Waiting in the Aisle

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 60D and Tamron SP AF 10-24mm (Tripod & Shutter remote release)
Shutter 0.6 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal length 10mm


Love Knot

A lucky find in an overgrown corner of my local park.


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 60D & 18-135mm f/3.5 lens
Exposure 1/60, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 64mm
Processed in Lightroom 4

Waiting by the Roadside

I’m sure I’m not the only photographer that stops and abandons my car when I spot something unusual that I just have to get a shot of there and then.

This moss ladened chair was on the grass verge by the main road that runs through the village of Ellastone in Staffordshire.


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 60D & EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5 lens
Exposure 1/160, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 100, Focal Length 37mm
Processed in Lightroom 4


Firstly let me apologise for my absence so far this year, a long story but basically winter plus depression isn’t a good mix for me. The worst part about it is I’ve had a complete lack of interest in my camera and photography. I tried to remedy this by buying myself a shiny new camera, sadly this didn’t work and it has been stowed in my camera bag. Even when I’ve had the gumption to take my bag out with me when I go out, the poor camera hasn’t left it!

My creative get and go had obviously got up and hibernated because it was only a few weeks ago that I started shooting again. A  gloriously sunny day, no heavy winter coat required and colour, shape and contrast became fascinating to me again. Thankfully my mojo is now well on its way to returning..


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 60D & EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5 Lens
Exposure 1/250, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 31mm

Image processed in Lightroom 4


Shooting Information:
Canon Powershot G9
Exposure 1/50, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 80, Focal Length 7mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 57

The Nicholson Institute was presented to the town by Joshua NIcholson. The Building was conceived in 1875 as a monument to Richard Cobden (1804-1865, Reformist & MP for stockport 1841).

It was designed by William Larner Sugden in a Queen Anne style. It opened in 1884, and combined a Free Library, Museum, 3 Picture Galleries and premises for a School of Art. The four stone portrait medallions in the front facade were carved by sculptor Stephen Webb (1849-1933).


The free library has been funded by the District Council since 1887.

The School of Art paid a small rent for its rooms in the Institute. Almost half of the cost of the furniture and equipment for the school was raised by a bazaar held in the Town Hall. The rest came from donations, Science & Arts Department grants and the profits of a lecture given by Oscar Wilde.

Moving pictures were shown in the Institute in1898 by Mssrs. Stokes & Watson of Manchester.

A three storey extension also designed by Sugden was commissioned in 1900 to house a high school and a silk school. The ornamental modelling and lettering was created by Architectural Sculptor Abraham Broadbent (1868-1919). In 1938 the control of the school, at the time it was known as The School of Art, Science & Technology, passed from the District Council to the County Council and by 1955 the school had been divided into a college of further education and a school of arts & crafts, both housed in the Institute.


The 2 schools were combined in 1981 to form Leek College of Further Education & School of Art. It had annexes in Union Street and Russell Street, then in 1986 a Technology Centre & Business School was opened in Union Street. In 1992 the College purchased the Carr Gymnasium. The 1900 extension was remodelled in 1994 to provide more study space and better reception facilities.


Leek & District Arts Club was founded in 1948. In that same year the District Council converted the Museum in the Nicholson Institute into a Meeting & Concert Room for the club. In 1949 the room was opened as an Arts Centre, one of the first 6 in the country to be recognised by the British Arts Council. A week of concerts and other entertainments organised by the club in 1977 led to the establishment of the Leek Arts Festival in 1978. From 1990 onwards, the festival lasts for four weeks.

The Nicholson Institute & the college was granted a Grade II listing by English Heritage on 7 June 1972.


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Feature Image – Exposure 1/125, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm
Second Image – Exposure 1/30, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 53mm
Third Image – Exposure 1/320, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 55mm
Fourth Image – Exposure 1/13, Aperture f/5.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 21mm
Fifth Image – Exposure 1/250, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 56

This house was built in the late 17th century with a few alterations made to it during the early 20th century. It was saved from demolition in 1877 thanks to the campaign by the famous founder of the Arts & Craft movement, William Morris, who was living and working in Leek between 1875 and 1878.

It was restored and ran as a tea room by the start of this century but I’ve personally not seen it open for business for a while but at least someone regularly attempts to prune and tidy the garden.

English Heritage granted a Grade II listing on 13 April 1951 and the garden wall and gate piers were granted their own Grade II listing on 7 June 1972.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Exposure 1/160, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 21mm