. It’s very rare that you wont find other photographers up there waiting for the same thing as you and often that wait can be long. Sometimes it’s three hours of boredom followed by ten seconds of sheer panic as you spot the incoming aircraft, get you camera up, focus and fire the shutter, hoping that you’ve got a least one in sharp enough focus.


But of course, we’re photographers with a common interest so it’s not really hours of boredom, we chat, talk about gear, which aircraft we seen, keep in contact with the other photographers who are on the other vantage points, have a look at flightradar 360 to see what military aircraft are flying and where they are, and most importantly listen to the radio scanners for those magic words “low level LFA7”. And the tents? Not normally for sleeping, more to keep your kit dry, the wind off, it can be cold at those heights, and generally act as your own little shelter against the elements.

So when your up that hill you have to carry, camera, lenses spare batteries, food, water, hot drink, and the tent. The only good thing is the load is lighter on the way down. Is it worth it? To me yes. If I get one good photograph on a day, I’m a happy guy. If I don’t there’s always the banter, and amazing scenery to enjoy. On a clear day you can see so far.

On the CAD east side you get to see the underside of the aircraft as well as head on photographs as they make their approach. It just gives you that little bit of extra time to pick them up and focus.

Hawk T2

Tornado GR4

CAD West, you’ll get cockpit photographs but the difficulty is that you are photographing into the sun which can make it difficult.

Tornado Swept Wing

Hawk T2

At the end of the day I’ve been on the hillside ten and a half hours, it’s six o’clock and it’s time to go home. Faced with another hour and a half drive home I’m eager to get off the hill, and I’m not alone. Military activity has slackened off. The scanners have been quiet for a good hour the radar picture shows nothing up flying in the vicinity so we all make the decision to head home.


The tents get packed up, camera gear is stowed, we take all of our litter and head home.